Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Cardinal's Condemnation

The retired Mexican Cardinal Javier Barragan has not made life easy for us with his statement about gays and transexuals not entering the Kingdom of Heaven.
I haven't got any Spanish so it is a little to know exactly what he said, and even more difficult to know precisely what he meant. However, it plays into the hands of those who hate the Church because of its perceived stance on this issue.
Even Pink News, not my regular reading, acknowledges the "Vatican" has distanced itself from this statement, and also acknowledges he also says that we cannot judge.
In the UK and elsewhere, where governments and the chattering classes have few big ideas except for "equality", this just feeds prejudice.
The use of the phrase "Kingdom of Heaven" from Matthew's Gospel, and the rest he says suggest His Emminence was a little more nuanced than the beying hounds understand. The use of the word "gay" which might suggest an anti-family political movement, rather than people struggling with a "same sex attraction". It is not the word or the thought that is the problem but the interpretation.
Stephen Fry's problems with the Church, echoed by many, seems to stem from our teaching that "homosexuality acts are intrinsically disordered". They can't understand that it is the acts, not the person that is condemned, that is obviously their problem. In "gay" Brighton I often speak of gossip as being intrinsically disordered.
Our problem, like the Cardinal's, is a lack of clarity, not using words that people understand, unlike Jesus, not using words and concepts his hearers will understand.


Embajador said...

Looks like it all comes from an interview in Italian which you can find here.

The cardinal says: "The transexuals and homosexuals will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It is not me who says this but St. Paul".

nickbris said...

It's the sort of statement that might come from Alky Ada,as Mr Brown calls the Muslim Fundamentals.

There is as you say a question of translation,these things are usually corrupted by the same clique that "gets into" Wikipedia.

me said...

Some of the homosexual people I have known, have told me, that deep down they experience this sense of being abandoned, cursed even by God.
I once believed I was damned and going to hell. I was suffering from post-natal depression and mixing with protestant fundamentalists. I lost weight, lived in absolute torment, real agony. I didn't feel any love for God, just fear. I still loved the Saints, especially St Therese, at that time. God to me, was only the angry Father, not Jesus.
I have hope now, and sometimes sense tangibly that God loves me.I still find it difficult to experience a loving relationship with the Father.
The horror of the memory of being condemned has not left, and can, due to my tendency to scruples sometimes rear it's head. I also deal with an alcohol problem, so that gets mixed in, but I am well at present(blimey, I'm a right mess when you add it all up!).

There must be a louder clearer message of hope for homosexuals, from the Church. This is not about their actions, as you say. It is a message that needs to be delivered to their souls, the core of their being. If the teachers of the truth give out the mistaken message that there is no hope, we cannot imagine the burden we place on such poor souls. Jesus Christ loves each and every person, and died for them. This is the Good News to be proclaimed, then those who are commissioned to do so, preach the good advice. Love motivates me every time. I expect it's the same for all of us. Convict me, don't condemn me. Leave that to God, as the Cardinal said we should.

Richard Collins said...

A serial killer who carries on killing is not going to Heaven....a priest who abuses little children in his care continuously is not going to Heaven...a practising homosexual is not going to Heaven.
That is surely the teaching of Holy Mother Church...always subject, of course, to God's infinite mercy.
But the fact remains that the Church teaches that those in mortal sin cannot enter Heaven.
Surely we all believe in Her teachings.

Basil said...

I'm glad Father that you make the distinction between the word "gay" - a political term - and those who struggle with "same sex attraction". The latter group as the catechism clearly points out "do not choose their condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity."

Fr Ray Blake said...

What is objectively mortal or damnable is not nercessarily subjectively so. Though we should not presume on it, God is infinitely merciful.

Volpius Leonius said...

No unrepentant sinner will enter the Kingdom of Heaven period.

The problem is the word gay and also homosexual, they are loosely defined word which can include all kinds of people.

If he had used the less pc word of sodomites and said unrepentant sodomites will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven then there could be no argument from a Catholic point of view as the act of sodomy is grave matter which is a act of the will and a person is culpable for such acts.

He goes on to say:

"It may not be their fault, but acting against nature and the dignity of the human body is an insult to God. "

Which makes it clear he is talking about homosexual acts rather than people, it is the act that denies them entrance to the Kingdom.

