In a recent interview, Illinois Bishop Paprocki called on the Catholic Faithful to tell everyone the truth about the Church’s teachings on homosexuality, emphasizing that “the most compassionate and loving thing that we can do for people is help them get to Heaven.”
The interview was conducted by ex-gay author and blogger Joseph Sciambra. The exchange was published on Sciambra’s YouTube channel on August 1. Sciambra is the author of the book “Swallowed By Satan”, which chronicles his journey out of the gay lifestyle, pornography and the occult. He was a former gay porn star, and after his conversion, is now actively promoting the Church’s teachings on homosexuality through his blog and his Youtube channel.
Bishop. Paprocki tackled the false compassion of accommodating sin pushed by so called gay ministries which are active in many Dioceses in the United States. The interview covered the issue of “gay affirmative” ministries, as well as a Vatican letter issued by then Cardinal Ratzinger on the pastoral treatment of homosexuals.
Bishop Paprocki drew fierce criticism earlier this year by issuing a pastoral decree, barring Holy Communion and funeral rites to active homosexuals. The decree drew the ire of homosexualists both inside and outside the Church, including liberal Jesuit Fr. James Martin, a personal appointee and consultant of Pope Francis.
Paprocki responded to Sciambra on the reaction to his decree:
The first time I had first-hand experience in terms of people telling me directly, in response to my decree on same sex marriage … I had anticipated that there would be opposition, of course, from secular proponents of gay rights, but I think what surprised me was the vehemence of those within the Church. Lay people who told me they were practicing Catholics, parents of gay people and also from priests and deacons who basically were telling me that I was wrong.
Bishop Paprocki commented on the importance of correcting Catholics in public sin as a duty of charity: “The most compassionate and loving thing that we can do for people is help them get to Heaven.”
He continued, “That’s our eternal salvation. So to tell people the truth about our Church’s teachings, and the teachings are based in truth and they are based on love. So to tell someone that he or she is doing something sinful, first of all, Our Lord Himself encourages us to what we call fraternal correction.”
Sciambra went on to bring up the 1986 Letter to Bishops on the Pastoral Care of Homosexuals issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). The CDF was at that time headed by then Cdl. Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Sciambra referenced the portion of the letter which read as follows:
This Congregation wishes to ask the bishops to be especially cautious of any programs which may seek to pressure the Church to change her teaching, even while claiming not to do so. A careful examination of their public statements and the activities they promote reveals a studied ambiguity by which they attempt to mislead the pastors and the faithful.
Bishop Paprocki responded to this excerpt as follows, “In terms of pressure being put on the Church as mentioned in that CDF document, I think is really what we’re seeing happening very forcefully right now. Because the push for gay rights has always been incremental steps.”
Bishop Paprocki continued:
The target for so long has been to get recognition in civil law, and now that’s been achieved. In our country, civil law has recognized same-sex marriage. What they don’t have is moral approval, and the only place that can give them moral approval is the Church. So I think that’s the next target here, in terms of putting pressure on the Church in order to give that kind of moral approval, to say what you’re doing is morally acceptable.
Sciambra’s impressions on Bishop Paprocki
Church Militant reached out to Sciambra and asked him what his impression was of Bp. Paprocki and what he felt like he learned from the interview, and Sciambra answered:
Despite what was often reported in the secular media, and by some left-leaning Catholic commentators and news sites, I found Bishop Paprocki to be a man dedicated to the truth, but also a man willing to listen. Bishop Paprocki is thoughtful and soft-spoken and he conveys the message of Our Lord Jesus Christ with a gentleness and compassion that is largely missing in the Church today. He is a rare combination of honesty and empathy.
I believe he truly cares for those with same-sex attraction and those who identify with the LGBT community, in that he wants all of our brothers and sisters to know and understand the actual teachings of the Catholic Church on this matter. He doesn’t wish to placate or make false statements in order to [ingratiate] himself with those who often view the Church as discriminatory and oppressive. He wants to lift some of that confusion. I would dare to say that he doesn’t care much about his own personal popularity, but is solely motivated by the salvation of souls.
Excerpts on the original article written by Trey Elmore, ChurchMilitant.com