Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

unclear on the concept?

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Dec 02, 2005

Bewilderment, from Judy Thomas's 2001 Kansas City Star series:

"When young men go into seminary, they don't even know what celibacy is," said [Fr. Harry] Morrison, a California priest who has AIDS. "A lot of this technical language, these Latin phrases, all you know is there's something to be afraid of. You don't even know exactly what it means."

Not buying it, Father. Maybe it's true that some of the dimmer seminarians aren't sure which technical label goes with which sin, but every normal 12-year-old knows when it's wrong to lower his trousers. Your pretended confusion is simply a fiction used to evade moral accountability.

And the fiction lives on. Have you noticed how many clergymen are claiming to be totally baffled by the language of the Doomsday Doc? They'd have us believe, Morrison-like, that every key phrase of the Instruction leaves them less instructed than before:

deeply-seated homosexual tendencies -- "whatever that means ...!"
objectively disordered -- "whatever that means ...!"
spiritual paternity -- "whatever that means ...!"
transitory -- "whatever that means ...!"
gay culture -- "whatever that means ...!"

Not buying it, Fathers. Methinks, indeed, your bamboozlement doth protest too much. The standout second baseman "Buzzy" Wittgenstein used to distinguish between a criterion and a symptom. To borrow Buzzy's terminology: the claim to be confused by the Church's instructions concerning this objective disorder, though not a criterion, is a symptom of the disorder in question. Vide Harry Morrison, passim.

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