Cardinals who speak out and Cardinals who shut up.

We have better water, but they have better Cardinals.

I have already written here about the contrast between some courageous Catholic shepherds (particularly in South America) and the resigned or, rather, indifferent weakness with which the English hierarchy reacts (so to speak) to every new step towards total secularisation proposed by David Cameron or by his more socially conservative predecessor, Gordon Brown.

We now have another eloquent example as we read that in Mexico a Cardinal has spoken clear words about a decision of the Mexican Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of so-called same-sex marriages. Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera said that “The Church cannot stop calling evil “evil” “ and added as follows:

“The absurd approval of this law that can be legal, but never moral, allows us to be conscious of the unequaled value of family … and is an opportunity to continue raising our prayers to God for our leaders,”

“Even though we are called to be respectful of the civil laws, we have a moral duty to not make vain God’s commandments and avoid falling into permissiveness that damages the fundamental principles of our faith and the precious value of family”

He was not left alone as the spokesman of the Archdiocese of Leon also intervened:

“We strongly condemn the approval of civil weddings between men and women of the same gender, and we make a call to faithful Catholics so that … what’s civil doesn’t dominate what’s moral,”

This last intervention highlights a problem typical of all legislation contrary to natural law: that it tends to end up becoming morally accepted through the laziness, the convenience or the sheer apathy of the population, unless of course the latter is properly instructed and kept vigilant. The Italian saying that the laws of one generation are the morality of the following one certainly reflects rather well what happens on the ground.

Please contrast this latest courageous statement with the behaviour of our bishops in Blighty; starting with ++ Quisling Nichols, the man who is not even able to stop the scandalous homo masses taking place in his own diocese.


Posted on August 11, 2010, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. “The Italian saying that the laws of one generation are the morality of the following one certainly reflects rather well what happens on the ground. ”

    The proponents of “gay marriage” reject the natural: they reject human nature.

    They try to create ‘rights’ to immoral behaviours in the hope that they will become commonplace and thus normative.

    This is what they did with sodomy, contraception and fornication.

    It’s all from the same playbook.

    Prior to the 1960s, all of these behaviours were considered unnatural.

    • Omvendt, I am not entirely sure that prior to the sixties fornication was considered unnatural. Speaking of my own country, I can guarantee you that exactly the contrary is the case.
      I’d say it was considered sinful, but certainly natural, part of the sinful nature after the Fall.
      If we put fornication and sodomy on the same plane we make the homos the best favour they can ever wish for: normality.

      Fornication is a sinful consequence of concupiscence and concupiscence is the result of the fall. Whilst contrary to reason, concupiscence is connaturate to men in such a way that only Jesus and Mary were free from it. Concupiscence is, therefore, natural because “built in” in the way a human being works. Whilst every man can (and must) let his will struggle with his sensual appetites, he is not going to escape the struggle.

      The Catholic encyclopedia put it in this way:
      “The sensitive appetite in man is under the control of the will and can be strengthened or checked by the will’s determination. This control, however, is not absolute, for the sensitive appetite depends on organic conditions, which are not regulated by reason. Frequently, also, owing to its suddenness or intensity, the outburst of passion cannot be repressed”.

      St. Paul put that, I think, in beautiful words: “For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I work, I understand not. For I do not that good which I will; but the evil which I hate, that I do. ” (emphasis mine).

      One thing is concupiscence and all his results if concupiscence is not kept under control by reason; a different matter is perversion.

      Fornication doesn’t cry to heaven for vengeance. Sodomy does.


  2. On second thoughts, you’re quite right about fornication.

    It’s not unnatural: I blurred the line between what’s sinful and what’s unnatural.

    Sloppy writing on my part.

  3. I did say fornication was “considered unnatural”, which is not the same as saying it is unnatural.

    But nonetheless, that statement is innacurate too. (And still lazy and sloppy thinking and writing.)

    I got that wrong: fornication has never actually been considered unnatural.

    How could it be?

    I’m grateful to you for clarifying the matter.

  4. Erm, re fornication:
    1/ It was unnatural (and even illegal by statutory law in some states) in the 1960s US:

    This legal position was inherited by the U.S. from the U.K.. Later, some jurisdictions, a total of 16 in the southern and eastern United States, as well as the states of Wisconsin[6] and Utah[7] passed statutes creating the offense of “fornication” that prohibited (vaginal) sexual intercourse between two unmarried people of the opposite sex. Most of these laws either were repealed, were not enforced, or were struck down by the courts in several states as being odious to their state constitutions.

