Don Pietro Leone, a priest who celebrates the Traditional Mass exclusively in an Italian diocese, and who has sent so many gifts to Rorate readers, including his booklet on the destruction of the Roman Rite and his essay on Modernism, has a new Summer reading gift for our readers -- a long essay on Apostasy.
It is a booklet on Apostasy, and on how abandonment of the truth about God has led to all other evils in the Church and in Society. We strongly suggest you read, print out, send to friends, and spread it around as widely as possible, as it helps explain so much, including how a minority of perverted activists has been trying to alter the very words of Christ on the truth on marriage.
Is there hope? Read the essay to find out!
a special essay by Father Pietro Leone for Rorate Caeli
Watchman, what of the Night? (Is. 21.11)
Watchman, what of the Night? (Is. 21.11)
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Here in Italy the summer has reached its height: the sun beats down on the city and on the countryside by day, and by night the elderly sit outside and watch the people passing by.
To the eyes of the Faith, by contrast, the whole of mankind is plunged in the most profound darkness, for both the Church and the World are in the throes of the gravest and most profound crisis in the history of their existence. The crisis is one of Apostasy, not so much in the formal sense of the explicit rejection of the Catholic Faith, but rather in the general sense of the falling away from God.
To help us understand the nature of this apostasy we shall make a brief meditation on the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans (vv. 17-32), in which St. Paul refers to this same phenomenon in his own epoch. Holy Scripture is widely applicable to the events of human history: we shall see how the passage in question may usefully be applied to the circumstances of our contemporary world.
The elements which we propose to consider in this essay are the following:
I) The suppression of the Truth about God;
II) The refusal to honour God;
I The Suppression of the Truth about God
St. Paul writes (v.18) of ‘those men that detain the truth about God in injustice’. ‘Detain’ (detinere in the Latin, catechein in the Greek) signifies the suppression of that which moves the agent to the good; ‘in injustice’ signifies that this suppression is in opposition to the order that God has established; ‘the truth’, as the context shows and as we proceed to explain, is both the supernatural knowledge of God, namely the Faith, and the natural knowledge of God which is acquired by the use of reason.
The Truth about God which is suppressed in the contemporary world belongs, like the Truth of which St. Paul treats, both to the supernatural and the natural orders.
We see that St. Paul, when he speaks of the ‘Suppression of the Truth’, refers (at least in part) to the Faith, since he speaks in verse 16 of the Gospel as ‘a power of God unto salvation to every-one that believeth’, and in verse 17 mentions the word ‘Faith’ three times and states that ‘the just man liveth by Faith’.
In this section we shall therefore speak of the suppression of articles of the Faith in the contemporary Church.
Now clearly the Faith may be suppressed in one of two ways: either by denying it explicitly by formal heresy such as in the ‘39 Articles’ of Martin Luther, or by obscuring it. As we attempted to set forth in our essay on Modernism, it is principally by obscurantism that the Faith is attacked in the present age. As we further explained in the same essay, this obscurantism may take one of two forms: the passing over of a doctrine in silence, and equivocation. We return to this theme now in virtue of its relevance to apostasy.
Here we limit ourselves briefly to the obscuring of one of the two core articles of the Catholic Faith, namely the existence of the Most Blessed Trinity. We observe that recent Popes refer but rarely to this dogma, preferring to speak simply of ‘God’ – as though as a gesture towards paganism and heresy.
As we have explained in detail in our short work: ‘The Destruction of the Roman Rite’, the prayers of Adoration of the Triune God have been almost entirely abolished from the Novus Ordo. The Doxology Gloria Patri… which appeared thrice in the Old Rite has been entirely removed; the Trinitarian formula per Dominum Nostrum Jesum Christum… which concluded many of the prayers in the Old Rite has been removed in all cases except one; the prayer at the Offertory Suscipe Sancta Trinitas and the prayer at the end of the Mass Placeat Tibi Sancta Trinitas have been excised; the Preface of the Holy Trinity which was used in the former rite almost every Sunday of the year now appears only once, that is on the respective Feast-day.
