Should We Stop Opposing the Ruling Legalizing Same-Sex “Marriage”? Bishop Robert Barron’s Surprising Statements

The recent (January 30) statements by the Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, Robert Barron, that he will not fight for the abolition of the same-sex “marriage” ruling has scandalized even his admirers. He contends that revoking that decision “would probably cause much more problems and dissension and difficulty if we keep pressing it.” He doubles down: “I wouldn’t want to get on a crusader’s tank and try to reverse that.”1

Is Homosexual Tendency Intrinsically Disordered?

This statement by a bishop known for his writings, videos, homilies and cultural comments is even more serious because he made them to David Rubin, a homosexual journalist living in a same-sex “marriage.”2

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For Bishop Barron, “if the only thing a gay person hears from the Catholic Church is, ‘you’re intrinsically disordered,’ we’ve got a very serious problem, if that’s what the message has become.”

Contrary to the above statement, the Church has never taught that a person with same-sex attraction is “intrinsically disordered,” but rather his homosexual tendency. To say that someone is “intrinsically” disordered, that is, in their very nature, would mean that God created a disordered nature, which is absurd.

Taking a Principled not a Personal Stand

As practicing Catholics, we are filled with compassion and pray for those who struggle against violent temptation to sin, be it toward homosexual sin or otherwise.

We are conscious of the enormous difference between these individuals who struggle with their weaknesses and strive to overcome them and others who transform their sin into a reason for pride, and try to impose their lifestyle on society as a whole, in flagrant opposition to traditional Christian morality and natural law. However, we pray for them too.

According to the expression attributed to Saint Augustine, we “hate the sin but love the sinner.” And to love the sinner, as the same Doctor of the Church explains, is to wish for him the best we can possibly desire for ourselves, namely, “that he may love God with a perfect affection.” (St. Augustine, Of the Morals of the Catholic Church, no. 49, www.newadvent.org/fathers/1401.htm)

In What Sense Is a Sinner a Child of God?

The Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles added, “The first thing a gay person, like any person, should hear is ‘You’re a beloved child of God.”

In the context in which this statement was made—that is, on a pro-homosexual program—it takes on a dangerous ambiguity. For it does not make clear whether the bishop is referring to a person with a disorderly tendency who resists and does not sin, or to one who actually practices the act against nature.

There is no doubt that all men are children of God. But the sinner is a son in revolt against his Creator, whom he offends by despising His Law. In this state of revolt, he loses divine friendship, sanctifying grace, and is on his way to Hell should he die in such a state.3

A True “Son of God” Is One Who Keeps the Commandments

The words of the Savior are clear and unequivocal: to love Him as a son loves his father, one must keep His words—that is Faith—and His commandments:

“If you love me, keep my commandments.”

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me.”

“If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words” (John 14:15, 21, 2324).

Does Concern With Morals Hinder Evangelization?

Bishop Barron, apparently angered by the protests caused by his statements, posted a response on his blog titled “Dave Rubin, the Pelvic Issues, and Larry David.”

Referring to Catholic sexual morality in a derogatory fashion as “the pelvic issues” is really shocking. In his view, people who care about moral issues hurt evangelization.

He says, “[T]his preoccupation with ‘the pelvic issues’ has served to undermine the work of evangelization.”

With the qualification that he does not scorn morality, he adds, “But I fear that for so many people in the secular world today, religion is reduced to the policing of sexual behavior, and this is massively unfortunate.”

As far as he is concerned, the Sacred Scriptures are not concerned with sexual morality:

“When you read the great evangelizing texts of the New Testament—the Gospels, the Epistles of Paul, the book of Revelation, etc.—you don’t get the impression that what their authors wanted you primarily to understand is sexual morality.”

Now, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, Saint Paul makes it clear that he is talking sexual morality:

“Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers. Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

Silence on Morality, a Triumph of the Sexual Revolution

Has the silence of the clergy on sexual morals (save for well-deserving exceptions) favored evangelization? On the contrary, one should consider the empty churches and the closure of convents and seminaries for lack of vocations.

This silence has only favored the Sexual Revolution, which keeps advancing and destroying the very foundations and remnants of morality, modesty, and human dignity.

