Father Charles Murr and Father Gerald Murray on Pope Francis’s statement on Homosexuality

It was in February of this year when Father Charles Murr was invited on a program by Terry Barber called “Full Sheen Ahead” on Virgin Most Powerful Radio. Terry Barber asked Father Charles Murray to comment on Father Gerald Murray’s statement which criticised Pope Francis’s statement on homosexuality:

Terry Barber: “Father Murr, Father Gerald Murray, the priest from New York I think, correct?”

Fr Charles Murr: “One of the finest priests in the United States of America.”

Terry Barber: “Well, he’s got a really good mind. I mean his good friend Father Avila is another guy that I knew quite well and he also had just a beautiful mind for the faith and love for the church. Well, Father Murray, on Thursday, did something that I think was probably difficult to do but he did it with charity I thought. I watched it on the Raymond Royal Show on Thursday of last week. And he basically was criticising Pope Francis’s comments on homosexuality in the African bishops. And basically, I’m going to read a little bit of this, because he is a renowned canon lawyer – Father Murray – and, he’s the priest of the diocese of the archdiocese of law of New York, and he’s basically saying that it’s clearly taught in the bible that natural law, that sodomy is a mortal sin. The New York priest said ‘Anti-sodomy laws aimed to deter sin and protect the public morals’, he noted invoking the destruction of sodomy. He has given a very biblical rooted answer to this question and he said ‘Now laws against sodomy are designed to warn people not to commit the sin and to protect society if that sin were tolerated, it might become more widespread,’ he explained. And again, we talked about Sodom and Gomorrah. ‘Rather than attacking such laws, Francis should be saying that laws lead people into sin, should never become a law.’ He said it in so few words Father Charles.

Fr Charles Murr: “And that’s the absolute truth. It’s the absolute truth. He’s exactly right. You don’t need me to tell you that. He was exactly right.”

Terry Barber: “But it’s just to me, Father Charles, it’s really refreshing for a layman to see if someone dressed like you, a priest, who just says wait a minute, this isn’t right. And the salvation of souls can be misled. So are we willing to take a little bit of risk of our own vocation. I won’t get into you but there’s one thing you did many decades ago, that also cost you a lot, because you wouldn’t allow certain things going on in your parish. I’m not bringing it up right now. I’m just saying you and Father Murray have something in common and that is, when the truth is being violated, you will speak up, am I under something?”

Fr Charles Murr: “You have to. Let me just say something, Terry, to that whole argument. When I say argument I am talking in a philosophical sense to the whole discussion, right? Let me say this: there is a proper distinction and Father Murray, who is one of the finest priests you will ever find anywhere, let me just tell you a little story about him. They sent him to Rome. He’s got a very gifted mind and they saw that. And they sent him to Rome and he finished a doctorate in canon law which is no easy accomplishment. He did it, and finished, and he came back to New York. This was the star pupil is now returning. But he didn’t return with an arrogance or pride like so many who have much less, do. He’s a very humble man. Very frank, very truthful. He’s a good friend. And he’s delightful. Anyway, they put him immediately on the marriage tribunal to judge marriages. Well, much to his credit, he said ‘just a minute. We can’t be annulling this marriage and this marriage and this marriage, just because this is turning into Catholic divorce. Here are the norms for an annullment. We follow those norms and then we’re fine.’ Well, they got angry with him because he wasn’t denying enough marriages. He said ‘Well, I’m sorry. I have to be honest to myself. What a refreshing statement! But let me make this disctinction too, Terry.

When we’re talking about homosexuality which is, I’ve never seen such a thing become a rage. It’s a rage. It’s like everywhere, right? Homosexuality, whether the person be a man or a woman, homosexual is not a sin. That is not a sin. Nor is it a crime. It’s neither. It’s the action, acting on it. Now, let me just say this too. Some of the most chaste people that I know, I believe they are homosexuals. It blew me away in Manhattan. I was asked to fill in for a priest who was on vacation or something and he asked me to take over his courage group. It was attached to the St John the Evangelist in New York. I could not believe it. I just could not believe the strength of these, most of them young men, there were a couple of women there also, but devout, developing in their faith, strict with themselves, joyful because they knew they were on the right road. Fantastic and prayerful! I mean this is incredible. They’re dealing correctly with this and rather than continue with that as an approach to the problem, we hear from other people that no, we should just be accepting everything and anything that goes.

And it goes back onto this, too, Terry and I’ll think you’ll agree with that. It’s the idea of equality which is one of the principles not only of the French revolution but also of Marxism. We’re all the same. We’re all the same. So, if you’re married with eight children, and he’s not married, and this one is in a gay marriage, it’s all equal. It’s all the same thing. Well, it’s not! Because equality couldn’t exist here. There are no two human beings who are equal. We are equal before God in dignity. We’re all different for God’s sake. And this is what’s wonderful about being human! It’s not a defect. It’s a marvel.”

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