The usual suspects are encircling with nurturing and supportive embraces Sr. Margaret Farley, author of a dreadful book, filled with grave errors concerning faith and morals. Click HERE.
Fr. James Martin, SJ (whose recent Twitter campaign demonstrates that he sides with the Magisterium of Nuns rather than CDF in the matter of the LCWR) has in the Jesuit-run America Magazine come out with a full-throated defense of Sr. Farley and her ideas.
Here is a sample. Don’t feel compelled to go there, though some of the comments are a hoot:
Book by Margaret Farley, RSM, Condemned by Vatican
POSTED AT: MONDAY, JUNE 04, 2012 07:51:55 AM
AUTHOR: JAMES MARTIN, S.J.
One of the most respected [by whom?] Catholic [c] theologians in the United States has been severely critiqued by the Vatican for one her most recent books. Margaret A. Farley, RSM, who teaches moral theology at Yale Divinity School, [isn’t she now listed as “emerita”?] and has served as a mentor for generations of Catholic theologians, [no wonder so many of them are so screwed up] has been critiqued for her book Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, published in 2006. Sister Margaret has served as past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, and was also awarded (among her many awards) her peers’ highest honor, the John Courtney Murray, SJ Award. [Well! Isn’t that something!] The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has condemned her book for its presentation of several topics: “Among the many errors and ambiguities in this book are its positions on masturbation, homosexual acts, homosexual unions, the indissolubility of marriage and the problem of divorce and remarriage,” read the Notification from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. [Those are pretty serious matters. Perhaps Fr. Martin doesn’t agree.]
The Vatican Notification read, in part: [You can find all that on your own.]
Sister Margaret responded to the Notification in a statement released to NCR. [aka Fishwrap. They all stick together, don’t they?] “Although my responses to some particular sexual ethical questions do depart from some traditional Christian responses, [You are suppose to infer that those “responses”, being “traditional”, are outdated and subject to change.] I have tried to show that they nonetheless reflect a deep coherence with the central aims and insights of these theological and moral traditions. [Sister Farley: You failed.] Whether through interpretation of biblical texts, or through an attempt to understand ‘concrete reality‘ (an approach at the heart of ‘natural law’), the fact that Christians (and others) have achieved new knowledge and deeper understanding of human embodiment and sexuality seems to require that we at least examine the possibility of development in sexual ethics. This is what my book, Just Love, is about.” [You see, modern man is all grown up now. We moderns have a new reality. We aren’t any longer subjected to those old restrictive ideas and taboos.]
In reviewing the book for America in 2006, the Boston College [Yet another Jesuit run place. Isn’t it amazing how often Jesuits and their acolytes turn up when it comes to dissent to Catholic moral teachings?] moral theologian Lisa Sowle Cahill wrote, “This long-awaited work by America’s leading Catholic feminist theological ethicist, Margaret A. Farley, is the product of years of experience, reflection, scholarship and wisdom. [and errors. Don’t forget the errors. Farley gets it all wrong.] Just Love is decisively shaped by Farley’s longstanding interests in the sexual equality of women and men, and of gay and straight couples; and, more recently, in advocacy for people affected by AIDS, especially women in Africa. [Just forget about the Church’s centuries of consistent moral teachings about any of those things.] Just Love’s thesis is that justice [can “justice” be separated from the truth made clear in the Church’s teachings?] is central to sexual morality, especially justice in the sense of respect for the real identity and needs of the other….As a theologian, Farley gives us a social ethic of sex that incorporates both the biblical ‘option for the poor’ and the orientation of Catholic social thought to the universal common good. As a feminist, she reminds Catholics that their tradition should make its global option for women more consistent, more explicit and more effective, especially in the areas of sex, motherhood, marriage and family.” [I suspect this gobbledygook is merely a justification for “You can have sex with whatever and however many warm-blooded critters you want without anyone mentioning sin.]
Margaret Farley is an immensely well respected theologian and scholar, [I suspect that’s going to change.] and is a revered mentor for many Catholic theologians. It would be difficult to overstate her influence in the field of sexual ethics, [And THAT, friends, is why the CDF Notification about her dreadful book is very important. First, if her awful book wasn’t subject to such an examination, then no one’s should be.] or the esteem in which she is held by her colleagues. With this stinging critique, the Vatican has again signaled its concern about theologians writing about sexual morality. [Watching out for Catholic teaching on failth and moral?!? The CDF?!? What’ll they come up with next?] This Notification will certainly sadden Sister Margaret’s many colleagues, her generations of students, and those many Catholics who have profited by her decades of reflection on the faith. [I wonder if it will sadden anyone who lost the happiness of Christ’s Kingdom because they, at her urging and bad teaching, endangered their immortal souls through deviant sexual practices or the erosion of their faith and morals under he influence.] It will also, inevitably, raise strong emotions among those who already feel buffeted by the Vatican’s Apostolic Visitation of Catholic sisters in the US, and its intervention into the LCWR. [Boo hoo.]
NCR also has an extensive list of reactions from prominent Catholic theologians here. And Michael Peppard’s provides an analysis of the CDF Notification on Dotcommonweal.
Will Fr. Martin start a new Twitter campaign for poor, persecuted Sr. Farley?
He could use the hashtag #WhatSrFarleyMeansToMe !
He’ll have WDTPRS’s full support!