Pope Saint Pius V

In face of the impending threat to Christendom, Pope Saint Pius V convoked a Crusade against the invading Turks. God rewarded his faith with a victory at Lepanto.

Sexual pleasure is more and more idolized, with ominous consequences: destruction of marriage and the family, exaltation of free love, normalization of all forms of sexual aberration; sexual frenzy no longer respects barriers of age, sex and even species, with an increase in zoophilia.

Modesty—that flower of chastity that at the same time embellishes and protects it—has become virtually unknown. The human body is exposed and exploited by all means through fashion, movies, pictures, in an erotic exhibitionism opposed not only to morality but even to human dignity.

Is Christian Perfection Impossible?

Even more surprisingly, Bishop Barron declares that the Bible is ironical and skeptical in relation to “any claim to human perfectibility.” If that were the case, every effort man makes to sanctify himself with the help of grace would be useless. Nor would it make any sense for the Church to have canonized the saints for having practiced virtue to a heroic degree.

Sympathy for an Advocate of Same-Sex “Marriage”

Bishop Barron is entirely at ease with, and praises a journalist who advocates same-sex “marriage”:

“Dave is a stand-up comedian, political satirist” he says, though recognizing that “He is also an advocate of gay marriage.” He adds that “I am very grateful to Dave Rubin for the interview and the opportunity to explore a number of issues related to faith and society.”

The bishop again refers in a derogatory fashion to those concerned with sexual morality:

“I just hope that his viewers can appreciate that there is a lot more to Christianity than the ‘pelvic issues.’

Hell Is Supposedly Empty…

It is scandalous for a bishop to employ the crude and unworthy “pelvic issues” formula to refer to the divine and natural moral laws that condemn all sexual practice outside marriage, and especially those contrary to nature.

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But Bishop Barron’s moral stance is related to his optimistic theory about Hell. Although he is obliged to reject Origen’s theory, condemned by the Church, that at the end of time the reprobates and even demons will be forgiven,4 he adopts its veiled form, espoused by Hans Urs von Balthasar:

“My own conviction is that Balthasar has this more or less right. Catholic doctrine is that Hell exists, but yet the Church has never claimed to know if any human being is actually in Hell.”

For Bishop Barron, “Hell” or “Gehenna” are “spatial metaphors.” He concludes with a formula very close to Origen’s heresy:

“The divine love, freely rejected, results in suffering. And yet, we may, indeed we should, hope that God’s grace will, in the end, wear down even the most recalcitrant sinner.”

Now, if Hell is purely metaphorical and “in the end” all sinners will be saved by grace no matter what state they die in, why worry about what he contemptuously calls “pelvic issues”?

Morality loses all its meaning, as does the notion of sin and offense to God.

Unfortunately, with his statements, the popular apologist has discouraged those opposed to same-sex “marriage” and created confusion about the very foundations of morality.

If a Catholic Politician Has to Resist Same-Sex “Marriage” Why Not a Bishop?

In June 3, 2003, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published the document CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS, signed by then-Cardinal Ratzinger.

The document is emphatic in the necessity to oppose same-sex “marriage” laws.

In n. 5, Section II it states:

“In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty.”

And in Section IV of the document, with guidance for Catholic Politicians, the document insists:

“When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known; it is his duty to witness to the truth.”

If that is the obligation of a layman, a Catholic politician, what to say of the obligation of a Bishop that, by his own office is a guardian of the faith and morals?

Updated February 9, 2017.

Footnotes

  1. Cf. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYWBNMOCrlo, at 13.9 minutes and sequence. All emphasis added.
  2. He made this statement at the interview with Bishop Barron. Cf. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYWBNMOCrlo, at 12 minutes and sequence.
  3. “A mortal sin is one which deprives the soul of sanctifying grace and makes it deserving of hell.” Msgr. Giuseppe Graneris, Sin (Actual), in Roberti-Palazzini, Dictionary of Moral Theology, p. 1134.
  4. Council of Constantinople II, 553, Canon 9. “If anyone says or holds that the punishment of the demons and of impious men is temporary, and that it will have an end at some time, that is to say, there will be a complete restoration of the demons or of impious men, let him be anathema.” (Denzinger, 211).

