Letter #80, 2023 Wednesday, March 29: Hollerich
These recent interviews by Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich — coming just after the Nordic bishops’ pastoral letter of March 25 mentioned in the letter I just sent out — are of some interest because Hollerich is a special figure. Pope Francis has chosen him to be the head of the Synod on Synodality which will meet this October, and also next October (2024) in Rome and some Vatican watchers say that Hollerich, who is a Jesuit, is Pope Francis’s own choice to be … his successor as the next Pope. Therefore readers may take a moment to see what Hollerich is thinking.
The third piece is long but interesting.
I would appreciate letters from thoughtful readers and would be willing to publish some of them here in these letters. These questions seem to be critically important for the Church and we may need to bring a number of minds and hearts together to reach a clear and orthodox understanding of these matters. —RM
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Hollerich asks to remove from the Catechism that gay relationships are “intrinsically disordered” (link)
“Calling others to chastity seems like speaking to them in Egyptian,” said the Cardinal Archbishop of Luxembourg in an interview
March 29, 2023
The number 2357 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out, in what refers to homosexual relations that the Bible presents them as “serious depravities” and that Tradition “has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered’”, citing to the declaration ‘Human person’. Now, the Cardinal Archbishop of Luxembourg, the Jesuit Jean-Claude Hollerich, has questioned this approach for part of such an important document.
Call to chastity
Hollerich, recently incorporated into the new Council of Cardinals, has pointed out that the language used by the Catholic Church to describe the behavior of LGTBI people as “intrinsically disordered” is “dubious”. In an interview with the Croatian Catholic weekly ‘Glas Koncila’, published this Monday, March 27 and collected by Europa Press, he claims that “we have to accept all people and make them feel God’s love. If you feel it, I’m sure it will change something in your heart. Homosexuals should feel welcome in our house. Otherwise, they will leave.”
“If we say that everything they do is intrinsically bad, it is like saying that their life is worthless. Many young people came to me as a father and told me about their homosexuality. And what does a father do? Does he throw them out or embrace them unconditionally?”, claims Hollerich. “For some of them it is possible to be chaste, but calling others to chastity seems like speaking to them in Egyptian. A person with a tendency to steal can get by without stealing. A homosexual person will always love people of the same sex. We must not reduce homosexuality to excessive sexual relations. That is a very crude way of understanding a human person.” “If we say that everything they do is intrinsically bad, it is like saying that their life has no value,” says the cardinal.
“Pope Francis does not want the ordination of women, and I am completely obedient. I am a promoter of giving women more pastoral responsibility. And if we succeed, then perhaps we can see if the desire to be ordained continues to exist among women,” said the cardinal about the ordination of women.
Hollerich does not rule out the ordination of women: “probably” not an infallible teaching (link)
“Probably” it is not an infallible teaching of the Popes, points out the Luxembourgish Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, general relator of the next Synod on Synodality, on the prohibition of female priestly ordination
“Pope Francis does not want the ordination of women and I completely obey him in this matter. But people continue to debate,” says the cardinal, who is committed in principle to giving more responsibilities to women in pastoral tasks. “Once we’ve achieved that, maybe we can see if the desire for women’s ordination is still there.”
28.03.2023 | RD/Agencies
“Probably” it is not an infallible teaching of the Popes, says Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, regarding the ordination of women priests, but it can make different decisions over time.
In this way, the general relator of the next Synod on Synodality considers possible, in principle, the admission of women to ordained offices in the Catholic Church, as pointed out in an interview with the Croatian weekly Glas Koncila. “Over time,” a Pope could decide this question differently than John Paul II did in 1994, according to the Katholisch portal.
“People keep debating”
“Pope Francis does not want the ordination of women and I completely obey him in this matter. But people continue to debate,” says the cardinal, who is committed in principle to giving more responsibilities to women in pastoral tasks. “Once we’ve achieved that, maybe we can see if the desire for women’s ordination is still there,” he says. In any case, he stressed that on this issue “we could never do that if it jeopardized the fraternal bond with orthodoxy and led to polarization in our Church.”
Asked about the teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality, he claimed that ” homosexuals must feel at home with us. Otherwise, they will leave ” and recalled that the Pope stated that practicing homosexuality is a sin, just like any sex outside of marriage, though he also called Catholic teaching that homosexual acts “are not in order in themselves” “dubious.” It is “rude” to reduce homosexuality to disorderly sexual acts.”
