Freedom From Religion Foundation, an anti-Catholic organization, is not happy with the recent Vatican statement against gay unions and gay marriage. Interestingly, it blames left-wing Catholics, saying that it was the "continuing support of the Church by more progressive Catholics that makes possible these pernicious and demeaning pronouncements."
Looks like the atheists at the Catholic-bashing entity spoke too soon. Friday, a day after it posted its remarks, left-wing Catholics at the National Catholic Reporter attacked Pope Francis. The March 19 editorial makes it clear that they have finally had it with the pope, branding him a "hypocrite."
This has been a long time coming. For several years, these renegade Catholics have hyped every welcoming move by Pope Francis to homosexuals, hoping to push him to recognize gay unions and same-sex marriage. However, the decree issued by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on this subject, done with the approval of the Holy Father, slammed the door shut when it reaffirmed the Church's teachings on sexuality.
The editors at the Reporter said that the Vatican decree gave them "whiplash." Why were they stunned? They cited several instances of the pope uttering kind words about homosexuals, suggesting they did not know the difference between condemning a person's sexual orientation, which is morally wrong, and condemning illicit sexual behavior, which is morally right.
However, it would not be accurate to say that they really don't know the difference. They do. They begrudgingly admitted that the pope's outreach "did not ultimately change the church's teaching on human sexuality." So why the astonishment about the Vatican's statement rejecting homosexual unions and marriage?
Catholic Church dissidents never like to throw in the towel. They dream of another day when their voice will be heard. The editorial says it "will take many years" for them to get their way. Don't bet on it.
The fact is the Vatican decree was unequivocal, rendering all future changes impossible. Don't take the Catholic League's interpretation; read what the Vatican said. It explicitly said that "the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex." There is no wiggle room in that pronouncement.
It's over. Left-wing Catholics have lost on gay sex—which is their favorite issue—now and forever.
Bill Donohue is president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of eight books and many articles.