Furthermore the invocation of the Most Blessed Trinity (Pater de caelis Deus…) at the beginning of the public litanies was officially eliminated by Pope Paul VI in Lent 1969. Similarly one observes that the Trinitarian doxology has been removed from the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus (at least in the Italian version), thereby incidentally reducing the number of verses from the symbolic 7 to 6.
Equivocation on the part of the Magisterium typically takes the form of an ambiguous statement favouring heresy. In the article ‘How to Regard the Second Vatican Council’ we gave as an example the statement: ‘The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church’. This statement is ambiguous in that it could mean that the Church of Christ is either greater than, or identical to, the Catholic Church. It favours heresy inasmuch as it suggests the former sense. Otherwise why not simply re-state the dogma that the two are identical?
a) Changes to Catholic Doctrine
Such equivocal statements not only favour heresy but also represent (putative) changes to Catholic doctrine: The Church of Christ is no longer identical to the Catholic Church: it subsists in the Catholic Church.
However, any-one with even a minimal theological formation knows that Tradition has a binding force. All Catholic dogmas and doctrines belong to Tradition, and none of them can change over time. The Second Vatican Council, however, declared new doctrines, doctrines which did not belong to Tradition: doctrines which represent changes to traditional teachings.
As is explained in the same article, Catholic doctrine cannot change except in the depth or clarity of its expression. The changes in the Council were not, however, of this type, but rather were substantial changes: changes in substance.
Apart from the example just cited, there are many other examples, such as the assertion that there are elements of Truth and Sanctity outside the Catholic Church, that the Pope shares jurisdiction over the entire Catholic Church with the Bishops (‘collegiality’); that the Mass is ‘the Paschal Mystery’, and so on. Such assertions represent changes to Catholic dogma, which is, however, immutable. The Church teaches immutably and infallibly that outside the Church there is no salvation, that the Pope possesses absolute jurisdictional primacy, that the Mass is in its essence the Holy Sacrifice of Calvary.
b) Contradictions of Catholic Doctrine
Now the change to a statement purporting to express a truth constitutes a contradiction of that statement. The equivocations that we have cited therefore represent not only changes, but also contradictions, of traditional teachings.
It is true that they are not formal contradictions, formally denying the Catholic dogma by saying, for example: ‘The Church of Christ is not identical to the Catholic Church - otherwise they would have been tantamount to formal heresy, and would not have been accepted by the majority of the Council-members. Rather they are effective and veiled contradictions: that is to say contradictions for all intents and purposes, and contradictions veiled in obscurity, as we were at pains to explain in the article on Modernism.
Such contradictions are manifest when we compare the modern doctrines with doctrines taught by the Magisterium previously as we have just done, but also when we compare amongst themselves Council texts or contemporary teachings (whether on the Magisterial, Episcopal, or parochial level). In the latter cases we may speak of ‘doctrinal syncretism’.
c) Doctrinal Syncretism
Since the Second Vatican Council does not wholly consist of new, but also of traditional, doctrines, it follows that contradictions may be found within the Council texts themselves. In the text Presbyterorum Ordinis one reads for instance (§ 2) that the priest ‘in virtue of his sacred ordination has the power to offer the Sacrifice and forgive sins’ (the Catholic doctrine), and in another place (§ 4) that ‘the priest’s first duty is to announce God’s Gospel to all’ (the Protestant doctrine).
In the period subsequent to the Council, the Church, or more precisely the men of the Church, have continued to teach a mixture of Catholic and non-Catholic doctrine: Truth and Falsehood: paragraphs, sentences, words, and letters all jumbled up meaninglessly together as it were: nonsense, senseless sounds, flatus vocis, a morass, quicksands in which a man can lose his life.