German laymen, as trade unionists
Asked about the controversial German Synodal Path, Hollerich recalled the criticism leveled by the Pope towards the German lay associations because they acted as unions, which is very different from the Pope’s vision of the People of God, he pointed out, also expressing a harsh criticism against the whole of the German Church. “This is not a Church that serves the world, but itself, leaving little room for the Holy Spirit.”
And with respect to the division that exists in the Teutonic Episcopate itself, the new member of the C9 pointed out: “There is a confrontation between a minority and a majority among the bishops, there is no willingness to compromise. But in a Synod there should never be a triumphant majority and leave a wounded minority”.
General Relator of the Bishops’ Synod Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich (link)
The Holy Spirit sometimes causes great confusion in order to bring about a new harmony
Posted by Port of Tripalo
March 27, 2023
The Pope has two main objections to the German synodal path. The first is that it does not grow from the roots up. Instead, there are Catholics in associations that resemble trade unions… Another objection is that the mission is not lost. The church in Germany is preoccupied with itself and its structures. It is not the Church that serves the world, but itself
Although the “Synod on Synodality” is undoubtedly the most widespread event of the universal Church since the Second Vatican Council, only a few are undoubtedly able to follow it. Starting from the word “synod” all the way to the contradictions of its participants, innumerable ambiguities overshadow the key questions that the Church faces in its “walk of communion”. Therefore, we were pleased with the possibility that those questions could be clarified for the readers of the Voice of the Council by the one who watches over the entire Synod – its general relator, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich. In the conversation we conducted during his recent stay in Split, one of the nine advisors of Pope Francis shared with us his view of the German synod path without reservation, but also commented on the challenges of the Church in Croatia, such as the fight against abortion and the crisis of masculinity.
To be an example, Pope Francis recently appointed you to the Council of Cardinals. How do you view that choice and the Council’s role in the Pope’s thinking?
The news of the appointment caught me at the synod assembly in Ethiopia and stunned me. I feel very honored to be among the people whom the Holy Father wants to ask for advice, but these are not people who gain more influence in the Church. We can advise the Pope, but in the end he will do as he decides.
The first Jesuit pope in the Vatican is surrounded by more and more Jesuits. What does such a presence of the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola brings to the universal Church?
This certainly gives greater importance to discernment. But discernment is not only a matter for the Jesuits. Called by different names or emphasized differently, discernment still exists in all spiritualities of the Church because it is the work of the Holy Spirit. This emphasis on discernment means that the action of the Holy Spirit becomes more important in the Church, bringing us closer to, among others, our Orthodox brothers and sisters.
Throughout history, anti-abortion laws have often focused on women, and not on their parents or partners who forced them to have an abortion. We need to be fair to women and we need to make sure that people understand that the Church is pro-life in the true sense of those words… If the Church seems to single out the issue of abortion, it will harm its position, which ultimately only favors abortion
Why is that so?
Orthodox Christians constantly complain that we Catholics are too Christocentric.
But isn’t that positive?
Clearly, we should be focused on Christ. But from conversations with young priests and theologians, it is quickly noticed that, unlike the lives of our saints, the Trinity has little influence on their spiritual life, even though they learn a lot about it in theology. The renewed awareness that God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit must become a recognizable mark of today’s Christian spirit, especially in light of the large migrations of Muslim nations to the West.
You mentioned the Holy Spirit many times in your sermon at the opening of the Continental Synod Assembly in Addis Ababa. The charismatic movement also “popularized” the speech about him. But how can we be sure of the “involvement” of the Holy Spirit in the Synod?
The Holy Spirit unites charisma and hierarchy – in the person of Peter’s successor. That is why I am sure that, if the Pope directs the Church in a certain direction, he must go in that direction. And the Pope directed her in the direction of the Synod.
Isn’t the synodal way the exact opposite of the Pope’s independent decision-making?
The synod does not replace Peter’s service or replace the role of the bishop. Nevertheless, all the baptized are sons and daughters of God; all the baptized are Christ’s adopted brothers and sisters. Therefore, the Holy Spirit undoubtedly speaks through them. It is the structure of our discernment and we cannot exempt ourselves from it just because we may not like it. But we can even go a step further. Sometimes even being wrong does not mean lacking the Spirit.
Can you give an example?