    2/ St Paul also said: ‘9 Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, 10 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)


    7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. 9But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. (1 Cor. 7:7-9)

    Cardinal Carrera worded it beautifully. This is eloquent and to the point:

    “Even though we are called to be respectful of the civil laws, we have a moral duty to not make vain God’s commandments and avoid falling into permissiveness that damages the fundamental principles of our faith and the precious value of family”

    Finally, Mundabor, you surprise me by calling Gordon Brown more ‘socially conservative’ than David Cameron. 😯 Our country continued its sexual and moral decline between 2007 and 2010. Socialists want us all highly sexed; they always have. Look at all the public health announcements about abortion, birth control, etc., clogging our airwaves along with increased sex education in schools that church schools can’t even opt out of. These policies are not from Cameron or the Tories.

    • Churchmouse,
      1) illegal does not mean unnatural. In the US it was certainly illegal, but I haven’t found in your link anything indicating that it was considered unnatural.

      2) same considerations as 1). No one has said that fornication cannot be mortal sin. But this is fully irrelevant to the question whether it is unnatural.

      in my eyes, Brown is more socially conservative than cameron because he has been in government 10 years without trying to push homo marriages on Blair. Cameron has been in government a matter of weeks and considers two homosexuals “family”. he even wants to have them married in Church (and he got a shampoo from a scottish bishop for that, who told him very clearly that there will never be homo marriages in catholic churches, whether the law mandates that or not). I cannot recall such legislative aggressiveness in Charlie Brown.

      More in general, it is clear to me that Brown is not a propeller, but is pushed by his party’s activists (by the Harriet Harmans of the world, so to speak), whilst Cameron drives himself the anti-Christian agenda of his own party and he does it willingly going against the “grain” of the party, merely to acquire support from the outside and get rid of the old guard in the process.


  5. … the laws of one generation are the morality of the next

    I’d not heard that before (in English or in Italian – how does it go in Italian, by the way?) but it seems apposite. It certainly seems to be the case here in England.

    • “Le leggi di una generazione sono la moralita’ di quella successiva”. Beautifully sounding language, isn’t it 😉

      it has been the case a bit everywhere. If I think of Italy, adultery was once a criminal offence (only for the wife) and obviously taboo. At the same time, to abandon the “family roof” was a criminal offence (only for the husband) and also extremely taboo.

      Or think about duel: made a criminal offence in 1865 and substantially eradicated in a couple of generations.

      Or think about (public) drunkenness, a plague in Italy until repressed very strongly by the Fascists. My generation grew up without any alcohol problem and the mere idea that it might be “cool” to get drunk simply unheard of.

      Homosexual acts are just another example: a criminal offence until the Sixties a bit everywhere in Europe (in the UK too) and our grandfathers wouldn’t have questioned why it was so. But when you de-criminalise the behaviour, a new generation grows up for which such abominations are part of the society they have around them.

      I could go on, but you get my drift 😉


  6. Mundabor, sin comes naturally to us. We are children of Eve. We are prone to sin. That doesn’t make it right. What is seemingly okay in some countries of the world (ahem) doesn’t mean that God allows it or forgives it. These are sins that bear the pain of Hell. I can’t say it any clearer than that. Show me in Canon Law where it says fornication is okay with God and with our Lord and Saviour.

    • Churchmouse,
      Fully agree, but noone has said the contrary.
      The point was not whether sin is right. Sin never is. Not even as an Italian man (ahem).
      And also I have never said that fornication is okay with God. Never ever. Show me where I said it.

      My point was and is that concupiscence is natural, perversion aren’t. And my point was made because Omvendt (who clearly saw his error, as you can read) had mistakenly put sins the fruit of concupiscence and sins the fruit of perversion on the same level.

  7. M — I think you are mistaken about Brown, but that’s all I’m going to say. If you think that Labour are socially conservative, please do. (Some of us know better.) As to the Fascists and drinking, well, they were left-wing, too … (awaits a few posts on Mussolini’s virtues ::choke::) 😉

    • Churchmouse,

      again: I have not said that Labout are socially conservative. I’d say they are social bastards.

      What I have said is that Brown is more socially conservative than Cameron, which is different. And I stay by the statement.

