Stuff the Pope’s Personal Theologian Says

LifeSite News, a Canadian-based online news outlet with a heavily Catholic focus on abortion, contraception, and the evil gays, has just released a pair of interviews with Pope Francis’ personal theologian (initially appointed by Benedict XVI), Reverend Wojciech Giertych.

If you’re wondering why the Pope has his own personal theologian, you’re not alone. This is the guy, after all, who’s doing his very best to act as the entire world’s personal theologian. You’d think he’d have enough of a grasp on the doctrines of his own religion to get by without needing a consultant.

Apparently not. Giertych (apparently pronounced like “GEAR-tack”) reads over the speeches other, lesser Vatican staffers write for Pope Francis to deliver, checking them for theological inconsistencies so the Pope doesn’t accidentally say something contrary to Catholic teaching. He’s also the person the Pope consults for theologically sound advice or when he feels like bouncing some ideas off one of his colleagues.

Based on the interview videos LifeSite released, it seems pretty safe to assume that the next really offensive thing the Pope says will probably have gotten the green light from Giertych.

The first video, addressing the worldwide same-sex marriage controversy, is entitled “Treating homosexuals with dignity means telling them the truth.” Pretty obvious trigger warning for homophobia here:

Boy, he sure does love using that word “distort” in all its forms. I bet you could base a pretty decent drinking game on that. More to the point, though, it really lays bare his worldview and lets us know a thing or two about the Vatican’s policy policeman.

  • He believes in some kind of global Gay Agenda. “[Acceptance of LGBT people] is a distortion of humanity which is being proposed as an ideology, which is being supported, financed, promoted by those who are powerful in the world in many, many countries simultaneously. The Church is the only institution in the world which has the courage to stand up to this ideology.” (3:26)
  • He doesn’t think gayness is part of natural human variability. “They have the idea of changing humanity, of changing human nature. Human nature cannot be changed; it can be distorted.” (4:01)
  • He thinks the Catholic Church has a monopoly on ethics. “It’s impossible to promote high ethical standards by the state. The Church may promote high ethical standards because the Church has the grace of Christ, has the living word of God. The state lowers the ethical level to the level of the approval of sinful acts, of perversion, of distortion of humanity.” (4:53)
  • He thinks being gay is linked to abortion and birth control. “[People who become gay] are emotionally fragile because they come from broken families, because contraception and abortion has destroyed families, has generated divorces.” (6:20)
  • He sees protections for LGBT people as ‘special’ treatment. “A homosexual is a person who has, to some extent, this homosexual condition. [. . .] whereas a ‘gay’ is somebody who says, ‘I am like this, I will be like this, I want to be treated like this, and I want special privileges because I am like this’.” (8:50)
  • He doesn’t recognize that gay people form loving families. “Homosexual activity of gays who are affirming their identity doesn’t lead to permanent relationships, doesn’t lead to the transmission of life. It is a distortion.” (10:44)
  • He’s not apologizing for Church teaching any time soon. “The Church is saying something very normal and humane, which corresponds to the understanding of humanity which humanity has had for millennia, long before Christ.” (11:09)

And, just because that was so much fun, let’s have another one. This video is called — I kid you not — “On contraception and the coming violence.” It’s a little lighter on homophobia, heavier on misogyny, with a couple shots at ‘the entitled generation’ for good measure. (He blames socialism… and the Pill.)

No real surprises here, but a lot of assumptions you probably don’t want to see spread — at least, not if you’d prefer your access to contraceptives to go unchallenged.

  • He believes sexual pleasure (without baby worries) causes narcissism. “Sexual activity has been created, devised by God, as a way of transmitting life and expressing love [. . .] Contraception separates the transmission of life which it excludes, and then focuses uniquely on the pleasure, which generates as a result egoism.” (1:19)
  • He thinks he knows whether or not your spouse loves you. “It is not possible for a husband to say to his wife, ‘I love you truly’ if at the same time he demands that she poisons in her body the capacity to transmit life, to be a mother.” (2:37)
  • He doesn’t get feminism. “We’re seeing [...] a violent aggressiveness of women who are discovering that they are being abused as a result of contraception, and so their landing in an aggressive feminism, with rage against men.” (3:31)
  • He (like most pro-lifers) can’t tell an embryo or fetus from an actual child. “Contraception is leading to abortion because it treats the potential child as an enemy, and if something goes wrong and a child is conceived then the child is easily aborted.” (3:43)
  • He blames contraception for all the world’s ills, even the global economic crisis. “I think clearly we can see that the economic crisis which we are observing in the western world is a direct consequence of 1968, of the rejection of Humanae Vitae (the encyclical that reiterated the Catholic teaching against contraception).” (5:47)

Sadly, Giertych isn’t the only one with warped views in this video. The interviewer insists that any discussion about assisted suicide is not about easing the suffering of palliative patients, but about getting rid of old people by pressuring them to die, which he insists is current practice in North America and will only become more common as time goes on (5:13). Giertych just accepts his terms and doesn’t contradict him. In his job, ideology trumps reality every time.

About Sara Lin Wilde

Sara Lin Wilde is a recovering Catholic (and cat-holic, for that matter - all typographical errors are the responsibility of her feline friends). She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she is working on writing a novel that she really, really hopes can actually get published.


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