Bishop Schneider: Cry to God that Pope Francis may convert and retract approval of civil unions
Press Release | Bishop Athanasius Schneider
The Catholic Faith in the voice of the perennial Magisterium, the sense of the faith of the faithful (sensus fidelium) as well as common sense clearly reject any civil union of two persons of the same sex, a union which has the aim that these persons seek sexual pleasure from each other. Even if persons living in such unions should not engage in mutual sexual pleasure — which in reality has been shown to be quite unrealistic — such unions represent a great scandal, a public recognition of sins of fornication against nature and a continuous proximate occasion of sin. Those who advocate same-sex civil unions are therefore also culpable of creating a kind of structure of sin, in this case of the juridical structure of habitual fornication against nature, since homosexual acts belong to sins which cry to heaven, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church says (see n. 1867). Those who advocate same-sex civil unions are ultimately unjust and even cruel against those persons who are living in these unions, because these persons will be confirmed in mortal sin, they will be solidified in their interior psychological dichotomy, since their reason tells them, that homosexual acts are against reason and against the explicit will of God, the Creator and Redeemer of men.
Every true Catholic, every true Catholic priest, every true Catholic bishop must with deep sorrow and a weeping heart regret and protest against the unheard fact, that Pope Francis, the Roman Pontiff, the successor of the apostle Peter, the Vicar of Christ on earth, uttered in the documentary film “Francesco” that premiered on October 21st 2020 as part of the Rome Film Festival his support for civil same-sex unions. Such support of the pope means support for a structure of sin, for a lifestyle against the sixth Commandment of the Decalogue, which was written with the fingers of God on stone tables on Sinai (see Ex. 31:18) and delivered by the hands of Angels to men (see Gal. 3:19). What God has written with His hand, even a pope cannot erase nor rewrite with his hand or with his tongue. The Pope cannot behave as if he were God or an incarnation of Jesus Christ, modifying these words of the Lord: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Mt 5:27-28) and instead of this say, more or less, the following: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’, ‘if a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination’ (Lev. 20:13), ‘men who practice homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God’ (1 Cor. 6:9); ‘the practice of homosexuality is contrary to sound doctrine’ (1 Tim. 1:10). But I say to you that for persons who feel same-sex attraction “we have to create a civil union law. That way they are legally covered”.
Every Shepherd of the Church and the Pope above all should always remind others of these serious words of Our Lord: “Anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5:19). Every pope has to take very much to heart what the First Vatican Council proclaimed: “The Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might make known new doctrine, but that by His assistance they might inviolably keep and faithfully expound Revelation, the Deposit of Faith, delivered through the Apostles.” (Dogmatic Constitution Pastor aeternus, chap. 4)
The advocating of a legal union so that a lifestyle against the explicit Commandment of God, against human nature and against human reason will be legally covered, is a new doctrine, which “sews cushions under every elbow and makes pillows for the heads of persons” (Ez. 13:18), a new doctrine that “perverts the grace of our God into sexual pleasure” (Jude 4), a doctrine which is evidently against Divine Revelation and the perennial teaching of the Church of all times. Such a doctrine is scheming with sin, and is therefore a most anti-pastoral measure. To promote a juridical lifestyle of sin is against the core of the Gospel itself, since persons in same-sex unions through their sexual acts grievously offend God. Our Lady of Fatima made the maternal appeal to all humanity to stop offending God, who is already too much offended.
The following voice of the Magisterium, is faithfully echoing the voice of Jesus Christ, Our Divine Master, the Eternal Truth, and the voice of the Church and the popes of all times:
“Civil law cannot contradict right reason without losing its binding force on conscience.” (cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Evangelium vitae, 72)
“Laws in favor of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex. Given the values at stake in this question, the State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons, n. 6)
“It might be asked how a law can be contrary to the common good if it does not impose any particular kind of behavior, but simply gives legal recognition to a de facto reality which does not seem to cause injustice to anyone. In this area, one needs first to reflect on the difference between homosexual behavior as a private phenomenon and the same behavior as a relationship in society, foreseen and approved by the law, to the point where it becomes one of the institutions in the legal structure. This second phenomenon is not only more serious, but also assumes a more far-reaching and profound influence, and would result in changes to the entire organization of society, contrary to the common good. Civil laws are structuring principles of man’s life in society, for good or for ill. They “play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behavior”. Lifestyles and the underlying presuppositions these express not only externally shape the life of society, but also tend to modify the younger generation’s perception and evaluation of forms of behavior. Legal recognition of homosexual unions would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage.” (ibid.)
“Sexual relations are human when and insofar as they express and promote the mutual assistance of the sexes in marriage and are open to the transmission of new life.” (ibid., n. 7)
“By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts arbitrarily and in contradiction with its duties.” (ibid., n. 8)
“The denial of the social and legal status of marriage to forms of cohabitation that are not and cannot be marital is not opposed to justice; on the contrary, justice requires it. There are good reasons for holding that such unions are harmful to the proper development of human society, especially if their impact on society were to increase.” (ibid.)
“It would be gravely unjust to sacrifice the common good and just laws on the family in order to protect personal goods that can and must be guaranteed in ways that do not harm the body of society” (ibid., n. 9)
There is always “a danger that legislation which would make homosexuality a basis for entitlements could actually encourage a person with a homosexual orientation to declare his homosexuality or even to seek a partner in order to exploit the provisions of the law” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Some considerations concerning the response to legislative proposals on the non-discrimination of homosexual persons, July 24, 1992, n. 14)
All Catholics whether they be lay faithful as little children, as young men and young women, as fathers and mothers of family, or as consecrated persons, as cloistered nuns, as priests and as bishops, are inviolably keeping and “fighting for the faith which was once and for ever delivered to the Saints,” (Jude 3), and who are for this reason despised and marginalized at the periphery in the life of the Church of our days, should weep and cry to God that, through the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who in Fatima said that people should stop offending God, who is already too offended, Pope Francis may convert and retract formally his approval for the civil same-sex unions, in order to confirm his brethren, as the Lord has commanded him (see Luke 22:32).
All these little ones in the Church (children, young men, young women, fathers and mothers of family, cloistered nuns, priests, bishops) would surely say to Pope Francis: Most Holy Father, for the sake of the salvation of your own immortal soul, for the sake of the souls of all those persons who through your approval of the same-sex unions are by their sexual acts grievously offending God and exposing their souls to the danger to be eternally lost, convert, retract your approval and proclaim with all your predecessors the following unchangeable teaching of the Church:
“The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons, n. 11)
“Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.” (ibid., n. 11)
By the incredible approval of same-sex unions through the pope, all the true children of the Church feel like orphans, no more hearing the clear and unambiguous voice of the Pope, who should inviolably keep and faithfully expound Revelation, the Deposit of Faith, delivered through the Apostles.
The true children of the Church of our days might use these words of Psalm 137, saying: We feel as if in exile, by the rivers of Babylon, weeping when remembering Zion, when remembering the luminous and crystal-clear teaching of the popes, of our Holy Mother Church. Yet we unshakably believe in the words of Our Lord, that the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church. The Lord will come, even if He will come late, only in the fourth watch of the night, to calm the storm within the Church, to calm the storm within the papacy of our days, and He will say: “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid. O you of little faith, why did you doubt? And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.” (Mt. 14:27;32-33) Our Lord will say also to Pope Francis: “For what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and suffers the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.” (Mt. 16:26-27); and Our Lord will say in addition to Pope Francis: “I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and that once you have converted, you must strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32)
October 22, 2020
+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana