Why Jesuits call for the recognition of LGBT people
The RCC, unlike the Protestants, has resisted the LGBT long enough, but now its bishops more often raise their voices in support of homosexuality. Why is this happening?
Calls on the leadership of the Catholic Church to recognize LGBT people are becoming more and more persistent. It is no longer just individual activists or groups of people but Catholic bishops and theologians who are raising their voices for this. And they are quite categorical.
Position of the Pope and RCC bishops on "same-sex partners"
Bishop Georg Bätzing who has recently stated that "in moral theology, we have long been moving towards saying that if true love and fidelity live even among same-sex partners, we must acknowledge that", is the head of the German Episcopal Conference. We may also mention his predecessor, Cardinal Reinhardt Marx, a member of the Council of Cardinals under Pope Francis, who said as early as 2018 that priests may give blessings to same-sex couples "on a case-by-case basis, individually under pastoral supervision".
Helmut Dieser, bishop of Aachen, said straight that German bishops' efforts to change key doctrines on sexual morality and the priesthood "must be a success" or else the Catholic Church will merely become a sect. Note which diocese is headed by this hierarch. It is the Diocese of Aachen, a small city in western Germany, which is called the city of students because of the large number of universities located there. That is, figuratively speaking, this diocese symbolizes the future of German Catholicism, and not only German.
Helmut Dieser said straight that either the Vatican recognizes LGBT people or else the Catholic Church will merely become a sect.
In the U.S., at the Catholic University of Villanova, theology graduate student Melanie Didioti was threatened to revoke her scholarship and demanded to "ally herself with the LGBTQ community" not even for criticism, but for her tweet that she did not support LGBT people. And this is the oldest Catholic university in the United States!
In early 2020, the first assembly of the so-called "Synodal Way", a two-year program to discuss and review the Church doctrine on homosexuality and sexual morality, was held in Frankfurt. At this event, Heiner Koch, Archbishop of Berlin and the chairman of the Marriage and Family Commission, stated: "The sexual preference of man expresses itself in puberty and assumes a hetero- or homosexual orientation. Both belong to the normal forms of sexual predisposition, which cannot or should be changed with the help of a specific socialization.”
“Homosexual orientation belongs to the normal forms of sexual predisposition, which cannot or should be changed with the help of a specific socialization,” said Archbishop of Berlin and the chairman of the Marriage and Family Commission.
The most interesting thing about it all is the Vatican's deafening silence. Of course, one would assume that all these are just eccentric statements of the marginalists awaiting a church trial or a corresponding reaction from the Pope. But this is not the case. These and many other LGBT supporters do not receive formidable shouts from the Vatican, they are not banned from the priesthood or removed from their chairs. They are not shown those places in the Holy Scripture that say that sodomy is a mortal sin and is absolutely incompatible with Christianity. On the contrary, Pope Francis himself, if he does not dare to speak out directly about the recognition of LGBT people, makes rather favourable statements.
These and many other LGBT supporters do not receive formidable shouts from the Vatican, they are not banned from priesthood or removed from their chairs. They are not shown those places in the Holy Scripture that say that sodomy is a mortal sin and is absolutely incompatible with Christianity.
For example, in 2018, the Pope received the open homosexual Juan Carlos Cruz in the Vatican and, according to CNN, made a remark on his sexual orientation: “You know, Juan Carlos, that does not matter. God made you like this. God loves you like this. The Pope loves you like this, and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say." And back in 2013, right after accession to the throne, Pope Francis stunned everyone with his statement: “If this (homosexuality – Ed.) is a person’s state, but he has good will and is looking for God — who are we to judge?”
Now, Jesuits have also joined the campaign to raise awareness of LGBT people. A representative of the Jesuit order from Spain, José María Rodríguez Olaizola, published an article on the Jesuit website Pastoralsj.org titled, “One Day No Pride Will Be Necessary”. In it, he said: “One day Gay Pride or any other pride will not be necessary. The day that everyone recognizes the dignity of people, of each person, without sexual orientation being something that undermines it or calls it into question for some mentalities.”
