Bottom line up front: an ordained man who self-identifies as a sodomite (homosexual/’gay’) is probably not even in the faith, regardless of the sacrament of holy orders.
One of the gravest errors of our day is to treat sodomy like just another sin. Adultery is a mortal sin but it is not against nature. It is natural for men and women to be attracted to each other and nature itself teaches us that the connubial act is the source of human procreation. It is a very serious offense against the law of God, but not against nature itself.
Sodomy (generic term that also applies to lesbian acts) attacks the moral sense, the conscience, and the faculty of reason. You will see this if you carefully read St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans chapter 1:24-32. Three times in this passage, it describes God handing men over to their debased mind to destroy themselves.
When dealing with sodomites, we are not dealing with men who have a healthy, functioning conscience or an intact ability to reason according to the natural law. We are dealing with men who have rejected the natural law, the divine law, and even their own consciences. They are reprobate in most cases, meaning their consciences are ruined. This is one reason we see so few conversions from this unnatural vice, and why it is very dangerous to engage in religious discussion with such people.
To the Catholic conscience, the very idea that a Priest could be a sodomite should cause a strong moral reaction – revulsion, disgust, even hatred (of the act and its intrinsic disorder, not the person). Our society is permeated with this sin and therefore we have to a great extent lost our ability to reason, thinking emotionally rather than logically. This is one of the four sins that cry out to heaven for divine vengeance – the wrath of God.
Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg, a member of the newly formed John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family writes:
“It is crucial whether or not a person normalizes his attractions. Doing this, he suppresses his reason and conscience, for the inner perception that homosexual activities are contra naturam is inborn and universal. Starting thus to lie to himself, he must suppress his awareness of the normality of man-woman love and of normal marriage with its fertility, and is forced to cling desperately to rationalizations that justify his choice to see himself as normal, healthy, and morally good. Thus he alienates himself from reality, locks himself up in wishful thinking and, not willing to seek the truth about himself, wants to change the natural feelings and opinions about homosexuality of 98% of mankind which he feels as hostile to him. In reality, it is not society, culture, or religion that persecute him but his own conscience.”
What we are dealing with here is not simply a sexual disorder. We are dealing with minds that have rejected the natural law – and by implication, the God Who planted that law in their hearts. How then can such a person be in the faith, let alone function in persona Christi as a sacerdotal priest? Who would assume such a person could even be in a state of grace at all, and why would you seek the sacraments at the hands of such a man?
Let us remember that the wickedness of wayward priests does not negate the flow of grace from the Holy Ghost – it is de fide that the sacraments are efficacious ex opere operato – by virtue of their operation. The ordination of a sodomite truly confers the sacrament of orders – but both that wicked man and his ordinary incur wrath upon wrath every time they perform a sacred function:
1. A man who receives the sacrament of orders is set to lead others. Therefore, he should be a man of holy and exemplary life. Yet this is a requirement of precept and of propriety; it is not of the essence of the sacrament. Even a sinful man who receives orders is validly ordained, although he does great wrong in accepting ordination.
2. A candidate for orders should have knowledge adequate for the proper discharge of his sacred duties. He must have a sufficiency of knowledge of the scriptures, and know the doctrines of the faith, and the requirements of Christian morality.
3. The personal holiness of an ordained man has nothing to do with the sacrament itself; an ordained man does not advance in degree of orders as he advances in personal holiness.
4. A prelate who knowingly ordains a candidate wholly unworthy of the office he assumed, commits a grave sin, and shows himself an unworthy servant of the Lord.
5. A man in orders who, apart from necessity, exercises his office while he is in the state of mortal sin, is guilty of another grievous sin every time he performs a sacred function.
(St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Supplement IIIa, 36)
The mere mention of the words “sodomy” and “homosexual” summon unwholesome images to the mind that are unfit for Christian thinking. Traditionally, this sin was not discussed in polite company. Saint Thomas Aquinas, writing about sins against nature, explains:
However, they are called passions of ignominy because they are not worthy of being named, according to that passage in Ephesians (5:12): ‘For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of.’ For if the sins of the flesh are commonly censurable because they lead man to that which is bestial in him, much more so is the sin against nature, by which man debases himself lower than even his animal nature. (Super Epistulas Sancti Pauli Ad Romanum I, 26, pp. 27f)
In the ecclesiastical Tradition of the Church, any hint of the perversion was to be acted upon swiftly and decisively:
“Homosexuality is the heaviest sin, which irrevocably and definitely prevents one entering the Priesthood (and of course the Church does not allow any homosexual to be elevated to the priesthood, even if he has stopped the sin for years). Basil the Great considers homosexuality or lesbianism a beastly sin: “Abusers of themselves with mankind and with beasts, as also murderers, wizards, adulterers, and idolaters, are deserving of the same punishment” (Canon 7 of Basil the Great). Saint Gregory of Nyssa characterizes homosexuality as “unnatural” in his 4th Canon. Saint John the Faster observes in his 19th Canon, according to the compilation of The Rudder by Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite, the following: “A boy who has been ruined by any man cannot come into the holy priesthood. For although on account of his immature age he did not sin himself, yet the vessel of his body was rent and became useless in connection with the sacred priesthood.”
(St. John Chrysostom on the Terrible Passion of Homosexuality)
Another Doctor of the Church affirms the gravity of this unnatural vice saying the vice of sodomy “surpasses the enormity of all others,” because:
“Without fail, it brings death to the body and destruction to the soul. It pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of the mind, expels the Holy Spirit from the temple of the human heart, and gives entrance to the devil, the stimulator of lust. It leads to error, totally removes truth from the deluded mind … It opens up hell and closes the gates of paradise … It is this vice that violates temperance, slays modesty, strangles chastity, and slaughters virginity … It defiles all things, sullies all things, pollutes all things …
This vice excludes a man from the assembled choir of the Church … it separates the soul from God to associate it with demons. This utterly diseased queen of Sodom renders him who obeys the laws of her tyranny infamous to men and odious to God. She strips her knights of the armor of virtue, exposing them to be pierced by the spears of every vice … She humiliates her slave in the church and condemns him in court; she defiles him in secret and dishonors him in public; she gnaws at his conscience like a worm and consumes his flesh like fire. … this unfortunate man (he) is deprived of all moral sense, his memory fails, and the mind’s vision is darkened. Unmindful of God, he also forgets his own identity. This disease erodes the foundation of faith, saps the vitality of hope, dissolves the bond of love. It makes way with justice, demolishes fortitude, removes temperance, and blunts the edge of prudence.”
St. Peter Damian (source)
In the ecclesiastical Tradition of the Church, sodomy was not only a sin against nature that cries out to God for vengeance, but was always treated as an ecclesiastical crime punishable by the severest means:
“Having determined to do away with everything that may in some way offend the Divine Majesty, we resolve to punish, above all and without indulgence, those things which, by the authority of the Sacred Scriptures or by most grievous examples, are more repugnant to God than any others and raise His wrath: that is, negligence in divine worship, ruinous simony, the crime of blasphemy, and the execrable libidinous vice against nature [sodomy]. For such faults peoples and nations are scourged by God Who, according to His just condemnation, sends catastrophes, wars, famine, and pestilence … Let the judges know that if, even after this our Constitution, they are negligent in punishing these crimes, they will not only be guilty of them in the divine judgment but also will incur our indignation … If someone commits that nefarious crime against nature that caused divine wrath to be unleashed against the children of iniquity, he will be given over to the secular arm for punishment [of death]; and if he is a cleric, he will be subject to the same punishment after having been stripped of all his degrees [of ecclesiastical dignity].”
– Pope St. Pius V, Constitution Cum primum, April 1, 1566, in Bullarium Romanum (Rome: Typographia Reverendae Camerae Apostolicae, Mainardi, 1738), vol. 4, chap. 2, p. 284, apud Atila S. Guimaraes, Vatican II, Homosexuality and Pedophilia, TIA, 2004, pp. 19-20
What about today? In his reforms of the code of canon law, John Paul II decriminalized clerical sodomy:
The 1917 CIC 2359 § 2 stated:
‘If [clerics] engage in a delict against the sixth precept of the Decalogue with a minor below the age of sixteen, or engage in adultery, debauchery, bestiality, sodomy, pandering, [or] incest with blood-relatives or affines in the first degree, they are suspended, declared infamous, and are deprived of any office, benefice, dignity, responsibility, if they have such, whatsoever, and in more serious cases, they are to be deposed.’
THIS CANON WAS DELETED FROM THE 1983 CIC promulgated by John Paul II. The 1962 instruction of the Holy Office (now Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) …refers to sodomy as crimen pessimum (“the foulest crime”) and directs back to Canon 2359 of the 1917 Code.
So sodomy is now an act of “grave depravity” and “objectively disordered” (CCC #2357-58) but no longer a crime when committed by those under holy orders.
The infestation of the unnatural vice among clergy reached such saturation under the pontificate of John Paul II that just seven months after his election in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI had the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issue this teaching instruction:
“…this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture.”
– Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations
with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders
What are we to make of all this then? When some venture to estimate that the percentage of priests so disposed to this mortal sin against nature may be as high as 50%?
The above quoted instruction breaks the prohibited class into three sub-groups: active sodomites, those with deep-seated tendencies, and those who support the so-called “gay culture.” If you count those too timid to openly oppose the sodomite agenda – even inside the Catholic Church – then you will quickly see how few faithful priests remain in active ministry today.
No one who rejects the natural law in preference for the unnatural vice can be in a state of grace. Its simply impossible. These are the men preaching your homilies, hearing your confessions, and confecting the Holy Eucharist for you (although this also brings grave doubt on the validity of many Masses which require the intention of the priest to do what the Church does). The filth has reached the highest levels in the Church – this is clearly beyond dispute today.
Do such men deserve our support – let’s put it bluntly – our money? Corrupt men with debased minds who reject the faith of the Church in order to justify their disordered perversion? You must decide for yourselves and your own households. It is certain that what you are receiving from the preaching and teaching of such men is not divine and Catholic faith.
We will end with the teaching of the first Pope, who far from opting out with “who am I to judge?” thunders down the centuries
These are fountains without water, and clouds tossed with whirlwinds, to whom the mist of darkness is reserved. For, speaking proud words of vanity, they allure by the desires of fleshly riotousness, those who for a little while escape, such as converse in error: Promising them liberty, whereas they themselves are the slaves of corruption. For by whom a man is overcome, of the same also he is the slave. For if, flying from the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they be again entangled in them and overcome: their latter state is become unto them worse than the former. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of justice, than after they have known it, to turn back from that holy commandment which was delivered to them. For, that of the true proverb has happened to them: The dog is returned to his vomit: and, The sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire. (2nd Peter 2:17-22)
God gave man reason and the natural law written upon his heart. To depart from it leaves only one possibility: eternal perdition. God help us all.