@JamesMartinSJ – the Bible might be wrong in condemning same-sex sexual behavior

This, folks, says just about everything.

What just happened?

“The issue is whether the biblical judgment is correct.”

Martin, inveterate Jesuit homosexualist activist quotes this Methodist who suggests: “Yes, the Bible condemns same-sex behavior.  BUT… is the Bible wrong?”

The Methodist – but NOT MARTIN! – places same-sex acts on the same plane as slavery.    If the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery, then the Bible doesn’t condemn sodomy.  And if that is the case, in condemning sodomy, the the Bible is wrong.

See the slight of hand?

But, hey, Martin is only quoting someone else, right?  It’s not as if he believes that argument.

Right?

Right?

 

 

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56 Responses to @JamesMartinSJ – the Bible might be wrong in condemning same-sex sexual behavior

  1. AussieMark says:

    A reader posted the following on Dreher’s blog:

    “Where the Bible mentions murder at all, it clearly condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether the biblical judgment is correct.”

    “Where the Bible mentions adultery at all, it clearly condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether the biblical judgment is correct.”

    “Where the Bible mentions exploiting the poor at all, it clearly condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether the biblical judgment is correct.”

  2. JonPatrick says:

    The link takes you to the CAC or “Center for action and Contemplation” whose vision statement says it all: “Amidst a time of planetary change and disruption, we envision a recovery of our deep connection to each other and our world, led by Christian and other spiritual movements that are freeing leaders and communities to overcome dehumanizing systems of oppression and cooperate in the transforming work of Love.” Sounds like they would fit in well with the Amazonian Synod.

    We are not Protestants. We interpret the Bible in light of the Church’s teachings. Individual interpretation of the Bible is why Protestants have 20,000 denominations.

  3. Again…Judas left many offspring!

  4. Ms. M-S says:

    Just to remind James MartinSJ of what Jesus did say, I refer him to Matthew 10:15, 11:24 and Luke 10:12. It’s not that sodomy gets a pass there but rather that it’s used to dramatically heighten the gravity of the sin of unbelief (even worse than sodomy!).
    What Martin is doing here is a clear enough campaign to reinterpret the New Testament by chipping away at the Old and to revise the Magisterium to suit his revolutionary group in what comes down to a struggle for self-forgiveness, real estate, and giving networks. The best I can hope for him and them is that they’re useful idiots in the hands of the diabolical. We should all pray for a Road to Damascus moment for all of them.

  5. WVC says:

    I’ll post an earnest but likely controversial comment – slavery, in and of itself, is not immoral or sinful. That’s why the Bible doesn’t condemn it. There are certainly parameters within which it must exist in order to be just, which the Bible does outline, but the idea of a master and slave relationship is in no way immoral. Only if one holds, as we do in the modern era, that individual liberty is the most important and critical of all virtues (and idea that never existed before the enlightenment) can one make a case that the concept of slavery is evil.

    The reality is that slavery always has and always will exist in some form in every era of human life. The name may be different – perhaps the term serf or indentured servant is used – but the mechanics remain the same. Certainly most modern Westerners are slaves today – it’s practically impossible for the average person to own a home and raise a family without taking on hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and if one thinks one is “free” with that much debt over one’s head, one is buying into an illusion.

    I know this is not a popular statement, and I will likely get pilloried here. However, this is no way an indicator that injustices committed as a part of slavery were sanctioned. Just a recognition that there’s really no moral component to the master-slave relationship. Consider how often that exact terminology is used by Church Fathers and saints in describing our relationship to God. If the concept itself was immoral (just try to make it through the first chapter of St. Louis de Montfort’s Secret of Mary), such language would be scandalous. It’s only if you worship at the alter of individual liberty that the idea becomes intolerable. And it is that type of individual liberty – freedom from family, community, and duty/obligations – that leads to the mentality that posits homosexuality as a good thing.

    I think it’s time we stop letting villains like Fr. Martin besmirch the Word of God by implying it endorses something evil or wicked.

  6. DeGaulle says:

    WVC, that’s excellently put. Indeed, I would go so far as to suggest that while many work for poor wages and yet have to contribute taxes from them in order to support many who are well able to work, but choose not to, they are in a position of modern slavery.

    In Roman times, slavery was an advance on what had gone before, which was a policy of killing all your defeated enemies. Slavery spared them and, at least in Rome, many slaves appear to have been treated rather well and had considerable freedom. They don’t all seem to have been caged and chained, by any means. For the Church at the time to ‘condemn’ slavery would have effectively been a call to exterminate all prisoners of war and even the entire populace of defeated nations.

    Martin is simply indulging a crude anachronism. He’d be better helping to free those who are slaves to sodomy.

  7. Kevin says:

    WVC – Wow! Very interesting and definitely something else I must explore. Thank you.

    Ms. M-S – “We should all pray for a Road to Damascus moment for all of them.” I’m with you. Just this morning during prayers I decided to pray for the conversion of, I’m almost sorry to say, Pope Francis.

  8. JustaSinner says:

    It’s the WORD OF PIOUS JESSE JAMES that is paramount here! And his feelings! And predilections! And urges! And desires! And lusts! And perversions!

  9. Suburbanbanshee says:

    WVC, your argumentation and apologetics skills stink. Why did.you open up this rabbit hole?

    The Bible does not promote slavery. It permits it under restricted circumstances, much like divorce, because of the hardness of hearts, and which were very difficult to achieve except by treating slaves as free family members. But it is clear to see that “In the beginning it was not so.” Adam and Eve were not slaves , and Cain and Abel and Seth were not slaves.

    The whole reason Our Lord is called “Redeemer” is that the close male relative of an Israelite fallen into slavery was supposed to go buy that person out of slavery, as quickly as possible. (This close male relative is also translated the “Avenger of Blood,” because it was also his job to avenge the murder of kin, or drive the murderer away to a sanctuary city.)

    If slavery is okay and part of God’s plan, Our Lord had no business getting us out of our slavery to sin. Slavery is wrong. (Enslaving others or being part of the slave trade is listed as a mortal sin, btw.)

    Refusing to pay laborers, and oppression of the poor, are two of the four sins that cry out to heaven, just like homosexuality and murder. Slavery combines both. Know your faith facts.

  10. teomatteo says:

    The only way they (Fr Martin and his audience, small but famous people included) will get their way is to lie. Shamelessly lie.

  11. BH says:

    oh no, this CAC is in my hometown! I need to let the Bishop know…

  12. Sonshine135 says:

    It’s false equivalence. The Bible is mute on many things. It doesn’t mandate a type of Government. It doesn’t call for a Republic. The Bible directs how slaves are to be treated by their master, but doesn’t contend whether slavery is right or wrong. After all, we are all slaves to Christ when we surrender to His word are we not? Is that wrong? The Bible, however, is quite explicit in how Sodomy is handled. Quite simply, Martin is tilling at windmills, and it shows his profound lack of understanding of the Bible.

