Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Queries concerning unjust laws.



Or why legislation approving same-sex marriage would be considered an unjust law.
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I was asked this by a reader.  I will defer to Fr. Farfaglia's article on Unjust Laws and Same Sex Marriage, as found on Catholic Online.
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Not just for Catholics either...
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CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - The Catholic Church has always pointed out that civil law must conform to the moral law.  Public opinion does not make something right or wrong; the objective moral law does.  Thus, not only Catholic politicians, but also all men and women in public life have an objective moral criterion to follow.  
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When a civil law is not in conformity with the moral law, it is an unjust law.  Legalized slavery, for example, was an unjust law.  Legalized forms of segregation were unjust laws.  Legalized abortion is an unjust law.  Legalized euthanasia is an unjust law.  Legalized same-sex marriage is an unjust law.  Slavery, segregation, abortion, euthanasia, and same-sex 'marriages' are in essence contrary to the objective moral law, and therefore, no human law can claim them to be legitimate.
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The teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas explains this point with great clarity when he writes that "human law is law inasmuch as it is in conformity with right reason and thus derives from the eternal law. But when a law is contrary to reason, it is called an unjust law; but in this case it ceases to be a law and becomes an act of violence" (Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 93, a.3, ad 2). Furthermore he goes on to say: "Every law made by man can be called a law insofar as it derives from the natural law. But if it is somehow opposed to the natural law, then it is not really a law but rather a corruption of the law" (Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 95, a.2).
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Pope John Paul II in his monumental encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae wrote: "Democracy cannot be idolized to the point of making it a substitute for morality or a panacea for immorality" (70.4). "It is therefore urgently necessary, for the future of society and the development of a sound democracy, to rediscover those essential and innate human and moral values which flow from the very truth of the human being and express and safeguard the dignity of the person: values which no individual, no majority and no State can ever create, modify or destroy, but must only acknowledge, respect and promote" (71.1). - Finish reading here.



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Image credit.


34 comments:

  1. Terry, this is a good exposition of what I'm sure you know is called the "classicist approach" to moral theology. It's an approach that sees theology as static and permanent. Thus the sexual norms enunciated in the fifth or sixteenth centuries continue to apply absolutely in the twenty-first century.

    Yet there's another approach to theology that the church recognizes, that being the "historically conscious" approach. This approach sees theology as dynamic, evolving, changing and particular.

    It also sees the moral norms of the past not as facts for uncritical and passive acceptance but as partial insights that are the bases for critical attention, understanding, evaluation, judgment and decisions in the present socio-historical context. Accordingly, norms are morally evaluated in terms of evolving human knowledge and understanding.

    The Roman Magisterium is more than a little schizophrenic when it speaks of making moral judgments. Think about it: in sexual ethics, it follows the classical approach, while in both social ethics and biblical studies it follows the historical approach (validated, it should be noted, by the Second Vatican Council).

    Perhaps in a future post you could outline the reasons for the Magisterium's non-application of the historical consciousness approach to the field of sexual ethics. I would think that if such an approach is good enough for the Bible, the "Word of God," it would be good enough for the ways we formulate and articulate our understanding of human sexuality.

    Peace,

    Michael

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  2. Michael

    Please cite a Roman Catholic source that approves the "historically conscious" approach [that] "sees theology as dynamic, evolving, changing and particular."

    Does it mean that the infinite God is changing? Or is that just an excuse for changing beliefs to accommodate a desire to sleep in on Sundays and break a few Commandments?

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  3. Austringer9:49 AM

    Michael,

    What you wrote reminds me forcefully of an observation of G.K. Chesterton: "An imbecile habit has risen in modern controversy of saying that such and such a creed can be held in one age but cannot be held in another. Some dogma was credible in the twelfth century, but is not credible in the twentieth. You might as well say that a certain philosophy can be believed on Mondays, but cannot be believed on Tuesdays."

    Sin is sin.

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  4. Well, usury is one example of a "sin" no longer being recognized as a sin. Good grief, the Vatican now even has its own bank!

    Also, the fact that the papacy has evolved and changed, along with our understanding of the role of the laity, are signs of the historically conscious approach in action. The papacy, for example, was not always understood or structured as an absolute monarchy -- one modeled on the ruling institutions of a certain (and bygone) era. There's nothing to say that it couldn't adopt characteristics of this era's methods and structures of governance. It some ways it has actually been forced to. I'm thinking of the fact that the hierarchy is no longer "above the (secular) law" in terms of reporting clergy sex abuse.

    And, Ray, official church teachings on how one can and should read the Bible in a non-literal manner are clear evidence of a "Roman Catholic source" accepting and promoting the historically conscious approach to theology.

    And, no, God isn't changing but our understanding of God, the Bible and what it means to be fully human is definitely evolving and changing. I welcome that. It signifies a "living faith."

    Peace,

    Michael

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  5. Oh, and at Vatican I, the hierarchy declared democracy, always and everywhere, an anathema. And yet now we have popes talking about the "development of . . . sound democracy" in society.

    Again, although members of the hierarchy might not recognize or identify it as such, they are demonstrating a historically conscious approach to theology. In many ways and in certain areas such an approach is so much a given that it doesn't require being officially named or approved. It's just how we do theology as Catholics. And, again, biblical theology comes immediately to mind as a good example of this.

    Peace,

    Michael

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  6. Sin is still sin, no matter how badly you want the Church to change.

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  7. Michael, I have found great peace and joy living in fidelity to the infallible Roman Catholic Magisterium, Sacred Tradition, and Sacred Scripture. I sincerely hope you will one day as well.

    Prayers,

    Terry

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  8. Terry, this is a good exposition of what I'm sure you know is called the "classicist approach" to moral theology. It's an approach that sees theology as static and permanent.

    You're conflating terms - your second sentence ought to read "It's an approach that sees morality as static and permanent." Moral theology is just one aspect of theology - it's disingenuous to specify 'moral theology', and then turn around and say 'theology'.

    Yes, our understanding of God deepens over time, but morality is morality is morality. Abortion is intrinsically evil. Euthanasia is intrinsically evil. Slavery is intrinsically evil. And so-called 'same sex marriage' is intrinsically evil.

    And laws which permit such things are unjust laws.

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  9. The wages of sin is Death.

    Acting upon homosexual inclinations puts one soul in mortal sin.

    While in mortal sin, your soul is in the fires of Hell; only your body has not expired leaving your soul there permanently.

    Attacking something without a state of grace on your behalf makes you less than a fool.

    Confess your sins, give back the wages earned from sin by doing penance and acts of Charity.

    Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

    *

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  10. Catholic Catechism on Homosexuality
    by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

    Over the centuries, the Church has often issued decrees defending Catholic morality. Among these decrees more than one has condemned the practice of homosexuality. Until recent years, however, the more common term used by the Church was “sodomy” and not homosexuality.

    The reason for the shift in vocabulary has been mainly the widespread denial that sodomy is anywhere formally condemned by Sacred Scripture. Another reason is that homosexuality has become so prevalent in the modern world that one psychological science after another has developed a library of literature defending the practice of homosexuality.

    This catechism is an in-depth analysis of the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality as found especially in two Vatican documents on the subject. The first was issued in 1975 under the authority of Pope Paul VI; the second was published in 1986 under the authority of Pope John Paul II.

    Our catechism will follow this chronological sequence of the two documents. The first document is called the “Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics”. A large part of the first section of this document does not deal directly with homosexuality. Yet it seemed proper to include this part of the document in our catechism because it lays the foundation for Catholic moral teaching on homosexuality.

    It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of what the Church’s magisterium teaches on sexual morality in general and on homosexuality in particular. Clarity here is indispensable for the preservation of the true faith.

    10. Must we say that there are unchangeable principles of morality?
    Yes, all development of morals and every adaptation to different cultures must be kept within the limits imposed by the unchangeable principles of the divine law. (P3)

    11. What is the basic error of those who deny that there are unchangeable principles of the moral law?
    They appeal to what they call the general law of charity and respect for human dignity. They support their claims by saying that the norms of the natural law or the precepts of Revelation are only expressions of a form of particular culture at a certain period of human history. (P 4).

    12. What is the Church’s reply to these claims?
    The Church declares that human nature is always essentially the same. Consequently, there cannot be any fundamental change in the moral obligations of human beings over the whole span of human history. Moreover, these moral principles apply equally to all human beings since they all possess the same essential human nature. (P 4)

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  11. Mr. Bayly: You may wish to read the rest, ie, Catholic Catechism on Homosexuality by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. @

    www.therealpresence.org

    ...for your own edification.

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  12. No, Larry, the classicist approach sees theology -- any type of theology -- as static and unchanging. And the danger of that is that our moral understandings do not evolve and develop.

    A classicist approach, for instance, could never have produced a document like "Gaudium et spes" which marked a radical evolution in Catholic sexual teaching and anthropology. Yet there is little evidence that the Magisterium has fully incorporated this shift into its sexual anthropology or into its formulations and justification of moral norms.