      I have also said that exactly this is the problem: that the conservatives are more socially conservative than Labour, and Cameron pushes on them a secularist agenda to catch Labour votes.

      Posts about Mussolini’s virtues on another occasion because now there’s not enough time 😉


  8. Well, you seem to ignore what St Paul says and offering excuses for it. The way this discussion is going appears to be somewhat ambiguous. To a northern European and a North American, it seems a bit skewed.

    • Churchmose,
      “seem” is neither here nor there.
      Please explain to me in which ways “I am ignoring St. Paul” and “offering excuses for it”, thanks.


  9. Okay, fine, I’ve supplied NT quotes and Anglo-Saxon laws. There’s something I don’t understand here. Sorry, I’m out of this discussion. All the best.

    • I think rather that not understanding you could simply explain where your problem lies.
      I am sure by discussing it all would be clear. That’s what discussion is all about.

  10. Frankly, Mundabor, you don’t seem to accept that fornication is a deadly sin which merits Hell unless the fornicator repents. If I am reading your points of view incorrectly, please, show me. That is all I have to say.

    • Churchmouse,

      1) the deadly sin of fornication doesn’t exist, so you might have meant “lust”. Like all deadly sins, lust doesn’t need to be mortal and pertains more to spheres of our lives than to individual sins.

      2) But you probably wanted to say that fornication is grave matter. I fully agree. Of course it is.

      3) Still, it is erroneous to say that “fornication merits Hell”. Whether a sin pertaining to a grave matter is also a mortal sin (which makes one deserving of hell) also depends on subjective elements, about which it is not possible for us to make generalised prognoses; they are a matter for the discernment of the sinner and the confessor in the single case.

      This is why you never ever read me saying that “fornication is a mortal sin”; and this is also why also never read me saying that sodomy is a mortal sin.
      What I write is that Sodomy cries for vengeance to heaven, which is a category of sin (like a deadly sin, just worse) and doesn’t make it automatic that evey time it is committed, it is a mortal sin (just more probable). The Church simply doesn’t know any catalogue of sins which, once committed, are perforce mortal sins. This must be so, because the Church cannot – and has always refused to – state that once a certain sin has been committed, then it must be mortal. Even for blasphemy there can be (subjective) excuses.

      Now for the “southern european” part: If you care to ask your confessor, you’ll discover that he values the same sin differently according to whether it has been committed by a man or by a woman. This is not only very clear to anyone with a little experience, but is constant teaching of the Church: different sexes have different roles, different tendencies, different temptations.
      When the adulteress is brought before Jesus He doesn’t even ask where the man is, let alone asks why stoning shouldn’t apply to him too.

      Coming back to the confessor, he values the sins differently not because fornication is not a grave matter in a man, or envy or pride not a potential grave matter in a woman; but because the same sin often has a different subjective element in its genesis according to the sex of the sinner.

      This is Catholic doctrine and you can read the beautiful words of St. Thomas about aversio a deo and conversio ad alterum, to this day the most brilliant explanation of the subjective element of the mortal sin, without which no mortal sin can exist.

      4) Reagrding St. Paul. As a Catholic, you must read the scriptures in accordance with the Doctrine. The teaching of the Church regarding mortal sin therefore become the key to reading the passages of St. Paul that you have mentioned. Which is probably the reason why I didn’t see any problem in them when you quoted them: they are obviously not in contradiction with the Doctrine if properly understood and if you have a problem in reading what I have written this afternoon and quote them, you may want to re-read them in light of the Doctrine and you’ll see that there is no contradiction at all.


  11. If I were charged with explaining some of these points under discussion to someone I would try to explain that if a person actually has come to the point of entertaining the possibility of a homosexual liason that person has already pretty much hit bottom. In other words, if I, as a man, am lusting after a pretty girl I am in the process of comitting a serious sin which, if not checked, will lead me to hell. At least, though, I am lusting after a woman, because it is normal for men to be attracted to women. But if I, as a man, started lusting after another man then I am engaged in an unnatural vice. Sinfulness and its consequences aside for a moment, there is a difference between natural vice and unnatural vice (which, I believe, is one of the points Mundabor was making).

    Neither of them is terribly praiseworthy. But unnatural vice is, at least in my view, worse, because once cannot possibly fall back on the excuse that at least the object of my desire was a lovely lass. Not being a trained moral theologian I cannot go any farther than that observation, which is based simply on life as I see it around me.

