Faux-Catholic Discussion on 'Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church'
powerful, diverse and informed voices of the laity that believes in, and carries the banner for, the Magisterium.
The Catholic Church is not a democracy
"When the Connecticut Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in the fall of 2008, the Connecticut Bishops responded first with a public statement offered on behalf of all the Catholic faithful in the state (without their deliberation or consent) condemning the decision and arguing that marriage was not a civil right to be exercised by gay and lesbian people," said Dianna M. Swancutt, Associate Professor of New Testament at Yale Divinity School.
Without the Catholic faithful's deliberation and consent? Since when do bishops go to the Catholic faithful for a democratic vote on moral and ethical issues? Perhaps this series should begin with a basic introduction to what the Catholic Church is and how it operates.
This series of talks is based upon the notion that if only the Catholic hierarchy of Bishops, Cardinals and the Pope would listen to the little voices in the pews, they might change their stance on fundamental, foundational issues of theology and Natural Law.
I pray that this day never comes. Catholics should be thankful that the Holy Spirit speaks through the Catholic Church, not in spite of it. If Bishops needed to consult with the opinion of the Catholic faithful on issues that the Church has studied, both philosophically and theologically, since Saint Paul first put pen to paper, Catholics might as well become Protestant. This notion that the Catholic Church is a democracy is fallacious and ignorant.
What they should have done
If this series of talks had been about how the Catholic Church could better respond to homosexuals, while respectfully recognizing the long standing beliefs about sexuality and our view of marriage as a conjugal, permanent union of one man and one woman, it could perhaps be a profitable venture. Our methods and disciplines can always use refinement-but the principles and foundational truths need no reconsideration.
It is terribly sad when people, whether Catholic or anything else, object to homosexuality by dismissing the person and casting homosexuals aside as unworthy of our time and effort. We are called to love these people and treat them with charity and equal dignity. Christ didn't die on a cross for the righteous. He died for us all, whether gay or straight.
But to go from addressing the Catholic response to homosexuals, to the very foundational belief behind marriage and the sexual act, is dangerous and pointless.
Billy Atwell contributes to Catholic Online, and blogs for The Point and the Manhattan Declaration. As a young lay Catholic and two-time cancer survivor he offers commentary on faith, culture, and politics. You can find all of his writings at For the Greater Glory.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: marriage, gay, homosexual, family, Billy Atwell
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