    I'm actually not advocating for a change in the official church's sexual theology as I don't believe the official church has a sexual theology. Rather, what we have is a marital theology that talks about a very limited role and meaning of sex.

    This marital theology is encoded in two magisterial statements: "Any human genital act whatsoever may be placed only within the framework of marriage" (Persona humana) and "Each and every act [of sexual intercourse] must be open to the transmission of life" (Humanae vitae).

    I'd like to see the Church construct and articulate a genuine theology of human sexuality that actually reflects and speaks to all of us. I believe such a theology is being developed and shared by theologians and lay people, and its conclusions and moral norms differ in some respects from the hierarchy's limited marital theology -- one that the vast majority of Catholics have rejected.

    Instead, what Catholics (and others) are recognizing is that sexual acts are moral when they are natural (with homosexuality understood and accepted as being an aspect of nature), reasonable, and expressed in a just and loving manner.

    It should also be noted that the Magisterium sanctions what is called the historical-critical way of reading Scripture. As I've pointed out previously, such a way represents the historically conscious approach to theology. Yet given this, the texts cited in support of the Magisterium's claim of the serious depravity of the homosexual activity of persons of genuine homosexual orientation (which was unknown when the Scriptures in question were written) simply do not support such a judgment.

    Similarly, the Magisterium's argument for the immorality of all homosexual acts on the basis of a classicist and ahistorical interpretation of "nature" is unsound and open to critique as is the absolute assertion that homosexual acts can never "proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity." Also unsound is the Magisterium's argument on the basis of the constant belief of the Christian people, especially when faced with the data of contemporary research on what Catholics actually believe.

    In short, I think it's plain as day to the majority of Catholics that the arguments put forward by the Magisterium to sustain its judgment that all homosexual acts are ipso facto morally wrong are unsound and need to be revisited.

    As I said, such "revisiting" is taking place within the Church. It's just a pity that our clerical leadership refuses to be part of it.

    Peace,

    Michael

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  13. And the danger of that is that our moral understandings do not evolve and develop.

    "Evolve" and "develop" are code for "eliminate" and "approve". You're desperate to believe that's true in order to buffer yourself against the truth that homosexual acts are immoral. So - if the Truth offends one's sensibilities, then let's change the Truth? Is that what Christ calls us to do?

    I'd like to see the Church construct and articulate a genuine theology of human sexuality that actually reflects and speaks to all of us.

    Who decides what's genuine? You? Pfft - the Church already has a genuine teaching that speaks to you, as it does to all of us - it's called living a chaste life. And sex outside marriage was, is and will always be immoral - even if more and more states legalize so-called gay marriage. God isn't bound by unjust American laws.

    Similarly, the Magisterium's argument for the immorality of all homosexual acts on the basis of a classicist and ahistorical interpretation of "nature" is unsound and open to critique as is the absolute assertion that homosexual acts can never "proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity."

    There's nothing complementary about one man inserting his penis into another man's anus. Regardless of how much they "love" each other. There's nothing natural about one lesbian sporting a strap-on to have 'sex' with her partner.

    Also unsound is the Magisterium's argument on the basis of the constant belief of the Christian people, especially when faced with the data of contemporary research on what Catholics actually believe.

    The Magisterium doesn't teach based on what Catholics profess to believe - the Magisterium teaches what Catholics are bound to believe. Heaven help us if the Church ever decides to base its teachings on "contemporary research" - kinda cuts "objective truth" off at the knees.

    In short, I think it's plain as day to the majority of Catholics that the arguments put forward by the Magisterium to sustain its judgment that all homosexual acts are ipso facto morally wrong are unsound and need to be revisited.

    No - what's plain as day is that the majority of Catholics are wrong. And rather than admit being wrong, you and others like you seek to modify Church teaching so that homosexual acts in certain cases can be seen as genuine and affective. That comes out of a mistaken notion of love, and a sense of entitlement because you perceive yourselves as victims. Rather - you should perceive yourself as a sinner, just like the rest of us, in need of redemption. Your time would be better spent asking God to forgive your sins, than in asking the Church to modify Her teaching on the immorality of homosexual acts. I can't say for sure, but I bet you'll have more peace in your life as a result.

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  14. Michael. You started out talking about "theology." Now you're talking about "usury" (Econ) and "government" (Poly Sci).

    Between 751 (and somewhat before) and 1861 (when Italy became a country), the popes were temporal rulers over the Papal States and by example and fiat, other countries too. But that didn't necessarily have anything to do with theology.

