(Rod Dreher – The American Conservative) “But if the Pope means that homosexuality is a matter of moral indifference, then Catholics have a very serious theological problem on their hands with this Pope, who has just blown a hole into Catholic moral theology with regard to sexuality.”
Via Eponymous Flower, one of the molestation victims of a Chilean priest tells the Spanish daily El País what Pope Francis said to him in their recent meeting:
“Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like that and he loves you like that and I do not care. The Pope wants you like that, you have to be happy with who you are.”
One of the Pope’s advisers, the well-known pro-LGBT American Jesuit, tweets out the news:
See tweets on the site
This is not a direct quote from the Pope, but a gay Catholic’s recollection of what the Pope told him. If Francis didn’t say this, then he should clarify. It sounds like something he would say. Therefore, if he doesn’t contradict Juan Carlos Cruz’s remarks, it seems reasonable to assume that he said them.
If Francis said this, then what is one to make of his remarks in light of this passage from the Catechism of the Catholic Church?:
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
As a theological matter, can God affirmatively will someone to be gay? To be “intrinsically disordered” in his sexual desire?
Perhaps the Pope is saying that God, in His infinite wisdom and with his permissive will, allowed Juan Carlos to be born with homosexual desire. There is no question that God loves all His creatures, including all of us sinners, but if the Pope has been accurately quoted here, then he is telling Juan Carlos that God affirms his homosexuality (God “loves you like that”). If the Pope means that God loves Juan Carlos despite these sinful passions, that’s undeniably true, according to Catholic theology. If the Pope is saying that God affirms the goodness of homosexual desire, that is not remotely compatible with what the Catholic Church teaches, and with what Scripture makes clear.