Wednesday, March 17, 2021

A Foolish Rebellion

He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” (Matthew 19:4–6)


In response to the CDF response about whether a same-sex relationship can be blessed, we have—tragically—seen a group of priests and—shamefully—even some bishops denounce it or state that they will defy the Church over this. In doing so, they have rejected the teaching authority of the Church. It is indefensible§


The outrage over the so-called “intolerance” within the Church is nonsense. The Catholic teaching has always recognized that the only legitimate exercise of the sexual act is between one man and one woman in a lifelong relationship open to accepting whatever children God may send. Anything that violates that design must be rejected as contrary to what God has taught.


Moreover, the moral obligations taught by the Church are not about power. They are about how me must live if we want to keep God’s commandments (cf. Matthew 28:20), obedience to which are required of us if we profess to love God (John 14:15). Indeed, Jesus Christ explicitly declared that doing God’s will is mandatory (Matthew 7:21-23). He also made clear that (Luke 10:16) “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”


The people who think they are justified in opposing the Church over a teaching they dislike are taking part in a foolish rebellion. If they know that the Church teaches with God’s authority then they are rebelling against God. But if they do not know or believe that the Church teaches with God’s authority, then what do they think they are they doing? As Pope Francis said (10/23/13):


In this, the Church is like Mary: the Church is not a shop, she is not a humanitarian agency, the Church is not an NGO. The Church is sent to bring Christ and his Gospel to all. She does not bring herself—whether small or great, strong or weak, the Church carries Jesus and should be like Mary when she went to visit Elizabeth. What did Mary take to her? Jesus. The Church brings Jesus: this is the centre of the Church, to carry Jesus! If, as a hypothesis, the Church were not to bring Jesus, she would be a dead Church. The Church must bring Jesus, the love of Jesus, the charity of Jesus.


Unfortunately, too many people make the error of assuming that Christ’s love is permissive… and if the Church says that some actions are morally wrong, they claim the Church is acting against Christ. But they forget that Christ told the woman caught in adultery to, “Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more.” (John 8:11). God forgives us when we repent after sinning. But if we do not repent and expect a “free pass” for the sins we do not feel sorry for, we make a mockery of what Jesus went through for us.


None of this permits us to treat other sinners with contempt or cruelty. We need to reach out to them and show compassion as we help them return to God’s love. But the adage is still true about loving the sinner but hating the sin. If we believe Jesus Christ is God, then we need to realize that He does not contradict Himself between the Old and New Testament. Yes, God gradually moved the Israelites away from the harsh punishments of the region, but He never said that evil was now good.


People may invent arguments claiming that things condemned in the Bible are about unrelated topics, but these are fabrications. It is not only the intention behind an act that makes it wrong. It also includes acts that are wrong by themselves. Temple Prostitution is wrong when used for idolatry, yes. But it is also wrong when used for purposes other than idolatry.


So, this foolish rebellion will accomplish nothing in the eyes of God. A blessing for a sin will not be a valid blessing. It will merely be a blasphemous act that puts their souls at risk and misleads those who think that there is no sin. These men will only cause harm, no matter how sincere they are about their actions.


Such actions will only lead themselves and others to ruin. 




(§) I do not know whether the CDF will publicly or act behind the scenes against these clergy. But regardless of how they approach it, we can be sure that they did wrong.


(†) Some try to point to the Jewish dietary or cultic laws to argue that as we do not follow those, we ought not to be bound by the laws concerning sexual morality either. But this shows religious illiteracy. Those of us who are gentiles are not bound to keep the dietary and cultic laws of the Jews… that is a major part of Acts 15:1-35 after all. But we are obliged to avoid evil acts (cf. Acts 15:20).


(‡) Some dishonest examples include saying that the Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was a sin of “inhospitality” and other condemnations of sexual immorality was merely a condemnation of “temple prostitution.” 

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