While I’ve got a minute…

I might as well arrange a few deck chairs while everyone keeps dancing, eh?

I was recently asked to share my thoughts on a discussion of Cdl. Woelki’s recent promotion to head of the archdiocese of Cologne, particularly in light of his remarks in 2012 about homosexuality:

“If two homosexuals take responsibility for each other, if they are loyal to each other over the long term, then one should see this in the same way as heterosexual relations.”

The key defense of Woelki that I’ve seen is based on the idea that he was merely (ahem!) comparing long-term, loyal homosexual relationships outside of marriage to long-term, loyal heterosexual relationships outside of marriage (à la the clarification offered by Woelki’s spokesman, Stefan Förner, in this KATH.net article).

With a defense like that, who needs critics?

A prince of the Church does not need to be promoting the idea that homosexuality is just another side of human sexuality. There is a qualitative difference between non-marital homosexual and non-marital heterosexual relations. The latter can and should be encouraged to termiante in matrimony, whereas the former can never reach that goal in its own terms. An ‘immature’, or ‘irregular’ heterosexual relationship is objectively ordered towards the proper end of human sexuality, whereas homosexual relationships are poised in the exact opposite direction. The only way irregular heterosexual relations can be sanctioned by the Church is if they cease or become perfected in marriage. By contrast, there is no way the Church can sanction homoseoxual relations. Woelki is far too intelligent to be unaware of this difference, so he’s being reckless with the truth–and not surprisingly his brand of reckless pastoralism is blossoming under Pope Francis.

Moreover, in response to the question of whether the Church must change its stance on homsexuality — asked by a Jesuit, natch, who likened the Church to a driver speeding the wrong way down the Autobahn — Woelki prefaced his key statement with nothing less than a reference to marriage, and provided no qualifiers about which kinds of heterosexual relationships he had in mind. All we’re getting from his spokesman is damage control, a typical maneuver of this papacy, while Woelki himself is elevated without a personal retraction–but again, like papa, like cardinal.

In any case, here is the fullest report of Woelki’s comments that I’ve seen so far: 

“Woelki antwortet, was Bischöfe so antworten auf diese Frage: Die Kirche sehe die Ehe von Mann und Frau ,im Schöpferwillen Gottes verankert’. Doch er belässt es nicht dabei – und da wird es spannend. ,Wir müssen uns über diese Frage weiter Gedanken machen’, sagt er. Sinngemäß fügt er an, dass man nicht alle homosexuellen Beziehungen über einen Kamm scheren können. Und wörtlich: ,Wenn zwei Homosexuelle Verantwortung füreinander übernehmen, wenn sie dauerhaft und treu miteinander umgehen, muss man das in ähnlicher Weise sehen wie heterosexuelle Beziehungen.

„,Wow’, raunt es im Saal. Das Lehramt der Katholischen Kirche müsse sich mit solchen Entwicklungen beschäftigen, leider dauere das oft lang und helfe den Menschen nichts, die heute leben, sagt Woelki. Es gibt Bischöfe, für die klingt das nach Revolution.’“


I translate:

“Woelki replied as bishops always reply to such a question: The Church sees marriage between man and woman as ‘anchored in the creative will of God’. Yet he did not leave the matter there–at which point things got interesting. ‘We must pursue further thinking on this question,’ he said. In the same sense, he added that not all homosexual relationships can be judged in the same way [or assessed by the same standard]. Explicitly: ‘When two [active] homosexuals accept responsibility for each other, [and] treat each other with enduring loyalty, it must be seen in a similar way as heterosexual relationships.

“A ‘wow’ murmured throughout the conference room. The Magisterium of the Catholic Church must engage with such developments, otherwise it will take a long time and [still] not help people living in this age, said Woelki. To some bishops, that sounds like revolution.”

So. Yeah. He’s got mad Francis Mojo in his favor. We live in hopeful times, eh,Dale?

So. Yeah. Woelki’s got mad Francis Mojo in his corner, and we’ll never know how lucky we are to live in such times of hope.

Lastly, keep in mind how little traction talk of “the Creator’s will” has for orthodoxy when coming from a German prelate. Kasper is perfectly able to endorse “official” catechesis on the matter, yet is also promoted for undermining it in the most pastoral of ways. Likewise, Schönborn invoked God’s creative will for men and women in order to commit his most recent scandal in the surging Gay Pride Papal Praxis Parade

As for this entire dispute, it’s astounding how indefatigable some people’s normalcy bias is, even at this point. Is it really that hard to read the signs of the times? Is it really our Catholic duty to coddle a Modernist enabler at the helm?

P.S. Have we been alerted of a dozen or so things to know and share about Woelki yet?

About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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20 Responses to While I’ve got a minute…

  1. drprice2 says:

    Prepare to be shot, O Messenger of Unpleasant Facts.

  2. richardchonak says:

    Grüß Gott, Elliot!

    Thanks for posting this. It looks like the Cardinal felt the need to shore up his statement when the Frankfurter Rundschau interviewed him in August of that year. He said:

    “The Church’s Magisterium has repeatedly clearly and unmistakably established that homosexual acts ‘are intrinsically disordered’, contradict natural law, and therefore cannot be condoned by our conviction of the faith. Obviously I am not striking out a line of that.”

    My translation from that interview is here:

  3. Good to see that he’s a prudent fellow. He seems like a good egg, but it’s hard not to get the wobblies in the current climate. Danke sehr für diese Nachrichten!

  4. You ever get the sense that the decades long slow boil in the Church is going to explode in the next few years? Dissenting clergy used to be more passive-aggressive in order to give themselves plausible deniability in case the Ents of Rome ever took notice of their errors. Now they sound a lot more confident, thanks in part to this upcoming Synod on the Family. I think the best case scenario will be Humanae Vitae all over again: the pope will astound everyone by doubling down on the Church’s traditional teachings, but theologians and the hierarchy will more or less render it a dead letter in practice.

  5. Tony Jokin says:

    I don’t know, even after reading RichardChonak’s blog, looks like flirting with sinful activity to me.

    If two homosexuals or heterosexuals have strong feelings toward each other, the solution is not that they continue to flirt with that and live together. They should either regularize the situation (not possible in homosexual case) or flee that occasion of sin.

    Instead, we are told to look at such couples and admire their commitment. I suppose next we are to admire the commitment of two heterosexuals too that belittle marriage but just “care” for each other.

    When one has naive optimism of this sort, one can always at the bright side of every sin. Maybe next we will be propping up and praising Islamic terrorist for the bright side of their commitment to the faith rather than concentrating on the evil side of their act.

  6. With Chinese you get egg roll; with Pope Francis E.C. you get heresy

  7. It will only be a matter of time before General Booth (Salvation Army) is proposed for Canonisation for the Opus Dei is now food kitchens, cripple-kissing, and homo-hugging.

  8. I cribbed this at Sancrucenis. Compare it with what our modern Prelates have to say about sodomy, that most vile of sin.

    It is better to avoid sin than to correct it. For it is easier to resist an enemy by whom we have never been defeated, than one who has once seen us overcome and conquered. Every sin is more feared before we have once allowed ourselves to give in to it. However great the sin, as soon as has come to be carried out in action, it is considered light, and committed without any fear. From such kindling wood, as from the rungs of a ladder, all sin is built up: perverse thoughts give rise to pleasure, pleasure to consent, consent to action, action to habit, habit to necessity. The man who is caught in such bonds is as it were chained and held fast by vice; he can never escape unless the Grace of God take his hand as he lies on the ground. (St Isidore of Seville, Sententiae II, 23 1-3; cf. Smaragdus of Saint-Mihiel, Diadema Monachorum, 34).

    Now, try and imagine a modern Prelate advancing a defense of the man who stuffs their Church Collection Envelopes with counterfeit money. It is not even possible to imagine such a defense being advanced; but * when it comes to sodomy…

    Homophone* humor

    Heh-he, he said homo…

  9. I felt it was best to let people see his (Mr Archbold) words and the justifications he is using since he is standing by his title, and his position on Cardinal Woelki

    He accurately reported the words of the Cardinal and then he wrote an apt response.


    Apparently, he did that without securing the permission from this lady who is not at all happy about the uppity laity speaking their mind on the internet; worse, he refused – refused – her attempt at correction (since when is accuracy error?)

    What’s that?

    She too is a lay person who writes her opinions on the internet?

    Miss Saint Emily Litella Nevermind

  10. Branch says:

    ABS, here’s a riddle I’m pondering: if a Pope isn’t interested in converting non-Catholics Christians, should we non-Papal Positivists be concerned with ‘converting’ the uber ultramontanists, or are we at a point when those who have ears ought to hear and the truth (about the constant confusion!) speaks for itself?

  11. Isn’t it irksome to see the Catechism entries on sodomy?

    It is always cited that we must not unfairly discriminate against them whereas when ABS was born into the Church in 1948, the word was rarely heard and when it was heard it referred to a sin crying to Heaven for Vengeance and a man would not let a queer — that’s how they were referred to prior to the homosexualisation of society (yes, including the perfect society) – within a mile of his son but now we are warned not to unjustly discriminate against them.

    And so we hire sodomites to teach Theology; we hire sodomites to teach Catechism classes; we have a Pope who chose an infamous sodomite for a high level position in Rome; we still accept sodomites into seminaries and all of these hires are being done contrary to Tradition and common sense and which common sense recognizes that the sodomite is a natural subversive; that is, he will diligently strive to undermine the healthy beliefs doctrines and praxis that are contrary to sodomy of any organization dumb enough to hire him;Hey, welcome aboard, Bruce, have at our Holy Faith…

  12. Branch. Yeah, you nailed it. Bishop Athanasius Schneider recently commented upon the growing spilt within the Church and it will only worsen over time (say, about Sept-October).

    Our Prelates are simply reaching the fag end of the anthropocentrism and Integral Humanism the revolutionaries infected the Body of Christ with at Vatican Two. Pastoralism has degenerated to the point where two active sodomites are now seen to be as essentially no different than a man and a woman shacking-up.

    One always sees one thing or another that, finally, causes the scales to fall from his eyes and he simply quits the explaining away and the ridiculous rationalisations and the man thinks – well, this is just bull shit and I am not going to try and explain it away but I am simply going to identify it as heretical bull shit.

    The statements was fetid and evil; the words carried with them the sulphurous odor of Hell and such words were never heard publicly pronounced by a Prelate prior to 1962-65 BCE.

    Continuity of continuity, say the Ecclesiastics; continuity of continuity; and all is continuity

  13. richardchonak says:

    Here’s another data point. The information forum Medrum presents the quote slightly differently and more completely:

    “Also ich glaube, dass wir tatsächlich über diese Frage weiter nachdenken müssen, dass wir darüber sprechen müssen, und ich denke auch, dass wir uns darin einig sein sollten und einig sind, dass es gerade in der Beurteilung eines solchen sexuellen Verhältnisses oder einer solchen Beziehung große Unterschiede gibt, dort wo Menschen Verantwortung füreinander nehmen, wo sie in einer dauerhaften homosexuellen Beziehung dann auch miteinander leben und umgehen, das ist ja in ähnlicher Weise eben auch zu heterosexuellen Beziehungen zu sehen.”

    My translation:
    “So I believe that we really have to consider this question further. We have to talk about it. And I also think we should be and are united about it. I think there are major differences in evaluating such a sexual situation or such a relationship where people take responsibility for one another, where they are living together and presenting themselves in a permanent homosexual relationship; that should also be seen a similar way to [comparable] heterosexual relationships.”

    (Note: I introduce ‘comparable’ to convey ‘eben’.)


    If this version is correct, no wonder the spokesman Förner told kath.net that the press had “roughly handled” (“stark gerafft”) the Cardinal’s words.

  14. The readers’ comments at the Medrum link say what needs to be said. I don’t think you’re translating eben” correctly, but even so, Woelki’s comments remain unsightly. Why do the SHEPHERDS rely so much on their hired underlings? Why do the TEACHERS rely so much on spokesmen after the fact? If anything, Woelki’s point is that “committed homosexual relationships” are morally distinguishable from, and technically less deviant, than reckless sodomizing. I guess we’ll have to take what we can get.

  15. Branch:

    Don’t you know that proselytism–this so-called “converting”–is “downright nonsense”? Do try to keep up.

  16. FYI, Richard, here is how I would translate the passage you provided:

    “I think we really must reflect more on this question, must talk about it. I also think that we do, and should, agree that there are big differences when it comes to judging this or that kind of sexual behavior or relationship when people take responsibility for each other, living and dealing with each other in a long-term homosexual relationship. This can be seen in a similar way to heterosexual relationships.”

    “Also ich glaube, dass wir tatsächlich über diese Frage weiter nachdenken müssen, dass wir darüber sprechen müssen, und ich denke auch, dass wir uns darin einig sein sollten und einig sind, dass es gerade in der Beurteilung eines solchen sexuellen Verhältnisses oder einer solchen Beziehung große Unterschiede gibt, dort wo Menschen Verantwortung füreinander nehmen, wo sie in einer dauerhaften homosexuellen Beziehung dann auch miteinander leben und umgehen, das ist ja in ähnlicher Weise eben auch zu heterosexuellen Beziehungen zu sehen.”

  17. Tantumblogo says:

    Is it wrong to say that we are just flucked?

    If a schism occurs – or when it occurs – how will it happen? Who will lead it? Anyone of substance? And are the Francisite progs deliberately forcing one because they mean to be rid of the obstinate Pelagians, once and for all?

  18. Tantumblogo says:

    Not going to take the bait. Drat.

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