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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason


Refusing to Call a Spade

Fiducia supplicans   spade

Francis Digs in on Fiducia supplicans 

“No one is scandalized if I give a blessing to an entrepreneur who perhaps exploits people: and this is a very serious sin,” the Holy Father said. “Whereas they are scandalized if I give it to a homosexual ...” 1 (Francis Feb 7, 2024)


“Who perhaps ...”

If you are a theologian, you will call this casuistry, and if you are a philosopher, you will call it sophistry. If you are neither, you will call this nonsense.

What is Francis really saying here? It is difficult to establish — and that is precisely the point of his making this confusing and elliptical statement. We are not quite sure what he is saying. That he is attempting to justify blessing homosexual “couples” is unquestionable. No one doubts this.

It is a subtle argument because it contains unstated premises intended to lead to spurious conclusions. If we make these latent premises clear, his argument falls apart because it is false. Let us look at it:


Premise 1: It is not scandalous if I bless an entrepreneur who may exploit people

Premise 2: Exploiting people is a very serious sin

Conclusion: (therefore) It should not be scandalous to bless actively homosexual “unions”

Does anyone fail to see that the conclusion does not follow from the premises? That, in fact, the premises have absolutely nothing to do with the conclusion?

But let us be kind and pretend that premises 1 and 2 are true (which should yield a conclusion that is true, but in this case is not). Let us stay with the conclusion that Francis mysteriously draws.

“It should not be scandalous to bless actively homosexual “unions” because I bless entrepreneurs who may exploit people.”

This is the substance of his argument.

Notice the hypothetical that he inserts with (those capitalist) entrepreneurs: “may.” Even given his well-known animus toward capitalism, he is still careful to avoid a blanket statement calling all entrepreneurs “exploiters” engaging in serious sin.

And so he must, for when men behave as entrepreneurs, they may do so well and justly, or they may do so badly and unjustly. And this is further to say that being an entrepreneur, or engaging in entrepreneurial activities, is not in itself sinful, although the way in which it is conducted may be so. In a word, entrepreneurship, is not inherently sinful, although men can make it so.

When men, on the other hand, engage in homosexual acts, the sinful nature of that act is intrinsic: the sin is in the act itself.  Unlike entrepreneurial activity we cannot say that it “may” be sinful: within a clearly, historically, and specifically Catholic context, we cannot say that they may sin by acting in such a way — but that by acting in such a way they always sin. Without exception. It is contra legem Dei. There is no higher law to which Catholics can appeal. The laws of God certainly supersede the laws of the State or the perverse legislation of society.

In this case the proscription against homosexual acts is much like the proscription against adultery. It is not the case that it “may” be sinful. It is always sinful. Always and everywhere and under all conditions. Except in Amoris Laetitia






Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal

Feast of St. Apollonia
Feb 07, 2024

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I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.
(Apocalypse 3.8)

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