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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

“Unacceptable.” The Base Document of the Synod “Compromises the Truth”


On the verge of the synod, three theologians with the support of cardinals and bishops critique and reject the “Instrumentum Laboris.” Here is the complete text of their charges of accusation

by Sandro Magister

ROME, September 29, 2015 - The text that is made public here joins the numerous statements of various viewpoints on issues of family, marriage, divorce, homosexuality, that have followed each other with growing intensity with the approach of the opening of the synod.

It is presented as a collective work. Not only because the text has three authors, but even more because it was born and raised, over the span of almost a year, at the initiative and with the contribution of numerous other Catholics, priests and laymen, from various nations of Europe, with the attention and support of bishops and cardinals, some of whom will be fathers at the upcoming synod.

The text takes aim at the most controversial paragraphs of the final “Relatio” of the 2014 synod, which were later incorporated into the “Lineamenta” and the “Instrumentum Laboris,” concerning communion for the divorced and remarried, “spiritual communion,” and homosexuals.

In the judgment of the text’s promoters, these paragraphs contradict here and there the doctrine taught to all the faithful by the magisterium of the Church and by the Catechism of the Catholic Church itself, to the point of “compromising the Truth” and therefore making the entire “Instrumentum Laboris” “unacceptable,” as well as any “other document that may reiterate its contents and be put to the vote at the end of the next synodal assembly.”

The three priests and theologians who byline the text are:

- Claude Barthe, 68, of Paris, cofounder of the magazine “Catholica,” an expert in canon law and liturgy, promoter of pilgrimages in support of “Summorum Pontificum,” author of works such as “The Mass, a forest of symbols,” “Novelists and Catholicism,” “Thinking differently about ecumenism.”

- Antonio Livi, 77, of Rome, dean emeritus of the faculty of philosophy of the Pontifical Lateran University, ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas, and president of the apostolic union “Fides et Ratio” for the defense of Catholic truth. His most recent work, from 2012, is entitled: “True and false theology.”

- Alfredo Morselli, 57, of Bologna, pastor, confessor, and preacher of spiritual exercises according to the method of Saint Ignatius. A graduate of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, he is the author of works such as “The negation of the historicity of the Gospels. History, causes, remedies” (2006), and “Then all Israel will be saved” (2010). His archbishop is Cardinal Carlo Caffarra.

The text can be read in its entirety, in the original Italian, on this other page of www,chiesa:

> Osservazioni sull'"Instrumentum Laboris"

Reproduced below are the introduction and two of the four chapters into which the text is divided: the first, on communion for the divorced and remarried and the third, on homosexuality.



by Claude Barthe, Antonio Livi, Alfredo Morselli

This document presents in a detailed manner, in the light of the Catechism of the Catholic Church anf of the “depositum fidei” in general, some difficulties concerning the “Relatio Synodi” of the last extraordinary synod, incorporated and expanded in the “Instrumentum Laboris” for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

It is even apt to observe how the “Instrumentum” goes further than the “Relatio” itself, expanding its scope, going beyond the intentions of the synod fathers themselves. In effect, this document has taken care to pick up and rework even those propositions which, not having been approved by a qualified majority of the last assembly of the extraordinary synod, should not and could not have been included in the final document of that synod and which therefore should have been viewed as rejected.

Therefore, even where the “Instrumentum” appears to be in keeping with Revelation and the Tradition of the Church, the overall result is a compromising of the Truth such as to make the document unacceptable on the whole, unless its contents were to be presented again and put to a vote at the end of the next synodal assembly.

Pastoral care is not the art of compromise and concession: it is the art of caring for souls in the truth. So the warning of the prophet Isaiah applies to all the synod fathers: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).

Last but not least it must be noted how the “Instrumentum” has to a great extent been stripped of theological significance and superseded, from the canonical point of view, by the two motu proprio of last August 15, released the following September 8.


1 - Observations on § 122 (52)

A. - An hypothesis incompatible with dogma
B. - An improper use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, erroneously drawing arguments from it to support a form of situational ethics
C. - An argument not to the point

2 - Observations on §§ 124-125 (53)

The non-univocal character of the term “spiritual communion” for those who are in God’s grace and those who are not.

