Everyone still remembers the statement by Pietro Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, in January of this year that the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia represents “a paradigm shift,” a “new approach” to “remarried” divorcees and the Holy Eucharist.
This statement was soon echoed and developed further by Blase Cardinal Cupich of Chicago before a select audience in Cambridge, England, on February 9.
Is a paradigm shift now taking place in the Church’s position on homosexual sin?
Let us see the facts.
“God Made You That Way”
On May 19, 2018, the Spanish newspaper El País published an interview with Juan Carlos Cruz, a self-described homosexual, in which he attributes a scandalous statement to Pope Francis. The Pontiff is said to have told him that he should be happy being a homosexual because “God made you that way”(“Dios te hizo así”).
Cruz says that the Pope “invited him to spend a week at Santa Marta, his residence, and asked for forgiveness.” He says that during that week he stayed at Saint Martha’s House he had long conversations with the Pope about many things, including homosexuality.
At the end of the interview, the Spanish journalist who interviewed him by phone asked Cruz: “Did you discuss your homosexuality and how they made you suffer more for that?”
“Yes, we spoke. Basically, he had been told that I was a perverse person. Then I explained to him that I am no reincarnation of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga but I’m not a bad person, I strive not to hurt anyone. He told me, “Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you that way and that is the way He wants you to be and I do not care. The Pope wants you this way, you have to be happy with who you are.”1
Unsurprisingly, international news agencies have spread this statement throughout the world, freely admitting its authenticity. For example, the Associated Press headlined, “LGBT community cheers pope’s ‘God made you like this’ remark,” and Reuters, “Gay man says pope told him: ‘God made you this way’.” They were followed by newspapers around the world with similar headlines.
“The Pope’s Gay-Supportive Words Could Change the Church Forever”
This seeming “paradigm shift” was soon noticed and applauded by the homosexual movement and its advocates. One of the movement’s mouthpieces, The Advocate, carried an analysis of this statement on May 22 with the title, “The Pope’s Gay-Supportive Words Could Change the Church Forever.”
In it, Marianne Duddy-Burke, the executive director of the dissident Catholic DignityUSA, and who is “married” to a former nun, comments:
“If this is indeed what the pope said, and if the Vatican does not issue a quick retraction, the door for significant changes in Catholic teaching on homosexuality and gender identity may have been opened.…
“The pope saying that God created an individual as gay goes far beyond a pastoral statement of welcome, as many are characterizing the conversation. It sets a new foundation for Catholic teaching about sexual orientation that is very different than what has been traditionally stated. If God creates us with our sexual orientation — and gender identity — as part of who we are, the doctrine that LGBTQI people are not part of God’s plan for humanity cannot stand. We can no longer be considered “objectively disordered,” and the church’s entire theology of human identity and relationships will need to be reconsidered.”2
The notorious pro-homosexual Fr. James Martin, S.J. also deems the statement a shift in papal teaching on homosexuality:
“This is a big deal, I cannot remember the pope making a comment about gay people being born that way,” he stated to the Los Angeles Times.
“One Witness Is No Witness”?
Although this “paradigm shift” is built on the testimony of a single, interested witness (the declaration of the mentioned Juan Carlos Cruz), it would be an oversimplification to discard it on the grounds of the axiom “testis unus testis nullus” (“one witness is no witness”).
Before rejecting the statement in question at the outset (or accepting it at it face value), it is necessary to apply the rules of sound hermeneutics to gauge its plausibility.
1. As for the declarant, did he have the opportunity to hear this statement directly from the Pope?
The declarant spent a week in Saint Marta’s House, as a guest of the Pope, and had long conversations with him on, among other subjects, homosexuality.
2. Were there precedents of assertions attributed to the Pope after private audiences?
Among others, there are the precedents of the statements of the Pope’s friend atheist Eugenio Scalfari, after lengthy conversations with Francis.
Taking a Principled not a Personal Stand
As practicing Catholics, we are filled with compassion and pray for those who struggle against violent temptation to sin, be it toward homosexual sin or otherwise.
We are conscious of the enormous difference between these individuals who struggle with their weaknesses and strive to overcome them and others who transform their sin into a reason for pride, and try to impose their lifestyle on society as a whole, in flagrant opposition to traditional Christian morality and natural law. However, we pray for them too.
According to the expression attributed to Saint Augustine, we “hate the sin but love the sinner.” And to love the sinner, as the same Doctor of the Church explains, is to wish for him the best we can possibly desire for ourselves, namely, “that he may love God with a perfect affection.” (St. Augustine, Of the Morals of the Catholic Church, No. 49, www.newadvent.org/fathers/1401.htm)
3. As for the Pope, this statement must be considered in the context of his habitual way of dealing with this question and not separately from it. Do the words attributed to Francis contradict his acts, gestures, attitudes, and omissions about homosexuality?
The words attributed to Francis do not contradict his acts, gestures, attitudes, and omissions about homosexuality. On the contrary, they are entirely consistent with them, starting with the famous “Who am I to judge?”
Suffice it to recall that on October 2, 2015, he received a homosexual “couple” at the Washington Nunciature and was kissed by them, an episode he allowed to be filmed and photographed (see video here). At the same time, he forbade any photos or filming to be made of a quick meeting he had with Kim Davis, an advocate of marriage as God has established it, who is persecuted because of that.
In December 2014, Pope Francis called up a Spanish woman who pretends she is a man and who underwent a sex-change surgery. The Spanish paper Hoy reported that “Francis told Lejarraga. . . that God loves all his children ‘as they are.’ He went on: ‘You are a son of God and the Church loves you and accepts you as you are.’”3 The woman claimed that Pope Francis invited her to come to the Vatican, offering to cover travel expenses. On January 24, 2015, Pope Francis did welcome Lejarraga indeed, together with her “fiancée,” posing for a picture with them.4
4. Were they denied by the Pope or his spokesmen?
Due to the scandalous gravity of the statement attributed to Pope Francis, and the fact that the media broadcast it to the world, the Holy See had an obligation to deny it and reiterate the unchangeable Church teaching on the matter.
