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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

Coming Out Celibate

Aug. 23, 2013, at 9:36pm

My brother, Joseph Prever,

(known and admired by many under the pseudonym Steve Gershom),

is a faithful Catholic who came out publicly as a celibate gay man the other day.  (He says he got more flak for coming out as celibate.)

He'd told me and a few other relatives and friends a while ago, which prompted me to think very hard about things I'd scarcely ever considered at all.  My thoughts about the entire subject before it touched me personally amounted to "Objective disorder!" and "Love the sinner, hate the sin!"  I haven't changed my mind about either one; but it turns out there's a lot more to say.  What follow are just the impressions of someone who's still working out what it all

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Katie van Schaijik

The metaphysics of marriage

Nov. 15, 2012, at 10:15am

Over at Public Discourse, Michael Hannon has a clarifying article on the debate over "same sex marriage".  (Hat tip facebook friend Patrick Langrell.)

Hannon shows convincingly that the common case for SSM rests on some basic confusions—or obfuscations (my word, not his)—about the nature of marriage.  

Olson and Boies [the super-lawyers making an apparently sincere case in favor of the legalization of SSM]—and the movement in general—claim that preserving marriage as a union of man and woman is unjust discrimination. For no good reason, they assert, the “right to marry” is being denied to same-sex couples, who are just as capable of loving and committing to each other as opposite-sex

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Katie van Schaijik

How should a Catholic university treat gay alumni?

Sep. 11, 2012, at 12:43pm

A friend alerted me to this NPR story about our alma mater, Franciscan University.  A facebook group of gay alumni complained to the university about the official description for a sociology course on deviant behavior.

Here's the description:

The behaviors that are primarily examined are murder, rape, robbery, prostitution, homosexuality, mental illness and drug use.

According to fellow alum, Greg Gronbacher, he and another alum contacted the school and asked them to change the description.

The university's attorney responded instead with an email warning them not to use the university's name or logo in their activities.

A few thoughts.

I think NPR and Greg are being needlessly

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Michael Healy

Toward a Personalist Approach to Homosexual Attraction

Jun. 3, 2012, at 7:44pm

I do think we have to address core issues of human experience, human psychology, and human intimacy when discussing the ethics of homosexual attraction and SSM.  It is not enough to leave it at the level of politics and the legitimate interests of the state in giving special status to heterosexual marriage and family, though this latter approach is certainly valuable and important. 

Now the difficulty with this approach based in human experience is that we will have to acknowledge homosexual experience from within (without accepting it as normative), not only judge it from without.  If we just say that “homosexual acts are not and cannot be acts of love and union—they are acts of use and

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Michael Healy

Defilement and the Challenge of Addressing Evil

May. 29, 2012, at 11:09pm

This started out as a brief response in discussion of my earlier post on SSM, but developed into a further article.  I think what Katie and Jules worry about in terms of the corrosion of the natural moral sense, the impairing of ethical judgment, and the destructive effect on the moral imagination of having to deal openly with “unthinkable” evils (abortion, infanticide, homosexual relations, SSM), expresses existentially the reason why not only martyrs and virgins, but doctors of the church have special feasts and a special office in the Breviary—they have to deal with all the "unthinkables" because somebody has to refute them.   

This is their crown of thorns but it is a special work of

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Michael Healy

A Problem and a Fear about SSM

May. 29, 2012, at 10:43am

In regard to Katie’s question, “To speak or not to speak” about same sex marriage, it does seem to me that we have to speak up despite the delicacies—and crudities—involved.  Otherwise, we abandon the field to the propagandists who are already veritably overrunning us.  As was mentioned in the article, we can hardly shield our children (at least not for very long) from these realities in our culture—and even home-schoolers are part of mass society.  Eventually, by the teen-age years at the least if not before, they will be exposed to all that goes on in America despite restrictions on TV, movies, etc. 

It takes real heroism to speak up against the homosexual lobby.  People who do so and

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Father Forlano

Some thoughts in defense of Cardinal Schönborn

Apr. 25, 2012, at 11:00am

Editors note: The following remarks originally appeared as several separate comments under Dr. Seifert's post below.  We asked for and receive Fr. Forlano's permission to collect and post them here.

As a priest working in the hispanic community, I am in the position where a majority of my parishioners are living in ways objectively contrary to Church teaching on the dignity of marriage.  (Most couples are married civilly, if they are married at all).  These people love the Church, are faithful to Mass, and participate in many aspects of parish life.  While I would not allow anyone in an irregular marriage to be a lector at Mass or an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, I don't have

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Josef Seifert

Should A Cardinal Confirm A Practicing Homosexual Parish Council Member? Some Critical Reflections

Apr. 23, 2012, at 10:20pm

The following reflections are not exclusively from the viewpoint of personalist philosophy. But they do contain philosophical distinctions whose fruitfulness for concrete decisions in Church administration and Church politics will, I hope, become clear as they are made. The following reflections are those of an Austrian Catholic who laments a decision of a Cardinal of his distant home-country, for whom he feels much respect and the affection of an old friendship.

The facts are well known: Christoph Cardinal von Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, Austria, and President of the Austrian Bishops Conference, has recently overruled the decision of a Polish pastor in a small village in Lower

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