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not just for Catholics (again)

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 21, 2006

The president of the Canadian bishops' conference offers some instruction to the nation's prime minister:

"For Catholics, marriage is an issue intimately related to human nature which has been created male and female," wrote Sherbrooke Archbishop Andre Gaumond in a Dec. 18 letter to Harper. [Emphasis added]

Is it different for non-Catholics, then? Because if it is, you can't very well say that it's "intimately related to human nature." You might as well concede that it's all just a matter of opinion.

Once you put those two words at the beginning of the sentence, you're already lost the argument, no matter what follows.

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  • Posted by: Italiana - Dec. 29, 2006 9:35 AM ET USA

    As a Catholic Archbishop, i.e., an apostle of Jesus Christ, it would have been good if he had mentioned GOD. These are God's laws. God's things. Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. Give to God the things that are God's. Things centered around moral law are God's. (Marriage, embyronic stem cell research, homosexuality) Things OK to have an opinion one way or another are Caesar's. (Immigration, war) Is it that today's bishop's cushy life doesn't beget true apostles and martyrs?

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Dec. 24, 2006 12:50 PM ET USA

    I thank you for jogging my mind, diogenes.... "For Catholics..." is definitely the killer..., as if there is "one truth" "for Catholics" and "other truths" for the rest of the world. This to a large extent is the poison that has been introduced under the pretense of "Vatican II" and masquerades under the Thomistic teaching of "invincible ignorance" which is an extremely rare occurence. Truth is Truth FOR ALL, which is why we strive to convert others.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Dec. 23, 2006 3:01 PM ET USA

    Pete, yes, let's keep encouraging bishops to be successors to the apostles, to speak with holy boldness about Jesus & His Church, & keep praying for them & for one another. The bishops' equivocations ("For Catholics, Chrisitians, the Church,") often muddy the water -- where the bishops would be much stronger & accurate by simply stating the objective Truth, that the Church teaches this, & the fact that this Truth applies to all people because such Truth is part of the Natural Law, for example.

  • Posted by: Pete133 - Dec. 22, 2006 6:19 PM ET USA

    Which, pray tell, is better? To make qualified statements--"for Catholics"; "the Church teaches", etc.--or to keep quiet and make NO statements? We have plenty of opportunity to criticize our leaders. Much of it justified. We also have plenty of opportunity for repentance and prayer. It has been said that people usually get the type of leaders they deserve. Let's remove the beams from our own eyes first. Then we must pray for our leaders.

  • Posted by: Clorox - Dec. 22, 2006 4:43 PM ET USA

    The "for Catholics" phrase has long afflicted post-conciliar catechetics. I guess it was inevitable that the Lost Generation of Catholics, trained in "spirit of Vatican II" positivism, would become bishops.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Dec. 22, 2006 2:57 PM ET USA

    Amen, Diogenes & Pseudodionysius. The Canadian, Irish & French bishops have all made statements in recent weeks (on marriage, sex outside of marriage, & the God-given right to life of every person), all with the the equivocating qualifier "For Christians,..." & "For Catholics,..." & "For the Church, ...." Again, the Lord Jesus demands that these men be successors to the apostles who serve Him & His Church; they are not to act as diplomats serving the dictatorship of relativism & centrism.

  • Posted by: JW - Dec. 22, 2006 11:38 AM ET USA

    Fiducia, I think you're taking that too seriously, because the psalms and rest of the Old Testament are full of such language. What else do you have issues with, "Our Father, who art..." so we have "our Father, and your father, and that guy over there's father"? Our God indeed is an awesome God, truly to be loved and feared.

  • Posted by: MM - Dec. 22, 2006 6:30 AM ET USA

    'Dictatorship of relativism'. We're supposed to oppose it. As Diogenes points out, statements of the above sort just serve to confirm it.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Dec. 21, 2006 10:56 PM ET USA

    Re: Dissection of prelate statements I think everyone should by now realize that Diogenes is a master of English prose style and knows his Chaucer, too. He smells equivocation and hesitancy like a man who has spent many hours in the confessional. The boys with the hats in Canada are like weebles, wobbling until they all fall down. I think it would be a disservice not to point this out. As you were.

  • Posted by: Janet Baker - Dec. 21, 2006 7:12 PM ET USA

    I think Diogenes' point is well-taken. Gaumond did not defend marriage. He did not say "this is truth, and that is that" as he should have done. No, he did indeed leave too much wiggle-room in a misguided attempt at being diplomatic. Sometimes one must take "diplomacy" and flush it down the toilet. "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free," but not if it's "softened" or spun to suit odd proclivities.

  • Posted by: Fiducia - Dec. 21, 2006 6:48 PM ET USA

    My young children learned the song, "Our God is an Awesome God" at our parish school. So there's our God, your god, their god.....

  • Posted by: sparch - Dec. 21, 2006 5:01 PM ET USA

    At least something was said in defense of marriage and natural law. It is a step in the right direction. As stated below, we can not dissect these comments until they have no meaning. This is exactly what the secular leftist due to neutralize arguments.

  • Posted by: Ignacio177 - Dec. 21, 2006 12:27 PM ET USA

    Poor lad he got lost in the swamp of phenomenology. At some moment in modern history many philosophers lost their intelectual virility (you may substitute another more common term if you like). They are incapable of affirming something is true or false, right or wrong. Without proper orientation they remain lost in the swamp of phenomenology.

  • Posted by: 123456 - Dec. 21, 2006 11:54 AM ET USA

    I wish CWNews were as fastidious in its use of the terms 'traditional', 'traditionalist', and 'gay' as it is - and rightly so - in its commentary on this now regrettably common servile prefacing of public remarks by bishops with the 'for [us]' qualifier.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Dec. 21, 2006 10:23 AM ET USA

    If anyone is still wondering why the state of Catholicism is so poor in Canada, one only has to read the pathetic defenses of marriage that have been made by the CCCB. If I remember the blurb on www.catholicculture.org in reviewing the CCCB's own website, the CCCB has problems with the Magisterium in almost every utterance. Merry Christmas!

  • Posted by: Leo XIII727 - Dec. 21, 2006 9:55 AM ET USA

    Lay off the Archbishop. How would you like to have your every turn of phrase dissected under a microscope. The Archbishop is defending marriage and we should be grateful for that.

  • Posted by: Deacon Bart - Dec. 21, 2006 9:52 AM ET USA

    Bishop Gaumond has fallen prey to relative speak.My truth & your truth, not THE Truth.Most of us have said "as Catholics we believe..." rather than "the Truth is" or "The Chruch teaches us".We don't want to offend and are thus shy stating truth. Still, see Ezekiel 3:17-21, 33:7-9 & 1 Timothy 4:16.Is a little discomfort for us too high a price for a soul?Hopefully H.E. just misspoke & isn't into relative truth.Pray for our clergy that they may have the courage of St Paul and Ezekiel.

  • Posted by: Laity1 - Dec. 21, 2006 9:31 AM ET USA

    I don't like the statistics argument either. What if 49% of children seemed to do better with a mother and father in a stable relationship? The statistics must bear out the truth, else we would know there's a flaw in the statistics. We do NOT rely on the statistics to tell us whether this matter is true or not.

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