Bishop Jugis Statement: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Sister Jane Silenced

Well, Bishop Jugis finally issued a statement regarding the debacle at the Charlotte Catholic High School:

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The past few weeks have been very difficult for Charlotte Catholic High School. We have all experienced a great deal of pain. During this difficult time I want to express my support and encouragement for all the parents, students, staff and faculty at the high school. We must move forward toward healing with charity, the hallmark of our Christian life.

Different viewpoints regarding Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel’s presentation to students on March 21, 2014, have been discussed in a variety of venues.

At the parent meeting on April 2, 2014, many expressed concern about the lack of advanced communication with parents regarding the subject matter of the assembly. Apologies were made at the meeting for that lack of advanced communication.

The content of the Church’s moral teaching was not raised as a matter of contention at the parent meeting. All of our Catholic schools are committed to hold and teach the Catholic faith in its fullness and with integrity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains an explanation of our faith and is accessible to all.

During this difficult time I support the continued work of Fr. Matthew Kauth, the chaplain; Mrs. Angela Montague and Mr. Steve Carpenter, the assistant principals; and Mr. Randy Belk, the dean of students; and all they are doing for our Charlotte Catholic High School students. All of us are indebted to them.

I am shocked to hear the disturbing reports of a lack of charity and respect at the parents’ meeting, and outside the meeting in conversations and in social media. There simply is no room in the Catholic Church for such displays of uncharitableness and disrespect. If we have failed in this regard let us make amends to God and neighbor. Even when we disagree, that disagreement should be expressed respectfully in love.

We ask the Lord Jesus Christ for His mercy and His healing as we approach the celebrations of Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection. Please be assured of our continued dedication to the mission to teach and live the truth of the Catholic faith at our Charlotte Catholic High School.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis

The Bishop might as well have not released the statement if all he was going to do was give an episcopal version of Rodney King’s “Can’t we all just get along?”

He has been Bishop of Charlotte for almost 11 years.  After this time period he has parents and students at the Charlotte Catholic High School staging a full scale revolt against Catholic moral teaching and viciously attacking Sister Jane Dominic Laurel who had the temerity to preach Catholic doctrine at a Catholic school.  He has been missing in action throughout this agitprop by enemies of the Church.  Now he comes out with a statement that attempts to sidestep the whole issue.   What was needed was a full throated endorsement of Catholic moral teaching in regard to marriage and sex and a pledge to get to the root of the problem at the High School where so many students and their parents obviously reject Church teaching.  Instead of this we have the Bishop giving a lecture in manners, firmly focusing on the molehill instead of the mountain.  The words pathetic and useless come to mind.  As I noted in an earlier post, the chief lesson of this fiasco is that if a Catholic defends Church teaching in the area of sex and marriage, and those who despise Church teaching take offense, you are on your own Jack and Jane.

 

94 Responses to Bishop Jugis Statement: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

  • What kind of a statement is this? Is it just me or is he saying nothing? “The content of the Church’s moral teaching was not raised as a matter of contention…” Really? So what IS the problem? “The lack of advanced communication with parents regarding the subject matter” ? That is the only concrete problem clearly stated. That is causing a’great deal of pain’, ‘difficult time’ (3X), ‘shock’, ‘disturbing reports’ that require ‘support’, ‘encouragement’, ‘healing with charity’, more ‘support’, and ‘amends to God and neighbor’. There is some reference to disrespect, lack of charity and disagreement – over what we do not know- but this condemned. What a bunch of baloney! He sounds like a politician who answers questions without answering but takes you for a walk somewhere. Come on, Bishop!! Why is Sr Laurel the only one not mentioned for any support or indebtedness or anything, while parents, students, staff, faculty and four administrators by name are addressed. This stinks……

  • I’d say that His Excellency’s support for the clear and unadulterated proclamation
    of the Church’s teaching in this case is… underwhelming.

  • They should expel everyone of these students and excommunicate the parents. If I was the Bishop that would be the least I would do.

  • “We must move forward toward healing with charity, the hallmark of our Christian life.” Bishop Jugis.

    Enough said. Pray hard. The devil is hungry.

  • With friends like that, who needs enemies?
    Wake up, bishop – the enemy is at the gate.

  • I want to give the bishop the benefit of the doubt. If an objection to the content was not raised at the parent meeting, then it wasn’t raised. My speculation is that it was about the content, but when it became clear to the complainers that they would have to justify the uproar to the bishop, they balked and cobbled together a complaint about not being forewarned. To wit: You don’t raise a stink so bad that it forces a nun into a sabbatical because someone forgot to cc the parents in advance.

  • Sister Jane and the school did not prepare her audience for her talk. Heck…Christ did not prepare the pharisees for any of his “whited sepulcher” talks. John the Baptist did not prepare them for “brood of vipers”. This preparation thing must have started when grief counselors started in the high schools. Last week in Jersey City’s Dickinson High School, twenty students brawled and took out the security guard and the principal with an overhand right and she should know by now that if you grab the top/ back of your head with your left hand, the overhand right fails because it collides with your bicep. There was no talk of grief counselors…if in fact Jersey City has any.
    Sr. Jane could give ten talks at Dickinson High with no parent protest because parents there are just glad to see their children non ambulatory after school. Poverty/affluence is a factor in this preparation thing.

  • That should be ambulatory not “non ambulatory”…lol.

  • My letter to the Diocese at http://www.charlottediocese.org/contact-us. I tried to be nice.

    Your Grace,

    I read your statement with regard to the recent parent meeting on Sister Jane Dominic laurel’s talk about sexual morality at the Charlotte Catholic High School as it was reprinted on the American Catholic blog:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2014/04/09/bishop-jugis-statement-cant-we-all-just-get-along/

    I dislike the disrespect that some have shown towards you. I appreciate the reputation you have for orthodoxy in the Faith. I wish, however, that a stronger statement of support for Sister Jane had been issued. She was correct when she stated that the likelihood for sexual deviancy increases as a result of the wounds created by pornography, masturbation, single parenting and divorce. That said, I too admit that I have failed in the area of morality (for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God) and I thank God for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance. But Sister Jane deserves a more vocal support than was received.

    Respectfully Yours,

    Paul Primavera

  • “The content of the Church’s moral teaching was not raised as a matter of contention at the parent meeting. All of our Catholic schools are committed to hold and teach the Catholic faith in its fullness and with integrity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains an explanation of our faith and is accessible to all”

    Let us trust this will be seen as a measured call to “an abstinence from all private fancies and caprices and personal tastes” in religious instruction, The very last thing we need today is ” stores of learning, but little that is precise and serviceable; Catholic truth and individual opinion, first principles and the guesses of genius, all mingled in the same works, and requiring to be discriminated.” (Bl John Henry Newman)

    Every teacher of religion should be ready to answer Andrew Melville’s oft-repeated question to the Tulchan Bishops – “Weel enough, man, weel enough, I dinna say you’re wrang; but, now, show it to me in the word of God.”

  • The Bishop’s comments indicate the same weak leadership in the Catholic Church evident for almost 50 years now. Do not wonder why the Church is self destructing when Her leaders apologize for the morality of our Catholic Faith. Shame on Bishop Jugis for his failure to step up to the plate and speak forthrightly and clearly. This is what these unruly parents needed and his choice not to do so has only strengthened them in their obdurate refusal to hear and obey Christ.

  • Given time to reflect, he trades in artifice and evasion and the language of the therapeutic. Worthless Worthless Worthless.

  • Earlier this week, a Muslim friend and I joked with each other that -soon neither a Catholic nor a Muslim would be able to be a CEO of a large company.

    And just yesterday, he (a serious Muslim) asked me why: We don’t hear the Bishops and Priests speaking to the Sin of actively engaging in homosexual sex? It is a Sin is it not? What does the Bible Teach he asked?
    I read to him the passage from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans.

    “What is the issue!” he exclaimed! “Is it not clearly written!” “Why do we not hear Bishops and Priests quoting this!”
    His demeanor was clearly: 1-a better respect for the Bible, and 2-a frustration for now living in a Christian country where Religion is not taught, and 3- a real anger at clerics who are weak and do not the courage proclaim it.

    In our many talks, he and I have never so profoundly agreed on anything as much as this. I almost called him “brother”, which he is of course, but the feeling was so palpable..

  • By my perception, his letter is crystal clear about one thing; mortal sin and hell just do not exist, and these parents and students who embrace so lovingly homosexualism are going to waltz right through the gates of heaven when they die. Hey, if they also embrace abortion (which i think many of them do) they won’t waltz, they will gallop through those pearly gates!

  • I stand by my good faith (!) criticisms of some of Sister Jane’s speculations. Presented in such a forum such opinions are too easy to conflate with Church teaching and confuse the faithful. They are also matters on which Catholics are free to disagree, and therefore ill-suited for a Catholic high school presentation, especially without exceedingly careful caveating.

    That said, the Bishop’s statement that the content of Church teaching was not a point of contention hardly seems credible. Yes, Sister probably presented her topic inperfectly; yes, perhaps parental notice regarding the topic might also have been imperfect; and yes these imperfections somewhat complicate an appropriate diocesan response. But this response hardly measures up. It seems reasonably plain that many parents and students disagree with Catholic teaching, and the Bishop would rather ignore that fact than use this opportunity to exercise his teaching responsiblity. To be charitable, he perhaps has concluded that first passions must recede before teaching can be received. I can only hope there is such an explanation.

  • Good grief. What has happened to our Fighting Faith? I hate to break it to the Church hierarchy, but this “avoid confrontation at all costs” mentality is not going to work. It just encourages the enemies of the Church.

    I know the marching orders from Rome are to use the “Jesus, our best pal” approach to evangelization, but if all you are doing is confirming people in their lost lifestyles and mistaken beliefs, how is that doing God’s work? The purpose of the Church is to save souls. Catholic schools are meant to aid in achieving that goal. They do not exist for their own sake, or to provide teachers with jobs, or to provide a haven for the children of secular parents who don’t want their kids going to the public schools.

  • “They are also matters on which Catholics are free to disagree, and therefore ill-suited for a Catholic high school presentation, especially without exceedingly careful caveating.”

    Why? These kids are bombarded every day with the message that homosexuals are “born that way,” despite the overwhelming evidence that refutes a purely genetic explanation. Where else will these kids hear other theories on this issue?

  • Man, I couldn’t agree with you more. When I read that official statement, I was utterly deflated. Silly me. The headline actually led me to believe that the Bishop came out in defense of the Sister and Church teaching! What in the world was I thinking? Shameful. As shameful as the reaction of all those ‘c’atholic students and parents to the Sister’s presentation. Actually, more. He is supposed to be the shepherd of souls, isn’t he? Good grief.

  • Mike,
    Keep in mind that the Church does not caveat Romans 1:25-27 when it is read in Mass to all teens and it …sees the active gay choice as to actions ( and in this case SSA) as proceeding from a non sexual PREVIOUS sin…worshipping matter rather than God which may pertain to some teens who should hear it:

    ” They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    26 Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural,
    27 and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.”

    Now we are just beginning to see e.g. in studies of the chimera individual ( when composed of male female genes after fraternal twin eggs fuse) how SSA as a tempting condition can be thrust innocently on someone, so if Sr. Jane neglected the innocent sources of SSA then yes it’s unfortunate but no homilist I ever heard brings them up either as a caveat when Romans is read. As Brian says…normal life is filled with non caveated teachings. I can really see caveats IF the message of Romans one is announced simultaneously and clearly and even Sr. Laurel seems not to have dared that….(it’s probably hate speech in certain countries now and it’s God’s word through Paul).

  • He hath sounded forth the trumpet yhat shall ever call “retreat”/
    He is puzzling all hearts of men before His bishop’s seat:
    Oh, be swift, my soul, to skedaddle! Be tremulous, my feet!
    More fudge is being made…

  • “The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains an explanation of our faith and is accessible to all” ; I trust he means accessible, without gloss or commentary.

    However learned or well-intentioned such speculations are not, in St James’s words, “desursum” – from Above nor are they likely to be “pacifica” – peaceful.

  • Thomas, Thank you for a very perceptive and helpful post. Yes, it’s tragic that the truths of the Faith are not taught, and people such as Sister Laurel Jane who speak them are attacked.

  • Two reasons you daily see thirteen-year-old children proudly proclaim that they are homosexual are: the silencing of good teachers like Sister Jane, and the doubt and confusion daily promulgated by Church hierarchy, e.g. Bishop Jugis’ statement.

    Here is uncharity: to assist unrepentant sinners in being consigned to the fire of Hell. An alternative translation of “Spare the rod spoil the child.” is, “Spare the rod hate the child.” See Proverbs 13:24.

  • And so the here say and speculation continues…

    Facts people. Where are they?

    What exactly was said at the talk? And what offended? And exactly what needed to be apologised for?

    And what on Gods good earth is the point of the Bishops statement?

    I don’t get the whole thing.

  • Jack and Jane are wondering why each and every child enrolled in R. Ed. is lacking a couple of texts, ceremoniously presented. The Holy Bible and a Catechism are what Jack and Jane mean. They see only cartoon representations of the Holy in glossy paper mags or on 8-1/2 x 11 activity sheets copied ad nauseum for the recycle bin.

    Ignorance is not bliss in Charlotte and in the rest of the world – a result of the much bandied about undefined word ‘charity’? Jack and Jane are living in quiet desperation as ordered to get along in the voracious confusion.

  • I stand by my good faith (!) criticisms of some of Sister Jane’s speculations.

    Your criticisms were contrived tripe and there is no reason to believe she undertook any speculations.

  • I started thinking about “… Romans 1:25-27 … is read in Mass to all teens” and wondering when I had heard that read in Mass, so I tried to look it up in various listings of daily readings and I can’t find it. The one I found goes up to Roman 1:25, but does not include 26 and 27. I’m sure it must be there somewhere.

  • Lovely use of the passive voice throughout, Bishop.

  • “I support the continued work of Fr. Matthew Kauth[.]”
    This is not in the passive voice.

    “I am shocked to hear the disturbing reports of a lack of charity and respect at the parents’ meeting[.]”
    Again, not in the passive voice.

  • Again, not in the passive voice.

    ==

    Fair enough. Aside from the wheedling about ‘pain’ and ‘healing’, you will notice his pro-forma expressions of support included the chaplain and three administrators at the school (http://www.ratemyteachers.com/steve-carpenter/995645-t). They did not include the Sister under attack.

    It is what you do not hear that is salient, as in

    1. In case there is any confusion on this point, sodomy is a mortal sin.
    2. Men and women are complimentary; the sacrament of matrimony should not be the subject of burlesque.
    3. This is a Catholic school. We transmit the moral teachings of the Church here. We are not going to send home permission slips before we do that. If you object, enroll your brat elsewhere.
    4. Sister Jane quoted from the Linacre Quarterly. This does not bother me and should not bother you.
    5. Lots of people appear to be misinformed about where the Church stands and what the function of Catholic schools are, as well as being possessed of considerable effrontery and bad manners. Most distasteful.

  • So many people are needlessly confused and frustrated because they assume/expect that a primary concern of the RC Church USA is the spiritual welfare of the people. Wake up my people! It is VERY clear that the business side of the Church is paramount. As far as your eternal soul is concerned, you are on your own. That is the way things work today, post V2, and in our Western materialistic soçiety. Why would you even think the Church cares about your soul outside of cash flow and revenue streams.
    .
    If you are really interested in RCism, then there is Fr Reid at St Ann in Charlotte; and don’t forget Fr Isaac Mary Relyea (too bad he wasn’t at that parents meeting).
    .
    Got to face up to it folks: much of the RC Church in the West is no longer RC.

  • Anzlyne,
    I checked multiple Mass cycles and I must have imagined the reading going beyond verse 25 into 26-27. I even checked the separate Jesuit lectionary because I went to their Masses for many years and having read the whole Bible when young and memorizing alot, I probably meshed all the verses together in my memory. Depressing.. because it means that 98% of Catholic teens will never encounter verses 26 and 27 in a time period when it is extremely relevant unless a Catholic High teacher shows it to them in class or assigns Romans to be read in its entirety or they curiously follow up the footnote 141 from the first catechism article. Barring that, they could live and die and never see profoundly relevant verses for our time. And the catechism references those verses (141) but does not openly broach their issue….that worshipping matter rather than God CAN bring on the exchange to gay active life as God withdraws grace ( ” handed them over to degrading passions”). In fact the catechism editorializes that gay inclinations are a trial for most who have them but that position seems to be a guess tinged with wishful thinking. Providentially God willed into scripture’s few comments on gay reality….nothing of the catechism’s editorial on that score.

  • I too am disappointed by the statement’s lack of express support for Sister Jane. I have been among the few on this blog who have criticized Sister’s interjection of controversial findings from the soft sciences into a talk that probably should have focused exclusively on Church teachings, which teachings are controversial enough, unfortunately. That said, (i) her opinions are wholly compatible with Catholic teaching, (ii) there is no reason to believe that these opinions were disrespectful to those afflicted with SSA or expressed in a mean-spirited way, (iii) disagreement with her opinions did not justify the aggressively hostile response, and (iv) it seems implausible that the disagreement with Sister’s presentation can be fairly cabined to her social science assertions. Instead, parents and students apparently have issues with Church teaching itself, and the Bishop’s apparent fudging of that fact, even if a well-intended prudential decision, operates to the unfair detriment of Sister Jane. The Bishop’s statement could have instead said something like:

    “Sister’s speculative social science observations, while not Catholic teaching, are compatible with Catholic teaching and deserve at least as much respect as equally speculative contrary observations offered uncritically every day in the mainstream media. More importantly, Sister’s explication of Catholic teaching regarding the disorder of homosexual attractions and sinfulness of homosexual actions represents authentic Catholic teaching. Families who disagree with Catholic teaching may be welcome at a Catholic school, but such families must tolerate such teaching and accord it respect, and Catholics who disagree with the magisterium should reconsider their self-understanding as Catholics. Finally, to oppose and feign surprise at the teaching of Catholic morality at Catholic schools defies credulity. The fact that it is the job of Catholic schools to impart Catholic moral teaching should not be open to debate.”

  • Am I the only one who would have been infuriated if my children had been forced to sit through something like that in mixed company with no forwarning? I’m sorry, but I remember high school, and I would have been mortified if my public school had ever put me in a situation of sitting around my male teenage schoolmates hearing about how males masturbating together causes homosexuality, etc, etc. Honestly, I do not want my teenage daughters exposed to conversations about masturbation, porn, and homosexuality in the mixed company of teen boys. Parents should have been forewarned. I personally feel that this is a topic that should be discussed in much smaller, single sex groups, and given by people the teens (and their parents) already know and trust—not some stranger in a huge auditorium talking about masturbation and porn to a mixed-company group of teens.

    I am hardly a prude. And I believe in Church teaching. But the idea that this whole situation was just hunky-dory fantastic and that the only parents who would dare complain about such a thing are the ones who are heretics and Church haters is ridiculous.

    I thank God I never had to sit through such an experience myself as a teen. If I were subjected to it now with a mixed-sex group of peers, I’d get up and walk out, But those teens did not have that choice, and their parents were never given the opportunity to make that choice for them.

    In any event, the entire thing was an epic fail–a bunch of teens were just turned away even further from Church teaching. What a debacle.

  • “Am I the only one who would have been infuriated if my children had been forced to sit through something like that in mixed company with no forwarning?”

    With the presentation given by a nun? Give me a break. All of this sturm und drang had absolutely zip to do with notification and everything to do with the fact that a lot of parents and students at this supposedly Catholic High School, and more than a few teachers I suspect, despise Church teaching in regard to marriage, divorce, contraception and homosexuality.

  • Mike,
    When young, I once had an entire pool room filled with thugs yelling for my head to a felon who pulled a pool cue on me simply because I told him he owed for the game because I won. He had already served time for cracking a guy’s head with a pipe. The way I reciprocated his drawing of a weapon told the whole twenty of them that it wouldn’t be good to be first to go for me. They grew silent. Once downstairs in the night, I knew to get lost before they conspired and regrouped and I ran for miles to my home area. Sr. Laurel feels worse than that now…but she’s got other nuns to help her. But a part of her is running in the night alone…for miles. And I’ll bet she had a death threat…and they are awful at the front end especially. Let’s hope she feels Him running right next to her…because He’s there and proud of His Asian daughter even with any imbalances she might…might of had. She’ll have wounds from this …about humans including about the Bishop.

  • All of this sturm und drang had absolutely zip to do with notification…
    Donald R. McClarey

     
    That was also my immediate assessment. Weren’t many protest signs bewailing lack of notification among the protestors.

  • I agree that prior notification should have given, considering the sensitivity of the subject of sexuality and some of the specific things discussed (e.g. masturbation etc.). If I were one of the parents, I would have liked a heads up perhaps requested permission to attend the talk myself. Otherwise, I would have no objections.

    However, this responsibility rests with the school, not Sister Jane. And it seems to me that all the vitriol has hurled at Sister Jane and the whole parental notification concern (again a legitimate concern I think) has been another excuse to attack Sister Jane.

    These are the matters the Bishop should have addressed directly. I also think attendance at presentations where Church teaching on matters of morality (sexual and other wise) should be mandatory for parents as well as the students, given the confusion about Church teaching.

  • Thank you for researching it bill bannon. I am disappointed – actually sick and tired of being disappointed with the leadership of our Church. I used to think there were just a few bad apples…but when it comes to sexuality the lavender people got there before us. I don’t accept it as coincidence that those very important verses were left out of the mass readings.
    Also the lack of firmness in the CCC. No wonder so many Catholics, teachers and otherwise don’t know those verses. Relatively few have ever shown your interest and energy in reading for themselves .
    A lot of changes happened in the liturgy, as you know, that we’re not required in Vatican 2. the translation only being part. I had been taught that the calendar of readings would give us a good understanding of scripture over a 3 year period.
    The bishop is apparently trying to walk a line of non controversy, like so many others. But our Faith IS controversial. As part of that Scripture you referenced, Paul declares he is Not Ashamed of the Gospel.

  • His Church of Nice was fed the truth and he couldn’t handle it. What worries me is that Sr. Jane was merely stating the Church’s teaching and the diocese didn’t recognize it!

  • I’m sorry, but I remember high school, and I would have been mortified if my public school had ever put me in a situation of sitting around my male teenage schoolmates hearing about how males masturbating together causes homosexuality,

    You must be my mother’s age. I was compelled to sit through ‘health’ classes, one of which featured a 53 year old lady gym teacher give a lecture on contraceptive devices, complete with an IUD as a prop. That was about 35 years ago.

  • So I guess I was too nice in my communication to the Diocese. Well, it included a link to this blog post, so maybe someone at the Diocese will read it and realize that conciliation has gained them nothing.

  • Anzlyne,
    We are living during a pendulum swing that is the opposite of the Inquisition period and is often tinged with an opposite public relations pitch and shouldn’t be. Remember the Sears ad campaign…the “softer side of Sears”. Well….we’re in the softer side of the Church period and it will be a mess until you get a very gifted administrative Pope who neither wants the Inquisition nor its soft opposite. Lol….he’ll not want heretics killed but he will want gruesome cartel murderers executed instead of watching tv for life on our dime.
    Thesis…antithesis…synthesis. That third one is not even in sight in our lifetimes. No recent pope was a good administrator. A future pope will be. He’ll want what Dietrich von Hildebrand called ” between the two extremes and above them”….not middle…but exalted middle.

  • Mystified, etc. The text of the petition circulated by one Emma Winters is here:

    http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2014/04/02/pope-francis-comments-on-homosexuality-abortion-and-contraception-brings-protest-by-parents-and-students-at-charlotte-n-c-catholic-high-school/

    There is not one phrase in it on parental notification. Those of you who fancy it wrong for the sister to have quoted the Linacre Quarterly might note that the adolescents who circulated it and the various parties who signed have some assertions to make of their own about human behavior (without any citation to the Linacre Quarterly or any other authority). Its the recitation of a very contemporary credo. Adults doing their job remind the young that moral discourse is ancient and moral knowledge is not a technology which accretes, much less a consumer’s technology that the young have a peculiar affinity for; a great many of them are not doing their jobs.

  • Bill Bannon wrote, “We are living during a pendulum swing that is the opposite of the Inquisition”

    The Church is still suffering from the calamity of Lamentabili and Pascendi. In the aftermath, the Church was left without a voice in apologetics, revelation and the history of dogma. Above all, she suffered what Abbé Henri Brémond called “the flight of the mystics.”

    I believe Maurice Blondel was right, when he said, “[U]nprecedented perhaps in depth and extent–for it is at the same time scientific, metaphysical, moral, social and political–[the crisis] is not a “dissolution” [for the spirit of faith does not die], nor even an “evolution” [for the spirit of faith does not change], it is a purification of the religious sense, and an integration of Catholic truth.”

    Alas! a century later, we are still only in the springtime of the recovery.

  • I stand by my good faith (!) criticisms of some of Sister Jane’s speculations.
    Why is this a problem? It is entirely proper to speculate as long as you make it clear that you are speculating. This is easy to do, just say “may” instead of “is”. No one has proved that Sr. Jane did not do this.
    -
    No, there are multiple issues here about “speculation” in this case:
    -
    1) The idea that hard biological science has proven beyond debate that all SSA is genetically, gestationally, or otherwise physiologically predetermined is frankly not true. All we know is that some SSA may be predetermined, from a single genetic study by a homosexual (hence biased) researcher that has not been replicated. So, it is simply not true that speculation is inappropriate.
    -
    2) The proper and improper uses of speculation, and the identification of such, are part of a well formed education. Closing off something just because it is speculative is not conducive to education. Evidence is what is used to evaluate the value of a speculation.

    3) To repeat, evidence is what is used to evaluate the value of a speculation. Is the evidence against the speculation attributed to Sr. Jane equal to the evidence against, say, a Holocaust-denier? Obviously not (see #1 above).
    -
    4) The real problem for Sr. Jane’s critics is that such speculation is a threat to the pro-homosexual orthodoxy that all SSA is biologically predetermined. Gays and their enablers have, if no one has noticed, a great deal of emotional investment in this orthodoxy. Dissenters must be destroyed to ensure the orthodoxy can be accepted without qualms.
    -
    The issues listed above just scratch the surface. Here are more:
    -
    5) If SSA is entirely predetermined, that still does not negate Church teaching regarding free will and the formation of conscience. However, Sr. Jane’s critics definitely want to use the concept of SSA pre-determinism to negate these Church teachings. All throughout these debates on sexual morality – yes, with heterosexual attractions also – are the ideas “people can’t really help themselves” (i.e., sexual impulses are too strong to deny) and “people become really unhappy when they deny their sexual impulses” (as if they aren’t unhappy when they surrender to them). It is obvious: if gays and horny straights are to be saved in this world and the next, then the Church’s moral theology needs to change, because people really can’t change.
    -
    6) This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding biological pre-determinism. In the coming years science will more and more show us the genetic and neurological bases of morality, free will, and consciousness itself. The Church will rise to the occasion and show why this changes nothing, but will anyone listen? Once pre-determinism is accepted as an alternative and a legitimate challenge to moral philosophy then anything could happen. Free will really does not exist? Then the value of a free vote in an election or on a jury is diminished. Consciousness is an illusion? Then modify it to make people happy. Brave New World style dystopias will move much closer.

    The Planster’s Vision
    by Sir John Betjeman

    Cut down that timber! Bells, too many and strong,
    Pouring their music through the branches bare,
    From moon-white church-towers down the windy air
    Have pealed the centuries out with Evensong.
    Remove those cottages, a huddled throng!
    Too many babies have been born in there,
    Too many coffins, bumping down the stair,
    Carried the old their garden paths along.

    I have a Vision of The Future, chum,
    The worker’s flats in fields of soya beans
    Tower up like silver pencils, score on score:
    And Surging Millions hear the Challenge come
    From microphones in communal canteens
    “No Right! No wrong! All’s perfect, evermore.”

    Poor Sr. Jane. She probably knows full well what she is up against.

  • I do want to offer a defense of Bishop Jugis. I believe he has actually approached this particular situation with a very appropriate response.
    -
    Sr. Jane’s critics are wrong, and if they are in good faith then they are wrong because they have decided that charity requires them to excuse immorality (charity requires us to understand and forgive immorality, a distinction the critics are confused about). Again, assuming they are acting in good faith, their moral confusion is due to a misapplication of charity. It follows that charity is important to the critics.
    -
    So, when Bishop Jugis tells these people rather bluntly that they have been uncharitable he is attacking the very root of their error.
    -
    Sr. Jane spoke to these people (she spoke directly to the students and thus spoke a step removed to the parents). Their ears were closed. One can guess that Bishop Jugis knows their ears are closed, and so he knows that a ringing restatement of Church moral teaching will not be heard. The appeal to charity, however, might open some ears.
    -
    Much of the criticism of Bishop Jugis on this thread seems to be due to a tactical difference of viewpoint: people wanted a Marquis of Queensbury knockout, and the Bishop made a jujitsu move instead.

  • “Those of you who fancy it wrong for the sister to have quoted the Linacre Quarterly might note that the adolescents who circulated it and the various parties who signed have some assertions to make of their own about human behavior (without any citation to the Linacre Quarterly or any other authority).”

    Yes indeed. It looks like the problem is not that Sister Jane quoted a scientific review, the problem is that the scientific findings do not support the homosexualist faith of the parents and students. This anti-science faith was then defended by the parents and students by attempting to silence the truth.
    Unfortunately, the Bishop is contributing to the silence with this letter.

  • “The appeal to charity, however, might open some ears.”

    To what?

    “people wanted a Marquis of Queensbury knockout, and the Bishop made a jujitsu move instead.”

    A jujitsu move would require one to be engaged in a martial confrontation. The bishop’s weak statement strikes me as being more like turning around and running off the mat.

  • Again, assuming they are acting in good faith, their moral confusion is due to a misapplication of charity. It follows that charity is important to the critics.

    Pttah. Find me one among them who is in the business of putting the best construction on what the Sister said. Here’s a more plausible hypothesis: these people are conventional thinkers, full stop, and are drawn to what is convenient for them and what feeds their amour propre. There is not a whole lot of there there other than shallowness, pretension, and bad manners.

  • TomD wrote“science will more and more show us the genetic and neurological bases of morality, free will, and consciousness itself “
    We should recall Catholic Philosopher Miss Ascombe’s remarks in her debate with C S Lewis back in 1948 – “The naturalistic hypothesis is that causal laws could be discovered which could be successfully applied to all human behaviour, including thought. If such laws were discovered they would not show that a man’s reasons were not his reasons; for a man who is explaining his reasons is not giving a causal account at all. “Causes,” in the scientific sense in which this word is used when we speak of causal laws, is to be explained in terms of observed regularities: but the declaration of one’s reasons or motives is not founded on observation of regularities. ‘Reasons’ and ‘motives’ are what is elicited from someone whom we ask to explain himself. “
    Take her example, “You might ask me: “why did you half-turn towards the door?” and I explain that I thought I saw a friend coming in, and then realized it was someone else. This may be the explanation although I did not at the time SAY to myself “Hello! There’s so-and-so; I’ll go and speak to him; oh no, it’s someone else.” So when I give the explanation it is not by way of observing two events and the causal relation between them.”
    The two types of explanation have nothing to do with each other.
    Determinism introduces another problem. As Wittgenstein asks, what is the difference between “A, B, C happened” and “A, B, C happened necessarily.” How could we tell the difference between the two sequences? If “necessarily” adds nothing to the description, nothing we can observe or test, determinism is an empty category.

  • “Much of the criticism of Bishop Jugis on this thread seems to be due to a tactical difference of viewpoint: people wanted a Marquis of Queensbury knockout, and the Bishop made a jujitsu move instead.”

    (br)That’s a charitable spin, but one that misses a crucial fact: the bishop came upon a mob beating the crap out of a nun and said “Hey–manners, people.” And that’s all the “aid” he rendered to her. She apparently took the unspoken message to heart, and has stopped teaching entirely. That’s a big, big win for the bad guys.(/br)

  • Dale,
    I surmise that the sabbatical is all about protecting her other nuns from a ?? psycho who might…might…have sent her a threatening letter if we read between the below lines. fRED on April 6 posted this exchange between him and Sr. Laurel’s superior on the thread about Sr. being silenced:

    ” I emailed Sr. Jane’s superior, Sr. Mary Sarah (srmsarah@aquinascollege.edu)-President of Aquinas College, yesterday (Saturday) in support of Sr. Jane. To my surprise, I received a reply:
    “Sister Jane Dominic has only tried to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to a world in need of healing. The Dominican Sisters and the Aquinas College community are in complete support of Sister Jane Dominic. We have concerns for Sister’s personal safety at this time. Please keep this intention in your prayers.”
    - See more at: http://the-american-catholic.com/2014/04/06/the-silencing-of-sister-jane/#comments

  • the bishop came upon a mob beating the crap out of a nun and said “Hey–manners, people.”

    http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2003_01_06/2003_02_01_Kelly_FoxesAnd.htm

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/1107388/posts

    Not quite on point, but they may provide some insight into Bp. Jugis.

  • “Here’s a more plausible hypothesis: these people are conventional thinkers, full stop, and are drawn to what is convenient for them and what feeds their amour propre. There is not a whole lot of there there other than shallowness, pretension, and bad manners.”
    -
    Not going to disagree one bit Art. I was merely focusing less on where these people are and more on how they got there. How do you convince someone that they are in error? Unless they suddenly see they are in error (a flash usually prompted by a painful consequence of error), the only option is to backtrack into their thinking that led them to their present position and find the weak link. Even so, that only works if they are in “good faith”, which leads to:
    -
    “Find me one among them who is in the business of putting the best construction on what the Sister said”
    -
    That’s not what I wrote. My position is they were incapable of putting the best construction on what Sr. Jane said. Hence the importance of “good faith”: if they have it then they can be open to perceiving the weak link in their moral reasoning. If they are not in good faith then they simply love the sin and cannot change. A call to charity is a call to return to or to remain in good faith – it is not the answer, it is just a beginning. If they listen to Bishop Jugis he will still have a lot of work ahead.
    -
    One last thing. I like your choice of the word “business”. Previous posts to the American Catholic site indicate that some of these parents may have ties to gay activist groups. If true then some of these people are certainly in some way in the business of NOT putting the best construction on what the Sister said. We simply cannot hide facts such as these. Bishop Jugis will in some way at some time have to address this. I think that it might be better to do so after we see the result of this call to charity.

  • Thank you for the Kelly link Art

  • Dale,
    I try to be charitable. Not always am, but I try.
    -
    “the bishop came upon a mob beating the crap out of a nun and said “Hey–manners, people.” And that’s all the “aid” he rendered to her.” Is that a bad thing? Of course this is a figurative mob – Sr. Jane was not present when the actual mob attacked Fr. Kauth. This made me think of the scene in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird where the character of Atticus Finch tries to talk a mob out of lynching his client. His approach was half due process ideals and half manners.
    -
    “She apparently took the unspoken message to heart, and has stopped teaching entirely” She stopped teaching before he made his statement.
    -
    “That’s a big, big win for the bad guys”
    I’m not sure it’s really big and I am certain that it need not be permanent. One issue to me is that, like the mob in that novel, this mob can be divided. Not everyone is a bad guy, some are just fellow travelers. An appeal to charity is one way to attempt a division. Succeed at that and it’s not so big after all.
    -
    I understand the frustration people have with bishops who don’t do their jobs to the best of their abilities and resources. Heck, I’m frustrated too. I just think we are too soon into this scandal (yeah, a laity scandal) to know that Bishop Jugis will drop the ball.

  • With the help of his good catholic high parents, Bishop Jugis finally found that evil nun and threw her under the bus. Then promptly boarded the bus and said “We must move forward toward healing with charity, the hallmark of our Christian life.”

  • Art Deco

    Thank you for the link to Fr Paul Mankowski’s article.

    In most countries, bishops tend to be nominated by a caucus of the episcopate, a system well described by Walter Bagehot: “a sort of representative meeting which sits voting and voting till they have cut out all the known men against whom much is to be said, and agreed on some unknown man against whom there is nothing known, and therefore nothing to be alleged.”

    It is much easier to black-ball a man than to secure his appointment.

  • the only option is to backtrack into their thinking that led them to their present position and find the weak link.

    Good luck with that. The bishop made no attempt at it.

    You can argue that I am extrapolating too much from personal experience if you care to, but I will offer this hypothesis: that these are people who were born into and have lived in their own time and in a given social station. What they have to say, no matter how vehemently they say it, is largely epiphenomenal. To elaborate on that, I paint you a picture:

    1. The economy of Catholic schooling has long since imploded and the prices and clientele of these schools are similar to what you would have seen in a non-Catholic private day school a generation ago. Which is to say they are collecting pools of professional-managerial bourgeois interested in college prep and the athletic program.

    2. That social segment is shot through with people who have no particular respect for the authority of anyone in a non-prestige occupation. They are deferential to psychiatrists, not to clergymen or school teachers.

    3. That they are generically intelligent and know a given profession well does not mean they are liberally educated or adept at all at moral discourse (or even willing to listen to it). You have the opinions and impressions within their social circle and hardly anyone they care about has ever said boo to them and asked them how it is they came to the view they have. I am not suggesting they should be philosophical sophisticates (none of us are), merely that they should be able to ponder one step back or two steps back from whatever it is that’s the mode in their social circle. They cannot and will not, by and large. It might have occurred to some of them that, if they have been shuffling around for four or five decades, that they’ve lived through about three or four different dispensations re how homosexuality is treated in mundane life, in mass entertainment, and in public life. Aye, but they process that by understanding themselves to have ‘evolved’ beyond previous generations or their younger selves. Gene Roddenberry may seem silly to you or me, but that way of thinking is the default among a certain class of people. See David Mills on the mentality of the sort of layman active in diocesan conventions in the Episcopal Church.

    4. Now, ‘everybody’ they know and respect thinks a given way (and they interact with their adolescents, who tend to be herd creatures). So here comes Fr. Kauth and Sister Jane and contradicts that. Their reaction: the help is talking back to them. It’s rubbing alcohol on the flames if the goofies and the ticket-punchers on the payroll make sarcastic remarks about the chaplain and the sister. (Among the goofies is a Mrs. Burns, religion teacher there until 2012 and obnoxious signatory, as revealed in her comments on the change.org site; as for ticket-punchers, read student commentary about the senior vice-principal and take your guesses).

    5. Now, you can point out the obvious and ask what they thought they were doing when they paid a five figure sum to send their child to Charlotte Catholic. Then you realize that these people, if they have any religion at all, are one might wager the sort who have an aim identified a decade ago by Fr. Paul Shaughnessy as endemic in the Church’s middle management: the replacement of a Church guided by ecclesiastical authority with one guided by personal experience (of people like us). Ecclesiastical authority is just the help, who are supposed to be deferential to people who pay the bills. (By the way, read Andrew Greeley’s remarks on his brother priests and bishops, and you see he fancied this attitude his well on the part of parishioners and academics such as himself).

  • Art, you wrote
    “Good luck with that. The bishop made no attempt at it.”
    Not yet. Perhaps in a month or two I’ll say everyone was right after all if nothing else comes from him. For now I’ll continue to hope he will do the right thing in the end. Of course, a problem for me is that I don’t live in Charlotte and so I have no way of knowing if he fails. I’m dependent on the reporting here to find out.

    “You can argue that I am extrapolating too much from personal experience if you care to”
    I would never argue that. Nothing about the rest of your post surprises me – I’ve seen some of that stuff myself. And yes, I’ve had people tell me that I couldn’t extrapolate from my experiences, to which I answer ‘If personal experiences don’t matter than people don’t matter”.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour:
    Thank you for the post on the Elizabeth Anscombe / C S Lewis debate. Yes, it is an example of what I was purporting.
    -
    But my larger point was this: should science in the future largely invalidate the reasoning you quote (every single word, after all, is the result of neurons firing in the brains of Elizabeth Anscombe, C S Lewis, and you, and so the reasoning might become self-referential), a scientifically literate Church will still find some way to carve out a view of man as God’s creation that will allow the preservation of the Truth. We have succeeded up until now and so I have no doubt we will continue to do so.

  • About the only thing Art didn’t mention (but it’s implied) is that manifestation of moral relatavism Donald called something like the “heresy of nice.”
    .
    .
    I’d say something about this notion, which seems to me to be a fairly widespread subtext of this debate, that the Church’s moral teachings are somehow analagous to an almost wholly theoretical science existing separately from the applied sciences is a notion that I find troubling. But I really don’t know what to say about that.
    .
    Other than it’s especially absurd in this instance, given that we’re talking about the activity of sex.

  • “You must be my mother’s age.”

    Have no idea–is she 43? I went to public school, and our sex ed classes were separated by sex.

    The last thing I would have wanted to do was sit next to a bunch of horny pervert high school boys (and yes, there were plenty of them) and here talk about porn, homosexuality being caused by boys masturbating together, etc, etc.

    Do you know what that would be like for a teenage girl? Do you know the kinds of jokes and pervy looks you’d end up having to endure after the assembly? And don’t try to tell me Catholic school boys are not so much less pervy than public school boys. I may only be 43, but that wasn’t exactly yesterday.

    If I were a teen and that had been done to me, I’d join in with the rest of the protesting teens, and I wouldn’t really care if their reason for protesting wasn’t exactly the same as mine. I would just want to make sure my younger siblings didn’t have to endure that kind of thing, and I’d jump on the bandwagon of protest.

    Some of the parents might have done the same thing. “I don’t care how it comes about, I just want to make sure this never happens again.” That would not have been my tactic now as an adult and mother of six, but human nature being what it is, I can see that happening.

    In any event, teens were made to feel very uncomforatable, and the like it or not, if you put teens in a situation like that, they are likely to turn against anything you have to say. Your message, no matter how lovely and according to Church teaching, will end up leaving the teens with a very nasty taste in their mouth. I would not be happy at all if my teens attended this school, and one of the reasons I’d be most upset is that an opportunity to speak to the beauty of Church teaching on married love was squandered and for no good reason. Especially for parents whose teens might be wobbling in their faith, this could very well be what pushes them over the edge. This matters. It matters very much.

  • “Do you know what that would be like for a teenage girl? Do you know the kinds of jokes and pervy looks you’d end up having to endure after the assembly?”

    Actually teenage girls, from my observation, are often worse than the boys these days in that regard. Both groups desperately need the message that Sister Jane was preaching, the reaction of idiot parents and their spoiled brats notwithstanding. The issue of lack of notification is rubbish and a red herring.

  • Mystified, verbose artifice is annoying.

  • TomD wrote, “should science in the future largely invalidate the reasoning you quote…”

    But Miss Anscombe shows this to be impossible: “You can talk about the validity of a piece of reasoning, and sometimes about the validity of a kind of reasoning; but if you say you believe in the validity of reasoning itself, what do you mean? Isn’t this question about the validity of reasoning a question about the validity of valid reasoning? Suppose that you are asked to explain “valid,” how will you do it? The most obvious way would be to show examples of valid and invalid reasoning, to make the objections which, in the examples of invalid reasoning, show that the conclusion does not follow from the premises; in the cases of valid reasoning, to elucidate the form of the argument: if the piece of reasoning under consideration is elliptical, to add the statements which are required to enforce the conclusion… Now if the naturalistic hypothesis (that human thought is the product of a chain of natural causes) is proposed to you, you say: “But if this were so, it would destroy the distinction between valid and invalid reasoning.” But how? Would it imply that you could no longer give the explanation you gave, point to and explain the examples, say which arguments proposed to you are valid and which invalid in just the same way as you did before the naturalistic hypothesis was supposed?”

    The meaning of “valid,” “true,” “false” would remain just what they always were.

  • Art Deco

    Thank you for your interesting analysis of attitudes of the professional-managerial bourgeoisie, which I believe is the result of a long historical process.

    Jacques Maritain suggests that, since the Revolution, “the class in question [the bourgeoisie] had among its most solid members a number of practical atheists, more or less brought up by Voltaire and Béranger. They called themselves Catholic, though in all their principles of conduct they denied God, Christ and the Gospel, and upheld religion for merely temporal and political reasons — preserving social order and prosperity in business, consolidating their economic power, and keeping the lower classes in obedience by means of a virtuous rigour sanctioned from on high.”

    Until the Second Vatican Council, the clergy, by and large, accommodated them by preaching “A Catholicism without Christianity, submissiveness without thought, an authority without love… To accept all from God except God, all from Christ except His Spirit, to preserve in Catholicism only a residue that is aristocratic and soothing for the privileged and beguiling or threatening for the lower classes” (Blondel), which suited them exactly. After the Council, a growing number of the clergy, in reaction to the bourgeois values of their parents, have preached a gospel of social activism – the very thing this class does not want at any price.

    Thus, the clergy has sawn through the branch on which they had been sitting for two centuries. Why should the bourgeoisie continue to pay lip-service to a religion in which they do not believe and which no longer reinforces their power? No wonder congregations have collapsed.

  • Mystified: the petition language (abridged) is below. (And as A.D. noted, is found at http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2014/04/02/pope-francis-comments-on-homosexuality-abortion-and-contraception-brings-protest-by-parents-and-students-at-charlotte-n-c-catholic-high-school/).
    .
    There is nothing about lack of parental notification in it, lack of sex separation of the talk. I am 44, so your age. Sister has given similar talks in the past with no uproar, so no, the message of the Church was likely not squandered.
    .
    We don’t really know exactly what Sister Jane said or how she said it. And would it really be a problem for teens to be made to feel a bit uncomfortable? I rather doubt any teen will leave the faith over any thing Sister Jane said. They likely either agree with her, or already disagree with her and are Catholic in Name Only (as are their parents.)
    .
    I can see how people might leave because of the reaction, or non-reaction, of the Church authorities. Little use to “being in the club” when those in charge are no more interested in club rules than anyone else.

    1.We believe that children can thrive in spite of one or both of their parents short comings and/or absence …
    .
    2. We believe that same sex couples have the ability to raise happy, well-adjusted and successful children.
    .
    3. We reject the notion that the actions of one abusive Australian couple should be used to support the idea that same sex couples are unfit parents. . .
    .
    4. We reject the suggestion that homosexuality occurs mainly as a result of a parent’s shortcomings, masturbation or pornography. . .
    .
    5. We recognize the difference between correlation and causation. As a result we realize that men don’t become gay by masturbating in the presence of one another but rather may engage in these activities because they are gay.
    .
    6. We take issue with the phrase “homosexual lifestyle” and the suggestion that it is a distortion for the media to portray homosexual couples “like heterosexual couples.”
    .
    7. We believe that homosexual couples are capable of monogamy
    .
    8. As rational people, we know that most homosexual people lead healthy, normal and productive lives like their heterosexual counterparts.
    .
    9. We resent the fact that a school wide assembly became a stage to blast the issue of homosexuality after Pope Francis said in an interview this past fall that “we can not insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptives methods.”. . .
    .
    10. We the students of Charlotte Catholic High School are confused why time was spent condemning the practice of homosexuality when we could have been spent condemning: world hunger, gun violence, . . .

  • DJH, Mystified has her story and she’s stickin’ to it.

  • I’ve heard how homosexual activists will sometimes send their children to Catholic schools in order to score political points and advance their agenda. I wonder if that has happened here, and Sister simply stepped into it unawares.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour, you wrote in reply to me:
    TomD wrote, “should science in the future largely invalidate the reasoning you quote…” But Miss Anscombe shows this to be impossible…“
    -
    Michael, there is a lot of weird stuff going on. It is not beyond the (dis)ability of scientists to disagree with you about Elizabeth Anscombe. Allow me a few examples.
    -
    It is reasonable to those of us who have philosophical leanings to acknowledge that the scientific method’s scope and limits cannot be determined by use of the scientific method. It is a philosophical problem.
    It is now obvious that neuroscience will in the coming years be able to describe every human thought and activity in terms of brain activity, including faith. Unlike the atheists who gleefully await this day, I personally see no conflict between science and faith here. When they show me neuron activity that to them shows a biological predetermination that denies free will and faith, I just see another ingenious way for God to have impressed into us our need for Him.
    But they will resist any philosophical end run around determinism, kicking and screaming all the way.
    Here is an example. I have mentioned to these people this concern: I agree that the mind is the result of a materialistic arrangement of matter (I believe that the soul and the mind are a lot less connected than most other Christians do, BTW. Do you lose part of your soul during dementia? Of course not). These people hold therefore that free will and consciousness are illusions (which I reject on a number of grounds, which I’ll skip for now). If they are right it then follows that the use of the scientific method and its achievements are also largely illusions. Therefore we are creating an illusion that our minds are illusions. The circular logic is stunning, even if I have oversimplified the argument. To me this is a major clue that they are wrong.
    I can tell you that this argument doesn’t faze these people one bit. They don’t care if they undermine the philosophical basis of science in their effort to use scientific materialism to undermine the mental activity we call faith.
    -
    Here is another example. John Bell came up with his famous Inequality, which basically stated that if quantum mechanics is true and the universe exists, then nonlocal faster than light signaling must exist. It was stunning to see the number of scientists who said “This proves that the universe does not exist”. These guys were willing to deny the existence of the very subject of their studies (and thus the purpose of science itself) rather than admit that relativity might be wrong. It was only after such signaling was demonstrated in the lab that the answer came: the signaling was totally randomized, it could contain no information content, and so relativity was not violated.
    -
    The lessons here are that even in science an obvious error can grasped out of a misplaced love. It is not exactly a sin, but the thinking is remarkably similar.
    -
    So, I have the suspicion that even the brilliance of Elizabeth Anscombe is not the last word on the subject. I suspect that in the coming years there will be a need to create clarifications and amplifications to her ideas, if only to respond to the implications of new discoveries in neuroscience in the minds of the atheists (but not in yours and mine).

  • DJ Hesselius,
    A recent poll gave 50% of Mass going Catholics as supporting same sex marriage. How can that be?
    Anzlyne and I checked all lectionaries for the Mass cycles for each of the three years including decades back. Romans 1:?-25 is read at Mass periodically but the passage stops short of verses 26-27 which are the
    only ones in scripture that A. include prohibiting lesbian sex and B. couch the OT simple condemnation of gay acts in the more complex language of the natural law possibly through Paul via the Stoics.
    Here then are the lines that are never heard in Mass preceded by verse 25 which is the stopping point in Mass:
    ” 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. STOP…NOW THE NEVER READ LINES…26 Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.”

    Catholics never bump into verses 26-27 unless they read Romans on their own initiative yet those are the only complete ( males and females) passage in all scripture against the entirety of the offense.

    Young Catholic protestors in one photo showed signs saying Jesus never spoke about gays etc.
    Well Dei Verbum in Vatican II has Jesus/ God as the author of ” both testaments in all their details”. Verses 26-27 ultimately were from Christ who also as Word wrote Leviticus 18:22 calling gay acts an abomination. For decades Catholic magazines obscured what inspiration means by bad mouthing much of what Paul wrote as though Jesus didn’t author it…(try finding wifely obedience in the catechism…it’s not there).

    Combine that lapsed theology culture with 8 years (1998-2006) of the tv show…” WILL AND GRACE” making sodomy friendly via humor whereas the Trinity …God…said it was “degrading” through Paul. A half hour of “Will and Grace” each week in many Catholic homes combined with verses 26-27 never being in the Mass even biannually….and you’re left with the chaos that will keep happening in such news.

  • And so it continues:

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2014/04/the-magisterium-of-sophomores-another-high-school-explosion/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-magisterium-of-sophomores-another-high-school-explosion

    If bishops do not begin to address this in words stronger than Hallmark cards, one is left to conclude they are content with such actions.

  • Bill: I assume you are asking a rhetorical question. If not, I would say contraception and divorce have a lot to do with it.

  • If bishops do not begin to address this in words stronger than Hallmark cards, one is left to conclude they are content with such actions.

    The principal and the school chaplain come off as weasels (a very common type among school administrators).

  • Philip,
    Prout School may be non judgemental on sexual matters but if you are negligent on paying the $12,151 a year, they turn judgemental in a hurry:
    http://www.theproutschool.org/matriarch/documents/new13contract.pdf

  • The speaker priest in the Prout incident is an excellent speaker. To hear him answer a student assembly as to gay acts, go to time 28:20 during this youtube video in the Midwest Catholic school…Providence.

  • Well. If “[t]he content of the Church’s moral teaching was not raised as a matter of contention at the parent meeting[,]” that must have been, I can only presume, by mutual consent. That is to say Father Kauth and the other members of the school staff neither addressed the items in that petition (Item 6, for one, jumps out), nor allowed the malcontented to raise them, and, surprisingly, they agreed.
    .
    Otherwise, that’s just a piece of faulty after the fact reasoning better known as “wishful thinking.”

  • Bill Bannon wrote, “which are the only ones in scripture that A. include prohibiting lesbian sex“

    The Jewish sages, who had to apply the Torah as a living code of law were unanimous that Leviticus 18:3 “You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live…” prohibits sexual relations between women.( Sifra Aharei Mot 8:8–9 cited by the Mediaeval scholar, Maimonides) In the interpretation of law, I would always trust he practitioner more than the mere commentator.

    As for Romans 1:26, some exegetes hold that St Paul is referencing the doublet in Leviticus 18:22-23 of Mishkav Zachor and Mishkav Behema, In v 23 we find, unusually prohibition referring explicitly to women, “A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.” In other words they take Romans 1:26 to refer to bestiality. There appears nothing in the text to exclude this reading. I do not find their arguments particularly convincing, but, where experts differ, the reading cannot be regarded as settled.

  • Art,
    Annoying is playing the jerk.
    You are free to disagree with Mystified if you wish, as Don did, but your criticisms are personal in nature and laced with unwarranted arrogance.

  • Michael PS,
    The bestiality interpretation of v.26 sounds like gay scholar commentary because “likewise” in 27 then leads to men leaving the love of women and having sex with men….and the Vulgate has likewise in “similiter”. So similiter is in the official Church text and does exclude this possibly self interested bestiality stretch by possibly gay scholars.

  • Michael I see that you are saying another reference to lesbian sex could be seen in verse 3 of Lev. 18 which prohibits doing as they did in Egypt as well as what they do in Canaan, (temple prostitution) I think you and I and bill are on the same page that Mishkav Zachor and Mishkav Behema are both prohibited in the Torah.
    I wouldn’t say I would trust Maimonides’ commentary more than St. Paul. or maybe I misunderstood you?

  • You are free to disagree with Mystified if you wish, as Don did, but your criticisms are personal in nature and laced with unwarranted arrogance.

    I’m through with you.

  • Bill Bannon

    The notion that Romans 1:26 refers to bestiality goes back to the first half of the 19th century, with exegetes like Tholuck of Halle and Eschenmayer of Tübingen.

    Their argument is that both Mishkav Zachor (male sodomy) and Mishkav Behema (bestiality) are capital crimes (Lev 20: 13,15-16), whereas no punishment is expressly assigned for lesbianism and the Rabbis taught that it was to be punished with the “lashes of rebellion.” They argue that it is unlikely that St Paul would have coupled together two offences of such very different gravity as male sodomy and lesbianism. ὁμοίως τε [likewise moreover] they read simply as both engaging in sexual perversions condemned, under pain of death in two successive verses in Leviticus 18. I would suggest τε [moreover ]actually weakens the force of ὁμοίως [likewise].

    In other words, their best case depends on insisting on the gravity of male sodomy, which hardly suggests a gay-friendly agenda.

    As I say, I tend to suspend judgment, but they make out an arguable case.

  • Anzlyne wrote, “I wouldn’t say I would trust Maimonides’ commentary more than St. Paul.”

    I don’t know that St Paul would have disagreed with Maimonides. For him, too, Leviticus XVIII: 3 was living law. I was thinking of later scholars who reject the traditional Jewish interpretation of that verse.

  • Michael PS,
    The argument may have begun with two men from Tubingen but I have seen others use it on the internet for pro gay purposes as to nuancing both verses while restricting male sin in v.26 to promiscuous gay acts….leaving committed gay acts safe from condemnation. If that’s your path Michael because a dear relative died in sodomy, get off that path. It’s so simple…no gay acts are complementary in the deep sense of that word….except in the gay imagination. And Sartre opposed gay activity on that imaginary basis in “Saint Genet”…a book about his friend…the playwright,thief,and sodomite…Jean Genet. An existentialist atheist knew for awhile at least what the Bible knew …while half of Christianity do an over intricate flamenco dance atop Romans 1:26-27. For many perhaps including you, it was impossible for God to inspire a set of words in any scripture that would clearly condemn both promiscuous and non promiscuous sodomy in such a way that jesuitical casuistic expounding couldn’t defeat His efforts. These people at the particular judgement will be meeting a Being whose IQ is infinite…not 140 or 150 etc….infinite…ie He can’t be conned. I hope my cousin’s deceased lesbian companion is not in hell due to a sincere erroneous conscience much like Aquinas being a saint despite contributing to the death of thousands of heretics who we now trust with our heart transplants and oil changes….and since ” coercion of spirit” is now condemned as intrinsically evil in section 80 of Splendor of the Truth which means historical context does not affect it’s sinfulness. But Romans one is plain speaking unless one has an interest in overturning it.

  • True friendship desires the good of his friend. True friendship is committed to pastorally bringing his friend, body and soul to heaven. Sodomy, legalized, casts aspersions on all people and eradicates true friendship as a social construct. People are almost forced to see a couple of men instead of as friends but immediately as sodomists.
    .
    Sadly, sodomy denies God, and the human soul and even heaven. And there is no confusing sodomy with friendship, or lust with love. Sacrifice, in a word does not exist in sodomy, even though sodomists claim that their love is sacrificial, it is not. Father Damien of Molokai, Sister Maryanne Cope.
    .
    Bishop Jugis speaks for the entire Catholic Church, for the triumphant souls in heaven, for the suffering souls in purgatory, (those souls under the earth) and for the church militant, those of us struggling against concupiscence, the devil and the world and its enticements. No bishop can soft-peddle the truth, especially when some person’s soul and his salvation depends upon his teaching. The Bishop must care for the souls of his people. Denying the human soul friendship with Jesus and the saints is neglect.

    .

  • Bill Bannon wrote, “The argument may have begun with two men from Tubingen but I have seen others use it on the internet for pro gay purposes as to nuancing both verses while restricting male sin in v.26 to promiscuous gay acts”

    How one gets from interpreting v 25 as applying to bestiality to v 26 as only applying to “promiscuous gay acts,” I do not know.

    In any event, the Church has not relied on an exegesis of scripture, but has looked to the underlying natural law basis. Thus the Douay Catechism of 1649 defines sodomy as “The sin of Sodom, or carnal sin against nature, which is a voluntary shedding of the seed of nature, out of the due use of marriage, or lust with a different sex.” That is the teaching of the Church and binding on Catholics. No doubt, the Apostle believed the same, but it does not provide us with an exegesis of his meaning in Romans 1, which is not a systematic treatise of moral theology.

  • I was having trouble following you and bill’ discussion- not taking time to read carefully Thank you.
    We know P and M were both highly educated in the law and like you I can’t imagine how they would react today to the parsing of the Torah that goes among gay Jews who still want to remain faithful

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