On January 12, 2010, Archbishop Raymond Burke, former Archbishop of St. Louis, Missouri, and now Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, gave the homily at the annual Red Mass of Saint Mary’s Basilica, Diocese of Phoenix. He said “We see before our eyes the evil fruits of life in a society which pretends to take the place of God in making its laws and in giving its judgments, in a society in which those in power decide what is right and just, according to their desires and convenience, even at the cost of perpetrating the gravest harm upon their neighbour.”
Among the evil fruits of this decadent age there is an unparalleled betrayal of homosexuals. That evil fruit we consider here briefly, emphasizing the betrayal as the rejection of justice and charity towards a significant number of God’s sons and daughters.
To reach right conclusions and point the way to undoing the betrayal it is essential to consider the truth about homosexuality and the truth about homosexuals.
The Truth About Homosexuality
First, we ought to have a clear notion of the nature of homosexuality. This is given in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 2357). We are told that Sacred Scripture inspired by God, describes homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, that tradition has always declared homosexual acts as gravely disordered and contrary to natural law.
Many passages of Scripture could be quoted (e.g. 1Cor. 6:10; 1Tim. 1:10). Sufficient for here is a quotation from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans (1: 26-27): “For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.”
This same judgment is confirmed by many Christian writers of the first centuries (e.g. St. Polycarp; St. Justin Martyr; Athenagoras.) Sodomy was considered one of the frightful sins which cry to Heaven for vengeance. An ancient adage declared: “Clamat ad coelem vox sanguinis et sodomorum, vox oppressorum, merces detenta laborum.” A free translation is “The voice of blood (murder) and of sodomy, of the oppressed and of those labourers deprived of their wages cry out to Heaven.”
The evaluation of homosexual activity as a grave moral evil was not exclusively Christian. All major religions and societies until this age have condemned it.
Reason also confirms Scripture and Tradition. Human anatomy proclaims sodomy unnatural. The complementarity of man and woman, physically, psychologically and emotionally, declare it (cf. Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, June 3, 2003: “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons”). The very body cries out against homosexual activity. Disease is more readily contracted through sodomy then through natural relations.
The Truth About Homosexuals
Homosexuals do not choose their condition. For most of them it is a trial. They enjoy all the rights inherent in their human state. The words of Christ “Love your neighbor as yourself” apply to all in their attitude towards homosexuals. Like all, they are called to chastity and holiness and we owe our cooperation in this magnificent vocation. It has been said that the only real tragedy in life is not to become a saint. Certainly the only true tragedy is not to die in God’s love and grace.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that men and women who have homosexual tendencies should be accepted with “respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination should be avoided (n. 2358). In justice we must condemn all violence against them, avoid all derogatory remarks and labels. An excellent document on this matter is entitled “And the Truth Will Make you Free” a Letter to Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, October 1, 1986).
To sum up, Truth demands that homosexual persons be accorded all rights which follow from their humanity as persons created in the image and likeness of God.
Under the guise of liberalism, freedom of choice, conscience rights and a host of other masks we see at present the most widespread and prevalent betrayal of homosexuals in the history of the world. We consider this betrayal in its various sources sometimes against justice, sometimes against charity, and always against the truth.
This betrayal is sometimes self-inflicted, sometimes from outside the Church and sometimes from within the Church.
Whether it is due to misguided background, wrong education or self-deception or other reasons, homosexuals often deceive and therefore betray themselves.
An example of this is a recent demonstration in which homosexuals waved a banner which declared “Proudly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Proudly Catholic.” Dignity groups foster a similar self-deception. Gregory Baum, primary perverter of Catholic Truth in Canada, advises homosexuals to remain in the Church and labour to change its teaching from within. On February 5, 2010 Cardinal George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, condemned “New Ways Ministry” which describes itself as “gay-positive ministry of advocacy and justice for lesbian and gay Catholics.” The Cardinal said; “I wish to make it clear that, like other groups that claim to be Catholic but deny central aspects of Church teaching, New Ways ministry has no approval or recognition from the Catholic Church and that they cannot speak on behalf of the Church and that they cannot speak on behalf of the Catholic faithful in the United States.”
May other examples of self-inflicted betrayal of Truth could be cited.
Betrayal from Outside the Church
The betrayal of homosexuals comes mostly from outside the Church, from a culture saturated with secularism, paganism and atheism. They are betrayed by civil laws which proclaim the lie that homosexuals have a right to marriage. They are betrayed by so-called human rights tribunals which penalize the critics of homosexual behaviour. They are betrayed by school boards which order the teaching that homosexual activity is a legitimate life-style which must be respected. They are betrayed by some politicians, judges and governments. They are betrayed by the mumbo jumbo of pseudo-science concerning the compulsion to perverse behaviour.
