Bishop Johan Bonny was back in the news last week following his selection by the Vatican as a participant at the upcoming Synod on the Family in Rome. Bishop Bonny, you may recall, said the following back in December:
“We have to look inside the Church for a formal recognition of the kind of interpersonal relationship that is also present in many gay couples. Just as there are a variety of legal frameworks for partners in civil society, one must arrive at a diversity of forms in the Church.”
For readers of OnePeterFive, Bishop Bonny’s comment was hardly surprising. Last September we told you about a letter the Belgian bishop wrote to the faithful of his diocese. Embracing moral relativism over doctrine, the arguments made by him against immutable truths leads one to ask why anyone would even welcome Bishop Bonny’s participation at a synod on the family.
As I noted at the time, Bishop Bonny’s letter presents several scenarios in such a manner as to all but undermine traditional marriage, the conjugal union, and natural conception itself. Regarding the latter, his letter proposed the following hypothetical:
“A and L did everything they could to have a baby. As L approached her 40th the situation became more urgent. Their desire to have a child was genuine and generous, and supported moreover by a deep Christian faith. Medical problems led them to opt for homologous in vitro fertilisation. Can we say in general terms of this couple that because of their medical option they open a door to the domination of technology over the destiny of the human person, that their deeds are in conflict with the common dignity of parents and children, and that they see their child as a piece of property? Or might we not try to understand their profound desire to keep love and fertility conjoined, and hope that their desire to have a child will be fulfilled with the help of skilled and meticulous medical experts?”
Then, in defense of contraception, Bishop Bonny’s “pastoral” letter argues:
“K and P have been married for thirty years and have four children, roughly three times the average number of children in a Belgian family. After the birth of their fourth child they had reached their limit and decided to use birth control to prevent further conceptions. Can we say without nuance of these parents with four children that because of their method of birth control they are falsifying conjugal love, that they have ruptured the essential bond between marriage and fertility and that they no longer give themselves to one another completely? Or might we not value their generosity as parents, encourage them in the attention they devote to their relationship and to the further development of a welcoming home for their children?”
Whether it is same sex “marriage”, cohabitation, contraception or in vitro fertilization, Bishop Johan Bonny has apparently embraced the errors of the current age, arguing for the Church to ponder these errors as if they are deserving of our consideration. What he apparently fails to grasp is that intrinsic evils are never in season for Holy Mother Church.
In the end, the question I find myself asking is this: If you or I wouldn’t even trust Bishop Bonny to teach a pre-Cana class at our local parish, who in the Vatican thought it was a good idea to invite him to the synod?
Brian Williams is a convert who entered the Catholic Church in 2006. He is a graduate of Long Beach State University with a BA in History. Brian blogs on life, liturgy and the pursuit of holiness at liturgyguy.com. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and five children.