Archbishop Cupich was just reported as suggesting that actively gay people could receive the Most August Sacrament of the Eucharist, if they examine their consciences and judge that such a lifestyle is in accordance with the moral order.
Lifesite News broke the story, which you may read here. Cupich allegedly states,
“If people come to a decision in good conscience then our job is to help them move forward and to respect that. “
What does this mean? That they can go ahead and receive the Eucharist while committing sins that the Church and the Bible says “Cry out to heaven for vengeance”? If this is correct, then it seems the Archbishop is going to “leave them in their sins”. Why not extend a healing hand, with a clear remedy, and a clear statement of their error?
Such advice is an abomination that will lead to abominations of sacrilege. Sacrilege is evil on two counts. Above all, it is an offense against God in his only true religion. Closer to home, it involves the greater death of the lost souls that receive the Eucharist in such a state. We should all grieve for the people, if there be any, who end up taking his advice. It is a joy to receive the Eucharist in a state of grace; Misery to receive it in sin. Why should any pastor who loves souls consign them to greater misery? Why should any pastor despair that Jesus Christ has not the power to save, nor perhaps the will? Take heart, Pastors, that the Lord has plenty of power and plenty of will. Perhaps you yourselves are the very scandals and roadblocks in the way of the true peace of heart of these lost souls.
Now, then, let us analyze.
These lost souls are in one of several states: (1) Either they do recognize the law of God clearly or (2) they do not. If they do and they live this lifestyle freely, they are living in sin not only objectively but also subjectively. If they do not know the law clearly, then the good pastor instructs them. The good shepherd does not leave them infants – orphaned from the Truth. The good shepherd instructs them, leads them out of ignorance and into the Truth which alone will set them free. They are not free presently; they are in objective misery. Even if their culpability is mitigated – which remains a questionable contention, for they have nature as teacher, and if they are Catholics they have Holy Mother Church to whose actual and actually authoritative teachings anyone can turn at any time – still, they cannot be truly happy in this lifestyle. Hence, the response is not to justify them in their error but to e-ducate them, to lead them out of ignorance into God’s light.
(3) It might be, also, that these lost souls are as infants. Adult infants the French theologians used to opine. Perhaps. Perhaps not. Let’s run with the perhaps. If they are adult infants, they do not have the exercise of free will. They cannot use it adequately. They are immature. Well, then, how could they be permitted in the Western Rite to receive the Eucharist, which is reserved for those with the use of free will? Further, how could they in any rite go to the Sacrament of Confession, which demands use of free will? But away with this nonsense, this solemn nonsense. One trains infants. One does this by withholding goods, for example. Such withholding leads to the infant growing up to see the good and the evil, to judge the good from the evil. Thus, freedom can emerge in maturity.
At last, let us return to Saner Times. Let us Hear the Ever Faithful Words of an Ever Faithful Pontiff, His Holiness Pope Pius XI of Happy Memory:
57. We admonish, therefore, priests who hear confessions and others who have the care of souls, in virtue of Our supreme authority and in Our solicitude for the salvation of souls, not to allow the faithful entrusted to them to err regarding this most grave law of God; much more, that they keep themselves immune from such false opinions, in no way conniving in them. If any confessor or pastor of souls, which may God forbid, lead the faithful entrusted to him into these errors or should at least confirm them by approval or by guilty silence, let him be mindful of the fact that he must render a strict account to God, the Supreme Judge, for the betrayal of his sacred trust, and let him take to himself the words of Christ: “They are blind and leaders of the blind: and if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit.
Pius is urging priests in the sacred sacrament of penance to admonish and instruct wayward sinners, so that they would know that the law of God and of nature is that the marital act is for the purpose of procreation. Every act that frustrates that purpose is gravely evil, period.
Now, then, Pius was instructing Pastors in their actions regarding the internal forum.
How does Archbishop Cupich’s reported advice square with this? It is opposite in the most diametrically opposite way possible. First, as reported, he is addressing people in the external forum, as though giving counsel. Sure it is counsel that he would give privately, but not necessarily in the Sacrament of Confession. Ergo, not simply in the inner forum. Second, as reported, he vindicates the erroneous judgment of conscience, defending it. He “notes” the objective teaching of the Church but vindicates the subjective teaching of conscience.
Now, the conscience we will always have with us. We had it from the beginning. But Christ we did not always have, though we have his Church – against with even HELL ITSELF cannot stand – always with her perennial teachings. And Christ came to instruct consciences, not to vindicate people in their errors.