The problem of speech that is Yes, No and No, Yes
by Christopher A. Ferrara
August 9, 2017
“But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.” (Matt. 5:37) Thus did Our Lord counsel those who were blessed to hear His immortal Sermon on the Mount, which comes to us today as His command to every man.
What happens, however, if one’s speech is yes, no, or no, yes? The result is confusion, of course. And if the source of confusion is a Pope, the effects can be catastrophic. Consider, as one of innumerable examples from this pontificate, Francis’ conflicting statements on the evil of “transgenderism.”
On the one hand, according to the transcript of the
Pope’s private conversation with the Polish bishops during his visit to that country on July 27, 2016, Francis condemned “ideological colonization” in the form of instruction in public schools that one’s sex is a matter of choice, not divinely endowed biology. Quoth Francis:
“And I would like to end here with this aspect, because behind this are ideologies. In Europe, in America, in Latin America, in Africa, in some countries of Asia, there are ideological colonizations. And one of these – I say it clearly with name and surname is gender! Today children, children are taught this in school that one can choose one’s sex! And why do they teach this? Because the books [used] are those of individuals and institutions that give money.“They are ideological colonizations, supported also by very influential countries. And this is terrible. Speaking with Pope Benedict, who is well and has clear thinking, he said to me: “
Holiness, this is the time of the sin against God the Creator!” He is intelligent! God has created man and woman; God created the world thus, and thus, and thus…. We must think about what Pope Benedict said: ‘It’s the time of the sin against God the Creator!’ And this will help us.”
Here we have a forthright statement on the abominable evil of attempting to impose “transgender” ideology on impressionable children. But then, only two months later, during the in-flight press conference from Azerbaijan on October 2, 2016, Francis was invited to back away from his earlier statements against gender ideology by a reporter who posed this leading question:
“Thank you, Holy Father. In that same speech yesterday in Georgia, you spoke, as in so many other countries [including Poland] about gender theory, saying that it is a great enemy and a threat against marriage. But, I would like to ask you, what would you say to someone who has struggled with their sexuality for years and feels that there is truly a problem of biology, that his aspect doesn't correspond to what he or she feels is their sexual identity. You, as a pastor and minister, how would you accompany these people?”
Taking the bait, along with the hook, the line and the sinker, Francis referred to the “transgender” “married couple” he had personally received at his residence and declared that, apart from what children are taught in schools on the matter, the Church must “accompany” and “integrate” adults who “choose their sex” and even have themselves surgically mutilated in the process:
“What I said is that wickedness which today is done in the indoctrination of gender theory... a French father told me that he was speaking with his children at the table, he and his wife were Catholics, ‘rosewater Catholics,’ but Catholics! And he asked his 10-year-old son: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’- ‘a girl.’ The father realized that at school they were teaching him gender theory, and this is against the natural things.
“One thing is that a person has this tendency, this condition and even changes their sex, but it’s another thing to teach this in line in schools in order to change the mentality. This is what I call ideological colonization.“Last year I received a letter from a Spaniard who told me his story as a child, a young man, he was a girl, a girl who suffered so much because he felt he felt like a boy, but was physically a girl. He told his mother and the mom… (the girl) was around 22 years old said that she would like to do the surgical intervention and all of those things. And the mother said not to do it while she was still alive. She was elderly and she died soon after.“She had the surgery and an employee of a ministry in the city of Spain went to the bishop, who accompanied (this person) a lot. Good bishop. I spent time accompanying this man. Then (the man) got married, he changed his civil identity, got married and wrote me a letter saying that for him it would be a consolation to come with his wife, he who was she, but him!...“Life is life and things must be taken as they come. Sin is sin. And tendencies or hormonal imbalances have many problems and we must be careful not to say that everything is the same. Let’s go party. No, that no, but in every case I accept it, I accompany it, I study it, I discern it and I integrate it. This is what Jesus would do today! Please don't say: ‘the
Popesanctifies transgenders.’ Please, eh! Because I see the covers of the papers. Is there any doubt as to what I said? I want to be clear! It’s moral problem. It's a human problem and it must be resolved always can be with the mercy of God.
In this confusing jumble of commentary, we find the following typically Bergoglian elements:
- a gratuitous insult of “rosewater” [by which he means lukewarm] Catholics, with detail sufficient to identify and humiliate them publicly;
- acceptance of the idea that adults can “change their sex,” undergo sex-mutilation surgery, purport to change their sexual identities in public records, and even “marry” someone of the same sex while pretending to be a heterosexual couple;
- a call for accompanying and integrating “transgenders” as such, with no suggestion that they should be warned not to mutilate themselves but rather seek professional help with their mental illness while imploring the assistance of God’s grace;
- the contradictory protestation that the
Popeis not blessing precisely what he has just condoned — in the process of obliging a pushy reporter.
Here in microcosm is the ongoing calamity of this pontificate: speech that studiously avoids a simple yes or no, tries to have it both ways, and thus ends up favoring evil rather than good. “Let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.”
May Our Lady of Fatima soon deliver the Church from the pontifical crisis that now afflicts her.