Monday, 19 March 2012

Bishop Robinson and Australia's pink mafia

Thanks to those who have drawn my attention to reports on Bishop Robinson's US trip and speech.

I have to admit I've been ignoring the latest reports of retired Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Robinson's speech at a Homosexualist Conference in the States in the hope that it wouldn't get a serious run in the media.

No such luck.

The bishop's ravings didn't make the mainstream media.  Instead it is just being showcased by the usual suspects masquerading as catholics in Australia and the US.

Tired old liberal heresies

I'm not going to bother to address his arguments in detail: they are, as far as I can gather, the same tired old message that the Church needs to abandon her traditional teachings on sexuality.

We all know the correct answer: the Church is not at liberty to do this!

Instead let me echo Fr Tim Finigan's UK call in the Australian context: My Lords, we're ready for that pastoral letter on the homosexual condition now! 

Yeah, I'm not holding my breath!

You would have thought the spate of abuse accusations would have led to a renewed emphasis on the Church's traditional teachings on the subject of sexuality more generally.  As yet, however, no such renewal has occurred, and the Church continues instead to deal (often rather badly) with symptoms rather than causes.

Unfortunately, the hard reality is that Australian Church has long since been utterly compromised by the pink mafia and thus neutered on this subject, with many dioceses still habouring nests of vipers amongst its priests.

There is one strong voice speaking up for the Universal Church however. 

So let's consider what the Pope had to say to the US Bishops on this subject during their ad limina visit on March 9.

The Pope on the defense of the Church's teachings on sexuality

"...I would like to discuss another serious issue which you raised with me during my Pastoral Visit to America, namely, the contemporary crisis of marriage and the family, and, more generally, of the Christian vision of human sexuality. It is in fact increasingly evident that a weakened appreciation of the indissolubility of the marriage covenant, and the widespread rejection of a responsible, mature sexual ethic grounded in the practice of chastity, have led to grave societal problems bearing an immense human and economic cost.

Yet, as Blessed John Paul II observed, the future of humanity passes by way of the family (cf. Familiaris Consortio, 85). Indeed, “the good that the Church and society as a whole expect from marriage and from the family founded on marriage is so great as to call for full pastoral commitment to this particular area. Marriage and the family are institutions that must be promoted and defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature, since whatever is injurious to them is injurious to society itself” (Sacramentum Caritatis, 29).

In this regard, particular mention must be made of the powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage. The Church’s conscientious effort to resist this pressure calls for a reasoned defense of marriage as a natural institution consisting of a specific communion of persons, essentially rooted in the complementarity of the sexes and oriented to procreation. Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage. Defending the institution of marriage as a social reality is ultimately a question of justice, since it entails safeguarding the good of the entire human community and the rights of parents and children alike.

In our conversations, some of you have pointed with concern to the growing difficulties encountered in communicating the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family in its integrity, and to a decrease in the number of young people who approach the sacrament of matrimony. Certainly we must acknowledge deficiencies in the catechesis of recent decades, which failed at times to communicate the rich heritage of Catholic teaching on marriage as a natural institution elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament, the vocation of Christian spouses in society and in the Church, and the practice of marital chastity. This teaching, stated with increasing clarity by the post-conciliar magisterium and comprehensively presented in both the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, needs to be restored to its proper place in preaching and catechetical instruction.

On the practical level, marriage preparation programs must be carefully reviewed to ensure that there is greater concentration on their catechetical component and their presentation of the social and ecclesial responsibilities entailed by Christian marriage. In this context we cannot overlook the serious pastoral problem presented by the widespread practice of cohabitation, often by couples who seem unaware that it is gravely sinful, not to mention damaging to the stability of society. I encourage your efforts to develop clear pastoral and liturgical norms for the worthy celebration of matrimony which embody an unambiguous witness to the objective demands of Christian morality, while showing sensitivity and concern for young couples...

