“Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell” and the CDF

I believe you all know that recently the “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell” policy (DADT) for the US Military was overturned.

Also, last Sunday His Eminence Donald Card. Wuerl was interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday and was asked about this change of policy.  Here is the archived video.

I avoided writing about this, but I have been pelted by e-mail.

Finally, I was convinced to post something about this because of a link I received to an commentary on a Protestant website (onenewsnow.com of the American Family News Network), criticizing Card. Wuerl – in fact, criticizing the Catholic Church – for a lack of position about DADT.  They had a poll.  I posted a screenshot of the results as of the time of this writing.

In the same article, we read:

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, says it appeared that Wuerl was not prepared for the question.
“…And he should have been [prepared], because the archbishop who is in charge of military services based in Washington, DC, [Archbp. Timothy Broglio] did issue a statement back in June recommending that the law not be repealed,” Donnelly points out.
“But when the issue got right down to the final vote — the one that ultimately was successful,” she laments, “the Catholic Church, among other organizations that had spoken in June, were silent.

Don’t forget that Card. Wuerl stood up and closed Catholic adoption agencies rather than cave in to the homosexual adoption thing.

I have to respond about the DADT issue that the Catholic Church has not been silent – in the past.  There is guidance for this issue in the Church’s documents.

A key source could be the 1992 document of the CDF, “Some considerations concerning the response to legislative proposals on the non-discrimination of homosexual persons”.   This well-known document should be a constant point of reference for Church officials who have to deal with the media.

In the CDF document we read:
10. “Sexual orientation” does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnic background, etc. in respect to non-discrimination. Unlike these, homosexual orientation is an objective disorder (cf. Letter, no. 3) and evokes moral concern.
11. There are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account, for example, in the placement of children for adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or athletic coaches, and in military recruitment.
So, it is not exactly the case that the Church has no position about homosexuals in the military.  This document does not say there must be discrimination.  It says that it is not unjust to discriminate.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Supertradmum says:

    Thank you for posting this. I think that the Church in Her bishops should be more obvious in the press with statements. I agree that we all should know the reference you put up above and some of us do. This administration has a habit of rushing through key votes on weekends and late at night, but this vote was in the news for days and no one should have been unprepared for commentary. Sin has no rights, and serious disorders are to be healed and delivered from. God bless you for putting this issue on the blog.

  2. It also occurs to me that the particular Protestant website in question would use any issue or any excuse to throw darts, whether deserved or undeserved, at the Catholic Church.

  3. Mike says:

    I actually quoted this CDF doc in a letter to the president of the Catholic College I attended that has extended “sexual orientation” the same status as ethnicity.

    Response: Nada.

    Father is correct–this document should be well known–it’s a stay against confusion on this tough issue.

  4. Sandy says:

    I am proud of Archbp. Broglio for his earlier statement about this issue. Those who write the truth about the “survey” done in the military point out the bias and vagueness in the questions. It’s too bad the Bishops’ Conference couldn’t support the morally correct position, not that BO would have listened. As a member of a military family (three generations), all things military are of great interest to me. (How things have changed in recent decades.) Please pray for our troops!

  5. Sandy says:

    PS Happy New Year blessings, Father!

  6. Cardinal Wuerl was obviously prepared to speak on any number of topics. It’s just that he apparently prefers to speak in a somewhat roundabout style. First he says something charming and palatable, and then he says something related that’s charming and palatable, and so on. Eventually he works around to saying the unpalatable truth that the Church teaches, but he takes a great deal of time to work up to it. (Not necessarily a bad strategy, in talking to people who might like to tune you out.)

    Unfortunately, sometimes he never gets around to spitting out the full thing the Church teaches before the conversation turns, and many of those wanting to hear a straight answer have already turned off the TV in disgust. It’s not very suited to TV soundbites. (And there’s nothing wrong with working around to some kind of wording that’s brief, memorable, and wise. Soundbites aren’t a bad thing if you use them to advantage.)

  7. Randii says:

    Ever notice how the bishops have no problem getting to the point and making it loud and clear when it comes to illegal immigration or other Democrat/liberal issues?

    Does make one wonder – doesn’t it?!

  8. FredM says:

    Suburbanbanshee & Randii-

    You are both right on target.
    A protestant site that holds catholics accountable, even if somewhat wrong, is better than a catholic site that isn’t catholic.


  9. Mike says:

    I really don’t mean this as a catty remark, so I hope it doesn’t come across that way: I gave a little donation to the Archbishop’s annual appeal (I live in Wuerl’s archdiocese), and duly received a thank you letter. Here’s the thing–I really couldn’t, honestly, find the simple words “thank you” for giving to the appeal! He has a round-about way of talking, and apparently, writing. That said, he comes across as a transparently good man. When he visited my school a few years ago, he really talked up Confession before almost 500 young men and boys. He’s not afraid of the difficult truths.

  10. Marc says:

    I saw Card. Wuerl’s interview. I was rather disappointed. In a word: “fluff.”

  11. Juergensen says:

    Well, he won’t enforce Canon 915 and deny Communion within his own diocese, the Archdiocese of Washington, to abortionist Nancy Pelosi, all on the pretense that it’s a matter for the Archbishop of San Francisco. Huh?

  12. I wrote about this on my blog, but I’d love to see direct words from our Bishops. Those who are the most direct are the easiest to follow and those who are the most direct are the most followed.


  13. robtbrown says:

    After the end to DADT was passed, some military men talked about new training to accommodate the change. It will be interesting to see how that can be done without stepping on religion.

    Maybe the US military will employ the MO used under JPII for the policy re Capital Punishment: Acknowledge the freedom to embrace the principle but deny its application.

  14. being familiar with quite a number of active duty military and the ‘situation on the ground’, I have yet to have someone explain to me what it is that homosexuals will now be able to do that they couldn’t do under DADT. DADT certainly did guard privacy by fundamentally banning personal questions about sex from workplace discussions.

    None of the repeal’s proponents want to admit that the chief result will be to re-sexify conversations and prying and parading. That really seems to be it. Now everyone will be able to advertise their sexual idiosyncracies. To what end? recruitment? seduction?

    Nothing good can come from this. Admiral Mullen says we forced homosexuals to live a lie. That’s true only if it is a lie for homosexuals to forgo sexual discussions in the workplace.

  15. Nancy D. says:

    The official position of The Catholic Church in regards to homosexuality and thus to dadt is that homosexual sexual acts do not respect the Dignity of the human person and must never be condoned.
    Our inherent complementary nature as male and female has been endowed to us from God from The Beginning. We are husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, created to live in a communion of Love while being called to The Perfect Communion of Love, simultaneously. Referring to oneself or someone else as an object of sexual desire is demeaning and in direct conflict with God’s Commandment regarding the sin of adultery and lust. Those who insist on using the terms homosexual, heterosexual, etc., do so in order that it may appear as if those of us who refuse to condone homosexual sexual acts or any sexual act that does not respect the Dignity of the human person are discriminating against a person, when in fact, we are discriminating against demeaning sexual acts and demeaning sexual relationships. It is precisely because The Catholic Church teaches that we must respect the Dignity of every human person that homosexual sexual acts must never be condoned. Refusing to condone homosexual sexual acts or any sexual act that does not respect the Dignity of the human person is an act of Love.

  16. Hidden One says:

    And if, for all the Cardinal’s flaws, His Eminence goes to Heaven and I do not, what are his faults to me?

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