Those who hate the Church will hate her no matter what. We must not refuse to take up our cross by hiding from the difficult issues of our times but on the contrary must make the Truth known in its entirely and without fear.

Just as Paul did many times, if people don't try and beat you to death like they did with Paul are you really spreading the same message as the Apostles? If people don't want to crucify you are you really imitating Christ as much as you could?

Hiding behind a nice warm middle class pc veneer is why no one thinks the Church is any more relevant than the local Rotary club.

Appeasement didn't stop Hitler and it won't work with the Churches enemies either.

Patrick Sheridan said...

I hate the term ''gay.'' I think that for orthodox Catholics who tragically feel same-sex attractions this label, with its sinister and secular connotations, must be a cause of immense grief.

I think that the reason homosexual people have such a big issue with the Church's teaching is because, while it is orthodox and derives from the laws of God and Nature, it has immense implications for them. Imagine if all the feelings one had ever felt of love or desire were not lost but were worse, perverse, in vain, directed towards the dust instead of towards Life. For these reasons, I greatly sympathise with those sincere Catholics who are by inclination tragically homosexual. And no matter what the Church teaches, they are nearly always teased and rejected by other people as the oddball, the queer, the poof, the pansy, the shirt-lifter - such names may be very appropriate for ''gays'' (people who indulge in such a grotesque flaw and affront to the law of God) but certainly not for people of sound mind who try to live chaste lives according to the teaching of the Church.

Anonymous said...

I assume this is the quote from scripture he is refering to:

Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.

While I admit that it is possible to commit a grevious sin and it may not be mortal due to extenuating circumstances, the quote is very broad it condemns sin of all types.

While I would agree with the Cardinals sentiments, we should also include the rest of the sinners lest those words be used to suggest that we singling any group out.

I find his comments a lot less of a concern than those of many other prelates who go out of there way to show approval to homosexuals.

All of us struggle with one sin or another, the difference is those who are faithful fight against their instincts rather than abandon themselves to the vice.

I don't think it matters so much if you go to Hell for living as a homosexual or avoiding Mass on a holy day of obligation through sloth.

It will be small comfort in eternity.


me said...

What was it Jesus said again, to the woman caught in adultery? How did He speak to her? And perhaps more importantly, considering some of the comments posted, how did He speak to the crowd that were 'chomping at the bit' to stone her?
Surely, we should be imitating Christ? Or is His way old hat now, too PC and middle class? If all homosexuals hear from the Church is condemnation, and that is what the media tells us they hear, there has to be another voice proclaiming freedom in Christ to them, which is the true Catholic message and we are commanded to proclaim that. As we deal with others, so He will deal with us. I am not talking about condoning sin here, but share what meeting Christ has done for you, how you have been/or are being freed from your own sinful and perhaps painful behaviours. That is Good News! He breaks the chains that bind us.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Pablo, that was just an offenive rant!

Richard said...

"They can't understand that it is the acts, not the person that is condemned"

The political gay movement define themselves by the act. Therefore they cannot see the distinction.

George said...

Reading Fr Thomas Euteneuer's 'Human life International - Weekly Newsletter', which was emailed to me overnight I think the following answers all the questions, all the searching, the statements, yes - even the rants, on this issue (it's a bit long but well worth thr read):

"On the Second Sunday of Advent we are presented with the fabulous but disturbing image of a man who stands in a desert telling people to "Prepare the way of the Lord!" The great John the Baptist calls us to repent of our sins and make straight all our distorted habits and lifestyles. That is a tough but important message that goes directly against a society that drags us more and more into sin and away from God. John wants us back! He is willing to tell us not what we want to hear but what we need to hear in order to prepare us for Christ's coming. He reminds us that we must straighten out our lives in order to be better able to receive the Redeemer.

The question has to be asked of all of us what sacrifices we are making, or willing to make, for the Gospel. Are we willing to risk a friendship or family relationship to issue a moral challenge to someone who is not living as Christ commands? Is there someone in your family who is contracepting? Is there a friend or loved one living in sin? Have you issued a challenge or remained quiet to keep the peace? Prophetic messages are never easy to deliver but if our concern were really for their immortal souls wouldn't we want to risk everything for those we love?

Maybe the risk involves standing fast when the world challenges our values. John did not seem to have much regard for worldly standards; he lived in the desert, clothed himself in camel's hair and ate locusts and honey! And yet, because of that sacrificial lifestyle he did not back down to the Pharisees or worldly-minded men when he was challenged but instead reminded them that God has rights too.

