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Devra Torres

“Dialogue” and “Encounter”: Archbishop Cordileone Reclaims a Couple of Buzzwords

Jun. 19 at 2:55pm

Very early in my writing career (that is, a couple years ago), I wrote a post called “Diversity: Reclaiming a Buzzword.”  The term had been hijacked: reduced to a code word for relativism and indifferentism, with anti-patriotic connotations thrown in for good measure.

And yet, it’s a perfectly good word.  It should never have been ceded to people with as little imagination as the bureaucrats and politicians who use it the most.

                                            

It occurred to me yesterday, reading Archbishop Cordileone's response  to Nancy Pelosi's warning to withdraw from today's March for Marriage, that a lot more words could use rehabilitating.  We might start with “dialogue”

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Devra Torres

“The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church”

May. 1 at 12:14am

Long before the phrase “marriage equality” was on the lips of every other politician and every other schoolchild (that is, a few years ago), a priest friend of ours, Fr. Paul, used to ask his students: “What would you say to someone who wanted to marry his boyfriend?”

On cue, without fail, his teenage audience would grimace and intone in unison, “Eeeeww!”

“No,” he’d explain patiently. “That’s not an argument.”

                                               *     *     *     *     *

Times have changed, and he wouldn’t likely get that kind of response now, especially among teenagers. Many see it as a no-brainer: equality and justice on the one hand, cruelty and irrationality on the other.

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Devra Torres

The Chief Rabbi on Marriage, Part Two

Mar. 11, 2013, at 10:06pm

The Chief Rabbi of France has written an original and perceptive essay called “Homosexual Marriage, Parenting, and Adoption.”  Last week, I made an ambitious attempt to compress his main points into this post, and this week (undaunted, for some reason) I propose to address the way he delves into our experience of sexual complementarity, drawing out what it reveals about (no kidding!) our limitedness, transcendence, interpersonal communion, the bonds between man, woman and child, self-discovery through knowledge of the other, and the spuriousness of self-sufficiency.      

I’ll do my best.  But the wise reader will go straight to the original article, and he won’t be sorry, either.

*    

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Devra Torres

The Chief Rabbi of France and the Irreversible Scrambling of Sexual Identity

Mar. 1, 2013, at 4:15pm

The Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, has some memorable reflections on marriage and its counterfeits in this month’s First Things.  It's a mixture of strikingly expressed common sense and rare personalist insight. 

In fact, I hope to whet your appetite sufficiently so you’ll read the whole thing (which is admittedly pretty lengthy).  A few rabbis like this and a few more bishops like, say, Dolan, 

Gomez 

 and Arinze,

and things might start looking very different in the West.

I’m going to give away the punch line right away.  Here’s his summary of the harm inflicted by declaring same-sex unions to be marriage:

It would mean, he claims, “the irreversible scrambling of three things”:

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Devra Torres

Some Arguments Against Gay Marriage, and Why They Won’t Work

Dec. 22, 2012, at 9:11am

What is it about our understanding of matrimony that makes the arguments for "marriage equality" seem so plausible to so many?

If we, as a society, still believed marriage was essentially about lifelong fidelity and children, and somebody proposed that a same-sex relationship be regarded as one sort of marriage, it would seem implausible, even unthinkable.  After all, such unions are inevitably infertile and notoriously impermanent and non-exclusive.

But we've already downgraded "traditional" marriage to a (usually) long-term relationship between two people who “have feelings for each other.” 

Children are an optional accessory which may be acquired the old-fashioned way or by any number

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