Skip to comments.[Catholic Caucus] Fr. Gerald Murray slams Pope Francis’ comments on homosexuality, African bishops
Posted on 01/31/2023 7:44:10 PM PST by ebb tide
Renowned canon lawyer Fr. Gerald Murray blasted Pope Francis’ recent call for the global decriminalization of homosexuality and his criticism of bishops who support anti-sodomy laws.
Murray, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, denounced the “confusion” of the pope’s remarks in a hard-hitting interview Thursday with Raymond Arroyo on EWTN’s The World Over.
“It’s clearly taught in the Bible and the natural law: sodomy is a mortal sin,” the New York priest said. Anti-sodomy laws aim to deter sin and protect public morals, he noted, invoking the destruction of Sodom.
“Now, laws against sodomy are designed to warn people not to commit that sin and to protect society where if that sin were tolerated it might become more widespread,” he explained. “The story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible is a warning to us.”
Rather than attacking such laws, Francis “should be saying laws that lead people into sin should never become law,” Murray insisted.
Instead, the pope “unfortunately is becoming an advocate” of legalizing sodomy, he said. “And it’s hard to believe that we would say that.”
Murray also pushed back on the pope’s criticism of Catholic bishops in Africa who have endorsed anti-sodomy laws and whom Francis said “have to have a process of conversion.”
“He said they have to undergo a process of conversion, and I’m shaking my head,” reacted Murray. “The people that have to undergo conversion are those who want to commit sodomy, not the bishops who are telling them this is a sin, it’s wrong, and the state should not legitimize it.”
He particularly lamented the scandal Francis’ comments have given to chaste homosexuals and faithful Catholics.
“You know, I’ve worked with Courage over the years and one of the most discouraging things that Courage members talk about is when the hierarchy doesn’t teach the truth in a clear and understandable way,” he said, referring to Courage International, the largest Church-approved apostolate for Catholics suffering from same-sex attraction.
“I mean who’s going to be happy with this decriminalization of sodomy?” he asked. “It’s not the people who support Church teaching. They’re stunned.”
In an interview with the Associated Press last week, Francis described bans on homosexual behavior as “unjust” and “very wrong” and declared that the Catholic Church “must” work to overturn them.
“I believe one must not discriminate against anyone,” he added, appearing to equate bans on sodomy with unjust discrimination. The pope doubled down on his comments in a letter Friday to heretical LGBT activist priest Fr. James Martin, SJ.
But Murray pointed out that the Church does not recognize a right to homosexuality that anti-sodomy laws would unjustly infringe on.
“What is the basis where you would decriminalize sodomy?” he questioned.
“Do people have a right to commit sodomy? Is this somehow now a human right? That’s what the left claims,” he said. “The Catholic Church doesn’t say that.”
Catholic teaching explicitly condemns legal protection for homosexuality and denies that it can be considered a right.
In a 1986 letter approved by Pope St. John Paul II, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) warned against condoning homosexual activity and affirmed that “no one has any conceivable right” to it.
In a follow-up letter in 1992, the CDF reiterated that “there is no right to homosexuality which therefore should not form the basis for judicial claims,” adding that governments should not make the “homosexual orientation” a protected class like sex or race.
The CDF later warned that tolerance of homosexuality “might be exploited or used in the service of ideology” and stressed to politicians “the need to contain the phenomenon within certain limits so as to safeguard public morality” and protect youth.
The Vatican has also pointed out that condoning homosexuality naturally gives rise to “other distorted notions and practices,” a concern that Murray echoed.
“Now what about people who engage in prostitution? They’re going to say well I don’t like being stigmatized by laws that criminalize prostitution,” he told Arroyo. “Incest is against the law. People might say, well that’s consensual among adults, why can’t they do it?”
Murray slammed the culture of unchecked heterodoxy in the Church and dissident Catholics’ obsessive promotion of homosexuality.
“All we talk about every show is homosexuality, as if this is the most important problem in the life of the Church,” he told Arroyo. “It’s not, it’s been made that way by those who want to change the Church’s teaching.”
The majority of Christians, “pacifically and calmly accept the fact that sodomy is a mortal sin. They don’t question that, because that’s what God teaches,” he said.
Many priests and bishops, he added, are also “not interested in rejecting Christ’s teaching about sexuality and creation. They want to uphold the faith.”
But at the same time, a subset of the hierarchy is attempting to undermine basic truths of the faith, as in Germany, where the bishops’ “Synodal Way” initiative has demanded changes to immutable Catholic doctrine on sexuality and the sacraments.
The Synodal Way is “driving me nuts,” Murray said.
“These bishops are trying to destroy Catholicism in their country,” he warned, “and the Vatican better step on them because otherwise they’re going to use their power and their money to afflict another religion on the Christians in Germany.”
Francis’ refusal to take any concrete action to stop the Synodal Way is “baffling and mystifying,” he said. “The German bishops owe him the same obedience as any other bishops.”
The pope made another “terrible decision” in appointing Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP, to lead a spiritual retreat this year for the Vatican’s Synod on Synodality, Murray said. Radcliffe, a notorious heretic previously banned by the Vatican from speaking at the general assembly of Caritas International in 2012, publicly rejects Catholic teaching on homosexuality.
“When you appoint someone who’s publicly criticized the Church’s teaching on homosexual activity and what the Church considers to be gravely sinful and immoral — when a person who doesn’t agree with that is now going to be instructing in the spiritual life all the participants in the Synod, you’ve made a terrible decision,” Murray said.
He also singled out Cardinal Robert McElroy of San Diego, who sparked controversy last week with an essay presenting the “ordination” of women to the priesthood as an open question. The issue of female ordination “will be one of the most difficult questions confronting” the Synod on Synodality, McElroy wrote.
“Bishops and cardinals who say this is a problem, they’re the problem for saying that,” Murray retorted. “The problem is the rebellious element in the Church which wants to overthrow Catholicism and replace it with a man-made religion.”
As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
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