The syncretism has entered into the Magisterium - and continues to flourish there to the present day; into all the Pontifical Universities - the Lateran, the Gregorian, the Angelicum and so on - as well as into all the diocesan seminaries in the entire world. No Institute is uncontaminated, except for those few ‘Traditionalist’ ones, with their Traditional teachings and the Old Mass.
This syncretism has filtered down to the parish level, so that it is not surprising to hear one and the same parish priest announce at one moment that death is followed by Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory, and at another moment (at a funeral Mass for a non-believer for example) that every-one goes immediately to Heaven. This mixture of True and False has found its ultimate expression in ‘Ecumenism’, where the true Christian confession makes common cause with the false confessions, and the true Faith with the false ‘Faiths’.
Meanwhile the Hierarchy has not sanctioned either group, and by allowing the two rites of Mass, one of which expresses the Catholic Faith, and the other heresy, as we attempted to explain in the essay on the Roman rite, it has in effect given equal rights to both Truth and Falsehood.
We could sum it up like this: the Church is not using its three offices of teaching, ruling, and sanctifying in favour of the Faith: she promotes both Truth and Falsehood doctrinally; she tolerates both juridically; she celebrates both liturgically. She is no longer interested in the Truth.
What is She interested in? What was She interested in ‘the Council’ and subsequently? The answer cannot be other than a peaceable co-existence with the World. But for the Church this is a work of self-destruction. Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant. Rome… creates a desert and calls it peace.’ (Tacitus, De Agricola)
B. The Suppression of the Natural Truth about God
1. Atheism in General
We noted above that St. Paul’s words concerning the ‘Suppression of Truth’ refer not only to supernatural, but also to natural, truth. This is clear from verses 19-20 where the Apostle proceeds to speak of the knowledge of God which may be obtained by contemplating the creation: ‘…Because that which is known of God is manifest of them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. His eternal power also and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.’
The suppression of the natural truth about God is atheism: the denial that God exists (‘positive atheism’) or the denial that His existence may be proved (‘negative atheism’ or ‘agnosticism’). If we look at man’s passage across the centuries we witness a tendency on his part to emancipate himself from God, his Master. Under the Old Dispensation we observe the infidelities of the people of Israel culminating in the crucifixion of the Messiah; under the New Dispensation a turning away initially from the God of the Faith and then from the God of reason as well.
The roots of modern atheism may be sought as early as the Middle Ages in the anthropocentrism of the Rhineland Mystics. We see its face more clearly in the humanism of the Renaissance and later in the figure of Martin Luther, whom the renowned 16th century Dominican, Fr. Tommaso Campanella in his work Atheismus Triumphatus, identifies as one of its principal causes.
The principal root of atheism in the last 500 years is certainly that of subjectivism: first the theological subjectivism of Martin Luther, then the philosophical subjectivism of René Descartes and the modern philosophers. Within this philosophical trend we may specify two particular theories which colour modern atheism: Materialism and Idealism. Materialism favours positive atheism: the thesis that God does not exist; Idealism favours negative atheism(- agnosticism): the thesis that we cannot know whether God exists.
Atheism has of course always been a position of individual persons or philosophical schools or élites, but in the present day it has taken on a well-nigh universal dimension, and become what one might call a mass product. It is of course an attitude typical of the World, but in recent years it has entered the Church as well, that is to say within the current of Modernism, as an immanent, pantheist system of thought (cf. St. Pius X’s Encyclical Pascendi § 39). It follows that the suppression of the truth about God within the contemporary Church is a suppression of the truth not only about the God of the Faith but also about the God of reason.
2. The Irrationality of Atheism
Verses 19-20 of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans quoted above constitute one of the principal scriptural sources for the Catholic dogma of the natural knowledge of God. In accordance with this text, the First Vatican Council declares infallibly that God may be known ‘with certainty by the natural light of human reason’, and the Anti-modernist Oath, repeating and amplifying this declaration, adds that the existence of God may ‘…thus also be proved’.
