That joking retort we heard as children, “Is the pope Catholic?” is starting to look like a serious question.
Asked five years ago about a “gay lobby” in the Vatican, Pope Francis responded, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”
As judgment was thought to be part of the papal job description, traditional Catholics were startled at what the new pope had volunteered.
Now the Holy Father has apparently fleshed out what he meant.
According to a childhood victim of a pedophile priest in Chile, Juan Carlos Cruz, a homosexual to whom the pope apologized, Francis said: “God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The pope does love you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.”
The Vatican has not denied what Cruz relates.
What makes this remarkable is that the catechism of the Catholic Church, based on the Old and New Testament and tradition, has always taught that homosexuality is a moral disorder, a proclivity toward sexual relations that are unnatural and immoral.
The idea that God is responsible for homosexual orientations, that the pope and the Catholic Church are fine with men being attracted to one another, and that those so oriented should be happy with it, appears, on its face, to be heresy.
It implies that what Catholics regarded for centuries as moral truth was wrong, or that moral truth has evolved and must be made to conform to modernity. This is moral relativism: Truth changes with the times.
And if what Cruz reports is accurate, the pope’s position is close to Hillary Clinton’s.
In 2016, at a New York fundraiser, Clinton recited her infamous litany of sins common to the “basket of deplorables” backing Donald Trump.
Said Hillary, they are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.”
A phobia is “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.” Clinton was thus saying that those who have an aversion to homosexuality are morally or mentally sick.
Yet, up until December 1973, homosexuality itself was listed as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.
The new morality we hear from the pope and Hillary reflects a historic change in the moral thinking of the West. For the belief that homosexuality is normal and natural, and not only acceptable but even praiseworthy, has carried the day.
Legislatures and courts have written this “truth” into law. It has been discovered by the Supreme Court to be lurking in that Constitution whose authors regarded and treated homosexuality as a grave crime.
And, yet, from this historic change, questions naturally arise:
On the issue of homosexuality, have we ascended to a higher moral plateau? Or has America jettisoned the truths we believed and replaced them with the tenets of an ideology that may be politically and culturally ascendant but is rooted in nothing but baseless assertions and lies?
Consider the views of Cardinal Gerhard Muller, lately removed as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as to what is behind the drive to have “homophobia” regarded as a mental disorder.