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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

CHASTITY -- Just Too Hard for Some Catholic Prelates?

Just too hard

by Phoebe Wise

Saruman: We must join with Him, Gandalf. We must join with Sauron. It would be wise my friend.
Saruman the White, the Betrayer
in The Lord of the Rings

Gandalf: Tell me, “friend,” when did Saruman the Wise abandon reason for madness? (Lord of the Rings)

Answer:  Since the Bishops’ Conferences of Germany, France, and Switzerland decided that the teaching of the Church on Chastity, the Theology of the Body, is  just too hard

Cardinal Reinhard Marx:
"We are not just a subsidiary of Rome."
A closed meeting of around 50 bishops, theologians, and media members took place recently at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome “with the aim of urging ‘pastoral innovations’ at the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family in October," according to The National Catholic Register. The meeting was led by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German bishops’ conference.  

The Register’s Rome correspondent, Edward Pentin, said that “participants also spoke of the need to ‘develop’ the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and called not for a theology of the body, as famously taught by St. John Paul II, but the development of a ‘theology of love.’”  Read more here. 

Apparently this new “theology of love” means endorsing same-sex unions, giving Communion to people who have remarried without annulments, and just acknowledging in general “the importance of the human sex drive.”

Seriously? Does this exalted bunch of prelates and scholars truly believe that our parents and grandparents, along with the ranks of saints and prophets back through all the ages to Adam and Eve, have not acknowledged “the importance of the human sex drive?”  Have these guys ever picked up a Bible? 

I suppose we should not be surprised that so many of the princes and scholars of the church have rejected Christianity’s traditional vision of human sexuality and have instead decided to follow the world’s current values, or lack thereof. 

The same thing happened when Jesus proclaimed his teaching on the Bread of Life:  Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.”  (John 6:53)

Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said:  This saying is hard.  And who can hear it?”  (John 6:61)

These were the same disciples, presumably, who had just witnessed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves.

Nonetheless, “after this, many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him.  Then Jesus said to the twelve:  Will you also go away?  And Simon Peter answered him:  Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of eternal life.  And we have believed, and have known that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.  Jesus answered them:  Have not I chosen you twelve?  And one of you is a devil.  Now he meant Judas Iscariot…” (John 6:67-72)

Catholics who love the Church are praying that Peter will once again make his Confession (Matthew 16:19) when the Synod on the Family rolls around this October.  If Our Lord is truly the Son of God, then His words on marriage as proclaimed in the Gospel have not changed.  And His promise to give to Peter the power to bind and loose also remains in force.  The Pope will not abandon the teaching of the Church on sexuality.

Unfortunately, another constant of the faith seems to be the presence of traitors in the Church.

Am I calling Cardinal Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, a Judas?
Maybe.  That’s the worst name I can think of.  The nicest one I can think of is schismatic.

There is no more hotly contested matter of doctrine in the Church at this moment in history than the meaning of human sexuality; Cardinal Marx has come down clearly on the side of the secularists rather than that of the clear teaching of the Church.  He could not be in greater schism if he tried to put one foot on
Isar River that flows through Munich
the left bank of the Isar, and the other on the right. 

It makes me sad to say this.  It is tragic.  Besides placing his own soul in jeopardy, Cardinal Marx and the other like-minded prelates are trying to deceive their flocks into following them down this path that leads to destruction and death.

Our Lady on the pillar and towers of the
Frauenkirche, Cardinal Marx's own cathedral. 
It is hard to think of what possible excuse to find for his errors.  I have just returned from a trip to Munich, and it is, on the surface, one of the most Catholic places on the planet.  It was founded by monks—the name literally means “monks”—and the city’s breathtakingly beautiful churches are a role call of the famous religious orders:  Augustinians, Franciscans, Jesuits, Theotines, Carmelites, to name a few.  Shrines to the Blessed Mother and other saints peek down from countless secular buildings.  Mary stands atop her pillar in the Marian Platz in front of City Hall, and the Frauenkirche, Cardinal Marx’s own cathedral, is dedicated to her.

On the dark side, Munich is also known as the city where Adolph Hitler and his Brownshirts started their movement. Plaques and
Plaque commenorating Kristallnacht or Crystal Night, a series of coordinated deadly attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and Austria on Nov 9–10, 1938. German authorities looked on without intervening. The name Kristallnacht comes from the shards of broken glass that littered the streets after Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues had their windows smashed.
memorials to the victims of the Nazis are everywhere, lest people forget the lessons of history.

Even if people fail to read the plaques, there are other reminders of World War II that are more difficult to ignore:  unexploded bombs from the American and British air raids regularly turn up on construction sites and have to be defused or detonated.  I had not heard about this until I was reading a Munich
Excavation of possible unexploded bomb dating from
World War II in Munich
newspaper one morning and learned that there was a possible bomb being excavated near our hotel. The authorities expected to know if it was dangerous by Saturday afternoon.  We were glad to be leaving Saturday morning.

My point is that Cardinal Marx lives in a city that exemplifies the best that Catholic culture has to offer.  Present right alongside are reminders of what happened when the Nazis tried to replace faith in Christianity with godless materialism.   He is an educated man; he cannot be unaware of the parallels between the Nazi pseudo-philosophy and that of modern secularists and materialists.  See Christopher Ziegler’s great piece on the Nazis in this blog, "The Myth of the 'Gay Holocaust:' Lessons from the Nazi Experiment"  

Why is he ceding the field to them?  If God did not create our male and female bodies to complement and complete one another, if he did not intend sex to mean babies AND bonding, if he did not intend for the lasting, loving union of a mother and father to provide a school for heaven for their children, then what’s it all about?  Life has no meaning, and there is no God.  Do whatever you want.  Do whatever you can get away with.  Why should you care whether some “church” approves or not?