3 - Observations on §§ 130-132 (55-56)

“Instrumentum Laboris” and pastoral attention for persons with homosexual tendencies: omissions and silences

4 - Spiritual communion and the divorced and remarried

A more in-depth study on spiritual communion




The next assembly of the Synod of Bishops is intended to deal with many problems concerning the family. Nevertheless, thanks in part to the media uproar and to the pope’s great attentiveness toward the divorced and remarried, the next assembly is considered as the de facto synod of communion for the divorced and remarried. One of the issues that will be addressed seems to be, in fact and for most, the issue of the discussion.

It is well known that in order to resolve a problem it is essential to frame it properly. Unfortunately we have grounds for maintaining that the document that should furnish the correct framing of the whole question - meaning the “Instrumentum Laboris” - is instead misleading and dangerous for our faith.

We present a few observations on the most problematic paragraph, concerning the question of admission to Holy Communion for those who live “more uxorio” in spite of not being canonically married; this is § 122, which reproduces § 52 of the definitive version of the “Relatio finalis” of the 2014 assembly.

The text in question, § 122 (52):

“122. (52) The synod fathers also considered the possibility of giving the divorced and remarried access to the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. Various synod fathers insisted on maintaining the present discipline, because of the constitutive relationship between participation in the Eucharist and communion with the Church as well as her teaching on the indissoluble character of marriage. Others proposed a more individualized approach, permitting access in certain situations and with certain well-defined conditions, primarily in irreversible situations and those involving moral obligations towards children who would have to endure unjust suffering. Access to the sacraments might take place if preceded by a penitential practice, determined by the diocesan bishop. The subject needs to be thoroughly examined, bearing in mind the distinction between an objective sinful situation and extenuating circumstances, given that ‘imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors’ (CCC, 1735).”

There are reasons to maintain that § 122 contains:

A. - An hypothesis incompatible with dogma
B. - An improper use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, erroneously drawing arguments from it to support a form of situational ethics
C. - An argument not to the point

A. - An hypothesis incompatible with dogma, such as to present itself as deliberate doubt in a matter of faith

“The synod fathers also considered the possibility of giving the divorced and remarried access to the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist.”

This reflection is illicit and falls under the category of deliberate doubt in a matter of faith, on the basis of what Vatican Council I solemnly declares: “Catholics may never have just cause for calling in doubt, by suspending their assent, the faith which they have already received from the teaching of the Church.” In full conformity with the whole Tradition of the Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church also places doubt among the sins against faith:

CCC 2088: “There are various ways of sinning against faith: Voluntary doubt about the faith disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief. […] If deliberately cultivated, doubt can lead to spiritual blindness”.

That the statement “the civilly divorced and remarried cohabiting ‘more uxorio’ cannot receive Eucharistic communion” belongs to that which is presented for belief as revealed by the Church - and therefore can no longer be brought into question - is proven by:

John Paul II, Apost. Exort. "Familiaris Consortio", November 22, 1981, § 84:

However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist.”

Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church Concerning the Reception of Holy Communion by the Divorced and Remarried Members of the Faithful, September 14, 1994:

“5. The doctrine and discipline of the Church in this matter are amply presented in the post-conciliar period in the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio. The Exhortation, among other things, reminds pastors that out of love for the truth they are obliged to discern carefully the different situations and exhorts them to encourage the participation of the divorced and remarried in the various events in the life of the Church. At the same time it confirms and indicates the reasons for the constant and universal practice, ‘founded on Sacred Scripture, of not admitting the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion’ (Apost. Exort. Familiaris Consortio, no. 84: AAS 74 (1982) 185). The structure of the Exhortation and the tenor of its words give clearly to understand that this practice, which is presented as binding, cannot be modified because of different situations.

6. Members of the faithful who live together as husband and wife with persons other than their legitimate spouses may not receive Holy Communion. Should they judge it possible to do so, pastors and confessors, given the gravity of the matter and the spiritual good of these persons (cf. 1 Cor 11:27-29) as well as the common good of the Church, have the serious duty to admonish them that such a judgment of conscience openly contradicts the Church's teaching (cf. Code of Canon Law, can. 978 § 2). Pastors in their teaching must also remind the faithful entrusted to their care of this doctrine.”

Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration Concerning the Admission to Holy Communion of Faithful Who Are Divorced and Remarried, June 24, 2000:

“The Code of Canon Law establishes that ‘Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion’ (can. 915). In recent years some authors have sustained, using a variety of arguments, that this canon would not be applicable to faithful who are divorced and remarried. […]

“Given this alleged contrast between the discipline of the 1983 Code and the constant teachings of the Church in this area, this Pontifical Council, in agreement with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments declares the following:

“1. The prohibition found in the cited canon, by its nature, is derived from divine law and transcends the domain of positive ecclesiastical laws: the latter cannot introduce legislative changes which would oppose the doctrine of the Church. The scriptural text on which the ecclesial tradition has always relied is that of St. Paul: ‘This means that whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily sins against the body and blood of the Lord. A man should examine himself first only then should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup. He who eats and drinks without recognizing the body eats and drinks a judgment on himself.’ (1 Cor 11: 27-29. cf. Council of Trent, Decree on the Sacrament of the Eucharist: DH 1646-1647, 1661).”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church also “confirms and indicates the reasons for the constant and universal practice, ‘founded on Sacred Scripture, of not admitting the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion’” and “the constant teachings of the Church in this area”:

CCC 1650: “Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ - ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery’ (Mk 10:11-12). The Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God's law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence”.

Conclusions of § A.

§ 122 of the “Instrumentum Laboris” admits the possibility of that which, for a Catholic, is completely impossible. Access to sacramental communion for the divorced and remarried is presented as a legitimate possibility, when instead this possibility has already been defined as illicit by the previous magisterium (FC, CdF 1994, CCC, Pont. C. Legislative Texts); it is presented as a possibility that is not only completely theoretical (reasoning “by the impossible”), but real, when instead the only real possibility for a Catholic consistent with the revealed Truth is to affirm the impossibility that the divorced and remarried can licitly receive sacramental communion. The question is presented as theologically open, when in doctrinal and pastoral terms it has been closed (ibid.); it is presented as if beginning from a vacuum in the preceding magisterium, when instead the preceding magisterium has spoken with such authoritativeness as not to admit any more discussion on the matter (ibid.).

If anyone were to insist on discussing again that which is presented for belief as revealed by the Church, formulating hypotheses that turn out to be incompatible with dogma, he would lead the faithful to deliberate doubt in a matter of faith.

B. - An improper use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, erroneously drawing arguments from it to support a form of situational ethics

“The subject needs to be thoroughly examined, bearing in mind the distinction between an objective sinful situation and extenuating circumstances, given that ‘imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors’ (CCC, 1735).”

These last lines of § 122 of the Instrumentum Laboris refer to § 1735 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to support “the distinction between the objective situation of sin and attenuating circumstances,” in view of a possible admission to the sacraments of the “divorced and remarried.” What does § 1735 of the Catechism really say? Let’s read it again:

“Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors.”

And now let’s try to explain this text: take the hypothetical case of a poor young woman in India or China who is sterilized under pressure, or a young woman in Italy today who is led to get an abortion by her relatives and boyfriend… In this case imputability is diminished or eliminated, however not directly (simpliciter) by the sad circumstances, but by the imperfection of the act: a morally judicable act - a human act, in more precise terms - must be free and intentional.

Today, even in Italy, with the bad education that is received starting in kindergarten, a young woman may very well not realize that abortion is murder: moreover she might be psychologically fragile and not have the natural grit to go against everyone and everything. It is clear that the moral responsibility of this young woman is attenuated.

It is a different matter with a divorced, civilly remarried person who has come back to the faith after the fact: let’s say that his wife has left him, he has remarried with the mistaken idea of making another family, and he can no longer go back to his first, true, only wife (perhaps she has taken up with another man and had children with him); this brother, in spite of praying and actively participating in the life of the parish, being admired by the pastor and by all the faithful, being aware of his state of sin and not stubborn in wanting to justify it, is living more uxorio with the wife he married civilly, not being able to live with her as brother and sister. In this case, the decision to approach the new wife is a perfectly free and intentional act, and what § 1735 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church says absolutely cannot be applied.

