As the three-week synod on synodality begins, the pope’s response to a set of dubia issued by five cardinals has caused many Catholics to raise an eyebrow. The threat that Pope Francis refuses to validate and stand firm on the Church’s official teaching regarding homosexual marriages has many wandering if this weak papacy will endorse the blessing of sin?
Five cardinals submitted questions to the pope in July seeking clarification of the pope’s stance on homosexual marriages, among four other areas of concern. The dubia received a response by Pope Francis in which the pope gave a typical Jesuit ambiguous response. The answer from Francis refused to prohibit the blessing of homosexual marriages and, in contrast, alluded to the permissive blessing of such sinful marriages.
The pope’s reply contradicted itself by initially reiterating that a marriage is between a man and a woman. In the same reply, however, he said that priests and bishops should use “pastoral charity” that consists of not being judges of those in a homosexual marriage. He stated priests were not to deny or exclude those seeking a homosexual marriage. Francis has a papacy which promulgates a Christian life of “go along to get along.” It ignores the need for repentance, refuses to call sin a sin, and pulls Christians farther away from discipleship of Jesus. Perhaps the pope should bless adultery, pornography, and sex trafficking next. After all, priests are not to “judge or exclude”. Right?
“You are not a God who delights in evil; no wicked person finds refuge with you; the arrogant cannot stand before you. You hate all who do evil, you destroy all who speak falsely. Murderers and deceivers, the Lord abhors.” (Psalm 5:5-7)
Despite what Pope Francis may intend on Christians believing, Sacred Scripture clearly shows God does not bless sin. God abhors sin and all those who are deceivers. Francis is a deceiver when he is ambiguous and shows an acceptance of sin. By giving permission and advocating for the allowance of blessing homosexual marriages, Francis is leading Christians deeper into a life of sin. The blessing of sin does not cause the sin to become righteousness, it only brings damnation and condemnation upon the blesser.
When confronted with a woman caught in adultery, Jesus did not endorse or bless her sin. He did not encourage “pastoral charity”. He, instead, urged repentance and self-examination of one’s own sin. "But when they continued asking him, he (Jesus) straightened up and said to them, ‘let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her…and in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So, he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She replied, ‘No one, sir.’ Then Jesus said, ‘neither do I condemn you. Go and from now on do not sin anymore.’” (John 8:7,9-11)
Jesus did not condemn the woman to death. He did not, however, bless her sin either. He told her to repent and to sin no more. The repentance of sin is a focal point of the ministry and message of Christ. The sacrifice of Christ on Calvary does not guarantee everyone eternal life in heaven for ‘going along to getting along.’ The crucifixion of Christ on the cross does nothing for the sinner refusing to repent.
“Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32) Condoning and blessing sin is not part of the life God demands of a Christian. As a disciple, we are urged to share the message of Christ and that message includes repentance of sin.
If you are unsure if Jesus would permit or bless sin, then take a moment to read Matthew 21. “Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all those engaged in selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. ‘And he said to them, ‘It is written: My house shall be a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves.’” (Matthew 21:12-13)
The blessing of sin is thievery by allowing others to be deceived into thinking a sinful life is acceptable to God. It is stealing and hindering the truth. Jesus did not endorse or bless sin. He urged repentance and warned of judgment. “The road to hell is paved with the bones of priests and the skulls of bishops are the lampposts that light the path.” (St. John Chrysostom) It may be paved with the bones and lit by the skulls of our leaders, but it does not mean we have to follow them.