As the latter document states, the proof proceeds from the created world to the existence of the Creator by means of the principle of causality. This proof, which has five distinct modes, is set forth formally by St. Thomas Aquinas in his ‘Five Ways’- the Five Ways which are notable for their depth and subtlety, as also for the concision and the clarity of their expression.
Since the existence of God may conclusively be proved, atheism is not a logically tenable position. It follows that, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as theoretical Atheism, but only practical Atheism. In other words, one may live as though God does not exist, but there are no logical grounds for so doing.
3. The Immorality of Atheism
In becoming a mass product, atheism has gained a certain acceptance and respect in the common consciousness. Indeed the title ‘atheist’ has become well-nigh self-justifying: it is enough to present oneself as atheist, and usually no questions will be asked.
This does not however correspond to the vision of the Church. Father Tomas Tyn O.P. says: “Some-one will tell me ‘he is an atheist, but very nice’. I reply: ‘He may be very nice, but not as an atheist.’” Indeed since God’s existence, in the words of St. Paul, is ‘manifest’ and ‘clearly seen’, the atheist is not only irrational but also ‘inexcusable’.
The reason for atheism is sin. ‘The fool said in his heart: There is no God.’ Such is the unequivocal first verse of both Psalm 13 and Psalm 52. The word ‘fool’ in the original Hebrew signifies coarseness, both intellectual and moral, and implies that the fool denies God in order to justify himself in his sin. Our Blessed Lord Himself speaks of those who rejected Him because they preferred darkness to light: so that their sin should not become manifest; and St. Augustine in the same vein says that the atheist always has good reasons for being an atheist. In scholastic terms, we are talking about ignorantia affectata, the ignorance which does not diminish, but rather increases, the culpability of the agent. It is the ignorance of those responsible for the death of Our Lord, who were possessed of an ill will.
Because atheism is both a palliative and a mass phenomenon it may accurately be described it as ‘The Opium of the People.’
II The Refusal to Honour God
In verse 21 St Paul writes: ‘…when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God or given thanks’. Here he mentions the two religious duties that man owes to God in virtue of His infinite glory and goodness, respectively. In turning away from God, man has in effect refused to fulfill these duties.
This is particularly obvious in the domain of the Holy Mass where the Church’s new liturgy reflects Her new doctrine. The offering of the Holy Mass of course is in itself the highest and most perfect means to glorify God and to give Him thanks - indeed the most common synonym for the Holy Mass is ‘The Eucharist’, which means thanksgiving.
The Old Rite enables man to offer glory to God and give Him thanks in the most adequate and sublime manner possible. The Novus Ordo Missae, by contrast, is signally defective in this regard. Apart from the suppression of the mention of the Most Holy Trinity (as stated above) - the very object of the glory offered by the Mass, the prayer ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo’ as we noted in the same essay, has been removed from the majority of the Masses offered in the course of the liturgical year. In the same spirit the vast majority of acts of Adoration which the rubrics of the Old Rite had safeguarded, have been eliminated from the modern Mass, such as the bows, the signs of the Cross, the genuflections, the silence, together with all the reverent demeanour on the part of the celebrant and the assisting faithful.
We invite any-one who claims that the two rites are of equal value to reflect upon these changes. How can a rite, for example, which prescribes Communion on the tongue to the kneeling faithful be of equal value to one that permits and indeed fosters Communion in the hand to the standing faithful?
In fact each Mass in itself always gives equal value to God, but the manner in which any given Mass is offered is not of equal value to the manner in which any other Mass is offered. If one takes two identical precious stones and mounts one in a precious setting and on a precious ring which entirely suit the stone, and the other in a cheap and vulgar setting and ring, then clearly the former object will have a greater value than the latter.
In turning away from God, man rejects the True and the Good in their ultimate sense, that is to say as they exist in God Himself. In the next section we consider the former phenomenon; in the following section the latter. In later sections we shall be concerned to expose the irrationality and evil of contemporary society.
