God’s Love and Hate
“Thou hateth all the workers of iniquity” (Ps 5:5)
On May 6, 20014, as reported by Hillary White of LifeSiteNews, Pope Francis concelebrated Mass and kissed the hand of 93 year old Fr. (Don) Michele de Paolis. Don Michele is notorious as the cofounder of the homosexual activist organization Agedo Foggia, which explicitly opposes the Catholic Church’s teaching regarding homosexuality. The following is taken from Hillary White’s article:
The website of Agedo Foggia carries an extensive quote from one of de Paolis’s books to help readers ‘get out of the quagmire of biblical precepts’. He wrote “We must overcome the letter of Scripture. It is the same St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 3;6 who says, ‘The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.’”
“That this biblical letter,” de Paolis wrote, “killed and continues to kill, unfortunately, at times not only morally but also physically, is a fact. The Bible “is” not the word of God; the Bible “contains” the word of God.”
“Instead of wasting energy in endless controversy the Church aims to build a Christian spirituality of joyous acceptance of self, gratitude to God in the knowledge that homosexual love is a gift from Him no less than heterosexual.” [Fr. de Paolis disparages the idea of homosexual couples not having sex].
Pope Francis’ extraordinary gesture of kissing the hand of Father de Paolis is fully in accord with his oft-repeated agenda of inclusiveness for all. His words, “Who am I to judge”, in reference to the presence of “gay” priests within the Vatican bureaucracy (as long as they are not part of a lobby, “accept the Lord’, and are trying to follow God with a “good will”) have become the dominating verbal icon of his Papacy. They indicate a universal inclusiveness and mercy towards all. However, much more than merely constituting a sign of acceptance and being non-judgmental, Pope Francis’ exceptional act of kissing Don Michelle’s hand represents a “going out of the way” – a gesture which speaks of being in accord with the position that God’s mercy and love embraces the act of homosexual “love” itself.
Does God Love Homosexuals?
Possibly the most enervating shibboleth of a weakened, effeminate Christianity is the demand that, in order to be in accord with God’s own love, we must “love the sinner, but hate the sin”. This, of course, has led to the widespread embrace of sinners in their sin, and the almost total failure of the modern Church to be a real sign of contradiction to a world drowning in sin.
This is especially true in regard to the sin of homosexuality which, as epitomized by the Pope’s gesture described above, now sees Catholics en masse bending over towards “sexual diversity” in order to offer blessings and kisses. Often, of course, these “kisses” are offered not in the obvious and quite literal manner of Pope Francis’ dramatic gesture, but in the much more subtle and deceitful form of refusing to judge or discriminate where it is absolutely necessary to do so in order to protect Catholic integrity and purity. The Catholic parents, for instance, who socially accepts their child’s homosexual partner, are allegedly engaging in just such an exercise of “loving the sinner, but hating the sin” in relation to their own child. In reality what they are doing is allowing moral compromise to enter deeply into their own souls, while at the same time becoming Satan’s agents for further propagation of the evil of homosexuality.
All of this is in stark opposition to the traditional Catholic position, as best exemplified in the writings of St. Peter Damian:
"Truly, this vice is never to be compared with any other vice because it surpasses the enormity of all vices. Indeed this vice is the death of bodies, the destruction of souls. It pollutes the flesh; it extinguishes the light of the mind. It evicts the Holy Spirit from the temple of the human heart; it introduces the devil who incites to lust. It casts into error; it completely removes the truth from the mind that has been deceived .... It opens hell; it closes the door to heaven.... It separates the soul from God to join it with devils. This most pestilential queen of the sodomists makes the followers of her tyrannical laws filthy to men and hateful to God. She commands to join in evil wars against God, to carry the mili¬tary burden of a most evil spirit. (Book of Gomorrah, XVI)."
If there be any truth in this assessment of St. Peter Damian, then we are obviously in much need of clarification regarding the popular notion “love the sinner, hate the sin”. In order to accomplish this, we need to gain an understanding of the relationship between God’s “love” and “hate” of man.
St. Thomas writes the following:
"Nothing prevents one and the same thing being loved under one aspect, while it is hated under another. God loves the sinners in so far as they are existing natures; for they have existence, and have it from Him. In so far as they are sinners, they have not existence at all, but fall short of it; and this in them is not from God. Hence under this aspect, they are hated by Him."
The common statement "God loves the sinner, hates the sin" therefore constitutes a distortion, because it fails to convey the truth that the sinner is also hated by God.
It is not just the sin that is hated by God, as though sin could somehow be disembodied from the individual will and the person. It is also the person who has given himself over to sin that God hates, while at the same time loving the person whom He created, and whose repentance and return He longs for. This does not mean that there are now two persons present in such an individual, but only, as Thomas notes, that God can both love and hate the same person under different aspects and for different reasons. But we must always keep foremost the truth that God did not create the homosexual, and God does not love the homosexual in so far as he or she is homosexual. God, in other words, does not love the sinner.
God creates us all very different. Because of these differences, original sin works quite differently in each of us. Differences in physical nature and character become distorted by original sin to become unique temptations; and these, when acceded to, become sins. Because a person tends towards a choleric disposition does not in any way mean that he is a murderer. God does not create murderers. God also does not create homosexuals, despite whatever "inclinations" or "weaknesses" might be present due to original sin. Homosexual "orientation" is itself the fruit of original sin. As such it is an evil which must be combated.
We also must note that "love" and "hate" can only be predicated of God analogically. St. Thomas writes:
“When certain human passions are predicated of the Godhead metaphorically, this is done because of a likeness in the effect. Hence a thing that is in us a sign of some passion, is signified metaphorically in God under the name of that passion. Thus with us it is usual for an angry man to punish, so that punishment becomes an expression of anger. Therefore punishment itself is signified by the word anger, when anger is attributed to God.” (ST, I, Q.19, A.11).
It is therefore always wrong, strictly speaking, to attribute any sort of passion to God as God (this, of course, is not true of the humanity of Christ). Passion, by its very nature and definition, is an "undergoing" of something caused by response to something outside oneself. This does not exist in God’s Nature. Nothing in the Divine Nature is caused by anything outside God.
We can see this easily when we compare human and Divine Love. Whereas human love is a response to the goodness that is in things, God’s love is the cause of the existence of things because, as St. Thomas says, it “infuses and creates goodness.” (I, Q.20, A.2).
Now, let us look at this in relation to God's love/hate of man. Just as a man who falls from the state of sanctifying grace into mortal sin does not possess "less divine life and goodness" than he formally did, but rather falls into a state totally deprived of God's supernatural life, so he also falls into that state wherein he has lost friendship with God and is therefore analogically "hated" by God. That love of God whereby He "infuses and creates" the goodness of sanctifying grace is withdrawn. We may no more consider that such a person is "loved less" by God than we may conclude that he possesses "less" sanctifying grace. Just as he is now in mortal sin and dead to God, so he is analogically "hated" by God.
None of this, of course, means that God has withdrawn his love from his original creation, or that he may not continue to give countless actual graces to such a man in order to effect his return. It's really quite simple. As Augustine said in regard to the sinner, God loves what He made, hates what he (the sinner) made. And, in the case of mortal sin, the sinner makes not only the sin, but also the man who is dead in sin, and hated by God. Thus, from St. Augustine:
"For He hated us when we were such as He had not made us, and yet because our iniquity had not destroyed his work in every respect, he knew in regard to each one of us, both to hate what we had made, and love what he had made.” (Tract in Jo. 110).
Any notion that God hates only disembodied sin, and not the sinner himself, is also easily dispelled by scripture:
"For the Highest also hateth sinners, and will repay vengeance to the ungodly.(Ecclesiasticus 12:7)
"Thou hateth all the workers of iniquity." (Psalm 5:5)
"As it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I have hated." (Romans 9:13)
One further point needs clarification – the question of discrimination. Any living person is still in possession of an original dignity as a person created in the image of God – this being true no matter to what extent his or her dignity has been perverted and obscured by sin. This, of course, eliminates any justification for unjust violence or discrimination being employed against these persons. But any just society has always considered that there is such a thing as just “discriminations” against such persons in order to protect both individuals and society as a whole from their sins and perversities. This absolutely necessitates the forbidding of “gay marriage”, which attacks that institution of marriage between man and woman which is the foundation of all society. It mandates against granting any civil rights or privileges to such unions. It also demands that society not allow dissemination of the homosexual agenda through any sort of media. Further, society is morally bound to discriminate against such persons in order to protect children and others who might be vulnerable to their perverse acts and propaganda. It is therefore a profound perversity in itself to propose that homosexuals have a right to be teachers of children, or that they be permitted to adopt children.