The following is written by Michael Lofton, author of the website www.consolamini.org
Note: A “Ficterview” is a fictitious interview.
After reading about the Patricia Jannuzzi/Bishop Bootkoski incident, Consolamini was snatched up into the third heaven (whether in the body or in the spirit, I know not) and given the opportunity to interview the Saints about the incident.
Consolamini: Brothers and Sisters. I am glad to be able to speak to you about the Jannuzzi/Bootkoski incident. What are your thoughts on the matter? Was Bishop Bootkoski right in saying her comments opposing sodomy were “disturbing and do not reflect the Church’s teachings of acceptance”?
Long ago I wrote to the Corinthians on this matter, saying: “It is well that they should be cut off from the lusts of the world, since ‘every lust wars against the spirit’ and ‘neither fornicators, nor sodomites will inherit the kingdom of God.'” (First Epistle to the Corinthians) For this reason, it was fitting for Ms. Jannuzzi to speak against this sin.
Consolamini: Those are some pretty strong words, Holy Father. But is sodomy really that big of a deal? Many of those who engage in this act are nice people.
They may be nice people in the eyes of the world, but their acts are abominable in the eyes of God. Here is what I wrote long ago on this sin: “Those shameful acts against nature, such as were committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished. If all nations were to do such things, they would be held guilty of the same crime by the law of God, which has not made men so that they should use one another in this way.” (Confessions)
All sin is evil, but this sin more than others, as I wrote: “All of these affections [in Rom. 1:26-27] . . . were vile, but chiefly the mad lust after males; for the soul is more the sufferer in sins, and more dishonored than the body in diseases.” (Homilies on Romans) Thus, it was not the words of Ms. Jannuzzi which were disturbing but the words of the Bishop Bootkoski.
Consolamini: But brothers, times have changed. Surely this is no longer a sin today.
“Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” (CCC, 2357) Clearly, since this sin is one that is rooted in natural law, in addition to Sacred Scripture and Tradition, this is not something that can change over a period of time. There is no expiration date on the natural law. For this reason, Bishop Bootkoski should be publicly rebuked by his subjects because it was his view that was contrary to the teachings of the Church, not that of Ms. Jannuzzi.
Consolamini: Can the subjects of a prelate rebuke a superior?
It must be observed that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. (Summa Theologica)
Consolamini: But wouldn’t it be better to just remain silent, perhaps as an act of mercy?
St. Thomas Aquinas calmly replied:
Fraternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected. (Summa Theologica)
At this moment, the Saints indicated Consolamini must return to earth and report all that he heard. Consolamini asked them to pray for him and was assured he would be allowed to return and ask more questions in the future.
Michael Lofton is a Latin Rite Catholic in the Diocese of Shreveport, Louisiana and is also a member of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, in full communion with the Bishop of Rome. He is a Catholic convert from Protestantism (his conversion story can be found here) and is an author of over a dozen books on Sacred Scripture, Catholic Theology and Apologetics as well as the editor of the St. Jerome Study Bible, found here. He is occasionally a guest on Radio Maria and is the author of the website www.consolamini.org