St. Paul continues (vv.21-3) that men, not glorifying God or giving Him thanks, ‘became vain in their thinking. And their foolish heart was darkened. For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…’
In commentary on the phrase ‘their foolish heart was darkened’ it may be said that this foolishness consists in the rejection of God, and that this rejection darkens the intellect and will, represented, in Jewish imagery, by the heart.
God is the True: Objective Truth, Being, Objective Reality in the ultimate sense of the term. Atheism, in rejecting God, has rejected truth: it has substituted truth for falsehood (as St. Paul states in v. 25); and since knowledge is knowledge of the Truth and philosophy is the knowledge of Truth in the ultimate sense of the term, atheism has effectively excluded a priori both the possibility of knowledge and philosophy.
The atheist modern philosophers are fantasy-spinners. It would have been better for them to have become science-fiction writers. At least they would then have revealed themselves for what they were and earned their keep honestly. What is reality? What is the basis of morality? What am I? One of them excogitates a theory and another refutes it. The questions become unanswerable, and, at the end of the day, entirely otiose.
Within the Church, the Modernists, by now of a certain age, are spinning similar fantasies. We would not wish to pass over in silence the recent denial on the part of Bishops of the Real Presence of Our Blessed Lord, or of the sublime privileges of the Most Blessed and Glorious Virgin Mary, nor of the long-standing promotion of abortion by the German Bishops’ Conference: Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland.
These various fantasies, when set alongside true Church doctrines, create the syncretistic amalgam of Truth and Falsehood that we have delineated above.
One of the most effective ways in which Modernism has entered the hearts of the clergy and of the faithful is, however, by means of the Novus Ordo Missae, for according to the principle of lex orandi, lex credendi they have by their celebration of, and assistance at, this rite, imbibed the falsehood of the new and false theology, and their heart has been darkened and closed to the Truth. Who in the Novus Ordo clergy and hierarchy, or even among those who are biritual, has retained a clear and unsullied vision of Absolute, Supernatural Truth?
Herumstolzierend, the modern philosophers and thinkers make ungainly incursions into the field of practical ethics such as sexuality and unborn life. Acclaimed and even knighted in their latter years for their intellectual achievements, they profess, like the Modernists, ‘to be wise’: ‘… with that vainglory that allows them to regard themselves as the sole possessors of knowledge, and makes them say, elated and inflated with presumption: We are not like other men’ (Pascendi § 40).
We reply to the Modernist and the modern philosopher in the words of Shakespeare (Henry IV Pt. I, Act 5 Scene 5): ‘I know thee not old man. Fall to thy prayers. How ill white hairs become a fool…’
‘And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of a corruptible man and of birds, and of four-footed beasts and of creeping things…’
Rejecting God from the heart, that is from the intellect and the will, they reject the proper object of these faculties, which is God under the aspect of Infinite Truth and Infinite Good respectively: for the intellect has been created to know God under the aspect of the True, and to love Him under the aspect of the Good.
Once God has been rejected from the heart, once the heart has lost its orientation to its proper object, it is darkened and falls onto surrogate objects: onto finite, created things, onto idols: devils, men, animals, or graven images. In short the men who reject God, in falling away from Him, ‘worship(ped) and serve(d) the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.’ (v.25).
The Book of Wisdom (ch. 12 ff.) which serves as a background for St. Paul’s account of Apostasy, specifies graven images as the object of men’s worship; St. Paul, by contrast, specifies animals and man. The modern apostate society, by contrast, has clearly elected man as the object of his worship.
Modern philosophy, in denying or doubting of God’s existence, has placed man in the centre of the Universe. It has developed two distinct systems of ethics for his conduct: hedonism and humanism. It will not now be necessary to expound the shallowness of hedonism, of which we shall offer an egregious example below, instead we shall here confine ourselves to a brief comment on humanism.
