Rorate Caeli

Architect of "Traditionis Custodes" Endorses German Synodal Way on "Homosexuality as God's Creation"

Those who have long followed liturgical discussions are well aware of the name of Andrea Grillo, an Italian liturgical thinker (not precisely a liturgical scholar) who, though he denies having had a hand directly in ghostwriting Traditionis Custodes, is at the center of the Sant'Anselmo brigade whose ideas are (and sometimes verbatim) present in its text, as I discussed here. (For more on Grillo's anti-traditionalism, see thisthis, and this; for his stance against Humanae Vitae, see here.) In short, it is no exaggeration to say that Grillo is the court-theologian whose ideas have shaped the anti-TLM campaign more than anyone else's. It is therefore highly significant that he approvingly published, at his blog, a text called "Omosessualità: ripensamenti" (Homosexuality: Second thoughts) by Cosimo Scordato, who himself simply endorses the German Synodal Way's radical proposals. Birds of a feather... PAK

[Grillo's introduction:]

In this text, Cosimo Scordato examines some passages from one of the fruits of the "German Synodal Way." Useful reflection to grasp the meaning of the "synodal rethinkings" that offer the Catholic church the valuable opportunity to revise the theological categories of understanding creation and redemption. I thank Cosimo for this text, which I gladly publish (ag)

Homosexuality: second thoughts (by [Fr.] Cosimo Scordato)

We recently came across some passages from the text of the German Synod Commission, presented several months ago to the pope, which represents a turning point in the path of the magisterium, albeit in progress. We present an initial emphasis.

"Every human being is created by God in his gender and in this creaturely condition has an untouchable value; to every human person belongs his sexual orientation, in an indissoluble way, it was not chosen and is invariable. As the image of God, we owe each man attention and respect regardless of sexual orientation; all believers are obligated to act against all discrimination justified on sexual orientation. Since sexual orientation belongs to man as created by God himself, it should be treated ethically in the same way as heterosexual orientation. Every man is called to integrate his sexuality in the development of his life. Responsible genital sexuality in the relationship with the other person should be oriented to the attention of value and self-realization, love and trust, mutual responsibility as well as the specific dimension of generativity. It is realized in relationships that are built on exclusivity and duration." (Lehramtiliche Neubewertung von Homosesualitaet, Handlungtext; New Doctrinal Assessments on Homosexuality)

A significant passage from a purely theological point of view is what the bishops affirm when they propose to us the homosexual condition as being part of God's creation. Not that the cultural path, which forms the background to the new acquisitions, should be underestimated; but in this way the bishops are expressing themselves iuxta propria principia, that is, drawing on and re-proposing a new approach to the biblical source. The homosexual (and more) is God's creature and as such should be recognized not as an "off-program" from creation, but part of it and integrated into God's plan.

The fact of beginning to look at him as a creature, in the horizon of all creation, comes into circuit with the fact of recognizing him in the image and likeness of God; as such, the experience of love to which he is called is part of that revelation, which proclaims God as the source and goal of the journey of all creatures and which rereads the search for homosexual love as manifestative of God's own love. The affirmation that every human being is created by God "in his own kind" seems particularly relevant to us because it seems to want to emphasize that every human creature is a kind of its own (sui generis), which he will gradually discover in the process of his growth and of which he should not be ashamed because it represents a creative act of God.

As can be seen, it radically changes the point of observation and begins to rewrite a theology of creation, which points to the couple, in the different ways in which it will seek to identify itself, as an experience of the gift of love, which unites the partners in the experience of grace gushing forth from the creative and perpetually creative act of God. What qualifies the human condition (whether hetero, homo, or otherwise) is the call to love, which has its own qualifying characteristics and which is to be realized in the equal dignity of a life project and an ongoing exchange of one's existence.

The text goes on to further explicate the validity of acts performed by homosexuals. "Same-gender sexuality, realized even in sexual acts, is therefore not to be regarded as a sin that separates from God and is not to be considered in itself as something bad; rather it is to be considered in the realization of the values indicated above." Important passage that leads to the consequent invitation made by the bishops themselves to rethink, among others, some numbers (nos. 2357-2359) of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which until now have considered every sexual act within the homosexual relationship as sinful per se.

In this new orientation the German Church also stands alongside some other churches (the Flemish Church, for example). The fact that the bishops have turned to the pope, from whom they expect a renewed stance on these issues, suggests that the magisterium of these bishops awaits an evaluation by the pope, which might not even come or might manifest itself differently. We like to emphasize, however, that this new orientation has matured within those synodal works, which the pope himself urged and from which he expects something new. The text is the fruit of a long and laborious debate that has engaged bishops and notable representatives of the laity and has some magisterial relevance of its own, drawing on the synodality of the German Church and, although awaiting feedback from the pope, that is, from those who preside over the communion of the Churches, it comes to meet the need for a radical rethinking of theories and practices with respect to which there is now considerable unease.

As we can glimpse every synod has its 'risks'; will they be welcomed?