Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-10-10
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWS Gay and Catholic?!: The contemporary predicament
Open To Thinking, a recurring column
by Nick Patricca
2013-07-02

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Once upon a time, when I was teaching a graduate course in the history of Christian thought and culture, a PhD student in Christian theology challenged me with this question: 'How can you justify homosexual activity?' My gut instinct as a scholar was to take refuge in academic speak, 'It is not for me to justify anything; as investigators and thinkers our job is to describe and understand.' But, in spite of myself, I blurted out: 'The same Gospel Law of Love applies equally to all sexual activity whether gay or straight or other.' I am grateful to my guardian angels for inspiring this answer because it states what I believe.

As a scholar, I agree with the conclusions Daniel Helminiak presents in his brief, yet comprehensive and easy-to-read book, What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality (2000). There is nothing in the Gospels or in the ministry of Jesus against homosexual activity. Jesus always responds compassionately to the actual needs of the persons presenting themselves to him. The only people he condemns are those who abuse power or act hypocritically.

Nonetheless, the heart of the matter remains: What is the Gospel Law of Love? And how should we apply it to sexual activity? On the existential level, we answer this question daily through our attitudes and actions. Whether easy or difficult, simple or complex, clear or ambiguous, we do make decisions of love in our everyday world. It is another matter altogether, however, to know how to articulate that practice of love in an explicit ethical framework that speaks from and to Christian traditions and communities.

Just Love (2006) by Margaret A. Farley articulates such a framework. She establishes seven criteria for 'just sex/just love': 1) Do no harm, 2) Free consent, 3) Mutuality, 4) Equality, 5) Commitment, 6) Fruitfulness, 7) Social Justice. These criteria are to be found, more or less and in various modalities, in all ethically valid sexual encounters and love relationships. These qualities of 'just' sex and 'just' love are not uniquely Christian. For example, in the Republic and in the Symposium, Plato articulates similar qualities in his discussions of the ideal conditions and purposes for sex and love.

In constructing her own Christian development of the seven criteria, Farley interrogates the traditional sources for Catholic theological reflection: Christian Scriptures, Teachings of the Church (including theologians and philosophers as well as the magisterium), Experience (personal and communal, Christian and non-Christian), and Scientific and Rational-Empirical investigations. For this noble effort she has been scolded by the Vatican bureaucrats who declared that her work could not be used in Catholic universities.

The reading of Farley's careful work starkly exposes the sad fact that the Roman Catholic Church has foolishly boxed itself into a dead end by its excessive reliance on the thinking of Roman stoicism, by its un-Christian ignoring of the Gospel, by its un-Humanist refusal to learn from human experience, and by its un-Catholic rejection of scientific and rational-empirical research. This perverse focus on reproduction as the sole criterion for valid sex is a self-inflicted wound, almost mortal in its consequences for the institutional church, and the cause of so much unnecessary suffering to so many faithful Catholics, gay or straight.

And it was all so unnecessary.

When John 23 (reigned 1958—1963) became pope he commissioned a task force of lay people and clerics, experts in their respective fields, to re-examine church teachings on human sexuality and to recommend a new framework for thinking about our sexuality. In early 1968 the commission presented its recommendations to Paul 6. In the name of Christian friendship and healthy family life, the majority endorsed the value of some types of birth control and family planning .

Unfortunately, Paul 6 (reigned 1963—1978) chose to ignore the majority report. In July of 1968, he issued an encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which essentially repeated the traditional teachings of Roman stoicism: all sex acts must be ordered primarily to conception. However, in his elaboration of this principle, Paul, for the first time, granted papal permission for infertile couples to enter into a valid marriage contract and to enjoy legitimate sex.

This teaching is not a new teaching. It is taught by Thomas Aquinas who states that marriage has two equally primary ends: the procreation and education of children and the promotion of the love of friendship between the two spouses. What is new is that a pope endorsed the principle of amor amicitiae as having validity even when the principle of procreation cannot be exercised.

Arabs employ the phrase 'the nose of the camel' to indicate the imminent fall of the household tent: Should a camel get any part of its nose under the smallest flap of the tent, the entire tent shall fall.

The 'love of friendship' is our camel's nose.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

LETTER Response to Kavanaugh 2018-10-10 - Dear Windy City Times: The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the U.S. ...


Gay News

Archbishop's comment explains why Church is in so much trouble 2018-10-10 - MOUNT RAINIER, Maryland—Archbishop Charles Chaput's statement about LGBT Catholics at the synod on youth yesterday is a perfect example of how some church ...


Gay News

Bishop Phyllis V. Pennese on leadership, 15-year anniversary 2018-10-10 - Bishop Phyllis V. Pennese, 61, recently celebrated her 15th anniversary as a minister at the church she founded in 2003, Pillar of Love ...


Gay News

Eve Ewing podcast features Terkel interviews 2018-10-10 - WFMT and The Studs Terkel Radio Archive invite audiences into the history books with the new podcast Bughouse Square with Eve Ewing. ...


Gay News

Alzheimer's: A Love Story 2018-10-03 - Gregory, my husband of over 41 years, was diagnosed with dementia, most likely Alzheimer's, in the 29th year of our relationship. He was ...


Gay News

LETTER A big 'thank you' 2018-10-03 - Windy City Times: I am writing this letter in response to the Windy City Times article "Peaceful assembly protests Rainbow flag burning ...


Gay News

Aging gracefully: Don't speak of overcoats or bowels 2018-09-26 - The old saw says, "You know you are getting old when you begin to talk about the state of your bowels." As a ...


Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL There is no place like home 2018-09-26 - I was recently contemplating my shoes, which, along with clothes and boxes of books, are the only closeted things in our home. That ...


Gay News

WORLD Rabbis clash, fatal attack, pro-transgender motion 2018-09-25 - In the United Kingdom, a leading Orthodox rabbi has reportedly said that Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis' unprecedented and progressive LGBT+ guide for religious ...


Gay News

Cardinal Cupich removes priest from Resurrection parish who burned rainbow flag 2018-09-22 - Cardinal Cupich announced, via a letter, during the Saturday, Sept. 22 4:30 p.m. Mass at Resurrection Catholic Church ( 3043 N. Francisco Ave. ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.