The musings and meandering thoughts of a crotchety old man as he observes life in the world and in a small, rural town in South East Nebraska. My Pledge-Nulla dies sine linea-Not a day with out a line.
30 July 2022
The Tail That Wags the Dog
One Mad Mom takes a look at the German attempt to copy the heresiarch Luther and split the Church in Germany a second time.
And as you will see, they go on to explain that it wasn’t. The excuse for that? Oh, it wasn’t on the radar back then. (That might be because it’s a total affront to God’s creation of man and woman, but whatever.)
We Germans, who have been on the Synodal Path since the end of 2019, often hear this reminder. In fact, at the joint synod of the German dioceses convened in Würzburg, Bavaria, between 1971 and 1975, 18 resolutions were passed on many different sets of topics. Some demands were implemented, while others were delegated to Rome and remain unanswered to this day.
There might be a reason for that. While some things are definitely wonky in Rome, the gates of hell and all…
But, if you look up the themes and the reform concerns of the Synodal Path in the documentation of the Würzburg Synod, it is noticeable that by no means “everything” has already been said (and decided).
They nicely leave out that Rome intervened to condemn their resolutions, they wanted to ignore Rome and +Ratzinger, and those with sanity walked out.
An equivalent to the current synod’s working text entitled “Official Reassessment of Homosexuality” cannot be found in the Würzburg text, because the noun “homosexuality” did not appear even once in the almost 800 pages. One can conclude from the Würzburg appendix that, in the preliminary phase of settling on a topic within the general theme of “marriage and family,” questions about “sexuality before and outside of marriage and homosexuality” were discussed, but apparently they did not find their way into the final deliberations of the synod.
Uh, maybe because it was one insanity too far?
The following anthropological presuppositions were postulated at the time: “It is good that you exist … In the sexual encounter, love in a partnership acquires its own bodily-sensual expression. The joy in a spouse, the will to be there for one another and to be loyal to one another, can be experienced in sexual encounters.” On the importance of sexuality in marriage and family, the synod said: “Sexuality is one of the forces that determine human existence.”
They long to be the tail that wags the dog. They want what they want and hang truth and beauty.
This reticence—not only among Catholics, but within 1970s German society in general—has given way to a style of discussion that takes the Würzburg considerations one step further. At least that’s how I understand the Synodal Path. This is a conscious statement against the current Catholic catechism, which has been critical and disparaging of homosexuality since the mid-1970s and still reproaches homosexual activity as sin.
Stating a truth is not disparaging. Homosexual activity IS a sin. It’s truth. The Germans want to see all sin accepted (or at least the sins they like). At least he admits that it’s the activity and not the attraction that is a sin, unlike Fr. Martin, who is still trying to walk the line and obfuscate. At least the Germans are “Here it is, deal with it!” They’re kind of as twisted as Hitler. Godwin’s Law works sometimes, especially when people are trying to disfigure truth.
Meanwhile, the magisterium has recognized that homosexuality is an orientation—not something chosen.
Oh, let’s pause at this obfuscation. The Church very carefully makes a distinction in “deep-seated.”
2358The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons 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.
More on that later.
Catholics are increasingly being pushed into cognitive dissonance if they seriously try to reconcile official church positions on homosexuality with their own real lives. For children and young people today, it is completely normal to be confronted with queer identities among fellow students, teachers and friends.
Yes, it definitely is. I was just talking with a priest friend of mine about how tragic it is for the youth of today live under the normalizing of this. While there are some with deep-seated tendencies, most are just trying to fit into the “Lord of the Flies” land where you are canceled if you disagree. They have literally become slaves and have talked themselves into all sorts of things, not realizing that the Church’s teachings offer them true freedom. Back when I was a teen, all these things were unthinkable, and we lived a far simpler, less confusing and, quite honestly, less angry life. Now they have to get in line and participate when, in reality, they long for the right order. And now Germany wants to participate in the chaos for the sake of money. They think it’ll bring people (and more importantly to them, money) back to their cabal. Why would the youth of today do that when they can keep their money and sleep in on Sunday? Why? This is the folly of the old 70’s club.
So, it is only logical that the “basic text” of the responsible synodal forum (i.e., the text that forms the theological framework around the more practical texts on questions of sexuality and partnership), demands a clear readjustment. Here is an example from the “basic text” that was discussed: “The recognition of the equality and legitimacy of non-heterosexual orientations, their practices and relationships, as well as the elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation, is urgently required.”
Oh, there’s zero logic there. ZERO. Less than zero. One thing that does make sense is that a Fr. Martin-friendly organization would totally and utterly put forth this garbage.
