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knight to queen's bishop four. check?

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Sep 26, 2005

St. Louis's Aquinas Institute has a reputation as a notoriously gay-friendly theological seminary and, as it happens, is among the first to undergo the scrutiny of the Apostolic Visitation. Its Professor of Moral Theology Fr. Charles Bouchard, O.P., attempts to steal a march on the inspectors by declaring homosexual inclination out-of-bounds:

Homosexuality involves attraction to adult persons of the same sex and is not in itself sinful or sick.

Sorry, Charlie. The Church teaches that the homosexual inclination itself is an intrinsic disorder -- not necessarily sinful, but necessarily sick. Whether this particular disorder (or sickness) is curable, transient, gradated, etc., is a matter for debate, but to deny the teaching is to take a position of dissent.

The point on which Bouchard dissents not a trivial or peripheral concern. In fact, it's the reason the Seminary Visitation has attracted the attention of the BBC, the New York Times, USA Today and the prestige media generally. Those boys aren't interested in seminary student-teacher ratios or Stations of the Cross or the internal/external forum distinction. They know a key battle in the culture wars is being fought on this ground. They're watching to see whether the Catholic Church caves on the Intrinsic Disorder point or not. It matters. A lot more than seminary mattress pads is at stake.

The Instrumentum Laboris guiding the visitators asks, "Is the moral doctrine taught in conformity with the documents of the Holy See?" specifically singling out (among others) the CDF's 1986 document from which Bouchard has publicly announced his dissent. Elsewhere, the IL asks, "Is there a clear process for removing faculty members who dissent from the authoritative teaching of the Church?" If there is a clear process at Aquinas, it clearly hasn't been used on Bouchard. The conflict is already set out like a chess problem for all of us to watch. Will the Visitators do their job or will they fold?

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  • Posted by: a son of Mary - Sep. 28, 2005 5:26 PM ET USA

    Here's the deal, the lavender gang is going to win some. Ultimately however, the power and truth of our Lord Jesus Christ will win. We will pay a price for a time, probably a big, painful price but the rewards will be great. We have to have faith and we have to trust that Jesus will protect his Church and our holy priests. Please pray for them and please pray for the Visitators in order to strengthen their souls against the upcoming attacks against them.

  • Posted by: shrink - Sep. 27, 2005 1:15 PM ET USA

    They will fold, because there are undoubtedly two Instrumentum Laboris at work here: the official one crafted by Rome, the other crafted by the lavender gang, which goes by the vulgarism, blackmail.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Sep. 27, 2005 12:57 AM ET USA

    Great points, Diogenes. Armed with the authority of the Church & Her Teachings (eg CCC #2357-2359) & Instrumentum Laboris & the Holy Father's recent re-clarification that homosexuals cannot find refuge in seminaries nor in the priesthood, we hope to see the Visitators doing their job. This seems clear to the traitors, too. The Church has turned the lights on, & the traitors ("Father" Bouchard et al) are either showing their dark dissent to the Light of Truth or scurrying like cockroaches.

  • Posted by: major - Sep. 26, 2005 10:55 PM ET USA

    In light of the theological depth of Fr B's comment, perhaps the first seminary to be invetigated is the one he attended.

  • Posted by: major - Sep. 26, 2005 10:54 PM ET USA

    In light of the theological depth of Fr B's comment, perhaps the first seminary to be invetigated is the one he attended.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 26, 2005 9:30 PM ET USA

    Don't rush to judgment on this, Di -- about Bouchard's future at seminary, i.e. His "roundtable" discussion forums have already been booted from archdiocesan seminary facilities for their meetings, and his pet "Apollo" project (training lay administrators to fill every parish need short of celebrating Mass) has met with chilly reception from Arch. Burke. It is probably A. Burke's hope that the visitation will further justify his prompt removal.

  • Posted by: miasarx - Sep. 26, 2005 7:30 PM ET USA

    And *why* is it an intrinsic disorder? Because homosexual activity is non-marital, and thus is non-sacramental: it signifies nothing, it cannot image the life-giving love of the Trinity.

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