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March 14, 2008


Mark Andrews

Be careful that the God, the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Jesus you think is revealed doesn't look too much like that face you see in the mirror each morning.

Spirit of Vatican II

I was sadly reminded that old Catholic thinking is still rife by the following remarks of a would be trendy-conservative website, in reaction to the recent issue of Concilium on the topic of homosexualities:

Noi infatti, che non abbiamo la cultura degli scrittori di Concilium, né la loro capacità di aggiornamento, restiamo inguaribilmente legati alla teologia semplice e démodé di Paolo D’Ungheria, alla sua Summa de Poenitentia del 1215: “I sodomiti sono gli avversari di Dio, assassini e distruttori dell’umanità. Essi sembrano dire a Dio: Tu hai creato gli uomini perché si moltiplicassero. Ma noi lavoriamo perché la tua opera venga distrutta”.

E a San Gregorio Magno, Commento morale a Giobbe: “Era giusto che i sodomiti perissero per mezzo del fuoco e dello zolfo”.

Need we be surprised at the high mortality rate of gays in Italy, the victims of thugs from the gutter, when people with high education, teachers of youth, indulge in such ignoble sentiments?


Anne Danielson

There is no inherent right to lust over someone. The words, "homosexual" and "heterosexual" are thus demeaning. God created only Man and Woman, Male and Female. The sexual objectification of any person is oppressive and a form of slavery. We all know that Christ came to set us free.

The purpose of everything is what God intended.
All of us are called to develop Healthy and Holy relationships and friendships in Communion with God, The Blessed Trinity. Some of these friendships will develop into Marriage. This is what God intended.

Respect for the Sacredness and Dignity of Life in all stages from beginning to end, is what God intended.

Respect for the Sanctity of a Holy Marriage, is what God intended.

Marriage between Husband and Wife in Communion with Him, The Blessed Trinity, is what God intended.(What God Has Joined Together)

Sexual Love within the Sanctity of a Holy Marriage, is what God intended.

Those of us who know how to develop Healthy and Holy relationships and friendships do not feel the need to act out sexually in these relationships. We are not trying to possess or manipulate these relationships. Love is not possessive nor does it serve to manipulate.

With Love, God, all things are possible. Perfect Love requires desiring Salvation for someone. Perfect Love requires the Truth.

Pertinacious Papist

"Sebastian Moore OSB ... offers a persuasive and challenging moral approach to same-sex relationships [that] should be taken as a basic reference when the Church finally gets around to discussing these issues and working out a coherent approach."

Oh puhleeeez. You think the Church is going to "come around" and "work out a coherent approach" by rejecting her own tradition? Dream on.

Catherine Nolan

Hahahaha... I love the "As pretending to be the radical categories for sexuality, these categories [of male and female] are dualistic." "Currently I am trying to think non-dualistically..."

And I don't remember the last time I read a "persuasive" essay that asked the reader to Google the author of a book to which it refers.

Spirit of Vatican II

When he says male and female are dualistic categories, he is just making the point that we all have male and female aspects in our psychology, which allows rich empathy with members of the other sex. Please don't pounce on incidentals of phrasing in this good man's writing. Or rather, recognize here that his phrasing is Pauline, for Paul also nondualistically declared that in Christ there is "neither male nor female" (and Jesus speaks of himself as a mother hen!).

Spirit of Vatican II

'You think the Church is going to "come around" and "work out a coherent approach" by rejecting her own tradition?'

Not rejecting, but developing in depth. In the sense that you use the word tradition, the Church has frequently rejected official teachings in the name of a deeper fidelity to the Gospel and its unfolding in dialogue with human reason. Teachings that are rationally unsatisfactory and that are rejected by the vast majority of the faithful -- such as the condemnation of lending money for profit as unnatural -- tend to be replaced by better teachings that do more justice to the moral values at stake. To say that the Church "came around" on such issues is a rather negative way of putting it; better to say that the Church experienced anew the blessing promised by Jesus, "the Spirit will lead you into all truth."

