24 February 2022

The Paedophile Question

Fr Hunwicke has a simple question for those, like Cardinal Hollerich, who believe that Dogma must change because  'sociological-scientific' ideas have changed.

From Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment


The first thing I object to in the reported remarks of some foreign cleric called Hollerich is the imprecision in the use of terms such as "homosexual".

Does this refer to orientation? Or to a cohabiting relationship in which the probability is flaunted that unrepented genital activities are performed?

The respect I have ... and it is considerable ... for a person with homoerotic inclinations who, by God's grace, lives a celibate life, is in strong contrast to my convictions about the objective moral state of any human being who engages in sexual relationships with any person to whom they are not joined in Christian wedlock.

To elide this difference, especially in public debate, is to omit such a centrally important piece of the evidence that it is pretty well a lie.

So is this Hollerich, who "knows of" homosexual priests and laypreople in his diocese, refering to the one or the other? It seems to me to make a big difference. To say "No one is dismissed because they are homosexual" without defining terms is not so much just shifty as plain dishonest.

"I believe that the sociological-scientific foundation of this teaching is no longer correct." (Hollerich.)

So many statements like this are bandied around. "God made me like this so it must be OK for m,e to play out my inclinations".

The test to be set against all such statements is: Does it also apply to paedophiles?

But this gets you into trouble. People who can't think straight allege that you are saying 

(a) all homosexuals are paedophiles; or/and

(b) homosexuals are "as bad as" paedophiles. 

Asking "Does it also apply to paedophiles?" involves neither of these beliefs, from each of which I firmly dissociate myself.

It does involve an argumentum ad hominem, "pressing a man with the consequences of his own concessions". 

If you claim that X is justified in acting on the basis of his innate inclination simply because he has that inclination, you must allow the same liberty to paedophiles. Or, if you don't, you must tell us why.


"The cardinal said it was time for a fundamental revision of church teaching, and suggested that the way Pope Francis had spoken about homosexuality in the past could lead to a change in doctrine".

I hope this is a misreport, because, if it is accurate, it reveals a thoroughly heterodox mindset. It implies fundamental  doctrinal change; it implies or suggests that the basis of such change could include obiter remarks uttered by a pope without having been checked through by ... for example ... the CDF.

I repudiate with all my heart, and execrate, such an account of how Dogma can or should evolve. And I similarly repudiate any purported exercise of the Petrine Office which might appear to confer legitimacy upon such accounts.

1 comment:

  1. Many people have an inherited predisposition to alcoholism. Should we repeal drunk driving laws because they are “born that way”?


Comments are subject to deletion if they are not germane. I have no problem with a bit of colourful language, but blasphemy or depraved profanity will not be allowed. Attacks on the Catholic Faith will not be tolerated. Comments will be deleted that are republican (Yanks! Note the lower case 'r'!), attacks on the legitimacy of Pope Francis as the Vicar of Christ (I know he's a material heretic and a Protector of Perverts, and I definitely want him gone yesterday! However, he is Pope, and I pray for him every day.), the legitimacy of the House of Windsor or of the claims of the Elder Line of the House of France, or attacks on the legitimacy of any of the currently ruling Houses of Europe.