What follows should make EVERY CATHOLIC angry. There is no left or right or anything else in this. If you are Catholic, this should make you angry. If you read Patheos, or Rorate, or Aletheia you should be angry and, frankly, alarmed.
A few years ago, this would have been dismissed as science fiction. Now it is real.
As decentralization continues, could this come to a diocese near you?
This distressing item was in my email this morning. From Belgium, via “la Revue de presse succincte de l’archevêché de Malines-Bruxelles” bad news: HERE (my fast translation):
In “De Gazet van Antwerpen” (6/10, p. 8)
Monsignor Bonny, Bishop of Antwerp, wants a ritual for gays and cohabiting in a telling passage from the book “”Puis-je? Merci. Désolé”” (Can I? Thank you. Sorry.) a free dialogue about relationships, marriage and family published by Lannoo and to come out this October 11th. The bishop of Antwerp expresses himself, thinking aloud about new religious rituals. Bonny wrote the book with Roger Burggraeve and Ilse Van Halst. “The question is whether we should include everything in a single model,” says Bonny. [That’s code for changing the definition of matrimony.] “Should we not develop into a diversity of rituals in which we can recognize the relationship between homosexuals from a believing and ecclesial perspective?” [To bless sodomy?]Similarly, the attitude towards divorced persons engaged in a new relationship would necessitate a different approach. Bonny believes that the Church, in some cases, could bless a second relationship. “For a long time, the Orthodox Church practices the confirmation of a new relationship for reasons of mercy, [“Say the magic word, win a hundred dollars!”] which enables you as a new couple to rediscover a place in the community. Nevertheless, this new blessing is not repeating or substitute sacramental first marriage. Which was and remains unique. [Safe to say. What else could any relationship between two people be?]
This is sly.
Granted that this is only a blurb about a book, but you can see in the blurb what is going on.
Consider a couple in which at least one Catholic partner is civilly divorced and remarried without a declaration of nullity. There are good enough reasons for them to cohabit (e.g., raising children… you know the drill by now). They say they will commit themselves to live in continence as brother and sister, best of friends, etc. The Church works with them, as the Church always works with every soul who desires holiness and heaven. The buzz word is now “accompany”. It may happen that, being in proximity, a near occasion of sin, they slip and have relations, but they repent, go to confession, and try again.
What the bishop does is blend in with that scenario, the case of a homosexual couple. Another way of seeing long-term, “committed” homosexual relationships which involve sexual activity is friendship gone terribly astray. It’s a gross distortion of friendship. The fact of their same-sex attraction make their cohabitation an occasion of sin. However, maybe there are reasons for them to live together. So, they commit themselves to live in continence, as if they were brothers, the best of friends, etc. The Church works with them, as the Church always works with every soul who desires holiness and heaven. The buzz word is now “accompany”. It may happen that, being in proximity, a near occasion of sin, they slip and have relations, but they repent, go to confession, and try again.
This seems to me that what that bishop is proposing is full, cringing capitulation to the world and baser appetites. The Church should inspire and help people to move from sin to grace, to conversion, and to support them in the suffering that conversion entails as they do. The cobbling up of rites which in any way resemble a blessing of an adulterous or actively homosexual relationship is a mockery of matrimony as intended by God. Such blessings or rites would surely erode the understanding that Catholics have of marriage and would send crossed, confused signals to the world watching the Church, which is in effect the last bastion of moral teaching in a degenerate age.
This takes the Kasperite solution to the next, logical step.
We must be on guard to remain the Catholic Church, and not become the Precious Snowflake Church.
See also: Bishop Bonny sent out for united mission