It’s not a pleasant topic, yet it remains there, the elephant in the room.
It also is not “hate talk”: How can it be a hate when there is no hatred (called as we are to love the sinner but certainly not the sin, which we do)?
No; no animosity.
But certain things must be spoken.
At the same time that homosexuality — and tragic, inexplicable, shocking new policies on transgender kids and “trans” in general — have, along with its strong stand on abortion, stripped a major U.S. political party of moral credibility (helping to radicalize both ends of the now cosmically-parted political spectrum and sending the culture into turbulence that may well end up in more civil terrorism), so too can one point to the whole gender/gay issue as a key and perhaps the key force behind the decline of Catholicism and, also possibly, the jump-start of a Minor Schism.
Thus far, there’s no real movement toward a major split. Rumblings, but no movement. However, smaller chasms are increasingly possible on two fronts: Germany, where homosexuality is openly tolerated by bishops, with one Franciscan group recently electing an openly gay man as its superior; and North America, where traditionalist factions are understandably unnerved by a like propensity among certain American and Canadian bishops for acceptance of “alternate” lifestyles that include sodomy and even revolve around it.
We still have time. But not much.
In several months, German bishops will conclude a two-year meeting or “synod” with no doubt some very controversial statements and actions. As the far-left news service National Catholic Reporter noted in April, 74 bishops from elsewhere around the world “signed a letter to the German bishops expressing concern about that country’s ‘Synodal Path,’ which voted on a series of reforms in February. The letter warns the German synodal consultations hold the ‘potential for schism…’ At the meetings of German Catholics earlier this year, the synodal body publicly voted for a document calling for women deacons and for involving laypeople in the selection of bishops, as well as calling for a relaxation of the rule of celibacy for the clergy and for some kind of blessing of same-sex unions.”
This is interesting beyond just the ears of Church-news aficionados. According to a new book, Revelations: The Hidden Secret Messages and Prophecies of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by Xavier Reyes-Ayral [see below], a seer from a well-known and controversial apparition site in north-central Spain, when speaking of major future events, uttered the very word “synod” six decades ago — without knowing what the word fully indicated.
This was according to María de la Nieves García, head of a school in Burgos, where the seer studied in 1966 and 1967. The nun derived the information from two priests. Stated the superior (reportedly): “During the apparition, the Virgin told [the visionary, Conchita Gonzales] that before the future events occur, a synod will take place, an important synod.”
“Do you mean a Council?” the aunt allegedly asked (it was the time of Vatican II).
“No, the Virgin didn’t say Council,” the seer purportedly responded. “She said ‘Synod,’ and I think Synod is a small council.”
It’s all hearsay from an apparition that has had a topsy-turvy history. Apparently the mother superior drew her information from a priest who penned an early book on the alleged apparitions and relayed it to a second priest who according to the mother superior, “discussed that with Professor Lacques Serre who works at Paris-Sorbonne University and he decided that Synod as a pre-Warning.”
“It is impossible,” the superior is quoted as stating, “for a 12-year-old girl without any knowledge and culture to talk about a Synod that didn’t exist.”
We remain open to discerning this apparition as long as there is no final official rejection (as there is no current one, though there have been rejections in the past). As for the specific synod account: Much hearsay.
But interesting it is in the wake of what is transpiring in the world and Church.
Time will tell.
“Let us note,” says author Reyes-Ayral, “that the children of [the apparition site] Garabandal were also told that the Warning [a huge future event prophesied there] would take place after… something very much like a schism takes place within the Church.”
Meanwhile, if what’s happening in Germany isn’t enough, we also have a great challenge in how the devil-in-sheep’s-clothing is using the Church’s failings in this area, especially in the U.S., to stir division. The enemy is in front and behind us. Lay Catholics feel free to rip into cardinals, bishops, and priests by name on YouTube and elsewhere, as if this is mere politics. The Pope is also fair game.
