During his pointless trip to the Democratic Republic of Georgia—where he was boycotted by the Orthodox hierarchy, who had instructed the Orthodox laity not attend to his papal Mass—Francis, speaking off-the-cuff as usual, condemned “gender theory”:
“[a] great enemy of marriage today is the theory of gender… Today, there is a global war trying to destroy marriage… they don’t destroy it with weapons, but with ideas. It’s certain ideological ways of thinking that are destroying it…we have to defend ourselves from ideological colonization…”
So far, so good. But after more than three years of bitter experience with this pontificate, those who are still paying any attention to Francis knew it was almost a certainty that his seeming affirmation of orthodoxy would be contradicted by another pronouncement sooner or later in keeping with the theme of his entire pontificate, which is also thematic to Modernism: affirm in principle what one denies in practice.
The moment came quickly, on the return flight to Rome from the equally pointless trip to Azerbaijan. During the mandatory in-flight press conference at which Francis must blather on about this and that, a clever reporter posed a question clearly framed to invite Francis to walk back his seeming condemnation of gender theory the day before:
Josh McElwee, National Catholic Reporter: Thank you, Holy Father. In that same speech yesterday in Georgia, you spoke, as in so many other countries about gender theory, saying that it is a great enemy and a threat against marriage. But, I would like to ask you, what would you say to someone who has struggled with their sexuality for years and feels that there is truly a problem of biology, that his aspect doesn't correspond to what he or she feels is their sexual identity. You, as a pastor and minister, how would you accompany these people?
Of course, Francis snapped at the bait and promptly neutralized his own brief flirtation with sound teaching:
One thing is that a person has this tendency, this condition and even changes their [sic] sex, but it’s another thing to teach this in line in schools in order to change the mentality. This is what I call ideological colonization.
So all Francis really meant to say is that school children should not be indoctrinated with “gender theory.” But he was not saying—perish the thought!—that an adult who “changes their sex”—as if that were possible—should not be “accompanied” in the “sex-change” process. This “accompaniment” of “transgenders” would be in keeping with the new principles of moral theology Francis unveiled in Amoris Laetitia: “discernment” and “integration of weakness.”
Warming to the task of rectifying his unfortunate outburst of orthodoxy, Francis continued his blathering by recalling the “transgender couple” he had invited to the Vatican for a personal audience and a photo op so that all the world could see how accepting he was of a woman who had surgically mutilated herself in order to pretend to be a man and then “married” a woman willing to pretend she had married a man:
Last year I received a letter from a Spaniard who told me his story as a child, a young man, he was a girl, a girl who suffered so much because he felt he felt like a boy, but was physically a girl. He told his mother and the mom…(the girl) was around 22 years old said that she would like to do the surgical intervention and all of those things. And the mother said not to do it while she was still alive. She was elderly and she died soon after.
She had the surgery and an employee of a ministry in the city of Spain went to the bishop, who accompanied (this person) a lot. Good bishop. I [Francis? the bishop?] spent time accompanying this man. Then (the man) got married, he changed his civil identity, got married [sic] and wrote me a letter saying that for him it would be a consolation to come with his wife, he who was she, but him! I received them: they were happy…
These remarks are replete with indications of a practical abandonment of the Church’s teaching on sexual morality and the unalterable divine ordination of male and female sexes. Notice, first of all, Francis’s praise of the “good bishop” who “accompanied this person a lot.” Evidently, the bishop “accompanied” the woman as she (a) purported to “change” her sex by surgical mutilation, (b) declared herself a man before the civil authorities, (c) purported to “marry” another woman as if she were a man, and (d) habitually engaged in utterly perverse sexual relations outside of marriage. And all the while the “good bishop” apparently never warned the poor woman not to do these things because they are gravely sinful and self-destructive (“trannies” have an attempted suicide rate of more than 40%). There is not even the suggestion that the woman was urged to seek psychiatric help.
Notice also that Francis implicitly accepts the very claims of the “gender theory” he professed to reject only a day before, obligingly accepting as a given that a woman is now a man, entitled to change his “civil identity” from female to male and capable of contracting “marriage” with another woman. His “condemnation” of “gender theory” amounts to nothing in practice.
Catch Chris's regular column, every two weeks!
So, now we know what “accompany” means: practical acceptance of sexual sin and sexual perversity in the life of the Church. Of course we knew that all along. Lest we forget, it was Francis who approved publication of the sham “interim report” of the Phony Synod before the Synod Fathers had even seen it, wherein we read of the “gifts and talents” of homosexuals qua homosexuals, the need for “accepting and valuing their sexual orientation” and the “precious support in the life of the partners” provided by “homosexual unions” based on habitual sodomy.
In his characteristically muddled and elliptical fashion—which always, however, meanders its way to a subversive conclusion—Francis then expounded on his equally novel notion of an imaginary disjunction between morality and “life.” He alluded to Amoris Laettia, which dares to assert that God Himself will accept “what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God… amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal (AL 303).” Quoth Francis:
Life is life and things must be taken as they come. Sin is sin. And tendencies or hormonal imbalances have many problems and we must be careful not to say that everything is the same. Let’s go party. No, that no, but in every case I accept it, I accompany it, I study it, I discern it and I integrate it. This is what Jesus would do today!