  13. Andrew says:

    One Corinthians Chapter Seven is often misunderstood as an endorsement of slavery, but in fact, St. Paul is speaking there about the bondage of marriage versus the freedom of the celibate state of life. As St. Jerome explains: “One who became a believer, not having a wife, called by the Lord while free from the conjugal slavery, is truly a slave of Christ. Oh how great a happiness, not to be a slave of a wife, but of Christ; not to be a servant of the flesh, but of the spirit.(1)” Perhaps Fr. Martin would do well to take a course in Scripture.

    (1) Porro qui uxorem non habens, credidit, et liber a servitute conjugii vocatus est a Domino, ille vere servus est Christi. Quanta felicitas, non uxoris servum esse, sed Christi; non carni servire, sed spiritui. (Contra Jovinianum)

  14. dplentini says:

    Ah, Fr. Martin, the man who puts the “Jesuit” in “Jesuit Logic”! Having been a competitive debater in high school and college, a scientist, and an attorney for over 25 years, I’ve come to find that speciousness and sophistry often come joined at the hip. (Although in Fr.’s case that image may be too close for comfort!) As Socrates found out in Protagoras, it’s tough to find the flaw in logic when the flaw is dressed up in nonsense. And Fr. Marin is the reigning king (queen?) in the sophistry department. The sophist prefers winning to truth.

    So here are my thoughts:

    1. Fr. Z’s point is absolutely correct: Fr. Marin wants to draw us to a false parallel between the clear statements of God’s abhorrence of sodomy and his apparent permissive will towards slavery. If we can reject slavery as outmoded, then why not sodomy?
    2. The falsity of the parallel takes moment to see, however, which is how the sophist works his “magic”: By stunning us with the apparent strength of the specious argument, we temporarily lose our own confidence, just like Socrates before Protagoras. It’s like a fight where one fighter suddenly throws sand in our eyes; we have to find our footing again.
    3. Here’s the problem for Fr. Martin: We are free to accept or reject what God does not command. God did not command us to either employ or rejects slaver; so we are free to do as we see fit in view of God’s teachings. But God clearly condemns sodomy. In the end, there is no parallel at all! On one had, we have a choice; on the other no choice.
    4. But perhaps there’s more here too. Did anyone tell Pharoh and Moses that slavery is ok with God? If so, then perhaps we need to march back to Egypt with apologies. God certainly did not want slavery for His people, and He made that clear to Pharoh. Repeatedly, God wants His people freed from bonds.
    5. Jesus at Calvary made all of us sons and daughters of God. So, in the end, we have to reject slavery as well as sodomy.

    Sorry, Father Martin.

  15. WVC says:

    @Suburbanbanshee – apparently we’ve crossed paths before? Forgive my forgetfulness.

    I believe you have a very simplistic understanding of the concept of slavery. Certainly a good master providing a home, food, clothing, recreation, and medical care for a slave would be “paying a laborer his due.” And St. Paul pretty clearly indicates that we, in our human nature, will be a slave to something one way or the other. Certainly Adam and Eve had a choice – be obedient servants to their Master, God, or seek the freedom to become like God and be their own masters – I don’t think their choice really worked out very well for them in the end.

    I doubt this is a place for any more nuanced arguments, but I will suggest an experiment. Try to take something that is truly immoral (i.e. abortion or sodomy), and attempt to incorporate that language in praising God or describing Christ or in expressing our relationship to the Divine. I would suggest that is obviously repugnant and wrong. Yet countless saints and divinely inspired authors had no problem using the imagery of slave and master to do those same things.

    Slavery is only immoral if you hold unrestrained individual liberty as the ultimate, unalienable good. In fact, the Bible never endorses such a view. True liberty rests in the soul’s ability to pursue that which it should pursue – the Will of God. One can do that just as well if one is a slave or a “Free Man” – and speaking as someone who has over $400,000 of debt (thanks to my mortgage) and who could easily lose my job if I happen to say the wrong, politically incorrect thing and has to wear a safety belt in the privacy of my own automobile on pain of punishment and must pay my taxes upon threat of jail and was forced to fill out a Selective Service card to be potentially drafted into the military if required and can only get medical treatments for my sick wife if the FDA and the insurance company approve it and must tread carefully in order to homeschool my children lest a social worker come and forcibly take my children away from me . . . . yeah – this modern concept of individual liberty is a complete lie. Fortunately, I’m still free to pursue God, so despite everything I am perfectly happy.

  16. veritas vincit says:

    WVC, I think you are on the right track.

    The word “slavery” in the Bible covers multiple degrees and conditions of servitude, from the institution of indentured servitude, which was freely used by many immigrants to America during the colonial era, to outright chattel slavery, which legally and often in practice reduced the slaves to the level of cattle, rather than persons. The Mosaic prescriptions about slaves and servants much more closely resemble the former than the latter. Mosaic “slavery” was generally temporary and the slaves had the right not to be worked on the Sabbath and to be kept with their families.

    Those conditions were much better than the chattel slavery widely practiced in ancient times, including by the Romans, and as practiced in the American South and other places in the Americas.

    Chattel slavery while never (as far as I know) denounced in the Bible, is clearly proscribed by the Biblical injunctions to love our neighbor. And St Paul in the letter to Philemon, urges Philemon to treat this escaped slave as a brother in the Lord, not as a mere servant. I think the Bible would allow mild forms of servitude, where the servant retains his human dignity and is treated fairly. That’s far different from treating humans like cattle or property.

    In short, for Fr Martin to use the Biblical treatment of servitude in all its complexities, to justify saying that the bible is “wrong” on homosexual acts, is a gross misuse of the Scriptures.

  17. scrchristensen says:

    The bishop of Tyler appears to throw down the gauntlet:

    https://twitter.com/Bishopoftyler/status/1187189646066933760

  18. Aquinas Gal says:

    WVC, you are way, way off track. Slavery is indeed intrinsically wrong because it violates a fundamental moral principle: “a person should not be merely a means to an end for another person” (JP II in Love and Responsibility). JP uses this principle to explain the dignity and worth of the human person, which is also at the basis of sexual morality. The person has a free will, and to deprive an innocent person of the use of their free will through slavery is gravely wrong. In L & R, JP II goes into depth on this point.The Catechism of the Catholic Church also states that slavery is a sin (no. 2414).

  19. KateD says:

    Poor Father Martin. What a tragic figure. I’m so beyond being scandalized by what he says and does anymore. It’s to the point where one has no more righteous indignation for his bizarre comments. Frankly, I just feel sorry for the guy. He’s clearly deranged and hell bent.