But the uncomfortable truth is that the Catholic Church, however august and to be respected, turned a blind eye toward admittance of homosexuals to seminaries from the late 1950s through the 1990s (and to current times, in some dioceses), leading to the literal avalanche of sexual abuse that has badly, tragically discredited Catholicism in the eyes of the world and caused the defection of many pewsitters, especially men, who even before the scandals had tired of the effete presence in some pulpits. Liberal Church trends in some dioceses have included the display of rainbow banners (though thankfully, not yet from steeples) and made the situation yet more unpalatable for devout rank-and-file heterosexuals who might want to become priests.
For whom does the bell toll — if indeed it now tolls at all? (That’s another baffling development: the absence in recent times of church bells or chimes, which, along with reminding the faithful of daybreak, were invented to chase the enemy away). We hear a report of a church in Upstate New York that not only flies the “pride” banner in its gathering space but also has hired a teacher who identifies as a “mermaid” (perhaps utilized also as a swimming coach).
The ship currently rocks in a riptide between John Bosco’s pillars.
Will the Church right that boat? Will a firm hand hold the rudder? Will there be more caution in papal utterances? Should we find peace in realizing that Pope Benedict’s prediction in the 1970s that the Church would shrink but grow holier may be taking shape? (See his brilliant pre-analysis here.) We have many good, strong priests.
Right now, Catholicism is growing in numbers but shrinking as a percent of the global populace, and in free-fall — counterintuitively — in Pope Francis’s homeland of Latin America.
Maybe that’s fine — according to God’s Plan; take heart also in the fact that if certain numbers are falling, there’s a marked increase in orthodox seminarians (the Rosary was once banned from a D.C. seminary; perhaps no longer).
But realism here: the modernist trend that includes and is often fueled octane by homosexuals remains a potent clerical force and if it continues could well cause greater or lesser splits that many have feared or gladly anticipated. Just as homosexuality led to or at the least helped lead to the destruction of Sodom, and just as sodomy had a role to play in the fall of Rome, so does it have a role to play in the current theological and political divides that have rent Churches and the nations.
In the U.S., a Church official found to be a frequenter of a raunchy hookup website was recently named administrator of a Midwest church (while a couple of priests speaking out publicly against homosexuality, if not perfect in their stridency, are canceled).
Pope Francis has described synodality as “what the Lord awaits in the third millennium.” Recently he spoke about what a news agency described as “the importance of scrutinizing candidates for the priesthood to ensure that the men who reach ordination are well-formed and mature. In a meeting with seminary formators from the Milan archdiocese on June 17, the Pope said that the process of accompanying those discerning vocations to the priesthood required sensitivity and expert skill. ‘When discerning whether or not a person can embark on a vocational journey, it is necessary to scrutinize and evaluate him in an integral way: to consider his way of experiencing affections, relationships, spaces, roles, responsibilities, as well as his frailties, fears, and imbalances,’ Pope Francis said.”
That was clearly aimed at admission of homosexuality (something the Catechism calls “intrinsically disordered”) to the priesthood. But guarding the gates of our seminaries is an admonition that comes very, very late in the game, Holy Father, perhaps too late; it’s something that, despite the desperation of many dioceses for candidates, should have begun not years but decades ago.
[resources: Michael Brown online retreat, 6/25]
[footnote:From Papal Encyclicals Online, excerpt, John XXIII]:
For these reasons, clerics who in their diocese or religious who in another community have sinned gravely against chastity with another person are not to be admitted with a view to the priesthood, even on a trial basis, unless there be clear evidence of excusing causes or of circumstances which can at least notably diminish responsibility in conscience (Circular Letter of S. C. of the Sacraments, n. 16; Canon Law Digest, 4, p. 314).
Advantage to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers.
5. Very special investigation is needed for those students who, although they have hitherto been free of formal sins against chastity, nevertheless suffer from morbid or abnormal sexuality, especially sexual hyperesthesia or an erotic bent of nature, to whom religious celibacy would be a continual act of heroism and a trying martyrdom. For chastity, in so far as it implies abstinence from sexual pleasure, not only becomes very difficult for many people but the very state of celibacy and the consequent loneliness and separation from one’s family becomes so difficult for certain individuals gifted with excessive sensitivity and tenderness, that they are not fit subjects for the religious life. This question should perhaps receive more careful attention from novice masters and superiors of scholasticates than from confessors since such natural tendencies do not come out so clearly in confession as in the common life and daily contact.