    What is odd, at least to me, is the apparent acceptance of this unspeakable vice of homosexuality. One can conclude from this that the world must be taking leave of its senses. What else can explain it? Sure, it is one thing to say we are all sinners; but we are not all stark, staring nuts.

    If I may be allowed to diverge a little bit here I would only add that some of the words from high Church authorities pertaining to this vice are not very comforting. It is troubling to read things from Bishops who tell us that those with a homosexual inclination (what does that mean, exactly?) are not committing sin unless they engage in homosexual acts. That is a very thin tightrope to be walking. When these people use terms like “inclination” and “orientation” they are, it seems, being deliberately ambiguous. If someone has this “inclination” or “orientation” what am I being asked to believe? Am I being asked to believe that homos are born that way? Am I being asked to believe that one can lust all day long after someone of the same sex and be OK with God as long as they don’t act on that inclination? Is sinning by thought and word no longer applicable? Should we discard Our Lord’s warnings about “committing adultery in one’s heart”? Is there no such thing any longer as desires and temptations? Can one have a murderous “orientation”?

    The Church needs to be a bit more clear on this, like they were in centuries past. It is not helpful to send uncertain signals to the folks in the pews on matters so serious.

    The hideous perversion that is homosexuality is something I never thought I would live to see enter the mainstream. That this filth has found its way into the one, true Church, and on such a scale, is disheartening to say the least. While I know that the gates of Hell will not prevail I do see that we’re in for some pretty rough times ahead.

    • Schmenz,
      I agree with all you write. I will try to express it a bit differently, though. Please tell me if you identify with what I say.

      1) Homosexuality is a perversion, attraction for the other sex is holy. Your attraction for the lovely lass can become a mortal sin (it doesn’t need to be a perversion to be a mortal sin), but your natural, god-wanted attraction for the lovely lass colours your sin differently. It will be for you certainly possible to love God and, if certain circumstances arise, not be able to resist the temptation represented by the lovely lass; but if you, say, just plan in cold blood to seduce, use and discard the lovely lass you probably don’t love God that much and you can’t say that there is no conversio ad alterum.

      2) In the case of homosexuality, we must be clear that we are in front of a perverted, disgusting behaviour. This is in the same ballpark as eating shit, or going with beasts, or incest, or raping children. This alone makes it less probable that such things happpen without a degree of consent which must be rather high. The graver the sin, the higher the level of consent of the sinner generally is. You don’t kill people out of weakness of spirit.

      Notice here that homosexuals ashamed of their tendency (or even of their behaviour, if they indulge in it because they are too weak to resist) are rather a minority. One who is really ashamed of such an abomination will in time get rid of the behaviour (if not of the tendency) because he recognise his high, explosive degree of sinfulness. Most homos, though, aren’t ashamed at all. They are fully delivered to their abomination and invested in it.
      Sorry, but it is absurd to put this on the same plane as a beautiful pair of tits and say that the two are the same kind of sin.

      3) The official teaching of the Church is beautifully explained by the letter of Ratzinger to the bishops (links under “church teaching”, right). In extreme synthesis:
      a) homosexuality is a perversion, a deviancy, in itself.
      b) the individual doesn’t have to be a sinner just for being homosexual (but he may: it depends on whether he is homosexual because he had something gone wrong in his infancy or because he enjoys sexuals perversions)
      c) to indulge in sensual thoughts of homosexual nature is sinful, to have the first involunatry impulse isn’t. There is no sin without some consent of the will.
      d) sodomy is never justifiable, and always sinful.

      The problem doesn’t come from Ratzinger, he is orthodox enough. The problem comes when people start writing that homosexuality in itself be “neutral”. No it isn’t. What they want to say is that being afflicted by a perversion doesn’t make of one ipso facto a sinner. The sin is not necessarily in the perversion (see above) but in how one reacts to it. As always what we have said on other occasion applies: the bad history teacher doesn’t change history and the bad bishop doesn’t change Church teaching.

      4) It is blasphemous to believe that God may make people homosexual. God doesn’t make people perverts, they become it.
      The problem is that one may become it at a very young age because of bad parents, childhood traumata, and the like. This is why we must be charitable to the homosexual (it might truly not be his subjective fault) and this is also why even the V II -ridden JP II catechism speaks of “psychological genesis” (or such like) of homosexuality, obviously refusing the idea that homosexuality may be something God provide people with.