    His heretical teachings and statements must be pointed out unless and until he repents or is removed from his faculties. But every time I hear about another awful thing he’s done or said, all I can think of is the hellish eternal abode he is choosing for himself. Just awful.

    If God has said it’s an abomination that cries to heaven, that pretty much settles the matter. Refuting the veracity of the Word of God? Wow! Just wow….

    ——

    The New Testament Book of Jude seems really relevant here:

    ——

    … admission has been secretly gained by some who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly persons who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

    Judgment on False Teachers
    Now I desire to remind you, though you were once for all fully informed, that he who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great day; just as Sodom and Gomor?rah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

    Yet in like manner these men in their dreamings defile the flesh, reject authority, and revile the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” But these men revile whatever they do not understand, and by those things that they know by instinct as irrational animals do, they are destroyed. Woe to them! For they walk in the way of Cain, and abandon themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error, and perish in Korah’s rebellion. These are blemishes on your love feasts, as they boldly carouse together, looking after themselves; waterless clouds, carried along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars for whom the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved for ever.

    It was of these also that Enoch in the seventh generation from Adam prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with his holy myriads, to execute judgment on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness which they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own passions, loud-mouthed boasters, flattering people to gain advantage.

    Warnings and Exhortations
    But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; they said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who set up divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And convince some, who doubt; save some, by snatching them out of the fire; on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

    ——-

    I didn’t say it, he did! (points finger at Jude)

    Finally, I like that imagery of the fruitless tree in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted…lol…he really did not like that tree!

  20. Peter Stuart says:

    One more pain in my struggling SSA neck, which is already strained bad enough from whipping back and forth between what the Catholic Church always taught before I was born and what the pope’s buddies like Martin teach now.

  21. bobbird says:

    Suburban Banshee: Give WVC a break. He knew someone like you would pounce, yet he dared to enter territory that is “thinking outside the box” in a public forum. [Private. This is my place.]If you are thinking about what he said, yet still disagree, be more charitable.

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  23. Fr. Thomas Kocik says:

    The anonymous letter writer referred to in this piece from the May 2001 issue of First Things uses the same tactic as Fr. Martin (but sarcastically)….

    This whimsical item of anonymous authorship floated in on the e-mail. It purports to be a letter to Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a popular radio and television giver of advice. I publish it not to mock Dr. Schlessinger and certainly not to make light of scriptural authority, but as a reminder that the case against same-sex relations cannot be sustained by cherry-picking biblical passages but requires a considered understanding of human sexuality based on both natural law and revealed truth. In addition, it is quite funny.

    Dear Dr. Laura:
    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.
    I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to follow them.
    1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
    2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
    3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Leviticus 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
    4. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
    5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
    6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Leviticus 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?
    7. Leviticus 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
    8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus 19:27. How should they die?
    9. I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Leviticus 24:10-16) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Leviticus 20:14)

    I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging. Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.

  24. Amerikaner says:

    And this is the guy the Holy Father invites to meet and have a chuckle photo op with? Disturbing on so many levels.

  25. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I agree – the personal comments were out of line, and incompatible with clear thinking. Also a rabbit hole. WVC, I apologize.

    Also, I did forget that Martin opened the rabbit hole, therefore falling into his trap myself! I will have to watch my footing better.

    But while I’m down in the burrow, I will mention that being a slave was essentially being a replacement for labor-saving devices, farm machinery, beasts of burden, and engines. That was why it was hard to stamp out, and that was part of the inherent loss of human dignity. It was putting a human to unnatural use, treating him or her as less than human. There was no adequate compensation for.that, and for the loss of adulthood and freedom.

    Murder is of course the ultimate deprivation of human dignity. But then, the very concept of homosexuality devalues a human as a reproductive and sexual creation of God. Instead of encouraging a person to be more himself or herself, as God meant and created. Instead of enabling a person to either become one flesh both physically and sacramentally, or to give himself to God, homosexual behavior strives to deprives others or oneself of the right to be oneself. It is a twisting of sexuality and human psychology, a promotion of sickness. Homosexual “sex” is sexual self-enslavement. It is a sort of little mutual suicide – and suicide is murder, remember.

  26. Lurker 59 says:

    @WVC

    I too concure with your thoughts, especially “Slavery is only immoral if you hold unrestrained individual liberty as the ultimate, unalienable good.”

    The idea of “individual liberty” is quite foreign to scripture and the Church Fathers. It is very much a Protestant/Enlightenment concept. Even if we were to look at a modern writer on the concept of liberty/freedom, such as Saint Pope JPII, in the above-mentioned Love and Responsibility, it is not an open-ended liberty/freedom but is rather constrained and restricted to acting in accordance with the hierarchical order of the good for another person to the point of restricting and limiting the “individual freedom” of another — for example in marriage individuals choose to limit their freedom as well as the freedom of others. That is why the book is called Love and RESPONSIBILITY.

    When it comes to slavery, this is often colored by the understanding of the concept arising from the African slave trade and truncates the understanding of slavery to only this understanding. This was predicated upon Africans being not or less than human and that slavery was the proper state for such individuals. Slavery in European/Middle Eastern antiquity was based on economic conditions or being subjugated as a result of loosing in warfare.

    Scripture isn’t anti-slavery, either in the OT or NT. It actually lays out strongly, for both slaves and masters, the rights and responsibilities for each, thereby limiting the “individual freedom” of both parties. At worst, slavery is seen as a necessary sociological condition of the fall, not intrinsically evil, and that Christians, having been redeemed from slavery to the world, have no necessity to perpetuate such sociological conditions within their societies amongst Christians. The elimination of slavery comes about not by eliminating the institution of slavery, but rather by individuals becoming Christian — becoming slaves to Christ rather than slaves to the World.
    ————

    RE: Fr. Martin sj.

    It is important for the readership here on Fr. Z’s blog to appreciate how commonplace the position presented by Fr. Martin sj is. “The issue is whether the biblical judgment is correct [for us and our time].” This is not atypical and is a presuppositionary starting question for the vast vast vast majority of modern biblical exegesis. It is not a minority position within academia.

    Even Biblical Fundamentalists have this question as they are less literal and more liberal than assumed when one looks at their formal exegetical methods.

    Those that exegete along this thought do not necessarily reject biblical inerrancy (or infallibility for Protestants) as they see that concept as applicable only to that audience and that time. Modern individuals are not that audience and time and thus the message is not 1:1 applicable but must be reinterpreted and applied according to the zeitgeist.

    Part of the problem is that they see the OT as being in conflict with the NT and that Christ’s actions were to abrogate the OT — the new convenient is a replacement covenant. This gives exegetical precedent to move past the NT / early Church into a new interpretation and application according to “the spirit”. This is the argument that the Protestants used and a lot of the early heresies used.

