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.
Filed under: Uncategorized |