Please don't say: 'the Pope sanctifies transgenders.' Please, eh! Because I see the covers of the papers. Is there any doubt as to what I said? I want to be clear! It’s [a] moral problem. It’s a human problem and it must be resolved [sic] always can be with the mercy of God, with the truth like we spoke about in the case of marriage by reading all of Amoris Laetitia, but always with an open heart.
For Francis, there is morality on the one hand and “life” on the other. And given that “life is life,” whereas morality is not life but rather only an “objective ideal,” one must take life as it comes without expecting strict conformity to the “ideal.” Yes, of course sin is sin. But thanks to Amoris Laetitia—which we must read attentively from beginning to end so that we understand the new moral theology and related “pastoral practice” the God of Surprises has just revealed through Francis—sin is now to be “accompanied” and “integrated.” This will be done according to the new modality of “discernment” of the many objective mortal sinners who are not really mortal sinners because of “the concrete complexity of one’s limits.”
One might ask: What does “concrete complexity” mean, given that everyone’s life is both concrete and complex, humans not being amoebas? If you have to ask, Francis cannot tell you. Suffice it to note that, as Francis says, there are “tendencies or hormonal imbalances” and “many problems,” so that “we must be careful not to say that everything is the same.” Translation: what is sinful behavior for one person might not be sinful behavior for another, despite “the objective ideal.” Because life is just so complex. And life is life, is it not?
Therefore, according to the latest bulletin from the Airplane Magisterium, in order to follow Amoris Laetitia one must accept, accompany, discern and integrate not only the divorced and “remarried” but also people who do violence to themselves surgically and chemically and then pretend to marry people of the same sex, habitually engaging in perverse and intrinsically evil sexual relations. But Francis is not sanctifying “transgenders,” he hastens to assure us. No, never that! Rather, he is merely accepting them as such, even calling them men when they are women and vice versa.
Yes, there is a “moral problem” here, but it is also “a human problem.” And how can we allow an “objective ideal”—way up there in the sky, along with the Platonic forms—to eclipse the subjective complexity of humanity down here on earth? No, we must be merciful to people precisely in their humanity! So Francis, setting a merciful example, calls the “transgender” woman “him” and her perverse relationship with another woman a “marriage” between “him” and her that makes them happy. He even invites the “transgender couple” to a private papal audience and poses for photos with them to show the world just how insignificant their “moral problem” is in comparison with the concrete complexity of their very complex humanity.
The same is true for homosexual “couples,” like the pair Francis greeted, hugged and kissed on their cheeks before the cameras during his trip to the United States. This was a meeting he personally arranged with one of the “partners” (a student of his from Argentina) by cell phone and email, knowing full well that the world would see that neither does Francis insist that sodomites conform their complex humanity to the Procrustean bed of an “objective ideal.” Sodomy may be sodomy, but life is life, humanity is humanity and things are things. And we must always take things as they come, must we not? What could be clearer?
Above all, one must never tell such people that what they are doing is intrinsically evil and that their perverse relationships must end for the salvation of their souls. No! We must “accompany” them without such harsh judgments, as if they were doing nothing too terribly wrong or urgently in need of correction, and certainly nothing worthy of damnation. We know this is so because of the new “discernment” that is Francis’s great gift to the Church—but which, curiously enough, applies only to sins of the flesh as opposed to other sins Francis deems inexcusable, such as the “sin against ecumenism” by “proselytizing” the Orthodox, which he denounced in Georgia.
In sum, when it comes to sex, Francis has replaced our Our Lord’s injunction “Be ye perfect, therefore, as also your heavenly Father is perfect” with “Do the best you can, and don’t sweat it if you fall short of the objective ideal, for Jesus will accompany you.” As he declared in one of his rambling homilies on the subject, it is nothing short of heresy to think otherwise:
It is not Catholic (to say) “either this or nothing”: This is not Catholic, this is heretical. Jesus always knows how to accompany us, he gives us the ideal, he accompanies us towards the ideal. He frees us from the chains of the laws’ rigidity and tells us: ‘But do that up to the point that you are capable.’ And he understands us very well. He is our Lord and this is what he teaches us.
As noted above, Francis reaffirmed the new teaching of Jesus on the flight back to Rome: “This is what Jesus would do today.” That’s today, as opposed to 2,000 years ago when Jesus, with all His talk of adultery and hellfire, and Saint Paul, with all his thundering against “men with men, working that which is filthy,” or, for that matter, all the Apostles, did not fully appreciate the “concrete complexity of one’s limits.” Nor can anyone can doubt that the Jesus of Today would do just as Francis does and that it is heretical to deny this, for Francis has spoken from the Airplane of Peter. Aeronavis locutus est. Causa finita est.
If only this pontificate were a joke. Or rather, if only this joke of a pontificate could simply be laughed off and ignored. But the devil’s jokes are deadly serious, and the walking, talking collection of Modernist clichés that is Bergoglianism may be the Big Bertha in the Adversary’s long war against the Church. No, this joke is not funny. And yet we do laugh, that we might not cry.