Catherine Nolan

1 Cor 6-7 speaks very clearly both about homosexuality and about the different responsibilities of men and women. Pauline phrasing? 'Tis remotely possible. Pauline ideology? Not even close.

Spirit of Vatican II

Catherine, we all know there is lots of conventional crankiness in the Pauline letters; you could quote 1 Cor 11 on how disgraceful it is for men to have long hair or for women to pray without a veil (given that they come from man but man comes from God) or Philemon on returning the slave to its rightful owner. But the Gospel core of Paul's teachings is on another plane, the plane of the Spirit that gives life, not of the letter that kills (even the Pauline letter). The contemplative Moore is tuned into this dimension, the heart of the New Testament.

Gerald Augustinus

Dear Fr. O'Leary, you might 'enjoy' this blog post and the 200+ comments...


Spirit of Vatican II

Gerald, if you wish to live up to your weblog title, The Cafeteria is Closed, you could argue as follows:

The Church teaches that all acts divorcing sex from procreation are wrong, including homosexual acts.

However, "objectively immoral" acts can be "subjectively defensible" (Paul VI).

In pastoral practice, a gay couple should be urged to live chastely, but if this is just now impossible and if the alternatives are destructive they should be encouraged to be faithful to each other (Jan Visser, co-author of Persona Humana, CDF 1975).

In the application of the moral law to individual circumstances each individual must use the godgiven right of freedom of conscience, and each pastor must apply the principle of epiekeia, accomodating the demands of the law to the individual's circumstances.

Sometimes a church teaching is mistaken and can be disagreed with in good conscience. Sometimes a believer may have a prophetic charism that obliges him to denounce a false or harmful church teaching.

I don't think any of the above statements are outside the bounds of Catholic orthodoxy.

Gerald Augustinus

Well, Father, maybe we can get an auto da fe together ? =)

My blog title was meant as a bon mot...little did I know ! Back in 2005, I thought I was on the conservative end of the spectrum. Heh. Then I went online. In addition, I've changed since.

Andrew Haines

Even if everything mentioned in the article was somehow in a place to organically develop the course of Catholic Tradition--which incidentally I believe it is far from doing--the point of departure for the question still betrays a thoroughly non-Catholic position; namely, instead of seeking to deepen the authentic Church teaching on the sacredness of marriage, it desires rather an 'out' for those who do not feel such a paradigm applies to them. All the clever language in the world can't hide this ever-recognizable and negative approach to a theology which is otherwise most positive and non-legalistic; I say this especially in light of John Paul II's "Theology of the Body."

In response to your last comment concerning the subjective defensibility of an objectively immoral reality, your read of the matter is far from accurate. No theologian speaking from the heart of the Church--and most certainly not a Roman Pontiff--would intend to say what you implied Paul VI is saying. Moreover, even if a CDF official made the follow-up comment that you quoted, I would highly contest the authenticity of that statement as coming from the life of the Catholic Tradition, even if it did come from the mouth of someone working in a curial office. Certainly, you know as well as I that appointed positions in the curia do not necessarily guarantee accurate theological mindsets. Plus, your sentence was not in quotes. Did he even really say that, or was that your own paraphrase?

Any seminarian in his first year of theology could identify the holes in your argument here. This one certainly did.

Spirit of Vatican II

Sorry, Andrew, but I am quoting correctly Paul VI's letter to Cardinal Patrick O'Boyle of Washington, that objectively immoral acts can be "diminished in guilt, inculpable or subjectively defensible".

I think you misread Moore. He is not talking about an "out" for those who dislike marriage but of an "in" for those who want to share in the blessings and duties of marriage to the degree that their sexual orientation allows.

Andrew Haines

The Paul VI statement requires much more nuanced examination than either of us have currently given it. Perhaps that would be a good topic for posting in itself.

Regarding the article here... Thankfully, your opinion that I am misreading Moore has no bearing on Catholic moral teaching.


"...the Catholic Church, that bases its moral teaching not ultimately on scripture"

In your wildest dreams, perhaps.

vi melendez

Where may I purchase all of the books by Sebastian Moore?

all the titles please...

God bless you vi melendez

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