Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020


On the last Thursday of every November Americans celebrate Thanksgiving day.  On this day, the traditional turkey meal is enjoyed by families across the nation.  Americans give thanks for life, their families, health, goods etc. 

The origin of this day is said to come from the Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth rock. The Wampanoag Indians taught these settlers how to farm and hunt.  As a deeply religious people, the Pilgrims then had a meal thanking God for the many blessings in this new land. However, the real first Thanksgiving was done by Catholics.  Many do not know that the first Thanksgiving was done by Catholics over 50 years before the pilgrims.  Native Americans and Spanish settlers had a Feast and Mass in 1565 on September 8th, the feast day of the Birth of Mary.  This took place in St. Augustine, Florida. Thanks were given on this day by the Natives and Spanish.  The reason why the Pilgrim's Thanksgiving takes precedence is because the United States eventually came under control of the British Empire.  Naturally, they will favor Anglo-related events over Spanish ones.  


 



While the day is great, we should always thank God daily for everything, both good and bad.  Everything is a blessing whether direct or hidden.  The Catholic Church always gives thanks in the Eucharist.  The word "Eucharist" means Thanksgiving.  We offer out prayers to God, thanking Him while remembering His Son's sacrifice on the Cross.  Jesus Christ becomes the bread and wine at Mass not symbolically but literally.  The Mass takes place daily throughout the Earth.  There is only one day where Mass is not said and that is on Good Friday.   So before the Pilgrims and way before St. Augustine, Florida; Catholics have been having Thanksgiving, not with comfort food, but with The Bread of Life.   

However, this year 2020 has been unique.  With the alleged pandemic of Covid-19 Coronavirus taking hold of the world, things have changed.  Many people are out of jobs, kids are at home learning, places of worship have been targeted by governments and so on.  It has not been easy.  In the United States, there are lines of people waiting to get food and the basics.  It seems awful, and it is; however, we should always give thanks.  We do not know why this virus came upon us. It is the wrath of God, a warning or a blessing in disguise?  Is this a biological weapon, nature doing some human weeding or climate change altering viruses?  We may never know.  

In any event, we must be thankful more than ever for what we have knowing so many of us lost loved ones, jobs and the things in life we came accustomed to.  We will get through this.  Please limit your Thanksgiving event to a minimum and be smart about it. Use masks, allow for strong ventilation or have the dinner outdoors if weather and circumstances permit.  No one is taking away this holiday.  Catholics and others who use social media to scare others are lying.  Thanksgiving is here to stay.  We are just doing it differently here so that we can continue to do it every year with our loved ones still with us.  

Encouraging large thanksgiving dinners is irresponsible and contrary to the Gospel of Life.  We must be prudent.  While we have faith and trust God and His angels will protect us, we must understand that we all are subject to the laws of the form we are in.  In other words, we are in the form of flesh and blood now which is linked to nature and how nature operates.  Viruses exist and have a purpose. Our bodies will react to them. This is how God created nature.  With Original Sin, nature was disrupted, this is why we eventually get sick and/or die.  We are all subject to this reality.  It does not mean God is evil or does not care. It simply means we have to live out what Adam and Eve sowed and what we continue to sow as we live in sin.  This is why we have to "work and toil" on Earth.  we have to care for ourselves and use science and the things God enlightens us about.  We lost the privilege of the "Garden of Eden" where we had it all and could live forever.  So in light of this, be smart. Keep the dinners to a minimum. Make use of Zoom. Google Meets, Alexa, etc to have virtual dinners.  Do not invite elderly family or friends or those with compromised immune systems.  We want them around for next Thanksgiving in 2021, 2022, 2023 and so on.  Again, Thanksgiving is not canceled and never will be. We will always thank God on this day and every day!  

Let us Thank God for everything, not just on this last Thursday of November, but daily; whether at Holy Mass, work, school or at home.




Source:





Wednesday, November 25, 2020

SCOTUS to Cuomo: Leave Catholics & Jews Alone

 


After being bullying by dictator governor Andrew Cuomo, Catholics and Jews and breathe a sigh of relief.  The Supreme Court decided today in a 5-4 ruling that the governor/state cannot impose restrictions on religious communities.  

The decision comes after a battle regarding Church and State. While the Constitution explicitly states that the government cannot infringe on the rights of religion, many liberal governors took on powers they did not have in order to do just that. They imposed restriction on Churches and Synagogues during the first wave of Covid-19 Coronavirus threatening bishops and religious leaders with fines and other penalties if they did not comply with closures and other demands.

At first, bishops complied in a good faith spirit of maintaining the common good and protecting others; however, once it became obvious that the Church was targeted when stores like Target, liquor stores and protests were allowed gather, the bishops woke up and sued. They were joined by Jewish leaders who also were targeted by Cuomo and May Di Blasio.  

The justices opined, “Even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten...The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.”

This has been my view since the alleged pandemic took hold here in New York City. The restrictions the government was placing on religious communities raised eyebows. It seemed as if the Constitution did not matter.  The government cannot tell religious institutions what to do and vice-verse. This is what the Constitution clearly states.  It was disturbing to see some Catholics on social media attack Catholics who held this Constitutional view. 

Despite science showing that the Mass has never been a conduit for the spread of disease, the government insisted churches and religious gathers were unsafe. The fact that liquor stores, Target and protesting rioters were allowed to gather without restriction made it clear that the state was simply bullying religious institutions.  To what ends, no one can know for sure. However, the agenda seems sinister.  

St. Pope Piux X gave us a clear warning decades ago about allowing the State to control the Mass and Sacraments. He wrote in the Encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis: 


We can never let the State tell us how to run the Church. This is a huge no-no under the United States Constitution. Virus or no virus, pandemic or no pandemic, this cannot be allowed.  Religious freedom is engraved into the Constitution.  The fact that liquors stores, Target and rioters were allowed to reign free while Churches were forced to shut down is an affront to the Constitution.  It is a disrespect to religion, our Founders and Science.  As stated before, there is not scientific evidence that the Catholic Mass or Holy Communion is a conduit for any disease.  While some priests, nuns and lay people have gotten covid-19, this was in activities outside of the liturgy and Catholic parish.  


What do you think? Post below on Disqus. Be sure to follow the rules for posting.  



Source:


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/supreme-court-relieves-religious-organizations-from-some-covid-related-restrictions/ar-BB1bncwo?ocid=msedgntp


https://news.yahoo.com/supreme-court-rules-against-ny-052246804.html


https://www.foxnews.com/us/supreme-court-rules-against-cuomos-coronavirus-limits-with-barrett-playing-key-role


https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/26/politics/supreme-court-religious-restrictions-ruling-covid/index.html


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe: He is Still King!

 

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe. What a glorious day!  Jesus Christ is King of all (1 Corinthians 15:20-26,28).  Regardless of who won the presidency or who claims to be royalty on Earth, JESUS IS THE KING! The king of the universe; of all that is seen and unseen.  The very word "Christ" means "anointed one, or king."  

The Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 in his encyclical Quas Primas.  The day was originally called the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King.  In 1969, Blessed Pope Paul VI revised the title as "Our Lord Christ King of the Universe" in his motu proprio Mysterii Paschalis. Priests in the Catholic Church wear white or golden color vestments to show the glory and joy behind the celebration. 

Other Christian bodies such as the Protestants or the Orthodox have even adopted the day and have their own ways of celebrating it.  This day in the current Latin Rite always falls on a Sunday and is the last Sunday of the Liturgical calendar.  The Sunday that follows is the First Sunday of Advent which begins a new liturgical year. This is a reminder to us that Christ is the Alpha and the Omega; the beginning and the end (Revelation 21:6).  Jesus ends the liturgical year and begins a new one.  He is eternal and the center of the prayer life of the Church.  He was at the beginning of time and will judge all at the end of it.  

Today more than even in 2020 must we remember that Jesus is King.  With Covid-19 Coronavirus hitting the world hard, we must not lose faith or hope. Viruses are a part of life. This does not mean that God does not care, forgot or does not even exist.  These ideas are just silly and a poor understanding of theology.  Unfortunately, due to the fall of Adam and Even, we all have to deal with sickness, suffering and death.  While Original Sin is removed at baptism, the damage still remains.  We must bear with them and unite the suffering to Christ the King on the Cross.  

The first reading reminds us that God looks out for us. He tends His sheep. God does not abandon us. God is our shepherd who guides us and is among the scattered sheep. People may abandon God, but God does not abandon them.  God will rescue us and bring back those who have strayed away (Luke 15:4). If you know someone in your life who have lost faith or is drifting away, do not worry. God is there with them and will bring them back. As shepherd of His flock, God knows His sheep (Jeremiah 1:5). He will judge between one sheep and another, as the reading says. We will get a better glimpse of what this means in the Gospel.  

The responsorial Psalm responds to the first reading of the Psalm that is probably the most known Psalm. It is often said during the mourning period after someone has passed away. God is our shepherd. He brings us to rest in green pastures and gives us water to refresh us. This is His grace which we receive in the Sacraments, when we pray and when we ask for specific graces to help us in our spiritual lives. God cares for us and protects us from those who hate us and want harm done to us (Exodus 14:14). We have in Jesus Christ the tangible God who is not distant. God is with us. We can visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament and spend time with Him.  

The second reading reminds us of Christ's role.  He has died but has risen. Those who live in Him will also rise.  To Christ, all authority has been given. Christ is the King. He is the king of life and even death because He has conquered it.  Everything and everyone will be subject to Christ.  So regardless of who is president or who claims to be royalty or a leader, Jesus Christ is the King and Lord of all the universe.  He is Lord here on Earth and is Lord of any races that might exist in the universe on another world or realm.  He is the Lord of the physical and spiritual worlds.  Nothing or no one escapes His majesty.  

Lastly, in the Gospel, we read of Jesus telling the disciples that He will come in glory with the angels and will sit on His throne. We are getting a glimpse of the last day or judgment day.  Christ will separate the sheep from the goats or the good from the bad.  Those who are on His right will go with God to heaven. Those who are on the left will be separated from His love in hell with Satan and his fallen minions. God will judge us based on the love we gave to Him and others. Did we help others? Did we feed the hungry? Did we give drink to those who thirst? Did we clothed the naked?  Did we visit those in prison or the sick?  Did we welcome strangers and help the poor?  Were we merciful to others? God will ask us these kinds of questions. If we did do these things, then we did them for Christ. Christ is in the suffering person. This is why Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta saw Jesus in the poor. She took today's Gospel to heart and lived it.  That is why she is in heaven and is now a saint. Recently, a young boy of just 15 years of age was beatified.  Blessed Carlo Acutis is a holy man for today's world. Yet, he followed the words in this Gospel which is ancient.  He helped his friends and helped the poor he encountered on the streets.  We must do the same and follow the Gospel; not just by reading it, but by living it in the world via our states in life.  If we have not done the things mentioned in the questions, then we will be in deep trouble and I mean deep!  We will be condemned to hell.  God is our Father. Like every parent, a mother and father wants their children to get along.

Nothing is more disturbing in a family than sibling rivalry or family members who stop talking to each other.  This is not what God wants. We must love one another. We must care for one another. We cannot be like Cain who refused to be his brother's keeper (Genesis 4:9). Since we are God's children, we must love each other and care for one another. Fights will happen. Arguments will happen. People disagree all the time. But this should not get to the point where hate takes over. We will be measured by the love we give to others (Luke 6:38). This is why Christ tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who hate us. We must do everything possible to keep peace and love as the norm. 

Unfortunately, we live in a world that praises revenge and discord; a world that takes politics too serious. We fight with each other, sue each other, hate each other and so on. Many got upset with me when I congratulated the presumed president-elect Joseph Biden despite he not getting my vote. Others unfollowed me on social media.  This is not Christianity at work. This is Satanic childish behavior that is devoid of Christ and today's Gospel message.  This is the sad reality of fallen human nature. Jesus can change that if we allow Him to do so. He is the King of the Universe and will be our judge.  

We do not want to be on the left side where He will tell us to depart from Him and will banish us to the pits of hell with the devil and his angels. We must be kind and loving. We must be merciful to others (Luke 6:36). As Catholics, we cannot see non-Catholics as our enemies. We cannot see gays, lesbians or transgender people as our enemies. We cannot see Muslims, Pagan, Atheists, Hindus, Jews etc as our enemies. We cannot see fellow Catholics as our enemies just because they may disagree with us on something. These are all our brothers and sisters.  These are the people we must feed, give drink to, clothe, visit etc. 

Let us help one another and care for one another as Christ wants (John 13:34).  This is how we honor Christ the King, by being servants to our brothers and sisters.  Christ is the King. He is our King. Let us make Him proud by doing good in this world in HIS name.  Laudetur Christus Rex!


Covid 19 Coronavirus has hurt all of us badly. Many are struggling as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach. It seems hopeless.  We too here at Sacerdotus are suffering and need your help via donations.  
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Readings:  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112220.cfm

Monday, November 2, 2020

Vatican Clarifies Pope's "Civil Union" Comment

 


As expected, Pope Francis was taken out of context and is once again a victim of the media's manipulation.  A Vatican official has finally spoken out to explain what the Holy Father meant by his words and what exactly were his words.  According to CNA, the interview used in the documentary "Francesco" stems from 2019, they write "the pope commented at different times on two distinct issues: that children should not be ostracized from their families because of their sexual orientation, and on civil unions, amid discussion of a 2010 same-sex marriage bill in the Argentine legislature, which Pope Francis, who was then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, opposed."

Archbishop Franco Coppola writes on Facebook in Spanish: 

"PARA ENTENDER ALGUNAS EXPRESIONES DEL PAPA EN EL DOCUMENTAL “FRANCISCO”
Algunas afirmaciones, contenidas en el documental “Francisco” del guionista Evgeny Afineevsky, han suscitado, en días pasados, diversas reacciones e interpretaciones. Se ofrecen por lo tanto algunos elementos útiles, con el deseo de favorecer una adecuada comprensión de las palabras del Santo Padre.
Hace más de un año, durante una entrevista, el Papa Francisco respondió a dos preguntas distintas en dos momentos diferentes que, en el mencionado documental, fueron editadas y publicadas como una sola respuesta sin la debida contextualización, lo cual ha generado confusión. El Santo Padre había hecho en primer lugar una referencia pastoral acerca de la necesidad que, en el seno de la familia, el hijo o la hija con orientación homosexual nunca sean discriminados. A ellos se refieren la palabras: “las personas homosexuales tienen derecho a estar en familia; son hijos de Dios, tienen derecho a una familia. No se puede echar de la familia a nadie ni hacerle la vida imposible por eso”.
El siguiente párrafo de la Exhortación apostólica post-sinodal sobre el amor en la familia Amoris Laetitia (2016) puede iluminar tales expresiones: «Con los Padres sinodales, he tomado en consideración la situación de las familias que viven la experiencia de tener en su seno a personas con tendencias homosexuales, una experiencia nada fácil ni para los padres ni para sus hijos. Por eso, deseamos ante todo reiterar que toda persona, independientemente de su tendencia sexual, ha de ser respetada en su dignidad y acogida con respeto, procurando evitar “todo signo de discriminación injusta”, y particularmente cualquier forma de agresión y violencia. Por lo que se refiere a las familias, se trata por su parte de asegurar un respetuoso acompañamiento, con el fin de que aquellos que manifiestan una tendencia homosexual puedan contar con la ayuda necesaria para comprender y realizar plenamente la voluntad de Dios en su vida» (n. 250).
Una pregunta sucesiva de la entrevista era en cambio inherente a una ley local de hace diez años en Argentina sobre los “matrimonios igualitarios de parejas del mismo sexo” y a la oposición del entonces Arzobispo de Buenos Aires al respecto. A este propósito el Papa Francisco ha afirmado que “es una incongruencia hablar de matrimonio homosexual”, agregando que, en ese mismo contexto, había hablado del derecho de estas personas a tener cierta cobertura legal: “lo que tenemos que hacer es una ley de convivencia civil; tienen derecho a estar cubiertos legalmente. Yo defendí eso”.
El Santo Padre se había expresado así durante una entrevista del 2014: “El matrimonio es entre un hombre y una mujer. Los Estados laicos quieren justificar las uniones civiles para regular diversas situaciones de convivencia, movidos por la exigencia de regular aspectos económicos entre las personas, como por ejemplo asegurar la asistencia sanitaria. Se trata de pactos de convivencia de diferente naturaleza, de los cuales no sabría dar un elenco de las distintas formas. Es necesario ver los diversos casos y evaluarlos en su variedad”.
Por lo tanto es evidente que el Papa Francisco se ha referido a determinadas disposiciones estatales, no ciertamente a la doctrina de la Iglesia, numerosas veces reafirmada en el curso de los años."
In English Google Translation: 

(PARA ENTENDER ALGUNAS EXPRESIONES DEL PAPA EN EL DOCUMENTAL “FRANCISCO”

Some statements, contained in the documentary "Francisco" by screenwriter Evgeny Afineevsky, have provoked, in recent days, various reactions and interpretations. Therefore, some useful elements are offered, with the desire to promote an adequate understanding of the Holy Father's words.
More than a year ago, during an interview, Pope Francis answered two different questions at two different times that, in the aforementioned documentary, were edited and published as a single answer without due contextualization, which has generated confusion. The Holy Father had first made a pastoral reference about the need that, within the family, the son or daughter with a homosexual orientation should never be discriminated against. The words refer to them: “homosexual persons have the right to be in the family; They are children of God, they have the right to a family. No one can be thrown out of the family or made life impossible for that ”.
The following paragraph of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on love in the Amoris Laetitia family (2016) can illuminate such expressions: “With the Synod Fathers, I have taken into consideration the situation of families who live the experience of having in their womb to people with homosexual tendencies, an experience not easy for parents or their children. For this reason, we wish first of all to reiterate that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation, must be respected in their dignity and welcomed with respect, trying to avoid “all signs of unfair discrimination”, and particularly any form of aggression and violence. As far as families are concerned, it is their part to ensure respectful accompaniment, so that those who manifest a homosexual tendency can have the necessary help to fully understand and carry out God's will in their life. (n.250).
A subsequent question in the interview was instead inherent in a local law from ten years ago in Argentina on "equal marriages of same-sex couples" and the opposition of the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires in this regard. In this regard, Pope Francis has affirmed that “it is an incongruity to speak of homosexual marriage”, adding that, in the same context, he had spoken of the right of these people to have certain legal coverage: “what we have to do is a law of civil coexistence; they have the right to be covered legally. I defended that ”.
The Holy Father had expressed himself thus during an interview in 2014: “Marriage is between a man and a woman. The secular states want to justify civil unions to regulate various situations of coexistence, driven by the demand to regulate economic aspects between people, such as ensuring health care. These are coexistence pacts of a different nature, of which I would not know how to give a list of the different forms. It is necessary to see the various cases and evaluate them in their variety ”.
Therefore it is evident that Pope Francis has referred to certain state provisions, certainly not to the doctrine of the Church, reaffirmed numerous times over the years.)
The comments seem to contradict Franciscans of the Renewal priest, Fr. Agustino Torres who posted on Instagram this video below explaining that the pope was not talking about civil unions of same-sex couples.  



I too took to task on Twitter to explain that the words Convivencial Civil did not mean civil union in the sense that most of us understand it in relation to same-sex unions.  I engaged a Catholic who is not very fond of Pope Francis and considers him a heretic. Here is our exchange:

So as it stands, the pope was referring to the protections of homosexuals in civil life in general, not necessarily that they should be allowed to marry or live in civil unions. Pope Francis was referring to them having legal protections that others enjoy, namely heterosexuals who have many rights gays do not have, even aside from marriage. It is interesting to note that Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez was quick to claim that the pope was, in fact, speaking about civil unions, however, he later deleted his Facebook post claiming this. Many Catholics online who hate Pope Francis were quick to rely on Archbishop Fernandez's post to support their claim that the pope was changing Church teaching by promoting same-sex civil unions. This is, of course, not true. Steve Skojec is one who falsely slandered the Holy Father in his post on One Peter Five where he often offers knee-jerk responses to Pope Francis' every word and often shows a lack of understanding of the Catholic faith. He along with Rorate Caeli and other amateur blogs were fooled once again by the media.   

In 2003, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document entitled: CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS. In this document, then head of the congregation, Cardinal Ratizinger made it clear that the Church cannot support civil unions for same-sex couples. The document even argues that any push to promote any form of homosexual unions must be resisted, even in nations where it is law. It says that "clear and emphatic opposition is a duty."  


Here is the entire document from Vatican.Va:


"INTRODUCTION


1. In recent years, various questions relating to homosexuality have been addressed with some frequency by Pope John Paul II and by the relevant Dicasteries of the Holy See.(1) Homosexuality is a troubling moral and social phenomenon, even in those countries where it does not present significant legal issues. It gives rise to greater concern in those countries that have granted or intend to grant – legal recognition to homosexual unions, which may include the possibility of adopting children. The present Considerations do not contain new doctrinal elements; they seek rather to reiterate the essential points on this question and provide arguments drawn from reason which could be used by Bishops in preparing more specific interventions, appropriate to the different situations throughout the world, aimed at protecting and promoting the dignity of marriage, the foundation of the family, and the stability of society, of which this institution is a constitutive element. The present Considerations are also intended to give direction to Catholic politicians by indicating the approaches to proposed legislation in this area which would be consistent with Christian conscience.(2) Since this question relates to the natural moral law, the arguments that follow are addressed not only to those who believe in Christ, but to all persons committed to promoting and defending the common good of society.


I. THE NATURE OF MARRIAGE

AND ITS INALIENABLE CHARACTERISTICS


2. The Church's teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world. Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose.(3) No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives.


3. The natural truth about marriage was confirmed by the Revelation contained in the biblical accounts of creation, an expression also of the original human wisdom, in which the voice of nature itself is heard. There are three fundamental elements of the Creator's plan for marriage, as narrated in the Book of Genesis.


In the first place, man, the image of God, was created “male and female” (Gen 1:27). Men and women are equal as persons and complementary as male and female. Sexuality is something that pertains to the physical-biological realm and has also been raised to a new level – the personal level – where nature and spirit are united.


Marriage is instituted by the Creator as a form of life in which a communion of persons is realized involving the use of the sexual faculty. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife and they become one flesh” (Gen 2:24).


Third, God has willed to give the union of man and woman a special participation in his work of creation. Thus, he blessed the man and the woman with the words “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28). Therefore, in the Creator's plan, sexual complementarity and fruitfulness belong to the very nature of marriage.


Furthermore, the marital union of man and woman has been elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament. The Church teaches that Christian marriage is an efficacious sign of the covenant between Christ and the Church (cf. Eph 5:32). This Christian meaning of marriage, far from diminishing the profoundly human value of the marital union between man and woman, confirms and strengthens it (cf. Mt 19:3-12; Mk 10:6-9).


4. There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts “close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved”.(4)


Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts “as a serious depravity... (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10). This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”.(5) This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first centuries(6) and is unanimously accepted by Catholic Tradition.


Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”.(7) They are called, like other Christians, to live the virtue of chastity.(8) The homosexual inclination is however “objectively disordered”(9) and homosexual practices are “sins gravely contrary to chastity”.(10)


II. POSITIONS ON THE PROBLEM

OF HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS


5. Faced with the fact of homosexual unions, civil authorities adopt different positions. At times they simply tolerate the phenomenon; at other times they advocate legal recognition of such unions, under the pretext of avoiding, with regard to certain rights, discrimination against persons who live with someone of the same sex. In other cases, they favour giving homosexual unions legal equivalence to marriage properly so-called, along with the legal possibility of adopting children.


Where the government's policy is de facto tolerance and there is no explicit legal recognition of homosexual unions, it is necessary to distinguish carefully the various aspects of the problem. Moral conscience requires that, in every occasion, Christians give witness to the whole moral truth, which is contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons. Therefore, discreet and prudent actions can be effective; these might involve: unmasking the way in which such tolerance might be exploited or used in the service of ideology; stating clearly the immoral nature of these unions; reminding the government of the need to contain the phenomenon within certain limits so as to safeguard public morality and, above all, to avoid exposing young people to erroneous ideas about sexuality and marriage that would deprive them of their necessary defences and contribute to the spread of the phenomenon. Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil.


In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.


III. ARGUMENTS FROM REASON AGAINST LEGAL

RECOGNITION OF HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS


6. To understand why it is necessary to oppose legal recognition of homosexual unions, ethical considerations of different orders need to be taken into consideration.


From the order of right reason


The scope of the civil law is certainly more limited than that of the moral law,(11) but civil law cannot contradict right reason without losing its binding force on conscience.(12) Every humanly-created law is legitimate insofar as it is consistent with the natural moral law, recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the inalienable rights of every person.(13) Laws in favour of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex. Given the values at stake in this question, the State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good.


It might be asked how a law can be contrary to the common good if it does not impose any particular kind of behaviour, but simply gives legal recognition to a de facto reality which does not seem to cause injustice to anyone. In this area, one needs first to reflect on the difference between homosexual behaviour as a private phenomenon and the same behaviour as a relationship in society, foreseen and approved by the law, to the point where it becomes one of the institutions in the legal structure. This second phenomenon is not only more serious, but also assumes a more wide-reaching and profound influence, and would result in changes to the entire organization of society, contrary to the common good. Civil laws are structuring principles of man's life in society, for good or for ill. They “play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behaviour”.(14) Lifestyles and the underlying presuppositions these express not only externally shape the life of society, but also tend to modify the younger generation's perception and evaluation of forms of behaviour. Legal recognition of homosexual unions would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage.


From the biological and anthropological order


7. Homosexual unions are totally lacking in the biological and anthropological elements of marriage and family which would be the basis, on the level of reason, for granting them legal recognition. Such unions are not able to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the human race. The possibility of using recently discovered methods of artificial reproduction, beyond involv- ing a grave lack of respect for human dignity,(15) does nothing to alter this inadequacy.


Homosexual unions are also totally lacking in the conjugal dimension, which represents the human and ordered form of sexuality. Sexual relations are human when and insofar as they express and promote the mutual assistance of the sexes in marriage and are open to the transmission of new life.


As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons. They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood. Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognized also in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case.


From the social order


8. Society owes its continued survival to the family, founded on marriage. The inevitable consequence of legal recognition of homosexual unions would be the redefinition of marriage, which would become, in its legal status, an institution devoid of essential reference to factors linked to heterosexuality; for example, procreation and raising children. If, from the legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible form of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave detriment to the common good. By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts arbitrarily and in contradiction with its duties.


The principles of respect and non-discrimination cannot be invoked to support legal recognition of homosexual unions. Differentiating between persons or refusing social recognition or benefits is unacceptable only when it is contrary to justice.(16) The denial of the social and legal status of marriage to forms of cohabitation that are not and cannot be marital is not opposed to justice; on the contrary, justice requires it.


Nor can the principle of the proper autonomy of the individual be reasonably invoked. It is one thing to maintain that individual citizens may freely engage in those activities that interest them and that this falls within the common civil right to freedom; it is something quite different to hold that activities which do not represent a significant or positive contribution to the development of the human person in society can receive specific and categorical legal recognition by the State. Not even in a remote analogous sense do homosexual unions fulfil the purpose for which marriage and family deserve specific categorical recognition. On the contrary, there are good reasons for holding that such unions are harmful to the proper development of human society, especially if their impact on society were to increase.


From the legal order


9. Because married couples ensure the succession of generations and are therefore eminently within the public interest, civil law grants them institutional recognition. Homosexual unions, on the other hand, do not need specific attention from the legal standpoint since they do not exercise this function for the common good.


Nor is the argument valid according to which legal recognition of homosexual unions is necessary to avoid situations in which cohabiting homosexual persons, simply because they live together, might be deprived of real recognition of their rights as persons and citizens. In reality, they can always make use of the provisions of law – like all citizens from the standpoint of their private autonomy – to protect their rights in matters of common interest. It would be gravely unjust to sacrifice the common good and just laws on the family in order to protect personal goods that can and must be guaranteed in ways that do not harm the body of society.(17)


IV. POSITIONS OF CATHOLIC POLITICIANS

WITH REGARD TO LEGISLATION IN FAVOUR

OF HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS


10. If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favour of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications.


When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.


When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known; it is his duty to witness to the truth. If it is not possible to repeal such a law completely, the Catholic politician, recalling the indications contained in the Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, “could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality”, on condition that his “absolute personal opposition” to such laws was clear and well known and that the danger of scandal was avoided.(18) This does not mean that a more restrictive law in this area could be considered just or even acceptable; rather, it is a question of the legitimate and dutiful attempt to obtain at least the partial repeal of an unjust law when its total abrogation is not possible at the moment.


CONCLUSION


11. The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.


The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, in the Audience of March 28, 2003, approved the present Considerations, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation, and ordered their publication.


Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 3, 2003, Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs.


Joseph Card. Ratzinger

Prefect


Angelo Amato, S.D.B.

Titular Archbishop of Sila

Secretary


 


NOTES


(1) Cf. John Paul II, Angelus Messages of February 20, 1994, and of June 19, 1994; Address to the Plenary Meeting of the Pontifical Council for the Family (March 24, 1999); Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 2357-2359, 2396; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Persona humana (December 29, 1975), 8; Letter on the pastoral care of homosexual persons (October 1, 1986); Some considerations concerning the response to legislative proposals on the non-discrimination of homosexual persons (July 24, 1992); Pontifical Council for the Family, Letter to the Presidents of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe on the resolution of the European Parliament regarding homosexual couples (March 25, 1994); Family, marriage and “de facto” unions (July 26, 2000), 23.


(2) Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life (November 24, 2002), 4.


(3) Cf. Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, 48.


(4) Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2357.


(5) Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Persona humana (December 29, 1975), 8.


(6) Cf., for example, St. Polycarp, Letter to the Philippians, V, 3; St. Justin Martyr, First Apology, 27, 1-4; Athenagoras, Supplication for the Christians, 34.


(7) Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2358; cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter on the pastoral care of homosexual persons (October 1, 1986), 10.


(8) Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2359; cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter on the pastoral care of homosexual persons (October 1, 1986), 12.


(9) Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2358.


(10) Ibid., No. 2396.


(11) Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae (March 25, 1995), 71.


(12) Cf. ibid., 72.


(13) Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 95, a. 2.


(14) John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae (March 25, 1995), 90.


(15) Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Donum vitae (February 22, 1987), II. A. 1-3.


(16) Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 63, a.1, c.


(17) It should not be forgotten that there is always “a danger that legislation which would make homosexuality a basis for entitlements could actually encourage a person with a homosexual orientation to declare his homosexuality or even to seek a partner in order to exploit the provisions of the law” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Some considerations concerning the response to legislative proposals on the non-discrimination of homosexual persons [July 24, 1992], 14).


(18) John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae (March 25, 1995), 73."


Source:


https://wherepeteris.com/pope-francis-breaks-a-few-plates/

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/vatican-secretariat-of-state-provides-context-of-pope-francis-civil-union-remark-66566

https://www.facebook.com/100000657038470/posts/3713375955360936/?d=n

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/02/world/europe/pope-gay-civil-unions.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/vatican-breaks-silence-explains-pope-francis-civil-union-comments-n1245803

https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/02/europe/vatican-pope-civil-union-intl/index.html

https://markpshea.com/2020/10/22/the-pope-and-civil-unions/

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/context-of-popes-civil-union-documentary-comment-reported-14270

https://onepeterfive.com/pope-francis-comes-out-in-support-of-civil-unions-for-homosexual-couples/

https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20030731_homosexual-unions_en.html

 

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