John the Baptist challenges us to greater zeal for Christ in this Advent season. We must be willing to take up the mantle of prophet to our nation and confront the total corruption of our culture. The transformation of hearts and society is going to require a church full of prophets and saints who are willing to risk many things - and relationships - for the sake of Christ.

It is helpful to remind ourselves of the risks that John the Baptist took. He issued a moral challenge to a king with a murderous temperament. John did not fear Herod or any other man. The one John feared most was God. He so much wanted the whole world to be prepared for Christ that he was willing to risk even challenging a tyrant with the hope that he would have a true conversion of heart and lead his people to God. Even though he lost his life preaching that message, he did not fail - nor will we fail when we take risks for God.

In Advent let us fully take to heart the prophetic teachings of our Church under the direction of the one who was sent to "prepare the way of the Lord."

You just can't argue with that, it's Brilliant!!!

George said...

If you want to see and hear Fr Euteneuer's YouTube presentation of the newsletter I just sent, this is the link (if it doesn't link you directly you will need to copy and paste):

God Bless.

Richard Collins said...

Father, many thanks for your response. It is something I have not considered up until now and it requires a deal of thought and consideration.
A heartening statement.

John Martyn said...

Presumably Shepherd's reasoning applies not only to practising homosexuals, but also to people who practise contraception (something described in the Catechism as inherently evil), and to people who remarry after divorce (unless they get an annulment). Certainly George's quotation from Fr Euteneur suggests this.
Heaaven is going to be rather empty!

Pablo the Mexican said...

Dear Padre,

Please accept my apology for having offended you by and through my comments.

My comments were meant to conceptualize those made by the good Cardinal. It was not he that narrowed the opinion of sin down to the issue of homosexuality.

The enemies of Holy Mother Church have taken homosexuality as a banner to rally under in their zealous attacks upon our mother.

My hope in making my statements was to light a fire under my brother Catholics that we may be called to action.

We are Church Militant.

I thank you for providing a forum for our opinions and even our rants.

We will not waver in storming Heaven on your behalf. You are a Padre who loves all his sheep, even the black ones, like me.

Que Dios te bendiga.



johnf said...


As you rightly say, God is infinitely merciful.

But as you can see by recent events in Parliament with the passing of the Equality Bill, religious liberties are being compromised by homosexual favouring politics.

Sooner or later you will have Mr P Tatchell or someone of his ilk on your doorstep, flamboyantly and aggressively gay and demanding to run your Youth group.

And will it stop there? Will it be against the law for Priests to refuse to 'marry' a homosexual couple?

The Lords have thrown out the gay hate clause in the last bill, but it will be back either via Westminster or Brussels.

Step by step, ratchet by ratchet we are being marginalised and we shall be lucky if we don't end up in gaol.

So whether or not they are bound for hell, they are certainly using hellish tactics.

gemoftheocean said...

Shadowlands, all true, but remember the words Jesus also said to the woman caught in adultery:

"Go now, AND SIN NO MORE."

We all have our own particular commandments that may be harder for us to deal with than other -- it doesn't let us off the hook.

Basil said...

There are two very important issues here which should not be confused. On the one hand we need to do everything in our power to oppose the gay lobby and all who seek to undermine Catholic teaching. This goes without saying for those of us who are loyal to the Church. On the other hand, there are many people who struggle with same sex attraction and for whom it is a real trial. Without wanting to criticise, I sometimes wonder from various comments I read if people understand this. The self-mastery, discipline, prayer, penance it takes to overcome this condition is on the level of the heroic. What is the Church in this country doing to support such people? They are either told not to worry about it or they are condemned to hell.I think the English Church needs to tackle this issue with much more understanding, without compromising belief in any way.

Victoria said...

They [same-sex attracted people] are either told not to worry about it or they are condemned to hell.

Who in the UK gives this advice and this condemnation Basil? The condemnation is against the teaching of the Catholic Church which leaves the final judgement of people to God the just judge.

You might like to check out this website:

The EnCourage Trust

Victoria said...

Homosexuality being intrinsically disordered and gossip being intrinsically disordered.

When homosexual sex is spoken of as being intrinsically disordered it means that the sexual act between people of the same sex goes against the essential nature or constitution of the persons i.e. people of the same sex are not constructed to have life giving sexual intercourse with one another - their plumbling doesn't match.