From the perspective of society as a whole, “long overdue” would also be an appropriate formulation. Gay and straight relationships strive for the same values and face the same challenges: fidelity and permanence on the one hand, and alienation and declining desire on the other. All couples experience success and failure, and regardless of their sexual orientation, the church should always stand by their side to support them and convey a message of welcome.
Umm, no. Those who accept the current teachings of the Church are striving to serve God. Those who reject them are trying to serve themselves. Those are starkly different values. One wants to bend their will around God and the other wants to bend God around their will. It’s cruel to the latter. People can go on to say “It’s mean, mean, mean,” but the Church has always had the goal of bringing people to heaven and helping them overcome their sins – me included. The Germans now want us to make people cozy with their pet sins. They could be encouraging us to reach out to each other and struggle together in whatever our sin is but, instead, they encourage people to enter into relationships that are contrary to God’s design. Yes, we should welcome all, but we should not give a pass to anyone’s sin. That is cruel, and society shows us this creates utter chaos. First it was gay activity. Then it was lesbian activity. Then it was anything stinking goes, now including the push for everyone to accept pedophilia and people magically becoming the opposite sex. And, by the way, can we say that Fr. Martin tacitly approves by printing such articles? Yes. We. Can. He’s been in obfuscation mode for years and he’s still letting others do his dirty work, but this is a site he approves of. He can’t continue to hide behind “Well, I’m just posting one man’s opinions.” because when you repeatedly do so without correction, you can’t hide anymore.
The church must claim to be a home for all people.
When has it not? It’s not, however, a home where people get to punch holes in the walls and knock down the support beams. It’s a home to bring people to God and His Truth. Anything short of that is failing all faithful no matter the sin in which they desire to partake. You are the one who is divisive of the faithful.
Discrimination and homophobia can have no place where people want to feel safe. Queer Christians do not want to be treated like this, and heterosexual Christians do not feel represented by a church that presents itself in this way.
This is his error on full display. This isn’t a queer/heterosexual issue. This is a faithful/not faithful issue. Feeling “safe” is not something this Church obliged to present. This is a Church of martyrs. The only thing we can feel safe about is that if we don’t die in mortal sin, we shall see the face of God. The Church does not exist to make me feel represented nor anyone else. Your narcissistic tendencies are on full display.
Such a change in the position of the magisterium cannot take place in a local church, but it can give it an important impetus. For this reason, the synodal assembly in September will discuss a text that recommends that the pope examine more precisely and reassess church doctrine on homosexuality.
Because, gee, he’s never heard that before from anyone inside or outside the Church. “You must give us change Church teaching to how we want it!” has been the rally cry of the lost since the Church began.
Every human being was created by God with his sexuality and … this created being has an inviolable dignity. Sexual orientation is an inseparable part of every human person.
“It is not self-chosen and it cannot be changed,” says the proposed text. It could be argued that this makes up for what has long since found its way into the Old Testament with the 2016 common translation of the Bible.
PROVE. IT. Or at least you have to prove it to those who came out of the lifestyle and who have testified to the fact that they were just following the crowd. Again, there’s a difference between deep-seated and transient. The “You must be gay forever” crowd really needs to stop. Again, stop trying to imprison people into something when they don’t have to be. The “freedom” you are providing is tantamount to slavery.
It is no longer written “man and wife he created them,” but rather “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). As a matter of creation theology, this marks the fact that sexual identity is more complex than a purely biological understanding.
There’s sexual identity (what God gave you) and sexual confusion. There’s really no complexity other than the one you create.
While the Synodal Path, according to its self-understanding, deals with the systemic causes of sexual abuse and its cover-ups, countering them with concrete demands for reform, other initiatives have additionally energized the discourse in the German local church. Especially conspicuous is the #OutInChurch campaign, which was launched in January 2022 by 125 queer Catholics who themselves were (or are) in the service of the church.
Remember when people were just Catholic?
By means of personal testimonials and a television documentary, they drew attention to their concerns. Their demands include self-evident matters: “As LGBTIQ+ people we want to be able to live and work openly in the church without fear.” They denounce discrimination in certain professions and in the church, defamatory teaching on sex, the lack of blessing for queer people and couples and the denial of sacraments. And they call on the church to face its own responsibility and guilt.
The big question is, “Why would you have any fear if you are publicly embracing the teachings of the Church?” Uh, maybe because they have no intention of that? Thank goodness they’re finally admitting it. I’d love it if the Church would just declare any sin I commit peachy. Who wouldn’t? Sadly, it would be to the peril of my mortal soul. That is THE BIGGER PICTURE the Germans tend to overlook because, and I’m guessing here, they don’t believe in the immortal soul. Never mind all those miracles that attest otherwise. We’re done here so do whatever. The Church very much has a responsibility to lead souls to everlasting life with God in heaven and the only guilt it should feel is when it fails to do so, as 99% of the German Church. You’ve been espousing this crud for decades, Germany. For all your winks and nods, people are leaving your Church in droves. You are in free fall but, yeah, let’s continue down that path.