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  • GoldenRudy

    So, is Baron one of those referred to in the released e-mails between Podesta and Palmieri last year? Seems so.

  • Donald Smock

    Needless to say there exists the very REAL possibility that Bishop Bobby has a little sugar in his britches TOO ergo the extreme reluctance ” to get on a crusader’s tank and try to reverse that.” [Talk about mixed metaphors – geesh – “crusader’s tank” ???]

  • Peccatori

    We are all sinners, and yet we are all adopted sons and daughters of God. Our disobedience, through Concupisence does not cause God to revoke our status as son or daughter. It does mean that He will allow the consequences of our free choices to impose upon us who sin. So those who are homosexual are sons and daughters, who have removed themselves from the blessings of the Father, just like the prodigal son, just like the rest of us sinners. The only way to regain the blessing is to repent and come back to the arms of the Father.

  • Maria Spano Barbiero

    Don’t forget TWO THOUSANDS YEARS AND GOING,since JESUS CHRIST was Persecuted and Killed . Our Church was and will be Persecuted !By HIS Oun .And like the past POPES they were Persecuted and even tried to be Killed !! Nobody’s until this day destroyed and no matter what nobody will .We are under the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.Pope FRANCIS never said he supports gay marriage ,He doesn’t want one world order,He supports LOVE and PEACE in the world .And that’s what Jesus Christ SAY,!! This is the manipulated work of SATAN .And nobody whant to realize .That if you don’t trust the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD ! Satan desire is to bring Catholics with him in the smoking section ! And I read so many CATHOLICS that they are anticatholic , PEACE .

  • Edward J Baker

    If there is any doubt about the intrinsic willful evil of homosexuality, then how do we account for the fact that there is almost universal consensus among homosexuals that they favor the slaughter of the unborn?

  • Chris Lilly

    When it comes to Catholic faith, morals and truth there can be no equivocation. False compassion, permissive attitudes and popular theology do not save souls. Even in Chapter Eight of The Gospel of Saint when confronted by the Pharisees and Scribes with the adulteress Christ told her ” Go thy way, and from now on sin no more.”

  • Zephaniah

    We should continue to oppose … error has no rights and there is no merit in capitulating to sin.

  • Gardener8

    Bishop Barron’s statements are so distressing. Our leaders are supposed to show the way to
    salvation and not to lead astray.

  • Pamela

    This breaks my heart. I had heard Michael Voris many times say that Bishop Baron was misleading people about the reality of hell by saying everyone has a “reasonable chance” of going to heaven. But I still gave the bishop the benefit of the doubt … after all, his Catholicism series is what helped me find my way back to my faith. Maybe he was being taken out of context on the hell teaching, I thought. And now this. We must — MUST — pray for our clergy. Lord have mercy on them and strengthen them against evil. Now more than ever.

  • Yan

    Yeah…I’m all for mercy. But this just seems to be a mistake. The body belongs to God, and is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

    I know we want to bend over backwards to allow every possible chance for sinners to come to the truth and follow God, and thus we want to avoid what amounts to closing the door in their faces before they even have the opportunity to hear what we have to say. But I think that we can’t really de-emphasize the importance of personal holiness as we do so. And it seems that the Bishop is effectively doing this by de-emphasizing the importance of sexual immorality to those that would choose to live the Christian life.

    I am no bishop and I give the man all respect. But I humbly register my disagreement with him on this point.

  • Maria Spano Barbiero

    JESUS CHRIST ,say love the sinner ,hate the SIN ! But as his followers , when a sin is a sin . WE have the courage to speak that is a sin . Even if we LOSE their friendship .. Bishop Barron ,his first Prayority is to save SOULS ,not to Destroy . PRAYERS , NEEDED for all .

