There's been a bit of chatter regarding a tweet made by Salt and Light's Fr. Thomas Rosica regarding a particularly nasty bit of writing. In Fr. Thomas Rosica's defense, it has to be said that he is not the originator of the nastiness; he's actually paraphrasing the last line of the article to which he linked: What Is a Catholic Family? by Peter Maneau, which appeared a few days ago in the Opinion Pages of the New York Times. At the same time, however, it's hard not to see the paraphrase as an open endorsement of the comparison itself. Which, with all the charity I can muster, is positively horrid.
We are first met with the tired ad hominem argument that priests, bishops and cardinals are unable to speak from experience when it comes to matters of sexuality and family life. Does anyone actually give credence to such twaddle? Each and every one of these men were raised - contrary to popular belief, apparently - in a human family, and witnessed first-hand the tests and trials of dedicated parents in raising their often large families. I'd wager that most if not all of them have numerous brothers and sisters, many of whom did not enter religious life but instead went on to start families of their own. And is there anyone who is not by now aware of the fact that a considerable number of priests and even bishops struggle with the temptation of succumbing to inherently disordered sexual behavior? (Bishop Kieran Conry, anyone?) These men know exactly what a life of dedicated chastity means. So, yes, they are perfectly well-qualified to speak with authority on matters pertaining to the proper use of human sexuality and healthy family life.
Furthermore, the author willingly ignores the well-known truth regarding the paragraphs pleading for "valuing the homosexual orientation" in the first Relatio, i.e., that they were introduced secretly by one man: Bishop Bruno Forte. Given this fact, it should not surprise us in the least that the overwhelming majority of bishops and cardinals strongly objected to the paragraphs, as they were in no way a truthful representation of the discussions of the first week. The real news here is not that the participants "backtracked" on their previous statements, but rather that one very sneaky bishop tried to pull a fast one on the whole world and suffered zero consequences for his shameful actions.
The author goes on to imply that the Church, by spending more time discussing the importance of marriage in the life of Catholics today, is somehow breaking with her past, which placed the state of consecrated virginity above that of married life - as though the two are now to be seen as equals. On the contrary, it is a defined canon of the Council of Trent (Session 24, Canon 10), that "if any one saith, that the marriage state is to be placed above the state of virginity, or of celibacy, and that it is not better and more blessed to remain in virginity, or in celibacy, than to be united in matrimony: let him be anathema." The 2015 Synod could shower reams of flowery praise upon marriage, and it wouldn't change a thing regarding the rightfully elevated status of consecrated virginity.
In what one could be forgiven for assuming would be the apex of this particular article's malicious obtuseness, the author flatly labels what has been the historical norm regarding marriage, i.e., the lifelong union of one man and one woman in mutual, loving support for the procreation and rearing of children, as "an unattainable ideal". I'll be sure to pass on the note to my spouse that our marriage has officially hit "mythical" status.
If you think we've reached the bottom of the barrel, gentle reader, brace yourself. The author shows us that he is prepared to dig well beyond the barrel floor and into the filth beneath it. He proceeds to produce what has to be one of the most stunningly perverse and utterly sacrilegious comparisons ever made: the Holy Family was the forerunner of modern "irregular unions".
Yup. He went there. He just equated this:
There is obviously no limit to the depths people will sink to promote the disorder of human sexuality in the Church. Even if it means digging their way to hell.