“All couples experience success and failure, and regardless of their sexual orientation, the church should always stand by their side to support them and convey a message of welcome.”
Translation? All people sin so we should just give them a cookie and a smile and send them on their way.
The reaction was immense. In the first half of the year, the documentary, which is available online, received the most clicks of all programs in the ARD media library, and the media reported intensively on a national and regional level. German public conversation quickly focused on the most practical of the demands: a revision of church labor law and an abolition of the duties of loyalty formulated therein, which are particularly controversial because of the questionable nature of the individual’s own relationship status.
What? People who agree with people agree with them? Unheard of.
This is something that many employers, in an informal fashion, had long since broken with, having simply ignored “deviations” on the part of potential employees. Although a majority of diocesan vicars general quickly spoke up and announced the suspension of the basic order, a legally binding implementation of a revised Catholic labor law is still pending. This should be in place by autumn. We will see whether all dioceses will adopt this new version.
The Catholic Church in Germany, both directly and indirectly, employs 750,000 people. With the implementation of this new labor law, bishops can prove how important including queer employees is to them. It would be a strong sign against discrimination and homophobia. No one wants to be subject to the arbitrary decisions of individual managers, and no one should fear potential changes at the management level.
Oh, please, tell us how it would be a sin. Cite the Church teaching. Are you trying to tell me now that all homosexual teachers must be hired and can now teach how great homosexual (and beyond) activity is? Of course it is when you abolish duties of loyalty to Church teaching. Not that they aren’t already, but now the church in Germany will welcome groomers.
Through the #OutInChurch campaign, 125 people have publicly come out. However, many people do not dare take this step because there is no culture of welcome; they simply do not have enough trust in the professional environment to reveal their own identity. Changing laws is not enough to achieve this broader acceptance. It requires a process of change that must provide mandatory training for employees and employers.
No culture of welcome? With the German bishops? I mean, how much more welcoming do they need to be? Not entirely sure I want the answer to that. I fear most are already practicing that form of “welcome.”
Also, the local German church should not make itself smaller than it is.
Money. Money. Money.
It may be that, in other parts of the world, a church review of Catholic sexual teaching is not a top priority. But a global campaign for human rights in order to lead a self-determined life without restrictions should have top priority for the German local church. It is not without reason that the work of our Catholic relief organizations and campaigns is an important pillar of the German church. In this way, a contribution can be made to naming homophobia and discrimination as such and to fighting conversion therapies.
You will all do as Germany. Got it?!
People should not underestimate these actions, especially in countries whose governments continue to recognize church authorities. We are not only talking only about the Global South, as European Union members, with whom we form a community of values, also discriminate against queer people by law and with church support. Here, the German local church must be loud, demanding and progressive. Such a commitment is already open to the bishops.
Loud and proud. Loud and proud. Honestly, the idea of the German bishops infecting the rest of the Church is repulsive. I’m thinking more than a few people are like “Germany! Go home. You’re drunk and we’ve learned from the whole Nazi thing.”
Even if I am convinced that the majority of the synodal assembly will speak out in favor of a revision of the church’s catechism, as I described above, such a decision is not a prerequisite for the German episcopacy to influence the universal church.
FAT CHANCE. Nobody likes the spoiled child in the family.
It is often heard that the church should enable “safe spaces,” where queerness can be lived, free from discrimination and the pressure to justify itself. From my point of view, such safe spaces can be only an intermediate step. The church as a whole must be a safe space in order to meet people with different sexual identities. LGBTQ people are— like all Christians—a blessing for the community. Or, in the words of the Würzburg Synod: “It is good that you exist.”
Blech. Look, I don’t care who you are. I’ve had all types in my house. I knew they were all types and I welcomed them anyway. That said, they never abused that hospitality in my house either. I wouldn’t expect to be able to hold them accountable outside my house, though. These types of articles are where the division comes in. They want people to walk into the Church and be able to do whatever the heck they want. That’s not kind. That’s not loving. That’s not respectful. We have very loving reasons for not wanting people (including ourselves) to have an easy time sinning and it’s not because we aren’t safe, aren’t loving, or are phobic about this or that. We believe they have an everlasting soul. So, if you are living the lifestyle and are reading this, please understand that we are not the enemy. You may not agree with us, but you have to at least acknowledge that it comes from love, not hate. Would it be easier to just let you do you? Absolutely. The problem is, we love you. We can no less do this than let our children touch the hot burner without trying to stop them.
This article, edited for length and clarity, was translated from the German by Robert C. Collins, S.J. The original German-language version can be found here.
Well, thank goodness because it did go on with the same old usual load of hooey.