29 October 2020

Priest Canonist: Supporting Same-Sex Civil Unions Is a ‘Grave Error’

I think anyone with a well formed conscience and a sensus fidelium knows that it is a grave error.

From Edward Pentin

An expert canonist and priest, who prefers to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of this issue, shares his views on Pope Francis’ reportedly clear support for same-sex civil unions.

The Vatican has so far not clarified or corrected Francis’ remarks which were given in a new documentary film Francesco. His comments as they appeared in the film: 

“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it. What we have to create is a civil coexistence [union] law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”

“Regarding the Pope’s comments about persons practicing publicly and habitually homosexuality and their relationships within a family, the only family they have is their own, i.e. the one they are born into. That is really a family in the Christian and natural sense. The kind of relationship that each family member has with one another, and with a member practicing immorality publicly and habitually, is for each member of that family to decide in conscience.

Of course, they may help the member living out a gravely public immoral lifestyle, first of all by praying for them, offering sacrifices for them, and trying to remind them of the grave risk his/her soul is in, so that they may change their lifestyle. This involves trying to teach them good morals and the law of God, and then eventually ensuring they don’t become destitute and starve.

But as in any society, contact with them may have to be severed, lest there be an appearance of condoning, approving or being indifferent to their lifestyle. Not to do so might be of grave detriment both to the reverence due to God, and to the morality of the whole family, and especially to children in the family who may easily get the wrong idea about the moral law, and grow up believing that their sibling’s, or a familiar person’s, practice is not gravely sinful. Even the interested parties deserve to be reminded (or sanctioned) of the grave harm they do to the whole family and to society — an act which in itself would be in true charity, out of respect to God and to their souls. Otherwise, one would be indifferent perhaps to their eternal fate, and possible eternal damnation.

The same applies to society as a whole, which is the second area raised by the Pope’s comments. It is against the whole tradition of the Church and natural law to be in favour of states condoning such unions by enacting an institutional formal union that is immoral. The same applies to second unions according to nature, but it’s even graver in this case since the unions are contra naturam in a special sense, although even second unions are against natural law.

Even if such laws are only so they can have economic or financial security, it would be a grave error to protect such unions as such, i.e., as expressly immoral unions. For the harm they do to the entire society, to their own personal morality, to the education of children who grow up being presented with such unions as normal, to the progression of the species, to the notion of family and the fulfilment of one of its essential missions which is education etc., and first of all to the reverence due to God — all this is also applicable to societies as well as families.

Because of this, they cease to deserve the protection of society (of course, with the limit of not letting them fall into penury). Ultimately, that would contribute even more to societies, especially today when they are not being imbued by natural and divine law and the teachings of the Church which is meant to be her goal. For as hard as it may seem, the Church has the goal of ensuring the kingship of Christ over all nations, which is the only way to ensure happiness in this life, and to foster the salvation and eternal life of each member in heaven.

Denying this is a grave error, which has its roots in what was called liberalism or even the so-called “Catholic liberalism” or the doctrine of complete separation from Church and State, which was always condemned by the Church’s doctrine and tradition. The condemnation was recalled recently by the Magisterium in texts such as those of Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum and Annum Sacrum, or Vehementer Nos of St. Pius X, as well as Ubi arcano and Quas primas of Pius XI, which opposed the idea that respect for natural and divine law is a question of mere private morality. Nor is it open to private opinion — a private affair and not a public and social one, that is, the idea that the Church should not intervene in the public and social domain and foster publicly the respect for natural and divine law as well as the kingship of Christ. As if one would ludicrously say: “This is wrong, one should not do that, but the State may allow it” – as Leo XIII explained well, in accord with natural and divine law, Revelation itself and, thus, the immutable doctrine and tradition of the Church. Here we would be in a domain that goes far beyond mere allowable tolerance.

Thirdly, there would be the (half) question of them having some sort of financial, material protection, or tax breaks. Well, the same reasoning applies, since they don’t deserve that. In fact, the detriment this would cause is similar to what was already said. But in any case, they might always attain that, at least partially, through the normal means allowed by the law for people who wish to benefit each other financially. However, wishing for a special legal frame for these sinful unions hides a sort of approval or condoning of such unions, or at least a moral indifference. Granting such legal privileges is, in any case, something that contrasts with the teaching of the Church, an error in morals and doctrine, about things and notions that can be understood to be immutable and even, in a certain sense, established infallibly.

In fact, defending such a legal frame for these sinful public unions, because they are immoral, contributes to society not being imbued by natural and divine law, to the obvious detriment of the education of souls, especially those of children (and that’s called scandal, leading others to sin mortally), but also of the moral lives of others. It leads to society drifting away from natural and divine law and the reverence due to God, and from religion itself. Such legislation leads to the multiplication of individual sins, as they are not being reminded of the grave sin they’re committing by their acts and the scandal they cause, thus leading others into sin, being as they would be in an environment that treats those unions as normal. Such legislation contributes also to the multiplication of offenses against God of individuals and nations, and we have to remember that these sins cry out to heaven and call for vengeance from above, both to individuals and societies.

These effects ultimately lead to encouraging or fostering further mortal sins (signifying a very uncharitable disdain towards God as well as towards these souls, to the extent that they nurture their not knowing more fully God and His truth, thus impairing their happiness, fostering eventually their eternal damnation). This also promotes a bad example to others and children, eventually contributing to deprive them of true happiness even in this life, and leading them to enslave themselves to a vice of the worst kind, not knowing their true nature as creatures of God (which they are, and the law of grace rests upon the law of nature). Lastly, such legislation contributes to lost opportunities to teach citizens and the faithful — again we have a hierarchy that is not fulfilling its role, but even worse, argues in favour of error in morals and doctrine, and fosters it by not correcting the practices of men and States.

In short, fostering such legal unions is erroneous; it goes against the uninterrupted and therefore immutable doctrine of the Church.

Frankly, once again, there is so much imprudence and scandal in the Pope’s comment, so many errors and dangers in a little nutshell, that what matters is voided. There’s no natural law there, no divine law, no Catholicism, no God, but rather a false notion of liberty repeatedly and always condemned by the Church and Revelation — liberty which is not freedom, but license, and the fostering of slavery to sin.

As I said, the comment treats different topics, setting an erroneous and immoral tone, although (barely) keeping a margin to defend itself from the charges of error or heterodoxy, but perhaps not even that in fact. It’s a typical modernistic tactic. They call it the “complexity of the matter.” One might call it laziness to distinguish and ultimately fulfil the mission of pastors, of the apostolate and the divine mandate, and of the Church herself.”

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