    The core problem with Fr. Martin sj and others is that they are not running in the same epistemological and metaphysical playground as those who are opposed to that line of exegesis. I can guarantee you that he has no understanding of why the other side thinks he is endangering his immortal soul and the souls of others by his actions. Same reason why the current Vatican has no clue as to why the pachamama idols are upsetting.

    Though I have issues with some of the conclusions, if one wants to understand the other sides, I would recommend Models of Revelation by Dulles sj. It is fairly good at laying out the various modern schools of thought for biblical exegesis.

  27. KateD says:

    scrchristensen-

    Martin responds just as Father Z guessed he would…”I didn’t say it, he did”. Doh! Sooooo predictable!

    God intended for us to be FREE…we were the idiots that rejected His kingship and insisted on enslavement to a mortal king. 1 Samuel 8(?) somewhere in there.

    I’ll take my God given unlimited freedom and liberty thank you. very much. And you can try to wrest it from my cold dead hands…lol…it’s called free will and it is what God had in mind for us…what is being debated is license vs. freedom and the metaphor of slavery used by Church Fathers.

  28. KateD says:

    And to ALL of the above my 11 and 13 year old boys say:

    “Ok. I think I got it. But just in case, say it one more time….Because I wasn’t listening.”

  29. ChrisP says:

    Aquinas Gal: you used the same CCCref as I have, 2414, but left out the crucial answer. 2414 condemns slavery and refs Paul to Philemon 16 as Biblical evidence. QED, the Bible DOES condemn slavery, ipso facto Martin and his MadMethodist™ source are factually wrong….wrong wrong

  30. Before anyone talks about “slavery” in the context of Scripture (or even a lot of history), it is necessary to realize that we’re almost speaking another language, even if the words seem so familiar and obvious in their meanings. Or you can just cut to the chase and say that what most people understand slavery to mean, the Bible absolutely does not sanction, and most certainly does condemn, contra Father Martin, who is either himself misinformed on these matters, or relies on most people who see his tweets being thus misinformed.

    There is very little in the Bible that can be pointed to as “sanction(ing)” slavery. The main place would be the conquest of Canaan, and that is simply a complicated, not-obvious bit of exegesis. To cut to the chase: I am persuaded (till I hear a better argument) that it’s best to take the account of Israel slaughtering and enslaving as not so much being about people but things that threaten our holiness. In which case, if you want to make the case that the Bible approves of slavery, that section of Scripture won’t do for you.

    Beyond that, the Bible takes slavery as a given — as do our Lord and the Apostles. That isn’t approval. And if you really pay attention, you can see quite a lot in the Bible that tells us why slavery is bad. Am I the only one who remembers what the book of Exodus is about? And how prominent that whole episode is in the life of God’s People, including all us Christians?

    Meanwhile, the message of Christ, including as the Apostles presented it, is certainly subversive of slavery. Read Paul’s letter to Philemon and tell me what you think Paul’s attitude to slavery is.

    This reminds me of the whole thing about polygamy in the Bible. God never approves, but he sometimes tolerates. But if you look, not so much at this or that specific comment about polygamy, but at how polygamy is presented in the pages of Scripture, the conclusion is inescapable: it’s BAD. God certainly is against it.

    And, as regarding slavery-as-most-of-us-understand-it goes, it’s the same. (It’s true that there could be a kind of slavery that isn’t unjust and contrary to human dignity, but that’s not what 99.99% of people today think you mean, and I think we have more important things to explain to people, than what ethical slavery might be.)

  31. mamajen says:

    Re: slavery

    I completely agree with Fr. Fox and he said it much better than I could have, of course.

    It seems to me an ongoing theme throughout the Bible is to make the best of whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, because no matter what, we still have our duty to God. Certainly saints have shown us this as well. Sometimes circumstances are not something we can immediately change or control. We CAN control our individual choices, including sexual behavior. Getting caught up in whether our circumstances are “fair” or not distracts from our responsibility to do the best we can no matter what.

    In the Bible we see example after example after example of people doing The Right Thing under really tough circumstances. That’s incredibly powerful. People experiencing same sex attraction, who refuse to be slaves to their feelings, desires, and peer pressure, are a similarly powerful example. God bless them.

  32. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    WVC, Western “wage-slaves,” are not really slaves, even if they have to work to get on. If they’ve been frugal and careful with their money all their lives; if they start their college careers at two-year community colleges, work hard, get good grades and then get scholarships, then they won’t be thousands in debt when they finish. And if, as they move into their post-University lives, they live within their means, they won’t acquire more debt. They may have to work, but they’ll be free to change jobs, move to another part of the country, or to another country, and start a new job, and a new life. Or they can stay where they are and start a business (with a bank loan, or sometimes family will back a promising prospect like a family business.) In other words, they have options, choices, to a certain extent, about what to do with their lives. Actual slaves do not. They can’t move, and they can’t go away, without the master’s permission. That makes all the difference.

    Secondly, “wage-slaves” earn their own money, and keep their own money, (except the portion which the State and other governmental entities seize from them in the form of taxes.) Slaves may earn money by doing valuable work in settings other than their master’s house or estate, however, the money the slave earns belongs to the master. All of it. Thus, a slave depends on his master for his standard of living. And he has no choices in these matters. A “wage-slave” does have choices. Admittedly limited choices, but he does have them.

    Thirdly, I take it you’re a man. Imagining slavery as a way of life might not elicit horror in you. However, when you think about what slavery as a way of life entails for women and girls – always and everywhere, without exception – then you might not be as favorably inclined toward the institution. Slave owners, their male relatives, their guests, their overseers, their free male friends and neighbors will feel free to force their attentions on their masters’ property. They always do, without exception, wherever slavery has existed or exists. Outrages against the person of women and girls who are slaves, goes with the territory. Guaranteed. And the females will have no recourse, and if they resist, they’ll be punished, or their relatives will be punished, or both. No laws or regulations will protect the female slaves; they will be victimized in their personhood; this *will* take place, and Heaven help the woman or girl who ever complains.

    You might not mind being a slave yourself, but think of your wife, your sister, your daughter, even your mother. If any of them spent any time as a slave where there are men, these women would be certain to suffer “the fate worse than death.” I would bet the entire value of my 401K on this.

    This reality in itself should be enough to cause any woman implacably to oppose slavery across the board, in principle, and when a Christian gentleman, who may not have considered the position of female slaves, does consider it, he will reject the notion that slavery can in any way be acceptable in a civilized society. That is, if he is a genuine Christian gentleman. And if he’s not either a genuine Christian or a genuine gentleman, then, naturally, he won’t get it, and thus, won’t reject the notion.