To return to my question, why is Cardinal Marx siding with the world’s view of human sexuality against the Church? 

Maybe he thinks the Church’s vision is just too hard.  Maybe he struggles with his own sexuality.  Maybe all those guys (and gals) who were at the closed meeting are struggling.  (Forget the maybe—there are not five people on the planet who are not struggling with their sexuality to some degree.)  No doubt he has seen the constant failure of the faithful to live up to the high standards of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae and is just throwing in the towel.  This saying is hard: and who can hear it?

Well, part of me understands, and sympathizes.  He is just a man, after all.  But part of me says, “Darn it, if I can do this, so can you.” 

Experts in media communication tell us that modern people are not convinced by reason and logical arguments; they are convinced by stories and personal testimony.  Empirical evidence can amply demonstrate that using our sexuality in unnatural ways, that is to say, ways contrary to the purpose of the Creator, makes us miserable, unhealthy, and can even kill us.  But forget science.  I wish I could just tell Cardinal Marx some stories from my personal experience.

When I was a young woman in my twenties I accepted my first job in a small town hundreds of miles from my family, and the loneliness was overwhelming.  Frankly, after living there just a few months I was looking to find a husband.  One day I had to see a physician, and I couldn’t help noticing that the doctor was rather young and very good-looking.  Since it was such a small town, my discreet inquiries soon produced the skinny on the doc:  he was not exactly available.  “You see, his wife left him a few years ago.”  When I asked if he ever dated or showed signs of wanting to remarry, my informant said, “Well, he’s Catholic, and he doesn’t believe in divorce.  He is going to stay faithful to her, even if she’s not faithful to him.”  Although disappointed, I was very impressed, and that man’s example helped steel me to get through one of the loneliest times of my life.  “If he can do it,” I thought, “so can I.”

What would Cardinal Marx have to say to that doctor, I wonder?  Would he tell him to forget the bride of his heart and get on with life?  Would he tell him that his marriage was more like a sacramental than a sacrament?  I often get the impression that some of the clergy think that the laity’s sacrament of matrimony is weak sauce compared to their own sacrament of ordination.  Not so.

Another story.  While I was still living in that same small town, my grandmother came to visit me, and she came down with the flu.  I had to take her to the emergency room of the town’s Catholic hospital in the middle of the night.  Flitting around the large waiting room like a cheerful moth was a tall and sprightly Irish priest.  He made a beeline for my granny and me as soon as he saw us, and started in with calling her “my love” and “my darling.”  He soon had my Baptist grandmother wrapped around his little finger, and she relaxed and decided that maybe it wasn’t her time to die after all.  I was so grateful.  “He could be home with a wife,” I thought to myself, “or just home watching television in the rectory, but instead he is here, bringing light.”

What does Cardinal Marx really think about celibacy?  Does he realize what a gift it is to the people of God?  What a foretaste of Heaven?   Does he believe that priests and religious are sacrificing the good of marriage for the sake of others, to mirror Jesus Christ to them?  Or is he more concerned about “the importance of the human sex drive?”

In recent years I met a woman who has come out of the “gay” lifestyle and has rediscovered her Catholic faith.  She is, oh, I don’t know what age.  She has a very youthful face, but I think it may be too late for her to have children of her own.  The lies that she bought about the “gay” culture in her early years have robbed her of one of the greatest joys of life—a family.  But she is not bitter.  Far from it.  Her joy and her service to others are a constant source of amazement to me.  And inspiration. 

What would Cardinal Marx have to say about her struggle to leave the gay lifestyle and her new love for her faith?  Would he say, “Welcome home” or “Why bother?”

Finally, there is my own story.  When I met my husband in 1979, we were both determined to live the Church’s teaching on marriage. In addition to the motive of respect for the Church’s law, my husband did not want me to risk damaging my health and my fertility by ingesting a dangerous steroid.  We had heard of natural family planning, but how to go about it?  It was not even mentioned in the required marriage preparation classes.  So I bought a little paperback book called A Cooperative Method of Natural Birth Control.  First published in 1976, it was authored by some back-to-nature hippies who lived on a commune called The Farm in Tennessee.  And guess what?  It worked.  Thanks be to God, my husband and I never resorted to artificial birth control, and were we able to have 3 beautiful children.  Here I will dare to inject a reference to science:  studies have shown that couples who use natural family planning almost never get divorced.  My husband and I celebrated our 35th anniversary this spring.

What would Cardinal Marx have to say to couples like us who respect Church teaching, wait till they get married to have relations, and then keep themselves free of health-damaging, environment-damaging hormonal birth control, aka The Pill?  Would he call us crazy?  Would he tell us our way of life is just too hard?

Would he say that we should abandon 4,000 years of Judeo-Christian tradition and join with Sauron, I mean, the secularists? 

For the misery that brings, see other posts in this blog: 


  1. Another Excellent post! Most of the German Bishops are in open schism. It will be interesting to see if the bishop of Rome will excommunicate them.


  3. Good article! No one is forced to become a priest. When a man decides to become a priest, he should be willing to practice celibacy--if he feels it would be too hard, he doesn't have to become a priest. I have been divorced for many years, but I don't date--I no longer feel any need for a partner. There was one occasion when I fell in love with a married man, someone I worked for. I was still married at that time. But I realized that it was a hopeless situation, since he was married and I was married, and I left that job.