Sore Loser in the Rectory

Pastor loses the election. Takes it out on a teenager, who, to his credit, wants no bitterness for the Church on his account:

I don’t want the church to be put down. I don’t want the Catholic religion to be put down. It’s just the way the priest has things running. He’s so strict. He won’t loosen up about things.

The lessons of the day continue. Lots of the Catholic commentariat on the net suggest this problem is solved by more/better knowledge and information. Naturally, whenever anyone disagrees with the conservative status quo, it’s about the poor dumb lay people. Don’t know about that. I still haven’t heard anything explicitly immoral about civil unions that’s not already permitted by law, or lack thereof. So do we have a schism? If so, I don’t think it will ever get as obvious as it did in the days when secular police enforced things with physical coercion.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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5 Responses to Sore Loser in the Rectory

  1. John Doe says:

    What in the world are you talking about, “Pastor loses the election?” This kid quite clearly has not accepted an important Catholjc teaching, and appears unwilling to re-consider, thus is not yet prepared for confirmation.

  2. John McGrath says:

    Non-conservative Catholics need to understand how the church, in its moral teachings, uses a philosophical (non theological, not Biblical) theory it calls Natural Law, which is partly based on medieval science. The church holds that this philosophical Law is binding on ALL human beings of all religions and none, and that this law is above all human-made constitutions and laws. Most significant about the church’s theory of this law is that the Pope is the final interpreter and judge of this law, and that that the pope cannot make a wrong decision about this law since the Holy Spirit directs the Pope’s decision-making powers on matters of morality, which fall under natural law, not just church doctrine. According to this theory all gay sex is intrinsically unnatural and wrong and any attempts to lift sexual restrictions on gays, especially in regard to marriage, are wrong. Natural Law is also the basis of saying that contraceptives are morally wrong because each bodily organ system (on their own, separate from the person), including the sexual organs, have a purpose dictated by nature. That purpose for sexual organs is procreation. Therefore any attempt by any authority to encourage contraceptives is morally wrong. At the moment it seems that the Catholic Church has the political power to bind Catholics to the rules of Natural Law. But in fact, through the UN and with the support of the US government, the church has been able to cripple contraceptive programs in many countries where the people are not Catholic.

    Opposed to Natural Law is the modern theory of Natural Rights. This theory starts with the natural dignity of all persons as equals (including women and gays) and posits that all have the right to govern their own bodies (thus giving women the right to abortion) and to equally enjoy all human rights and all civil rights, thus giving gays the right to the same status as heterosexuals enjoy in the eyes of the civil authorities in regard to marriage. In regard to sexuality and procreation natural Rights posits that the sex organs are subordinate to the person as a whole and that the person as a whole has a right to choose marriage primarily for companionable love and not procreation. In fact procreation among humans is subordinate to the proper nurturing of children and if proper nurturing is not possible, or is impaired, people must seriously consider contraception. The theory of Natural Rights is the basis for public debate and legislation in Europe and Canada.

    This is the great divide. The church’s theory of Natural Law and the modern theory of Natural Rights are irreconcilable.

    • Liam says:

      Of course, there are those who approach things other than through those seemingly opposed perspectives. Limiting oneself to those two is a choice. One might say even the Church does not quite limit itself that way (though there are plenty within the Church who try!).

  3. John Drake says:

    Here’s an up to date, more complete rendering of the story. Todd, perhaps you’ll re-think your initial knee-jerk reaction?

  4. Todd says:

    The LSN interview indeed gives added perspective. Not celebrating Sunday Mass is indeed a challenge for the discernment of the sacramental life. Would the pastor need to be applying that standard to other young people who approach for confirmation? Or marriage?

    There is still this:

    “The priest admits, however, that once he knew that Lennon supported same-sex marriage, and was unwilling to retract his views, that he would not have been able to confirm him.”

    The Minnesota amendment was not exactly supportive of same sex unions.

    That said, proponents of Natural Law still have difficulty getting around the possibility that God seems to make some people SSA. LSN shows the story more complicated as a pastoral adventure.

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