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Sophistry Slouching Toward Apostasy: Response to the Commonweal Essay of Joseph Bottum Comments

I read the 9,000 word essay entitled The Things We Share: A Catholic's Case for Same-Sex Marriage last weekend. It was written by Joseph Bottum for Commonweal magazine. In fact, I read it several times. Each time, it broke my heart at an even deeper level. The first thing I did was to pray about my response. I decided to wait until I could let my emotional reaction to it calm down a bit. I knew the utter despair that this essay would ... Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 26 Comments

  1. Jim Donahue
    1 year ago

    This is snarky, but I cannot help myself: Deacon, turgid is the perfect description for Bottum's article--AND yours. I tried reading his, I couldn't finish. Same for yours. .

    Anyone, did either of them have anything worthwhile to say? And a Luce Foundation paid for Bottum's essay? Good grief.

    Civil society will recognize the inherent fairness of same-sex marriage. As we should. The church will not approve them and no one will ask them to, and the faithful remnant will process into their ideal incense-clouded oblivion. Maybe they should?

    I do so value most Commonweal issues, especially with articles mostly of a more concise nature, thank you. And, I am so sorry this topic, settled in my own mind with little trouble, is causing you all such pain.

    I did learn one useful thing tonight: I will never look for or pick up a copy of "First Things". Or Commonweal with any more articles like this.

    Color me a slouch.

  2. unenchanted
    1 year ago

    is the Catechism not church doctrine? sounded like dissent to me

  3. SaraPalen
    1 year ago

    Today, however, it seems necessary to reflect on the whole of the Church's moral teaching, with the precise goal of recalling certain fundamental truths of Catholic doctrine which, in the present circumstances, risk being distorted or denied. In fact, a new situation has come about within the Christian community itself, which has experienced the spread of numerous doubts and objections of a human and psychological, social and cultural, religious and even properly theological nature, with regard to the Church's moral teachings. It is no longer a matter of limited and occasional dissent, but of an overall and systematic calling into question of traditional moral doctrine, on the basis of certain anthropological and ethical presuppositions. At the root of these presuppositions is the more or less obvious influence of currents of thought which end by detaching human freedom from its essential and constitutive relationship to truth. Thus the traditional doctrine regarding the natural law, and the universality and the permanent validity of its precepts, is rejected; certain of the Church's moral teachings are found simply unacceptable; and the Magisterium itself is considered capable of intervening in matters of morality only in order to "exhort consciences" and to "propose values", in the light of which each individual will independently make his or her decisions and life choices.

    In particular, note should be taken of the lack of harmony between the traditional response of the Church and certain theological positions, encountered even in Seminaries and in Faculties of Theology, with regard to questions of the greatest importance for the Church and for the life of faith of Christians, as well as for the life of society itself. In particular, the question is asked: do the commandments of God, which are written on the human heart and are part of the Covenant, really have the capacity to clarify the daily decisions of individuals and entire societies? Is it possible to obey God and thus love God and neighbour, without respecting these commandments in all circumstances? Also, an opinion is frequently heard which questions the intrinsic and unbreakable bond between faith and morality, as if membership in the Church and her internal unity were to be decided on the basis of faith alone, while in the sphere of morality a pluralism of opinions and of kinds of behaviour could be tolerated, these being left to the judgment of the individual subjective conscience or to the diversity of social and cultural contexts.

    from a simple saint who understood better than most the human condition, who lived the "Splendor of Truth"

    nothing new here folks.

  4. SaraPalen
    1 year ago

    ah, there they go again-using that thinly plied term of natural law, just like in Humanae Vitae.
    you would think they are the Magisterium or something.

  5. SaraPalen
    1 year ago

    at the threat of death and work camps the natural moral law was defended by good Catholics and other Christians in Hitler's Germany, including the popes.

    to which they were scoffed at by the "intellectuals"
    get rid of that old culture, in with the new- "ideological shock squads"

  6. simon
    1 year ago

    Modernism equates for the masses a general confluence which shout's loudly I am my own person and beholden to none. This is addressed as self-esteem or even spiritual growth, the spirit being what you deem.
    So we are left with an intellectual vacuum. Our lord said many will come and many will deceive.
    The aegis of the 21st century therefore is a clamour for independence which ameliorates the need for religion. Ironically the opposing forces of flesh and spirit which St Paul spoke often of, are playing out a kind or ritualistic shambolic dance, which disengages from the creator and looks to nature and science for answers.
    So I say to Christians turn your face away from this oblique and contagious world of sophistry and deviation and toward the Good shepherd. 'Reflect on what you are command to do' (sirach 3:12-22)

  7. SaraPalen
    1 year ago

    "If," he added, "by reason of a tragic clouding of the collective conscience, skepticism and ethical relativism managed to annul the fundamental principles of natural moral law, the very democratic order itself would be profoundly undermined at its foundations. Against such clouding - which is a crisis for human, even more than for Christian, civilization - the consciences of all men and women of good will must be mobilized, both lay people and followers of religions other than Christianity, so that together they may make an effective commitment to creating ... the conditions necessary for a full awareness of the inalienable value of natural moral law." quote from BXVI from a CNA article

  8. SaraPalen
    1 year ago

    to paraphrase Bergoglio, let's not be naïve, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it's a destructive pretension against the plan of God. It's a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God. It injures the family gravely and we need help from the Holy Spirit to place the light of truth in the middle of darkness of error, to defend us aginst these sophistries.

  9. SaraPalen
    1 year ago

    It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man-Memory and Identity-
    from a simple saint who happened to be intellectual in his thoughts. who saw in all the paintings in the Sistine Chapel the theology of the body, lived it as a vocation within his vocation.

    You can't win Deacon Keith-if you talk too simply, you are ignorant, use too many big words, too intellectual, no matter marriage is in the bible from beginning to end, no matter what truth is. You are not part of the modern intelligencia. Just like the foundation of this country, the enlightened ones thought too that natural law was pretty thin. why they don't like hearing of the Declaration, though they take the equality line and divorce it from natural law, paving the way for God to be lesser than man. yes, we must wipe out the memory of the basic unit of society, where a legion of other ideas from the city of man will take its place.

    ths law may sleep, but not forever. We need a new awakening. God, give us this grace.
    hail, Mary full of grace, pray for us.

  10. Trinbagonian
    1 year ago

    MAIMONIDES, I am sorry but you are sorely mistaken.
    Gay unions should not be a priority at all. It harms all of mankind/creation and hurts God, the Creator (by natural association). In addition, whilst the entire world is able to follow the good Deacon's way of thinking which is aligned to the Church, it is noteworthy that the whole world cannot subscribe to yours. This will be the annihilation of mankind unless the gays share partners and procreate. BTW, this, when you look at it, is what the Deacon and Church is proposing ... procreation. And it is real procreation as even beastly animals adhere to. How foolish and headstrong we have become!

    Indeed, the entire gay sex thing makes no sense. There is no distaste for homosexuals in saying this. It's factual and cause/effect truth and we say it out of concern not only for you but out of concern for all of life as we know it (for it might take a while for this truth to kick in if you are gay). No well thought-out religion, no church worth its salt, then, will accept the gay lifestyle as a plausible lifestyle unless the church is youthfully happy and therefore, lacking focus and forsaking God. This causes me to bring in another rub in your way of thinking: you are actually ringing in a war of cultures. Do you think that all cultures will just "bow" to your way of thinking? This is a warring stand you are taking and for what???

    Please show greater responsibility and enter REAL heart & mind discussion on the matter. Think through your way of thinking with greater clarity and depth. You seem to be staying on the outside or existing on the peripheries and throwing in loose assumptions.

    I will pray for your soul and similar others ... for all of us.


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