The Catechism itself in fact teaches, at § 1754:

"Circumstances of themselves cannot change the moral quality of acts themselves; they can make neither good nor right an action that is in itself evil".

And John Paul II, in the encyclical "Veritatis Splendor,” at § 115, affirmed:

“This is the first time, in fact, that the Magisterium of the Church has set forth in detail the fundamental elements of this teaching, and presented the principles for the pastoral discernment necessary in practical and cultural situations which are complex and even crucial.

“In the light of Revelation and of the Church's constant teaching, especially that of the Second Vatican Council, I have briefly recalled the essential characteristics of freedom, as well as the fundamental values connected with the dignity of the person and the truth of his acts, so as to be able to discern in obedience to the moral law a grace and a sign of our adoption in the one Son (cf. Eph 1:4-6). Specifically, this Encyclical has evaluated certain trends in moral theology today. I now pass this evaluation on to you, in obedience to the word of the Lord who entrusted to Peter the task of strengthening his brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), in order to clarify and aid our common discernment.

“Each of us knows how important is the teaching which represents the central theme of this Encyclical and which is today being restated with the authority of the Successor of Peter. Each of us can see the seriousness of what is involved, not only for individuals but also for the whole of society, with the reaffirmation of the universality and immutability of the moral commandments, particularly those which prohibit always and without exception intrinsically evil acts.”

Conclusions of § B.

The words of Saint John Paul II are unmistakable: with the authority of the successor of Peter he reaffirms the universality and immutability of the moral commandments, and in particular of those that always and without exception prohibit intrinsically evil acts. He also refutes the artificial and false separation of those who presume to leave the immutable doctrine unaltered but then reconcile the unreconcilable, meaning that they act pastorally in a way not in keeping with the same doctrine.

In fact the same holy pontiff did not write the encyclical as a speculative exercise apart from the world, but wanted to present the reasons for the pastoral discernment necessary in complex and sometimes critical practical and cultural situations.

Certainly a divorced and remarried person like the one described in the preceding example (absolutely not a rare case) must be loved, followed, accompanied toward complete conversion, and only then will be able to receive the Most Holy Eucharist. This conversion must be proclaimed as really possible with the help of grace, with the patience and mercy of God, without contravening an unquestionable truth of our faith, according to which one cannot receive Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin.

C. - An argument not to the point

“… irreversible situations and those involving moral obligations towards children who would have to endure unjust suffering.”

Admission to the sacraments has nothing to do with irreversible situations, in which it is no longer possible to reconstitute the first and true marriage.

In these situations, the main moral obligation that the divorced and remarried have toward their children is that of living in the grace of God, in order to be better able to raise them; admitting or not admitting them to the sacraments has nothing to do with their obligations toward their offspring. Unless one wants to deny that the Church “with firm confidence believes that those who have rejected the Lord's command and are still living in this state will be able to obtain from God the grace of conversion and salvation, provided that they have persevered in prayer, penance and charity” (Familiaris Consortio, 84).



Pastoral attention for persons with homosexual tendencies is certainly nothing new in the Church’s magisterium. The “Instrumentum Laboris,” with respect to the “Relatio finalis” of 2014, compensates for the most serious omission of this latter document, giving more attention to the families of homosexual persons (families that are almost completely forgotten in the “Relatio”). As just as it may be, urging the avoidance of unjust discrimination against persons with homosexual tendencies while only barely referring to their families is almost off-topic in a synod on the family.

In the composition of the “Instrumentum Laboris,” a paragraph has indeed been added (§ 131) that advises attention for these family units, and yet there is still no trace of important and fundamental indications reiterated by the ordinary magisterium on the matter.

We maintain that at a synod on the family, addressing the issue of homosexuality by saying only that homosexuals must not be treated badly and their families not be left alone, is a sin of omission.

Here is the text in question:

“Pastoral Attention towards Persons with Homosexual Tendencies

“130. (55) Some families have members who have a homosexual tendency. In this regard, the synod fathers asked themselves what pastoral attention might be appropriate for them in accordance with Church teaching: ‘There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family.’ Nevertheless, men and women with a homosexual tendency ought to be received with respect and sensitivity. ‘Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided’ (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, 4).

