such a lovely little lie

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 10, 2005

The Stockton Record reports on the Doomsday Doc:

The document further states that homosexuals are "intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. Consequently, under no circumstance can they be approved."

Notice the missing word? Exactly. It's homosexual acts that are intrinsically immoral. No human persons can be intrinsically immoral, and to claim that the Church teaches the contrary is a calumny.

It is, however, a very useful calumny, and serves as a commonplace of gay rights propaganda. The logical glissade from acts to persons can be camouflaged by the sentimentalisms put in play, whence the barber and beauty shop syllogisms write themselves:

The Catholic Church teaches all homosexuals are intrinsically evil.
But Grandma's physio-therapist Raúl is homosexual.
He's kind and thoughtful and brought her gladiolas for her birthday.
Therefore Raúl can't be intrinsically evil.
Therefore the Catholic Church is wrong.

We've all heard variations on the theme. So who's going to correct the falsehoods and set the record straight on the acts/persons distinction? The media? New Ways Ministry? Your local Catholic college? Oprah? The Bishops' Office of Child & Youth Protection?

Don't be put off the scent by the paradox of progressives reinforcing the "homosexual persons are evil" mantra. The Sullivans, Kisslings, and Greeleys find the lie equally advantageous -- not because it denigrates gays, but because it makes the Church out to be a faulty teacher. It doesn't matter whether your personal unholy grail is contraception or abortion or homosex: if our Mater et Magistra flubbed it in any one area -- bingo! -- she goes to the back of the class, and all her doctrine becomes provisional and suspect.

That's why there's precious little ticket-splitting in the culture wars: the battle is over the existence of moral authority itself. The "missing word" noted above might be dismissed as a simple journalistic blunder, did it not dovetail so perfectly with one side of the controversy. It's not a coincidence that Jack Kevorkian and Kate Michelman and Reggie Cawcutt are on the same page. When fissures form over Catholic doctrine, ask yourself this question: whose life would be made easier if it could be shown and acknowledged that the Church teaches error? When the Church ceases to be a teacher and becomes merely a song-leader, who benefits?

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  • Posted by: Gil125 - Dec. 12, 2005 3:22 PM ET USA

    I did the same thing Patrick did and got the same response he did. The rest of which reads: ...but to report on the document and to show a wide perspective on different faiths and their beliefs. Again, thank you for writing. Paula Sheil

  • Posted by: Patrick461 - Dec. 12, 2005 2:10 PM ET USA

    Response by the author to my e-mail : "Thank you for brining this to my attention. A correction will be run on Tuesday, Dec. 13. I checked my original writing and found that I started down the path with the correct writing. Somehow in the editing process, the language was changed. I, however, accept full responsibility for this error. As you should note, the article began with “homosexual behavior.” Our intention was not to criticize the Catholic Church, but to..." (ran out of space)

  • Posted by: Patrick461 - Dec. 11, 2005 11:43 AM ET USA

    After seeing this post, I sent an e-mail pointing out the mistake to the author and copied the editor. We'll see if there is any response.

  • Posted by: Ignacio177 - Dec. 11, 2005 6:10 AM ET USA

    who are tempted because of the concupiscence that results of original sin, the vicious homosexual who is habitually disposed to doing intrensically evil acts, and the sinner who actualizes his vice. Thus Raul being a child of God and sharing universal human dignity and possessing various good traits is in fact at the same time a vicious person disposed to a particular vice. Luther and Paul have something to say about this. -- The doctrine of the Cross is a scandal to some and a folly to others.

  • Posted by: Ignacio177 - Dec. 11, 2005 5:46 AM ET USA

    Uncle Di, your sounding a little like Jim Keenan and other heterodox moral theologians that distinguish between goodness and rightness . According to that condemned theory goodness and badness applies to persons and their intentions and rightness and wrongness to actions. So Raul can can be good willed (and thus good) and do wrong homosexual acts. You did not say that and of course deny such thinking but that is what your language here sounds like.