As the year ended, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago likened the homosexual movement’s decision to hold a parade passing right in front of a parish church during Mass time to old anti-Catholic demonstrations by the Ku-Klux-Klan.1
When the homosexual movement reacted, the Cardinal explained his statement in several ways, excusing himself for the comparison.2
Homosexual Movement Instrumentalizes Cardinal’s Statements
Several Catholic commentators have disagreed with the recanting and emphasized the seriousness of a statement attributed to the illustrious archbishop in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. This statement suggests that Catholic doctrine regarding homosexual practice can change.3
Indeed, reporter Manya A. Brachear transcribed the words of the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago as follows:
[Cardinal] George said although church teaching does not judge same-sex relationships as morally acceptable, it does encourage the faithful to “respect everyone.”
“The question is, ‘Does respect mean that we have to change our teaching?’ That’s an ongoing discussion, of course. … I still go back to the fact that these are people we know and love and are part of our families. That’s the most important point right now.”4
Did the journalist transcribe the words by the eminent prelate incorrectly? Was it an oversight by the Cardinal as he formulated his answer?
Be it as it may, what is certain is that the Cardinal’s words are emboldening Catholics who dissent from Catholic morals regarding homosexual practice.
For example, Francis DeBernardo, of New Ways Ministry, a dissident movement condemned by the American bishops,5 hastily interpreted those words as a possible change in the Church’s position. In an article titled, “Another Nugget of Gold From Cardinal George’s Apology,” after quoting the Cardinal’s words, he says,
The “nugget of gold” here is the statement, “That’s an ongoing discussion, of course.” Usually when prelates say anything about the possibility of changing church teaching, the message is “Absolutely not. There’s no way the teaching can be changed.” (Of course, the “teaching” referred to is the disapproval of same-sex relationships.)
And he concludes:
As we stated yesterday, we hope that Cardinal George’s apology is the first step toward greater reconciliation between the LGBT community and the Catholic hierarchy. Today we add the hope that this moment will also be the first step toward greater acknowledgement and possibility that ongoing discussion can move church teaching forward.
Based on Divine and Natural Law, Catholic Morals Cannot Change
Since it is based on natural law and on the divine Law expressed in the Scriptures and in Tradition, Catholic doctrine regarding the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts cannot change.
In a document of June 3, 2003 titled “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons,” the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is entirely clear in this regard:
Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts “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” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2357).
Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts “as a serious depravity… (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10).6
The constant onslaught of the homosexual movement, supported by the media, seeks to impose its ideology and destroy natural and revealed morals. One must carefully avoid any slip up that might favor that offensive.
- Cardinal Francis George Warns That Chicago Gay Pride Parade Might ‘Morph Into Ku Klux Klan’, Updated: Friday, 23 Dec 2011, 11:52 AM CST, Published : Wednesday, 21 Dec 2011, 4:36 PM CST, http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/metro/cardinal-francis-george-compares-chicago-gay-lesbian-pride-parade-ku-klux-klan-20111221.
- Cf. Matt C. Abbott, The cardinal’s apology, January 7, 2012, http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/120107
- Cf. Matt C. Abbott, cit.; Laurie Higgins, Cultural Analyst – Illinois Family Institute, Cardinal George’s Troubling Apology, 1/7/2012 2:45:00 PM, http://www.illinoisfamily.org/news/contentview.asp?c=35481.
- Cf. Deacon Keith Fournier, “U.S. Bishops Condemn Homosexual Activist ‘New Ways Ministry’ and Warn the Faithful,” 2/6/2010, Catholic Online (www.catholic.org), http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=35364.