Ransom Notes May 21: The Pope’s Theology of Evil

Pope Francis has once again managed to use a private conversation as an opportunity to make a heretical statement, reserving the right to take it back or fall back on issue clarification, should the storm of outrage prove to be too furious. 

According to Juan Carlos Cruz, an alleged victim of clerical sexual abuse, the Pope told him :

“Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter.“God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care.“The pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.”

As a matter of course the Vatican will neither confirm nor deny the comment.  So far the outrage is mainly aimed at the Pope’s alleged expression of approval for homosexuality.  But there are worse troubles lurking in the statement.

First, look at the contradictory logic that a child should be able to avoid.  Cruz is either a victim or he is not.  If he is not a victim of the infamous Father Karadima, the Pope has no business in speaking to an enemy of the Church.  If he is a victim, it is because he was seduced or raped and, as a result, is condemned to spend his life as a homosexual.  

That is the usual argument used over and over against the abusing priests:  They have ruined their victims’ lives by turning them into homosexuals and often sexual predators.  In other words, the victims were not born homosexual, they were corrupted by evil men, which means they were not made this way by God.

Of course the entire Gay Rights movement is built on lies and paradoxes, and this is one of the more prominent.  They repeat, ad nauseam, the lie that homosexuals are born not made, and then go on to boast that their numbers are growing.  How can that be?  Setting aside anomalous cases and a few extremes, homosexuality is either genetic destiny or learned behavior.  The mere fact that different cultures at different times have vastly different rates of incidence is a pretty good indication that for the most part being homosexuality is the result of changing fashions and the misfortunes of human existence.

If anyone takes just a cursory look at the incidence of mental illness, drug abuse, suicide, and sexually transmitted diseases among homosexuals, he would not wish this plague upon his worst enemy.  But here is a Catholic priest—a Pope no less—who says that our Creator his deliberately inflicted this pestilence on these pathetic people.  Why?  I used to know a very nice Calvinist lady who taught kindergarten.  When a child came in late and sobbing because her pony died, she told the little girl, 

“Maybe if you had loved Jesus more, He wouldn’t have taken away your pony.”   

Complicating the ethics of the situation was the fact that the teacher and her husband had lost out in one of those factional fights that plague Calvinist conventicles.  As I said, she was a very nice lady, but when human beings begin to speak in God’s name to justify the evil that befalls mankind, they are yielding to a very wicked temptation.

Pope Francis, if he actually said what is alleged, is far more guilty than the nice Calvinist lady, because for him, God is afflicting these poor people, not because he hates them but because he loves them.  Such a being would be a more terrible “god” than H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu.   It would take a greater writer than Lovecraft to imagine such a demon.

As flies to wanton boys are we to th' gods.

They kill us for their sport.


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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

6 Responses

  1. Khater M says:

    Not a huge surprise coming from the man who wrote Amoris Laetitia and appointed “Fr” James Martin as an advisor. Even most Calvinists I know will say that it is blasphemy to call God the author of sin. Francis doesn’t even seem to have a grasp on elementary aspects of theology( or doesn’t care)

  2. Curtis says:

    Homosexuality does seem to be a complicated phenomenon. There seem to be three types:

    1) Those who are homosexual due to abuse, which crippled the victim’s development into manhood in a manner the rest of us, who had solid upbringings, find very difficult to understand. They deserve great sympathy;

    2) Those who are homosexual due to some kind of spiritual viciousness – a desire to mock monogamy in favor of promiscuity, mock masculinity in favor of effeminacy (or mock femininity in favor of masculinity), mock God and a mature conception of Being in favor of vanity, superficiality, and attention-seeking from the crowd. These people should not be allowed in positions of moral authority, and deserve our scorn.

    3) Those who seem to end up homosexual without actively hating God and social norms. I’m not sure how this happens-I am inclined to see it as a manifestation of original sin, but one that deserves some patience and understanding. Such people must remain celibate if they are Christian, but unless they are kin it is really not our business to direct their private lives.

    It is a rather unpleasant topic overall, but one that is very useful for better understanding the nature of sin in the context of human nature-which is a blend of genes, cultural environment, family environment, and “free will” (which itself seems to be a blend of reason and spiritual impulses put into us by God)

    Regardless, Francis’ comments are the usual immature drivel – a man who craves the validation of whomever he is speaking with and will say anything to flatter him, with complete indifference to the scandal, confusion, and discouragement it generates among the orthodox. What a strange man.

  3. Raymond Olson says:

    There are statements in this dialogue so far that strike me as questionable.

    From Dr. Fleming,

    “If he [‘Juan Carlos Cruz, an alleged victim of clerical sexual abuse’] is a victim, it is because he was seduced or raped and, as a result, is condemned to spend his life as a homosexual”. The assumption seems to be that seduction or rape makes one homosexual, at least in this case. Is that Cruz’s contention? Is there any good evidence that being seduced or raped makes one homosexual?

    “That [Rape/seduction makes the victim homosexual] is the usual argument used over and over against the abusing priests”. This begs the question, “Usual” of whom? The Church? The courts? Gay Rights advocates? The victims?

    “Setting aside anomalous cases and a few extremes, homosexuality is either genetic destiny or learned behavior”. Is it unimaginable or impossible that both “genetic destiny” and learning, nature and nurture, contribute to the formation of homosexuality? (And what is the nature/substance of those anomalous cases and extremes?)

    From Curtis,

    “There seem to be three types [of homosexuals]”:
    “Those who are homosexual due to abuse”;
    “Those who are homosexual due to some kind of spiritual viciousness”; and
    “Those who seem to end up homosexual without actively hating God and social norms”.
    To which one may rejoin, Just three? Why are these proffered causes mutually exclusive? Or are they? And although neither is quite cricket, I suppose, Where’s the data?, and, What about lesbians?

  4. Curtis says:

    I think truly homosexual women are exceptionally rare; most “lesbians” are in fact bisexuals. I have encountered several baby boomer women who were married to a man for decades – with children – before getting divorced and deciding to remarry with another woman. Plenty of bitter divorced men swear off marriage, but I have yet to encounter one who decided to became a homosexual. Then again, a kind of bisexuality did exist among the ancient Greeks and in the British public schools.

    Regardless, I think all of these cases fit in to my second category – those who embrace homosexuality as a more or less deliberate choice that we should scorn.

  5. Raymond Olson says:

    Curtis–Your knowledge of homosexual men is very small, it seems to me. I know several who were married, fathered children, but on the failure of their marriages, chose men as their life partners and have remained in their relationships for more than 40 years. Nor did they neglect their children. Indeed, one very close friend, in a 40-plus-year relationship, raised his daughter, who is now happily married for several years, which means that my friend is the happy grandfather of three small children.

    I see you are better acquainted with lesbians. Several I know are formerly married mothers. Others I know were married but had no children, and they often raised their children, within or after their marriages. Others would qualify as bisexual, I suppose, though none of them so proclaim themselves. They might admit that their experience overall has been bisexual; so might many (though not most) homosexual men.

    In my experience, divorced men who aren’t homosexual to begin with don’t become homosexual thereafter.

    As for fitting into your second category, in my experience, membership in it is transient is confined to the young and to those of all ages who are already inclined to vanity, mockery, and attention-seeking; many of them are entertainers or fancy themselves to be.

  6. Raymond Olson says:

    My apologies. The second and third sentences in the second paragraph of my just-previous posting should be read as one sentence:

    Several I know are formerly married mothers (others I know were married but had no children), and they often raised their children, within and after their marriages.