    Women and girls who value their own dignity as human persons, deserving of respect and decency from any other person, male or female, will not favor slavery, in any form in theory or in practice.

  33. robtbrown says:

    There are two types of slavery.

    The first is industrial slavery, in which people are forced to do very hard work, often under the lash, in very difficult situations. Life was usually nasty, brutish, and short. Of course, the easy example is picking cotton in the Old South. It was said that it was better not to be born at all than to be a slave on a large cotton plantation.

    The second is domestic slavery, in which slaves worked very close to the family, sometimes cooking, cleaning, teaching children. These slaves were treated almost like members of the family. In the Roman epoch domestic slaves often had higher social status than poor freedmen. An idea of the life of Roman domestic slaves can be found in Plautus–or in the film (and play) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (based on Plautus).

    When Scripture tells slaves to obey their masters, it is not referring to industrial slaves.

    And it’s not necessarily a matter of freedom. There have been young men in the US who were drafted into the military out of high school. A year or two later they were in a cemetery in Europe or the Pacific.

  34. The Cobbler says:

    One need not appeal to political liberty to condemn certain categories of slavery.

    Under valid forms of authority, its bearer is responsible for its subject, the whole thing is morally limited (“an unjust law is no law at all” because law carries moral force and one cannot be made morally obligated to commit evil, as St. Augustine noted), and the good of the subject is accounted for (in some cases simply is the object in the first place). Examples: parenthood, kingship, husband and wife, employment, the sorts of servitude that are morally permissible, etc.

    It is a false authority that treats persons as its object rather than subject, uses them as mere means to lower ends without regard for their good, or pretends to usurp the ability to decide morality itself. Examples: dictatorship, usury, the sort of slavery where one buys and sells slaves, etc.

    (Point of interest: usury is unsecured debt, in which the claim of property ends not in the specific goods borrowed but in the person of the borrower, hence treating them as the object of property: which places usury in the genus of slavery. Aristotle, if I recall correctly, figured this is ok since you can sell yourself into slavery to repay a debt; the Church on the other hand always condemned usury, which seems to imply a condemnation of such slavery.)

    On the other hand, the argument for political liberty from free will has roughly the same problem as the argument for religious liberty from God’s permissive will: what would not be allowed, if we allow anything on that basis?

  35. robtbrown says:

    Also: As all Americans learned by the end of high school.

    Toward the end of the 18th century slavery was starting to die out. One event, however, not only prolonged but actually increased it. In 1793 the invention of the Cotton Gin caused a huge increase in the demand for cotton, thus an increase in the need for cotton pickers, thus slaves.

  36. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    Robt Brown, domestic slavery may appear relatively benign on the surface; however, for the women slaves, particularly any young and attractive ones, there would be nothing “benign” about the condition to which they might be expected to reduce themselves by the males in the household, as well as by visiting males staying with the family, etc. The males of the family and their guests might be Christian gentlemen, who would behave with decency at all times; however, then again, they may not be. And if they’re not, and they press their advantage with those subject to them, the subjects, by the very nature of the institution, have no recourse and no voice. And *that’s* why it’s nearly guaranteed that, women slaves would sooner or later come to be viewed as fair game by the males who own them and by those closely associated with them. For these women, it may well, indeed, seem better to be dead.

    Think of your wife, your sister, your daughter, even your mother. . . mistreated in such a manner.

  37. aviva meriam says:

    Thank You Fr. Fox: I agree with you.

    I think it’s incredibly easy for Cradle Catholics to lose sight of the importance to EXODUS to Jew. The idea of slavery was abhorrent…. and you can see evidence of it in Leviticus when the rules of the Sabbath year and the Jubilee Year. Enslavement to Sin is a notch higher on the spiritual version of Maslow’s Ladder, so to speak.

    Regardless, my thoughts on Fr. Martin is that at least he’s removed the mask…. Theology is only acceptable to him as long as it is useful to validate what he wants validated. Struggling with God’s expectations and commandments is hard…. the challenge is to accept and bend our will to God’s will. I admit, I struggle with this daily, if not hourly.

  38. Archlaic says:

    Pope Francis, Cardinal Cupich, et al might be wrong in failing to condemn Fr. James Martin, S.J.’s every word…

  39. Beltway Catholic says:

    Aquinas Gal,

    You are assuming the conclusion you are setting out to prove, namely, that the master-slave relationship on any model contradicts Wojtyla’s defense of Kant’s categorical imperative.

    Not every model of the master-slave relationship does, else St Paul would be incorrect in extolling the mastery of Christ and his own slavery to Him. Likewise, his instructions to masters and slaves would be immoral, and he would be wrong in implying that the Gospel is capable of redeeming the institution from within so as to make it tolerable.

  40. WVC says:

    @ Marion Ancilla Mariae II – Yes, I am a man, and I happen to have five daughters and a beautiful wife about whom I care a great deal. Please do not assume otherwise. However, I also recognize that there are plenty of possibilities for them to be hurt or assaulted on the streets of many American cities, so I have no delusions about things being better just because we live in the Land of Liberty.

    Somehow you have assumed I am endorsing slavery or that I happen to want to be a slave. I’m not sure h0w you arrived at that conclusion. I’m merely stating that the Bible does not condemn slavery, nor is slavery intrinsically evil.

    Also, the story you tell about how “wage slaves” can find new jobs and move to new place and get out of debt is, in the best of cases, only applicable to a very small percentage of the population. Most folks, especially poor folks, do not have such options. If one is a factory working in Michigan, and the factory relocates to Mexico, and there isn’t much of an industrial base left in America – there really aren’t that many new jobs to just plop into, especially if one is older. And that’s juts today – if you go back to West Virginia coal miners, forced to live in company housing and buying supplies from the company owned store – they’d have a thing or two to say about freedom of choice.

    At any rate, I would say that, while there are definitely different types of slavery throughout history and many instances of wicked or immoral masters abusing slaves – this does not prove that slavery itself was wicked or immoral any more than the fact that the majority of the kings of Israel and Judah were wicked or immoral proves that Monarchy is wicked or immoral. I’ll also say that it’s important to consider historical evidence and actual accounts vice one’s imagination of “worst case scenarios” in a conversation like this.

  41. WVC says:

    Some wonderful comments here by people making points better than I could. One thing I would say about Exodus is that implying the point of the book was a condemnation of slavery is to lean a little to heavily on Cecil B. Demille’s “Ten Commandments.” The emphasis is clearly on the pagan Egyptians not allowing the Hebrews to worship the One, True God. Had Pharaoh said, “Okay, go to the desert and worship your God” – would Egypt have been punished by the Ten Plagues? Well – we can’t really know that, but I will say the liberty that is emphasized is the liberty to worship and serve God and not to be “free” from the evils of slavery.

