CDF NOTIFICATION about Sr. Margaret Farley’s dreadful book (cf. Magisterium of Nuns)

This, given the timing, is a Big Deal.  Make that Really Big Deal.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued a notification about a book of one of the prime exponents of the Magisterium of Nuns: Sr. Margaret Farley.

If you go to that link, above, you find all the different language versions – in other words this is important not only for the USA! – and the version of the document including the footnotes.  In the version I posted below, the footnotes were lacking.

Remember her?   In April I wrote about here in the infamous post NUNS GONE WILD: A trip down memory lane.  Here’s the excerpt:

Margaret Farley
: over the years, she has taken positions favorable to abortion, same-sex “marriage,” sterilization of women, divorce and the “ordination” of women to the priesthood. Farley, who taught Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School, is well known for her radical feminist ideas and open dissent from Church teaching. In 1982, when the Sisters of Mercy sent a letter to all their hospitals recommending that tubal ligations be performed in violation of Church teaching against sterilization, Pope John Paul II gave the Sisters an ultimatum, causing them to withdraw their letter. Farley justified their “capitulation” on the ground that “material cooperation in evil for the sake of a ‘proportionate good’” was morally permissible. In other words, she declared that obedience to the Pope was tantamount to cooperation in evil, and that the Sisters were justified in doing it only because their obedience prevented “greater harm, namely the loss of the institutions that expressed the Mercy ministry.” In her presidential address to the Catholic Theological Society of America in 2000 she attacked the Vatican for its “overwhelming preoccupation” with abortion, calling its defense of babies “scandalous” and asking for an end to its “opposition to abortion” until the “credibility gap regarding women and the church” has been closed. In her book Just Love she offers a full-throated defense of homosexual relationships, including a defense of their right to marry. She admits that the Church “officially” endorses the morality of “the past,” but rejoices that moral theologians like Charles Curran and Richard McCormick embrace “pluralism” on the issues of premarital sex and homosexual acts. She says that sex and gender are “unstable, debatable categories,” which feminists like her see as “socially constructed.” She has nothing but disdain for traditional morality, as when she remarks that we already know the “dangers” and “ineffectiveness of moralism” and of “narrowly construed moral systems.”

What a gal.

From the Holy See’s site with my emphases and comments.

CDF publishes notification on book Just Love’

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has published the following notification regarding the book Just Love. A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics by Sister Margaret A. Farley, R.S.M.


Having completed an initial examination of the book Just Love. A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics (New York: Continuum, 2006) by Sr. Margaret A. Farley, R.S.M., the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wrote to the author on March 29, 2010, through the good offices of Sr. Mary Waskowiak – the then President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – enclosing a preliminary evaluation of the book and indicating the doctrinal problems present in the text. The response of Sr. Farley, dated October 28, 2010, did not clarify these problems in a satisfactory manner. Because the matter concerned doctrinal errors present in a book whose publication has been a cause of confusion among the faithful, the Congregation decided to undertake an examination following the procedure for “Examination in cases of urgency” contained in the Congregation’s Regulations for Doctrinal Examinations (cf. Chap. IV, art. 23-27).

Following an evaluation by a Commission of experts (cf. art. 24), the Ordinary Session of the Congregation confirmed on June 8, 2011, that the abovementioned book contained erroneous propositions, the dissemination of which risks grave harm to the faithful. On July 5, 2011, a letter was sent to Sr. Waskowiak containing a list of these erroneous propositions and asking her to invite Sr. Farley to correct the unacceptable theses contained in her book (cf. art. 25-26).

On October 3, 2011, Sr. Patricia McDermott, who in the meantime had succeeded Sr. Mary Waskowiak as President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, forwarded to the Congregation – in accordance with art. 27 of the above cited Regulations – the response of Sr. Farley, together with her own opinion and that of Sr. Waskowiak. This response, having been examined by the Commission of experts, was submitted to the Ordinary Session for judgement on December 14, 2011. On this occasion, the Members of the Congregation, considering that Sr. Farley’s response did not adequately clarify the grave problems contained in her book, decided to proceed with the publication of this Notification.

1. General problems

[Keep in mind what I am constantly coming back to with that phrase “Magisterium of Nuns”…] The author does not present a correct understanding of the role of the Church’s Magisterium as the teaching authority of the Bishops united with the Successor of Peter, which guides the Church’s ever deeper understanding of the Word of God as found in Holy Scripture and handed on faithfully in the Church’s living tradition. In addressing various moral issues, Sr. Farley either ignores the constant teaching of the Magisterium or, where it is occasionally mentioned, treats it as one opinion among others. [Get that?  One opinion among others.] Such an attitude is in no way justified, even within the ecumenical perspective that she wishes to promote. Sr. Farley also manifests a defective understanding of the objective nature of the natural moral law, choosing instead to argue on the basis of conclusions selected from certain philosophical currents or from her own understanding of “contemporary experience”. This approach is not consistent with authentic Catholic theology.

2. Specific problems

Among the many errors and ambiguities of this book are its positions on masturbation, homosexual acts, homosexual unions, the indissolubility of marriage and the problem of divorce and remarriage.


Sr. Farley writes: “Masturbation… usually does not raise any moral questions at all. … It is surely the case that many women… have found great good in self-pleasuring – perhaps especially in the discovery of their own possibilities for pleasure – something many had not experienced or even known about in their ordinary sexual relations with husbands or lovers. In this way, it could be said that masturbation actually serves relationships rather than hindering them. My final observation is, then, that the norms of justice as I have presented them [?!?] would seem to apply to the choice of sexual self-pleasuring only insofar as this activity may help or harm, only insofar as it supports or limits, well-being and liberty of spirit. This remains largely an empirical question, not a moral one” (p. 236).

This statement does not conform to Catholic teaching: “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action. The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose. For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved. To form an equitable judgment about the subject’s moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety, or other psychological or social factors that lessen or even extenuate moral culpability”.

Homosexual acts

Sr. Farley writes: “My own view… is that same-sex relationships and activities can be justified according to the same sexual ethic as heterosexual relationships and activities. Therefore, same-sex oriented persons as well as their activities can and should be respected whether or not they have a choice to be otherwise” (p. 295).

This opinion is not acceptable. The Catholic Church, in fact, distinguishes between persons with homosexual tendencies and homosexual acts. Concerning persons with homosexual tendencies, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “they must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”. Concerning homosexual acts, however, the Catechism affirms: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved”.

Homosexual unions

Sr. Farley writes: “Legislation for nondiscrimination against homosexuals, but also for domestic partnerships, civil unions, and gay marriage, can also be important in transforming the hatred, rejection, and stigmatization of gays and lesbians that is still being reinforced by teachings of ‘unnatural’ sex, disordered desire, and dangerous love. … Presently one of the most urgent issues before the U.S. public is marriage for same-sex partners – that is, the granting of social recognition and legal standing to unions between lesbians and gays comparable to unions between heterosexuals” (p. 293).

This position is opposed to the teaching of the Magisterium: “The Church teaches that the respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself”. “The principles of respect and non-discrimination cannot be invoked to support legal recognition of homosexual unions. Differentiating between persons or refusing social recognition or benefits is unacceptable only when it is contrary to justice. The denial of the social and legal status of marriage to forms of cohabitation that are not and cannot be marital is not opposed to justice; on the contrary, justice requires it”.

Indissolubility of marriage

Sr. Farley writes: “My own position is that a marriage commitment is subject to release on the same ultimate grounds that any extremely serious, nearly unconditional, permanent commitment may cease to bind. This implies that there can indeed be situations in which too much has changed – one or both partners have changed, the relationship has changed, the original reason for commitment seems altogether gone. The point of a permanent commitment, of course, is to bind those who make it in spite of any changes that may come. But can it always hold? Can it hold absolutely, in the face of radical and unexpected change? My answer: sometimes it cannot. Sometimes the obligation must be released, and the commitment can be justifiably changed” (pp. 304-305).

This opinion is in contradiction to Catholic teaching on the indissolubility of marriage: “By its very nature conjugal love requires the inviolable fidelity of the spouses. This is the consequence of the gift of themselves which they make to each other. Love seeks to be definitive; it cannot be an arrangement ‘until further notice’. The intimate union of marriage, as a mutual giving of two persons, and the good of the children, demand total fidelity from the spouses and require an unbreakable union between them. The deepest reason is found in the fidelity of God to his covenant, in that of Christ to his Church. Through the sacrament of Matrimony the spouses are enabled to represent this fidelity and witness to it. Through the sacrament, the indissolubility of marriage receives a new and deeper meaning. The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble. He abrogates the accommodations that had slipped into the old Law. Between the baptized, a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death”.