Francis Xavier, Ignatius of Loyola and Petar Faber – all first companions of the Society of Jesus – took vows in Paris to poverty, chastity and going to the Holy Land. If the Holy Land was unavailable, they vowed to go to Rome. At that time it was not possible to go to the Holy Land, so they went to Rome and that is how the Society of Jesus was born. The longing they had was inspired by the Holy Spirit, but its scope was different. All the works of the Spirit take a long time because we do not understand them immediately.
The word you just used instead of “believers” – “christians” – does not seem to us to be accidental at all.
Yes, I’m not only targeting Catholics, but all baptized people. In the Church, we nurture a theology centered around communion, which is particularly expressed through communion in the Holy Eucharist. This Eucharistic spirit is also the reason why the first dimension of the Synod is communion. However, the fundamental sacrament from which all sacraments derive is baptism. This is what we mean when we confess one baptism in the Creed; but that message can easily be read from our baptismal font, like the one in your cathedral in Split.
What does this baptismal perspective mean for the synod path?
This means that the synod should give us a sense of incompleteness: we must experience a painful separation from the rest of our baptized brothers and sisters. Therefore, at the beginning of the synod session in Rome, we will have a moment in the spirit of Taizé in which the Patriarch of Constantinople and other Christian leaders will join the Pope in prayer. It is the first time that Peter’s successor will invite other Christians to pray for a synod of the Catholic Church.
The Pope himself recently in the Angelus called for prayer to the Lord to “give us the strength to cry”. Starting from those words, shouldn’t we strive for something greater than “weeping” communion with other Christians? Is common prayer enough?
No, it’s not enough. But it is precisely the common prayer that will give us a strong feeling that this is not enough; that we should strive for unity. The Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity has done an excellent job in this regard. They have written many fundamental theological works that show, for example, that the issue of justification is not a real obstacle to our unity with Protestants. We understand that we agree, but that understanding remains at a very high theological level. There are other issues such as eucharistic theology and apostolic succession that currently prevent unity. Nevertheless, we can build a lot on baptism.
On what way?
The recent pilgrimage of the Holy Father to South Sudan together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the head of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland confirmed the possibility of ecumenical action, joint service of justice and peace in the world. We need to give the Holy Spirit time to discern how he leads the Church to greater unity.
With the imminent conclusion of the continental phase of the Synod, we would like to reflect on the words you spoke on the eve of the Continental Assembly of the Synod in Europe. “Christian Europe is a thing of the past”, you said with a kind of joy…
Not because it is a thing of the past, but because I still see God’s action in Europe today – that makes me happy.
Shouldn’t we fight for our Christian tradition in Europe?
It depends on what you mean by combat. The Christian tradition of Europe is huge and we must nurture it. But tradition happens all the time. Pope Francis warns us that tradition helps us to inculcate faith in the new world. If we see it as something past, we miss the present, and if we miss the present, we cannot prepare for the future. We cannot simply pursue a policy of renewal of Catholic Europe. That won’t work.
But then what are we left with?
We need to discover God’s presence in today’s world. When we discover God outside the Church, we must rejoice: it means that our tradition continues.
However, our tradition in Croatia is still predominantly Catholic…
Compared to other European countries, Croatia is still a strongly Catholic country. But my homeland, Luxembourg, was once similar to Ireland: it was not only Christian, but also deeply Catholic. I knew Protestantism only from history books because I never met a Protestant in my childhood. After the first lesson in our public school, we went to church for mass. Such things are unthinkable today in Luxembourg, as well as in Europe. Everything happened very quickly. In Croatia, you should recognize in these examples a warning to prepare for such a change. And maybe in that preparation you discover a new joy, especially among your youth and children.
Isn’t the change you’re talking about the result of the Church renouncing its tradition?
No, the Church has always fought against it. When I was a child, the priest in our parish more or less instructed the adults who to vote for in the elections! Many people opposed the Church because of excessive dominance; it was seen as a dictatorship that wants to impose its positions on the entire society. Today, Church and State are separated in Luxembourg. The separation in some ways harmed the Church, but in other ways it benefited it.
Boys and men disappear in any system that ignores differences in psychology… If our catechists are mostly women, they will catechize in a feminine way, which will alienate some boys… In this sense, we have become very feminized.
Today we have good relations with political parties that used to hate the Church. However, we do not agree on all points.
And what about the negative consequences?
In Croatia, there is still a chance that a party that is called Christian is really Christian. In Luxembourg, this is no longer the case. “Christian” parties are no more Christian than others, regardless of the name. How can you be a Christian and support abortion rights? I can’t understand that.
