|His Excellence Vitus Bishop Huonder|
(Photo: Bistum Chur)
On Friday, 31. July, Bishop Vitus Huonder of Chur (Switzerland) delivered a speech to a group of faithful German Catholics (yes, they do exist) on the topic of marriage, sexuality and family entitled "Marriage: Gift, Sacrament and Commission" (Original: Die Ehe: Geschenk, Sakrament und Auftrag). In that speech, the good Bishop quoted several relevant passages from Sacred Scripture, including the following:
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, because it is an abomination." (Leviticus 18:22)
"If any one lie with a man as with a woman, both have committed an abomination, let them be put to death: their blood be upon them." (Leviticus 20:13)
Bishop Huonder went on to describe the passages as continuing to exert influence upon the Christian understanding of sexual morality. He said:
These two passages, taken together with several others in Sacred Scripture - particularly in the Book of Leviticus - demonstrate the divine order which governs our understanding of sexuality. In the present case, same-sex practices are dealt with. The quoted passages alone would be enough to answer the question of homosexuality from the perspective of our Faith. Their import thus has meaning for the definition of marriage and the family. There is no plurality of models for marriage and family. To even speak of such is already an attack on the Creator, as well as on the Savior and Sanctifier, that is, on the trinitarian God. Pastoral care must orient itself according to the divine order. It's mission, undertaken in awareness of the salvation of souls, that is, in pastoral love - and in contradistinction to pure Humanism - is to free mankind from the condition of a fallen nature and raise it to life as children of light (Eph. 5:8). The Faith is to everyone, even to those with homophile tendencies, a source of comfort and can lead to a redirection of such an orientation, to a governing of sexual urges, and to a ordering of one's own life according to the divine command.
As was to be expected, the progressive elements in the Church were not pleased with Bishop Huonder's statement. Almost on cue, Twitter exploded with horrified denouncements. Theologians felt obliged to respond. Bishop Markus Büchel of St. Gallen even felt the need to demonstrate to the world how pleased he is to see sodomites in stable relationships, arguing that "our present knowledge of homosexuality as a trait and not as a freely chosen sexual orientation was unknown in biblical times." All par for the course, really.
However, now things have been taken to a new level. The Swiss pro-sodomy activism group Pink Cross has announced that it will be filing criminal charges against Bishop Huonder on Monday. Apparently, they plan to charge the good Bishop with a violation of Swiss Penal Code Article 259: Public incitement to commit a felony or act of violence. In other words, by quoting Leviticus, Bishop Huonder was approving of the killing of homosexuals, and indirectly encouraging others to do so. If found guilty, the good Bishop could face up to three years in prison.
The case is, of course, frivolous and without legal merit. But even if this case fails, we can already imagine the day when quoting certain parts of Sacred Scripture will be classified as hate speech.
Persecution is coming, folks. Get prepared.