The German bishops have formally rejected the constant teachings of the Catholic faith on sexual morality, teachings that go all the way back to the Apostles and Sacred Scripture. At least that appears to be the case based on a press release from the German Bishop’s Conference of December 5th. LifeSite News has done an admirable job of reporting this historic break from the Apostolic faith. And it is thanks to their reporting that I was able to find out anything at all about this tragic event. NO ONE ELSE IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE WORLD IS COVERING THIS STORY! Which is an important story all by itself, as some astute Twitterers have observed:
I’m amazed that Catholic Twitter seems to be silent on this, the formal apostasy from the Catholic Faith of an entire national Church.@BenedictCarter6, Twitter
The LifeSite article has reported, and I have been able to confirm from a robo-translation of the press release, that the German Church has introduced at least two new teachings on sexual morality that contradict Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Here they are:
- That sexual relations in a second marriage after a divorce is not a serious sin and, thus, such couples can be admitted to the Eucharist.
- Homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexual desire. It is not intrinsically disordered.
These conclusions came from the bishops’ “expert” panel, which, according to the press release, necessarily included experts from the sciences.
Does God Have Any Say in the Matter?
Some of you may recall what the German bishops have apparently forgotten. Jesus had something to say on the matter, as did His Father before Him. In fact, they handed down to us a law, succinctly summarized for us by St. Paul:
Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.1Cor. 6: 9–10, NRSV
And only a few chapters later, St. Paul warns us not to present ourselves for the Eucharist if we are in a state of serious sin (1Cor. 11: 27–30). So the question that must be asked of the German bishops is this. What gives them the authority to change this teaching? For it was none other than Jesus Himself who taught,
Whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.Mt. 5:32, RSV
The Catechism teaches that “sin is an offense against God” (CCC 1850). And so serious sin is a serious offense against God, which the Church, following Apostolic tradition, has always taught leads to hell. The question that any rational human being should have is this: Who is qualified to say what does and does not offend God? Who is qualified to know when God is seriously offended and when he is not? The German bishops claim to have assembled a panel of experts who are qualified to judge in such matters. And apparently, according to the press release, it is scientists and sexologists who are not only qualified, but in fact essential to judging these matters.
What sane person believes such utter rubbish? Every human being without exception—and this includes even such harsh critics of religion as the New Atheists—should be able to agree that there is no scientist or human expert of any kind who can say what is and what is not offensive to God. I’ll go further. No saint or doctor of the Church is qualified to judge such matters. Nor is any pope so qualified. And I’ll go further still. Neither are the Apostles of Jesus Christ qualified to judge such matters. Moses? Not qualified. How about the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, conceived without sin, holy and immaculate? Not qualified. How about the very angels of heaven? Sorry, not qualified. So who is qualified to judge?
ONLY GOD IS QUALIFIED TO SAY WHAT IS OFFENSIVE TO HIM AND WHAT IS NOT.
This of course is why the divinity of Christ is an essential teaching of Christianity. Even the people of his day understood that “he taught with authority” and not like other teachers. Which is why he was accused of blasphemy and executed—because he assumed for himself an authority which the Jews correctly understood belonged uniquely to God. But since Jesus is God, no problem. The only reason that we take mere humans like Moses and the Apostles seriously is because they spoke directly with God and were vested with the authority, by God Himself, to communicate His divine laws and teachings. St. Paul correctly taught that, because his teachings came directly from God, no one—not even the angels of God—had the authority to alter Apostolic teaching:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel– not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.Gal. 1:6–9, RSV
So what grand and divine authority do the German bishops cite for their new teachings on homosexuality and adultery? Amoris Laetitia.
Confronting the Bishops of Suspicion
So much for the argument that Amoris Laetitia proposed no doctrinal changes. Certainly you remember that take? It was vociferously promoted by the Catholic News Agency who used its influence to quash other opinions. And whether academics, canon lawyers, and other apparatchiks of the Clerical Party of the Catholic Church are willing to admit it or not, the German Bishops got Amoris Laetitia right. As I explained in my book and articles this past summer, in fact, AL replaced theology with science as the authority for determining sexual morality.
- According to AL 280, science is essential for sex education.
- According to AL 3, the magisterium is not essential in all doctrinal matters.
So find a “sexologist” that says homosexuality is natural and not disordered, and AL gives you the green light to ignore the Bible and 2,000 years of consistent moral teaching. That’s exactly what the German bishops have done because, frankly, that’s what AL allows.
Why No News Analysis?
The story coming out of Germany is going to be a difficult one to cover for those like CNA* who defended Amoris Laetitia. For the German bishops have strengthened the argument that, in fact, AL is heretical. But more than that, the Germans have completely vindicated my analysis of AL’s heresies, as will become more apparent in upcoming reports from NewWalden. (Stay tuned!)
Protestant Reformation Redux
This is the biggest religion news story since the Protestant Reformation, and whether or not anyone else ever gets around to reporting on this Protestant Reformation redux, you will be able to find news and analysis right here at NewWalden.
*(CNA published its first report on December 12th.)