The problem of abortion is very current in Croatia as well. Despite the Christian majority, a very permissive law on abortion is still in force, which has turned out to be a stumbling block for all parties in Croatia. We would like to hear about this the point of view of someone who – as a missionary – faced problems wider than those of Western Europe. To use evangelical terminology, should the Church in today’s debate on abortion understand itself as a “strong man” or a “good Samaritan”?
The Samaritan way has always had priority in the Church. The church fathers who interpreted that parable saw well that the Good Samaritan is Christ himself. We are hurt on our life’s journey, and Christ binds up our wounds. If we want to be Christlike, we must do the same. We must proclaim the gospel, directly proclaiming Christ who died and rose again for us. However, people will understand this only if we become Good Samaritans in the service of the world. Otherwise, it’s just a theory, and people don’t believe in theories anymore.
The Church teaches that abortion is a grave sin, but the active fight against abortion is mainly led by lay people. Can a more decisive action by the church hierarchy contribute to the eradication of abortion?
Abortion will not stop the Church’s official positions. We should oppose abortion, but I would always promote timely counseling for women so they can reconsider their decision. Also, throughout history, anti-abortion laws have often focused on women, and not on their parents or partners who forced them to have an abortion. We need to be fair to women and we need to make sure that people understand that the Church is for life in the true sense of the word. We are pro-life: we care about unborn children. We are pro-life: we care about people living in poverty. We are pro-life: we care about people with disabilities, the sick and the dying. We are pro-life: we care about the dignified lives of people who no longer seem useful to society. If the Church seems to single out the issue of abortion, it will harm its position, which ultimately only favors abortion.
Mentioning the separation of issues in the Church, the thought of the German synod path immediately comes to mind. Did the German case distract us from the true meaning of the synod? As if walking together in one faith turned into sitting and talking about individual beliefs…
Sitting and talking constitutes a synod only if the trip is being discussed. Otherwise, it becomes a war of words. The Pope has two main objections to the German synodal path. The first is that it does not grow from the roots up. Instead, you have Catholics in unions-like associations. This is very different from the image of the people of God, especially from the one that the Holy Father experienced in South America. The second objection is that it does not spoil the mission. The church in Germany is preoccupied with itself and its structures. It is not the Church that serves the world, but itself, denying space to the Holy Spirit. And you know what Pope Francis says about Ghosts…
What are you aiming for?
The ghosts seemed like a great commotion; people even thought the apostles were drunk! Harmony was established only later. The Holy Spirit sometimes causes great confusion in order to bring about a new harmony. But there is a lack of harmony in Germany. Among the bishops, there is a conflict between the minority and the majority, with no willingness to compromise. A triumphant majority and a wounded minority must never appear at a synod.
Does the Church allow the derogatory statements of the German synod path in order to prevent schism?
I don’t think so. If you talk about schism, you provoke it. We should not talk about it, but worry, pray and consider how to achieve greater unity with the Church in Germany. But we also need to diagnose what went wrong. Some Churches in Europe are too national. If the episcopal conferences are only national, the Churches begin to revolve around themselves, even though they are the same Church! I think people in Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria think the same as Germans, but they are still far from thinking in black and white, unlike in Germany. National conferences are good and necessary, but we need to find a way to supplement them. Regional conferences or metropolises that cross national borders can be a solution. It is healthy to recognize your differences in dialogue with your neighbors.
You mentioned Pentecost as the prototype of the Synod Church. At the end of the Asian Continental Synod Assembly, you even asserted that from the Synod’s point of view, God’s creation of man is rather the creation of humanity than the creation of man and woman. However, the second time something similar to Pentecost happened, it happened to one family – the family of the centurion Cornelius. Can we separate the welfare of the family from the welfare of humanity?
Not. I love family, but individualism worries me. In the West, we have a very personalistic interpretation of creation. That is true, but as Europe becomes more and more individualistic, a purely personalistic interpretation can become a bit narrow: just God and me. God didn’t just create me, he created us. Pentecost shows us that God was aiming for something more than a family or a nation. This need for a broader view is particularly evident in Asia, even in the way they have organized their continental assembly. When there was talk of an amendment, people from different countries would sit together at the table until the whole table agreed. That would never work in Europe. Asia has a Christian culture different from Europe, which opens our eyes to see that our way of looking at things is not the only one. It would be foolish to think so.
Your appointment to the Council of Cardinals, your role in the Synod, your cardinalate… It seems that you are a person trusted by the Pope. However, it is no secret that many Catholics find it difficult, to say the least, to have confidence in the direction in which the Pope is leading the Church. Can we be faithful to the Church without trusting its pastor?
It is very difficult to be a Catholic without obeying the Pope. Some very conservative people have always preached obedience to the pope – as long as the pope said what they wanted to hear. The Pope says things that are hard for me too, but I see them as an opportunity for conversion, an opportunity to become a more faithful and happy Christian.
You were recently re-elected president of the international association of ministers »Coetus Internationalis Ministrantium«. You once called ministers “special witnesses of Christ”. Aren’t they special witnesses of abuse?
Sexual abuse is horrible; moreover, it is diabolical. Ministers look up to priests as men of God: they have complete trust in them. That is why the Church must have the highest standard in protection against abuse: a man whom children considered a man of God abuses them, persecutes them and uses them as an object of his lust. It can’t get any more wrong than that. It is a complete upheaval of all the values we preach. We must acknowledge and atone for it, but also show everyone a different Church in which such things are impossible.
Speaking about abuse in a recent interview for “La Croix”, you said that “a female presence would avoid many problems”. Where do you see the lack of female presence in the Church?
I pointed out that women will spot a predator faster than men if he appears in the Church. A society devoid of women is not healthy. Men get used to it and develop certain negative attitudes towards women. That is clericalism. Jesus never told jokes about women. Women felt that he loved them – that’s why they followed him wherever he went. Women must feel welcome in the Church, not only when preparing meals and cleaning churches, but also when making decisions and taking responsibility. I am not aiming at the priesthood.
Some very conservative people have always preached obedience to the pope – as long as the pope said what they wanted to hear. The Pope says things that are hard for me too, but I see them as an opportunity for conversion, an opportunity to become a more faithful and happy Christian
So what are you aiming for?
In my diocese, there is a woman in charge of the entire formation and she does an excellent job. I also entrusted her to preach to the pilgrims in our cathedral in full accordance with canon law because she preached outside the mass. I also have apostolic delegates who are in turn women. If we cannot reconcile with women in society or the Church, something is wrong with us.
Nevertheless, churches in Croatia are mostly filled with women. Statistics of the Church in the world recently published by “L’Osservatore Romano” also show a ten-year decline in theological vocations. Isn’t this a consequence of “feminized” spirituality in the Church?
Boys and men disappear in any system that ignores differences in psychology. For example, boys and girls progress in education in different ways: girls study regularly, so the testing system suits them well, while boys usually get the upper hand. Looking at the Church, if our catechists are mostly women, they will catechize in a feminine way, which will alienate some boys. If the catechesis is too soft, they will not like it. We ignored these differences and in that sense we became very feminized.
For the past few months, every first Saturday, men flock to town squares across Croatia to pray the rosary, which causes a media frenzy every month. What is your view on this phenomenon?
This shows that men still want to do some heroism. But it also reveals the lack of place for men in the Church. Priests today are mostly surrounded by women. In the town where I come from, there used to be brotherhoods that organized confession and communion days for men because they rarely went to communion because of sexual sin. That’s a thing of the past, but we still need to give men a chance to get muddy working in the Church.
Speaking of women and men in the Church, we cannot help but look back on the storm you caused by saying in an interview for KNA that you are “open” to the idea of ordination of women. Isn’t that point of view in sharp contrast with church teaching?
Pope Francis does not want the ordination of women and I am completely obedient to that. But people continue to debate it. I am not a promoter of the ordination of women; I am a promoter of giving more pastoral responsibility to women. And if we achieve that, maybe we can see if there is still a desire among women for ordination. But for such a big change, the consent of the Orthodox Church should be sought. We would never be able to do this if we would endanger our brotherhood with the Orthodox or polarize the unity of our Church. Love is not something abstract; it is our love for our sisters and brothers that prevents us from doing things that would alienate them.
You present the ordination of women as a mere matter of prudent judgment.
The Holy Father must decide about him.
But can he decide something contrary to what Saint John Paul II wrote in “Ordinatio sacerdotalis”?
In time, yes.
Isn’t that an infallible teaching?
I’m not sure you could call it that; probably not. It would be unmistakable, for example, the proclamation of the dogma about Mary’s ascension to heaven by Pius XII.
We ask you this because the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has published two documents that clarify that “Ordinatio sacerdotalis” is an infallible doctrine.
