Pope Francis Has a Gay Problem

By Stuart Quint

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” 1 Timothy 4:1-3

If the Roman Catholic Church were truly our Mother[i], then we all would be in big trouble.

On December 18, 2023, under the authority of Pope Francis, the Vatican’s Dicastery of the Doctrine of Faith[ii] issued a declaration called “Fiducia Supplicans: On the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings.”[iii] 

 Let not the title nor the authorship deceive you; this document has significant weight.  Cardinal Fernandez, is the ghost writer and right-hand man of Pope Francis.  Indeed, the document was written in the private audience of Pope Francis.[iv]  This declaration is the first of its type in over two decades.[v]  The majority of the citations in the Declaration come from Francis himself.[vi]

Furthermore, the responses to Fiducia Supplicans reveal major tension within Catholicism.  While bishops in the US[vii] and Europe[viii] welcomed the Declaration, other bishops from Africa[ix] and Asia[x] rejected the document.  One cardinal close to Francis stated, “…it caused a shockwave in Africa.”[xi]  Another cardinal called for the resignation or dismissal of Fernandez for heresy.[xii]  The Dicastery subsequently issued a short press release to defuse tension yet still reaffirming the main points of the Declaration.[xiii] 

Judging by the mixed reactions, one might conclude that, to use a golfer’s analogy, Francis and friends landed it clearly in the middle of the fairway. 

The upcoming Synod on Synodality in October 2024 initiated by Francis will provide a key sign.  One of the key questions under consideration is the Vatican’s welcoming of people “who feel excluded from the Church… for example, remarried divorcees, people in polygamous marriages, LGBTQ+ people, etc…”[xiv] 

The framing of this issue by Rome is unbiblical and offers false hope for those “who feel excluded from the Church.” 

Sin alienates.  It is not God’s fault that sin leads to death, but our own.  We are not “wounded” or “victims” of sin, we are truly guilty when we break God’s law.  When we desecrate God’s institution of marriage and violate the sanctity of one man and one woman for life[xv], we sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.[xvi] 

Believers in Christ should not elevate ourselves above people in sexual sin.  We are all sinners.

Yet, the real question is do we mourn our sin and ask God to change us?  Or do we just ignore it and go along with what the world says?  Do we honor or dishonor God?

Many ask how could Rome throw away such a long-standing dogma on something like homosexuality?  Surely, the Bible is obvious?  How could they let such a radical progressive like Pope Francis hijack centuries of tradition of the Roman Catholic Church? Where are the true defenders of the faith?

The answer is not so simple.  The reason is the corrupted nature of the Roman Church that well predates Francis.  Indeed, it goes all the way back to the times of Gregory VII. 

A wavering and unstable source of authority vested in man, not God’s timeless Holy Word.  A fake and corrupt priesthood.  A false Catholic gospel that offers no hope.  These comprise the foundation of the Vatican house built on sinking sand.[xvii]  God is judging the Roman Catholic Church and will take it down. 

Rome professes to be Christ’s church, yet she betrays Christ and breaks His law!  May those in Rome take heed and get out of Babylon before it is too late!

A Fake Standard of Authority: Just Do What Rome Says, Ignoring What God Commands

Rome denies God’s Word as the sole authority for matters of doctrine and practice.[xviii]  Here is yet another demonstration of how Rome’s evolving tradition ultimately usurps the authority of God’s Word:

“As with the Holy Father’s above-mentioned response to the Dubia of two Cardinals, this Declaration remains firm on the traditional doctrine of the Church about marriage, not allowing any type of liturgical rite or blessing similar to a liturgical rite that can create confusion. The value of this document, however, is that it offers a specific and innovative contribution to the pastoral meaning of blessings, permitting a broadening and enrichment of the classical understanding of blessings, which is closely linked to a liturgical perspective. Such theological reflection, based on the pastoral vision of Pope Francis, implies a real development from what has been said about blessings in the Magisterium and the official texts of the Church.”[xix]

Note the key words: “innovative”, “broadening”, “theological reflection”, “pastoral vision of Pope Francis”, lead to “real development” from past pronouncements of the Vatican.

