The topic today is DISTRACTIONS: issues of public life and
private life, for both practising Roman Catholics and potential
non-Catholics, in which the Church Hierarchy injects itself stridently
and unnecessarily - while giving short shrift to real matters of Faith
and Morals for which the Laity needs guidance and reinforcement.
- Homosexuality. Drawing on
"verities" of the Middle Ages and ignoring modern scientific
research, the Hierarchy insists on demonizing the state, if not
the individual. Lost on our Faith leaders is " the birth defect
that people don't talk about": disorders of sexual development.
Here consider the track star Caster Semanya. Although rare, there
are many types of such disorders...and they are potentially devastating
to the indivisual. Treatment, hormonal and/or surgical was for a
long time foisted on the individual at an early age, often
with terrible later results including suicide. More
often now, the decision is left to the person at a suitable age.
Certainly, this issue is no longer Black and White. Meanwhile,
must we wait for the usual one or two centuries for the Church to
update its understanding, while losing the opportunity to help...and
even to evangelize these good people?
- Fertility / Infertility Issues.
Within a duly consecrated marriage between a committed man and woman,
the Church has no jurisdiction over their intimate sexual life as they
discharge their responsibilities toward their children and their family
size...EXCEPT WITH REGARD TO ABORTION, ALWAYS WRONG AND ALWAYS
IMMORAL. Efforts to conceive, before the union of sperm and ovum
that always produces a new human person, should be
considered legitimate efforts by the married couple in the discharge of
their same marital responsibilities to childrearing. Once again,
we need a little scientific "aggiornomento" here.
- In the Judea - Christian world, legal as well as
religious Marriage should remain a contractual and
consecrated union between a man and a woman. But there are other
ways in which two mature persons commit themselves to the life and
welfare of each other. And such deeply-felt and practised
commitments should be honored and supported in some way in a world that
sorely lacks anything other than "Me". The Church Hierarchy
should find a way to offer support to these good people, and without
poisoning the discussion with unrealistic and unnecessary issues of
"celibacy" and "virginity" within such commitments.
- A related issues is the question of Adoption by
committed homosexual couples. The
Hierarchy recently expressed itself firmly in the case of new
legislation in Uruguay. Another distraction. And how many
tens of thousands of childred are being ferried from foster home to
foster home - or worse, from barrio to barrio - while the Church loses
yet another opportunity to help its flock?
All this, and more, continues to distract the Hierarchy
from its opportunities and responsibilities regarding those issues
which are truly important - morally and pragmatically: Abortion;
support of the greatest vocation, the Priesthood, in this,
the Year of the Priest"; and the permanency of Marriage in
an age where nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce - and where too
many more are perceived to end in what is now considered by many the
Catholic "Mulligan": Annulment. This last subject, "Annulment in
the Catholic Church" will be the topic of my next statement, currently
I can hear it now: "And who are you to make
these pronouncements and to take the Hierarchy to task"?
Well, William Donohue of the Catholic League does a fine job of
defending Church positions and actions on a regular basis. On the
other hand, "if not me, who"...and this from a life-long and loyal