“Syllabus errorum” Pius IX. carried a similar claim of infallibility. But if you look at the “Syllabus”, you will see that Pius IX. condemned many things that are now common practice in the Church.
We cannot simply pursue a policy of renewal of Catholic Europe. That won’t work. We need to discover God’s presence in today’s world. When we discover God outside the Church, we must rejoice: it means that our tradition continues
Dialogue of religions, freedom of religion, human rights… Pius IX. He considered these ideas to be very sinful and against the Revelation.
Do you think it is the same with the impossibility of ordination of women?
It is surely a true teaching for its time and we cannot just push it aside. But I think there could be room for the doctrine to be expanded – let’s see what arguments Pope John Paul II would make. could develop. But at this moment, if Pope Francis tells me it’s not an option, it’s not an option.
If so, how can we ever know for sure that the pope is right in his teaching?
There is no way you can strictly oppose the Pope’s teaching, but sometimes there is a development of thought that can lead to different conclusions. But it would be outrageous for me to jump to such conclusions. The whole Church together with Peter must admit that there has been a development.
Did you have a similar development of thought in mind when you declared for “L’Osservatore Romano” that the church’s teaching on homosexuality is “false”?
When the church doctrine was created, the concept of homosexuality did not even exist. Homosexuality is a new word; even in St. Paul’s time, people had no idea that there could be men and women attracted to the same sex.
What about Paul’s many rebukes of sodomy?
At that time, sodomy was considered only something orgiastic, typical of married people who kept slaves for personal lust. But how can you condemn people who can only love the same sex? Purity is possible for some of them, but if you call others to purity, it seems as if you are speaking to them in Egyptian.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed you Archbishop of Luxembourg. Did his death prove to be a point of contention for the Church?
Pope Benedict was a great pope and I feel that I owe him a lot. His thought about reason and faith is a solid rock on which the Church can build. But it is unhealthy to compare his words with the words of Pope Francis. Benedict was Bavarian, which could be seen in his love for the baroque liturgy. Now we have a pope from Latin America – no baroque. But also, we have never had a pope who spoke as much about Europe as Pope Francis did. It is common for the media to contrast the two; in my opinion there is no opposite.
Does that invalidate their call to purity?
We can only dictate to people the moral behavior they can tolerate in their world. If we ask them for the impossible, we will refuse them. If we say that everything they do is inherently wrong, it’s like telling them that their life has no value. Many young people came to me as a father and told me about their homosexuality. And what does the father do? Does he throw them out or accept them unconditionally?
Are those the only options?
No, but homosexuals must feel welcome in our house. Otherwise he will leave. The Pope said something crucial about this topic. I’ll paraphrase him: of course, homosexuality is a sin – just as any sexual relationship outside of marriage is a sin.
But Catholic tradition treats homosexual behavior more severely than fornication.
You are talking about the Catholic treatment of sodomy.
Are you saying that we cannot equate sodomy with homosexuality?
Sodomy is also present among married men and women.
But the Church still condemns her following the natural moral law. Excuse our analogy, but isn’t it wrong to tell someone who tends to steal not to steal too much? Shouldn’t we just tell him: “Don’t steal!”?
Yes, of course we should. But a person prone to theft can do without stealing. A homosexual person will always love people of the same sex. We should not reduce homosexuality to promiscuous sex. This is a very crude way of understanding the human person. When Jesus meets someone like Zacchaeus, he does not say to him: “You must change your life, my boy, and then perhaps, if you do penance, I might consider visiting you.” No, his look gives such people calmness and a sense of acceptance. Then Jesus goes to their house, and only then do they change. I do not rule out change, but it comes after meeting Jesus.
It seems to us that you question the practice of the Church towards homosexuals more than its teaching.
I consider that part of the teaching that calls homosexuality “disorderly in itself” somewhat doubtful. However, we must accept all people and let them feel God’s love. If they feel it, I’m sure it will change something in their hearts.
Biography: Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich (1958, Differdange) joined the Society of Jesus in 1981, and was ordained a priest in 1990. After numerous services in Luxembourg and Japan, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of Luxembourg in 2011, and Pope Francis in 2019. … also included him in the cardinal’s choir. He was elected president of the Council of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) in 2018, and Pope Francis appointed him general relator of the XVI general regular assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 2021 and a member of the Council of Cardinals in 2023. He is also a member of the Dicastery for Culture and Education and the Dicastery for Interreligious dialogue.