Tuesday, October 04, 2016

The homosexual and the pope...

Pope Francis with Diego Neria Lejárrag (to right of pope) 
and his spouse (to left of pope.)

Actually, the transsexual and the pope.

Remember that story?  OMGOSH - the pope meets with transsexuals and eats with them.  Diego Neria Lejárrag, the Spanish transsexual who wrote to the pope, was invited to visit and met and talked privately to the pope.  It was a story not a few critics took issue with, accusing the Holy Father of error, blasphemy, heresy, and so on, as well as insisting he therefore approved such lifestyles and relationships.  The original story:
Diego is actually a woman and has gained the masculine given name after a sex change. Pope Francis received Diego with his girlfriend.
According to the transsexuals they received a phone call from Pope Francis on Christmas Eve 2014. At the weekend she was now the guest of the head of the Catholic Church in Santa Marta Guest House, received in audience at the Vatican. Neria Lajarraga describes themselves as "practicing Catholics". - RV
Then the condemnations rolled out.

In his latest interview, the Holy Father spoke about Diego once again - as well as speaking about his pastoral care and friendship with homosexuals as a priest.   If you ever doubted the Holy Father, if you think he is naive and doesn't understand LGBTQ life, lifestyle, or theory - think again.  If you are one of those critics who accuse the Holy Father of watering down Catholic teaching, think again - try thinking even harder.

The Holy Father spoke lovingly and compassionately, and most especially, respectfully:
In his address to Francis, Spanish transsexual Diego Neria Lejárrag, used an illuminating example to describe the situation in the Church today. His example summed up the entire interview. This is the account the Pope gave of it: 
“He (the transsexual, Ed.) told me that in the neighbourhood where he lived there was an elderly priest, the old parish priest and the new one. When the new parish priest saw him, he would shout to him from the sidewalk: ‘You will go to hell!’ When he came across the old man, he would say to him: ‘How long has it been since your last confession? Come, come so you can confess to me and go and take communion’.” This difference in attitudes is striking. The younger priest had already convicted Diego. The older priest, who was trained back in the 1950s, tried to approach and accompany him. When he was still Archbishop of Buenos Aires and he was asked what he wanted to have written on his grave, the current Pope said: “Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Priest”. It is prey easy to guess which of the two priests he identifies with, suggesting to others to follow his example.
When one comes into contact with people’s lives, sufferings and sometimes dramatic experiences, whatever condition they may be in, the Pope explained during the in-flight interview, they need to put themselves in Jesus’ shoes. St. Ambrose wrote about this in the “De Abraham”: “When it comes to bestowing grace, Christ is present; when it comes to exercising rigour, only the ministers of the Church are present, but Christ is absent.” - Vatican Insider

The Holy Father upholds the teaching of the Church regarding homosexuality and gay marriage, no doubt about it. No matter how people spin it or suggest he opened a door for a change in doctrine, he did not. While emphasizing Church teaching, he also emphasized the need to avoid unjust discrimination ...

When he came across the old man, 
he would say to him: 
‘How long has it been since your last confession? 
Come, come so you can confess to me 
and go and take communion.'


Think about that.  It's kind of like 'go and learn the meaning of mercy'...  

It seems to me that the heart of Pope Francis' teaching is the need to bring the sacraments to those who are on the 'peripheries' as it were.  To invite them to the sacrament of penance.  Just like the older priest Francis mentions above: ‘How long has it been since your last confession? Come, come so you can confess to me and go and take communion’.  Every confession seals the conversion in the Blood of Christ, as it were. Our sins are washed clean, washed away, and we are forgiven - and the soul is sealed with the Blood of Christ.

Very seriously, I think gay people make too big a deal about their sexual identity.  At this stage in my life, looking back, I think, 'what a waste'.  Seriously - what difference did it make?  The most important thing is to work out our salvation - to work on it.  To acquire the virtues.  To do good - especially to others.  To do this we need the sacraments.  We can't live, we can't love without the sacraments.

Yesterday I posted what the Holy Father had to say about gender theory and quoted New Way's Ministry spokesman DeBernardo's claim that the Church has to educate herself about the lives and experiences of LGBTQ persons.  I think Church officials actually do that, without buying into the ideology.  My God, Francis is making that clear all the time - outraging conservatives-rigorists every day.  I think New Ways and other LGBTQ groups have to re-educate themselves, to understand Catholic teaching without supplanting it with ideological theories of genderlessness and sexual-fluidity, only to be complemented by the latest queer-theological, theosophical-development of doctrine.

You need a support group?  Join one.  But, the Church is the ordinary means of salvation.  The sacraments - take you directly to the source.  Be holy.  The Church is the support group you most need.  You go directly to Jesus.  Consecrate yourself to the Blessed Virgin Mary - devote yourself to her, and she will devote herself to you.  Pray, frequent the sacraments, keep the commandments, and do good - fulfill the duties of your state in life.  You go directly to Jesus.

