Fr. Z responds to @JamesMartinSJ about “official” teaching on homosexuality

At Jesuit-run Amerika there is an article by Jesuit homosexualist activist Fr James Martin in which he writes about the “official” teaching, as he puts it, of the Church (he doesn’t use a capital) concerning homosexual inclinations and homosexual acts.

It may be that he has finally had so many challenges thrown at him that he couldn’t dodge them anymore.   He finally decided to stand in the batters box and take a hack.

I haven’t made an extensive study of Martin’s writings.  That said, this is the first time I’ve seen him sidle up to clarity about moral dimension of the aforementioned inclinations and acts.

All in all, Martin’s offering isn’t bad.   He brings up natural law.  He brings up the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  He brings up chastity. He brings up the inherent dignity of all persons. That’s all well and good.

One might fault him a little for suggesting that few Catholics know that treating homosexual persons badly is wrong.   Frankly, I find that absurd.  But, let’s give him a pass on that point.

However, you have to read between the lines. Start with the title.

What is the official church teaching on homosexuality? Responding to a commonly asked question

What is the “official church teaching”…

Later in the piece

… we can perhaps best understand it from the church’s traditional reliance on natural law, which was itself heavily influenced by the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas

… In terms of sexuality, all sex is “ordered” toward what are called the “affective” (love) and “generative” (having children) ends, within the context of a marriage.

official church teaching rules out any sort of sexual activity outside the marriage of a man and a woman

… it is important for the institutional church to understand the lived experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics.

While Martin went a long way toward clarity, I sense a subtle hedge which he is signaling to his base.   For example, among libs you find code language, terms such as the “institutional church”.  Using the small “c” is already a signal.  At outlets like the Fishwrap you constantly find writers pitting an amorphous “spirit-filled” or “prophetic” church against the “institutional church”, as if the former trumps the latter.   Yes, we have to know what the “institutional church” says, or – better “said” (once upon a time), as if studying the history of a topic.  However, we are advancing beyond the merely “institutional”, old hide-bound church shackled by laws and taboos and outdated mores no longer suited to our far more mature era.

Martin uses the word “official” throughout and rightly so.  He is, after all, responding to a question.

QUAERITUR: What is the official church teaching on homosexuality?

Think about that question.  Students ask questions like this.  People who are confused about the facts ask questions like that.   But it seems to me that most people who want to know if the thing they are doing is a sin or not simply ask, “What does the Church teach about homosexuality?”  The heart-searching penitent doesn’t hedge.

Am I being too picky?  I want to be fair to Fr. Martin, whom I’ve beaten up occasionally in these electronic pages.  However, when I start at the top and read to the bottom I wonder if he isn’t signaling that because the teaching is “official” or it is “institutional”, it is also changeable.   

Laws and rules and institutions and “officialdom” can be changed, after all.

The Church doesn’t just have “official” rules about homosexual acts.  What the Church teaches is also rooted both in divine revelation and in natural law.

Martin mentions natural law.  But he writes:

… we can perhaps best understand it from the church’s traditional reliance on natural law…

… according to the traditional interpretation of natural law, homosexual acts are not ordered toward those specific ends and so they are deemed “disordered.”

… That is one reason that it’s important for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to understand the church’s teaching in its totality—the Gospels, the tradition of natural law and its roots in Thomistic and Aristotelian reasoning, …

So, someone looking for a way out of the Church’s teachings might latch onto that “traditional”.   Traditions aren’t so important are they?  Well, they are important in the sense that we should know what they were.  For example, it is important to know that the Church used Latin for a long time.  But we’ve outgrown all that.  Traditions can be changed, right?   Women traditionally covered their heads in church.  They don’t have to do that anymore.  Traditionally we abstained from meat on all Fridays.  Traditionally, Lent was far more rigorous.  Traditionally, we interpreted natural law to mean that sex acts between persons of the same sex were “disordered”.   But can’t there be non-traditional interpretations of natural law?   The official or institutional church clings to traditions.   But we should be freer in the spirit in a prophetic church that isn’t bound in taboos.

There’s the “traditional” way, and there’s the “contemporary” and “new” and “openminded” etc….

Again, I am glad that Fr. Martin has taken greater steps toward clarity.   And yet his explanation seemed to glide above the bases, rather than touch them as he ran them.   This isn’t a home run for the Jesuit.   It might be a single base because he was hit by a pitch.

