The globalist error in adultery apologism

What does the Catholic Church have to say about my practice of stealing women’s purses and giving money to the homeless?  It is a difficult case, is it not?  Clearly not the Christian ideal, but there are certainly elements of sanctification in it.  It would be wrong to throw stones of the Law at me like Moses used to do while sitting in his chair (or whatever it was); better to take the way of gradualism and emphasize what I’m doing right.

Or you could just note that when I divide the “practice” into its separable acts, each one can be easily morally evaluated, and the situation isn’t complicated at all.

Half of Pope Francis’ adultery apologism amounts to a plea not to judge irregular relationships as entirely evil, to note all the good stuff adulterers, fornicators, and sodomites do for each other (love, “proven fidelity”, whatever).  But in fact the mean old Catholic Church was never in the business of judging relationships in toto at all.  It is particular acts that are sinful.  I suppose one might claim that one can’t separate sex acts, that they’re part of a seamless, unitary “lived experience” of a relationship, but I’m not a celibate so I’m not going to fall for that kind of obvious bullshit.

The other half of adultery apologism is to point out that adulterers’ motives aren’t all bad, which is again irrelevant to the traditional teaching, which is that sexual sins are wrong even if one’s motives are entirely good, e.g. the improbable “copulating for our kids’ sake” line.  About that “for the kids” line, I was intrigued by the Pope’s concern that adulterers sometimes can’t give up their sin without incurring “new guilt”.  What’s interesting is that the Catholic Church has effectively abandoned, if not actively renounced, the idea of a marriage debt.  You’ll remember how my fellow Catholics howl “rape” at the suggestion that a woman might ever choose to sleep with her husband for a reason other than her own personal inclination.  But now we find that a woman can feel morally compelled to sexually accommodate a man, just not her husband.  Welcome to the Catholic Church of Pope Francis.

7 Responses

  1. The adultery debt must be satisfied.

  2. The irony is, that he could have a stronger case if he emphasized the wronged party in a no fault divorce. Saying that condemning a man or woman to a celibate, even childless existence, when they were the abandoned wronged party is a strong emotional case ( not saying it’s right, just a better emotional argument).

    But it feels way too much like a very Italian/Latin, if I can be forgiven for saying so, case of “Eh, whatever.” A sort of manana attitude to morality.

  3. Any chance the Pope is largely, or in part, trying to excuse homosexuality among the clergy? I understand it’s a pretty big problem. “Hey, I know those two nice priests, they’re totally committed to each other out of love, real brotherly love, and it’s just not fair to judge.”

  4. I can’t rule it out, but the visible motive of keeping the Church’s good tithe-paying German customers happy is sufficient in itself to explain the observed behavior.

  5. Totally unrelated, but the parody Twitter account @DemsRRealRacist ( is an absolutely delightful skewering of mainstream “conservatives” by a professional pro-Trump troll. Every single Tweet he produces is pure gold, e.g.:

    “I mean how is the GOP gonna survive general if its shrillest champions of corporate tax cuts and Mid East wars leave for greener pastures?”

    “I’m not a Catholic, but I just have to admire all of this Pope’s meticulously photographed and internationally broadcast acts of humility.”

    “The trick is offering embattled cons lipservice juuust tepid enough that it won’t offend the coalition of freakshow perverts attacking them.”

    “No, it’s not a reflection of their souls that so many GOP consultants look like giant, bulbous, misshapen grubworms. It’s pure happenstance!”

    “I also like calling my enemies “bullies” because it shows how big and mean they are and how teacher should make them stop giving me wedgies.”

    “This “alt-right” crew is making it easy for liberals to call us racist, a slur that beforehand was applied sparingly and with discretion.”

  6. This brought to mind one of the apothegms of St. Abba Dorotheus of Gaza, the Hermit of Kemet, who says, “Never say of such a one that he is a thief or an adulterer or a murderer; rather say, “he stole,” “he committed adultery,” “he slew,” Otherwise, you seem to condemn his whole life.”

  7. […] points out the error in adultery apologism—basically churchmen, like Pope Francis, trying to find elements of virtue in the context of […]

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