Catholics: Talking Homosexuality without Sentimentality UPDATED

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I've been called a few names for suggesting that sentimentality is a kind of soft tyranny. So be it. I concur with Flannery O' Connor that when we swim in the sticky syrup of sentimentality, we lead ourselves to ovens and gulags.Feelings are wonderful things and I am glad we have them, but they are often irrational things, as well. Think of the things you "love" and "hate". Often your passion is irrational to your friends, and -- if you're honest -- even to yourself. Because they are … [Read more...]

Acknowledging Our Faithful Gay Priests Might be a Start – UPDATE

Over at First Things, Joshua Gonnerman brings a provocative title: Dan Savage was Right.Relax. He doesn't argue that Savage was right to call the bible "bullshit", but Gonnerman does write:Savage is of course wrong to refer to the Bible as bullshit. It is the prime document of the Christian faith, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and treasured by the churches throughout the ages. Only in Scripture can we encounter Christ and through him reach towards divinization, and the Scripture in which … [Read more...]

When Marriage is an “Office” Not a “Right”

Over at First Things, I'm wondering if perhaps we have been thinking about marriage, and about all of our roles as human beings, in the wrong way. What if we thought about life in terms of Office; can we comprehend equality -- all quite natural and unforced -- then?While all offices are equal, the Office of Marriage is one of especial humility and sacrifice. The essentials of procreation residing within us are so powerful that unless one ardently works to prevent it, new life will come (a … [Read more...]

Pelosi Tries to Give Talking Points to Catholics – UPDATED

Right on schedule, Nancy Pelosi tries to do what Ted Kennedy and Mario Cuomo have done before her: give talking points to Catholics who wish to hop on to policy that flies in the face of church teaching.You'll recall it was Kennedy (and later Cuomo) who gave voice to the corkscrew notion that one could be “personally opposed” to abortion but too broad-minded to “impose my views on others.”Because, as you know, modern-day liberals would never presume to impose their views on others, not a … [Read more...]

Are sensitivity and tolerance one-way streets? – UPDATED

I read this story over at Deacon Greg's earlier today and it annoyed me but I was too busy to write about it. My first thought was, "so, you friends at Catholic high school have supported you as you came out and by your own admission, always been respectful, and the school was fine about your bringing a boyfriend to prom, and you're going to reward them by making commencement all about you? Why all the taking and no giving?"I think you do nothing to build goodwill when you say, "your … [Read more...]

Obama Comes Out – UPDATED

When two of my brothers came out, they were both surprised that the family -- with the exception of an auntie or two -- said, "this is news? Pass the salt."We'd figured out that they were gay years earlier, and allowed it to be their own business, to announce or keep private as they saw fit.Just so, no surprises here. Although, unlike my brothers, I think Obama has finally "evolved" enough to admit he supports gay marriage only because his back was to the wall; he could no longer vote … [Read more...]

There is freedom in obedience

Hardly anyone believes it, but it's true. Obedience brings tremendous freedom to our lives. But we can't possibly know that unless we practice it. And practicing it is hard, and sometimes all against our instincts. And hard stuff sucks. Except, as I wrote recently about something else, the hard stuff is also the great stuff.There is no greatness in taking the easier, wider path.Katrina is writing on that, as regards the call to chastity and celibacy that so many people dismiss as silly … [Read more...]

The Talking, Thinking and Wondering Will Continue

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There is a saying attributed to St. Gregory of Nyssa, that I used to keep up on my header: "Ideas lead to idols; only wonder leads to knowing."I wonder about that phrase often, and continually draw new understanding as I apply it to different subject matters. It reminds me that I am not only free to ponder, but that as a Catholic, I am (quite contra-CW) required to think. Not to give in to the soft tyranny of sentimentalism until I'm so busy feeling that thinking is dismissed; not to … [Read more...]

Ecce Homo, Christ’s Church and Homosexuality – UPDATE

My column at First Things this week did not start out addressing the coming, unstoppable and necessary confrontation between the church and the homosexual community, but then I read about Cardinal Christoph Schönborn's decision to support a gay member of a parish council over the priest who wished to unseat him, and Edward Peter's sensible response. With Ross Douthat's excellent, must-read book, Bad Religion; How We Became a Nation of Heretics swirling in my head, the column simply bent to a … [Read more...]

Cuomo's no Thomas More; Dowd's Still Dowd

I really want to stop writing about her but Maureen Dowd's extended adolescence just attracts my morbid curiosity, and next thing I know, I have an urge to fisk. Writing on NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, she's just so irresistibly herself:“It’s troubling for me as a Catholic to be at odds with the church,” he began, before dissolving into a wry laugh. “Having said that, it seems that my entire political life, the tension with the church has come up again and again.”Yes, that's some laughing matte … [Read more...]


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