    Also, while the example of Divorce being allowed because of the hardness of hearts was offered, I don’t think it’s a fair comparison as there are actually passages in the Bible where it’s made explicit that Divorce is evil and, if followed by remarriage, a mortal sin, whereas there is no passage that I’m aware of where the concept of slavery is denounced as evil. And, no, one doesn’t even really get the impression that slavery is “bad” since that imagery is used in a positive light as well.

    Regarding the CCC – well, without disagreeing with the statement, much like the CCC’s teaching on Capital Punishment I believe it is presenting a simplistic or naive view of the subject that may not be entirely applicable in every circumstance. As was already said, there is nothing about slavery that precludes a master treating a slave with great dignity – the Bible even makes the case that such a thing is something to strive for.

    I’m sorry if this went too far afield. My point, at heart, is to defend the integrity of Scripture. For someone like Fr. Martin to take something that is intrinsically disordered, like Sodomy, and to then smear Scripture with it by claiming Scripture was wrong regarding slavery makes me angry. However, I do think that at the heart of many of our problems today is a disordered attraction to unrestrained individual liberty, and that this can often blind us to truths that extend outside our modern comfort zone. In that context, the idea of slavery, especially including slavery in a spiritual sense, is important.

  42. Grabski says:

    In Matthew Jesus says he did not come to change the law but fulfill it. Seems straightforward

  43. KateD says:

    Wait….I’m a little slow on the uptake sometimes…are these pro slavery arguments Satire?

    Please tell me that’s what’s going on here…

    We all do understand that slavery is an intrinsic moral evil, right?

    We have all heard of Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment, right?

    Or if not satire, tell me, in this kinder gentler form of slavery (pfthbt?!?) do you envision yourself as master or slave?

    Are you volunteering yourself, your wife and children to be slaves? How do they feel about being volunteered?

    Just because someone says, ‘I know I’m going to get slammed for saying this stupid thing’, doesn’t then give them carte blanche to say stupid shtuff w/o blow back….lol

  44. KateD says:

    WVC,

    In scripture God says that he’s subjugating His people to an earthly king because they reject Him as their King:
    —-
    1Samuel 8

    Israel Demands a King
    When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of his first-born son was Jo’el, and the name of his second, Abi’jah; they were judges in Beer-sheba. Yet his sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after gain; they took bribes and perverted justice.

    Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint for us a king to govern us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds which they have done to me,from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, hearken to their voice; only, you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

    So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your menservants and maidservants, and the best of your cattleand your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
    ———
    Subjugation to another is a punishment. It wasn’t how God intended for us to live and he tried to talk the nation of Israel out of it, but they insisted and it came about because of faithlessness. God even delineates what men in such a position will do to those subjugated to them. It is a common axiom.

    Men have been dying for liberty for longer than the advent of the Enlightenment. We follow a classical curriculum, so that our children understand and appreciate the value of their inheritance.

  45. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    Thank you, WVC, for your kind reply.

    I understand you believe slavery isn’t intrinsically evil. As for me, I’m going to go with the Catechism on this one (P. 2414): “The seventh commandment forbids acts or enterprises that for any reason . . . lead to the enslavement of human beings, to their being bought, sold and exchanged like merchandise, in disregard for their personal dignity. It is a sin against the dignity of persons and their fundamental rights to reduce them by violence to their productive value or to a source of profit . . . ”

    You wrote: “the story you tell about how ‘wage slaves’ can find new jobs and move to new place and get out of debt is, in the best of cases, only applicable to a very small percentage of the population. Most folks, especially poor folks, do not have such options.” WVC, extremely poor people come to this country from overseas, or from across the border, every single day. Often illegally. Sometimes they come here with literally nothing but the clothes on their backs and a satchel full of a few poor belongings. They don’t speak any English. They have no money (after they pay for their travel expenses). They have little to no job skills. Sometimes they’re sick. But they come from fifty miles, a hundred miles, or a thousand miles away to the U.S. to work. In light of this, I can’t believe that people who already live in the U.S., who speak English, and who are eligible for all kinds of work and welfare-to-work assistance programs, can’t make their way to a different state, or to a different part of their own state to look for work.

    You also wrote: “If one is a factory worker in Michigan, and the factory relocates to Mexico, and there isn’t much of an industrial base left in America – there really aren’t that many new jobs to just plop into, especially if one is older.”

    According the the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2019, thousands of new jobs will be opening under each of scores of job titles. I compiled a list of the jobs for which (a) 50,000 new jobs are projected to open up in the near future; (b) require no more than a high school diploma, (and in some cases HS, plus some on-the-job or vocational training) and (c) are expected to pay at least $30,000 a year (some pay more than $30,000). And that’s 50,000 new jobs opening up for EACH ONE of these listings: Billing and posting clerks; Carpenters; Computer user support specialists; Construction laborers; Electricians; Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers; Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses; Maintenance and repair workers, general; Medical assistants; Medical secretaries; Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters; First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers; Sales representatives, services, all other; and First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers.

    I realize that $30,000 a year isn’t much to live on. (That’s the floor amount for each of the listed occupations.) There are solo individuals who manage to live on $20,000 a year, and have written articles about how they do it. So it can be done. But if it’s a husband and wife both working and gaining experience, they’ll earn at least $60,000, and may well begin to pull down more. And when one of them finishes night school, and gets his or her degree, the couple may expect to earn considerably more.

    As for older workers there are dozens of special job training and retraining programs available through the feds, the states, AARP, and many other organizations.

  46. WVC —

    I certainly agree that worship is emphasized strongly in the story of the exodus: “Let my people go that they may worship me” God sends Moses to declare to Pharoah; and of course, worship figures hugely in all the events in the wilderness.

    Nevertheless, the Exodus is also about slavery. The remembrance of that reality, from which the Lord God delivered his people, is woven through the rest of the Pentateuch, particularly in reference to the observance of the Sabbath, the Passover, and other laws. What’s more, it is a theme that the prophets later take up, as they confront God’s People with their going back to slavery by their idolatry and waywardness.

    Now, the primary slavery for which God is concerned in Scripture is to sin and false gods. Nevertheless, the Old Testament is filled with reminders of how bad slavery in Egypt was, and God delivered his people into freedom, “so that they may worship me.”

  47. Johann says:

    When it comes to homosexuality, we must distinguish between the tendency, attraction, and activity. The former two are not by themselves sinful, and represents a trial for those suffering from it. The latter however is a mortal sin which has been condemned by the perennial teaching of the Church. People with same sex attraction struggling to live chaste lives are like addicts, and James Martin is like a Drug Dealer telling them it’s all okay.