Betrayal comes via movies, periodicals, television and all the media means.
For a time non-Catholic Christian denominations held to the traditional truth of the grave moral evil of homosexual behavior. Now, that unity in truth has crumbled. Now some non-Catholic denominations have homosexual pastors, lesbians, “priestesses” and Bishops. An example is Gwynne Guibord, lesbian Episcopal “priestess,” credited with getting the American National Council of Churches to scrap an endorsement of traditional marriage in 2000. In June 2005 Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex “marriage. Soon there was a proliferation of non-Catholic churches allowing this mockery of marriage. At hand is a notice of the “Packet and Times of Orillia”, November 2, 2009. It records that the congregation at St. Paul’s United Church, Orillia, voted in favour of same-sex “marriage” at that church. Church members high-school age and up voted on this matter. “Overwhelmingly, the congregation voted Yes to the motion.” So God’s Law was falsely subjected to human endorsement.
Betrayal from Within the Church
From within the Catholic Church betrayal of homosexuals is varied and widespread.
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, OECTA, reacted favourably to the new Ontario legislation by which school children are to be taught that they should have a positive attitude towards the homosexual lifestyle.
For many years the now happily defunct Catholic New Times newspaper encouraged homosexuals to remain in the Church and work towards Church approval of homosexual conduct. Gregory Baum, still invited to speak at nominally Catholic Colleges, has been a constant supporter of this approach.
St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto is a supporter of the Gay Pride Parade.
So-called Catholic colleges like St. Michael’s in Toronto, support student “Rainbow groups” which condone homosexual activity.
In a major editorial in the Tablet (Feb. 6, 2010), England’s nominally Catholic periodical, there is a call for the Church to change her attitude towards homosexuality. We are told that the Catholic Church should facilitate greater acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle or risk losing public approval. The evil and error of this betrayal of homosexuals is described in Lifesite News in a report dated Feb. 11, 2010. The Tablet, often deviating from Catholic doctrine, is sold widely in the Catholic churches of Great Britain despite the prohibition of Canon Law. “Books or other written material dealing with religion or morals may not be displayed, sold or given away in Churches or oratories, unless they were published with the permission of the competent ecclesiastical authority or were subsequently approved by that authority.” (Canon 827.4)
Frequently speakers at Catholic events or institutions betray homosexuals. Perhaps the most influential of such events is the Religious Education Congress under the approval of Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles. It was scheduled for March 18-21, 2010. It has been described as the largest dissent-fest of all time, with 40,000 expected to attend, tens of thousands of them religious education teachers from the USA and other countries. Many of their speakers are promoters of the so-called gay lifestyle. Among the 188 speakers are Fr. James Martin S.J., who says we need “public models of gay priests for Catholics to reflect on, to counter the stereotype of the gay priest as child abuse”; Rev. Bryan Massingale from Marquette University, opposed Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Act which would ban “gay marriage” and “civil unions”; Fr. Richard Rohr, once reprimanded for presiding at a lesbian “wedding”; Sr. Fran Ferder, who rejects the Church’s teaching against non-marital sex; Fr. John Heagle, who says moral theologians should listen to the “love stories of the gay and lesbian community”; Fr. Michael Crosby who criticizes the “unequal power between homosexual and heterosexual people”; Dr. Richard Gaillardetz, (who incidentally was a guest speaker at the CCCB conference in Cornwall in the Fall of 2009), who undermines Church teaching on sodomy, contraception and women’s ordination. There are many other dissenting speakers.
The above are only a sampling of numerous betrayals of homosexuals.
Righting the Betrayal
So widespread is the betrayal of homosexuals that we can only hope to curb it, not eliminate it.
Bishops have the power and duty to demand that all Catholic schools, colleges and institutions within their jurisdiction be faithful to Catholic Truth.
Priests through counseling, homilies, in the confessional, and catechesis can help homosexuals, often one by one.
The laity can encourage homosexuals and support the various organizations which promote chastity and holiness for homosexuals, for example “Courage” founded by Fr. John Harvey. In the U.S. there is Concerned Roman Catholics of America and other groups.
We can do what we can politically to defeat candidates who would promote the life of homosexual “marriage” or would permit homosexuals to adopt children. We can protest by letter or other means every attempt in schools to present homosexual activity as legitimate.
We can encourage Catholic groups like the Catholic Women’s League and the Knights of Columbus to engage activity in the struggle against the betrayal of homosexuals.
All can pray for homosexuals; we should never deviate from charity towards them while never condoning homosexual activity.
We can give homosexuals the example of lives lived in chastity and goodness.
To all homosexuals we say: Peace, Hope, and Joy in your daily pursuit of chastity and holiness. God be with you! May you always keep in your hearts the words of St. Paul “You are not called to immorality but to holiness.”