ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - In the restyling of the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences (JPII Institute), Abp. Vincenzo Paglia has his eye on a moral theologian who denies nature and contradicts Church teaching on homosexual acts.
Luciano Moia interviewed Fr. Maurizio Chiodi for the July edition of Noi Famiglia & Vita, a monthly supplement to the Italian newspaper Avvenire, asking Chiodi a range of questions including ones on homosexual persons.
Chiodi says we need to rethink these questions and not respond with a mere appeal to "nature."
As a Church, and as theologians, we must have the courage to rethink these questions, overcoming the temptation to respond simply by invoking human "nature," understood as an unchanging substance and known to reason once and for all, in an innate way, and identified with the biological organism that becomes basic "natural datum."
In fact, in man, everything that is organic [and] biological refers originally to the body itself, the body of flesh, and this body refers to the personal self.
In turn, the self refers to the other and to others, in the complex forms of socio-cultural relations. In this light, for the believer, the great question regarding the relationship between the creature and the Origin, which is God, is born.
Regarding homosexual couples, Chiodi says that it is impossible to give pre-packaged answers "as if all the practical answers could be immediately deduced from an anthropological theory." It has been reported that Chiodi is on track to become one of the most representative members of the JPII Institute based on Abp. Vincenzo Paglia's restyling in the wake of the recent upheaval.
The moral task is to evaluate the possible good that considers the history of a subject, according to Chiodi. Based on this understanding of a moral theologian's task, Chiodi opines some good can be found for the individuals in a homosexual relationship.
I would not exclude that, under certain conditions, a homosexual couple's relationship is, for that subject, the most fruitful way to live good relationships, taking into account their symbolic meaning, which is at the same time personal, recreational and social. This, for example, happens when a stable relationship is the only way to avoid sexual wandering or other forms of humiliating and degrading erotic relationships or when it is a help and incentive to walk on the path of good relationships.
Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life and grand chancellor of the JPII Institute, is restyling the institute along with the institute's president, Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri.
Paglia was president of the Pontifical Council of the Family from 2012 to 2016 before becoming the president of the Pontifical Academy of Life. He also co-founded the Community of Sant'Egidio in 1968.
Father James Martin interviewed Paglia in March 2017 for America.
Martin asked Paglia about Sant'Egidio, a lay Catholic association dedicated to social service. Paglia talked about the need for Christian communities and secular organizations to participate with the United Nations in the interest of the world.
Here in the United States ― this complex world of large cities and constant movement ― their intention is to help build an evangelical Church that is close to the poor and that works for peace. … This makes us especially committed to keeping the community here alive, also keeping in mind that the United Nations carries out a role that requires the participation of Christian communities and of other ecclesiastical and secular organizations that are committed to peace in the world.
One of his last projects for the Pontifical Council of the Family was called The Meeting Point, a "project for affective and sexual formation" that received substantial blowback from Catholics, including statements highlighting the projects errors and petitions to have the project removed.
One statement noted that The Meeting Point failed to indicate parents as the primary educators of their children, especially in matters of human sexuality.
This is in stark contrast to previous magisterial instruction of Pope Pius XI in Casti Connubii:
Now it is certain that both by the law of nature and of God this right and duty of educating their offspring belongs in the first place to those who began the work of nature by giving them birth, and they are indeed forbidden to leave unfinished this work and so expose it to certain ruin.
Writing for La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Tommaso Scandroglio says that Chiodi's removing nature from the conversation and finding some possible good in a homosexual relationship denies mala in se (evil in itself), the Church's teaching that some actions are gravely immoral (intrinsically evil) regardless of any circumstances.
In summary, "the moral perspective that Fr. Chiodi espouses is irreconcilable with that of the Catholic Magisterium," says Scandroglio.
Contact information for Abp. Paglia can be found below:
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia
Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, 4
00120 Città del Vaticano
Dott. Victor Soldevila
Tel.: 0039/06. 698.86113
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia
Via della conciliazione 1 – 00193 – Roma
Tel: 0039/06 69882423 – 0039/0669881693
Mons. Riccardo Mensuali
Dott.ssa Antonietta Dimopoli