In the post previous to this I made what struck me as an obvious statement about the dress of the cardinals as they gather for their papal conclave. I've been reading the New York Times' coverage of the papal resignation and conclave, and pictures are everywhere: the most striking was a recent close-up of a seated cardinal's lower legs, scarlet socks above fine leather shoes beneath the embroidered hem of a black robe.
The Times is commenting on the cardinals' dress. We should not?
In my post I made two claims predicated on the scandal of homosexual sin within the Roman priesthood: first, that the homosexual culture of our nation is a reflection of the homosexual character of Roman Catholic priesthood; second, that dress reflects culture.
Why these comments should ignite a firestorm eludes me. Has the Roman Catholic Church in the West not been heavily homosexual in her leadership for many decades? Does anyone deny this? Does dress not reflect culture?
It might be said, "But the cardinals' dress reflects their heritage as priests and bishops, princes of the church, not inherent homosexuality." To which I must respond, "So, the culture of homosexuality within the Roman Catholic priesthood in the West has nothing to do with Roman Catholic heritage? Nothing to do with celibacy? Nothing to do with episcopacy? They're separate and unrelated?"
I fear twin forces merge in defense of the dress of the cardinals: a desire to think well of Roman Catholicism and a fear of attacking homosexuality. And while I praise God for the faith and obedience of many simple Catholics, their church is still the church that fought and killed the Reformers, the church that Luther and Calvin callled the anti-Christ.
Can we possibly imagine Luther or Calvin being as silent about the homosexual scandal of the Roman Church today as most Prostestants have been? A gay priesthood has forged a gay nation and we're sitting by, Cheshire cat-like, in silence. Why? Could it be that we have drunk from the same fountain? That our loves, while not as frequently homosexual, equally despise marriage as ordained from creation by our Creator? That we are equally opposed to fruitful love? That we too are prone to separating the physical and emotional sensations of sex from the purpose ordained for them by God--one man, one woman, till death, for the sake of a godly seed?
Is the heritage of Roman Catholicism so attractive that we must ignore where that heritage has led? Is homosexual love the sin that dare not speak its name today? Are we so frightened of opposing homosexuality that we refuse to see it or its consequences when they come near us?
Marriage is good. If we are not given the gifts of Paul, we should marry. Through marriage we are blessed even as we bless. It is a joy to be married. Refuse to defend marriage, call marriage bad--or sit by in silence as others do it violence--and we attack our Bridegroom. Christ came to marry His Bride, to redeem Her and wed Her. His is not the onanistic love of Rome. His love is fruitful and rich. God give us such a love for marriage and for our brides as His.