Pope Francis reportedly said, “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.” … “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”
The Pope’s remarks, reported by the Catholic News Agency, came from Francesco, a documentary on his life and ministry which premiered yesterday, October 21. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-calls-for-civil-union-law-for-same-sex-couples-in-shift-from-vatican-stance-12462
Similarly, last January 27, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco reported that Pope Francis addressed the American bishops during their ad limina visit and said, “Civil unions between two people of the same sex can never be marriage. As long as this is respected, civil unions that give access to government benefits can be acceptable.”
However, in truth, we know that any relationship between same-sex people who engage in sexual acts with each other cannot be true marriage nor can it be a true union nor can it be “acceptable”, as Pope Francis claims. They are not united according to the Word of God that says only a biological man and a biological woman can be of one flesh. Only a man, joined to his wife, can become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:8; Ephesians 5:31). There is no union and there is no “one flesh” between same-sex people in a relationship in which they engage in sexual acts with each other.
In truth, there is nothing to “respect” in any of such relationships. Regardless of whether you call these types of relationships “marriage” or “civil unions” they are not to be respected nor can they ever be “acceptable.” They are both immoral relationships. Moreover, the motives of these people to gain “access to government benefits”, as the Pope said, cannot make the relationships “acceptable.” These types of relationships are intrinsically evil and an abomination to God who instituted true marriage as a relationship between a biological man and a biological woman open to new life and united in love.
In this context the word “acceptable” is meaningless. The word “acceptable” is not a word in Catholic moral theology. Human acts and relationships are either good or evil. Same-sex relationships in which the people engage in sexual acts cannot be marriage and cannot be a union since they unite nothing. If same-sex acts are practiced within these relationships, both the acts and the relationship are evil.
It is hypocrisy for Pope Francis to imply that same-sex marriage is not acceptable, but same-sex civil unions are acceptable, a distinction without a difference, because they are both objectively immoral relationships.
St. John Paul II, whose feast day is today, approved the following teaching of the Church. “The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.” Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, NO.11, approved by St. John Paul II, March 28, 2003).
The social doctrine of the Church is that any teaching conveyed by a lesser level of authority, such as Pope Francis speaking “off the cuff”, that appears to contradict one of greater authority, such as the document above, is to be ignored. The teaching of the Universal Magisterium is, along with Scripture and Tradition, supreme and supersedes even the transient pronouncement of a Pope.
Many Catholics, who only scan media headlines or see or hear soundbites in the media, will now believe that “civil unions that give access to government benefits can be acceptable”, as Pope Francis said, in the sense that they are morally permissible, contrary to the true teaching of the Catholic Church. It will affirm in sin those same-sex people in same-sex relationships practicing sexual acts. Such a belief will increase sacrilegious communions, weaken the Church and may bring judgment and death upon the souls or bodies of recipients of such communions. (See 1 Corinthians 11, 27-31; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1385). St. John Paul II reaffirmed this teaching in his Apostolic Letter, The Church of the Eucharist, 36.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “In accord with the knowledge, competence, and preeminence which they possess, [lay people] have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard to the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward their pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons.” (CCC 907).
Metaphorically speaking, it seems as if Pope Francis has intentionally and deliberately let loose a Coronavirus of apparent heterodoxy that is infecting and affecting many people in the Church and many regions, especially through the German bishops. Heterodoxy is deviation from the Orthodox teachings of the Catholic Church. His apparent heterodoxy is manifested by many of his actions and communications that are very ambiguous, confusing and uncertain. Jesus taught us to communicate clearly and decisively. He said “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ Anything more comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37). Our defense against this Coronavirus of apparent heterodoxy is to pray for the personal holiness of the Pope and to practice our own personal holiness through prayer, fasting, frequent sacramental receptions, and the practice of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
Let us pray that the faithful sheep will not be led astray by the heterodoxy of our Shepherd Pope Francis. Let us follow Pope St. John Paul II’s plan for the third millennium: Personal Holiness. St. John Paul II inaugurated the third millennium by consecrating it to Our Lady and by writing an Apostolic Letter, Novo Millennio Ineunte (At the Beginning of the New Millennium). http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_letters/2001/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_20010106_novo-millennio-ineunte.html
He wrote, “First of all, I have no hesitation in saying that all pastoral initiatives must be set in relation to holiness…. Holiness remains more than ever an urgent pastoral task.”
Let us pray for the holiness of Pope Francis and of the bishops and priests. (Novo Millennio Ineunte 30).