      5) The Church says that as long as the homo indulges in his thoughts, this is sin already. Whether this is mortal or not will depend, as always, on the subjective elements as there can be no mortal sin without the subjective element.
      The same is true for the person who entertains homocidal thoughts, and the like.

      Very late now. Will post this without correction readings. We’ll be able to discuss tomorrow. Feel free to post even if I’ll be able to approve only tomorrow. Have a good night.


  12. Dear Mundabor:

    I’ve read you response twice and cannot find anything to disagree with. You put things somewhat differently (and a tad more colorfully) than I would but I believe I understand what was said.

    On issues like this I really want to learn what’s what, which is why I wrote the note above. Somebody in Rome needs to speak clearly and directly on these matters, preferably in the manner that St Francis Xavier used on those pagans he confronted who were engaging in perverse behavior. He told them boldly and honestly that they were behaving in ways lower than dogs. It didn’t make him too many friends but he told them the truth. And since it is a resurgent paganism that the Church is confronting now similar strong words need to be used, not mealy-mouthed sloganeering about possible psychological disorders.

    One thing you mentioned does give me pause, and I would love a fuller explanation if your time permits. You said:
    b) the individual doesn’t have to be a sinner just for being homosexual (but he may: it depends on whether he is homosexual because he had something gone wrong in his infancy or because he enjoys sexuals perversions)

    If the person did have something terribly wrong happen to him in childhood, can’t we assume that when he reaches the age of reason (which, as I recall, the Church has stated to be “about age seven”) he is now becoming culpable? Your thoughts would be of great interest.

    But I still think we have to be careful of saying, simply, that one is a homosexual. A person isn’t a homosexual; he becomes one. He chooses to be one. He does not have an “orientation”…he has chosen to lower himself into committing an unnamable perversion. As I said in the previous post one doesn’t have sinful “orientations”. That word “orientaion” is at the heart of the matter and I do believe the moral degenerates hit upon a brilliant idea by using it. Tragic that the Vatican has decided to adopt the word, too, in recent documents. But perhaps not so surprising, since a number of official Church documents now use the meaningless “B.C.E.” and “C.E.” when discussing historical epochs. Goodness gracious, we sure cannot say “AD” or “BC” anymore, now can we?

    I do appreciate this discussion.

    • Hello schmenz and thank for your kind words.

      My take on your question would be that as this is teaching of the Church “mine is not to reason” 😉 , but as the teaching of the Church is always compatible with reason we may as well try and find the rationale. I would examine it from two perspectives:

      1) I assume that was the Church is saying is that if the perversion occurs involuntary and at a young age, it will become something very difficult to eradicate and that the person perceives it as something he was born with (we know he wasn’t, but this is just to illustate the point). He will be called to choose to live in chastity and do not act on his perversion, but he may well never get rid of it. This, says the Church, is his cross and he must bear it irrespective of any success in getting rid of his perversion. The Church doesn’t say that if he only wants he will become heterosexual. Not because this is not possible (it is always possible, first because God can everything and secondly because his perversion has not been given to him by God) but because this might just be too difficult for many. The Church says that it is a good man who lives in chastity and fights all his life against his temptation, it doesn’t say that if he is a good man he’ll get rid of his temptation.

      2) From the prospective of the single act, the Church says that the sin only occurs when the will consents. The way we are made before we have a consent of the will is in itself not sinful, though we may have been sinful in the way we have created this situation in the first place.
      Take alcoholism: the first desire of the alocoholic for alcohol (the one coming spontaneously out of his organism) is not sinful because he has come to him without his consent. It is now his duty to refuse to entertain the thought; if he does, this is sinful.
      The above is valid irrespective of the degree of culpaibility of the man in becoming alcoholic, which can be varying (poor chap could have slipped very gradually more and more into a habit without seeing the danger, he doesn’t need to have willed to become an alcoholic).
      But even if the man is an alcoholic because, say, an unreformed glutton a’ la George IV, every thought of drinking which is not willed will still not be sinful.


  13. Schmenz,
    Just an integration on what I have written above to assure everyone that this view is not the fuit of V II, but it has always been so. Even Amerio, the author of Iota Unum, confirms that the teaching on homosexuality has not been corrupted after VII.

    What has changed is the attitude of too many priests conveniently choosing to avoid the matter or implying that homosexuality be in itself “neutral” (which it isn’s as I have explained above), not the teaching of the Church.


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