Divorce and remarriage

Sr. Farley writes: “If the marriage resulted in children, former spouses will be held together for years, perhaps a lifetime, in the ongoing project of parenting. In any case, the lives of two persons once married to one another are forever qualified by the experience of that marriage. The depth of what remains admits of degrees, but something remains. But does what remains disallow a second marriage? My own view is that it does not. Whatever ongoing obligation a residual bond entails, it need not include a prohibition of remarriage – any more than the ongoing union between spouses after one of them has died prohibits a second marriage on the part of the one who still lives” (p. 310).

This view contradicts Catholic teaching that excludes the possibility of remarriage after divorce: “Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ – ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery’ (Mk 10:11-12) –, the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence”.


With this Notification, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith expresses profound regret that a member of an Institute of Consecrated Life, Sr. Margaret A. Farley, R.S.M., affirms positions that are in direct contradiction with Catholic teaching in the field of sexual morality. The Congregation warns the faithful that her book Just Love. A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics is not in conformity with the teaching of the Church. Consequently it cannot be used as a valid expression of Catholic teaching, either in counseling and formation, or in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. Furthermore the Congregation wishes to encourage theologians to pursue the task of studying and teaching moral theology in full concord with the principles of Catholic doctrine.

The Sovereign Pontiff Benedict XVI, in the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect on March 16, 2012, approved the present Notification, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation on March 14, 2012, and ordered its publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, March 30, 2012.

William Cardinal Levada

+ Luis F. Ladaria, S.I.
Titular Archbishop of Thibica

And there it is.

This is book is really bad.  And this scratches the surface of how bad the book is.  This comes from the CDF in a time when it is actively trying to correct the LCWR.

I suspect this news will propel Sr. Farley to the top of the running for the Fishwrap’s, the National catholic Reporter’sm prestigious “Person of the Year” award!


Predictably, Fishwrap is having a spittle-flecked nutty.  They quote Sr. Farley’s reaction to the Notification:

“I do not dispute the judgment that some of the positions [expressed in Just Love] are not in accord with current official Catholic teaching.” she said. “In the end, I can only clarify that the book was not intended to be an expression of current official Catholic teaching, nor was it aimed specifically against this teaching. It is of a different genre altogether.”

We agree.  Some of the positions are indeed not in accord with “current official Catholic teaching”.  Note that “current”, because it can change, and “official”, which we can discount because nuns who teach at Yale have their own “magisterium”.

She clarifies that the book was  “not intended to be an expression of current official Catholic teaching”.  She succeeded!

“It is of a different genre altogether.”   Sure is.

But she also says, “nor was it aimed specifically against this teaching”.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Legisperitus says:

    You can just see the supernatural joy on her face.

  2. brotherfee says:

    It never fails to amaze me how simple words gathered in a book can be used to spread untruths and cause damage to souls.

  3. brotherfee says:

    “You can just see the supernatural joy on her face.”

    The photo looks to me like the poster child for the Angry Nun.

  4. Pingback: CDF notification re: Sr. Margaret Farley | improperium Christi

  5. MPSchneiderLC says:

    What I wonder is why the conclusion doesn’t state something to the effect of:

    1. “Sr Farley is forbidden to teach or give conferences on Catholic theology and ethics.”

    2. “if she does not retract the opions specified in this notification, further punishments, not excluding excommunication, will be levied.”

    I don’t mention this as some kind of punishment or tough love; we need to protect the Christian faithful from error posing as truth.

    [While I agree, doing so would not add too much more to what the CDF has done. The CDF made a HUGE POINT in doing this. The Notification is also the PUBLIC part. It is entirely possible that the CDF is requiring other things behind the scenes.]

  6. HeatherPA says:

    Would anyone even know she is a nun by looking at that picture?
    Why, oh why, do these “nuns” continue to be considered such, especially in this case with such officially declared beliefs contrary to the Faith? Will there be censure imposed upon her, I wonder? What a scandalous book!

  7. Gail F says:

    I found this quote particularly interesting: “Presently one of the most urgent issues before the U.S. public is marriage for same-sex partners.” One of the most urgent issues before the U.S. public?? One of THE MOST URGENT ISSUES? It is certainly among the most urgent issues for a small group of activists. But I doubt most people, whatever their opinion on it, would consider this issue to be urgent.

