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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Without benefit of clergy: McCarrick stumps for same-sex unions

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jun 08, 2006

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Theodore McCarrick, the tardily retired Archbishop of Washington, musters "defenses" of Church teaching so lousy, so mind-numbingly feeble, that they look like arguments for the other side. Yesterday CNN quizzed the Demosthenes of Dupont Circle on the Federal Marriage Amendment. (Tip to Gerald Augustinus).

BLITZER: So just explain. You think that you could live with -- you could support civil unions between gays and lesbians, but you wouldn't like them to get formally married, is that right?

MCCARRICK: Yes. I think -- I think basically the ideal would be that everybody was -- was able to enter a union with a man and a woman and bring children into the world and have the wonderful relationship of man and wife that is so mutually supportive and is really so much part of our society and what keeps our society together. That's the ideal.

Really so much part of our society. You'd think he were talking about the ability to make a right turn on red.

If you can't meet that ideal, if there are people who for one reason or another just cannot do that or feel they cannot do that, then in order to protect their right to take care of each other, in order to take care of their right to have visitation in a hospital or something like that, I think that you could allow, not the ideal, but you could allow for that for a civil union.

Inspiring. I don't remember St. Paul's urging the Corinthians to accept a wee bit o' sodomy to expedite sick calls, but then McCarrick, the centrist, seems always to read from a different text. As a general rule, incidentally, whenever you hear a moralist use the word "ideal," you know the argument has gone off the rails.

But if you begin to fool around with the whole -- the whole nature of marriage, then you're doing something which effects the whole culture and denigrates what is so important for us. Marriage is the basic foundation of our family structure. And if we lose that, then I think we become a society that's in real trouble.

So we're to understand that civilly legitimating male-male and female-female pairings is not "fooling around" with the whole nature of marriage? Pointless to ask, of course. That whole paragraph could have come verbatim from an Eighth Grade classroom debate. More significant is what goes unmentioned, viz., that souls are imperiled by giving consent to a life of mortal sin -- something you'd have thought a Catholic might have an opinion about. But this is McCarrick. The centrist.

The Canadian author Stephen Leacock offered a cheerful and memorable explanation of his status as emeritus professor: "Emeritus comes from two Latin words. E, 'out,' plus meritus, 'and rightly so.'" Obliged to continue listening to the egregiously emeritus Archbishop of Washington, one is moved to wonder, not why he's out, but how in God's name he ever got in.

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