Just to think that a mere seven years ago we had a real Catholic Pope, one who devoted his whole life to upholding Christian doctrine.
This is what Benedict XVI said about the issue that’s so close to his successor’s woke heart: “A century ago, anyone would have thought it absurd to talk about homosexual marriage.”
He then added that homomarriage, abortion and reproductive technologies were of the Antichrist. “Modern society is in the middle of formulating an anti-Christian creed,” said His Holiness, “and if one opposes it, one is being punished by society with excommunication.”
No one has to be a Catholic or, more generally, a Christian. However, no Catholic or, more generally, no Christian would have a leg to stand on if he tried to object. For the view expressed by the Pope has scriptural antecedents in both Testaments.
In the two millennia that passed since St Paul wrote on this issue in his epistles to Romans, Corinthians and Timothy, the Church accepted his view as sacred truth. Then, seven years ago, when Pope Benedict was forced off his throne, things began to change.
Pope Francis clearly dreads excommunication from secular society with its increasingly subversive and anti-Christian diktats. Going against Christian doctrine, the teaching of the Church and its entire history, on the other hand, is no problem at all.
Hence, halfway through a documentary film about him, Pope Francis endorsed homosexual civil unions: “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”
The pontiff’s concern for the minutiae of secular law is touching. It’s comforting to know that the Pope is ready to veer outside his remit and engage in legal debates. Or rather it would be comforting if such forays didn’t come at the expense of his core business.
It’s interesting to follow his logic though. If all God’s children have the right to form a family, why not marry homosexuals in church? What’s food for the goose of the registrar ought to be food for the gander of the priest. Denying that is like saying that burglars have a right to rob my neighbour, but not me.
The rationale given by his Holiness is sheer demagoguery. Of course, homosexuals are children of God. That’s why they must be loved and treated with dignity, like all God’s creatures made in His image and likeness.
Not that I am drawing any direct parallels, but the same goes for thieves, murderers and even Jeremy Corbyn. We as Christians are duty-bound to love them, treat them kindly and pray for their salvation. But that doesn’t mean we should endorse their actions, or desist from stopping them by every available means.
The Church expresses this concept tersely: love the sinner, hate the sin. On the other hand, Pope Francis is saying that not only must the sinner be loved, but also that his sin must be actively endorsed. In Christianity, this is called heresy. In logic, this is called a category error.
This Pope is unlikely to renounce the former, but he’ll probably correct the latter before long – by declaring that homosexuality is no longer a sin and homomarriage should be given a sacramental status in the Church. On balance, I’d rather he stayed illogical.