“131. The following point needs to be reiterated: every person, regardless of his/her sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his/her human dignity and received with sensitivity and great care in both the Church and society. It would be desirable that dioceses devote special attention in their pastoral programmes to the accompaniment of families where a member has a homosexual tendency and of homosexual persons themselves.

“132. (56) Exerting pressure in this regard on the Pastors of the Church is totally unacceptable: it is equally unacceptable for international organizations to link their financial assistance to poorer countries with the introduction of laws that establish ‘marriage’ between persons of the same sex.”

It seems to us that the following observations can be made on this text.

Omissions and silences

Seeing that we are piously urged to put ourselves in the “condition of a field hospital that is so beneficial for the proclamation of God’s mercy,” it is opportune to recall that, in every self-respecting hospital, the doctors do their duty when: 1) they diagnose the illness, 2) administer treatment, 3) follow the patient all the way to recovery; moreover the Church is like “a physician who realizes the danger of disease, protects himself and others from it, but at the same time he strives to cure those who have contracted it.”

To reduce the work of the Church to welcoming persons with homosexual tendencies with “respect and delicacy” (or to silence the rest entirely) can at most be likened - still following the metaphor of the field hospital - to palliative care.

Moreover, recalling only the duty of avoiding any display of unjust discrimination, without saying anything else, can seem like conformity to the propaganda against so-called “homophobia,” which we know very well to be a wedge for introducing disastrous norms into legislation and the acceptance of “gender” theory into consciences.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was wise in observing, in 1986, that “one tactic used is to protest that any and all criticism of or reservations about homosexual people, their activity and lifestyle, are simply diverse forms of unjust discrimination.”

When one speaks of unjust discrimination against homosexual persons, it is therefore opportune also to explain clearly what is truly unjust discrimination and what is instead the dutiful denunciation of evil.

The same congregation also reiterated that “departure from the Church's teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral.”

1 - We maintain that the illness must be diagnosed clearly, as for example the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did in 2003; let’s see how the question of unjust discrimination is treated in a fairly clear context:

“Homosexual acts ‘close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2357).

"Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts ‘as a serious depravity...’ (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10). This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered’ (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, declaration ‘Persona Humana,’ December 29, 1975, no. 8). This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first centuries (cf. for example St. Policarp, Letter to the Philippians, V, 3; St. Justin, First Apologia, 27, 1-4; Athenagoras, Plea for the Christians, 34) and is unanimously accepted by Catholic Tradition.

“Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2358; cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, October 1, 1986, no. 10). They are called, like other Christians, to live the virtue of chastity (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2359; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, October 1, 1986, no. 12). The homosexual inclination is however ‘objectively disordered’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2358) and homosexual practices are ‘sins gravely contrary to chastity’ (Ibid., no. 2396)”.

Moreover, the possibility of sin on the part of persons with homosexual tendencies must be admitted, not excluding confession as a sometimes necessary supernatural aid:

“What is at all costs to be avoided is the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behaviour of homosexual persons is always and totally compulsive and therefore inculpable. What is essential is that the fundamental liberty which characterizes the human person and gives him his dignity be recognized as belonging to the homosexual person as well. As in every conversion from evil, the abandonment of homosexual activity will require a profound collaboration of the individual with God's liberating grace.”

Love shows itself also by unveiling prospects of false happiness:

“As in every moral disorder, homosexual activity prevents one's own fulfillment and happiness by acting contrary to the creative wisdom of God. The Church, in rejecting erroneous opinions regarding homosexuality, does not limit but rather defends personal freedom and dignity realistically and authentically understood.”

2 - In the second place, it is necessary to prescribe treatment:

a) preventing the infections of the spirit of the world…

“… Special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option.”

