“How Does the Pope Really Feel About Homosexuality?” asked CNN the other day.
We’re not entirely sure. On the one hand, a gay abuse victim from Chile, describing the Pope comforting him, said Francis apparently referred to the man’s sexuality and reassured him that “it doesn’t matter,” God “made you like this,” He “loves you like this,” and that he should not feel badly therefore.
That splashed around the news, and the questions were immediate: Did this gay fellow accurately report what the Holy Father said, and if so, was it just an effusive exhortation by a Pope who emphasizes mercy and often finds nuanced communication challenging?
Mere days later, in what seemed like a pivot, the Holy Pontiff told an assembly of Italian bishops that when in doubt about whether an applicant for seminary is homosexual, they should play it safe and deny admission.
The greater question here: if a person is homosexual, what is the highest form of love, to make that person feel better about his or her homosexuality (or for that matter sinful heterosexuality), or, while expressing love, explaining that homosexuality and sinful heterosexuality are the wrong way and advising deliverance from it — as Jesus cast spirits out of Mary Magdalen?
One notes that while infinitely merciful (look how He forgave from the Cross), the Lord often admonished in quite muscular language.
And so it should be. Call it tough love.
We don’t want to “cast the first stone” (as so many, these days, hanker to do, and with no mercy), but neither does the Church historically coddle sinners. In fact it officially describes homopsexuality (as well as masturbation) as “intrinsically disordered,” based on Sacred Scripture, which as the Catechism further says, “presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity.”
God doesn’t fashion a human to commit a depraved act, though we can laud the attempt to comfort such a person, particularly if that person is a victim of clergy abuse — which is some cases leads young men into a disordered lifestyle: men who were not “born” homosexual. It is tragic. As the Catechism says, the “psychological genesis [of homosexuality] remains largely unexplained” — though it also says homosexuals “do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them, it is a trial,” which may explain why the Pope allegedly comforted a homosexual victim of abuse, telling him it was how God “made him” (or so claimed the homosexual man).
Does God make homosexuals, as a “trial,” or might it be Satan who does — and spirits that enter, whether during infancy or childhood or later, from emotional wounds and subsequent bad choices? Gay feelings are one thing. Acting on them is another.
Yet another question: whence comes all this femininity in modern males?
Is there not a spirit moving? (Feminine dominance often is associated with witchcraft.)
We are to avoid “every sign of unjust discrimination” against homosexuals, says the Catechism, accepting them “with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” — at the same time letting them know, as the Catechism adds, that they are called to chastity , to uniting their sufferings with those of Jesus on the Cross.
Homosexual conduct is wrong, often a diabolical, disorientation — one that swept into seminaries and the clergy as an acute trial for the entire Church and has caused damage the likes of which has not been seen since the Middle Ages. Homosexuality in the priesthood is largely responsible for the disaffection of the Irish, who in a stunning rebuke to the Church recently voted to allow abortion.
Call it what it is. The vast majority of abuse cases are homosexual. A true full scale assault by the devil.
The tautological modern Church may appear to be crumbling — largely because of homosexuality — and disassemble right to its foundation, for there has been rottenness in its frame, in its wood, gaping holes in the roof.
But that foundation is the Rock of Peter.
In the end, no evil will prevail against that.