Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" (Assumption Grotto News, November 23, 2014):
Hard to believe it. I drove past a Catholic Church last week and Behold! there on the front lawn were life-size plastic nativity figures set in place. While I annually rail against preempting Christmas in the commercial world, this act, by a church no less, arouses wonderment that can’t be matched by the secularists. Has the whole world gone mad? Our thoughts at this time of the end of the Church Year ought to be on the Four Last Things: death, judgment, heaven and hell. Advent opens next Sunday, but it is not the Christmas season.I find myself becoming ever more upset over the loss of souls in the deluge of impurity that’s squeezing the spiritual life out of more and more people. I’m beginning to wonder whether chastity even has a chance in our world. The media, the entertainments, the internet abuse, the conversations of people, their immodest manner of dress and filthy speech–these are becoming suffused with sex to the point that its normal and only permissible expression, in valid marriage, is almost not even referenced. The relentless push of the gay agenda (as it’s been called) makes me believe that perversion is becoming the accepted norm in the USA. I wonder how this could possibly be so since human nature itself is so obstinate in asserting normality and since conscience is an inescapable reality for everybody. The idea then hit me that there must be a line, a trajectory of sexual expression which begins with normalcy but which moves downward, from lesser sins of impurity (though all of them are mortal sins) to the stranger ones, and then on to the perverse, and finally to violence and even murder, perhaps with demonic worship (and possession) being the end of the line. All along the way there would be as a result, a progressive madness–literally speaking, that would begin to take over the person. This hunch–too primitive to call a theory–is that anyone is potentially capable of moving along this line of sin, from normalcy to beastly brutality and to ultimate irrationality. According to this view, it would not then be a question of whatever tendencies one claims to have gotten from birth which determine his life’s direction, but rather of the degree of willful daring that one has to venture down this ‘road’ away from uprightness. In other words, I challenge the claims that are often made about abnormal tendencies as inherited from birth. I’m proposing rather that everyone’s nature can incline him to venture away from the norms of goodness towards sin, more and more, depending on his boldness to transgress the just limits imposed by nature. This is another way of asserting the condition of fallen human nature due to original sin. Anyone could be a potential pervert if he would only let himself go far down enough, that is, to abandon right reason to be bold and wicked enough to experiment with evils’ fascination. If I am right about this, there would be no such thing as a sexual compulsion or a proclivity to sinful activity but only the absence of the moderating and restricting regulation of one’s will to develop virtue. This hypothesis takes away the call for us to pity those whose proclivities are wayward and the demand for us to be accepting of any forms of deviancy as permissible, and even legally protected. No one has the right to transgress the laws of nature that God implanted in our souls, and therefore no one should cultivate a false compassion for those who choose to sin. The only right attitude towards sinners is regret over their deliberate sinfulness and the hope that God may give them the actual grace to see the error of their ways and to reform their thinking and their conduct.Without the development of the virtues from our youthful years which curb sinful tendencies of all kinds, we are all prone to be sinners–prone, I say, not destined by an irresistible force. But because family life is fast eroding and because Catholic teaching and practice is dwindling away, and because education in morals is not well imparted, the result is that more and more people will be traveling down this ‘line’ from normality to depravity, coming to a stop at whatever place he would dare not venture further. Surely, I hope this will not happen to everybody, but I see that it’s happening more and more–the ever increasing usage of pornography propelling the movement along.
We must make up our minds to be very good Catholic people–with the help of God.Fr. Perrone