This is Rome’s evolving and shifting tradition.  John Cardinal Newman’s development hypothesis has struck once again.[xx]  In other words, whoever is the Pope in charge at the time dictates the doctrine, independent of Scripture.

What a stark contrast is the Vatican to God’s unchanging and imperishable Word[xxi] and its Author, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to day, and forever.[xxii]

It appears ominous that the 2023 General Synod of the Church of England broached the very same subject and used identical terminology, even citing Newman’s development hypothesis.[xxiii] 

Some observers believe homosexuality will be next in line for reversal after Francis officially discarded Rome’s long-standing stance on capital punishment.[xxiv] 

Rome’s Fake and Corrupt Priesthood

The priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church is critical to today’s controversy. 

In recent times, Roman Catholic priests have been implicated in committing and abetting the tragic sex abuse scandals globally. 

Richard Bennett diagnosed the crisis.  “The true nature of the crisis in the Catholic Church is not pedophilia, but homosexuality.”[xxv] Numerous Catholic authors see this root.[xxvi] 

Various studies attest that up to half of American Catholic clergy are involved in homosexual sin.[xxvii]  The former rector of Saint Mary Seminary, one of the oldest Catholic seminaries in America, stated, “At issue at the beginning of the twenty-first century is the growing perception – one seldom contested by those who know the priesthood well – that the priesthood is or is becoming a gay profession.”[xxviii]

The investigation of the shameful “Spotlight” Catholic priest scandal by The Boston Globe revealed that 85% of the over 15,000 victims involved were boys between the ages of 11 and 17.[xxix]

Homosexual sin in the Catholic Church is global.[xxx]  It extends to the very apex of the Vatican.  Only 3 months after he became Pope, Francis made a shocking allegation previously denied by Rome.  “In the Curia there are pure people, yes, clean people.  But there also exists a tide of corruption, this also truly exists.  It is called ‘the gay lobby,’ and this is true, we will have to see what to do about it.”[xxxi]

Francois Martel documents numerous interviews with cardinals, archbishops, and other clergy in the Vatican from Paul VI to Francis.  They claim many members of the papal entourage practiced homosexual sin, including that of John Paul II, arguably the pope most vehemently opposed to homosexuality.[xxxii]  “Irony of history: most of the players in this boundless campaign against homosexuals were homosexuals themselves.  John Paul II and his entourage had not realized the extent of the trap that they were setting for themselves, and the risk to which they were exposing the Church by undermining it from within.  They hurled themselves into a suicidal moral war that they were inevitably going to lose, because it consisted of denouncing what they were.  The fall of Benedict XVI would be the final consequence of this.”[xxxiii]

This does not mean all Catholic clergy practice homosexual sin.  However, all clergy are forced to an unbiblical and untenable vow of celibacy.[xxxiv]  Many priests in Africa cohabitate with women.[xxxv]

The Bible’s standard and norm for church leadership is a family man.[xxxvi]  Before Paul warns Timothy of false leaders in chapter 4, he delineates qualities of true leaders in chapter 3, including “the husband of one wife” and “one that ruleth well his own house, having his children with subjection in all gravity.”[xxxvii] 

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest global institution in history to fulfill the prophecy of Apostle Paul: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils… forbidding to marry.”[xxxviii] 

Indeed, hundreds of years later, former Catholic priest John Calvin warned of the danger of Roman priests who deny biblical marriage[xxxix] and would spawn the man of lawlessness.[xl]

Rome’s Fake Gospel without Hope

Rome offers no hope for the person overwhelmed by sin.  The Second Vatican Council states:

“Therefore, this sacred synod, proclaiming the noble destiny of man and championing the Godlike seed which has been sown in him, offers to mankind the honest assistance of the Church in fostering that brotherhood of all men which corresponds to this destiny of theirs.”[xli]

Former Catholic priest Richard Bennett notes, “This is one of the basic concepts of Pagan religions, which hold that there is a spark of the divine within each human being…  [Rome] brings such a concept to its logical conclusion in attempting to deal with sin and evil inclinations.”[xlii]

Not only does Rome exaggerate man, but its remedy is also impotent: a works-based salvation based on the sinner’s own doomed efforts!  “Nevertheless, wounded by sin, man experiences rebellious stirrings in his body. But the very dignity of man postulates that man glorify God in his body and forbid it to serve the evil inclinations of his heart.[xliii]

In other words, “Try harder!”  It is no wonder the moral climate of Rome and her priesthood never changes and only gets worse.

