The latest evidence comes from the “editions du Cerf” publishing house. While that name may mean nothing to the folks, it’s the Dominican publishing house located in France, founded in 1929 at the request of Pope Pius XI. Remember: The Dominicans are the canus Domini (“God’s dogs”), the religious order that traditionally has been entrusted with enforcing orthodoxy and routing out heresy (read: “the Dominicans led the Inquisition”).
Arguably one of the most influential of all Catholic theologians, St. Thomas Aquinas was a 12th century Dominican philosopher and theologian. His synthesis of Aristotelian philosophy and natural law theory into Catholic theology—aka, “Thomism”—provided the backbone of Catholic intellectual thought from the 14th until the 20th century. That’s when post-Enlightenment thought began exercising its influence upon Catholic theology.
Since the close of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, liberal Catholic theologians had relegated Thomism to the dustbin of history, poo-pooing it as an arcane body of irrelevant theology. That is, until editions du Cerf published a new volume, “Amours” (“Loves”), written by Adriano Oliva, a Dominican priest and theologian. The volume resurrects Thomism and Oliva uses it to engage in some very un-Thomistic theorizing.
- researcher for France’s National Center for Scientific Research, working in the “Laboratory of Monotheistic Studies”;
- President of the “Leonine Commission,” founded by Pope Leo XIII in 1880 to publish (or republish) critical editions of St. Thomas Aquinas’ work and to “restore his golden wisdom”; and,
- presides over the “Bibliothèque thomiste” collection of the Parisian academic publisher, Vrin.
With that impressive résumé, what does Fr. Oliva have to say about “Amours” from a neo-non-Thomist perspective?
- Homosexual unions are equal to conjugal unions.
- No State possesses the right to refuse recognition to homosexual couples.
- Homosexual couples must be “welcomed within the heart of the Church, and not at its periphery” and “totally integrated in full communion with the Church.”
All of that is nothing new. Messing around a bit, some bishops even discussed these ideas openly at the recent Synod on the Family.
Fine. But, how’s all of that possible, theologically speaking?
According to Fr. Oliva:
- “St. Thomas places the principle of pleasure in sexual unions between persons of the masculine sex as emanating from the soul and not from the body, where he had placed venereal pleasure....” [TRANSLATION: Homosexual men are inclined to engage in sexual unions with other homosexual men because the center of their sexual pleasure isn’t physical but spiritual, emanating from their souls not the anal orifice.]
- “St.Thomas considers homosexuality as an inclination rooted in its most intimate part, the soul, from where affections and love are expressed.” [TRANSLATION: The impetus for homosexual sexual unions is the theological virtue of love present in the male homosexual’s soul.]
- “For this singular person, homosexuality cannot be considered as being against nature, even though it does not correspond with the general nature of the species.” [TRANSLATION: For the homosexual male who is so inclined, although nature intends heterosexual unions, homosexual sexual uinons express authentic love nontheless, even if they cannot lead to the procreation of children.]
In sum, homosexuality is constitutive of the very nature of the male homosexual's soul. Thus, for male homosexuals, moral virtue consists in living out their sexual inclination according to the demand of their souls: In unique, gratuitous, faithful, and “chaste” love. For this reason, the Church must accompany each homosexual male in his authentic love for another male through which together they “accomplish” themselves.
Okay. Gratuitous and faithful. But, what about “chaste”? Fr. Oliva argues that sexual acts, in this particular context, are morally legitimate due to the criterion of “love” animating the two homosexual males, in the same way as happens between two heterosexuals.
But, more importantly, Fr. Oliva’s treatment of homosexuality is part of a developing trend. Liberal Catholic theologians—encouraged by Pope Francis’ ¡Hágan lío! and under the cover provided by Cardinal Walter Kasper’s ideological cappa magna—are providing a clear indication of where they hope to lead the Church…toward Anglicanism and U.S. mainstream Protestantism.
Lest anyone be fooled: That is in the opposite direction of the faith of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
Let the discussion begin…