In this great pastoral effort there is an urgent need for the entire Christian community to recover an appreciation of the virtue of chastity. The integrating and liberating function of this virtue (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2338-2343) should be emphasized by a formation of the heart, which presents the Christian understanding of sexuality as a source of genuine freedom, happiness and the fulfilment of our fundamental and innate human vocation to love. It is not merely a question of presenting arguments, but of appealing to an integrated, consistent and uplifting vision of human sexuality. The richness of this vision is more sound and appealing than the permissive ideologies exalted in some quarters; these in fact constitute a powerful and destructive form of counter-catechesis for the young.

Young people need to encounter the Church’s teaching in its integrity, challenging and countercultural as that teaching may be; more importantly, they need to see it embodied by faithful married couples who bear convincing witness to its truth. They also need to be supported as they struggle to make wise choices at a difficult and confusing time in their lives. Chastity, as the Catechism reminds us, involves an ongoing “apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom” (2339). In a society which increasingly tends to misunderstand and even ridicule this essential dimension of Christian teaching, young people need to be reassured that “if we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, absolutely nothing, of what makes life free, beautiful and great” (Homily, Inaugural Mass of the Pontificate, 24 April 2005).

Let me conclude by recalling that all our efforts in this area are ultimately concerned with the good of children, who have a fundamental right to grow up with a healthy understanding of sexuality and its proper place in human relationships. Children are the greatest treasure and the future of every society: truly caring for them means recognizing our responsibility to teach, defend and live the moral virtues which are the key to human fulfillment. It is my hope that the Church in the United States, however chastened by the events of the past decade, will persevere in its historic mission of educating the young and thus contribute to the consolidation of that sound family life which is the surest guarantee of intergenerational solidarity and the health of society as a whole.


R J said...

Thank you for this particularly important blog post. Not only have the local "authorities" failed once again to take firm action against the egregious Robinson; but I haven't noticed them busting a gut to close down the "Acceptance" shenanigans in the Sydney suburb of Newtown, either.

(Weirdly, the Lenten programme there includes - according to the relevant website - a "reconciliation service". Since I presume that "reconciliation" is again being used as PC-speak for "confession", I wonder what conceivable form could confessions take with that lot? "Bless me father, for I have sinned, I am a heterosexual who sent a donation to Bob Katter's campaign fund"?)

What a pity the SSPX bishops aren't of the Pink Mafia persuasion. Think of the red-carpet treatment they'd be getting if they were ...

SPWang said...

The best thing about all this is that that generation is breathing it's last and they know it.
2025 can't come quick enough.

A Canberra Observer said...

Robinson is a shameless disgrace. And as for National 'Catholic' Reporter and CathNews, well they just lap this stuff up.

Antonia Romanesca said...

“The best thing about all this is that that generation is breathing it's last and they know it.” ~~~~ We have noticed that the extravagantly lavender ‘chaps’ encountered in the Catholic clergy in Aust. all seem to be in their late 60s or in their 70s. One imagines that by their 80s, they tend to get too old for it? Obviously with this sort of tinge, which one understands approves of sodomy as a ‘legitimate form of sexual expression’, there is a huge moral problem for the Church, as there is for observant Muslims and the majority of Jewry [ie Orthodox and Conservative].
Leaving the moral problem aside [which has to be monumental] there is also the practical aspect that young, healthy, well adjusted hetero couples find homosexuality puzzling and very hard to make relevant to their own lives. In my experience, young people and young couples, still consider homosexuality to be an affliction; believing that homosexuals should never be persecuted but rather treated compassionately. On the other hand, they, in my experience, much resent being railroaded into believing homosexuality is an equivalent of heterosexuality. They are also perfectly aware that if they say what they feel, they will be [politically] beaten up.

Antonia Romanesca said...

continued from above post: Certainly, it seems true to say that the history of those who march to the beat of the lavender drum, within the Australian Catholic clergy, is yet to be written. Sociologists may do this, in time? One finds it hard to believe that homosexual male networking within the clergy, is exactly the same as ditto networking within the world of the arts, for eg. What outcomes do we have, within the Church, from homosexual networking, one might well ask.

SCEcclesia said...

Thanks for the extended quotation from BXVI, Kate. I had missed this. The emphasis on "chastity" - marital and extra-marital - as the foundation of a mature sexual ethic is so amazingly counter-cultural, but very helpful as a way to move forward in this discussion.