  8. irishgirl says:

    Is ‘sister’ Farley a woman? She looks mannish to me. [You know… most of us can’t help how we look. Let’s leave all that aside. Okay?]
    I’m sure that Mother Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, is rolling her eyes in heaven as she sees how VERY WAYWARD her spiritual daughters have become! And getting her Irish up, as well!
    Who is her Bishop, does anyone know? Whoever he is, he ought to sit her down, and tell her in no uncertain terms that she has taken a vow of OBEDIENCE, and if she doesn’t shape up, she should be excommunicated, stripped of her rank, and cast out!
    But then, I’m only dreaming….
    She should have been ‘reined in’ a long time ago!

  9. ContraMundum says:

    It never fails to amaze me how simple words gathered in a book can be used to spread untruths and cause damage to souls.

    It works the other way around, too! It’s amazing how much good can be done by using simple words to forcefully state the truth.

  10. Peter in Canberra says:

    It is hard to believe she wrote that stuff and could still wonder why the CDF didn’t like it. Sure, if she was just some radfem academic but she isn’t.

  11. wmeyer says:

    Huge point or no, I will not be shocked if this notice from the CDF has about as much impact on Sister as did the NCCB’s notice on Fr. McBrien’s appalling tome Catholicism. These people seem to take pride in their dissidence, perhaps styling themselves as martyrs to their own visions of “truth”.

  12. wmeyer says:

    She clarifies that the book was “not intended to be an expression of current official Catholic teaching”.

    Then it might have been far more appropriate had she identified herself simply as Margaret Farley, since calling herself Sister implies a connection to Catholic teaching which is missing. At the very least, intellectual integrity would require the inclusion of a very clear prefatory warning. Conscience appears not to have been a consideration.

  13. scarda says:

    “The photo looks to me like the poster child for the Angry Nun.”

    Brotherfee, is Angry Nun a game app for my cell phone? It sounds fun!

  14. disco says:

    To summarize: Just Love = just heresy.

  15. inara says:

    In comparison, here’s some supernatural joy! (our lovely local Poor Clares):

    Our family always loves it when they surprise us by coming to Mass at our church (which happens on occasional special feast days). We try to pass near them, hoping a few drops of the “joy cloud” surrounding them will land on us, LOL! They actually giggle a bit when they speak, it’s like the happiness & peace just bubbles out of them. :o)

    You don’t have to be pretty to be BEAUTIFUL…

  16. JKnott says:

    “In the end, I can only clarify that the book was not intended to be an expression of current official Catholic teaching, nor was it aimed specifically against this teaching. It is of a different genre altogether.”

    Is there any other genre for a “religious” ?

  17. Padraig Smythe says:

    I hope this spreads letter spreads beyond the LCWR. There are probably more priests and laity teaching this poop than sisters.

    I’m really curious at the spiritual life and formation of the LCWR sisters. I can’t imagine one who ignores “whatsoever you shall bind upon earth” would remain faithful to the office, Sunday obligation, etc.

  18. Captain Peabody says:

    The simple fact is that for as long as Christianity has existed, from the moment of its conception to the present day, it has with all its authority and all its might stood for a certain doctrine of sexuality and sexual morality, a doctrine that has at many times dramatically distinguished it from the beliefs and practices of the world at large. This doctrine is itself an elaboration of the sexual morality of Judaism, which has been maintained by the Jewish people from the time of Moses up until the present day in the face of opposition from hundreds of different societies without any substantial alteration.

    Likewise, the simple fact is that these doctrines have never been considered peripheral to their respective moral systems, but from the very beginning have formed some of the most distinctive, most important, and most tenaciously held tenets of their respective faiths; one of the things that most distinguished the Christian or the Jew of the first century from his pagan neighbor, and which the Christian or Jew held to most strongly and was most unwilling to part with or compromise on, was his sexual morality, his complete, holistic doctrine of what sex is and what it is for. Thus, people who reject this morality by appeal to their Christianity or Judaism are simply historically and doctrinally indefensible–they are guilty of far worse than merely taking words out of context, but of something very close to deliberate obfuscation of plain and obvious facts.

    The fact is, if one wishes to dissent from this doctrine of sexual morality, one is not merely dissenting from the “current beliefs” of the Church–one is dissenting from and rejecting the entire 3000-year-plus Judaeo-Christian tradition at perhaps one of its most basic and dogmatic points. Inassomuch as one does so, one is–as a matter of simple, historical record–neither Jewish nor Christian, regardless of how good a Jew or a Christian one may be otherwise.