Here’s the bottom line for anyone who is scratching her head.

The Church’s official teaching is her official teaching not just because she teaches if officially.   She teaches what she teaches because IT IS TRUE.

The TRUTH is the foundation of the Church’s teaching.

Holy Church must be true to Her Lord who is the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life.

People with homosexual inclinations are PEOPLE.   They are images of God and the dignified subjects of their own acts, worthy of respect, justice, charity, etc., just like every other person.

However, there is no time in the past, present or future of the human race that homosexual acts will be anything other than intrinsically evil.   Why?  Because the are evil in themselves and not just because – right now – we say they are… officially.

 

Please share!

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38 Responses to Fr. Z responds to @JamesMartinSJ about “official” teaching on homosexuality

  1. JohnE says:

    My spidey sense is tingling. It sounds like he’s being the Bill Clinton of church teaching. If you define your terms right and make enough distinctions and qualifications, you can preach lies and make them almost sound like the truth, or preach the truth without letting on that you actually don’t believe it. “This is the official/traditional teaching of the institutional church”. Taking into account what he’s said in the past, it seems like there’s an implied but unstated “but”. He preaches by insinuation and innuendo so he can play both sides of the fence.

  2. David says:

    I think this move by Fr. Martin is extremely clever (even Jesuitical), in that it disarms the people who protest his talks (and occasionally succeed in depriving him of speaking fees), while allowing him to remain on the friendliest of terms with those who accept nothing of the Church’s “official” teachings on this matter.

  3. EmilB says:

    “Natural Law”= God’s law…I thought…?

  4. Carrie says:

    “Am I being too picky?“

    Yes.

    “Official” and “traditional” are words Catholics need for reassurance. His article is solid.

    [Naive? Obtuse? Ponder.]

  5. Sawyer says:

    1. Fr. Martin said before that the lack of reference to Church doctrine in his “Building Bridges” book was because he isn’t a moral theologian. Now he writes an article about said moral doctrine/teaching. Granted, every priest should be knowledgeable and conversant enough about the Church’s doctrine about homosexuality to write an explanatory article or hold a conversation about the topic. But what has changed to make Fr. Martin now engage what he formerly considered above his paygrade? I agree that he is feeling the heat for having demurred, evaded and obfuscated for so long, and this is designed to take some of the heat off him.

    2. In his reference to the ends of sexuality, it is peculiar and telling and incorrect for him to state that the ends of the sexual act are affective and generative. It should have been stated as unitive and generative. Replacing “unitive” with “affective” was sly. Homosexual sex cannot ever be unitive because same sexes are not complementary; there can be no authentic bodily union, and that is the root of homosexual acts being intrinsically evil. However, homosexual sex can be affective in a disordered, sinful sense, although advocates for normalizing homosexuality would disagree that same-sex sexual affection is disordered. I believe Fr. Martin is trying to pull a fast one by creating the impression that the physical sexual complementarity of spouses is not intrinsic to a moral understanding of sex. That word replacement wasn’t a slip; it was deliberate and calculated to shift discussion away from human physical embodiment (as either male or female) to emotions as a basis for moral judgments. Either Fr. Martin understands more about Catholic moral theology than he lets on, or he was craftily advised about that word replacement in this article. If you state that the moral ends of sex are unitive and procreative, any discussion of the possible morality of homosexual acts stops right there for there can be no authentic homosexual unions nor procreation. Only by attempting to ignore or change the moral facts and terminology from “unitive” to “affective” can you have a chance at succeeding at changing the moral evaluation of homosexual acts and unions. They still have to get around the procreative end, but they are probably hoping to rely on a spurious analysis of coitus in infertile married couples as a way around that; that still wouldn’t work, however, because accidents don’t alter an act’s fundamental nature.

    3. Fr. Martin is not fooling anyone who knows Catholic doctrine and theology and is committed to accepting the truth of Catholic doctrine. His target audience is the ignorant and those who refuse to assent to Catholic doctrine and yearn for a quasi-official voice to encourage them in their dissent and feed their false hope.

  6. TimFinnegan says:

    I think that last part is the most important. Wondering what the Church officially teaches is good, but the hallmark of someone who is seeking after God is the one who wonders: is it true? There are many things the Church officially teaches, and there are many things that the Church doesn’t officially teach but are true nonetheless. No one who is being reasonable would behave contrary to the truth of gravity, even though the Church has no official stance of what makes apples fall from their trees. As it is with the physical, so it is with the moral: we should always be striving to behave in a way which conforms to the entirety of truth, not just that truth which the Church has officially set down.

