Gay couples, Pope’s contortions to avoid telling truth
In interview after interview, Pope Francis pulls out all stops to defend the Declaration on blessings to homosexual couples, and tries to corroborate a false narrative to muddy the waters.
Those who protest against Fiducia Supplicans (FS) 'belong to small ideological groups'. So said Pope Francis in yet another interview, this time with the Italian daily La Stampa, published on 29 January. A few days earlier, on National TV in Che tempo che fa, guest of Fabio Fazio, he had instead said that those who do not accept the FS "are not familiar with it".
It is worth taking up the subject once again precisely because of the way in which the Pope is constantly intervening in defence of the controversial Declaration issued last 18 December by the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith Victor Manuel 'Tucho' Fernandez. Not only speeches, but also the "promotion" of Fernandez as a member of the Dicastery for Christian Unity, headed by Cardinal Kurt Koch: an eloquent signal.
As we know, we are talking about the blessing of 'homosexual and irregular couples'. But, what is the purpose of returning to the issue? Because in the face of the international uprising of shields, the Pope does not turn back - as requested by many - but tries to stir the pot by corroborating a clearly false narrative and insulting alleged enemies by calling them closed-hearted, not true Christians, who want to divide the Church. It is sad to see a pope playing a conjurer with words to advance his agenda, but one must take note of this, and also acknowledge that this is not the first time. So it is worthwhile to clarify the terms of the question once more.
To the accusation launched by the Pope, namely that the Declaration is criticised because one is not familiar with it, Cardinal Gerard L. Müller has already responded very clearly only recently when speaking on Raymond Arroyo's World Over programme on EWTN: "No one can say that bishops and cardinals have not understood FS. We have all studied theology and are capable of understanding a twenty-page text'. And then a dig at Cardinal Fernandez and his hardcore books: 'We have studied theology and not gynaecology, we do not know all the details like others, but what is needed is to know the Scriptures, Tradition and the doctrine of the Church'.
Indeed, it is the Pope who seems to ignore the content of the FS. Through the press, he once again wanted to emphasise 'that one does not bless the union, but the people', but that is not what is written in the Declaration. Already from the introductory lines, Cardinal Fernandez states at the end of a long speech that 'one can understand the possibility of blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples'. In fact, nowhere in the long document is there any reference to blessing single people even if they are in couples.
In this regard, however, there is a further subtlety that tends to give a distorted image of the Church: in fact, the Pope suggests that until today blessings have been denied to certain categories of people and that the opponents of the FS want to continue to reserve blessings for a select group of chosen people: 'We are all sinners,' the Pope told the Press, 'so why draw up a list of sinners who can enter the Church and a list of sinners who cannot be in the Church? This is not the Gospel'. Fine, but who ever intended to make lists of sinners? Rather it is the Pope and Fernandez who are doing that, creating a list of 'elite sinners' since the famous 'Todos, todos' is invoked exclusively for homo-transsexuals and remarried divorcees.
In reality this is a cunning way of shifting the discourse, because even the Pope knows that people have always been blessed regardless of their personal position, it also happens at the end of every Holy Mass for everyone present. And so a document reiterating what the Church has always done would be absolutely useless, just as such a far-reaching rebellion would be incomprehensible if there were no disruptive novelty.
In this regard, in the interview with La Stampa, the Pope rewrites what is happening in the Church for his own use: apart from the Africans who "are a case apart", "those who protest vehemently belong to small ideological groups", he said. With all due respect, it is exactly the opposite: those who belong to small ideological groups are those who are trying to subvert the Church's doctrine on sexuality, as Cardinal Ratzinger had already described precisely in 1986. And these groups, let's say this lobby, have found in Pope Francis the great sponsor, as the story of New Ways Ministry and Sister Jeannine Gramick demonstrates (here and here), which only a blind man can fail to see.
On the other hand, opposition to FS is decidedly broad, especially in the Global South (coincidentally those peripheries so extolled in this pontificate), but also in the West and in the Roman Curia.
Africa, however, deserves a separate discourse, because for Pope Francis it is the only reality that would have reasons to oppose it: 'For Africans,' he said, 'homosexuality is something "ugly" from the cultural point of view, they do not tolerate it. But in general, I trust that gradually everyone will come to terms with the spirit of the Declaration Fiducia Supplicans (...): it wants to include, not divide'.
We will deal separately with the seriousness of these words reserved for Africans, which also denote a certain racist vision, but one point deserves to be underlined: by stigmatising the African culture for which homosexuality is a 'bad' thing, Pope Francis intends to affirm that it is instead a 'good' thing, which is the opposite of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church states.
It is therefore evident - if anyone still had doubts - that Fiducia Supplicans has as its source precisely the conviction that homosexuality is a normal variant of sexuality; and it aims to bring the whole Church to accept this view 'pastorally'.
It is therefore to be hoped that more and more bishops and cardinals will become aware of the seriousness of this situation and work to stop this drift.
With the declaration Fiducia supplicans Card. Fernández (Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith) sanctions the blessing of any form of union. As long as no rituals take place and they are not confused with marriage, appearance is safe, doctrine is not.
The final report of the Synod session on Synodality, released on Saturday, confirms the nature and structure of the Church can be put into question. This includes the possibility of reconsidering topics already closed by previous popes.
The umpteenth letter from Pope Francis to Father James Martin is the latest public confirmation of the constant encouragement of LGBT groups in the Church. Obviously, it raises a huge problem, because it means that a Pope is openly reversing the Magisterium of those who preceded him. And, it is a problem that bishops and cardinals cannot ignore.