Monday, May 21, 2018


Original Sin and its disordered consequences

Pope Francis teaches or changes teachings through gestures, ambiguities and confusion and also relying on what others say he said. He values Jesuitical discernment which can also be viewed in some cases as enablement. I don't particularly like this method but it is what it is.

Thus one of the Chilean victims of a priest's homosexual abuse of him has said that he himself is gay and that Pope Francis told him God made him that way. I'm not so sure the pope said this as the pope is silent on this subject,  but many gay people I know are quite good people, sinners though we all are. Goodness is of God and God given as we are made in the image and likeness of God though corrupted by Adam's sin but redeemed in the new Adam!

I do know that Pope Francis has explicitly written that the clergy sexual abuse of minors in the Church is a result of homosexual predation. If girls had been involved His Holiness would have said that it was a result of heterosexual predation.

Original sin which every human being inherits (except the Mother of the Church, the Blessed Mother Most Holy) means that each and everyone of us is defective in some way or another and programmed by this defect to die and decay and return to the dust of the earth. We can't change that try as some may. Some resort to Botox and plastic surgery which makes  everyone look like others with the same procedures look alike and perversions of their previous beauty.

Some people have defects that they have no control over, such as Down's syndrome, other mental and physical retardations and mental and physical disfigurement.

Disordered (by way of Original sin which is inherited) sexuality is programmed towards concupisence. Fidelity doesn't come naturally nor does chasity be one married or single. God's abundant grace is required. Sexual continence requires God's grace and our willingness to cooperate with that grace and when we fail, try as we may with God's grace to succeed, God has given us the Sacrament of Penance to place us back on the narrow path to salvation.

Thus a person who is straight but desires to be as promiscuous as possible needs God's grace to lead him or her to chasity. God made us to be chaste not promiscuous. Promiscuity is a disorder.

Thus a person who is "bi" must, by God's grace, choose chastity or seek a heterosexual spouse and natural marriage.

Thus a person who is gay must by God's grace seek to live life long chastity.

It isn't the Church's role to determine what makes someone gay as there are a number of possibilities  all of which include Original sin in one way or another and not to exclude a genetic reason caused by the disorders of Original Sin.

God brings goodness out of disorders though . Thus we love those who have Down's syndrome, are autistic, mentally or physically handicapped and we assist them to live "normal" lives.

The same is true of those with sexual disorders, we love them and help them to live "normal" lives and to make use of the God-given gifts of grace  that God gives us in abundance.

But let's not single out any particular sexual orientation for vilification. We only vilify actual crimes not a tendency toward them. If a person has a tendency towards being a thief, we applaud them when they live a life of honesty and show others with an inclination to steal how not to do so.

Did Pope Franics say being gay is God-given? I don't know, I hope not. It is second hand information. Does Pope Francis love gay people? I hope so and I hope we all do.

Does being gay have good qualities apart from disordered sexual activities that one can with God's grace overcome which includes frequent Confession for any habitual sins? Yes and this goodness is God-given! We are made by God to be good!

But when gay people seek pastoral counseling and the Sacrament of Penance,  sometimes chasity can only be sought incrementally and stable, chaste friendships should always be the goal even if there is a partnership with a lifelong partner that should lead anyone, straight or gay, away from destructive promiscuity and using others simply for one's own gratification. Love that leads to chastity is the goal of spiritual counseling. God made us for chaste love.


Anonymous said...

"Thus a person who is gay must by God's grace seek to live life long chastity."


Thus a person who is gay must, by God's grace, live life long chastity.

It seems to me that the former is precisely the "Jesuitical discernment which can also be viewed in some cases as enablement" you have concerns about. ("I don't particularly like this method but it is what it is.")

Marc said...

If I'm being discerning, it's pretty tough to buy that Francis is the pope.

Gene said...

Marc, We have a Pope?

Anonymous said...

But, his being pope isn't a function of your discernment.

Marc said...

Well, Gene, I'm not so sure at this point. We certainly don't have one that we can listen to for any meaningful Catholic teaching.

Marc said...

"But, his being pope isn't a function of your discernment."

True. My discernment does not make him pope in the same way that my discernment doesn't make any fact true or not. But my discernment could aid me in making a proper evaluation of the independently existent reality of things, as in whether he is pope or not.

TJM said...


We have a person filling the office of Pope, but that is about it.

Anonymous said...

Just ignore what he says. We are way past the point of doubt about the HF's qualification and suitability for the most consequential office is the world. He is dissing his boss. What in the world is he going to say when facing the Lord of all? You know, the one about teaching all nations.

Anonymous said...

"But my discernment could aid me in making a proper evaluation of the independently existent reality of things, as in whether he is pope or not."

Nope, again. He is pope whether you discern him to be or not.

Catholic doctrine is Catholic doctrine regardless of your "evaluation" of it.

Marc said...

That’s true, Anonymous. He is or is not the pope completely independent of my OR YOUR discernment. See how that works?

You seemed to have missed the point, which I find unsurprising, actually.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Being "gay" is not like being tall or short or having blue eyes or brown eyes (an unchangeable characteristic). Being gay is a psychological choice, a decision to "be" a certain way. It is going along with something in you that is not good - like having a desire to try heroin, and doing so; or having a desire to steal something just to see if you can get away with it, and doing so. When a person has severe temptation to any sin, it's not right to say, "well, I have an addictive personality and God made me an addict so leave me alone"; or "I'm a thief and God made me a thief, so it is good."

