Over at Disputations in Tom’s fine post on Torture I had left a comment where I called justifying torture a form of relativism for conservatives. Often the ticking nuclear bomb scenario is used to justify torture. This is just relativism where you justify an evil act because of another evil act. In reply to my comment JCECIL3 said:
When Jeff Miller and I agree on something, those Catholics who disagree with us need to examine themselves.
I stand with Tom and Jeff above and all others who see it as extraordinarily clear that the Gospel and the Church do not condone torture under any circumstances.
I am about as liberal as Catholic bloggers get, and Jeff is pretty darn conservative. When you have both poles in the church calling something into question, along with Tom’s fine quotation from an Ecumenical Council, it’s time to admit you are not thinking with the Church.
We agree on this because I don’t approach things via a conservative lens. Hopefully I see everything through a Catholic lens. Prior to entering the Church I would have had no problem with torture or the death-penalty used in almost all cases of murder. I try to take seriously what the Church teaches and where I have difficulties or personal preferences I research to find out why I am wrong (knowing that I am wrong). This has helped me to not only to understand these teaching, but also to fully accept them. There are too many that come to the Church with their own preferences and agendas and then start by arguing why the Church is wrong. You should be able to read through the Catechism without crossing out whole paragraphs with a black marker or adding your own paragraphs.
Personally, I think the first homosexual marriage in the Catholic church will be done by a female priest. Which means, don’t look for it any time soon.
I agree with him. Of course since there will never be women priests, consequently they will also be no homosexual marriage accepted by the Church. Steve justifies this by saying the Church has been wrong in the past. I would be curious to know what he believes has been taught consistently through tradition and in scripture that we now deny? There have been issues that for a time were not settled in Church, but later were. Those who had contrary opinions prior to a subject being settled did no wrong. Those afterward who dissent do. Homosexual marriage in no way could be classed as development of doctrine. This would be a denial of one to be replace with another. The current view on the death penalty is an example of development of doctrine. We still don’t see the death penalty in itself is not intrinsically evil but that If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means. This is clearly a deeper understanding of the death penalty and not a negation of it.
I just don’t understand Progressive ecclesiology. If you believe that the Holy Spirit has been leading the Catholic Church and at the same time for 2000 years it has wrongly condemned homosexual acts and homosexual marriage. Maybe Progressives think the Holy Spirit should be fired for such mismanagement. This subject is not just some minor point, If homosexual activity was truly a good than the constant teaching of the Church would be a lie. If we can’t trust the Church on a matter so important then how can we trust what it has said on anything? The divinity of Christ, the Trinity, our redemptive salvation could all be errors in this topsy-turvy theology of the Church. They mention that there are only five verses in the Bible that deal with homosexuality. Of course they don’t mention the number of scripture examples of committed homosexual couples, which is exactly zero. How about the number of Church fathers who condoned homosexuality? Exactly zero again. So if we just totally ignore scripture, tradition and the magisterium then hey why not endorse homosexuality. What is the point of being Catholic if you can’t know for sure if a teaching of the faith is true or not. This is closer to Gnosticism where only some people can attain to the secret knowledge of what the truth is.
In an article Steve links to from a typical suit-and-tie Jesuit says:
The experiences of homosexual persons also call for respectful consideration. These experiences include relationships of commitment and love, but also stigma and prejudice and even violence at the hands of persons and institutions.
What about the experiences and commitment of those who abandon there families and marry someone else. Should those adulterers also have our respectful consideration? After all there are currently in a loving relationship. How about the experience of those in incestuous relationships? Is everything fine as long as there is commitment?
I think the term Progressive is mistaken. More accurately the movement should be called Dismissives. Homosexuality a grave disorder. Dismiss it. Abortion morally wrong? Dismiss it. Contraception? Dismiss it. Submission to church teachings? Dismiss it. Of course if homosexual acts were moral then contraception immediately becomes moral to. To progress in the Church you must build upon the foundation of what already exists, not rip it away to install your own.
*Steve and some other of St. Blog’s self-identifying Progressives are pro-life, yet the majority of those who use this label for themselves are not.