The signs of the times


Just when you thought the sacrament of confession was getting too routine.


Oh no! :eek:


Would such individuals even be going to confession though?


I find Mark Brumbly’s article insulting to Pope Francis and the Vatican.


Start with the basics, what marriage is, why they are not married etc and do the best they can.

God Bless



I certainly didn’t take it that way, I thought it was very legitimate, may I ask why you think it insulting?

I think those scenarios are certainly possible/probable. I’m not a priest though, just a layperson.

God Bless

Thank you for reading


How is that? I didn’t (and still can’t) make that connection. :confused:

I would say the article appears to be an attempt to poke holes in “various diocesan and other pastoral plans for outreach to LGBT families,” without saying what those plans are. If such plans have been formulated, I would be happy to learn about them, and I expect they have been well thought out.


I agree. The article manages to insult Pope Francis, priests, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and SSA individuals all in one fell swoop.


I think it’s insulting because he is mocking the reforms that Pope Francis in trying to make. Pope Francis is trying to make a more inclusive and compassionate church. It’s no secret that our Pope passed over the hard Conservative Bishops for more moderate Bishops for Cardinals. The Pope in my opinion is telling our church don’t classify the sin of homosexuality any higher than the sin of Adultery among men and women.
Pope Francis is not changing dogma that Homosexuality and Adultery are not serious mortal sins. Pope Francis is saying don’t ostracize homosexuals from the church. I seen this happen in my own Parish with a young gay male who volunteer for all church activities was told by the Pastor that his help was no longer needed.
The author of that article is insinuating that Pope Francis is leading the Church into acceptance of gay marriage which is so far from the truth.


The article seemed to me to be a humorous reflection on confessional scenarios to be expected given current social trends. Still, I did not take them seriously. Surely, in the two scenarios presented, any Catholic penitent would know that the Church does not consider same sex marriage to be a real marriage. He would know that the Church considers an attempt to change one’s biological sex to be wrong. The penitent would know, if he was Catholic, that the sin to be confessed was not adultery, but illicit sexual relations, whether with a formal ‘partner’ or not. But the comments here make me wonder: should a priest take such a confession at face value? If so, he would need to spend some time re-educating the penitent on the basics of Catholic sexual morality. But then, such re-educating is something that probably needs to be done from the pulpit routinely to remove any doubts before such situations arise.


What has this to do with the Pope?


Seems to me an opportunity to help the individual identify their sin.


I would think that if Pope Francis’s recommendations in Amoris Laetitia apply (and if I have read the document correctly):

*]Man confesses that he is in a homosexual relationship etc.
*]Father would realise from 1. that the man considers himself married and having committed adultery.
*]Father would then ask questions to discern if the man has full knowledge and full consent
*]If the man does have the conditions, then Father would need to instruct the man that he needs to promise to abandon homosexual practises and his current relationship to receive absolution
*]The man either says he will abandon or he wont
Dependant on the previous answer, the priest would be able to either grant absolution or not and if not, then explaining to the man why.
*] If the man does not have full knowledge and consent, Father would then need to fully inform the man so that the man does have full knowledge, although not of necessity as straightforward as that. Full consent is another matter and Father would need to discern on that point and advise the man accordingly. Full consent in actuality is most always the most difficult to discern of the three conditions if one takes up the definition in the CCC, although full knowledge might be a curly one too.

Things might and can get far more complex than the above, but I can insight what Pope Francis is saying in AL, at least by implication, and that is that only mortal sin can preclude a person from Holy Communion. The elephant in the room if you like is Canon 915 and “manifest grave sin” but manifest grave sin is not of necessity mortal sin. The Church to date insists, however, through Canon 915 that “manifest grave sin” even if not mortal sin is sufficient for unworthy reception of Holy Communion. There are some qualifications in Canon Law on what “manifest” actually means and when and how it can or cannot be applied to qualify as unworthy of receiving Holy Communion.

It is not so straightforward as I have put it in the above - fit could be far more complex - Canon Law can be a real minefield.

The priesthood was never meant to be a police force to enforce laws. It was meant to be the shepherds of souls par excellence, going after the lost sheep whenever necessary.
The Church was never meant to be bonded tightly by laws and nothing but laws. It was meant to be that place, that community of people, par excellence where a person meets the Loving and Merciful, Understanding, embrace of Jesus, truly man Truly God.

Mortal sin requires three conditions at the same time:
Grave matter
Full knowledge
Full consent


No doubt that canon law can be a minefield. What surprises me is nothing in canon law, but rather that ignorance of the moral law can be so pervasive as to make the scenarios described as something probable. Yes, mortal sin requires grave matter, full knowledge and full consent. Are Catholics really so ignorant of the moral law? When I speak of the moral law, I don’t mean a set of rules, but the law of Christ, preserved and handed down by the Church. In my youth, I recall a priest once saying, you don’t have to go over a list to discover your mortal sins—they are the big things that stick out like a sore thumb. Fornication, adultery, bank robbery, murder, did not require a lot of introspection, nor did the question of whether one fully knew their gravity and consented to them.

Have things changed so much that Catholics can no longer distinguish mortal sins? Maybe so. In an age of sentimentality, it seems, there is always room for mitigation, room for doubt. If ignorance can keep one out of hell, then ignorance really is bliss.


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