“It’s déjà vu all over again.” In an article at LifesiteNews.com, I read that, in response to the referendum in Ireland favoring homosexual “marriages,” Walter Kasper, a German cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, said: “A democratic state has the duty to respect the will of the people; and it seems clear that, if the majority of the people wants such homosexual unions, the state has a duty to recognize such rights.” So if the people of Germany voted tomorrow to renew the Holocaust, would the cardinal say the German state is duty-bound to re-open the death camps? That kind of spurious legalism helped goose-step Germany into Hell in the last century. Do German cardinals now propose to do the same to the Roman Catholic Church in this one?
I must assume that Cardinal Kasper would join me in saying, “Forbid it, Almighty God!” He will probably bridle, however, at the temerity of comparing homosexuality to the Holocaust. Nonetheless, I assume he still professes to accept the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexual acts, to wit:
Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section Two, Chapter Two, Article 6, Section I, Para. 2357)
Simply put, it’s sin, and Catholic teaching is against it.
Surely misleading millions of people into mortal sin will be a spiritual holocaust, with quite possibly eternal consequences. Does Cardinal Kasper think those spiritually deadly consequences are unreal? We learn from another Lifesitenews report that one of Cardinal Kasper’s liberal co-conspirators, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, is “well-known for his support for the ‘Kasper agenda’ and a prominent defender of the ‘value’ of homosexual unions.” Of course, the term “value” is valueless except in the context of some standard of judgment. Given the Catholic Church’s reliance upon natural law as an expression of God’s will, it’s reasonable to assume that both these cardinals still uphold that standard.
So what value does God assign to homosexual relations? For males, the Old Testament scroll of the law calls such relations an abomination (Leviticus 20:13). That term suggests a negative value, as does the death penalty the Torah prescribes for homosexual behavior.
It may well be that, under the Christian dispensation, we had better leave the enforcement of that penalty to “the one who is without sin” (John 8:4). Yet and still, though Christ himself does not mention homosexuality in particular, he does list fornication (along with evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, etc.) among the “things that defile a man” (Mark 7:20). “Fornication” translates a Greek word that alludes to prostitution, i.e., sexual relations pursued solely for the sake of pleasure and selfish advantage or gratification, not for the sake of life and the preservation of human nature. (Also keep in mind that, in ancient times, sexual activity with temple prostitutes was an aspect of worship for some pagan gods.) The word “defile” translates a Greek word that refers to making oneself common, i.e., acting in a way inconsistent with one’s place or rank of distinction, as in the phrase “conduct unbecoming an officer” in the military.
God has conferred the rank and station of humanity on every human being. In terms of the natural law, God prescribes the the code, as it were, in light of which the conduct of everyone who bears the title of humanity is to be judged. With humanity in view, that code makes it incumbent on every individual human being to behave in ways that fulfill God’s intention for our nature. Because God made man in His image and after His likeness, our nature reflects freedom, as one of the attributes of God. Unlike insects or other animals, therefore, we are not simply forced by instinct to do what preserves human nature. To the contrary, we can choose to reject God’s code, with consequences that defile our nature.
Depending on the right or wrong use we make of our freedom, we convey or obscure God’s will, in us through Christ, for the salvation of humanity. Now, the law of God, inscribed upon our hearts (programmed into our fleshly bodies?), calls us to preserve ourselves as individuals, but also to respect and preserve the God-endowed humanity that makes us recognizable to ourselves as such. When in our sexual behavior we reject His will to preserve humanity, we give a bad example to other.
If we profess to follow Christ, his will for the salvation of humanity must mean that we give that salvation the same high priority he did (Luke 24:45-47). This includes living our lives in a way that proclaims repentance unto salvation, rather than obdurate sin, to all humanity – in their persons, in their nations, and throughout the world.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes it clear that homosexual relations contradict this Christian mission. Such relations abuse, for strictly selfish purposes, what God ordains for the common good of the species. This is precisely the sense in which they are “disordered.” Except as an example to be avoided, what value can there be, from the perspective of God’s will, in unions defined in terms of homosexual relations? It cannot be good to set a bad example, even as a warning, not unless we do evil so that good may come of it, which the Apostle deemed worthy of condemnation (Romans 3:8).
Finally, when he asserts that it is right to follow the majority’s will when they purport to approve as lawful what God condemns as odious under the law, Cardinal Kasper is following the trendy idolatry of self-willed freedom, wrongfully abused, that now defames the name of right. By doing so, he casts away God’s standard of natural right. And he accepts an understanding of sovereignty that even pagan philosophers rejected. A sovereign act must always take account of the common good. When that good is not being respected, sovereign authority is not in play.
In such a circumstance, the will that purports to wield the sovereign power is not an exercise of sovereign right. It is a wrongful abuse of power that people of good will have, in principle, a duty to resist, not to obey. And this is true whether the specious exercise of sovereignty is that of the Irish people, the U.S. Supreme Court or the people of the United States, however assembled.
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