  48. robtbrown says:

    Marion Ancilla Marie II,

    What you say was of course true of domestic slaves.

    It is also true of baby sitters, secretaries, young actresses, et al.

  49. The sin of Onan is and always will be condemned. This sin is completely and thoroughly evil. From the beginning, God warns us of the danger.

    That slavery has nuances and some forms are more evil than others creates a distraction from the essence of Fr. Martin’s evil statement. Do I hear the Jesuitical tittering at the chaotic conversation here? Jesuits are brilliant and creative minds can come up with absurd twists of reality and “what ifs” like nothing else. This trap is one negative to having a high intellect. Most everyone will get left in the dust trying to make sense of high-level nonsense. [I mean demonic Jesuit thinking, not the good stuff of Jesuit scholars, conversions, martyrdoms and Sacred Heart devotions!]

    There may be a deliberate correlation of dismissing slavery and dismissing the gravity of sexual sins. Not only does this sin enslave the sinner but can also involve enslaving the unwilling to satisfy the appetite.

    The real point is, is that the sin of Onan consists of ANY activity that deliberately frustrates the natural end result of the procreative act and any of the associated pleasures, no matter how small. This includes chemicals, herbs, methods, natural substances, avoidance-type actions…it is all in the intent: Pleasure without the result. The rule applies to everyone from experimenting teenagers to the married to the predatory SSA. St. Augustine even condemned the Manicheans for their marital practices primarily to avoid children, practices that mirror NFP today.

    [Before practicing NFP, one is supposed to confer with spiritual direction to ferret out real intentions and self-deception. If your reaction to this little-known Catholic advisory is an indignant “no one is going to tell me what to do in that regard”, your self-interest may be laid bare suddenly with that.]

    The contraceptive mentality is the root cause of abortion and the destruction of marriage. Until we face up to this evil and fight it for what it is, abortion can not be defeated, marriages can not heal or be restored. Relationships with our fathers will continue to be wounded. As long as focus is on satiating a disordered appetite, the sinner never notices the destruction and pain.

    And that is how we get to sex-slaves and demonic sacrifice.

    Would Fr. Martin have gotten this far if the Faithful understood the whole and complete concept of the sin of Onan? Its time to have it out with this great societal weakness, aside from fear of delicacy or for outright avoidance of a conscience-check. The scourge of Fr. Martin might do us good as we now see the horror of this trajectory and where this has taken us…all the way to child sacrifice in forms like abused sex-slaves to the bloodiest gore of live-baby-organ harvesting.

    The sin of Onan is what must be discussed and humbly understood.

  50. The Cobbler says:

    [Before practicing NFP, one is supposed to confer with spiritual direction to ferret out real intentions and self-deception. If your reaction to this little-known Catholic advisory is an indignant “no one is going to tell me what to do in that regard”, your self-interest may be laid bare suddenly with that.]

    The contraceptive mentality is the root cause of abortion and the destruction of marriage. Until we face up to this evil and fight it for what it is, abortion can not be defeated, marriages can not heal or be restored. Relationships with our fathers will continue to be wounded.

    A thousand times this! Self-will, No One Can Tell Me What To Do, on the part of either spouse will destroy any marriage and family in which it is entertained, no matter how much Catholic dressing is piled over it.

  51. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    Tina in Ashburn wrote: “Before practicing NFP, one is supposed to confer with spiritual direction to ferret out real intentions and self-deception.

    I have searched carefully for a church document that communicates to the faithful the necessity of consulting a spiritual director to “ferret out real intentions and self-deception.”

    Casti Connubii of Pope Pius XI (promulgated December 31, 1930) speaks of “virtuous continence (which Christian law permits in matrimony when both parties consent),” but not of consulting anyone to “ferret out . . . self-deception.”

    The Encyclical Letter Humane Vitae of Pope Paul VI which was promulgated on July 25, 1968 gives a little more detail about regulating births. In Section 10, titled “Responsible Parenthood,” the Holy Father writes: “Married love, therefore, requires of husband and wife the full awareness of their obligations in the matter of responsible parenthood, which . . . should be rightly understood. Thus, we do well to consider responsible parenthood in the light of its varied legitimate and interrelated aspects . . .

    “With regard to man’s innate drives and emotions, responsible parenthood means that man’s reason and will must exert control over them.

    “With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time.

    “Responsible parenthood, as we use the term here, has one further essential aspect of paramount importance. . . . In a word, the exercise of responsible parenthood requires that husband and wife, keeping a right order of priorities, recognize their own duties toward God, themselves, their families and human society.

    “From this it follows that they are not free to act as they choose in the service of transmitting life, as if it were wholly up to them to decide what is the right course to follow. On the contrary, they are bound to ensure that what they do corresponds to the will of God the Creator. The very nature of marriage and its use makes His will clear, while the constant teaching of the Church spells it out.”
    (Emphasis mine)

    Here the Holy Father indicates that the married couple are to seek the will of God, and place it before their own, but nowhere does he specify that they must consult a director to “ferret out self-deception.”

    Can you help me by providing a reference source for this requirement?

    Thank you.

  52. Hi Marion, In the interest of a timely response to you, let me simply say that all spiritual direction is required of Catholics to ferret out self-deception of any sort, in our day-in and day-out lives. The spiritual masters repeat over and over that we know ourselves the least, and we need the guidance of priests who are delegated through bishops to be able to guide us and move our very wills to good. This is why we examine our consciences in great detail and confess regularly. A priest is ordained and given the faculties to see into souls, guides souls and actually can help a penitent change their will [without which a confession can be insincere, lacking true contrition and desire to change.]

    NFP is only to be practiced for “grave reasons”. It is imperative that these ‘grave reasons’ are legitimate and the one-on-one advice of a good priest can help identify what our true motives are.
    LOL…good luck finding a priest who understands the gravity of a choice that avoids children in marriage. Seminary training isn’t what it used to be.

    I must go through many documents to find the reference you request – but when I went through marriage prep, we were reminded to submit to spiritual direction in choosing NFP.

    An awkward subject, but because this is a root cause for the acceptance of contraceptive methods, this needs to be discussed and revealed for what it is.

    I don’t want to derail Father’s post into the unending argument about legitimizing NFP – it is much more important to focus on NFP’s meaning, purpose, and very short history. Before the 60s NFP was NEVER taught by the Church as a blanket rule for instance. NFP and contraception are simply more symptoms of the whole Sin of Onan that grips our culture.

    It cannot be emphasized enough that our wonderment that “contraception is bad???” contributes directly to the success of lies of Fr. Martin and all proponents of the Sin of Onan. We are responsible for this! That includes me to this late show!

