• RSS Queering the Church

    • The Evolutionary Value of Homosexuality. November 27, 2014
      Researchers at the University of Portsmouth have suggested that the evolutionary value of homosexuality lies in its ability to promote social bonding.  Dr Diana Fleischman and colleagues found that in two groups of heterosexual men and women respectively, just having homoerotic thoughts…Read more →
      Terence Weldon
    • Mississippi Court Lists the Reasons for Marriage. November 26, 2014
      Two more American courts, Arkansas and Mississippi, ruled yesterday in favour of marriage equality and struck down the voter – approved constitutional amendments which prohibited same – sex marriage. Here’s the current Wikimedia map for the marriage equality state of…Read more →
      Terence Weldon
  • RSS Spirit of a Liberal

    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

    • Where Are You? October 26, 2011
      Greetings to all others who grace these pages! Thank you for stopping by. If you still have a reader pointed here, this blog no longer publishes in this location, but can be found at this new link. Please subscribe to the new feed, get the new blog via email or read us by liking us on Facebook or by following me on Twitter.If you want more, please feel free […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Fran)
  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Quote of the Day November 25, 2014
      If your concerns about violence are limited to property damage and looting, and you have never shed two tears for the history of institutional violence, murder, colonialism, segregation, lynching, genocide and police brutality against peoples of color, your words mean nothing; they mean less than nothing. Your outrage, in such a case is grotesque, an inversi […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Prayer of the Week November 24, 2014
      'Mid All the Traffic of the Ways'Mid all the traffic of the ways,turmoils without, within,Make in my heart a quiet place,and come and dwell within;A little shrine of quietness,all sacred to thy-self,Where thou shalt all my soul possess,and I may find myself;A little shelter from life's stress,where I may lay me prone,And bare my soul in loneli […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
  • RSS Bilgrimage

  • RSS Enlightened Catholicism

  • RSS Far From Rome

    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • The Cross of Garabandal and the death of Joey Larmargino November 25, 2014
      Garabandal seen from the PinesA little bit late, but I just heard of the death of Joey Lamangino, the blind man who became one of the principal apostles of the apparitions of Garabandal, Spain (1961-1965). Joey passed away on June 18th of this year, and shortly thereafter his New York Garabandal Center was closed. Only a tiny remnant of true believers still […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Jayden Cameron )
    • Still alive and kicking November 11, 2014
      Prague Noir on a Wintery NightI'm still alive and kicking, as the saying goes. But I've been putting a lot of time into my new book review blog, Crime Scene Reviews. Check it out if crime novels are your cup of arsenic laced tea. And if you want to help out, please vote in the book poll on the site. Both books up for a vote are based on true life i […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Jayden Cameron )
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

    • 借入しすぎを防ぎたい February 26, 2014
      自分でこれ以上借りないと思っていても、ついつい借りてしまう浪費癖が治らないそれならいっそのこと、借りれなくしてしまえばいいのです。日本貸金業協会の貸付自粛制度とは貸付自粛制度とは、資金需要者が、自らに浪費の習癖があることその他の理由により、自らを自粛対象者とする旨又は親族のうち一定の範囲の者が、金銭貸付による債務者を自粛対象者とする旨を日本貸金業協会に対して申告することにより、日本貸金業協会が、これに対応する情報を個人信用情報機関に登録し、一定期間、当該個人信用情報機関の会員に対して提供する制度です。登録手数料等の費用はかかりません。貸付自粛情報の登録内容氏名 性別 生年月日 住所 自宅電話番号(または携帯電話番号) 勤務先名 勤務先電話番号 貸付自粛情報の登録内容 氏名 性別 生年月日 住所 自宅電話番号(ま […]
  • RSS John McNeill: Spiritual Transformations

  • RSS Perspective

    • Thanksgiving photos November 27, 2014
      Out with my sister for forest fungi pizza and chocolate cake :) Then later walking around in the yard taking photos.The Chrysanthemums are blooming ...Looking up at the oaks ....One of the kitties under a tree ...The sun low behind the pines ...
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

The USCCB Pastoral Letter On Marriage…zzzzzz

This post was originally posted 10/12/2009 on my personal blog.  This ‘pastoral’ letter was one of those times when it became really apparent to me that I did not live in the same Catholic world this USCCB letter strongly suggests I live in……

I really did try to make it through the whole pastoral draft, but I admit, it was beyond my patience and tolerance level. In an effort to save readers some time, I’ll paraphrase the entire draft.

Everything is intrinsically evil when it comes to sex, unless sex is discretely engaged in for the purposes of procreation in a sacramental marriage.
That about sums up the entire message. No need to read the fifty or so pages which expand this basic concept–unless you want to subject yourself to excessive verbiage on the intrinsic evils of not understanding this basic concept.

The pastoral begins in the garden with Adam and Eve where we are informed that Eve is made to be Adam’s help meet and they are to be fruitful and multiply, and yes indeed they are made equally in God’s image with COMPLIMENTARY roles. This leads directly to the first of numerous cut and paste statements from one or the other of our last two popes. Oh yea, and the often stated but completely erroneous idea that the Church has always recognized marriage as between one man and woman for ever and ever amen–except for when it hasn’t, which was more or less it’s first 1100 years, which for some reason isn’t mentioned.

By the time I quit reading this pastoral it had more or less condemned 97% of American Catholics to hell if they don’t mend their ‘intrinsically evil’ ways. Which leaves about 3% of American Catholics saved and pastorally directed. A reasonable person might wonder what a Church actually has to offer when it’s leadership wipes out 97% of it’s membership in one pastoral letter.

A reasonable person might wonder if this statistical fact might just indicate that said leadership is completely out of touch with the real lived experience of their flock. Or maybe this is just an attempt to rally the true believing base, ala Rush Limbaugh. Judging from the comments on the NCR itself, it is not rallying the 97% it condemns to potential hell.

I personally agree with the NCR editorial board that the USCCB should just let this one quietly die, exactly as they did their ‘pastoral’ letter on women. At least with the pastoral letter on women they actually consulted women. Some people feel the disconnect this consultation presented between the teaching on women and women’s real experiences of the teaching is why that letter was dropped. Too much truth I guess.
This current pastoral letter most certainly didn’t consult anyone but JPII and Benedict. In my book, that’s kind of a definition of a cult when only one or two voices are consulted. This letter actually reads like most Opus Dei letters which constantly reference the thoughts of St. Escriva. I imagine a lot of members of Opus Dei are in that 3% and so they will be quite supportive of this letter. I wonder how many of them secretly wonder where God is when they sit at the kitchen table and try to balance the bills.
In this pastoral letter God is much more concerned with creating children than providing for them. In fact I don’t believe this pastoral letter even deals with any of the ‘providing for” aspects of creating the children we are to ‘raise and educate’ as our primary marital duty. Kind of like the abortion debate. There’s nary a word about providing the post birth care those potential humans will require.
I guess we are to trust in the providence of a God who lately has seemed quite indifferent to providing post birth care. Or maybe He is trying to provide–health care reform comes to mind–but His erstwhile leaders are too busy accepting provision for themselves from the very folks who aren’t interested in bringing God’s providence to fruition for the rest of us. Just a thought.

In any event, save yourself some serious frustration. Don’t attempt to read the whole thing. The NCR article and editorial has it about right. This letter is intended to be read by the Vatican for a pat on the back and career advancement. It’s not a useful or meaningful communication for American laity.

4 Responses

  1. You may be right that 97% of us aren’t in exact compliance with the Church’s teaching on sexual ethics.

    But I wonder, what percentage of us are in exact compliance with her other precepts–love your enemy, give what you have to the poor, take no care about tomorrow, turn the other cheek. I suspect our non-compliance rate there probably exceeds 97%. But does that make us want to modify the Sermon on the Mount?

    • The notable difference here, Rick, is that the sermon on the mount comes directly from the Gospels – i.e the clear teaching of Jesus Christ himself. The teaching of the Church on sexual ethics is just that- the Church’s own creation, with remarkably little foundation in Scripture, and almost none in the Gospels – much as they like to claim otherwise.

    • But I wonder, what percentage of us are in exact compliance with her other precepts–love your enemy, give what you have to the poor, take no care about tomorrow, turn the other cheek. I suspect our non-compliance rate there probably exceeds 97%. But does that make us want to modify the Sermon on the Mount?

      Apples and oranges Rick.

      Loving your enemy is a direct teaching from Jesus; the Vatican’s teachings on marriage, homosexuality and and birth control mostly come from an non-evolved, thirteenth century understanding of natural law.

      If Jesus didn’t address it, then it’s open to good faith debate.

  2. What a shame. 60 meaty, thoughtful pages of material to fuel a blog discussion, and you post this instead!

    It looks like you’re pretty proud of your original posting, so much so that you post it here months later!

    Maybe some of the more definitional aspects and philosophical distinctions (unitive, procreative) put you to sleep. (thus, your “zzzzz”).

    Maybe the length and depth of the letter couldn’t hold your atrophied attention span.

    Maybe the letter didn’t have the entertainment factor that you had hoped for, or wasn’t salacious enough.

    You say “paraphrase” and then you post alternatively in italics and then in plane text the following:

    (in quotes and italics” > “Everything is intrinsically evil when it comes to sex, unless sex is discretely engaged in for the purposes of procreation in a sacramental marriage.
    That about sums up the entire message. No need to read the fifty or so pages which expand this basic concept–unless you want to subject yourself to excessive verbiage on the intrinsic evils of not understanding this basic concept.”

    For more curious readers check out what it actually says here:

    http://www.usccb.org/laity/LoveandLife/MarriageFINAL.pdf

    To your odd point about Opus Dei, most members would probably realize concretely that God is right next them as they are paying bills. They take to heart the Bible (pray wtihout ceasing)

    From the Bishops’ letter:

    “A man and woman united in marriage as husband and wife serve as a symbol of both life and love in a way that no other relationship of human persons can.”

    Elsewhere:

    Conjugal love expresses the unitive meaning of marriage in such a way as to show how this meaning is ordered toward the equally obvious procreative meaning. The unitive meaning is distorted if the procreative meaning is deliberately disavowed. Conjugal love is then diminished. This love is, by its nature, faithful, exclusive, and intended to be fecund. As Pope Paul VI says,

    ―It is not confined wholly to the loving interchange of husband and wife; it also contrives to go beyond this to bring new life into being.‖19 Without its ordering toward the procreative, the unitive meaning of marriage is undermined.
    Likewise, the procreative meaning of marriage is degraded without the unitive. If someone were to view his or her spouse simply as a way of producing offspring, with no loving attentiveness to the spouse‘s own good or fulfillment, this would offend against the human value of the procreative meaning.
    The procreative meaning of marriage involves not only the conception of children, but also their upbringing and education, including spiritual formation in the life of love. This formation can take place only within a human community formed in love. The loving communion of the spouses is the primary context in which children are both conceived and brought up in love.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 148 other followers

%d bloggers like this: