ANTWERP, September 14, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Church needs to update its positions on contraception and sodomy.
That's the latest controversial opinion of Bp. Johan Bonny, a well-known heterodox prelate from Belgium.
Criticizing Bl. Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae, he says more room needs to be given to "the individual conscience" when it comes to "methods of family planning and birth control." He hopes the upcoming Synod on the Family will address the "tensions, conflicts and breaches" that arose from the encyclical and make what he deems to be the necessary fixes.
"All constitutions and decrees of the Second Vatican Council, also the difficult ones, were finally accepted with a consensus. Of this kind of collegiality, there was little left three years later, when Humanae Vitae was published," says Bp. Bonny. "That the Pope would make a judgment concerning the problems of 'population, family, and births' was foreseen by the Council. But that he would ignore the collegial striving for a greatest possible consensus, was not foreseen by the Council."
"This ecclesial policy," he insists, "has left behind a broad trace of tensions, conflicts and breaches. This split should not remain such."
The comments come in a recently published German book, Zerreißprobe Ehe, for which he wrote the essay, "The Synod of Bishops on the Family — Expectations of a Diocesan Bishop." In it, Bp. Bonny also criticizes the traditional Catholic teaching on sexuality in light of the natural law.
Regarding the Church's rejection of homosexual acts, Bp. Bonny claims "scientific progress allows us to modify this point of view."
"First of all," he adds, "one knows that homosexuality exists also in the world of animals." Hence, he tries to argue, God may not have instilled normal, heterosexual attraction into man's instincts.
In addition, Bp. Bonny points accusingly toward the fact that "in our personalistic culture, the interdiction of homosexual relationships is regarded as an unacceptable discrimination: There shall be men and women who do not have the right to live out their sexuality, only because they do not live in the same manner as the great majority of the people live!"
Finally, in perhaps the most outlandish and unsupported claim, he blames the existence of alcoholism, drug abuse and rage problems in homosexuals on "externally induced suppression of the sexual practice."
The bishop's words are less surprising given his past challenges to magisterial positions on morality. Last December, Bp. Bonny gave scandalous support for relationships based on sodomy, stating, "We have to look inside the Church for a formal recognition of the kind of interpersonal relationship that is also present in many gay couples."
A few months before that, Bp. Bonny promoted what amounts to relativism when he said, "Reality is often far more complex than a pair of contrasting concepts can embrace: good or bad, true or untrue, correct or incorrect." Expounding upon the thought, he complained that "[a] certain system of appeal to 'natural law' in the ethical context of marriage and family life remains a source of confusion, misunderstanding and resistance."