The best Rome can offer is to traffic in her own empty sacraments.[xliv]

Conclusion: Only the True Gospel of Jesus Christ Saves Us from Sin

How does Christ help people who seek mercy from God and struggle with sin, including oppressive sexual sin? 

First, we must recognize that Christ is the one and only true High Priest who can save us from sin.  “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”[xlv]

He offers forgiveness based not on our woeful performance or promises to be good.  Rather, His offer of forgiveness recognizes our inability to save ourselves.  In this regard, not only do we have no divine spark within, but in fact we are worthless and “dead in trespasses and sins.[xlvi] 

Rather, forgiveness comes from the dignity of Christ’s laying down His own perfect, sinless life at the cross and taking the punishment for what we sinful people deserve.  His resurrection proves His sacrifices saves once for all and to the utmost.  The Bible calls this forgiveness justification: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”[xlvii]

All we can do is to cry out to God for mercy in faith and repentance.  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.[xlviii]

But Christ does not just leave us merely to pretend we are righteous.  He gives us sanctification, the process where the believer’s life day by day begins to resemble Christ’s.  His Holy Spirit teach us the ways of God and changes our character.  “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”[xlix]

He gives us not just “precept upon precept[l] to follow nor simply an order to “Try harder!”  Instead, the Spirit changes our desires from sin to righteousness.  He gives us power to stand a little more day by day. 

The Spirit convicts us when we do fall to turn back to the cross and look to the Savior.  Not just for forgiveness of sins in the past, but also for what we have done now.  He also grants us the power and motivation to fight sin, be freed of its captivity, and to produce good fruit in our lives that only God can do. 

This is true life in Christ: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”[li]  Unfortunately, the Catholic Church rejects it.

[i] “No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, Para. 181, https://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P12.HTM  accessed January 26, 2024.

[ii] The Dicastery of the Doctrine of Faith is the present-day version of the Commission on the Sacred Roman and Universal Inquisition instituted by Pope Paul III in 1542.  Indeed, Pope Francis in June 2022 initiated a restructuring of the department and changed its name in June 2022.  https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_pro_14071997_en.html  accessed January 23, 2024.

[iii] https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_ddf_doc_20231218_fiducia-supplicans_en.html  accessed January 23, 2024. 

[iv] The Latin “Ex Audientia Die” means “in the audience [of Pope Francis] on the day [of  December 18, 2023].”  Fiducia Supplicans, December 18, 2023,     https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_ddf_doc_20231218_fiducia-supplicans_en.html accessed January 23, 2024.

[v] “The last one issued was 23 years ago under Pope John Paul II entitled Dominus Jesus…  Before that, one has to go back to 1980 when the CDF issued a Declaration on Euthanasia.”  https://covenant.livingchurch.org/2023/12/22/popes-franciss-fiducia-supplicans-over-the-rubicon-past-the-tiber-and-into-a-sea-of-change/  accessed January 23, 2024.

[vi] 20 out of 31 footnotes, to be exact.  https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_ddf_doc_20231218_fiducia-supplicans_en.html accessed January 23, 2024.

[vii] “Statement of USCCB on Vatican’s Document Addressing Pastoral Blessings,” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Office of Public Affairs, December 18, 2023, https://www.usccb.org/news/2023/statement-usccb-vaticans-document-addressing-pastoral-blessings  accessed January 24, 2024.

[viii] Examples includes archbishops in Austria and France and bishop in Germany.  Patrick Hudson and Munyaradzi Makoni, “Joy and alarm in bishops’ responses to Fiducia Supplicans,” BishopAccountability.org, December 26, 2023, https://www.bishop-accountability.org/2023/12/joy-and-alarm-in-bishops-responses-to-fiducia-supplicans/  accessed January 24, 2024.

[ix] https://www.ncregister.com/cna/bishops-in-malawi-declare-blessings-for-same-sex-unions-of-any-kind-are-not-permitted  accessed January 24, 2024.

[x] https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2023/12/archdiocese-of-saint-mary-in-astana.html  accessed January 24, 2024.

[xi] Walter Sanchez Silva, “Cardinal Explains How African Rejection of ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ Was Handled,” National Catholic Register, January 22, 2024, https://www.ncregister.com/cna/cardinal-explains-how-african-rejection-of-fiducia-supplicans-was-handled  accessed January 22, 2024.

[xii] Edward Pentin, “Cardinal Zen Contends ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ ‘Creates Confusion’ and Suggests Cardinal Fernandez Should Resign,” National Catholic Register, January 24, 2024, https://www.ncregister.com/news/cardinal-zen-contends-fiducia-supplicans-creates-confusion-and-suggests-cardinal-fernandez-should-resign  accessed January 24, 2024.

[xiii] Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Press release concerning the reception of ‘Fiducia supplicans,’” Osservatore Romano, 05 January 2024, https://www.osservatoreromano.va/en/news/2024-01/ing-001/press-release-concerning-the-reception-of-fiducia-supplicans.html  accessed January 24, 2024.

[xiv] Instrumentum Laboris For the First Session (October 2023): XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 30, https://www.synod.va/content/dam/synod/common/phases/universal-stage/il/ENG_INSTRUMENTUM-LABORIS.pdf  accessed January 24, 2024.

[xv] Heb 13:4.

[xvi] Hos 8:7.

[xvii] Mt. 7:26.

[xviii] “As a result the [Catholic] Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, ‘does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone.  Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.”  Catechism of the Catholic Church, Para 82, https://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__PL.HTM  accessed January 27, 2024.  For elaboration on this subject, see https://bb.berea.edu.pl/absolute-biblical-truth-opposed-by-roman-catholicism/ accessed January 27, 2024.

[xix] Fiducia Supplicans, Presentation, https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_ddf_doc_20231218_fiducia-supplicans_en.html  accessed January 27, 2024.

[xx] John Cardinal Newman believed in doctrinal development that allowed for later historical development even of unbiblical practices, provided it suited his 7 criteria.  “ We are told in various ways by Eusebius that Constantine, in order to recommend the new religion to the heathen, transferred into it the outward ornaments to which they had been accustomed in their own….The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holidays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields; sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure…. Images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison, are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.  John Henry Cardinal Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (Garden City, NY: Image Books, 1960) pp. 352-353 cited in https://bb.berea.edu.pl/the-certainty-of-the-written-word-of-truth/  accessed January 27, 2024.  See also https://www.newmanreader.org/works/development/index.html  accessed January 27, 2024.

[xxi] Mt. 24:35.

[xxii] Heb. 13:8.

[xxiii] “Prayers of blessing are a ‘development of doctrine,’ says Archbishop of York,” Christian Concern, February 7, 2023, https://www.facebook.com/CCFON/videos/514972150783085  accessed January 27, 2024.  J. John, “This week at General Synod,” Christian Today, 8 February 2023, https://www.christiantoday.com/article/this.week.at.general.synod/139809.htm  accessed January 27, 2024.

[xxiv] “All Christians and people of good will are today called to work not only for the abolition of the death penalty, legal or illegal, in all its forms…”  Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, October 3, 2020, Para. 268, https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20201003_enciclica-fratelli-tutti.html accessed January 23, 2024.  Contrary to those who see Francis as a progressive radical, he simply is applying the trajectory against capital punishment articulated by John Paul II in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae.  “This is the context in which to place the problem of the death penalty. On this matter there is a growing tendency, both in the Church and in civil society, to demand that it be applied in a very limited way or even that it be abolished completely…It is clear that, for these purposes to be achieved, the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent.” Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 1995, Para. 56 on https://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae.html accessed January 23, 2024.  For one view that Francis’ change on official Vatican teaching on capital punishment might lead to other changes, see James White, “Francis’ Fiducia Supplicans Examined in Context”, The Dividing Line Podcast, Alpha & Omega Ministries, 12/18/2023, https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1219231544197965 accessed January 24, 2024.

