IS CATHOLIC SEXUAL TEACHING CONSISTENT?

There is a new law in England that prohibits discrimination against homosexuals in the placing of children for adoption. As a result some Catholic adoption agencies may drop their Catholic status and others may withdraw from the state-subsidized program and remain just official church agencies.

No such option is available in Church-funded Catholic schools. In Liverpool the Church tried to discipline a gay Catholic head teacher because he was in a civil partnership. The courts ruled this was discrimination and the Church backed off.

Yet the Church has not threatened to withdraw the entire Catholic school system from state funding (as in the adoption scenario) presumably because the price would be too high. And there is the question of consistency. Catholic school head teachers are not asked if they use contraceptives in their married lives and refusing to inquire into their sexual orientation is only a step from that.

However, if a head teacher divorces and then remarrys outside the Church, they may lose their job. There is something inconsistent about having to allow a homosexual head teacher to remain on the job despite being in a civil partnership whereas a heterosexual head in an irregular relationship might well be fired.

But what is the point of trying to impose a traditonal sexual morality on reluctant Catholic teachers who in every other respect are highly qualified? Catholic parents and their children live in the real world where far more scandalous things go on — like clerical sexual abuse.

The Church continues to teach that homosexual men must live a life of enforced celibacy. Then the same Church turns around and assumes that two homosexual men who choose to live together must not be celibate.

The bottom line is this. What people do lawfully and consensually in the privacy of their bedrooms should be of no concern to anyone else.

4 Comments »

  1. 1
    SUZANNE Says:

    If a teacher does not live the Catholic Faith, he is not qualified. That’s the thing.

    No one asks about contraceptive use because it’s a private sin. The concern is: what do the actions of the teacher impart to the Children?

    “The Church continues to teach that homosexual men must live a life of enforced celibacy. ”

    Enforced? Listen: you either believe the word of God, or you don’t. If you don’t believe that the Catholic Church teaches the Word of God, why be Catholic? No mortal gets to make up the word of God. If you don’t think the Church teaches it, no one is forcing a person to be Catholic or to live by it.

    “Then the same Church turns around and assumes that two homosexual men who choose to live together must not be celibate.”

    Where? The Church doesn’t teach that at all. Backing down from a lawsuit isn’t teaching it.

    “What people do lawfully and consensually in the privacy of their bedrooms should be of no concern to anyone else.”

    It’s God’s business. Therefore it’s the Church’s business. And if I send my kids to school to learn Catholicism, and the actions of the teacher contradict the faith in a major way, then it’s my business as a parent.

    You lose a lot of privacy when you become a teacher. You don’t get to do what you want anymore– that goes for Catholic or non-Catholic teachers.

  2. 2
    Barbara Says:

    Another reason why excellent teachers who live ordinary lives (weak and sinful as any of their clergy) choose to teach in secular schools!
    When a monk asked me if I was teaching in a Catholic college, another monk responded “Didn’t you hear her a minute ago? She said she had a low tolerance for crap!”
    A bit overboard, but not without some measure of truth.

  3. 3
    Cate McB Says:

    I agree with Barbara. Neil, this new law you’ve written about sounds like crap.

    There are a few words attributed to Rumi: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” I think that what’s Jesus did — he met people where they were in the field, he engaged the real in them, he forgave them or whatever was needed at the time and then he & they moved on — a good idea I think.

  4. 4

    Suzanne – “No mortal gets to make up the word of God.” Well, let’s look at Rome’s teaching that we can’t even discuss the issue of women becoming priests. Now I have discussed the Scripture arguments for this teaching with a number of established Scripture scholars. Not one of them thinks the arguments form Scripture put forward by Rome to ban women priests is persuasive. Do I have to give internal intellectual consent to such a faulty proposition? Of course I don’t.
    So, I agree. No mortal, including the septuagarian celibates in the Vatican, gets to make up the word of God in this matter. Matter of fact has God ever said anything about it?

    Barbara – That second monk was right on the money.

    Cate – What a splendid quote from Rumi. If Jesus came back, how much would He want to formally associated with a church?


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