To my knowledge, as of noon May 24, 2018, there has been no denial and correction from the Pope or a Vatican spokesman.
This silence speaks in tragic favor of the veracity of the alleged statements. One can apply to it the ancient maxim, “who keeps silence seems to consent” (“quis tacet consentire videtur”).
And so, like the many scandalous statements attributed to Pope Francis by his atheist friend Scalfari (and to whom Pope Francis continues to give interviews despite the radioactive fallout from previous scandalous allegations attributed to him), these statements begin to form a new “magisterium.” Fr. Raymond de Souza comments on this pattern with a hint of irony: “Pope Francis has pioneered a new form of papal teaching, massively influential but officially nonexistent. It is something of a shadow magisterium, but on occasion it shines a brighter light than the official magisterium.”
This shadow magisterium also takes place through the Pope’s acts, gestures, and attitudes, with which, by action or omission, he is teaching doctrines opposed to the traditional doctrine of the Church.
And these shadow magisterium teachings are beginning to influence prelates around the world.
For example, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, while making the reservation that “we got it third-hand” (the Pope’s alleged statement on God and homosexuality to Juan Carlos Cruz), commented: “What he says is beautiful. That’s sort of conservative, traditional, Catholic, orthodox teaching. The Catechism insists on that.”
Is it “beautiful” to say that a homosexual is made so by God?
What Does the Catechism of the Catholic Church Say About Homosexuality?
Is it true that the Catechism of the Catholic Church “insists on that”?
No. Nowhere does the Catechism say that God made someone “homosexual.”
On the contrary, it teaches that homosexuality is contrary to nature and that homosexual acts are among the “sins gravely contrary to chastity.” Homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered,” “contrary to the natural law” and “under no circumstances can they be approved.” The homosexual inclination is objectively disordered, but those affected by it “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” without “unjust discrimination.” They are called “to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”5
These are the passages of the Catechism on homosexuality. Where is its “insistence” that God has created anyone homosexual?
“Objectively Disordered” Tendencies Are the Consequence of Original Sin
Even if the Supreme Pontiff, by using the word “gay” meant same-sex attraction, which, as we have seen, the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls “objectively disordered,” he still could not attribute them to God. These are acquired psychological and behavioral deviations that are not due to a so-called “gay gene.” Diseases and pathological deviations are consequences of Original Sin and are permitted by God to try and sanctify us.6
It should be emphasized that the term “gay” was incorporated into the homosexual movement’s vocabulary to define its lifestyle centered on homosexual practice, a vice contrary to God’s law and the rational nature of man. Just consider the “gay pride” parades that take place all over the world.
To claim that God made such a person is a theological absurdity, for being the Supreme Good, He could not create anyone hardwired to practice unnatural vice and unable to resist sin.
The Holy Spirit Does Not Inspire Vice
At a time when the homosexual movement has assumed enormous power and gradually imposed a real dictatorship, the Pope, instead of defending the revealed doctrine contained in the tradition of the Church, has once again favored confusion.
As many have pointed out, Pope Francis, both by his empathy for homosexuals and so-called transgenders as well as by his direct and indirect words and omissions, has weakened opposition to this sin against nature.
This attitude by Pope Francis cannot come from the Holy Spirit, for He is the “Spirit of Truth” (John 14:17). There is an unfathomable abyss between truth and ambiguity, charity and concession.
If the statement attributed by Chilean homosexual Juan Carlos Cruz to Pope Francis is not promptly denied and duly corrected, then it will become another revolutionary paradigm shift in the interpretation of the Church’s immutable doctrine.
Our Lord Jesus Christ categorically states: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matt. 24:35).
We ask Mary Most Holy, Mother of the Church, in this month consecrated to her, to shed light on the subject and assist the countless souls perplexed by so many scandalous attitudes of this troubled pontificate.
Carlos E. Cué, “El Papa me pidió perdón, está espantado con los abusos, esto es un tsunami,”El Pais, May 19, 2018, accessed May 21, 2018, https://elpais.com/internacional/2018/05/19/actualidad/1526687428_156217.html.
“Sí, hablamos. A él le habían dicho prácticamente que yo era un perverso. Ahí le expliqué que yo no soy la reencarnación de San Luis Gonzaga pero no soy una mala persona, trato de no hacerle daño a nadie. Me dijo ‘Juan Carlos, que tú seas gay no importa. Dios te hizo así y te quiere así y a mí no me importa. El Papa te quiere así, tú tienes que estar feliz con quien tú eres’.”
Marianne Duddy-Burke, “The Pope’s Gay-Supportive Words Could Change the Church Forever,” The Advocate, May 22, 2018, accessed May 23, 2018, (Caution indecent photos) https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2018/5/22/popes-gay-supportive-words-could-change-church-forever.
Thomas C. Fox, “Report: Pope Francis meets with, hugs transgender man,” National Catholic Reporter, Jan. 30, 2015, accessed May 24, 2018, https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/report-pope-francis-meets-hugs-transgender-man. (Our emphasis.)
Cf. John Henry Westen, “Pope Francis calls woman with sex-change operation a ‘man’ and calls partners ‘married,’” LifeSiteNews.com, Oct. 3, 2016, accessed May 24, 2018, https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-francis-calls-woman-with-sex-change-operation-a-man-and-calls-partners.
CCC nn. 2396, 2357-8
CCC nn. 403-406.