In reference to a publication in the El Paso Times (of course) from June 26 (elpasotimes.com) has caused confusion and disappointment in the good faith Catholic community.
The column is also signed by Protestant pastors, and from other denominations, but I am not interested in what they teach at all. The vast majority of them decided to form part of a faction that decided to separate from communion with Peter, since the 16th century and some others were more recently founded. I am more interested in debating the points of this publication since two priests, and one religious brother, of the Catholic Church, to which I have the honor, fortune and happiness to belong, signed it. But, since they did it in an open forum and what they say there IS NOT CHURCH DOCTRINE, therefore it is debatable. And it is what I am going to try to do in this writing.
In the first paragraph it says:
“If religion contributes anything to the world today, it forces us to push against our human inclination to focus on our own selfish concerns. (…)”
Comment: Well, what religion are you talking about? This article is signed by nine different religions. I can assure you that of course, our Catholic Religion contributes and has contributed since it was founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, not only an spiritual fight, but defense of life, family, promotion of peace, art, architecture, saints, martyrs, literature, science; the scientific method, the laws of evidence, mathematicians, thinkers,…. Etc., They should not generalize, they have to be specific. Of course, religion brings something to the world.
The article goes on to say:
“The Book of Genesis reminds us that when God created the world, God created humanity “in the Divine Image.”
Comment: This is imprecise: the book of genesis says: “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1, 27). By the way, I emphasize: ” MALE AND FEMALE”… nothing else (regardless that Facebook says there are 71 different genders and Cosmopolitan says 13 genders). Furthermore, God said,” God blessed them, saying: “Be fertile and multiply…” (Genesis 1, 28), something that is impossible for same sex couples, that does not require any further explanation. , this is why, the LGBTQ lobby is a strong advocate for surrogate bellies and for same-sex couples to be allowed to adopt children.
The writing continues saying:
“The soul imbued within each of us is equally divine and pure. The Jewish sages teach that this common ancestry reminds us we are all equal and worthy of the same dignity and respect.”
Comment: In reference to the divine soul, it is a mistake. You see, the human soul is created by God at the moment of conception and therefore is NOT a divine entity, but human; human soul it is also a creature (Catechism Catholic Church, 366). On the purity of the soul, it is true in a certain sense, but, sin can cause the “death of the soul” (Benedict XVI, Sunday Angelus Feb 15, 2009) and for this reason we must appeal to the sacrament of penance. Also, it is true, we all have the same dignity and we must be respected, but, men and women are not equal. Women and men are very different, I don’t think it is necessary to remember biology and human anatomy lessons (by the way, there have also been great contributions from Catholic Christians in these areas). Yes, in dignity we have the same dignity, this is not in question, I speak in the way of being, psychology, anatomy, physiognomy and biology; even in the way we speak, think, walk and pray, we differ. In addition, the catechism says in 2335 “Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way.” That is why men and women are also reciprocal and complementary beings. Again, two people of the same sex do not complement each other. They could form a team, a community, a society, but not a marriage or a family. And therefore, these unions do not help a society and civilization. All these confusions are part of the anthropological, identity and spiritual crisis of our time. But there is a lot of material and information sources that support this: for example Catechism, encyclicals, Theology of the Body, Vatican Council II, etc.
The article continues saying:
“Jesus teaches us that God loves all people and is present for each of us. Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Bahá’í, Jews, Christians and most other faith traditions share a basic tenet, which is to treat (love) others as you would be treated (loved). We take this belief to heart and will walk with our LGBTQ+ friends and neighbors.”
Comment: How far in this statement you said that Jesus teach us? Because I can’t find anything in the Gospels that talks about Hindus, Baha’is, and most other religious traditions? There is a lot of the Jews, but it is not very positive what Jesus says about them, and I better leave it there, because then they accuse me of something I am not. Also, what does the first statement have to do with the second?
The authors of this article have the right to do whatever they want, they will give an account to God, But what does making public the intimate sexual preference of each person have to do with the fact that God loves us all? God certainly loves us. In fact, God is Love. But, it is very clear that he tells us NOT to sin, he wants us to live free from sin. Jesus Himself said to the adulteress “… go in peace and sin no more.” Why would it be so important for Jesus to emphasize “sin no more?” , and in the rich young man “obey the commandments”? What would be the sense for Jesus to have come, suffered, died and risen, but to free us from the death of sin?
