With Pope Francis’s approval, on February 22, the feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a Responsum to a dubium regarding the blessing of a same-sex union.
The dubium received at the Dicastery read: “Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?”
The Congregation’s answer was: “Negative.”1
In its simplicity, the answer could not be more straightforward. The Church does not have the power to go against divine law by blessing a state of grave sin.
There Are No “Positive Elements” in a Sinful Relationship
The Congregation gives the reasons for that denial in an Explanatory Note. Unfortunately, parts of the explanation sow doubt and confusion. For example, the Note mentions a “presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated.”
This is wrong. A sinful relationship’s evil end vitiates any “positive elements.”
Fr. Royo Marín, O.P., writes, “Whether or not it is an action’s sole purpose, a GRAVELY evil end corrupts totally or partially an action that is good in itself.”2
In their turn, Lanza-Palazzini affirm that a bad end “is also capable of gutting [an action] of all value when it deviates it from the ideal to which it should be directed.”3
Therefore, one cannot speak of “positive elements” in a homosexual or adulterous relationship because the friendship and mutual help such situations might include are not being used according to their natural purpose, which is to further the practice of virtue. Instead, they stabilize the individuals involved in their habit of sin. They are vitiated, therefore, by the sinful situation in which they are inserted.
Liberal Revolt, Moderate Conservative Satisfaction
The Church’s liberal sectors erupted in revolt as soon as the Pope Francis-approved Responsum was published. Cardinals, bishops, and priests from around the world rose up against it. One example is Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, the archbishop of Vienna.4 He stated: “I was not happy about the declaration.” An association of 350 Austrian priests issued a statement titled, “Call to Disobedience 2.0,” saying “they will continue blessing same-sex unions.”5
Some conservative sectors showed restraint in their satisfaction with the Responsum since Pope Francis’s gestures favoring homosexual sin over the years—for example his call for the legalization of homosexual civil unions—contradict it.
Pope Francis ‘Guts’ the Responsum
The reasons for this conservative reticence were justified barely a month after the Responsum’s publication when, with one more of his frequent symbolic gestures, Pope Francis gutted it.
Indeed, on March 24, a Holy See press release announced the appointment of a notorious homosexual, Juan Carlos Cruz, as a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.6
Media around the world announced the news with big headlines. On March 25, LifeSiteNews reported, “Pope appoints open homosexual to Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.”7 The National Catholic Register headlined: “Pope Francis Appoints Juan Carlos Cruz to Pontifical Commission for Protecting Minors.”8
For its part, Infovaticana’s title insinuated that the Argentine Pope’s symbolic gesture was half expected: “[Is it] The Gesture They Were Waiting for?” The article begins by saying: “Francis appoints Juan Carlos Cruz, a recognized homosexual very critical of the Doctrine of the Faith’s document on same-sex unions, as member of a Pontifical Commission.”9
Other media outlets also pointed out the connection between this appointment and the CDF document.
A Homosexual Opposed to the CDF’s Responsum
Who is Juan Carlos Cruz?
Elisabetta Piqué, an Argentine journalist linked to Pope Francis, reports: “Very close to the pope, Cruz is gay and one of the victims of sexual abuse by Chilean priest Fernando Karadima, convicted in 2011. Cruz fought to obtain justice and met Francis in 2018 at the Vatican.”10
According to this journalist, Cruz harshly criticized the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Responsum on blessing same-sex “couples.” He declared to the Buenos Aires daily La Nación: “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and especially its prefects, are completely in a world of their own, away from people and trying to defend the indefensible. We see this in the slowness with which the crimes of abuse are dealt with, their lack of humanity and knowledge of people’s suffering, so contrary to Pope Francis.”11
In a 2018 BBC interview, the same Juan Carlos Cruz stated that after complaining to Pope Francis in a Vatican conversation that some churchmen considered him to be in the state of sin for being homosexual, the pope had said: “[Y]ou have to understand that God made you this way and he loves you, and the pope loves you and you have to love yourself.”12
Increasing Confusion in the Church
The misleading Pope Francis-approved Explanatory Note, followed by the appointment of a notorious homosexual (defender of same-sex “marriage”) to a Pontifical Commission charged with protecting children from sexual abuse, increases the confusion in the Church about a sin that “cries out to heaven for vengeance.”13
These remarks are not personal. They are inspired only by fidelity to Catholic doctrine and true charity, which consists of wanting our fellow men to have the good of God’s grace, which is impossible without the truth. The spiritual work of mercy to fraternally correct those who err moves us to call attention to Pope Francis’s errors. Its sole motive is love for the Church and the papacy.14
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Responsumof the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to a dubium regarding the blessing of the unions of persons of the same sex,” Vatican, Feb. 22, 2021, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20210222_responsum-dubium-unioni_en.html#.