  • Dina S. Luke

    Friends at TFP, the bishop’s comments are all true. The very first thing people should know is that God loves them (Do you think the prostitutes and sinners that Christ ate with, heard or felt anything other than complete love by Christ?). With that said, I image Christ pointed the way to salvation…towards a much better life than what they were currently living (e.g. the woman at the well). Fr. Barron, as well as all other priests, must make sure they reveal to us the beauty and rightness of God’s will. But how do they do that? Even Pope Benedict XIV kindly entered into dialogue with an atheist who slammed his papacy. He complimented his analysis, made it clear where they agreed and where they were different, then asked the athiest to ponder other questions he had left out. The athiest responded with gratitute and humility, and recognized that they were both focused on what is truth.

    Barron said he personally wouldn’t pursue things legally, but that doesn’t preclude any of us Catholics to pursue things legally. But sometimes God puts you in a position to speak as Christ dining with sinners, or as a gentle physician, and other times He places you in position to set straight the non-hardened sinner with firm correction. But anyone who follows Bishop Barron knows he recognizes the homosexual act as sadly disordered away from the perfection of God’s loving design for us.

    • Paulette Duncan

      Thank you Dina, we are so quick to jump on the band wagon and become too judgemental. Love covers a multitude of sins. Mother Teresa now Saint, said if we spend our time judging others, we find no time to love. Aggression worsens hate, love conquers and convert the most hardened of hearts. the best approach to conversion/evangelization is a soft answer, because it is so attractive and magnetic.

      Thanks Dina, stay positive.

  • bob horning

    I watched the interview with David Rubin. Has anyone else?
    Many of the comments in the article above are taken out of context of the whole discussion. Bishop Barron is a faithful bishop and did a good job of presenting the gospel and Church teaching. He just wasn’t going to get caught up with only talking about sex and gay marriage, etc. He presented himself in a way that will help people see that Catholics aren’t sitting on high judging everyone and everything; rather, that God wants to enter into a relationship with them.

    • Holly

      The problem is not too many priests or bishops are teaching from the bible.

      • bob horning

        You may be right, Holly. I’ve never seen a study done on that.
        I’m lucky that in our diocese (Lansing, MI), we have a lot of orthodox,
        passionate, dedicated priests. And a lot of them are young.

    • Paulette Duncan

      Thanks Bob Horning, the devil seeks to divide and conquer and we are all too willing to aid him. Rely on the Holy Spirit and the Church to give guidance. A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. Christ has always protected his Church and has not stop doing so… Have faith ppl….for the gates of hell cannot prevail against the Church. All priests and the Pope

    • Dina S. Luke

      I agree, Bob, thank you!

      I think going to the source – and discerning the interview with our own judegment is always important.

  • Strivetoenter

    This bishop has a malformed conscience and needs many prayers.

    • Donald Smock

      …MORE THAN PRAYERS – HE NEEDS A GOOD SWIFT KICK IN THE POSTERIOR !

  • PlanetJuggler

    Thank you for this. I find it ironic that the same website (Aleteia) that published Bishop Barron’s “clarification” regarding his interview and anti-opposition view toward gay “marriage” is the same website that published Pope Francis’s statement that “you can’t dialogue with the devil” just a few days later.

    Maybe Bishop Barron should list to Pope Francis more, and follow his example of opposition to legalized gay “marriage” that the Pope exercised while a bishop in Argentina.

  • TJ

    Bishop Barron gained a lot of popularity (and well deserved) with his “Catholic” series. But popularity can sometimes be an impediment when doing the work of Christ.

  • Martha

    We live in a sick society where right is wrong and wrong is right. Everyone keep praying – it’s our only hope!

    • Donald Smock

      I agree 100% – it often appears that things are turned topsy-turvy, and also IT WOULD BE VERY DIFFICULT TO OVERSTATE THE POWER OF PRAYER !

  • Ted

    So, when Bishop Barron comes before the judgement seat of God, which he surely will, as we all will, what should he expect to hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant…”? Know that the shepherds will be held to a much stricter criteria. How many will lose their faith or fall into sin because of what this bishop said one can only imagine The erosion of the Faith goes on, live and well, in the American Catholic Church. If you can’t beat ’em (secular America}, join ’em.

  • Salvatore Buttaci

    The danger lies in the false assumption that we must all share the gift of compassion, but many have taken that compassion a step beyond the person to the sin the person commits. Jesus teaches us to love everyone, but where in the Bible does He tell us to love sin? God instituted marriage between a man and a woman. So to say that everyone should love whom they want to love is wrong on two levels: 1. We are to love everyone! and 2. We are morally restricted from practicing the act of sexual love with anyone except with those of the opposite sex within a Church-approved wedding. I am sorry to say that Bishop Barron has pushed aside Truth in order to hop on the Compassion train that society expects us all to ride.

    • PlanetJuggler

      Many bishops are hesitant to sit down with faithful Catholics, while going out of their way to sit down with heretics, dissenters, and enemies of the Church. Unfortunately, it is not done in the same way that Christ sat down and ate with sinners – in order to correct and heal them; it is done with the air of apologizing for the Church being “so strict” and “judgmental”.

      Our Lady of Fatima warned us about these priests and bishops who would populate hell for their lack of faith in shepherding. We must pray for them to turn around and “man up”.

      • Donald Smock

        agreed, BUT don’t hold your breath either

    • Frankiedoodle

      The engineer on the Compassion train is satan himself.

      • Donald Smock

        good saying !

    • Donald Smock

      He would do well e.g. to familiarize himself with the brilliant work of Catholic writer & Professor Janet Smith,especially The Right to Privacy, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2008). In the book she traces the strange devolution of how several hot-button issues – including gay so-called marriage – went from criminal behavior to enshrined “rights” in just a few short decades, the HOW and WHY these horrendous events happened in America !

  • gespin3549

    This guy is dangerous.

  • Phyllis D. Campbell

    I totally disagree with B. Baron. You cannot go against God’s law no matter what the trend is. Hate the sin, love the sinner!!

  • Holly

    When the pope made the statement ” a personal relationship with Jesus was dangerous” I knew game over for the church. Keep praying the rosary

    • 3indigo13

      Holly I am interested in following up on this. Where can I see that statement made by the Pope? I too am concerned about the way things seem to be headed in the Vatican. Thank you

      • Holly

        If you google that statement from pope Francis it should come up. I’m not sure how to attach the video to my response with you.

        • Pamela

          Holly, I just Googled it and found what was apparently an anti-Catholic video with the Pope making this quote. He actually said that a personal relationship with Jesus is dangerous OUTSIDE of the Roman Catholic Church — and with that, I must agree! Protestants do not have the fullness of the faith; they are heretics and are leading people away from Jesus’ truth. Don’t get me wrong — I am extremely wary of this Pope; he has shocked me and let me down more times than I can count. But on this particular matter, I think he is spot-on.

          • Holly

            I have to be honest. I never was a fan of the Vatican. After the priest pedophile stuff came out and I saw how they handled I just don’t trust them. Francis has said some strange things. Gay marriage OK? I do go to church weekly and pray the rosary regularly. There have been some evil popes in RC history. In the end it’s between me and God/Jesus. I don’t need the pope. If he keeps promoting a one world religion, which I think he’ll be leading up to, I hope people wake up and run.

      • Holly

        I pasted the video but I guess the moderators on this site don’t agree with it. GOOGLE it

    • Maria Spano Barbiero

      Holly , sorry but I am following POPE FRANCIS ,in the Italian station every day , when he as the audience ,and the rest ,I never heard him saying that.. another thing Be careful because with the new technology .They are doing a good job to manipulate the world.Trust the HOLY SPIRIT Of GOD ,not the world one . PEACE.

      • Timoteo S Honesto

        I second the motion, his words are sometimes also lost in translation. So in agreement, trust the Spirit, NOT the world! A’HO!

        • Holly

          In 2013 Francis said atheists could go to heaven. Remember that one? Don’t take my word for it. Look at the sources from the internet. God Bless

  • NCMike

    Does anyone truly believe that this kind of cowardice by a bishop is what Jesus expects of his shepherds? Our clergy is clearly bereft of courageous leaders willing to be martyrs. May God bless courageous clergy like Cardinal Burke. I pray that Bishop Barron sees the light and repents before he must explain himself to Our Blessed Lord.

  • EnemyoftheState

    Another false shepherd leading souls to hell. Another servant of antiChrist. ICHABOD

    • Mom442

      Indeed! Another JUDAS!