August 25, 2017 (Steven O’Reilly) – Last week I came across an online article by Thomas Reese at the National Catholic Reporter Online regarding how the Catholic bishops’ honeymoon with President Trump has come to end (see here). Though there was the standard parading of our bishops’ leftist leanings, what caught my attention was what Cardinal Cupich said regarding the recent happenings in Charlottesville (emphasis added):
“Recent events reveal yet another reminder of what can be traced back to the original sin of the United States: racism.” Other bishops, like Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, also spoke out in a way that could be interpreted as critical of the president’s wishy-washy response to Charlottesville. “There can be no equivocating,” Cupich wrote in his archdiocesan newspaper. “Racism is a sin. White supremacy is a sin. Neo-Nazism is a sin.”
Cardinal Cupich is correct in his description of Racism, White supremacy and neo-Nazism as sinful. Yet, while Cupich is clear and unequivocal regarding the sinful categories above, he becomes the Great Equivocator when it comes to the question of communion for active homosexuals. By way of comparison to the quote above, consider this excerpt from a LifeSiteNews article from 2015 (see “Cardinal Cupich Lays out pathway for gay couples to receive communion at Vatican press scrum”):
When asked to give a concrete example of how he would accompany the divorced and remarried in their desire to receive the sacraments, Cupich replied: “If people come to a decision in good conscience then our job is to help them move forward and to respect that. The conscience is inviolable and we have to respect that when they make decisions, and I’ve always done that.”
When asked by LifeSiteNews if the notion of accompanying people to “the Sacrament” who had a clear indication of conscience to do so also applied to gay couples in the Church, Cupich indicated an affirmative answer.
“I think that gay people are human beings too and they have a conscience. And my role as a pastor is to help them to discern what the will of God is by looking at the objective moral teaching of the Church and yet, at the same time, helping them through a period of discernment to understand what God is calling them to at that point,” he said. “It’s for everybody. I think that we have to make sure that we don’t pigeonhole one group as though they are not part of the human family, as though there’s a different set of rules for them. That would be a big mistake.” (see Lifesite news)
Above, Cupich gives adulterers and homosexuals a pass from his “there-can-be-no-equivocating” talk of sin. He says we must respect the ‘inviolable conscience’ of the adulterer and ‘we have to respect that’ when they make their decisions. With regard to homosexuals, he says his role is “to help them discern what the will of God is by looking at objective moral teaching,” yet over time helping homosexuals to discern what God is “calling them to at that point.” Thus, incredibly, the suggestion by implication is that there is a possibility God might not be calling a homosexual to fulfill the moral law now.
Clearly, Cupich is the one who has a “different set of rules.” One can only wonder what Cupich might do if confronted with a pair of manifest adulterers who are a neo-Nazi and a White supremacist who are cohabitating with each other, who are both active homosexuals, and who both present themselves for communion after discerning it was still God’s will they receive. Does Cardinal Cupich condemn them as sinful or does he respect their “inviolable consciences” and accompany them as they discern God’s will? I suspect the cardinal’s head might explode.
Seriously though, it is not difficult to understand one reason why Cardinal Cupich is harder on one group of sinners and easier on the other: Cupich would be widely unpopular in the media and some circles of today’s society if he were to be unequivocal with regard to the Church’s teaching on the “intrinsically disordered” nature of homosexual acts (cf. CC 2357) and the need for a purpose of amendment to receive absolution. Unfortunately, the last 50-60 years have given us many bishops and priests who – because of their own heretical bent or lack of courage – sacrifice the faith to please certain groups who either in their beliefs or actions reject Catholic teaching, so that, for example, an “adulterous relationship” has now become the less offensive sounding “irregular relationship.” Fr. James Martin, SJ, is another example of the same disturbing trend, as seen in this excerpt from a recent Vatican Insider article (emphasis added):
Prominent Jesuit priest Fr James Martin has recently published a book, titled Building a Bridge, which calls for more respect, compassion and sensitivity to be shown to the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community. He argues that the Church’s official language about gay people should be changed, particularly where the catechism describes the homosexual orientation as “objectively disordered.” Fr Martin says that rephrasing this to “differently ordered” is more in tune with catechism’s call for gay people to be treated with “respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” (“Jesuit Writer says his book on gays ‘a simple plea for welcome'” by Christopher Lamb, Vatican Insider, 8/24/2017)
It seems apparent from his words that Fr. Martin is clearly not interested in the truth of Catholic teaching which regards the homosexual inclination as “objectively disordered” (cf. CC 2358). His suggested replacement of this phrase with “differently ordered” would have the effect of undermining the Catholic teaching that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” (cf. CC 2357) – and all for the purpose of not offending the sensibilities of homosexuals. Rather than the approach of the Cupichs and Martins of the world – real respect, compassion and sensitivity requires the telling of the Gospel truth; not telling folks what they want to hear with their ears and minds. Clearly, what St. Paul says in 2nd Timothy applies to our times – for we see it increasingly in the Church:
“I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:1-4)
Sadly, these are the times in which we live, where the likes of Cardinal Cupich and Fr. Martin tickle the ears of those who according to their own desires will “not endure sound doctrine.” Cardinal Cupich and Fr. Martin are not alone in this regard, but they are recent standouts. Though I was but a small lad in the late 1960s, I remember a TV comedy show called Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in. One of show’s skits involved the awarding of a trophy called the “Flying Fickle Finger of Fate.” This award noted some dubious achievement of an individual or institution (see Urban Dictionary). Inspired by the memory of this trophy, Roma Locuta Est presents Cardinal Cupich and Fr. Martin with the “The Ear-Tickling Finger of Faithlessness” Award for words and or actions that remind one of 2 Timothy 4:1-4. God save the Church from such “teachers.”