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  8. BJard says:

    My parent’s spiritual advisor was a Jesuit. His contributions to Vatican 2 aligned him with truth instead of progressive agendas. He cared very much for my family, so he was clear when he told them because they were divorced they had to live as brother and sister or not receive Communion. It was the kind rather than nice, and it was the only way they could live with their choice because they knew the truth.

    It surprises me that current Jesuit schools and priests seem to be the least capable of educating with integrity.

  9. Joy65 says:

    It is a step in the right direction for him but I hope he climbs the entire staircase in the right direction of the Church’s teachings. NO gray areas, no maybes, continue down THIS road Father Martin and it might honestly be a positive for you.

  10. Sportsfan says:

    Martin uses a tactic out of the catechism itself. His wording sounds very familiar to section 2267.

  11. maternalView says:

    I know for a fact that so-called gay people ARE relying on Fr. Martin’s writings. They get the message he’s sending. They aren’t searching for answers as one who desires to be closer to God searches. They are looking for affirmation of what they’re already doing. Fr. Martin provides that.

    If he doesn’t intend that he needs to reconsider his methods.

  12. tamranthor says:

    There is a world of difference between saying, “I wish the Church would let me wallow in my sins,” which it will, of course, and saying, “The Church is wrong about my sins,” which it is not.

    If you prefer to live as an active homosexual, knock yourself out. Nobody is saying you cannot.

    In such a clear, black and white, yes or no choice, it seems curious how many homosexualists prefer to try to muddy things up. I suppose that is the refuge of scoundrels, and we are probably all prone to that at one time or another for our own various sins, but in the end, it becomes obvious that we either shape up or ship out.

  13. JustaSinner says:

    He’s gay and in defense-mode. He’s gay and knows it’s wrong but is in justifi-mode. He’s gay and a Jesuit priest, so all the machinations are just self-justifying attempts at square the known right with the personal wrong. My two cents…but Jesuit Jesse Martin is becoming a poor parody if a bad copy of a terrible priest.

  14. arga says:

    So glad you made the point: it’s not true because it’s tradition, it’s tradition because it’s true. This has to be said — and explained — more often.

  15. Spinmamma says:

    The work of the Cultural Revolution continues apace on all fronts. As you, Dear Courageous Father Z, say: ” Down with the Four Olds.” We are also seeing it frequently among the secular Proggies as they call for repealing at least one (the rest to follow) of our Constitutional rights under the Bill of Rights. And now I just read where the Holy Father said that the issue of immigration and the poor is equally important with the issue of Abortion (seamless garment?) and shame on those selfish Catholics that think otherwise just because they are engaged in the Right to Life Movement. Holy Mother Church, as ill as she is, is still our shield and refuge through the truths of the Catechism. Thank you for stating that(again) so clearly and forcefully.

  16. cengime says:

    Dead on, Father. Look at what he says in the third paragraph: I will never challenge these teachings. That is as close as he comes to making those teachings his own. And you have to read it in light of the opinion he has expressed multiple times that the teaching of the Church on homosexuality is not complete or really authoritative, because it has not been received by the LGBT community.

    To take a theological perspective, a teaching must be “received” by the faithful. It’s a complex topic (and I am no professional theologian) but, in general, for a teaching to be complete it must be appreciated, accepted and understood by the faithful. The tradition is that the faithful possess their own inner sense of the authority of a teaching. That’s the sensus fidei or sensus fidelium. … In any event, it seems like the majority of the LGBT Catholic community does not agree with the church’s teaching on same-sex relations: that is, they are impermissible. From what many LGBT people tell me, that particular teaching doesn’t fit with their own experiences as human beings who love and are loved. So that teaching, it seems, has not been “received” by the LGBT community, which is the community most affected by it. … Thus, the “respect, compassion and sensitivity” that I’m calling for means that a bishop or church official would be open to meeting Mark, and his partner, and hearing what they have to say about their experience of love, and their receptivity to that teaching. That’s part of the bridge. What could a bishop learn from Mark? (“Bridging Truth and Love: An Interview with James Martin, SJ”

    For a teaching to be really authoritative, it is expected that it will be received by the people of God, by the faithful. … From what I can tell, in the LGBT community, the teach that LGBT people must be celibate their entire lives…has not been received. … I would say the teaching, therefore, has not been received by the community to which it was largely directed. So the question is, you know, what do we do with that? (“Building Bridges with James Martin”, 30 minutes 30 seconds in)

