Good evening Father Angelo,
thank you for your tireless work at the service of those who desire guidance, interpretation, knowledge of God! I sometimes feel perplexed about initiatives taken by priests and bishops. The last one I am aware of is that the Church provided material support to a few transsexuals of the Roman littoral: they no longer have clients given the current period marked by the coronavirus, therefore they are turning to the Diocese! The Diocese is providing help for Christian love’s sake.
I do not know what to think: please, help me!
Thank you, may God help us
Response from the priest
1. Certainly, food should be given to everybody.
It is a basic need that should be satisfied regardless of whom the person who is asking for help is..
Even in the Old Testament, when the law of retaliation was still in force, God said: “If your enemy be hungry, give him food to eat, if he be thirsty, give him to drink; for live coals you will heap on his head, and Lord will vindicate you “(Pr 25,21-22).
G. Girotti comments: “Your enemy, finding himself benefited in this way against all expectations, will feel the flames of blush and shame, or he will be burned with gratitude, and confused, repentant will make peace with you”.
2. But the gesture you are talking about in my opinion should have remained hidden for a twofold reason.
First of all because the Lord taught us so: ” When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” (Mt 6: 2-4).
How much more meritorious and evangelical would these alms have been if it was made sure not to let any trumpet blow neither by those who helped nor by those who were helped.
3. In the second place, this act should have been kept secret due to the danger of exploitation that can lead to think that what the people we are talking about do is a job and an honest job like any other.
If that were the case, nothing would be wrong, there would be nothing to be ashamed of. Indeed, it would be a path that everybody could take, since everyone would be the arbiter of his own body, and could do with it whatever he wants.
4. Attention should have been paid above all to the danger that publicizing such a gesture would carry, even if done in good faith, since it would have the effect of making people forget the Christian vocation and the mission of the Church in this world.
First of all, regarding the vocation of the Church:
Jesus came to make our body the temple of the Holy Spirit.
He says through Sacred Scripture: “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
Shall I then take Christ’s members and make them the members of a prostitute? Of course not!
(Or) do you not know that anyone who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For “the two,” it says, “will become one flesh.”
But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.” (1 Cor 6: 15-20).
“You have (your body) from God“!
It is quite unlike to say: my body is mine and I do what I want with it!
5. It would have also been necessary to guard against the danger that the publicity of this gesture would make us forget that the mission of the Church is not to say “everything is fine, everyone should go their own way”, but it is the one announced by St. Peter on the day of Pentecost when he said: “Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away” (Acts 3:19).
The Church has no other goal than that which Jesus Christ gave it when, before going up to Heaven, “He opened their minds to understand the scriptures. And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”” (Lk 24,45-47).
6. Otherwise one becomes insignificant: a word that means that at this point one has become salt that has lost its taste and is only good to be thrown away and trampled on by people.
I wish you well, I remind you to the Lord and I bless you.
Translated by Chiara P.
Proof edited by Sara Bellei