But that's what people who follow a homosexual inclination say. They say it is not just a temptation or inclination; they say it is who they are.

Not having this particular affliction I hesitate to disbelieve them, but I know myself how cleverly I excuse my pull toward some evil and trick myself into seeing it as minimally problematic, and "just the way I am".

In arguing for homosexuality, our society is rejecting a pretty tried and true identification of a tendency toward a particular evil. They would shout anyone who disagrees down, saying, YOU don't know me...YOU don't know what I am or am not...YOU don't know a thing about it!!!!

But you don't have to be a drug addict to know the effects of yielding to the temptation of shooting heroin. You don't have to be a thief to see what stealing leads to.

And you can't help people who are deep in denial.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. He is pope according to the norms of the Catholic Church. Potassium is potassium according to the norms of chemistry. Nearsightedness is nearsightedness according to the norms of eye doctors.

Your discernment does not and cannot change any of the above.

Anonymous said...

St. Gallen Mafia

That alone will always place a question mark after Francis's name.

Православный физик said...

Apparently the duct tape was left near the mozzetta and the red shoes :p......

Marc said...

Exactly. Something is or is not what it purports to be based on objective criterion. Those criterion must be judged according to standardized principles applicable to whatever particular thing is under consideration.

A person claiming to be pope is either pope or not according to the criterion of the Church. One applies that criteria, as with all such applications, discerning whether the claimed pope meets the criterion. Discernment certainly does not create the reality. But it illuminates the state of affairs that exists independently of the one discerning.

So just as you have discerned Francis is the pope, one could discern he is not. One of those positions is true, corresponding to reality, and the other is false, not corresponding to reality. In either case, the one discerning the question does not create reality: one merely gets reality right or wrong, depending on whether one’s view corresponds with the facts or not.

Anonymous said...

" Those criterion must be judged according to standardized principles applicable to whatever particular thing is under consideration."


Have you judged that the standardized principles applicable to potassium are correct in themselves or that they are correctly applied? No.

Have you judged that the standardized principles applicable to nearsightedness are correct in themselves or that they are correctly applied? No.

Why not? Because you are not competent to make such judgments.

Neither are you competent to determine if the standardized principles applicable to the pope are correct in themselves or that they are correctly applied to pope Francis.

That competence belongs, by Divine institution, to the Magisterium (the bishops) of the Church.

You want to take such authority to yourself, to claim a gift that, objectively (you are not ordained a bishop) you do not have.

Now, you will "discern," I am sure, that the Magisterium is faulty, or that the bishops who have the charism are misusing it, or that Holy Spirit has led you, by your own admission, to reject the Magisterium, or that your intelligence and capacity to understand written doctrines places you in a position above the Magisterium, or that on and on and on...

You are made yourself the final authority. I choose the Church and her Magisterium as the final authority.

Marc said...

On the contrary, bishops have no authority to judge the pope. In no way do I claim I am the final authority. The Church is the sole authority.

You don’t seem to know much about this topic, so it appears discussing it with you isn’t likely to prove very edifying or interesting. Perhaps you could study it more, and then we could discuss it further.

Anonymous said...

You are making yourself the final authority on who is and who is not the pope.

You have "discerned," with no authority other than that which you claim for yourself, that Pope Francis is not the pope.

The Church says that Francis is the pope. If you say the Church is the final authority, you must accept Francis as the Successor of Peter AND give him the filial submission required of Catholics.

Perhaps you should read a bit more yourself.

Marc said...

Of course, you're assuming that I don't think that Francis is pope, which is a claim I have not made.

Anyway, let's examine the question. Authority can tell us at least two things: (1) the criterion and methods by which one examines the essence of an object, and/or (2) whether an object is what it is supposed the object is.

Let's take the example of potassium. Scientists can tell us what potassium is: its visible characteristics and properties, as well as the method by which one can be certain it is or is not potassium, like the use of GC/MS, for example. Scientists could also opine that a given object is potassium.

We could rely on their claimed authority, accepting their opinion that the object in question is potassium. We could also apply the authoritative methods to the object to determine the question.

If we applied the authoritative methods and determined that the object in question is not actually potassium, then it would not matter that the scientists had opined, with the full weight of their authority, that the object is potassium. Their opinion does not change the ontological reality that is proven through the application of the authoritative methods.

It is not a failure to submit to authority to apply the authoritative methods and determine the question one's self. It is a failure to submit to reality to suggest, in the face of application of authoritative methods to instead submit to opinions that are demonstrably false.

I hope this helps you to understand better the methodology. In the particular case of the pope, there are divergent opinions of theologians that speak directly to the question we're discussing. They are not as reductionist as the methodology that you are suggesting, which is why I gather you haven't actually ready much about the analysis of this question.

As a thought experiment, you could consider those times in history where "the Church" said that various people were "the pope," and it turned out "the Church" was mistaken. Even saints accepted different claimants at the same time. Again, the question is not as simple as you suggest.

Victor said...

St. Antonius, O.P. (1389-1459), Bishop and Thomistic Theologian showed in his Summa Theoligica that:

"In the case in which the pope would become a heretic, he would
find himself, by that fact alone and without any other sentence,
separated from the Church. A head separated from a body cannot, as long
as it remains separated, be head of the same body from which it was cut

"A pope who would be separated from the Church by heresy,
therefore, would by that very fact itself cease to be head of the
Church. He could not be a heretic and remain pope, because, since he is
outside of the Church, he cannot possess the keys of the Church."

There was an interesting article on this subject 3 years ago in Crisis Magazine: