Not a Fun Year for Catholic Conservatives

Posted by Censor Librorum on Oct 14, 2008 | Categories: Politics

The 2008 presidential election isn’t as much fun for Catholic conservatives  as 2004.

This year, Catholic conservatives are having to hear two dreaded phrases over and over again: informed conscience and Catholic social teaching.

The people behind these phrases–moderate and progessive Catholics–have made an impact on  Catholic voters in swing states like Pennslyvania, and will help to carry Catholics in Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, and Texas.

Catholic voters determine the election this year; and even though it will be a small margin, they will carry the election for the Democratic party.

The last four years have brought us  an Iraq war with no end to  the killing, carnage and financial  cost of over 150 billion a year to underwrite. It’s seen the U.S. mortgage debacle and world financial meltdown; a rising unemployment rate and poverty,  economic abuses of immigrants  and environmental impacts from global warming.

I haven’t heard our conservative brothers and sisters issue so much as a peep at Catholic voters about the moral choices involved in these life and death  issues.   Where have they been?

This year the USCCB has issued their own (and the definitive!) guide for Catholic voters: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. This basically dumped partisan politics out of the parish, and added a whole host of social justice concerns appealing to liberal and moderate voters.  faithful_citizenship_logo.gif

Moderate and liberal  Catholics, under the leadership of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholic Democrats are stressing Jesus’ message of care and justice for the poor, the helpless, and  the marginalized.

In 2004, armed with little pamphlets from Catholic Answers,  conservatives trumpeted their narrow interests in the “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics.”  The guide discussed five “nonnegotiables” that the authors opinioned, and a few bishops agreed, that Catholics had to follow as their sole  moral compass in voting.  

“These five issues are called non-negotiable because they concern actions that are always morally wrong and must never be promoted by the law. It is a serious sin to endorse or promote any of these actions, and no candidate who really wants to advance the common good will support any of the five non-negotiables.”

Their five issues specified included: 1) Abortion; 2)   Euthanasia; 3) Fetal Stem Cell Research; 4)   Human Cloning; and 5) Homosexual “Marriage”.

In reality, this meant total alignment with the Republican party.   Their politics of death: war, the death penalty, pollution, hunger, shelter, high energy costs, health care–were conveniently left off the table as a lesser moral evils.

The life of those born was of less concern then those unborn.

But this year, Catholic conservatives wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing act as been up-ended.

When Carl Anderson, the national head of the Knights of Columbus, attacked Sen. Joseph Biden’s Catholicism in full page advertisements in several major U.S. daily newspapers,  he was forcefully countered by Dr. Patrick Whelan, president of Catholic Democrats.

“It is sacrilegious for Mr. Anderson, someone who holds himself up as a flag bearer for the values and the virtues of our faith, to use his shared Catholic identity with Sen. Biden as a foil to attack him for blatantly political purposes.”

“The (Anderson) letter ignores Sen. Biden’s strong commitment to Catholic social teaching, reflected in legislation he was instrumental in passing, including: the United States Commission on Civil Rights Act of 1983, the Global Climate Change Act in 1987, Stopping Genocide in Bosnia, Kosovo and Darfur in 1993 and 2004 respectively, …among many others during his 25 years of service as U.S. Senator.”

Anderson said he wrote the letter “on behalf of 1.28 million members of the Knights of Columbus and their families in the United States.”

As least one Knight disagreed.

Thomas P. O’Neill, former lieutenant governor of Massachusett spoke up. “As a member of the Knights of Columbus, I want to make it clear that Carl Anderson does not speak for me. For 125 years, the Knights have stood for solidarity and for aiding those in need.”

“These statements, transparently promoting the McCain candidacy and by extention all the moral failures of the Bush years, do not reflect our Catholic tradition. Instead they risk making the Knights a tool of political partisanship at a time when the Knights can, and should, be focusing on the church’s greatest gift to our country, the rich tradition of Catholic social teaching.”





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42 Responses to “Not a Fun Year for Catholic Conservatives”

  1. M. Forrest Says:

    “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    – Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, CDF (Now Pope Benedict XVI)

    McCain is hardly perfect. But when a Catholic cannot discern the difference between a candidate like Obama (who cannot even bring himself to protect the lives of BORN children who have survived a botched abortion) and a candidate like McCain, then there is something seriously wrong. I can understand and respect refusing to vote for either candidate (a choice I may make myself). But there is no sound, Catholic basis by which to justify voting for Obama.

    The issues listed in the Catholic Answers “voter’s guide” are singled out because they involve unequivocal moral evils. There is no such thing as a “just” abortion. There is no such thing as the “just” use of euthanasia. There is no such thing as “just” embryonic stem cell research. There is no such things as a moral “homosexual marriage”. These are black and white issues. No grey area.

    The same cannot be said of the decision to wage war, the death penalty, etc. The Church does not take a position on the best way to protect the environment, educate children, provide for the poor, etc.

    And while the death penalty may well be misapplied at times (and therefore be morally evil), the magnitude of the problem does not even begin to approach that of abortion. There have been over 40 MILLION murders of innocent, unborn human beings since Roe v Wade in the United States. Around 1.4 million murdered in 2007 alone. Conversely, there were 42 people executed by the death penalty in 2007.

    This article only muddies the waters, which is precisely what many Democrats have hoped to do. The Nazis could have learned a thing or two from them.

    Hey, we’re for gun control, nationalized health care and we have a great economic policy designed to benefit ALL Germans! Why are you Jew-lovers so focused on the whole Jewish thing? You’re so narrow-minded! Don’t you care about the rest of the German people?

  2. Thom Says:

    M. Forrest, Jesus would have died for 1 as well as “40 million.” Please don’t try to say that sheer numbers make anything more important.

    You’ve outdone yourself this time, Karen. Kudos, and peace. 🙂

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Actually M. Forrest, your theology is a little off.

    Formal norms and material norms are not the same thing. To say there are ‘black and white issues’ would be incorrect. Or as St. Thomas noted: that the more specific a moral precept becomes, the more frequent and likely the will be the cases when it does not apply. The complexity of cirumstances surrounding every act does not allow for a point-for-point correspondence between the norm and the variabilities of moral life…… to raise material norms to the level of an “absolute” would mean they adequately and completely express the whole of moral truth for the situations to which they pertain. As such, the action or class of actions identified by the norm would always be objectively required or forbidden, i.e. always, everywhere, in all circumstances, and for all persons without exception. For a material norm to have such a status, it would have to include ALL possible combinations of premoral/ ontic evils and goods involved in a specific deed. But does anyone who participates in an interrelated and changing world have the epitemological vantage point which would give access to such knowledge?…..

    So (for this particular ex), can homosexual marriage be “moral.” It cetainly may be for some people. Every action (even for heterosexuals!) has a certain degree of ontic good/evil because some features of EVERY action will enhance our humanity and some features will restrict it. Proportiate reason determines the difference between this and a action becoming a moral evil.


  4. M. Forrest Says:

    Thom- I agree that Jesus would have died for 1 as well as 40 million. And I agree that any unjust killing is morally evil and unacceptable. But I don’t agree that there’s no difference between wiping out the equivalent of the entire population of Australia two times over and killing a single individual. Secular law makes a distinction and there is a distinction in moral theology as well.

  5. M. Forrest Says:

    Gula –

    The distinction I made is accurate. Abortion, Euthanasia, Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Homosexual “Marriage” are all objectively evil in all circumstances. The death penalty and war are not. The best way to provide health care, education, gun control is not a black and white matter for Catholics, either. They are important, for sure, but matters over which good Catholics may differ.

    I did not address the issue of individual culpability for involvement in any objectively (or materially) evil action. I addressed solely the fact that each of the issues raised in the Catholic Answers’ “Voter’s Guide” is unambiguous. Objectively speaking, it is evil to intentionally and directly kill unborn children through abortion in *every instance*. There is no such thing as a “just” abortion. Subjectively speaking, the culpability any individual bears is another issue. If one were forced to partake, then there would be no guilt imputed, for instance.

    The morally absolute nature involved in the Catholic Answers’ issues is not shared by the issues that liberals typically focus exclusively upon – like health care, education, gun control etc. Although they are certainly important, these are all matters over which Catholics may legitimately disagree. There is no unequivocal Catholic teaching as to whether or not the federal government should control education and to what degree. The same is true of health care, gun control, etc. Catholics have great liberty and latitude in addressing such issues.

    On issues like the death penalty and war, the Church has always recognized that the state possesses the legitimate authority to carry out either. And the application of Catholic principles on both (death penalty and war) to any specific circumstance is a subjective matter that properly remains within the purview and authority of the lawful leaders of a country.

  6. Karen Says:

    Dear M. Forrest, As a liberal Catholic, here’s something that puzzles me when it comes to more traditional or conservative Catholics: rather than focus on the “anti” why don’t they focus on the positive? For example, why not take the same time and money spent battling same-sex marriage, and pour that into providing resources, support, counseling for heterosexual couples to marry and to stay together? This would include frank and supportive counseling on how to have a mutually satisfying sex life (a big cause of divorce), counseling for money problems (another source of marital discord)and help when life overwhelms (job loss, addiction, etc.)
    How can parishes, pastors and our Catholic faith help couples through individual and family stress?

    In terms of abortion, yes, I think there should be counseling for chastity, but realistically when boys and girls are together, young men and women, sparks are going to fly. To avoid abortion, then, wouldn’t it be better for parents, with the vocal support of the church, tell young men it is the ultimate selfishness, a sin, to father children and not support them–abandon them and their mother? At my parish, a married couple who were against abortion came up with an alternative–they challenged their fellow parishioners to support young women who chose to keep their children rather than have an abortion.Once or twice a year they take a collection of food, diapers, money to support them in a Catholic Charities program for single mothers. Again, this is a way conservative Catholics can “put their faith in action” in a very positive and life-giving way. It also created a bridge to me, their liberal sister in the pew. Something to ponder. Karen

    Thom, always a pleasure to hear from you. Gula, welcome and thank you for your theological contributions.

  7. Karen Says:

    M. Forrest – I did some editing for brevity and also atmosphere. Any and every side can quote scriptural passages and theologians to back up arguments and claims. Speaking from the heart and personal belief is where I want to focus on this blog.

  8. M. Forrest Says:

    Thank you for the explanation, Karen. But, with all due respect, I don’t think it helps the discussion to cut the only actual authoritative sources available. I was not quoting some “theologians” and “scriptural passages.” I quoted extensively from the official teaching of the Catholic Church. If someone can quote other passages from the official teaching of the Church that contradict what I quoted, then that should be brought forth, not muzzled.

    Otherwise, the discussion becomes essentially a mere discussion of personal feelings and opinions. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but one might hope that the aim of a discussion is to arrive at truth, if there be such a thing.

  9. M. Forrest Says:

    Dear Karen,
    I don’t see it as an either/or –focus on the “anti” or focus on the positive. As is common in Catholic teaching, it is a “both/and”. I am both **against** abortion and **for** adoption, counseling, charity, medical care, etc. And the orthodox, conservative Catholics that I know are the same way. That support is expressed in terms of both personal involvement and financial involvement.

    I agree with many of the excellent ideas and views that you expressed. And I (and the vast majority of the Catholic conservatives I know) have been involved with them already. In my area, we have given a tremendous amont of support to an organization that houses, trains (both in terms of motherhood and in terms of job training) and provides daycare for unwed mothers. We have founded and funded an organization that provides free prenatal help and testing, clothes, etc.

    Can more be done on more fronts? You bet. And I’m all for it.

    Might I suggest that regarding the need for a mutually satisfying sex life, perhaps one of the first places to begin is contraception. It strikes me that the rise of divorce followed closely on the heels of the rise in the prevalence of contraception. While contraception was supposed to make women free, I believe it has objectified them – allowed men to treat and use them as objects. Our culture has become sex-obsessed and so, has ultimately degraded the truth and meaning of human sexuality in the process. It has also undermined the sacredness of the human life created through it.

    I believe the best recipe for a satisfying sex life is committed monogamy that is open to life and respects the sacredness of every marital embrace. Without getting too personal (or bragging! LOL), neither I nor my wife have any complaints about our sex life.


    Father of 6

  10. Karen Says:

    M. Forrest, I do understand your point. Please resubmit your sources and I will post. However, in the interest of space, please limit it to one or two so posts don’t become overly long and detailed. The examination–not necessarily agreement or disagreement–of the official teaching of the church can provide for many great discussions.

  11. M. Forrest Says:

    Thank you, Karen.

    This is the teaching of the Catholic Church in its Catechism.

    If you have a Catechism, you can find the information regarding the intrinsic, objective evil of all abortions in CCC 2270-2275 and CCC 2322-23. The intrinsic, objective evil of homosexual acts is addressed in CCC 2357. The intrinsic, objective evil of euthanasia is addressed in CCC 2276-2278. The Church has also repeatedly made its teaching clear vis a vis embryonic stem cell research (here, for instance: )

    Quotes from the Catholic Catechism:

    CCC 2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of ** every procured abortion.** This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.

    CCC 2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable. Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, **which must always be forbidden and excluded.**

    CCC 2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex…Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has **always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”** They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. **Under no circumstances can they be approved.**

    The on-line Catholic Catechism is available here:

    I have to run now and may not be available for a while. And I really don’t want to over-stay my welcome or over-fill your combox! I’ll keep you and your readers in my prayers. Please keep me in yours.

    God bless.

    M. Forrest

  12. Kansas City Catholic Says:

    A few observations:

    (1) I love the concept of a blog that sets out to examine the official teaching of the Church, especially as it relates to social justics concerns.

    (2) I appreciate M. Forrest’s comments. Gula, the position you espouse in your post not only contradicts the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but it was explicitly condemned in Pope John Paul II’s landmark encyclical on Christian Morality entitled Veritatis Splendor, or “Splendor of the Truth.” I’ll provide more specific citations if anybody wants them. For now, Gula, you might want to ask the Jesuit college that you probably attended for a refund. 🙂

    (3) Thom, you’re right. One abortion (or other sin against the good of human life) is too many. The magnitude of the incidence of abortion in this country should, however, give us some motivation to take action. From these figures we can safely estimate that 3,000 children were legally killed in the womb in this country today. That carries a certain poignancy for me today on my birthday.

    (4) M. Forrest rightly pointed out the Pope’s teaching in this matter and why the Church says that intrinsic evils like abortion should have a certain priority if we are to examine the right to vote through the prism of our Catholic faith.

    But beyond that, paragraph 1792 of the Catechism identifies the main sources of “errors in judgment in moral conduct.” Two of those sources are (a) “assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience” and (b) “rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching.”

    We see these sources in full bloom when Catholics who claim to have well-formed consciences reject the Church’s guidance in this area.

    (5) Lastly, I’m not a raging conservative. I not only oppose capital punishment, but even accepted a volunteer law clerk position with the L.A. Public Defender’s office during law school because I wanted to come to their defense. Like many of us, I’ve had family killed in war, and I even struggled during college with the requirement of signing up for the draft. I’ve alway tried to show a preferential option for the poor in various ways, and my two youngest children are special needs adoptions. I recycle, I don’t own (or want to own)any guns, and my modest retirement fund is taking a beating these days.

    I also have gone through the sorrow of having eight of my children die in utero.

    I get the complexity of the issues, and most faithful Catholics who understand the moral evil involved in supporting a candidate like Sen. Obama are not one-dimensional voters.

    That, in a nutshell, is the problem with the “Faithful Citizenship” document. It’s a USCCB document and not an official magisterial teaching of the Church, but even so, it accurately reflects the Church’s teaching in many areas. The problem, which is why an unprecedented number of bishops have published their own pastoral letters on the topic, is that “Faithful Citizenship,” despite its breadth, does not fully address the relative priority of issues (as is done in other USCCB documents, papal documents, and dozens of epicopal pastoral letters). This gives someone who is looking for a reason to justify voting for a pro-abortion, pro-same sex marriage candidate plenty of information which, taken out of context, will “tickle their ears” (see 2 Tim. 4:3-5).

    I’m a devoted soccer dad and need to go. But we need to understand these principles. Faith is about letting the Church form us, realizing that the Church speaks with the authority of Christ. If every Church teaching has to go through the “Kansas City Catholic” approval process, then really I have become my own pope.

    God bless all of you!

  13. Karen Says:

    M. Forrest, actually, I thought of you, Thom and Gula when I said Evening Prayer late this afternoon. Be assured, I will keep you in my prayers, and I thank you for praying for me. Take care.

  14. Kansas City Catholic Says:

    Karen, I will remember you and those who visit this site in our family Rosary this evening. Have a blessed weekend. KCC

  15. Nicole/Fl Says:

    Hi Karen,

    Actually, the first post was me, lol. I was in a hurry. Gula is the name of the source-he has written on catholic moral theology.

    M Forrest. the distinction you made is not accurate-correct. The most the Catholic church can officially call an act (in and of itself)—-apart from personal culpability and circumstances is right or wrong. I am not talking about the “personal judgement” (culpability of the action).

    I wrote what I did, because you are speaking in absolutes and when it comes to an act being classified as “always morally evil or good” there is no such things.In order to decide whether an act (THE ACT ITSELF) is “morally evil or good” it requires, as i wrote, the use of proportionate reason. This is CLASSIFYING the ACT, not the judgement for the person committing or involved in the act.

    So, again, no they are not morally evil in all cirumstances. Youre getting confused. Objective wrongdoing according to the church(like adultery, the death penalty, birth control etc) is not the same as formal sin.

    I will give these two passages from Gula. It is by far the best book on catholic theology I have ever written and may hopefully get you to understand.

    “Properly understood, actions CANNOT be seperated from persons and from a relational context. Single actions are the product of interactions, deliberations, and desires over a period of time. To Undestand our actions are contextual, we might think of the moral life as a kind of story. No action has its proper moral significance in isolation from the whole narrative. Since all moral action is interaction, each individual action finds its proper meaning from within the total narrative that is the moral life. The plot of our story is the fundamental orientation which flows from the basic commitment and gives shape to the stable identity of our moral character. We discover the plot only after we are well into our story. The plot is unveiled by looking back over what has happened and how it has happened. By looking back, we are able to draw from the collection of continous incidents a plot line on which each incident is georaphically located. The plot, once discovered, yields a sense of integrity to the narrative and gives each particular incident a signicance which reaches beyond its immediate context. In this way, we see each incident not as an isolated vignette but as continous with others in the part of the story. The SINFULNESS of adultery, for example, does not reside simply in it being the physical action of intercourse with someone other than one’s spouse. Even this physical act takes its meaning from the larger context of marital interaction and daily neglect, plans to meet someone else, freqent meetings, and other acts of infedelity. In short, spouses do not break up; they drift apart. The act we call adultery is the accumulation of a lack of concern and infedelities. We realize the gravity of the act only in the context of the general direction of the person’s life and within the larger context of moral growth or decay. Mortal sin, as an individual act, sums up the deteriorating commitment to life and love, so as to identify and seal the selfishness that has already been developing.

    And on a side note I agree with you. We do live in a sex crazed society. Every sexual act should be within a sacred monogomous relationship, whatever your orientation. One that is cultivated based on true love. Sexual expression is good and holy in heterosexual and same sex marriage, when true love is present. Also, it is such when the ontic evil of the acts in the union is less than the ontic good of the acts in the union(in really short theological terms LOL). Unfortuantly, thats rare. A lot of people never come close to experiencing it (true spiritual love).

  16. Karen Says:

    Hi Nicole – sorry about the name mix-up! Thank you for coming back to the discussion.

    Dear Kansas City Catholic -thank you for writing and for remembering us in your family prayers. And for all that you do for others.

  17. Kansas City Catholic Says:

    Hi Karen–thanks for the uplifting message.

    Hi Nicole from Florida (go Rays!)–I saw the stray “Gula” at the end of your “anonymous” post and wondered what connection, if any, there was to “proportionalist” theologian Richard Gula.

    Since this site is committed to examining official statements of the Church, the 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor by JPII explicitly rejects the trendy proportionalism, consequentialism, and other “isms” of moral theologians of the 1960s and 1970s who rejected the concept of “intrinsic moral evils” and caused great moral confusion in the process. See nos. 71-83 of that document. Here are two representative quotes:

    “Reason attests that there are objects of the human act which are by their nature ‘incapable of being ordered’ to God, because they radically contradict the good of the person made in his image. These are the acts which, in the Church’s moral tradition, have been termed ‘intrinsically evil’ (intrinsece malum): they are such always and per se, in other words, on account of their very object, and quite apart from the ulterior intentions of the one acting and the circumstances.”

    Pope Paul VI (quoted in footnote 131): “Far be it from Christians to be led to embrace another opinion, as if [Vatican II] taught that nowadays some things are permitted which the Church had previously declared intrinsically evil. Who does not see in this the rise of a depraved moral relativism, one that clearly endangers the Church’s entire doctrinal heritage?”

    Dechristianization leads to an obscuring of the moral sense. We gotta be clear about these things. Gotta run. Hope your morning is as beautiful as mine. God bless you!

  18. Nicole/Fl Says:

    Well, This is really where we are in current theology today: “In the encylical John XXIII could address all persons of good will, not just Catholics specifically or Christians in general, because he emphasized that reason can discover the demands of human dignity placed in creatures by the creator.”

    Actually, not all of that text focuses on proportionalism. Im not talking about that or moral relativism.

    But, youre trying too hard to focus on the moral judgement of an act. You are still making absolutes and there arent any. You cant make the link. Because I can open all these books saying where we are currently in the church on theology saying this or that and find several passages to back up my point. So can you.

    Theologically speaking, its this: the most an act is-wrong or bad. instrinsically or objectively disordered. Thats where we have been and where the church currently is. There is no obsecuring of the moral sense!

    God bless

  19. Kansas City Catholic Says:

    Hi Nicole,

    I’m not sure whom you are quoting in the first paragraph, but certainly it is true that all men and women of good will have access to the natural law written on the human heart. That’s not unique to John XXIII but rather has always been part of the Christian moral tradition. In fact, St. Paul himself gives a timely reminder of what happens when we turn away from the natural law in Rom. 1:18-25.

    I don’t see how that particularly supports the work of Gula and other heterodox theologians of the past 50 years who actually deny elements of the natural law.

    Saying that this is where theology today is doesn’t make it so. You’re citing a handful of theologians who had their day in the sun in the 60s and 70s but whose work has been discredited and rejected by the Church as, well, wrong. I understand that you may have cut your religious teeth on these teachers, but that doesn’t make them good teachers, let alone reflective of authentic Catholic theology.

    I don’t want to clog the blogosphere with lengthy quotes, but if you’ll go read Veritatis Splendor, no. 75 you will find a fair, and in fact more extensive and convincing presentation of the viewpoint expressed in your initial post. Then in no. 76 comes the gist of the Holy Father’s assessment of such viewpoints or theories:

    “Such theories . . . are not faithful to the Church’s teaching, when they believe they can justify, as morally good, deliberate choices of kinds of behaviour contrary to the commandments of the divine and natural law [e.g., abortion, homosexual activity]. These theories cannot claim to be grounded in the Catholic moral tradition. Although the latter did witness the development of a casuistry which tried to assess the best ways to achieve the good in certain concrete situations, it is nonetheless true that this casuistry concerned only cases in which the law was uncertain, and thus the absolute validity of negative moral precepts, which oblige without exception, was not called into question.

    “The faithful are obliged to acknowledge and respect the specific moral precepts declared and taught by the Church in the name of God, the Creator and Lord. When the Apostle Paul sums up the fulfilment of the law in the precept of love of neighbour as oneself (cf. Rom 13:8-10), he is not weakening the commandments but reinforcing them, since he is revealing their requirements and their gravity. Love of God and of one’s neighbour cannot be separated from the observance of the commandments of the Covenant renewed in the blood of Jesus Christ and in the gift of the Spirit. It is an honor characteristic of Christians to obey God rather than men (cf. Acts 4:19; 5:29) and accept even martyrdom as a consequence, like the holy men and women of the Old and New Testaments, who are considered such because they gave their lives rather than perform this or that particular act contrary to faith or virtue.”

    God bless you! Go Rays!

  20. Nicole/Fl Says:

    Sighs,. KCC. sorry but only formal norms are absolute, universal, and exceptionless- as far as morality goes. God Bless

  21. Samuel Rodriguez Jr. Says:

    As Pilate asked “What is truth?”, he could not see it was staring him in the face!!! This how I see “devout” Catholics who want to rationalize their “feelings” about certain politicians and moral issues.

    God is absolute truth and man is created in his image and likeness with an intellect making us capable of knowing, loving and serving pure truth here and in eternity.

    If Jesus left a Church with His authority and said He would be with us til the end of the world and the gates of hell would not prevail against it and if the Church comes down with a teaching which leaves me with decent in my heart, I have the obligation to pray meditate, and study that teaching so that I am changed by the “renewal of my mind”. Jesus told the apostles ” if the hear you they hear me and if they reject you the reject me and if they reject me they reject the one who sent me”.

    Absolutes: always intrinsically evil.

    1. abortion: Kills the innocent and most vulnerable of society. Denies the right to life. Jesus said, “what you do to the least of my brothers you do to me”.
    2. homosexual marriage: Denies the sacredness of marriage as a “type” of the Holy Trinity. WE are created in the image and likeness of God, male and female he created them. Out of their total self giving love(agape), life is created.
    3. embryonic stem cell research: Kills innocent life to the benefit of others. Ends do not justify means.
    4. Euthanasia: Removes the sovereignty of God as giver and taker of life.
    5. human cloning: same as embryonic stem cell research

    I pray we all will search our hearts and ask for humility and meekness to have properly formed consciences. The Church is here to encourage us and to set the mark for which we must strive. To sin is to miss the mark. It is terrible not to try. Worse yet is to set the mark ourselves.

    God Bless,


  22. Kansas City Catholic Says:

    Hi Nicole,

    Good thing I’m prematurely bald or I’d be pulling my hair out by now. 🙂

    It does me no good to keep citing documents where the Magisterium has explicitly condemned the theology you’re espousing, because it bounces off you like teflon. After all, in your eyes Gula, McCormick, Curran, et al. are right, and 2,000 years of Christian teaching is wrong. Either these dissident theologians have led you astray, or you want to rationalize immoral conduct such as homosexual activity through recourse to any source that might happen to agree with you.

    Either way, I do invite you and others who might have questions about this to prayerfully read Vertitas Splendor (at least the section I mentioned, though the whole thing is excellent reading) and to allow yourselves to be formed by the Church in this area.

    You’re presenting mere opinions (erroneous at that) as accepted teaching, without even engaging what the Church actually teaches.

    Blessings to you this evening.

  23. Karen Says:

    Dear Kansas City, as you know, our Church has condemned a lot of people and ideas over the centuries—pagans, Cathars, Jews, men of science, to name a few. In retropect, what was the result of their action: in many notable cases, they reversed themselves. They apologized. They changed their thinking, writing and speaking about a particular issue – like slavery.

    Our Church has permitted the slavery of others or coluded in its practice because it was in the Bible, Jesus acknowledged its existence, and it was for a “good reason”–to bring heathens to salvation no matter what the cost.

    If you can imagine it–and I believe you can–this is how gay and lesbian Catholics and their families view our treatment by our church: cruel, often hypocritical, and worse-ignorant. And like enslavement centuries ago, tradition and generally accepted wisdom are cited to continue its existence.

    What lesbian and gay Catholics are saying, to the institutional church, to our brothers and sisters in the church like yourself, — please — does knowledge stop? Do you believe–as we do–that God and the Holy Spirit and Jesus are alive and always at work to awaken us to new things? These reflections are often uncomfortble, because change and questioning is always uncomfortable–and fearful–because we never know where it will lead.

    But then that is where we rely on the strength of faith. And the seven gifts we received when we were confirmed.

    Every Sunday we say, “We believe” when we recite the Nicene Creed. We say “we believe” vs. “we know.” One is faith, the other is fact. “Truth” is very personal, subjective, and perhaps, elusive to all of us in this world – I don’t know.

    Take care and stay well.


  24. Jan Sobieski Says:


    Your last statement (“‘Truth’ is very personal, subjective, and perhaps, elusive to all of us in this world”) is very sad to me. It is a classic statement of relativism that one would expect to find among Unitarian Universalists–not among Catholics.

    I say to you what I would say to them: why bother? If what the Church teaches as revealed truth (a standard which none of your examples meets–but the subject at hand does) is up for reversal at any moment, then what is the point of going through this charade that we call Catholicism?

    Thankfully, your attempted distinction between “belief” and “knowledge” is a false dichotomy; the Catechism says that “Faith is certain. It is more certain than all human knowledge because it is founded on the very word of God who cannot lie.” (157)

    Of course, maybe you will dismiss the teaching of the Catechism based on your conception that truth is subjective, but if you do so, how Catholic are you–really? I’m not trying to be glib or controversial, but it always strikes me as odd when folks dismiss the core of Catholicism, yet want to remain Catholic so that they can give the Church an “Extreme Makeover” in the image of their choosing.

    I would love to see you conform your faith to the teaching of the Church, but if you want to go your own way, there are any number of Protestant churches that would affirm your beliefs. God Bless you.

  25. M. Forrest Says:

    Thank you for the clear and helpful official Catholic citations, Kansas City Catholic.

    Nicole, I don’t intend to be contentious, but your philosophical suppositions are erroneous and morally dangerous.

    Oftentimes, the clearest proof that an edifice is built on a faulty foundation is found in the highest reaches of the superstructure. By the time the superstructure is reached, the errors below have been magnified many times over and are easier to see with the naked eye.

    In the case of your philosophical suppositions, the errors become clearest in the final conclusions you have reached, which clearly contradict Catholic teaching.

    You wrote:

    “So (for this particular ex), can homosexual marriage be “moral.” It cetainly may be for some people.”

    “you are speaking in absolutes and when it comes to an act being classified as “always morally evil or good” there is no such things…So, again, no they are not morally evil in all cirumstances.”

    “Sexual expression is good and holy in heterosexual and **same sex marriage**, when true love is present.”

    Conversely, this is what the Catholic Church teaches:

    CCC 2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex…Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has **always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”** They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. **Under no circumstances can they be approved.**

    The juxtaposition of “true love” and “same sex marriage” that you have proposed is an oxymoron, a fundamental contradiction in terms.

    What you are teaching is not Catholic. And so, it may mislead innocent people who genuinely want to follow the Catholic faith and are not interested in creating their own faith.

  26. Nicole/Fl Says:

    Youre assuming that I am getting all my sources from gula. I am not. I have over a hundred books here in my library including the “Catechism” and other official sources by the church. Wrong and sin are not the same thing…. (an important consideration to keep in mind when talking about morality)

    Im not presenting any errounous findings! I know exactly what the church teaches. Theology in the church is always changing.

    The church has its positions on issues and thats the way it is. But, when it comes down to each person and the incident- its a lot more complex. I dont believe in say, abortion. Is it immoral(or has the person who committed it engaged in a immoral act? The answer to that question? Its simple: maybe.

    Same for same sex marriage.

    Theology, sin, etc are a lot more complex than having a checklist of certain sinful and evil behaviors and putting people in those groups when they engage in it or not.
    I can only pray you becomed informed on this.

    And, HUMMM WOW. the three passages in the catachism that refer to homosexuality: guess what? They never once use the words moral evil in them. Isnt that funny?
    God bless

  27. Nicole/Fl Says:

    M. Forrest, I think we have to agree to disagree for this blog. As said, I know what the church teaches. If you agree with the official church teaching thats great for you. Do you know why that Daniel wrote that phase on similar sites: “The church teaches RIGHT and WRONG, but never says who is a sinner.” My beliefs do come from the church. Why? because right- wrong-sin- and conscience are far more complex. One must follow their conscience and act accordingly, as well as being open to the science and knowledge by the current theologians in the church. My beliefs are not erroneous or morally dangerous.

    True love and same sex marriage is not a contradiction. Ive met the love of my life. Its sacred, moral,and rare. Its a true love most heterosexual people dream of.

    I also read your other comment. The church is over 2000 years old and far from perfect. The slavery example is a perfect example of how the church changes over time. Its not perfect, its theology is not perfect (not static), and the people in the hierarchy dont always embrace the sacred-holy tradition they should. Certain personal truths are subjective. The primacy of conscience really tells us this. My “truth” and what I ought to do/ be, may be different than who you think I or others think I should do/ be. Therefore, I am obliged to be faithful to that call, or as the church says “I am already condemened.” On the whole, the church is closest to the fullness of gods plan for the word than any other. Thats the reason most people I know, including myself, have stayed in the church.

    It always amazes me how you conservatives, who embrace the legalism within the church, also seem to “downplay” the theology of certain souces within the church. Teaching certain official positions or beliefs in the church, and ignoring others is VERY morally dangerous

    I pray that you understand this and come to understand the fullness of the church.
    God bless!

  28. Nicole/Fl Says:

    I have also read “the other comment” Whoops, sorry about that!

  29. Kansas City Catholic Says:

    Hi Karen,

    I hope you and other readers of this thread don’t conclude that I’m condemning you, even if I feel compelled to gently point out the errors in smoe of the comments I’ve read.

    If you want to post something on slavery, there’s plenty to be said about that issue. But as one of the other commentators noted, it’s something of a red herring to this discussion.

    Truth is personal and subjective, but it’s also public and objective.

    When the Church condemns homosexual activity as an intrinsic evil, or as a grave moral evil, or, as the Catechism says, an act of grave depravity that cannot be approved under any circumstance, the Church is being honest and pastoral. It would be dishonest and uncharitable not to call people out of a sinful lifestyle. I try to approach people the same way, sensitive to the person but loving them enough to tell them the truth.

    While many forms of immoral conduct are rampant today, most are nonetheless considered wrong and utterly to be avoided. We don’t celebrate “drunk driving month.” We’re not required to give our employees sensitivity training so that they can be more understanding of the internal conflicts of adulterers. When we condemn corporate crime we’re not called “greedophobes.” We don’t congratulate sneak thieves who “come out of the closet.”

    When it comes to homosexuality, though, we are getting bullied and tricked into moving from decriminalization to societal recognition and institutional legitimacy. If the current trajectory continues, teaching the Catholic faith on homoesexuality will be considered a “hate crime” within a decade. If that’s the hand we’re dealt, God be praised, but it’s tragic when those who consider themselves Catholic join forces with the secularists to undercut public morality and rewrite the definition of marriage in the process.

    Nicole, if you want to believe that homosexual “marriage” can be justified in some instances, you certainly can believe that, but as others note, you should in fairness not insist that such views are compatible with Catholic teaching.

    Okay, here’s the passage from Veritatis Splendor (no. 75) that discusses the falso dichotomy between between premoral “wrongness” and an act’s intrinsic immoral character, which JPII went on to clearly reject, as noted above:

    “The teleological ethical theories (proportionalism, consequentialism), while acknowledging that moral values are indicated by reason and by Revelation, maintain that it is never possible to formulate an absolute prohibition of particular kinds of behavior which would be in conflict, in every circumstance and in every culture, with those values. . . .

    “In a world where goodness is always mixed with evil, and every good effect linked to other evil effects, the morality of an act would be judged in two different ways: its moral “goodness” would be judged on the basis of the subject’s intention in reference to moral goods, and its “rightness” on the basis of a consideration of its foreseeable effects or consequences and of their proportion. Consequently, concrete kinds of behaviour could be described as “right” or “wrong”, without it being thereby possible to judge as morally “good” or “bad” the will of the person choosing them. In this way, an act which, by contradicting a universal negative norm, directly violates goods considered as “pre-moral” could be qualified as morally acceptable if the intention of the subject is focused, in accordance with a “responsible” assessment of the goods involved in the concrete action, on the moral value judged to be decisive in the situation.

    “The evaluation of the consequences of the action, based on the proportion between the act and its effects and between the effects themselves, would regard only the pre-moral order. The moral specificity of acts, that is their goodness or evil, would be determined exclusively by the faithfulness of the person to the highest values of charity and prudence, without this faithfulness necessarily being incompatible with choices contrary to certain particular moral precepts. Even when grave matter is concerned, these precepts should be considered as operative norms which are always relative and open to exceptions.

    “In this view, deliberate consent to certain kinds of behaviour declared illicit by traditional moral theology would not imply an objective moral evil.”

    This discredited theology of the 1960s and 70s is what you keep throwing back at me, Nicole, as being what you pray that I become more informed about. Sorry, I’m with the Pope on this.

    It’s getting late. Good night everyone!

  30. Christine Says:

    You cannot have it both ways. You cannot use one moral theology to base your criticism of abortion and use another one to justify war.
    You say killing an innocent is evil in essence. Right?
    But you say that war can be justified. However everyone knows that in modern warfare many innocent lives are lost as so called “collateral damages”, and that includes pregnant women.
    If I follow you correctly your reasoning justifies war in some circumstances. Consequently you agree that in some circumstances; killing an innocent is justified.
    How come then you cannot vote for a candidate who would protect the legal right of a woman to choose a lesser evil when seeking an abortion, but you would for one who chose to go to war precisely because he thought –rightly or not- that it was a lesser evil. In doing so that second candidate became responsible for many collateral deaths and maiming of innocent children, born and unborn.
    You say that in some cases the circumstances do -morally- justify wars as they do the death penalty –in spite of the fact that we know at least statistically that innocent people are also executed. And so you are no longer using a moral theology based on the essence of evil, in other words on what is intrinsically evil. By admitting that some circumstances allow for a lesser evil, you are using a moral theology based on proportional evil.
    Now I am asking you: what allows you to use this moral theology of proportional evil in the case of war (with the necessary evil of the death of innocent pregnant women and children) and not in the case of a woman’s choice? Why can’t you allow her the legal right to make a choice of lesser evil? Do you always know the circumstances facing her life? Can you honestly say that she would never be in a position of having to choose abortion as a lesser evil?
    And so you chose a candidate who did blindly trust his President to make the choice of war, but you cannot choose a candidate who would give that same choice to women?

  31. Kansas City Catholic Says:


    I hate war, too.

    While their policies and rhetoric differ, both Obama and McCain are willing to go to war and/or continue a war under what they consider appropriate circumstances. In other words, neither is a pacificist who would condemn any and all wars as a matter of principle.

    Like capital punishment (which I also hate), war is a reality that needs to be understood better given modern realities–including both the immediacy of danger that terrorist forces and modern weaponry present, as well as greater opportunities for peaceful resolution of conflicts.

    Catholic tradition has always recognized a principle of self-defense, which in very limited circumstances would make a decision to go to war or to execute a dangerous criminal as not only “just,” but the right thing to do. (See, e.g., Catechism, nos. 2263-67; JPII, Evangelium Vitae, no. 55 et seq.)

    There are no such circumstances that would ever make the choice to kill one’s child in the womb or to have relations with someone of the same sex “good.” That’s why those things are considered “intrinsic evils.”

    Btw, and I don’t mean to get too far off the point, when is having an abortion the “lesser evil”? What is the greater evil that having an abortion averts?

    Catholics cannot morally vote for Sen. Obama because of his extreme pro-abortion, pro-same-sex marriage agenda–an agenda which seems on his part to be a political alliance with Planned Parenthood, various “gay and lesbian” groups, and other political interest groups, not with mainline Christianity. That’s his prerogative, and he is an attractive, articulate candidate. But as foreign or disagreeable as this may sound to modern ears, he has aligned himself with intrinsic evils.

    The priority of opposing these intrinsic evils is not simply my opinion, or M. Forrest’s opinion, and not even Catholic Answers’ opinion, but the clear message (all sophistry and selective reading aside) coming from the Church, which Pope John XXIII called our mother and teacher.

  32. M. Forrest Says:


    Kansas City Catholic covered most of it, but you missed all of the conditions. The direct, **intentional** killing of the innocent is always evil and impermissible. In just war, the **intention** is not to kill the innocent. The Church understands the concept of collateral damage (unintended, often indirect casualties), and it is precisely why she recognizes that war may be just.

    Conversely, abortion is the direct, intentional killing of the innocent. It is evil, without exception.

    Nicole, to call those who engage in homosexual acts our current time’s “slaves”, then what of pedophiles like those at NAMBLA? They claim that “intergenerational sex” has been demonized and that it doesn’t harm children, in fact, it’s good for them. Who are we to judge them?

    And I assure you, proponents of each of these will vigorously fight against you should you try to make a distinction between homosexual sex and their sexual proclivities. I’ve had similar discussions with them.

    The natural law is not mocked. There are a whole host of diseases that have arisen as a direct result of common homosexual practices. There is a great deal of data regarding negative psychological ramifications as well. And these play out even in “gay friendly” countries like Denmark. I can provide further information on this – much of which has been provided by pro-homosexual groups.

    I say these things not to ridicule or hurt. But it is no compassion to affirm someone in that which is harmful. I am a sinner. I sin every day and struggle against it, but I hope to God that someone would care enough to correct me should I ever begin to embrace my sin and call it good.

  33. Thom Says:

    Just one quick aside, as I’ve been following the thread but not persuaded to dig in: Sen. Obama does not support gay marriage. Sen. McCain has flip-flopped a bit on this, ultimately deciding (at my last count) to embrace the same platform as Sen. Obama: civil unions.

  34. Karen Says:

    Dear Kansas City Catholic,

    Senator Obama opposes same-sex marriage. He has also has opposed initiatives to ban same-sex marriage. Perhaps your confusion is arising from this distinction?

    Your comment that “Catholics cannot morally vote for Sen. Obama” is at odds with statements from the USCCB and even our pope.

    In the pamphlet, “Voting for the Common Good: A Practical Guide for Conscientious Catholics” it clearly states the “Three Principles for Catholic Voting.” They are: 1. Inform your Conscience; 2. Apply Prudence; 3. Vote for the Common Good.

    When confronted with the question “is it okay to vote for a ‘pro-choice’ candidate”, Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) responded it would be acceptable for a Catholic to vote for a “pro-choice” candidate if “proportional reasons” exist, and if the voter is voting based on those reasons and not the candidate’s “pro-choice” beliefs.

    Sen. Obama’s positions on many issues, especially where the poor and marginalized are concerned, completely align him with Catholic social teaching on these vital areas.

    Re: marriage – a Sunday or two ago the Gospel had to do with something being taken away from people who don’t appreciate it and given to those that do…

    This lesson had to do with Christ’s ministry to the children of Israel. They rejected it, and it was given to someone else – the gentiles.

    I see the issue of marriage much in the same way. The divorce rate in the US is 50%. Many straight people have rejected marriage. It is now being given to couples who truly value it and want to get married–lesbian and gay couples. Think about it–who really wants to get married? Gay people!

    Gay marriage as harmful to society is a non-sequitur some in the church hierarchy promote to cover up for their own pastoral failures. I suggest these clerics and their allies–if they are really concerned about the sanctity of marriage and keeping families strong and together–invite married couples, unmarried couples and single Catholic lay people into a dialog about marriage today.

    The church hierarchy needs to listen to what lay Catholics have to say about sex, money and societal expectations–areas that contribute the most to divorce and relationships breaking apart. Then, ask them how the church can support them in their faith and family.

    What might happen to the church’s strictures on sexuality and gender roles if these kind of open-ended discussions took place?

    Is the church ready for these testimonies; or, is it much easier to live with a high divorce rate and the necessity to pen a few ugly editorials on gay marriage in the diocesan papers from time to time to show they’re on the job protecting marriage?

  35. Nicole/Fl Says:

    Woa woah M. forrest, youre putting words in my mouth. Probably Karen’s to, since she was the first to mention it in this blog. I correlated the “church and its positions” today with that of during the time of “slevery”.
    And no, abortion- like these other topics- are not always evil. It is always “wrong” in every circumstance

    KCC- certainly i agree with you that there is an objective truth. That is what the church teaches. However, we have to consider the person. So, while it may great that the church has a stance on a particular issue-in the end it really doesnt matter if someone is meant to follow a different action. You were probably a lot like me before I realized i was gay. I was as traditional and conservative a catholic as I could be; but i think you are focusing too much on the rules and regulations and whether people are falling into them or not. Heck, before vatican 2, the church didnt even recognize the innate orienation

    Christine is right, i think you both are justifying certain things in certain siutations and not others.

  36. M. Forrest Says:

    Dear Karen,

    With all due respect, it is not a fact that senator Obama’s positions on many issues “completely align him with Catholic social teaching.” That is your opinion. The Church takes no position on the best way to provide health care, education, aid to the poor, etc. Unlike abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stell cell reseach and homosexual acts, the best manner in which to address social issues is something over which Catholics may disagree.

    Liberals like Obama tend to reflexively favor the use of the federal government to address such issues. And a good, conservative argument can be made that this proclivity violates the Catholic principal of subsidiarity. Whenever possible, problems should be resolved at the “lowest” level. Liberals tend to be very fond of that well-known principle when it comes to ecclesial matters, and not so fond of it when it comes to politics.

    I had a serious, extended discussion with former senator Simon (Illinois) about this very issue when welfare reform was being enacted. He complained that it was unconscionable to reduce welfare benefits and force people to search for work because it was a violation of Matthew 25 (anything your failed to do for one of these…you failed to do for me).

    After telling him that I was pleased to see him suddenly so concerned with the teachings of Christ (although I wished he was similarly concerned when it came to abortion, etc.), I explained that In Matthew 25, Jesus pinned the responsibility we have to take care of the poor squarely on the shoulders of the **individual.** He did not say to cede it to the government.

    Charity is designed first and foremost to mirror and foster the love of God and neighbor. The government model tends to pervert charity and too often renders that which could have been truly meaningful and positive into something mixed at best. Talk to any poor soul who has had to apply for welfare or unemployment benefits.

    Instead of gracious giving, we see a tax that is forced upon the individual. Instead of gracious acceptance, we see a transfer payment that receivers tend to see as something “due” them. Instead of feeling urged on to become independent and then to help others who have suffered a similar hardship, we see a tendency to become complacent and lethargic. True charity has been perverted.

    When you examine the over-all charitable giving of conservatives vs. liberals, this dichotomy in approach also becomes very evident.

  37. M. Forrest Says:


    What words did I put in your mouth? Please be specific. Certainly not my intention. If I did so, I apologize.

    You write: “Heck, before vatican 2, the church didnt even recognize the innate orienation.”

    And the Church still does not recognize the orientation as “innate.” The Church officially teaches that “Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained” (CCC 2357).

    Even the foremost UK gay activist (Thomas Thatchell) admits this. “If heterosexuality and homosexuality are, indeed, genetically predetermined… how do we explain bisexuality or people who, suddenly in mid-life, switch from heterosexuality to homosexuality (or vice versa)? We can’t.”

    Sexuality, he wrote, is “far more ambiguous, blurred and overlapping than any theory of genetic causality can allow.”

    There is, however, good evidence that multiple predispositions may exist that in concert with environmental factors tend to lead to same sex attraction.

    Of course, all of this is irrelevant. If the argument is that because it’s innate, it must be okay, then we must affirm as good man’s tendency to violence, fornication, adultery, etc. etc. All of these are “innate”, too. But again, there is no sound evidence that homosexuality is truly “innate”, as if it is purely, genetically predetermined.

  38. M. Forrest Says:

    Dear Karen,

    You write: “The divorce rate in the US is 50%. Many straight people have rejected marriage. It is now being given to couples who truly value it and want to get married–lesbian and gay couples. Think about it–who really wants to get married? Gay people!”

    There are two problems with this statement. The first is that it is not true that “gay people” are the ones who really want to get married. The second is that it is an ontological impossibility for people of the same sex to truly “marry.” What they are doing is **simulating** true marriage.

    Regarding the first point, numerous articles have been written proving that there is hardly an avalanche of homosexuals rushing to get married. And even among those who do, a great many admit that the idea of “monogamy” in the homosexual community is not what we commonly accept monogamy to be. In the homosexual community, it is commonly accepted to have multiple partners, as long as one returns to one’s “partner”. This is what is commonly referred to as “monogamy” in the homosexual community.

    Here are a few quick articles/books/quotes to get you started, if you are interested:

    The Male Couple by David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison (here: )

    Homosexual writer and activist Michelangelo Signorile stated that the goal of homosexuals is to “to fight for same sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution of same sex marriage completely, to demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes but rather, to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution…The most subversive action lesbian and gay men can undertake is to transform the notion of ‘family’ entirely.”

    As I think this discussion is beginning to go beyond the scope of the original article, perhaps this should be my last post. It is interesting to me, however, that it has essentially become focused on homosexuality.

    Thank you for the interesting discussion. God bless.

  39. Karen Says:

    Dear M. Forrest, the reason we’ve been talking so much about homosexuality is well, primarily because of you. Most if not all of your comments mention gay sex or same-sex marriage. If you bring it up it will be answered.

    I am curious – what exactly did you mean by this statement: “There are a whole host of diseases that have arisen as the result of common homosexual practices. There is a great deal of data regarding negative psychological ramifications as well.”

    What specific homosexual practices are you referring to? Anal sex? Oral sex? Multiple partners? Infidelity? Pick-ups? Paid sex?

    When last I heard, straight people did all of these things, too.

    Here is one secret for avoid disease: W-A-S-H. Good hygiene is key to staying healthy and avoid spreading diseases like HIV, herpes, syphillis, etc. Condoms are also important for man-to-man and man-to-woman sex to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.

    Waiting until you are with your future spouse is an option. Maintaining one’s virginity used to be emphasized for Catholic girls but not for Catholic boys.

    Monogamy should certainly be encouraged by supporting stable and loving relationships. That is why public recognition of gay civil unions and marriage is so important.

    The reason behind the negative psychological ramifications is probably fear…Fear of being rejected by family, friends, work, parishioners for being gay. This fear may lead to a person’s self-hatred, being alone, alcohol and drug abuse, furtive sexual encounters.

    I think you’re right – let’s move on to other discussions, and this one is pretty tapped out.

  40. Kansas City Catholic Says:


    Thank you so much for allowing me to participate in this discussion. I agree that this discussion is pretty much tapped out, but if you’ll allow me this final comment I’ll (gracefully?) bow out, as a couple comments were directed toward me and it’s only fair that I be allowed to briefly respond.

    There is no doubt from listening to Obama and Biden that they want to push the homosexual agenda as far the public can be pushed, which may be at the level of civil union as opposed to marriage until Obama’s justices can manufacture a right to institutionalized homosexual relatioships a la Roe v. Wade. Joe Biden recently said that homosexual couples in an Obama administration would enjoy all the same rights as heterosexual couples under the law. I don’t think anybody reasonably understands things differently in that regard.

    You’re right, Karen, a person would be formally cooperating with evil if he/she voted for Obama specifically because of his permissive views on abortion, “gay” rights, etc. Formal cooperation with evil is always a serious sin.

    Voting for him without that intention is material cooperation with evil, as then-Cardinal Ratzinger pointed out and has subsequently affirmed as Pope. Two things are needed for that approach to be morally licit, according to the Pope.

    The first requirement is that the Catholic not share the candidate’s permissive stance on those issues. Many people who have commented on this blog seem to share Obama’s views favoring abortion rights, homosexual activity, etc.

    The second requirement is the “proportionate reason” requirement, which is a term of art relating to the moral principle of double effect. Even if it can be shown that Obama agrees with the Church on secondary issues (which I believe is true to a point, but overstated, not that my personal opinion matters), the Pope and the U.S. bishops have been teaching that these other reasons–based on prudential judgments not involving a clear-cut choices between good and evil–are not “proportionate.” “Proportionate” reason does not mean “any” reason.

    I agree, Karen, that bishops and priests need to be part of solution here (and maybe they could start by throwing away books by Gula, McCormick, et al. that would suggest that pedophilia is not an intrinsic moral evil–again, ideas have consequences). And listening to the faithful surely is very important.

    Yet, what’s needed even more is sound teaching–at home, in the parish, and from the pulpit. Catholics in our time have not been formed well, so having them sit around and “dialogue” about moral issues is simply spreading the ignorance around.

    As Catholics our “common ground” is the deposit of faith, nourished through the sacraments, exercised in communion with the Holy Father, and sustained by charity. If we don’t have the depost of faith (including the Church’s teaching on morality), then dialogue would be incoherent and endless. Just more confusion and rationalization, imho.

    When I first commented, I expected this to be a “one and done” sort of thing. Thank you, Karen, for your willingness to include me in the ongoing discussion, despite our differences. I won’t pester you with further comments. I’ll remember all of you in my prayers before the Blessed Sacrament this evening.


  41. M. Forrest Says:

    Okay, Karen, as you put some specific questions to me, I’ll answer this one last posting.

    1) Personally, my primary concern is abortion and euthanasia. These are matters of immediate life and death.

    2) There are other non-sequiturs you’ve offered, such as your statement that “maintaining one’s virginity used to be emphasized for Catholic girls but not for Catholic boys.” I’m not sure who supposedly did this. But if they did, it was wrong.

    3) Our fundamental disagreement (and your disagreement with the Church) is that a homosexual relationship cannot be “loving”, by definition. The friendship is not the problem. It’s the **sex.** It is impossible to engage another human being in that which is inherently disordered and somehow have it be “loving”, objectively speaking.

    5) I already stated that the negative psychological ramifications associated with homosexuality have also been evident in “gay friendly” countries like Denmark. Homsexuality is widely accepted and even celebrated there.

    6) A partial listing of a host of diseases that are most closely associated with common homosexual practices or are disproportionately found amongst those engaging in common homosexual practices are as follows: Anal cancer, anorectal tauma, anal incompetence, anal fissures, Viral Hepatitis types B and C, HIV, premature death (20 years lower lifespan on average: International Journal of Epidemiology).

    Some of the problematic practices that are particularly prevalent in the homosexual community? 1) anal sex, 2) fisting, (inserting one’s entire fist into the anus), 3) insertion of foreign objects into the rectum, 4) orgies, 5) multiple partners, 6) rimming (licking the anus).

    But you’re absolutely correct, if a heterosexual engages in these practices, they are every bit as dangerous and wrong as when practiced by homosexuals. Heterosexuals can and do engage in moral, sacramental sex.

    God bless. Now, unless I you force me to come back with more questions, I’ll take my leave. ☺

  42. Thom Says:

    KCC, one more quick note. You said: “Joe Biden recently said that homosexual couples in an Obama administration would enjoy all the same rights as heterosexual couples under the law. I don’t think anybody reasonably understands things differently in that regard.”

    During that debate- the VP- Sarah Palin said that her position and the Obama position on this were the same, unless something has changed over the last month.

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