    Even Humanae Vitae plainly says to intend to avoid children is a sin.
    The confusion is caused later in that same document when it states that not using artificial means to avoid children can be okay—and in my lowly opinion, that is the head of the snake being let in by our own hierarchy. The intent to avoid children is the sin…the method is irrelevant. Witches were known by their intent to destroy children. These may be natural healers like St. Fiacre or St Hildegard of Bingen but the twisting of natural healing for abortions or methods to avoid pregnancy was a sure sign that the healer was under demonic influence. So here you have natural, not ‘artificial’ means to avoid children. The damning Sin of Onan itself did not engage artificial means. It is the intent.

    If anyone can assist here with a direct reference for Marion’s question, please help. The references I would have had are very old – dating back to the 70s. It is no surprise to me that this information has been ignored and scrubbed out of existence.

    Read Christian Order’s 2013 article “Heroic Parenting” to get a shift in your outlook on contraception, if you dare.

  53. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    Thank you, Tina, for your thoughtful answer.

    I agree with you about the importance of spiritual direction, hopefully by a wise and holy priest (like Fr. Z!). In fact, I am without one only when one of my dear priest-directors is transferred, and it may take a while to find a suitable new one. And I agree with you that deliberately to space births should be done only for “serious reasons,” as His Holiness Pope Paul VI instructed us in his Encyclical Humanae Vitae.

    Please recall the relevant passage Pope Paul VI wrote: “responsible parenthood is exercised by those who . . . for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time.” This is an infallible teaching; it could not be clearer what the sense of the Holy Father’s words are, and, again, nowhere does the Holy Father indicate that, should the couple, after prayer and discernment, choose to decide whether the reasons to space births meets the definition of “serious” in their case, they in no way offend the good God by doing so. (And, yes, of course, I agree, serious reasons are necessary.)

    Thus, it cannot – by definition – be any sort of sin to intend to postpone having another child for a time, that is, to space birth for serious reasons, and to use methods permitted by the Church to do so.

    I would be interested in reading Heroic Parenting; however, it’s necessary for the Christian faithful to keep uppermost in their minds the precepts infallibly taught by Jesus Christ’s own Shepherds – the Pope and his bishops. Lay folk, theologians, and even individual priests must not dare to take it upon themselves to burden the consciences of the faithful by attempting to create additional precepts – precepts which contradict or undercut what the true Shepherds have decreed, and then to claim, or insinuate, or even suggest that they bind under pain of sin. And neither layfolk nor individual priests should dare to denigrate allowances and mitigations that our Christian Shepherds expressly allow to the Christian people – such as the one that permits faithful couples to space birth for reasons they decide are “serious.”

    To dare to lay upon the Christian people made-up precepts, or to dare to undercut or subvert mitigations provided by our Shepherds is nothing other than mischief and to wreak mischief upon the consciences of the Christian people is not a holy act, but is most displeasing to Our Lord.

    (Our Blessed Lord warned of the Scribes and Pharisees “They tie up heavy burdens, hard to carry, and lay them on people’s shoulders.” Matt. 23:4. May we tremble if we find ourselves doing such things.)

    (Because NFP was under development and testing in the 1950s and early 1960s, during most of that period couples were using the much older “Rhythm Method,” which is quite different, and which was notorious for its unreliability, even when used correctly and conscientiously. NFP is a much more sophisticated system, but wasn’t widely known or used until the 1970s or 1980s.)

  54. WVC says:

    @ Fr. Fox – Thank you for the further clarification, and I agree with everything you posted. However, I believe all of that can be lumped under the category of “Slavery in a Pagan” world which, as you’ve shown, was intrinsically tied to freedom to worship the One, True God or not. I believe St. Paul firmly establishes the principles by which slavery, in the Christian World, must adhere, and by doing so St. Paul is making it clear that the concept or mechanism of slavery is not intrinsically evil. He may not be saying it’s the best thing in the world, either, but it would have been impossible for him to give guiding principles for something that was actually immoral (i.e. there’s no such thing as the Christian way to practice prostitution).

  55. WVC says:

    @ Marion Ancilla Mariae II
    I don’t think we’ll be able to come to an agreement on the theoretical vs. actual existence of freedom in the current economic system. However, that’s really only tangential to the point I was trying to make. I would suggest perhaps a different line of thought, though. The real principle by which the CCC objects to slavery is human dignity. Any form of slavery which undermines or disregards human dignity or reduces a human being to their productive value is wrong. I can’t see how someone like Jeff Bezos, who has hundreds of thousands of people laboring away for him on long hours, little pay, terrible conditions, is respecting human dignity and not reducing people to just their productive value – especially when you consider he’s just keeping them around long enough to replace them all with robots first chance he gets. Or the poor baker who is forced to bake a wedding cake for a gay marriage or spend year after year in court fighting legal challenges – to tell him, “Well, just close your shop, move to another State, and start all over again” or “Just go find another job, it doesn’t matter if this is your expertise and passion and something you’ve built from the ground up over the past 20 years” – again, this does not seem to respect human dignity.

    I could point out thousands of examples, both current and of the recent past, where “free men” had their human dignity trounced upon or their homes and communities treated like disposable commodities, but my point is that the “freedom” promised under the current system is not necessarily as magnificent an alternative to the slavery of years past.

    Regardless, none of this really has bearing on whether the concept of slavery is intrinsically evil or condemned by the Bible. However, I enjoyed the discussion. Thanks.

  56. WVC says:

    My last comment on the slavery issue and why I think it’s important regarding Fr. Martin (my time for commenting is very limited, to everyone else’s great relief!).

    Fr. Martin and countless modernists are basically making this argument: Our Modern Times are the most enlightened times that have ever been. Since we know better than those who came before, our values are the most important values. If the Bible does not agree with our values, then it must be wrong in some way.

    Homosexuality? Well, the people of Biblical times just didn’t understand the dignity of the human experience, especially in terms of love, and were too invested in the cultural norms of their time. Women Priests? Well, the writers of Scripture (and Jesus Himself) were bound by the culture they lived in and weren’t able to value and appreciate women the way we can, and had they lived today they would obviously have endorsed women priests and apostles. Etc. etc. etc.

    The argument being made about slavery is, more or less, the same argument. Well, we all know slavery is intrinsically evil and St. Paul, while he lived in a time where slavery was prevalent, he just didn’t understand about human dignity the way we do therefore he didn’t get around to condemning it.

    This is a false argument if one holds that the Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant. It’s also an unnecessary and not very helpful argument when fighting folks like S.J. Martin, because one is basically making the exact same false argument that S.J. Martin is making.

    Why not try something different and attack our Modern Times which, in reality, must be the most sick, depraved, illogical, and insane times in all human history?

    At any rate, that was the point I was trying to make, albeit not very well. Thanks for everyone’s thoughtful comments.

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