Fr. Gerald Murray: Cardinal McElroy Denounces the ‘Haters’

It is essential to safeguard the deposit of faith,” Cardinal Robert McElroy affirmed in his recent address to the Los Angeles Archdiocesan Religious Education Congress. Yet he next posed this question:

But how do the doctrinal tradition and history of the church restrict the church’s ability to refine its teaching when confronted with a world where life itself is evolving in critical ways, and it is becoming clear that on some issues the understanding of human nature and moral reality upon which previous declarations of doctrine were made were in fact limited or defective?

He, therefore, claims that the Deposit of Faith – Divine Revelation – is poorly served “on some issues” by the Church’s “previous” doctrinal declarations that were conditioned by history. (No mention here of the Holy Spirit’s role in protecting the Church from teaching error.) This tradition and history have produced an unsatisfactory result: the Church is restricted in her ability to refine Catholic teaching in an evolving world.

Refinement is an obvious euphemism for alteration. Cardinal McElroy claims that “it is becoming clear” (to whom?) that the anthropological and moral foundations of Catholic doctrine “on some issues” were “in fact limited or defective.”

What issues? Primarily, homosexuality; secondarily, divorce and remarriage. Cardinal McElroy takes for granted the existence of what he calls the “exclusion of the divorced and the remarried and LGBT+ Catholics” in the Church. He praises the 2023 Synod’s Synthesis report, which “recognizes and condemns powerfully the structures in society and the church that grind people down with unceasing exclusion.” The Synthesis “condemns all of these barriers as sinful.”

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