We can't speak of gossip as being 'intrinsically disordered' because, although being undesirable, gossip doesn't go against the essential nature or constitution of the person.

If Stepher Fry and others do not understand the meaning of 'intrinsically disordered' they will have to do what the rest of us do when we come across terms we don't understand - research their meaning.

me said...


Yes I agree, after forgiveness,we must of course, determine to stop sinning. I was just adding that first, the spiritual moment of clarity should come in the form of conviction to change, rather than condemnation to ....??? well, despair.


you make very good points(mind you, they remind me of mine, so I might just be self praising). Oh yuk! Another defect exposed! That's at least three, this week.

George said...

Victoria mentions the links to EncourageTrust. For more go to:

Interview: Former Gay Youth Leader Re-Emerges to Tell His Dramatic Conversion Story
By Patrick B. Craine
November 11, 2009 ( -

Two years ago Michael Glatze sent shockwaves through the homosexualist establishment when he declared publicly that he had left his life as a prominent homosexual activist, become Christian, and embraced "normal human sexuality."

In an interview with (LSN), Glatze said that, far from reverting back to his old lifestyle (as many of his critics in the homosexual community said he would) he is "extremely happy, and able to have a very good, normal, healthy life."
Glatze started identifying as homosexual at 20. After that he went on to found a popular homosexualist youth magazine - Young Gay America - in his early 20s, and had become a nationally-recognized media source on homosexual issues by 30.
During that time, however, he began to have doubts about homosexuality, and in 2005, after a decade working in the homosexual movement, he gave it all up, deciding it was "wrong and immoral." Just prior to leaving his position at the magazine, as he recounted in 2007 when he first went public with his conversion, he wrote on his office computer: "Homosexuality is death, and I choose life."
After announcing his conversion, Glatze says he was "trashed by people who didn't know me to such an extent that I felt I needed to go inside, more, to further understand everything I was discussing."
"The fury that comes from 'gay' people against people like me can be vicious and vile, and it can hurt," he told LSN. "They stop at nothing to make me feel ashamed for my current stance on homosexuality, and to try to make me doubt what I have experienced in my life."
"I got to a point where I decided to be 'silent,' and turn down offers to speak, and process," he said.
Since then he says he has "relied on God, and God alone." "I have enjoyed living a relatively 'normal' life," he said. "I go to church. I've dated girls. And, I continue to understand the ramifications of the homosexual sin in increasingly deep ways, as I encounter others in the grip of this sin, learn more about human nature, and watch my own experiences - comparing them to the way I might've responded or acted in certain situations just a few years ago."
Now ready to share his story again, he says he is insistent on grounding his identity in God rather than defining himself according to his status as "ex-gay." "I don't want to be some kind of spokesperson that makes this issue seem too much about me," he explained.
"There are countless individuals who have successfully left the homosexual lifestyle, have gotten away from the habits of homosexual sin, and who have happy and healthy lives," he continued.
He says he has been edified by "many, many e-mails from people in various parts of the world who related to my story ... who encouraged me to keep going down this road, who are happy, who have left homosexuality far, far behind, who have kids, [and] who have beautiful spouses."
The truth is "obvious," he explained. "Heterosexuality is normal human sexuality, while homosexuality is a deviation. These are obvious things. What is so ground-breaking is how successful activists have been at clouding out reality."
"I think as the angry media continues to perpetuate the myth that homosexuality can't be cured, ... I want to continue to send the message of truth in opposition to that lie."

Anonymous said...

"homosexuality acts are intrinsically disordered"

Homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered in one sense with which any (rational) gay would agree, especially in view of the latest trend to base policies on research and "evidence." Numerous research have evidence that homosexual relations are significantly linked with increased incidence of AIDS and numerous sexually transmitted diseases. It is therefore certainly unhealthy activity. Just as research show that smoking is linked with significantly increased incidences of cancer and many other diseases. The same is with drinking. Smoking and drinking are unhealthy activities just as homosexuality.

Why smoking and drinking are banned in public places but not homosexuality? If banning homosexuality is against human freedom, why banning smoking or drinking is not?

antonio said...

But is not sodomy a sin that cries vengeance to God?

Richard Collins said...

John Martin - many are called but few are chosen.

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