    If one wishes to dissent from Christian sexual doctrine, one is of course free to do so–but let there be no pretense about it. You are rejecting the dogmatic teaching of Jesus, of Paul, of Peter, of John, of James, of Augustine, of Athanasius, of Aquinas, of Luther, of Calvin, and of every single faithful Christian or Jew for the last 3000 years. You do not like or agree with what Christianity and Judaism have to say about sexuality and sexual morality, and so you reject it. So be it, then.

  19. anna 6 says:

    As for the timing, which you say is significant…
    Fr. Z, do you believe that it was done now to reinforce and give examples for the LCWR action?

    OR, do you think that it was actually bad timing which will only reinforce the “war against woman” fallacy?

    OR, is Cardinal merely clearing his desk before he retires?

  20. anna 6 says:

    That would be Cardinal Leveda…of course.

  21. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Regarding the good sister’s comments on masturbation and same-sex acts:

    How was it that Cardinal Boyle put it all those years ago when Curran and many of his cronies at CUA dissented from Humanae Vitae?

    “If they are going to think that way – they are going to act that way.”


  22. One of those TNCs says:

    I was about to write, “One must not use one’s credentials in teaching something contrary to the official teachings of the organization represented by those credentials.” But I’m not sure I’m on firm ground there.

    Here’s an example: A Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus writes an article, using his name and his title of “Grand Knight.” The article is an opinion piece claiming that a procured abortion is acceptable under certain circumstances. Since the Knights of Columbus is a Catholic organization that holds that procured abortions are never morally acceptable, this article is directly opposed to their teaching. It seems to me that, while the Grand Knight is perfectly free to write his article, he is NOT free to use his title as Grand Knight after his name. He is publishing a personal opinion piece, not something approved and endorsed by the Knights of Columbus, and therefore he is not acting – and cannot be acting – as a spokesperson for or representative of the Knights of Columbus.

    If that is allowed, does it follow that a nun, priest, bishop, or deacon can publish an opinion contrary to Catholic teaching, and still use his/her title, effectively making her/him a “representative” or “spokesperson” of the Catholic Church? Do you know if there are any rules?

  23. wmeyer says:

    One of those TNCs: I would think, instead, that the hypothetical Grand Knight would use his title, and take pains to make clear that a) he was expressing his own opinion, and b) his opinion is contrary to Church teaching. My reasoning is that he cannot simply sidestep the ethics of his position by dropping his title, and that the member knights–full disclosure, I am one–have a right to know that their leader is functionally out of communion with Church teaching.

    I consider the approach you outlined to be an ethical sidestep worthy of a politician. ;)

  24. Laura98 says:

    In comparison, here’s some supernatural joy! (our lovely local Poor Clares):

    Inara: Now those are NUNS!! :D And you can see the Joy of Our Lord and Our Lady on their faces!

    While we need to speak out against the Magisterium of Nuns… we also especially need to support the faithful Nuns like these Poor Clares or the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa or so many others that were listed before on a thread here on Fr. Z’s blog.

  25. Angie Mcs says:

    How interesting that her book has become a textbook for the class. She can thereby further elevate herself in the eyes of her students and academia in general. To say nothing of the money. The young woman who wrote the article in Fishwrap may also be well rewarded, undoubtedly no small feat at Yale.
    I’m totally with wmeyer that Ms. Farley would take great pleasure and pride at becoming the center of attention and in creating dissidence.. In her insular academic world, publishing is the Holy Grail, and the bigger the controversy, the better for her. What continues to irritate me the most is that this Magisterium of Nuns continually claim they are being victimized, merely for doing things in the spirit of Christ’s teachings. By attacking them, the mean bishops and even His Holiness are not adhering to the true Church, they have strayed from what Jesus really wants. Sorry ladies, but Christ gave the keys to his Church to St. Peter and until I hear otherwise from Him, I’m going to follow my Church.

  26. lh says:

    Is her life a reflection of what she writes? God have mercy, she has done so much damage.

  27. Mike says:

    If Sister has not professed final vows (unlikely) she should consider resigning from her order. If she has professed final vows her superiors should require her silence and conformity to the teaching of the Catholic Church of which she considers herself a part. Her writing and speaking is scandal which is defined by Webster as:
    1a: discredit brought upon religion by unseemly conduct in a religious person
    1b: conduct that causes or encourages a lapse of faith or of religious obedience in another.

