Sunday, February 01, 2015

Pope Francis and his "worldwide hug to transgender people"

From The National "Catholic" Reporter :

"Gay Catholic leaders have expressed their pleasure following reports that Pope Francis, in an unprecedented move, met last week with a transgender Spaniard at the Vatican.

While the Vatican has yet to confirm the meeting, it has been widely reported in the press, and there has been no Vatican denial.

'I think that his meeting with the transgender man was a gesture not only of pastoral care, but of genuine interest in learning about the transgender experience from a firsthand source,' Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, told NCR in an email.

Said New Ways Ministry's co-founder Sr. Jeannine Gramick: 'Jorge Mario Bergoglio's devotion to Mary, Untier of Knots, found expression in Pope Francis' embrace of the transgender Spaniard.'

'This was a worldwide hug that has reverberated to transgender people across the globe,' she told NCR, referring to reports that Francis hugged Diego Neria Lejarraga, a 48-year-old transgender man, when the two met at the Vatican.

The meeting, which took place Jan. 24, was first reported Monday by Spanish daily Hoy. According Hoy, Lejarraga wrote to the pope last year, saying he had been 'marginalized' by church officials in the city of Plasencia in the Estremadura region. A practicing Catholic, he said local clergy had rebuffed him and said one parish priest had called him 'the devil's daughter.'

It was then Lejarraga reportedly wrote to Francis, hoping he could explain to the pope transgender issues and even possibly receive a papal blessing.

'After hearing him on many occasions, I felt that he would listen to me,' Lejarraga told Hoy.

Hoy reported Francis phoned Lejarraga twice in December, and during the second phone call, invited him to come visit at the Vatican. A date was arranged for the meeting.

According to Hoy, Francis told Lejarraga in an initial phone call that God loves all his children 'as they are.' He went on: 'You are a son of God and the Church loves you and accepts you as you are.'"

While it is true that everything must be done to help sinners, this cannot include helping them to sin or to remain in sin. Because of human frailty, every sinner deserves both pity and compassion. However, vice and sin must be excluded from this compassion. This because sin can never be the proper object of compassion. (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.1, ad 1).

It is a false compassion which supplies the sinner with the means to remain attached to sin. Such 'compassion' provides an assistance (whether material or moral) which actually enables the sinner to remain firmly attached to his evil ways. By contrast, true compassion leads the sinner away from vice and back to virtue. As Thomas Aquinas explains:

"We love sinners out of charity, not so as to will what they will, or to rejoice in what gives them joy, but so as to make them will what we will, and rejoice in what rejoices us. Hence it is written: 'They shall be turned to thee, and thou shalt not be turned to them.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25, a.6, ad 4, citing Jeremiah 15:19).

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that the sentiment of compassion only becomes a virtue when it is guided by reason, since "it is essential to human virtue that the movements of the soul should be regulated by reason." (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, c.3). Without such regulation, compassion is merely a passion. A false compassion is a compassion not regulated and tempered by reason and is, therefore, a potentially dangerous inclination. This because it is subject to favoring not only that which is good but also that which is evil (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.1, ad 3).

An authentic compassion always stems from charity. True compassion is an effect of charity (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.3, ad 3). But it must be remembered that the object of this virtue is God, whose love extends to His creatures. (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25, a.3). Therefore, the virtue of compassion seeks to bring God to the one who suffers so that he may thereby participate in the infinite love of God. As St. Augustine explains:

"'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' Now, you love yourself suitably when you love God better than yourself. What, then, you aim at in yourself you must aim at in your neighbor, namely, that he may love God with a perfect affection." (St. Augustine, Of the Morals of the Catholic Church, No. 49).

Catholic teaching condemns the sort of mutilation and self-deception involved in so-called sex reassignment. Apparently Pope Francis didn't have anything to say about doctrine.  He could have cited 2297 of the Catechism which teaches authoritatively that, "Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law."

Francis had a unique opportunity to embrace a troubled and confused soul and to set him on the right path toward healing and reconciliation with God.

And he didn't take it apparently.

Related reading: Pushing the transgendered agenda, see here.


Anonymous said...

People are signing this:

I think you and your other readers should too. This pope scares me because all his actions seem to indicate that he doesn't believe that the Eucharist is truly God's body. I'm afraid that he will invalidate the meaning of the mass so heretics and apostates are pleased and enter into unity with the Church.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Thanks for that anonymous. Things are definitely going from bad to worse.

I will post this later today.

Anonymous said...

This doesn't make sense. Just last week, the Vatican condemned plastic surgery because it represents "rejection of one's body" and therefore plastic surgery is a rejection of God's creation. Isn't getting a sex change also plastic surgery? It's elective surgery to change one's appearance. It's rejection of one's body and of one's god-given gender! I could see getting a surgery of such a nature if you were born with both sex organs ... but only in that instance. Pulling a Bruce Jenner thing is no different than plastic surgery. Right??? This sends a confusing message to the faithful.

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