Action Alert!

Deathless prose, stirring oratory

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Jul 01, 2003

In case you were wondering, the US bishops' conference did issue a statement criticizing the US Supreme Court decision in the Texas sodomy case.

So why wasn't that statement widely quoted?

Read it yourself, and try to choose the line that you would quote, if you were a reporter putting together a story on the decision. Good luck.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jul. 01, 2003 10:07 PM ET USA

    "The Catholic Church teaches, in agreement with other faith traditions ... that sexual activity belongs to the marital relationship between one man and one woman in fidelity to each other. This relationship is the basis of the family which is the basic unit of society. Respect for the purpose of human sexuality and the family needs to be reaffirmed in our society; and anything which reduces respect for them ... is to be deplored." Phil -- it's not the language of St. Augustine, but it is clear.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jul. 01, 2003 3:31 PM ET USA

    Absolutely none of the traditional language of the Church used to condemn is there: condemnation, sin, immorality. "Deplore" is a weak work -- it's target is a situation and not moral actors. Even here it is used in the vague passive voice. The last time the bishops used "immorality" was to warn the American Catholic faithful that retaliation against Muslims for the 9/11 attacks perpetrated by 19 Muslims would be "sinking" to "immorality".

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Jul. 01, 2003 2:11 PM ET USA

    As a reporter retired after some 45 years I can attest that there was NOTHING quotable in the bishops' statements. Funny they were able to come up with quotable phrases on the war to free Iraq but not on homosexuality.

  • Posted by: RC - Jul. 01, 2003 12:21 PM ET USA

    Here's the clearest stuff I can find: "yesterday's Supreme Court decision ... is to be deplored...." "sexual activity belongs to the marital relationship between one man and one woman"