    Dan Hitchens e-mailed Martin trying to get a straight answer out of him about whether he accepts Church teaching on homosexuality, but thinks it could change in the future, and what did he have to say? My book does not challenge church teaching, I do not challenge church teaching, I never will challenge church teaching…

  17. Malta says:

    St Paul couldn’t have been any clearer about the issue of homosexual acts

  18. CharlesG says:

    I’m not too impressed. He uses the words “official” and “traditional” so he can say: (a) the teaching is subject to change, (b) it’s an ideal and too hard and thus not mandatory, (c) subjective conscience can disagree, and/or (d) “lived experience” or “pastoral necessity” can trump moral teaching. He doesn’t commit to believing in the teaching himself.

  19. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Martin’s position on the “sensus fidelium” is simply stunningly bad and FALLS on its face when applied to any other situation. To the point of absurdity.

    The Judaizers were the most affected by Paul’s views about the Gentiles, Paul should have stopped preaching about and to the Judaizers since they didn’t “receive” his teaching.

    The Arians were the most affected by orthodox Catholic views about the Jesus’s divinity and equality with the Father, the ‘official church’ of the West should have stopped preaching about and to the Arians since they didn’t “receive” orthodox teaching.

    The protestants were the most affected by orthodox Catholic views about justification and the Sacraments, the ‘official church’ should have stopped preaching about and to the Protestants since they didn’t “receive” orthodox teaching.

    The Jansenists were the most affected by the moderation of “official” Catholic views, the ‘official church’ should have stopped preaching about and to the Jansenists since they didn’t “receive” official teaching.

    ‘Official teachings” are almost never initially accepted by those sub-sects in error. That’s why we call it error. And those in error are of course most affected by discussing their error. Thats why we preach and teach, to correct error. That’s why the Jesuits exist at all. It has nothing to do with the sensus fidelium.

    Ridiculous.

  20. TonyO says:

    There was another weasel-word Fr. Martin slipped in:

    according to the traditional interpretation of natural law, homosexual acts are not ordered toward those specific ends and so they are deemed “disordered.”

    “Deemed”. But of course “deemed” has more than one sense, and the connotation is that of “deemed’ but not “actual”. At least, that is a common way of using the word. The pinch-hitter is “deemed” to be the pitcher for purposes of the batting rotation, but of course he is not ACTUALLY the pitcher. Something is “deemed” to be X precisely because it is not actually X but we want to treat it as if it were X for some purpose or other. A kind of legal whitewash, a customary pretense.

    Then combine that with the scare quotes around “disordered”. This locks in the sense of “deemed” that is the legal whitewash, the customary pretense. In combination, the phrase connotes that according to the traditional interpretation of natural law, homosexual acts are not ordered toward those specific ends and so they are deemed “disordered,” but that interpretation is influenced by its historical context, and under other, newer, and better interpretations it need not be deemed disordered.

    As other comments indicate, the “natural law position” of Aquinas is simply a manner of stating in a philosophically comprehensive way what the Bible says definitively and clearly. The traditional interpretation of natural law on this point is not influenced by its historical period in which it was elaborated, it is guided by the passages in the Bible, stretching over 2000 years of pre-Jewish and Jewish history (through arguably 4 or 5 distinct cultures), which flatly condemned homosexual acts.

  21. LarryW2LJ says:

    This is an example of mental gymnastics. Trying to make something that’s wrong right, just by thinking about it and justifying it in your mind. A lot of Jesuits (not all) seem to be Gold medalists in this event.

    Tell you one thing, and I know it’s redundant, but maybe it’s good to be redundant; but whenever the Church uses the term “Intrinsically evil” maybe they should immediately follow that with “and just plain wrong”. You would think you wouldn’t have to – but sometimes I wonder if people “get it”.

  22. Sonshine135 says:

    Let’s simply cut through the fogginess. I see Priests like Fr. Martin dance around this subject, trying to use all sorts of twisted forms of theology to say homosexual acts are natural. Forget Aquinas for a moment. Forget the Catechism. Our Lord was very clear in Matthew Chapter 19:4-6. The joining of a man and a woman makes one flesh. In Romans 1:27, Paul talks about men leaving the “natural use of women” and “burned in their lusts one towards another”. One needs only to ask the Fr. Martins of the world, what constitutes the sin of fornication?