  28. The Cobbler says:

    Incredulous laughter, or maniacal, Father? I typically engage in the former, but I do have a comfy chair here.

    And Gail F, I’m torn between asking if you’re sane or something and pointing out that this may be a case of the urgent crowding out the important (seeing as homosexuality makes perfect sense if an only if you accept certainviews of sex and relationships… that have been accepted by our culture for a few generations now, hence the real problem).

    On topic: “My own position is that a marriage commitment is subject to release on the same ultimate grounds that any extremely serious, nearly unconditional, permanent commitment may cease to bind. This implies that there can indeed be situations in which too much has changed – one or both partners have changed”
    This is the crux of the problem: Sr. Farley doesn’t understand personhood or the gift thereof. Both the Church’s concept of marriage as total gift of self and the Church’s concept of sex as physical act of total gift of self are built on a notion of a person that no matter how changed, even unto the most wicked depravity, is still something worth giving up an entire life for the good of. She acknowledges that there may come a point where the safety of one spouse and/or the rest of the family may depend on not living with a spouse/parent who has become literally abusive, but even this she insists cannot destroy that essential gift of one person, whole and entire, to another. (In that case it wouldn’t be much of a gift to provide opportunity for one’s abusive spouse sin so grievously, obviously, so…) It is based on the gift of the divine Person of Christ to each of us and, like that gift, is made precisely because though everything about the other may change, though there may be nothing similar about the other’s soul except this one thing: that it is a soul; yet that, that alone, is still worth dying for.

  29. benedetta says:

    Wonder why she is so enamored of the big abortion. After all, what has the culture of death done for us lately? It’s only wrought misery in the lives of women who have had them and the resultant loss of souls who could contribute to the good of society is epic.

  30. Alan Aversa says:

    Wow, this feminazi obviously worships Aphrodite, not the Holy Trinity. Who’s her bishop? Why isn’t he manly enough to publicly excommunicate her? Kyrie eleison…

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  32. Angie Mcs says:

    On many occasions our church services are attended by nuns, who sit quietly in the pews, dressed in their various habits, until mass begins. Somstimes one walks in with them and they smile and say hello. They are often young and their eyes are shining. They sit down and wait quietly, often kneeling reverently in prayer brfore the mass begins. It feels good that they are there. I know they have chosen their vocations and I have chosen mine, as a wife and mother. But there is an unspoken respect and connection between us, as we all share in the beautiful ceremony of the mass, part of the Lords family.

    To me, these are the true women of the Church, not the Magisterium we have been discussing. They don’t speak for me or thousands of other Catholic women. One really can see the difference in the faces between these young women in church and Ms. Farley. It’s so sad.

  33. MPSchneiderLC says:

    Fr Z, you are probably right that behind the scenes is preferable for any possible personal punsihments. However, what about teaching /conferencing – Fr Joe (not so orthodox) can still present her as a learened Catholic ethicist for some conference, or Fr Jack (orthodox but too caught up in parish life to check everything from the CDF) might still be tricked by her supports to promoting some event she has in the parish.

    Is it really best to stay behind the scenes when we are talking about teaching and giving conferences which are quite public?

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  37. dervorin says:

    Just this past day, June 12, Lawrence O’Donnell took an entire 8-minute segment of his show on MSNBC to propagate lies and heresy…be advised, the video is hard to watch…it’s just that awful.

    He claims every “sane” nun, every “sane” Catholic, and every “sane” human being agrees with the beliefs of Farley, and describes those positions in excruciating detail, as if they are some terrific revelation that no one else has had the courage to say. Courage to contradict the unchangeable teachings of Christ? That’s not courage, that’s cowardice. As Chesterton says…Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and therefore left untried. It seems to me that that line can be applied to Farley thus far. The brave thing for Farley to do would be to write a book upholding Catholic moral teachings, especially with regard to marriage and such…thousands of copies of her book would not be bought by cafeteria Catholics who are looking for ways around difficult Church teachings, and her views wouldn’t get a plug on a TV show, but it would have been the brave thing to do.

    In the current political climate, most American Catholics don’t have to worry about being martyred for our faith. However, given that the cowardice Chesterton spoke of is revealing itself within the Church itself, the next best thing for us to do would be to take the stand Farley did not, to stand up for Catholic morality in a society full of Lawrence O’Donnells who claim to speak for Catholics everywhere when they prop up Farley as a modern-day prophet for no other reason than to affirm actions determined to be morally reprehensible by Christ in His Church.

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