- Antonio Royo Marin, O.P., Teología Moral Para Seglares: Moral Fundamental y Especial, ch. 2, art. 4, q. 94, no. 6, accessed Mar. 31, 2021, https://www.mercaba.org/MORAL/ROYO/064-083_EL_ACTO_MORAL.htm. (Emphasis in the original.)
- Lanza-P. Palazzini, Moral General, vol. 1, Principios de Teologia Moral(Madrid: Ediciones Rialp, S.A., 1958), 144.
- David McLoone, “Cardinal opposes Church’s ban on blessing same-sex unions: ‘I was not happy about the declaration,’” LifeSiteNews, Mar. 25, 2021, https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-opposes-churchs-ban-on-blessing-same-sex-unions-i-was-not-happy-about-the-declaration.
- Marco Tosatti, “Austria. 350 Preti: ‘Continueremo a Benedire le Coppie Omosessuali.’” Stilum Curiae, Mar. 17, 2021, https://www.marcotosatti.com/2021/03/17/austria-350-preti-continueremo-a-benedire-le-coppie-omosessuali/.
- “Resignations and Appointments, 24.03.2021,” Holy See Press Office, accessed Apr. 1, 2021, https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2021/03/24/210324d.html.
- David McLoone, “Pope appoints open homosexual to Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors,” LifeSiteNews, Mar. 25, 2021, https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-appoints-open-homosexual-to-pontifical-commission-for-the-protection-of-minors.
- Courtney Mares, “Pope Francis Appoints Juan Carlos Cruz to Pontifical Commission for Protecting Minors,” National Catholic Register, Mar. 24, 2021, https://www.ncregister.com/cna/pope-francis-appoints-juan-carlos-cruz-to-pontifical-commission-for-protecting-minors.
- Fernando Beltrán, “¿El gesto que estaban esperando?” InfoVaticana, Mar. 24, 2021, https://infovaticana.com/2021/03/24/el-gesto-que-estaban-esperando/.
- Elisabetta Piqué, “Juan Carlos Cruz: “Si la Iglesia no avanza, los católicos seguirán huyendo,” La Nación, Mar. 15, 2021, https://www.lanacion.com.ar/el-mundo/juan-carlos-cruz-si-la-iglesia-no-avanza-los-catolicos-seguiran-huyendo-nid15032021/.
- “Pope Francis tells gay Chilean sex abuse victim ‘God loves you,’” BBC, May 22, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-44215996.
- Sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance: “According to Scripture, these sins are voluntary homicide (Gen. 4:10); sodomy(Gen. 19:13); oppression of widows and orphans (Exod. 22:22ff.); and depriving workers of their just wage (Deut. 24:17ff.; James 5:4).” Dom Gregorio Manise, O.S.B., s.v. “Sins That Cry Out To Heaven For Vengeance,” in Dictionary of Moral Theology (Westminster, Md.: The Newman Press, 1962), 1139.
- See Pietro Ballerini, De Potestate Ecclesiastica Summorum Pontificum, 104–5, in Arnaldo Xavier da Silveira, Can a Pope be…a Heretic?(Lisbon: Caminhos Romanos, 2018), 85.