[xxv] https://bb.berea.edu.pl/he-root-cause-of-the-catholic-sex-scandals/  accessed January 24, 2024.

[xxvi] R.R. Reno, “Catholicism After 2018,” First Things, October 2018, https://www.firstthings.com/article/2018/10/catholicism-after-2018#print  accessed January 24, 2024.  Frederic Martel, In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hyporcrisy (London: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2019), 18-9.

[xxvii] Elizabeth Dias, “’It Is Not a Closet.  It Is a Cage.’  Gay Catholic Priests Speak Out,” New York Times, February 17, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/17/us/it-is-not-a-closet-it-is-a-cage-gay-catholic-priests-speak-out.html  accessed January 24, 2024. 

[xxviii] Donald B. Cozzens, The Changing Face of the Priesthood: A Reflection of the Priest’s Crisis of Soul (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2002), 99. 

[xxix] Frederic Martel, In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hyporcrisy (London: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2019), 38.  See also http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/stories/010602_geoghan.htm  cited in https://bb.berea.edu.pl/sex-shame-and-the-catholic-church/  accessed January 24, 2024.

[xxx] This author’s aunt lost her fiancé to adultery – the man had a scandalous affair with the local priest.

[xxxi] Irene Hdez. Velasco, “El Papa Francisco: ‘Es verdad, en el Vaticano hay un lobby gay,: La Santa Sede habia siempre rechazando su existensia,” El Mundo, 11/6/2013, https://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2013/06/11/internacional/1370953922.html  accessed January 25, 2024.  English translation.

[xxxii] “Paul VI had condemned homosexuality, but it was only with the arrival of John Paul II that a veritable war was waged against gays.”  Frederic Martel, In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hyporcrisy (London: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2019), 193-4.

[xxxiii] Ibid., 194.

[xxxiv] https://bb.berea.edu.pl/better-to-marry-than-to-burn/  accessed January 27, 2024.

[xxxv] https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/trouble-celibacy-church-africa  and https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2017/07/25/churches-founded-by-married-ex-priests-pose-dangers-to-faithful-african-catholic-leaders-warn/  accessed January 27, 2024.

[xxxvi] “Norm” means typical and does not disqualify unmarried church leaders per se.   The principle Paul espouses is the church leader must prove he is faithful in whatever family situation he is in.  

[xxxvii] 1 Tim. 3:2, 4.

[xxxviii] 1 Tim. 4:1. 

[xxxix] Ed. John T. McNeill, Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volume 2 (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1960), Book IV, Chapter 2, Sections 14, 1178.

[xl]Ibid., Book IV, Chapter 2, Sections 2-4, 1167-9.

[xli] Pope Paul VI, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World “Gaudium Et Spes”, Para. 3, Second Vatican Council, December 7, 1965, https://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html accessed on January 26, 2024.

[xlii] https://bb.berea.edu.pl/he-root-cause-of-the-catholic-sex-scandals/  accessed January 26, 2024.

[xliii] Pope Paul VI, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World “Gaudium Et Spes”, Para. 14, Second Vatican Council, December 7, 1965, https://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html accessed on January 26, 2024.  Author’s emphasis.

[xliv] “The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.”  Catechism of the Catholic Church, Para 1129. Author’s emphasis. https://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P33.HTM  accessed January 26, 2024.  For further detail, see https://bb.berea.edu.pl/catholic-sacraments-ruthless-trafficking-in-human-souls/  accessed January 26, 2024.

[xlv] Heb. 7:25.

[xlvi] Eph. 2:1.

[xlvii] Rom. 3:28.

[xlviii] Eph. 2:8-9.

[xlix] Rom 8:29.

[l] Is. 28:10.

[li] Jn. 10:10.