He who believes in God, recognizes that the dignity and perfection of man reside in his love of God, and that his moral conduct must be determined by God’s will, particularly as expressed in the natural law. The atheist humanist, by contrast, is incapable of appreciating the dignity of man or the natural law that should govern his every action; in rejecting God, he has in effect rejected any adequate foundation for man’s dignity and morality. Indeed he has rejected objective reality itself and has thus rendered himself incapable of understanding man or his morality except by reference to the subjective order, by reference to man’s happiness and fulfillment.
Undeniably this same humanism has entered into contemporary Catholic moral teaching, even if Catholic doctrine is by its very nature divine. As St. Paul explicitly states (Gal.1. 11): ‘For I give you to understand, brethren, that the gospel that was preached by me, is not according to man’.
The new doctrinal and moral stance of the Church, by contrast, from the Second Vatican Council onwards, with its advocation of the principle of Mercy over the condemnation of error, its love for the entire world qua world, its promotion of the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the abolition of the Index, the purported expansion of the Church beyond the bounds of the Catholic Church, the promotion of a heady and euphoric Ecumenism are so many instances of a new, all-pervasive spirit of love which is no longer that of Charity.
Charity is the supernatural love of God and the neighbour in God in the state of Grace, which ‘rejoices in the Truth’, which consists in fulfilling the commandments, and which is perfected in sanctity. The new spirit of love, by contrast, is the love of the senses: feelings, sentimentality, conformity to the feelings of others. It is a subjective form of love. In the shift from the former to the latter we have witnessed a shift from the objective to the subjective, from the supernatural virtue of love to the passion of love; we have witnessed a pale and effeminate simulacrum disguising itself as true love and deceiving the masses. The deception continues to the present day and, as we have attempted to show in the book on the family, is particularly evident in Magisterial Personalism and Theology of the Body.
Man is placed at the centre of the world in contemporary Church doctrine, then, as well as in Her liturgy, where as we argued in detail in the book on the New Mass, Our Lord Jesus Christ has been ousted from His due position of honour and substituted by man.
‘Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness: to dishonour their own bodies among themselves… ’ (v.24).
We first observe that the phrase ‘God gave them up’ (which thrice appears in the section under consideration) refers to God’s withholding Grace from sinners in response to the gravity of their sin.
1. Impurity in General
The two most remarkable features of impurity, as with atheism, are its irrationality and its immense contemporary diffusion. We shall look at each in turn.
The sexual faculty is for procreation as the eye is for sight. When children are born they need a stable home in order to grow up as happy and well-balanced young people. For this purpose a father and mother are necessary - to love both them and one another. In this way we can see that human nature itself entails the necessity of marriage: in other words, marriage is an institution of the Natural Law. To defy marriage is therefore to defy the Natural Law, and Reason itself which it expresses.
Sins against purity have always been rife on account of the weakness of Fallen Nature, but such sins to-day enjoy enormous diffusion. The reason should be sought in the enormous diffusion of atheism, for if God and the Objective Good are no longer the guiding principles of morality, their place will be usurped by man and his subjective good. But if man and his feelings have gained the moral ascendency, then it is clear that sexuality will be given free rein on all sides.
Just as with atheism, it has always been the case that given intellectuals have attempted to justify sins against impurity, but to-day we are no longer speaking about the attitudes or the sins of individuals, but of the masses. Successive extramarital alliances of shorter or longer duration involving overt cohabitation, also in the form of civil ‘marriages’ combined with divorces, have by now become almost as conventional as marriage in the proper sense of the word.
The moral stigma attached to such evils has been largely effaced. The sense of shame has much diminished; modesty in comportment, dress, and speech is no longer practised; obscenity is found even in the mouths of children.
Fallen Nature forces itself on the attention from a billion posters and screens. It cries out in the streets and public places in an untiring and incessant stream of tainted music, telling of its joys and unquenchable loves and sorrows. It finds its ultimate expression and celebration in the ‘pop-concert’ with its screaming and howling fanatics, its Dionysian licentiousness and obscenity,
‘full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’ (Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5).