“[The Church] is really concerned about the many who are not represented by the pro-homosexual movement and about those who may have been tempted to believe its deceitful propaganda.”

b) … having recourse also to the human sciences. The treatment prescribed must not be only of a moral character: just as the Church, in order to foster the correct use of marriage, promotes the creation of clinics where natural methods are taught, so also it is opportune that the Church should foster all those forms of psychological support which have been provided in recent years, with encouraging results:

“In a particular way, we would ask the Bishops to support, with the means at their disposal, the development of appropriate forms of pastoral care for homosexual persons. These would include the assistance of the psychological, sociological and medical sciences, in full accord with the teaching of the Church.”

c) … and instilling hope: persons of homosexual orientation must be accompanied on a cultural journey as well, intended to unmask all homosexualist theories (such as “gender” theory) and slogans such as “homosexuals are born that way”; this slogan soothes the consciences of those who want to stay like this, and suppresses the hope of those would would like to get out.

3 - In the third place, the patient must be followed all the way to recovery, which is the life of grace and holiness itself; anything whatsoever not in keeping with faith that is called hardship is - for the believer - a providential occasion of sanctification: “Diligentibus Deum, omnia cooperantur in bonum" (Rm 8, 28). Under this aspect as well, we find no words better than those of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

“What, then, are homosexual persons to do who seek to follow the Lord? Fundamentally, they are called to enact the will of God in their life by joining whatever sufferings and difficulties they experience in virtue of their condition to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross. That Cross, for the believer, is a fruitful sacrifice since from that death come life and redemption. While any call to carry the cross or to understand a Christian's suffering in this way will predictably be met with bitter ridicule by some, it should be remembered that this is the way to eternal life for all who follow Christ.

“It is, in effect, none other than the teaching of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians when he says that the Spirit produces in the lives of the faithful ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control’ (5:22) and further (v. 24), ‘You cannot belong to Christ unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires.’

“It is easily misunderstood, however, if it is merely seen as a pointless effort at self-denial. The Cross is a denial of self, but in service to the will of God himself who makes life come from death and empowers those who trust in him to practise virtue in place of vice.

“To celebrate the Paschal Mystery, it is necessary to let that Mystery become imprinted in the fabric of daily life. To refuse to sacrifice one's own will in obedience to the will of the Lord is effectively to prevent salvation. Just as the Cross was central to the expression of God's redemptive love for us in Jesus, so the conformity of the self-denial of homosexual men and women with the sacrifice of the Lord will constitute for them a source of self-giving which will save them from a way of life which constantly threatens to destroy them.

“Christians who are homosexual are called, as all of us are, to a chaste life. As they dedicate their lives to understanding the nature of God's personal call to them, they will be able to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance more faithfully and receive the Lord's grace so freely offered there in order to convert their lives more fully to his Way.”

4 - Finally, seeking to protect oneself and others from such infection:

“Moral conscience requires that, in every occasion, Christians give witness to the whole moral truth, which is contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons. Therefore, discreet and prudent actions can be effective; these might involve: unmasking the way in which such tolerance might be exploited or used in the service of ideology; stating clearly the immoral nature of these unions; reminding the government of the need to contain the phenomenon within certain limits so as to safeguard public morality and, above all, to avoid exposing young people to erroneous ideas about sexuality and marriage that would deprive them of their necessary defences and contribute to the spread of the phenomenon.”


Recalling the issue of helping families with children of homosexual tendencies offers an occasion to ask ourselves the reason for this mention to the detriment of all the other much more widespread hardships that families experience; moreover the issue is presented in such a way as to blur it from being a family problem into a problem of homosexual persons alone, off-topic with respect to the proper object of the synod.

Moreover, the paragraph in question, albeit while having to stay within the space of a few lines, omits any reference to the true issues connected to the pastoral care of homosexual persons; this silence is all the more culpable given the appalling advance of “gender” ideology today.



The base document of the synod, object of the “Observations”:

> Instrumentum Laboris


English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.


Barona said...

This is a devastating indictment of the neo-modernist gang who would like to force their heresies on the CHurch.

Mary said...

Thanks for posting this. I have one question. Most teachings say "in more uxorio" ...that a man and wife living "in more uxorio" in a second union after a divorce may not receive communion. JPII goes further and says that simply being remarried is an objective contradiction to the nature of the Church. My question: what has happened to the traditional teaching of the church that if a man and woman in a second union needed to stay together for serious reasons (children, survival) and they lived brother and sister, that they could receive Communion provided scandal was avoided.