    Finally , verse 32 puts the icing on the cake:Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.

    The teachings are clear as crystal. They have been. They always will be. The only other way one can live, outside of the covenant of marriage is to live chaste, obedient, and humble lives. That’s called holiness.

  23. TNCath says:

    Fr. Martin implies that there are two types of Church teachings: (1) “official” Church teaching as defined by the Catechism and (2) “popular” Church teaching for “practical” and not “practicing” Catholics as defined by the latest “zeitgeist,” which Fr. Martin seems to espouse. This Jesuitical approach is dangerous is best and diabolical at worst.

  24. Carrie says:

    Neither. Just think there’s a lot of spin here, based on assumptions and agenda.

    [I wasn’t referring to the spin.]

  25. Hornblower says:

    Dear Father,

    Regarding the use of the words, “tradition” and “official,” I think you’re right.

    Having followed Bishop Barron’s videos and speeches regarding the new atheism, I’ve found one of the reasons for the “nones” is that doctrine is seen as obscure and antiquated. Modern times call for modern knowledge and vision unfettered from the ancient and traditional. It seems the truth is passé.

  26. Joe in Canada says:

    I am grateful for this and congratulate Fr Martin.
    The only thing he leaves out is that the Church’s teaching is scriptural. We use things such as St Thomas’s thought to show that it is also rational. We in North America have been told that “scriptural” isn’t good enough for the public square so we have tried to show how the Church’s teaching is also clear by natural law. But then we get told that “natural law” isn’t good enough because it isn’t postmodern. We should always use both – scripture and natural law.

  27. Unwilling says:

    Replacing “unitive” with “affective” was sly.
    Sawyer, that was a very astute observation. The difference is gigantic. The substitution had quite slipped past me here and (in versions of it) probably has in the past. I will be vigilant. Thank you!

  28. Carrie says:

    Yes. The anti-Martin, anti-gay agenda. There is nothing substantive to critique, so you go for the ridiculous.

  29. mo7 says:

    I say you listen to your spidey sense. This is a prelude, or better said a set-up for something to come.

  30. benedetta says:

    Trying to have things excessively both ways can be difficult — presumably, from another perspective, his own dissenting supporters may question his truthfulness, his honesty, his authenticity, when he insists upon maintaining a male celibate clerical lifestyle while encouraging others to rise up against church teachings which are official and a bunch of rules. The reasoning might be, if he were truly in solidarity with the dissent, he would not assimilate himself to such a traditional and old school, official lifestyle. I think it must be very tricky to try to stay au courant and of the dissenting status quo in his situation. Of course, his attacks on others (see the day’s tweets) help to shield him and lend cover for his lack of dissenting cred.

  31. catholicjen says:

    Like you, I wish he had said that the teachings were true. But maybe he doesn’t believe they are. Maybe he really does believe the teachings on those matters are not based on truth and thus can change. If that is the case, then he did well, given what I believe may be his limitations.

  32. Semper Gumby says:

    Carrie wrote: “…there’s a lot of spin here, based on assumptions and agenda.”

    And:

    “The anti-Martin, anti-gay agenda. There is nothing substantive to critique, so you go for the ridiculous.”

    Carrie, it would be to your benefit to acquire a tolerance and deeper understanding for diverse points of view rather than simply lobbing false accusations and erroneous labels.

    Here is a relevant comment by Peter Stuart from Fr. Z’s 4 Feb 2018 post “Efforts to ‘queer’ the Church and explaining James Martin SJ”:

    “Thank you for this post, Father. For telling the truth, resisting, pushing back even when not many others do and it might cost you. It’s a comfort to a struggling SSA like me whose resolve is very shaky and not helped by all the lies and nonsense Fr. Martin and his buddies are throwing out there. I’ll be praying for you and going to Confession at my Courage meeting tomorrow night.” – Peter Stuart

    Have a pleasant day Carrie.

  33. robtbrown says:

    Carrie says:

    Yes. The anti-Martin, anti-gay agenda. There is nothing substantive to critique, so you go for the ridiculous.

    More accurately, the pro Catholic, pro marriage agenda.

    Perhaps you should ask yourself whether you believe the Church teaches by Divine Authority.

  34. Carrie says:

    Rotbrown, I am pro-Catholic teaching and pro-marriage, as is Fr. Martin. We can be this AND be pro-respect to human beings, including gay people. That’s what he’s promoting: respect. He’s not promoting gay sexual behavior or gay marriage. But this is the spin of Fr. Z and many readers here. Fr. M is a scapegoat for unmanaged [?]fear and hate. [Blah blah blah… the constant recourse of libs is to throw in the words “fear” and “hate”.] That’s NOT Church teaching. It’s not pro… anything.

    [And with this you’ve answered my earlier question, and the answer is “both/and” not “either/or”.]

  35. robtbrown says:

    Carrie,

    I wonder whether you use the fear-and-hate slogan to describe anyone who doesn’t disagree with you.

    Btw, 8 of the 10 Commandments are negative.

  36. cengime says:

    “That’s what he’s promoting: respect. He’s not promoting gay sexual behavior or gay marriage. But this is the spin of Fr. Z and many readers here.”

    BRANDON AMBROSINO: I would say too, you know, encounter is tough, I think, for LGBT people too, especially in churches. I go to a Catholic church with my partner, Andy, and I still always have this moment of decision when we pass the peace, when everybody greets each other, because every other couple just hugs and kisses each other, and nobody makes a big deal of it. But I’ve never kissed Andy in church, and I’ve recently started thinking about that. Will we be in church ten years from now, in front of our children, and during that part of the service, we—hug each other? Give a handshake? And it’s not that anyone has ever said anything to me, but nobody’s gone out of the way to say, “oh, just so you know, it would be OK.” Not that they have to do that, but—so encounter is a difficult thing for us to do, I think, just the fact of showing up, sitting in a church—it takes a lot of faith.

    JAMES MARTIN: It does, and I always say that LGBT people have more faith than, I think, straight people, because of that. I mean, imagine, you—what you’ve just described is really interesting, Brandon: you have internalized rejection already. You don’t need to even be told that you’re rejected in the church, you’ve internalized it, and that’s very sad, and I think that a lot of the people that Jesus came into contact with did the same thing. I mean, think of, like, the woman with the hemorrhage, right? Who doesn’t even feel worthy to kind of stand up and greet him, she reaches down and touches the hem of the garment. Or the Samaritan woman, right? Who comes to the well at noon, in the heat of the day, because she’s, we think, because she’s been married five times, so she’s probably embarrassed. Maybe people didn’t even have to tell her, you know, you’re not welcome to come at the regular time when other women come, she comes because she’s embarrassed, so she’s kind of internalized that, and that’s very sad. So I do hope in ten years, you’ll be able to kiss your partner. Or, you know, soon to be your husband. Why not? What’s the terrible thing? And think of all the people in church who, you know, have all sorts of other things on their conscience. They feel perfectly at home. So why shouldn’t a gay man feel perfectly at home in church? So yeah, it’s up to, I think, the institutional church to make you feel welcome, because no one else—few people, I think—would feel the same way you do in church, sort of rejected already. So that’s why it’s up to the church to reach out to you, that’s what I think. (“Building Bridges with James Martin”, 15:49-18:33)

    That makes me sad, actually, because I—I continually come back to my friend Mark, and his husband. And I continually say—and maybe this is a failure of mine to imagine someone else, maybe it’s arrogant, but I have a hard time imagining how even the most traditionalist, homophobic, closed-minded Catholic cannot look at my friend and say, “that is a loving act. And that is a form of love that I don’t understand, but that I have to reverence.” That is—and maybe that’s why it’s hard for me to kind of respond to some of these critics, because I don’t understand that. Maybe that is a failure of my imagination, but I don’t understand how people cannot see that. (“Building a Bridge: The Catholic Church and the LGBT Community”)

  37. Carrie says:

    Actually, rotbrown, the Commandments are all positive, as each offers us a path of freedom— from hate and fear, among other things.

    [In a KJV version, which may be familiar to you…
    “You shall not have other gods…”
    “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain…”
    “You shall not murder.”
    “You shall not commit adultery.”
    “You shall not steal.”
    “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house…”

    Greek uses ou
    Latin uses non

    “Don’t” is negative. “Do” is positive”. Is it true that NOT doing what God says NOT to do is truly liberating? Of course. But the fact remains that God gave negative commands. That’s the “don’t” part.]

  38. Carrie says:

    LOL! Oh Fr Z. You know I wasn’t talking linguistics. But thanks for the lesson! :)

    [Very good. You are welcome. Do try, now, to keep up.]