As for the Church doctrine, he believes that it should be changed. He says the day will come “when, also as a Church, we have advanced towards greater and better integration, acceptance and acceptance of the reality of homosexual people, of their need and their right to love, and we overcome the doses of misunderstanding that still exist in some Church people towards the reality of LGBTQ people. <…> And still, in the Church, there is too much silence before some declarations and formulations that do not respond to the pastoral reality of our communities, parishes, groups and spaces of accompaniment. Too many people who reduce sexual orientation to gender ideology, and they turn that identification into an alibi so as not to listen to the testimonies of so many homosexual Christians who only ask to feel a little more at home when it comes to being a community. Too much gossip and too little blessing.”
This article by the Catholic theologian stands out among the many such statements by introducing into scientific circulation some concepts that not long ago were considered absurd or manipulative. José María Rodríguez Olaizola, for example, uses the term "pastoral reality". This term is used in the sense that the Church must adapt its moral teaching to "today’s needs", in this case – the needs of homosexuals.
Did the apostles adapt to the "pastoral reality" of their time?
But if you carefully read the apostolic epistles, and especially the epistles of the Holy Apostle Paul, you can be horrified by the "pastoral reality" that existed in the first Christian communities. Here are some examples.
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:1-4)
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.” (1 Cor. 5.1)
“So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk.” (1 Cor. 11, 20-21)
How did the Holy Apostles feel about that "pastoral reality"? Did they call for the Christian teaching to be adapted to it?
On the contrary, they strove with all their might to eradicate the vices and defects that were present in the first Christian communities. The Apostle Paul, dealing with the case of the sexually immoral, urged to “hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord” (1Cor. 5, 5).
To adjust the Holy Scripture to the needs of “a homosexual Christian”?
The next new term in the "theology" of the Spanish Jesuits is: " some declarations and formulations". These are the ones that do not meet the "pastoral reality". This term stands for the moral teaching of the Church, which is really not attuned to the current "pastoral reality”. As the Holy Scripture is not attuned to this reality both in spirit and in letter.
“Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” (Lev. 18, 22)
“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (Rom. 1, 25-27)
“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6, 9-10)
Catholic LGBT supporters try not to focus on the testimony of the Holy Scriptures about the sinfulness of homosexuality. But their actions show that since the Holy Scripture does not correspond to the "pastoral reality", that’s so much the worse for the Holy Scripture. If we say that in order to please the LGBT people, it is necessary to change the commandments of God – this will sound rather harsh. The Vatican is unlikely to decide on this. It is a completely different matter if the commandments of God and moral teaching are called " some declarations and formulations". In such an interpretation, they can be changed.
Another, probably the deadliest term for religious consciousness: "a homosexual Christian". The Church says that any person who has committed mortal sin makes himself alien to salvation, alien to the Church, alien to Christianity. Such a person is not a Christian, although he can be reinstated in this title through repentance and confession. Sodomy is a denial of Christ, the same as fornication, murder, idolatry, etc. Using the term “a homosexual Christian” we are taught to realize that these are compatible things, that they can be coupled.
In conclusion, José María Rodríguez Olaizola says that “homosexual Christians” should “feel at home” in the Church. We would like to ask: how will Christ feel in that case? Will He have a place in this home? What about the Apostle Paul, as well as all those who believe the words of Scripture, that sin is sin, and not "pastoral reality"?
All the above examples of statements by Catholic theologians and bishops say that calls to change the moral teaching of the Church and recognize LGBT people are more and more persistent in the RCC, and the sources of these calls are becoming more authoritative in the Catholic hierarchy. Therefore, it is difficult not to come to the conclusion that we are now observing informational preparations for Catholicism to accept the LGBT ideology. Perhaps, not yet in the form of direct approval but in the form of “blessing”, “brotherly love”, but all the same.
Against the background of the catastrophic decline in the number of believers in Catholic communities in Europe, this policy seems shocking. The experience of Protestants and Anglicans has shown that adapting the teachings of the Church to the sinful demands of the world is not only terrible in itself. Paradoxically, it averts not only conservative Christians but even those who demand that the Church should conform to the new “pastoral reality”.
And such actions of Catholics cannot but evoke the words of the Gospel: “Look, your house is left to you desolate” (Matt. 23, 38). And we, Orthodox, looking at all this, must keep the Gospel words in our hearts.