How I love Tony Esolen!

The man can write.  Here he is, calling the bishops of Canada to lead, for God’s sake–and calling laity to grow a spine even if our bishops don’t:

A pair of threes: that is what the World, the Flesh, and the Devil are holding.  What do you do, if you know damned well that your opponent is holding a pair of threes?  You call his bluff.  You raise the stakes.  It requires a spine somewhat firmer than overdone linguini, and, in the bishops, other accoutrements rather larger than peas.  But it must be done.

So the bishops, knowing well what makes for real human happiness and a culture worthy the name, might say, “We must obey God rather than man.  Let us be clear here.  All genital intercourse between human beings must be open to bringing new life into existence, by the nature of the act and in the intent of the agents, within the haven of indissoluble marriage.  Fornication is destructive of marriage, of the common good, and of the spiritual and emotional welfare of the fornicators themselves.  It is a grave evil.”

And: “You have no coherent way to distinguish between virtue and vice in these matters.  You thus supply your own arbitrary decision, and that is the action of a tyrant.  But our view, not our own but what has been given to us by God and what ratifies the nature of sexual intercourse, is entirely consistent and rational.  We assert that the giving of the whole body implies the giving of the whole person, which in turn implies the giving of one’s whole life.  Since man is a social creature, this all-giving must be affirmed before one’s fellow men, and cannot remain a private decision, floating in the eddies of the moods and intents of the agents.  Since man is made by God and for God, He too must be invited to the feast—He is the maker of the feast.”

And: “What do you people have to show for your apostasy from faith and reason?  What has it gotten you?  Your mass entertainment is a sewer.  Your children are batted from mother to father or from foster home to foster home like tennis balls.  Those are the children you have not murdered in the womb.  You cannot walk the city streets at night.  You have sown mistrust and transience at the heart of what should be the most permanent of human things.  You plant lust, and are surprised when the weed comes forth with spikes and thorns and a system of roots that creep and branch until the whole garden is choked out.”

And: “You want to uphold the biological absurdity of a man ‘marrying’ a man.  We will uphold the biological and theological truth that a marital act is a marital act, and what follows from that fact, the disorderliness and wrongness of sexual congress outside of marriage.  We are going to insist upon it.  Now you with your pair of threes can pretend all you want that you support marriage.  We will affirm the whole of the Christian teaching.”

And: “You will see, of course, that you can no more graft homosexual pseudogamy upon this whole teaching, than you can graft the arm of an octopus upon an apple tree.  Go ahead then—we dare you to keep bluffing.  We dare you now to forbid us to teach the whole doctrine.  We dare you to order us to bless fornication, divorce, abortion, contraception, onanism, unchastity, and all your miserable brew of temporary and local excitation to spice your perduring and spreading ennui.”

And: “You have nothing to offer.  You are holding a pair of threes.  We have everything to offer.  We proclaim the holiness of the human body.  We proclaim that the power of sex, male and female, cooperates in God’s creation; it is the means He has chosen for bringing into being a new human soul.  We proclaim the mystery of the union of man and woman, a mystery that mirrors the very life of the three-personed God.  We proclaim the fruitfulness of chastity, and its harmony with the other virtues: reverence, fidelity, generosity, humility, and courage.  We hold up for young people the beauty of the truth.  You hand them a pill and a pack of rubbers.”

What about it, bishops, priests, and laity?

"...and now the system has flagged my reply as spam. I replied that it wasn't. ..."

Christianist “Prolife” Pundit Kevin Williamson…
"“Confronted with a cancer or a slum the Pantheist can say, ‘If you could only ..."

Not coincidentally….
"No. I used "God-damned" with exacting theological precision to refer to God-damned sins, not sinners. ..."

Not coincidentally….
"Robert Woodman is claiming that Mark has been cursing and using God's name in vain ..."

Not coincidentally….

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • As I always say, “Canada is our canary in the coal mine. What Canada does today, the US will do in 10 years.”

    • Ted Seeber

      Oh, I hope not, but I fear you’re right. I think for that purpose alone, my new Knights of Columbus Council will never build a hall, so as to avoid lesbians suing us for not letting them have their wedding there.

  • Joseph H. M. Ortiz

    Mr. Shea’s approving citation includes the moral assertion (emphasis mine): “All genital intercourse between human beings must be open to bringing new life into existence, by the nature of the act AND IN THE INTENT OF THE AGENTS, within the haven of indissoluble marriage.” This sounds to me like the mindset which Mr. Shea himself has critiqued in a previous post of his on “Navigating NFP Zealotry”. It seems to imply that a sterile married couple, who of course cannot sincerely intend to bring new life into existence, sin in their every act of sexual intercourse. Further, since a new human life brought into existence is that of a spiritual soul, human parents in generating a child do not, properly speaking, bring that soul into existence; they DISPOSE things for that immediately created soul, they don’t themselves “bring that [spiritual] life into existence”.

    • Mark Shea

      I’m not clear why people who are cooperating with nature to the best of their ability are guilty of sin.

      • Joseph H. M. Ortiz

        Neither am I. That’s why I can’t understand your approval of the assertion I quoted, which, taken literally (as I presume such a proposed formal episcopal declaration should be taken). would require not only such cooperation, but also an intent to generate a child — an intent impossible to form in the case of a married couple who know they’re sterile.

        • Joseph H. M. Ortiz

          The case of Abraham and Sarah (like that of Zachary and Elizabeth) is extraneous to my point, because they’re depicted in Scripture as being aware, through special revelation from Heaven, that they’re no longer infertile.

          • Joseph H. M. Ortiz

            My comment here about Abraham and Sarah should follow, not precede, Mr. Seeber’s. Sorry about that.

          • Ted Seeber

            And since special revelation, aka private revelation, can happen in response to prayer, then how do you know that a modern couple who, though scientifically infertile, isn’t praying for a child? And in fact, isn’t this how we get adoptive parents *all the time*?

    • Ted Seeber

      Abraham and Sarah. It is entirely possible for an infertile couple to be sincerely trying to get pregnant.

      Now find me an example of a homosexual couple doing it where one didn’t have a sex change operation.

  • Deacon Nathan Allen

    A felicitious phrase, “homosexual pseudogamy”.