“The reason no one has yet been able to come up with a good word to describe the homosexualist (sometimes known as gay, fag, queer, etc.) is because he does not exist. The human race is divided into male and female. Many human beings enjoy sexual relations with their own sex, many don’t; many respond to both. This plurality is the fact of our nature and not worth fretting about.” - Gore Vidal


  1. Another good read, thanks Terry. I appreciate our Holy Father even more for his witness to the great and abundant mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    NO ONE is exempt if we come seeking forgiveness and are then made new in His mercy.

    1. How is it people do not understand the Holy Father? I love this from the latest airline presser:

      "Life is life and things must be taken as they come. Sin is sin. And tendencies or hormonal imbalances have many problems and we must be careful not to say that everything is the same. Let's go party. No, that no, but in every case I accept it, I accompany it, I study it, I discern it and I integrate it. This is what Jesus would do today! Please don't say: 'the Pope sanctifies transgenders.' Please, eh! Because I see the covers of the papers. Is there any doubt as to what I said? I want to be clear! It's moral problem. It's a human problem and it must be resolved always can be with the mercy of God, with the truth like we spoke about in the case of marriage by reading all of Amoris Laetitia, but always with an open heart."

      He has helped me to be more open as well.

      Have you noticed how his way is to bring them to the sacraments? First the sacrament of penance, so then they may receive communion. That is his pastoral care. It's beautiful.

    2. Oh! The other part - the Holy Father accepts them and respects their dignity and refers to them in the manner they identify - this is good, because we need to stop making barriers and segregating one another with language and terms - you can't say gay, but only ssa and so on. You can't call a transsexual he if born a she. I think the Holy Father truly respects the person and ministers to him right where he finds them.

      Catholics disagree on that, but the times are such that we need to act with greater urgency in bringing people back to Christ, back to the Church, the Ark of Salvation.

    3. Amen to everything you say.

      I do not understand the struggles these folks go through nor how it is to engage them. That is a special grace especially if they are called back to the Lord by the witness of others who radiate the Mercy of the Eternal God. It won't be by those who knock them over the head with rules, condemnation or self righteous behavior. No, it will be with those who love Jesus, love the Church and all she proclaims in humility.

      For me personally, I came back not because of dogma, but because the Lord Jesus himself was calling me. I went seeking him in confession and then communion ... everything else came later.

      "Catholics disagree on that, but the times are such that we need to act with greater urgency in bringing people back to Christ, back to the Church, the Ark of Salvation."

      True and perhaps always will disagree until we all stand together at the final judgement then let's see what happens. ^^

  2. I think that the static, hostility, and misrepresentations/misunderstanding of the Holy Father is diabolical, precisely because what he is Teaching would, if Heard: be not only healing for all, but revolutionary in its powerful draw back to the sacraments. Especially this is so as the army against him is...from his own militia. To me yet one more signal of the times...and really well said Terry your entire post...re; focus on one's salvation, find the peace the Church and sacraments give us So Generously.
    But there is yet a Wonderful Signal too ! Terry, Yaya, did you read about the woman healed at Lourdes ? @ The Eponymous Flower.

  3. Sort of off topic - someday when Pope Francis is dead I think the highlight of his entire papacy will be the Year of Mercy.

  4. "The Church is the support group you most need"

    I've been going to Confession on a weekly basis now for several months (oh God the need!) ... and a very deep need has surfaced: the need for authentic conversion that shows up in how I live my life. Impeded by vices, it takes a concerted effort to make the decision, "THIS is what I'm GOING TO DO." Then God will meet you there and walk w/you - heck - pick you up and carry you. Because I'm utterly convinced of my own inability to do good or be good. Not without grace. And where do I get that grace? The confessional (even if it is imperfect). I get something. I get HIM. And then I'm fortified to start going to Mass more frequently. Started that ... and will by HIS grace and help, continue.

    1. That's a good. That's the way. You get it.

      I may be wrong but imperfect contrition may be the motive for going to confession in the first place - fear of hell and so on - but the grace of the sacrament, absolution conveys perfect contrition, removes guilt, and so on - so don't get distracted by the worry about what kind of contrition you have - you are absolved by the merits of Jesus Christ and his merits impart that grace. We 'resolve with the help of his grace' to sin no more. Walk out of the box all holier than thou and we could end up back in the confessional line the next morning.

      I'm no authority - but this is what Francis and one of his predecessors meant by 'God allows those struggling to fall in mortal sin in order that in repenting one is filled with deeper humility and contrition' or something on that order. In other words you no longer trust yourself or believe in your own strength - but God's power - which is made perfect in weakness.

    2. boy I did not know that: "the grace of the sacrament ... conveys perfect contrition" ! !
      Confession thus is even more awesome !

    3. The Catechism doesn't say that exactly - so I will reprint what's in the Catechism:
      1453 The contrition called "imperfect" (or "attrition") is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin's ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.

      1496 The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are:
      - reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace;
      - reconciliation with the Church;
      - remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins;
      - remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin;
      - peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation;
      - an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.