I am struck once again by how the Father runs to welcome the errant son while he is still a long way off.
This seems to me a wonderful illustration of the right kind of Gradualism. The son has not yet made his way home, has not yet made his apology and confession of fault - but the Father runs to welcome him. What a loving Father!
But the son had started his journey: he was on his way, the right way. Gradually, he was coming home.
Had one of our more progressive bishops counselled him, he would never have done so, of course. He would have stayed in the pig-sty because it is unrealistic to expect him to change his life so dramatically, to expect him to reform his way of living.
When bishops tell adulterers that adultery is ok, that they can discern moral good in it, and when they say the same to those in other unchaste relationships, heterosexual or homosexual, they are, in effect, saying: Do not turn back to God. Do not even think of starting the journey home.
And in so doing, they are robbing them of the opportunity to meet the Father who would run to greet them from a long way off, full of joy that the son who was lost has been found.
This is grave indeed: we must pray for our bishops, and pray for the poor souls who are misled by their easy and mistaken 'pastoral' approach, which is anything but truly pastoral.
Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio,
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae caelestis,
Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute, in infernum detrude.