A prominent parish in the Archdiocese of Seattle is hosting a Zoom interfaith event this weekend with the Santa Marta Center, an Anglican emergency shelter for LGBT youth and young adults in El Salvador. The shelter is funded by the United Nations and a New York-based LGBT nonprofit that gets most of its funding from New York State and the federal government.
The “cultural exchange,” hosted by St. Joseph Catholic Parish with St. Patrick Catholic Church, will celebrate LGBT stories and discuss the work of the Anglican Diocese of El Salvador to advance LGBT rights. The meeting welcomes all “bi, trans, straight and cis” participants and will include a half-hour segment on “queer liturgy and commemorative activity”.
According to its website, the Santa Marta Center, founded by the Sexual Diversity Ministry of the Episcopal Church of El Salvador, provides support and shelter to vulnerable LGBT youth and young adults in a country that remains “very hostile to LGBTIQ+ people”. The center is named after Saint Martha, who in the Gospel of Luke “offers hospitality to Jesus while his sister Mary challenges gender roles and… cis-heteronormativity”. The ministry team cites the story of Martha and Mary as an example of how “Jesus frees us from society’s gender expectations.”
St. Joseph’s, a parish run by Jesuit priests, also hosts an “after-mass picnic” the last weekend in June for all families, friends, LGBT people and allies.
Contrary to Scripture
The parish messages challenge Holy Scripture, the explicit teachings of Saints Peter and Paul and over 2,000 years of Catholic Church doctrine. It violates the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which explains that the sixth commandment encompasses “the whole of human sexuality”. The catechism states that “everyone, male and female, must recognize and accept their sexual identity”, explaining that “by creating men ‘male and female’, God gives male and female equal personal dignity. .although in a different way”.
The document specifies that men and women with deep homosexual tendencies must be “accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity”. He insists, however, on the Church’s Bible-based teaching that homosexual acts themselves are acts of “gross depravity”, “inherently disordered”, “contrary to natural law” and “in no way cannot be approved”. The catechetical tradition also recalls that “the sin of Sodom” is one of the four sins which, according to the Bible, cry out for vengeance to heaven.
Morally fluid Jesuits and their fellow Episcopalians don’t have to like the church’s teaching on human sexuality, but it is Catholic, biblical, immutable, and unequivocal.
The History of Pope Francis’ Mixed Signals
Unfortunately, his Jesuit colleague, Pope Francis, had a strong hand in muddying what should be crystal clear waters. In 2021, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a statement confirming that “the Church does not, and cannot have, the power to bless” same-sex unions, because God “does not bless the Fishing”. The congregation’s response was consistent with the body’s 2003 finding against legal approval or recognition of same-sex unions, in which it stressed that “no ideology can erase from the human mind the certainty that marriage exists only between a man and a woman”.
Yet last year’s increasingly rare display of clarity and orthodoxy must be seen amid a decade of mixed signals and confusion on gay and transgender issues. This allowed a harmful culture of independent Catholicism on questions of morality to take root and overwhelm the Church hierarchy.
At a press conference in 2013, Francis sadly replied, “Who am I to judge?” asked about Monsignor Battista Ricca, an Italian clergyman and former Vatican diplomat appointed by Francis to a supervisory position at the Vatican Bank. While stationed in Uruguay between 1999 and 2004, Ricca allegedly lived with a man, a former captain in the Swiss army, and had a number of scrapes involving same-sex encounters.
In 2020, Francis made comments seemingly in favor of civil unions for same-sex couples in an interview for “Francesco”, a documentary about his life. Last year he praised the work of pro-LGBT ministry New Ways, an organization that promotes “an intersectional understanding of gender identity and sexuality”. He wrote a personal letter to co-founder Sister Jeannine Gramick, who in 1999 was disciplined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then headed by Cardinal Ratzinger, for “doctrinally unacceptable” positions on homosexuality, and the “promotion of inconsistent errors and ambiguities [sic] with a Christian attitude of true respect and compassion.
Promote LGBT allies
Francis also has a remarkable record of rewarding prominent pro-LGBT prelates with cushy concerts. In 2019, he promoted Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory to the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, the former haunt of disgraced serial predator, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The previous year, a group of concerned Catholics in the Archdiocese of Atlanta had launched a petition demanding that Gregory disassociate the archdiocese and its institutions from organizations and events that openly endorse LGBT behavior and politics, and reinforce and maintain the teaching of the church on marriage, the family. , and human sexuality. Gregory was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2020.
Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, LGBT sympathizer and archbishop of Chicago, has also just been named a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Cupich had no problem with the city’s openly gay and non-Catholic mayor receiving the Holy Eucharist at a funeral service for a slain police officer.
Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, McCarrick’s former roommate in Washington, D.C., who endorsed Jesuit priest James Martin’s book on the church’s relationship with the LGBT community, was named in 2016 prefect of the new Dicastery for the Laity , family and life, later made a cardinal and appointed this week to chair a new committee overseeing Vatican investments.
Schism over sexuality
Then there is the Vatican’s failure to reprimand the German bishops, who are in open rebellion against the church because of its teaching on sexuality. In February this year, the Archbishop of Luxembourg, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich (another Jesuit) declared that “the sociological and scientific basis of this teaching is no longer correct”.
In March, the Archbishop of Munich and Cardinal Freising Reinhard Marx celebrated a mass marking “20 years of queer worship and pastoral care.” The president of the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, argued that sex outside marriage and same-sex relationships are permitted, that the catechism should be updated to reflect this, and that in all case, “the way someone lives their personal intimacy has nothing to do”. his [sic] Company.”
Australian Cardinal George Pell has called on Rome “to intervene and pass judgment on the total and explicit rejection of Church teaching on sexual ethics”. German Cardinal Gerhard Müller backed Pell’s demand that the Vatican act, insisting that “heretical bishops must not be obeyed and that every Catholic is called to bear witness to the truth against them.”
In April, more than 70 bishops around the world, including 49 U.S. bishops, signed a schism warning letter. They argued that the so-called German synodal path “shows more submission and obedience to the world and to ideologies than to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior”.
May these well-meaning bishops urge, as Cardinal Pell said, to rediscover the promises of Jesus and embrace the “undiminished deposit of faith.” But as long as Pope Francis persists in his playful “God denies no one,” guilt trips, instead of urging, in adherence to the Catechism, self-control, chastity, prayer, union with the Cross of Christ and sacramental grace, heresies will multiply, deceiving countless Catholics along the way.
Describing this as a top-down problem that requires a top-down solution doesn’t begin to convey the type of invasive surgery needed to remove this malignant growth. In the meantime, it’s no wonder a notoriously woke Seattle parish is hosting — presumably while Seattle Archbishop Paul D. Etienne looks the other way — LGBT-affirming ecumenical gatherings, pride picnics and rainbow cookies for his deceived parishioners.
After all, when defiant American bishops are promoted and German prelates face no consequences for their full-fledged heresy, the pernicious message “love wins” is heard loud and clear by clergy – faithful and apostates.
Carina Benton has dual Australian and Italian citizenship and a permanent resident of the United States. Recently emigrated from the west coast, she is now contributing to the repopulation of the interior of the country. She holds a master’s degree in education and has taught languages, literature and writing for many years in Catholic and Christian institutions, as well as secular ones. She is a practicing Catholic and mother of two young children.