maintaining ritual purity

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Aug 04, 2006

You shouldn't rob banks. But if you really need some extra cash, and you can find someone else to point the gun at the teller, well then that's a completely different story. Right?

Wrong. If an act is intrinsically wrong, it's wrong for everyone.

The Vatican teaches that arranging for children to be adopted by homosexual couples "would actually mean doing violence to those children." Violence. That's what the Church teaches. And doing violence to children is wrong-- not just when you do it or when I do it, but always. This isn't very hard to understand, is it?

Still the executive director of Catholic Charities in San Francisco doesn't get it, if a Boston Globe story is accurate. Brian Cahill explains that in a shell-game arrangement, staff members from Catholic Charities will be assigned to work for a pro-gay adoption agency. "If that work ultimately leads to a match between a gay parent and a foster child, that is fine, he said."

Cahill said his understanding of Vatican teachings is that a Catholic agency cannot be "directly involved in the placement" of a child in a gay household.

Cahill's understanding of Church teaching is childish-- to the point of incoherence. Is it wrong only for a Catholic to do violence against children, and morally neutral for someone outside the faith? Impossible. If it's wrong for me, it's wrong for you; and it's wrong for you to encourage someone else to do something that you know is wrong. You can't get off the hook by claiming you didn't participate in the act.

Regrettably, Cahill is not the only Church official depicted in the Globe story as having a strange understanding of Catholic moral teaching on the point:

When asked if the new plan still puts Catholic Charities in a position of assisting with gay adoptions, San Francisco Archbishop George H. Niederauer said he thought it was a form of potential "remote" cooperation that does not conflict with Catholic moral teaching.

Remote cooperation? Try to convince the jury that you were only "remotely" involved in that bank robbery, when you supplied the gun and drove the getaway car. Staff members of Catholic Charities are being sent to work for an agency that facilitates same-sex adoptions. They know what this group does, and plans to continue doing; they're going to help.

Brace yourself; it's about to get worse. The archbishop...

... said he has consulted his predecessor, Cardinal William Levada , the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, on this plan.

Let's hope the Globe story is inaccurate.

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