The family disintegrates into ‘one-parent families’ or ragged and amorphous pseudo-families consisting of whole generations of persons related to each other as quasi-in-laws: fragments of broken homes clinging to fragments of other broken homes, like flotsam and jetsam drifting across the vast ocean of human misery.
Society itself, with the disintegration of its constitutive cell which is the family, itself disintegrates, like some vast glacier splitting, cracking, and decomposing into the self-same polluted and all-encompassing ocean.
C’est un univers morne à l’horizon plombé
où nagent dans la nuit l’horreur et le blasphème (Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal).
The reason for the particular decadence and degradation of Western society is its former glory. For Catholic society is the highest form of society that exists, and the corruption of that which is the best is the worst: corruptio optimi pessima est. In this connection it should not surprise us that even Italy, the very heart-land of Catholicism, is also contemplating passing a law to introduce the infamous ‘Gender Ideology’ into its schools.
2. Unnatural Impurity
‘… they… worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator…For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into the use which is against nature. And in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts, one towards another: man with man, working that which is filthy and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error’ (v. 25-7).
a) Unnatural Impurity in General
If fornication is itself contrary to nature and reason, this form of it is egregiously so. Not only are these acts performed outside their proper context which is that of marriage, but they are also deprived of sexual complementarity and are lacking by their nature in the very possibility of procreation.
A glance at empirical psychology shows us that this form of fornication is not only irrational in regard to the finality of the sexual act, but also in regard to the human psyche. According to a well and widely respected theory, the homosexual condition derives from a child’s arrested psychological development. Take a boy for example whose father (whether by his absence or his unattractive character) does not provide the necessary model for his psychological masculinity and/or whose mother, for instance by her domineering or possessive character, does not allow it to develop. This boy, as he grows to adulthood and beyond, will be prey to the desire to appropriate to himself the masculinity of those of his own sex who realise for him the ideal of manhood, which he feels to exist in him only in a potential form. Clearly to engage in sexual activity with such mirage-like figures will do nothing to satisfy this desire. Rather, therapy is indicated, the purification of the emotional love and its sublimation into a life and activities consonant with the dignity of the human person.
We observe with regret that the break-down of the family tends to augment the homosexual condition, inasmuch as a) fathers are increasingly absent to their sons; and b) with the lessening of the spirit of self-sacrifice guaranteed by a well-functioning family, the fathers are increasingly less attractive as models for them, and the mothers less altruistic.
Although we must be compassionate towards those who suffer, we must never condone evil. With homosexual acts we are talking about sins of extreme gravity, that ‘cry to Heaven for vengeance’ and in the face of which, according to St. Pier Damiani, ‘even the devils withdraw.’ They abhor such crimes because they have retained something of the perfection of the angelic nature, so that crimes against nature of this enormity are repugnant to them.
b) Unnatural ‘Marriage’
A recent development in this shadowy domain is that of alliances between persons of the same sex being proposed as ‘marriage’ by the state authorities, with sanctions being proposed for the future on those who might be so bold as to object to them.
What we are witnessing is the public acceptance and approval, at least on the civil level, of that which is obscene and intrinsically perverted; and the purported elevation of the respective way of life to the dignity of a sacrament, in other words to that of a state willed by God and a source of holiness.
The irrationality of this way of life is manifest even in the name with it has been dubbed: ‘marriage’. The word derives from the Latin ‘matrimonium’, which, as the Catechism of Trent explains, signifies ‘matris munus’: the office of motherhood, which, when applied to two members of the same sex, is clearly a contradiction in terms. We as rational beings, and above all as Catholics, should refuse to call such alliances ‘marriage’ and should clearly instruct our children that they are not so.
Even if such alliances are not, and, on account of their perversion, will never be, widely diffused, we observe that one head-of-state after another is yielding to the pressure of approving them, under the influence of a small, if virulent, band of reprobates. These heads-of-state, when they are not simply evil, are weak. They lack courage and substance: they are like great white jelly-fish, invertebrate and poisonous, floating with the tide, and bringing death to all those whom they encounter.