Keep saying the text:
“We as faith leaders are convinced that we are here to love and serve in God’s name, to pursue a world of peace and justice, kindness and fairness, love and compassion.”
Comment: No. The mission of religious leaders should not be pursue a world of peace and justice. We laity do that. “…the unique character of their vocation (laity), which is in a special way to “seek the Kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and ordering them according to the plan of God”. “The term ‘lay faithful'” -we read in the Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium-” is here understood to mean all the faithful except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a religious state sanctioned by the Church. (Christifideles laici, 9). Religious leaders must preach the gospel to make people holy, regardless of peace and justice. This is one of the problems today, we have many “religious leaders” with “Robin Hood” complex, they want to be social leaders and rather they must focus on the salvation of people and the administration of sacraments. They must make people turn away from the environments of sin because that takes them away from God and leads them to hell. Oops ..! I said “hell” word already so little used by the current religious leaders by the way. Love and compassion? Of course, loving your neighbor is one of the imperatives and principles of Christianity. And compassion does not mean letting the sinner lo remain in his sinful situation. On the contrary, due to compassion we go to the rescue of the sinner to free him from the radical bondage of sin. If we leave a pornography addict “for compassion” to continue being a porn addict, then we will be doing him more damage; on the contrary, we tell the porn addict that this is wrong, that lust is a sin and that It damages his dignity and of women, and we help him overcome that vice, etc…, well and only then we will be helping him. The same for a thief, adulterer or someone who wants to have sex with someone of the same sex. The inclination itself is not sin. Is like a married man, attracted to other women, but he fights against that feeling to remain faithful to his wife in mind, body, and spirit. This is how virtue is practiced.
The following paragraph is very romantic:
“As a community, we are here to remind one another that faith calls us to recognize our common humanity, that we are — first and foremost — all special and equal in the eyes of God, regardless of what tradition we believe in or community we most identify with. And that God’s overflowing, unbounded love and grace for each of us invites us, calls us and commissions us to be aware of God’s grace and love for all”.
Comment: Although this sounds like a poem, I don’t think it’s true. Does this soon apply to the Nazis? Or the KKKs? Or the Satanists? Or Narcos? or Pedophiles? Well, it doesn’t sound so true anymore. I think it applies for the person that leaves his life of error and sin and turns to Jesus. It is called “conversion”. Certainly, God is waiting for us but we have to present ourselves to Him in a humble way, repentant and with the desire to sin no more. “My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.” (Ps 51, 19).
And it ends as follows:
“We want you to know that there is a place for you just as you are in the religious community of El Paso. As local clergy, we join with you in prayer. We insist that all who would join with us must be willing to do the same. We pledge to welcome you, to stand with you in our shared pursuit of a world of love. Together we will work toward a better reality for all God’s people.
Comment: Yes, it is true, the doors of the Church are open to all sinners (myself included). But, I also know that the act of contrition and other prayers propose that we do not have to continue living in the situation of sin. Repentance, penance, the inner struggle to remain in a state of sanctifying Grace, is an essential element for every Christian who sincerely seeks the salvation of his soul. We have to present ourselves with God, not conditioning Him to accept us as we are and that nothing can be done; but putting our weaknesses and vices at the foot of the cross, so that we can turn them into virtues, as we strive and remain in Grace and with the help of God. This is our offering to God.
Finally, to people who feel same-sex attraction, I remind you that you are not alone and there are resources that will really help you. It’s not the end of the world. For example, there is the Courage Catholic Ministry couragerc.org. Don’t be fooled, you don’t have to identify yourself with the LGBTQ+ lobby, you don’t have to call yourself “gay”. I know there is a lot of social pressure that can lead you to name yourself that way. You are a child of God, you have dignity. There is a way out and a solution to the problems.
I want to remind Catholics in communion with Rome that the catechism talks about homosexuality in numbers 2357-2359.
Catholic Brothers! Laity, Priests and religious! Don’t be afraid to speak clearly. There is strong social pressure, a dictatorship of relativism and secularism which wants to silence and intimidate us. There is a tendency of “politically correctness” and sentimentality. But the truth has to be announced as it is. The devil does not like to be discovered and that is why he subtly hides between ideas and words.
“Moral principles do not depend on a majority of vote.
Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong.
Right is right, even if nobody is right.”
Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, 1953
Viva Cristo Rey!