Boy, I was so glad to hear this because it’s what we’ve been talking in the comboxes, re this piece. People “know” church teaching, but they “know” it as a barrel of absolute “noes”. They mostly do not have any notion of the theological reasoning behind the teachings, or how they reveal the hidden but constant reality of the “Yes” of God that the church is charged to communicate**.
And they often cannot see that Catholicism is so reasoned, and so nuanced, that (for the most part) it cannot be communicated or sustained as an great “either/or” because — like the Creator — it must consider “both/and”.
Here is Archbishop Paul-André Durocher in a great CNS video:
“Church teaching has to be rediscovered not as a set of rules, but as true good news. Good news that frees people…we have a lot of work to do…to find ways of expressing that. WHY is faithfulness a gift? Why is fruitfulness in marriage a gift? Why is fidelity to one’s partner a gift? Why is reconciliation a gift?…When you look at it that way, the tension between tension and pastoral care disappears because we discover that the teaching itself is a form of pastoral care.”
Say “Amen,” somebody!
I often hear that Catholicism is the “church of ‘no’” or that the Commandments are all about “no,” but how we receive things is a choice we make. If it all looks like “no” to us, it is because we’ve chosen to understand it as “no” — and we’re backed up in that understanding by the affirmation of the world, which seems so full of “yes” — the permission to indulge all of our longings. But the world is worldly; how can we use a worldly measure to receive what is other-worldly? The God of No; Church of No; Rules of No are only “no” if we insist on keeping our understanding tied to what is before our eyes and earthbound. But if we choose to broaden and deepen how we receive a thing, we are more likely to discover the “yes” that underpins everything.