With Christmas just days away, I decided to change the trajectory of my column for this week, given the merriment that is upon us. Yes, Pope Francis has launched one of the worst bombs at Tradition and common sense in Church history; yes, Cardinal Fernandez has signed off on James Martin’s dream—our nightmare; yes, the papal apologists are manifesting with clear signs of a type of Stockholm syndrome; and yes, there exists a brewing de facto schism between episcopal conferences with some dusting off their rainbow colors while some steely-eyed former soviets and Africans are telling Fernandez where he can respectfully stick his blasted declaration.
But just because the sky is falling and the Spirit of Vatican II has reincarnated itself into an ecclesial Stonewall Riot, it doesn’t mean we should be down or sour. You see, if we are being honest with ourselves, we must admit that this was inevitable. Gay blessings have been going on for years in parts of Europe, and other manifestations of gay have been going on for decades in seminaries and chancery offices—who can forget that cocaine-sodomite orgy that took place in Rome? Also, Pope Francis pulled the trigger on a ridiculous and borderline—if not outright—heretical change to the ever-changing foundation of Catholic doctrine—the catechism—when he told us the death penalty was “inadmissible.” And this is to say nothing of that gift that keeps on giving, Amoris Laetitia.
In addition, these pseudo-doctrinal heresy-adjacent formulations from Vatican cronies that are published with papal approval are nothing new. Far from it! I was but nine years old at the time, but we may all recall that ghastly joint declaration with the Lutherans on justification…you know, that heretical position held by the greatest heresiarch in history that was anathematized at Trent.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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I know, I know, one can squint and spin in circles for 90 seconds and then read the document after downing a pint or ten and find an orthodox—or at least not egregiously heretical—reading of that declaration. But, let’s be honest; that a pope who has cozied up to the Lavender Mafia for years has finally signed off on an ambiguous, philosophically erroneous, and gaslighting declaration paving the way for blessings of gay unions should be about as surprising as confronting icy roads in February in Ottawa.
Now, I know what you are thinking: the pope’s declaration says nothing about blessing gay unions. Well, you are right, it says nothing about blessing gay unions. But it is quite clear in paragraph 31 that priests can now bless same-sex “couples.” So, it seems to me that instead of asking whether the document is a precursor to the abomination of desolation or the work of an anti-pope, we should ask the most important question of all: What is a couple?
Perhaps you might think that the omission of the word “union” saves the document from giving any impression that Pope Francis and his conduit, Cardinal Fernandez, are A-OK with blessings that are gay. Well, perhaps you believe that communism will finally work if we just communism harder, or that vaccines can be guaranteed safe and effective after 10-minutes of production time. It is, after all—or it used to be—a free country, and you are free to believe any fairy tale you want. As Pope Francis famously said about homosexuals, “Who am I to judge?”
Alas, the word union being absent from the declaration is utterly meaningless if you have a dictionary or can access the internet. You see, if we take a little trip through the history of the English language, we find that the word “couple” shares the same etymological patrimony as the word “copulate.” (If any kids are watching, please have them leave the room.) The word copulate means to engage in sexual activity with the other half of the couple. In the case of Jimmy and Johnny, the only way they can be a “couple” is if they are joined together in a partnership—something that may also be called a “union” by those with a thesaurus—that includes copulation.
A union is a couple, a couple is a pair, a pair is a partnership, a partnership is a coupling, and a coupling is a union. If Rome were to release a document providing norms for a new rite of blessing for H20, it would be fine to call it a new rite of blessing of water. A union is a couple, a couple is a pair, a pair is a partnership, a partnership is a coupling, and a coupling is a union. Tweet This
If an apartment was for rent and the person looking for a roommate was looking for an unmarried man to share a flat with, it would be fair to call that unmarried man a bachelor.
If an American was kicking a ball around on a field with a team trying to score on a net protected by another team, he might call it soccer; and if a Brit was doing the same thing, he might call it football, or footie more likely.
And, if the most recent document from Cardinal Fernandez was orthodox in matters of religion, we might even call it Catholic.
For those who are trying to defend this document against accusations that it has de facto approved of the blessings of gay unions by appealing to the fact that it only speaks of unmarried sodomites who share an apartment and a Yorkshire Terrier, I question not your fidelity, but I question the qualifications of your English teachers.
The only way to make this document orthodoxish is to pretend that two words that mean the same thing when used in the same context do not mean the same thing when used in the same context—and, that a priest blessing two men who present themselves as part of an active sodomitical relationship is not a priest giving a blessing that is related to a homosexual union.
I would say that the common defense of this document constitutes gaslighting, but so that the term gaslighting might be ignored because of the existence of synonyms, I might also say that it constitutes taking you for a ride, pulling the wool over your eyes, or mocking your intelligence.
Ultimately, if the document itself is horrific—and it is—we can at least rejoice in the fact that responses to it are risible, comical, laughable, funny, amusing, maybe even mirthful. But as I said at the outset, none of this should surprise us given that this papacy has proven to be a disaster; a train wreck; a catastrophe; a failure; a debacle; a fiasco; a calamity; a flop.
To conclude, as with all the nonsense that has come out of Rome in recent years/decades, there is nothing we can really do about it on an institutional level, and if we aren’t careful, we can allow the mayhem to bring us down. But, as much as Francis and Fernandez may wish to take away from the Church’s reputation, they cannot take away from our Christian joy experienced with the coming of Christ on December 25.
So, it is my hope (wish, desire, aspiration) that you enjoy the coming holiday season, whether you call it Christmas, or Yuletide, or the Nativity, or Navidad, or Natale, or Noelle.