On February 13, 2016, the Rev. Vincent Pizzuto of the Celtic Christian Church addressed a group of parishioners, primarily men, at Most Holy Redeemer Church located in San Francisco’s Castro District. The subject of his talk was “centering prayer,” but he also rather systematically summed up his broader theory and methodology concerning Scriptural Hermeneutics and analysis. First of all, something which he continually repeated, was that there is a “scarcity of words” from the early Church, in this case – the early-Desert Fathers, with regards to just about everything. Like many “queer” theorists, including the late John Boswell, Pizzuto has a very radically Protestant world-view that sees the unfortunate period (about 2,000 years) between the early-Church and the present-day as a descent into intransigent heterodoxy; immediately, I was reminded of my parochial school “Religion” classes that were almost always open-ended, centered on emotional responses rather than the concrete reality of the Truth; therefore, when Rev. Pizzuto encouraged the audience to pay special attention to what the “spirit is saying to me” through the text of the Bible – I began to ponder the dangers inherent within this practice when recommended to a certain deeply attached, to “gay,” crowd. This concern was intensified when he asked us to mediate on Matthew 7:1-5. When I was a teenager, I used that particular passage to justify pretty much everything I wanted one day to do. Then, a man in the audience stated out loud, that this reading was directly related to Pope Francis’ often misinterpreted quote “Who am I to judge?” And, when Rev. Pizzuto concurred, my fears were certainly justified. In fact, this kind of exegesis also goes part and parcel with “gay” Christian academics who argue that, since Jesus Christ Himself, said, in their words – “nothing” about homosexuality, it was never actually condemned; in his essay “Document On the Question of Homosexuality and Same-Sex Relationships” for the Celtic Christian Church, Rev. Pizzuto wrote: “It is particularly notable that among the sacred literature of the NT, our most central documents—the gospels—are silent on the issue of homosexuality. There are no allusions to OT citations on the subject, nor are there any novel teachings either for or against homoerotic love in any of the four gospels.” Consequently, according to Pizzuto, the morality of homosexual relations is open to interpretation; namely, because, the Old Testament “prohibitions” against it are bogged down in a historical context of antiquated bigotry and oppression that was used, over the course of centuries, to justify “anti-Semitism, slavery, war, and apartheid, as well as sexism.” Pizzuto continues in his “Document On the Question of Homosexuality and Same-Sex Relationships:” “If we are to maintain that the Bible is both inspired and authoritative for matters of faith and morals, how do we address the fact that by contemporary Christian standards, the Bible itself is found morally deficient.” When, at his talk at Most Holy Redeemer, I asked Rev Pizzuto about the importance of the Magisterium and Tradition with regards to Scriptural interpretation, he stated that there are a large range of variables within the “accepted” paradigms, and, that there was “no consensus” in the early Church regarding the homosexual issue. In fact, in response to another question on homosexuality: he stated that we now “laugh at what tore the early Church apart;” i.e. one day we will do the same when looking back at the current divisions over homosexuality. And, on this point, he is adamant – when I tried to press Rev Pizzuto on the required precedence of the Magisterium and Tradition, he would not acquiesce; instead, he argued that because of the “Enlightenment” we are living in an age when old modes of thinking are being proven wrong and in need of correction. The means, by which this will take place, in the words of Rev. Pizzuto, during his talk, is by a process of “historical deconstruction” and “reassembly.” Yet, sadly, when there is no Truth, or when long-established laws concerning behavior and morality are called into question, things descend into the realm of perversity somewhat quickly; when asked by a male member of the audience whether a spiritual encounter with the incarnate God can become sexual, Rev. Pizzuto gave a somewhat lengthy response that ended with: “If we are going to take the incarnation seriously…then we got all the tools to be asking not just what it means to have a sexual experience, but to be a sexual person.”
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Joseph Sciambra2017-03-10T18:29:58+00:00February 16th, 2016|Blog|
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Joseph, another great post!!
I'm so tired of these “enlightened” individuals.
They're so “enlightened” they don't need the Magisterium?
Did you actually attend? God bless you for challenging him – sadly that's the misinformation that has been lodged in gay academia – even when they say things like, “Though Boswell may be disputed and his findings disagreed with – he did say this about that” – and in this way the errors get repeated enough to shape a sort of consensus for refuting scriptural condemnations of homosexuality.
As you know, Cardinal Ratzinger-Pope Benedict XVI called attention to these errors and affirmed the scriptural condemnations in Paul's letters and elsewhere. Likewise, in a prayerful reading of the Gospel, we understand that Christ condemned sexual immorality of any kind. “In the beginning it was not that way…” How often would Christ have said that? How often did he take us back to Genesis with those words – indicating God made them male and female, etc.. He also states he came to fulfill the Law and the prophets – and he cautioned each soul he healed or forgave to 'go and sin no more'. The Gospels are very clear, except for the obtuse.
You are so courageous to confront these people, and to ask them questions like this. That is amazing to me – I would be afraid I'd respond in anger if challenged or be unable to reply intelligently enough. But you are not afraid – much like the Child Jesus at twelve, you are present, 'listening to them and asking them questions' – you are evangelizing the right way. That is evangelization.
Thank you, and God bless you!
Well I'm glad you were there articulating the Truth. I would have spent the entire talk facepalming myself senseless!
You are always in our prayers.