Just like his now famous “who am I to judge” comments on homosexuals several years ago, Pope Francis’ “God made you like this” comments to a gay man spread far and wide around the world.
Global media outlets screamed their headlines last May 21 as the Pope made perhaps the most controversial comments ever made by a Roman Pontiff regarding homosexuals. The comments were made by the Pope to Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor of sexual abuse, who spent three days with Pope Francis at the Vatican in April. Cruz told CNN that the Pope told him: “You know Juan Carlos, that does not matter. God made you like this. God loves you like this. The Pope loves you like this and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say.”
A quick check in Google shows that just two days after he made those comments, more than 46 million articles have been published and distributed on the internet on the topic. Type in the keywords “Pope Francis gay man” in Google and you will see those 46 million articles published in all major mainstream news outlets, as well as millions of other websites. And this does not include coverage on television, radio and print media.
Contrary to the Bible and Church Teaching
The comments are a giant leap from the Pope’s controversial “Who am I to judge” comments regarding homosexuals. It seems that the Pope is treading down a path to justifying LGBT identity and activity as fully normal – something completely incompatible with formal Catholic teaching.
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered”. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reiterated this teaching in a key document in 2003. It was authored by then-prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who would be elected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005) and approved by Pope Saint John Paul II: “The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions,” it reads.
The bible is completely and unequivocally clear that God did not make three genders – male, female and homosexuals. In the very first book of the Bible, the book of Genesis (5:2-3), we read that “in the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.”
Jesus reiterated this teaching in the New Testament. After some pharisees asked Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife, Jesus said in reply:
“Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’, and “for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?” (Matthew 19:4)
St. Paul condemned homosexual acts unequivocally, writing in 1 Corinthians 6:9:
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulters, nor men who submit to or perform homosexual acts…
In the book of Leviticus (18:22), the Lord spoke to Moses and explicitly condemned homosexual behaviour, calling it an “abomination”:
You shall not give any of your offspring to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the LORD. You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
Following the fallout from the Pope’s comments, numerous priests took to Twitter to react – with shock and angst.
Fr. Nicolas Gregoris cited St. Paul in Romans 1:26-27: “How does Pope interpret Romans 1:26-27? St. Paul condemns homosexuality as sinful lust.”
Another priest known as “Father V” in Twitter said: “If the ‘born this way’ remark attributed to Pope Francis is indeed true, the Church has abdicated its role as moral teacher and sure guide to salvation…damage to the credibility of the Church to pronounce on moral issues and the loss of souls is incalculable.”
He likewise condemned the silence of prelates on the issue, saying that the “silence of prelates = complicity or the same exercise of collegiality as the Apostles in Gethsemane: ‘everyone deserted Him and they all fled’ (Mk 14:50)”. Finally, he publicly asked out loud on Twitter: “What does it take these days to depose a heterodox pope?”
Fr. Kevin Cusick, reacted to two recent statements of the Pope. The first involved the Pope saying to the son of an atheist man who died that his atheist father “is in heaven.” The second involved the “God made you this way” comments to Juan Carlos Cruz. Fr. Cusick said:
Popes, priests and prelates totally lose credibility when they say things asserting something they can’t possibly know: “Your father is in heaven”, “God made you that way” and the crisis of faith deepens as a result.
Fr. John Stone decried the chronic confusion that characterised the Church under Pope Francis’ leadership: “It is called a pontificate of confusion. One which governs by innuendo. And it is a disaster to the Church.”
Not the First Time
This is not the first time that Pope Francis has given indications that he does not agree with the Church’s traditional teaching that homosexual activity as inherently disordered and intrinsically evil. In the recently-published (September 2017) book entitled “Politics and Society” written by the French journalist Dominique Wolton, Pope Francis advocated “civil unions” for same sex people in a sexual relationship.
It is widely known that when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis (then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio) was publicly critical of the government’s push to legalize homosexual “marriage,” but privately signaled he would be willing to live with civil unions as a compromise measure.
The Pope has also welcomed welcomed a former male student and his live-in boyfriend/partner to the Vatican’s U.S. Embassy during the Pope’s visit of the U.S. Likewise, the French priest Father Daniel Duigou of the Church Saint-Merry in Paris recently said in a television interview that Pope Francis approved of his blessing of homosexual couples.
Paul Simeon, Veritas