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  15. Larry,

    Just a couple of things: First, you say: "If the Truth offends one's sensibilities, then let's change the Truth? Is that what Christ calls us to do?"

    I guess my whole point is that the sensus fidelium, the "sense of the faithful" is clearly telling us that what the Magisterium is offering as "the Truth" about sexuality is, at the very least, unconvincing, and at most, unsound and needing of revisiting.

    One of the tests of sound teaching is how it is received by the faithful. And as Joseph Ratzinger himself once said, when prefect of the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith, “Where there is neither consensus on the part of the universal church nor clear testimony in the sources, no binding decision is possible."

    I've carefully outlined in my previous comments how the reasons cited by the Magisterium to support its understanding of human sexuality (including both consensus and "clear testimony in the sources") do not stand up to the historical-critical/historically conscious approach to theology -- an approach, it should be noted, that is approved by the Magisterium.

    I've also noted that the Magisterium is highly selective in its application of this approved approach and ask why this is the case. Neither you nor Terry have offered a satisfactory answer.

    Also, it is unhelpful and, quite frankly, unChristian to label your fellow Catholics as "sinners," "wrong" and "victims" simply because they expect the clerical leadership and the Magisterium to be offer credible, consistent, reasonable and sound teaching.

    Finally, it seems clear to me that in addressing the issue of homosexuality, you are operating (like the Magisterium) from a classicist and ahistorical interpretation of "nature." I would argue that the vast majority of Catholic theologians and lay people are approaching the issue from empirical human "nature." This enables us to take the experienced reality of homosexual orientation seriously as what a person is and, therefore, how she or he might act personally, sexually and morally. Because marital acts of a heterosexual and reproductive kind -- that is, the insertion of a male penis into a female vagina -- are naturally beyond the capacity of homosexuals, they cannot be bound to them morally.

    Please note that this is not to say that homosexual acts are always and everywhere morally right. I do not believe that. But neither do I believe, as taught by the Magisterium, that homosexual acts are always and everywhere morally wrong.

    I have arrived at this conclusion after many years of both study and prayer. My conscience is both informed and clear about it. According to the Church, we are all bound to follow our consciences, even if it means going against official church teaching.

    Peace,

    Michael

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  16. Mr. Bayly: With all due respect, prayer and a properly formed conscience, would never lead you into error, as it most certainly has.

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  17. I guess my whole point is that the sensus fidelium, the "sense of the faithful" is clearly telling us that what the Magisterium is offering as "the Truth" about sexuality is, at the very least, unconvincing, and at most, unsound and needing of revisiting.

    The "sense of the faithful", as I understand it - which involves both the Church here on Earth and the Church Triumphant in heaven - pertains to those who are, naturally, faithful. It's illogical that the sense of the faithful can include those who are unfaithful.

    Also - according to contemporary reports, roughly 30% of Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I guess that teaching of the Church should be up for review given that the sensus fidelium demands it to be.

    I've also noted that the Magisterium is highly selective in its application of this approved approach and ask why this is the case.

    I could ask you the same question. Why do you accept Church teaching on the Eucharist (presuming you do) and not her teaching on the immorality of homosexual acts? Why to you accept the teachings on the Trinity? Your selectivity of teaching doesn't conform to sensus fidelium - it's more like sense of the pic-n-choose.

    Also, it is unhelpful and, quite frankly, unChristian to label your fellow Catholics as "sinners," "wrong" and "victims" simply because they expect the clerical leadership and the Magisterium to be offer credible, consistent, reasonable and sound teaching.

    Unhelpful to whom? I can't help it if some people regard the Magisterium as being non-credible, inconsistent, unreasonable and unsound. That's their problem. Back in the 4th century, nearly half the Church allied with Arianism. But they weren't wrong?

    As far as "sinners" go - don't take it personally, Michael. I include myself in that category, too. It's not a slam, just reality.

    Please note that this is not to say that homosexual acts are always and everywhere morally right. I do not believe that. But neither do I believe, as taught by the Magisterium, that homosexual acts are always and everywhere morally wrong.

    So who gets to choose when they're wrong or when they're right? Oh, I see - make so-called gay marriage legal, and that's when they're "right". Sorry, Michael, but the Church won't change that teaching. And if she ever were to, she would cease being the Church.

    According to the Church, we are all bound to follow our consciences, even if it means going against official church teaching.

    True - it doesn't mean you're right, though.

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  18. CONSCIENCE. The judgment of the practical intellect deciding, from general principles of faith and reason, the goodness or badness of a way of acting that a person now faces.

    It is an operation of the intellect and not of the feelings or even of the will. An action is right or wrong because of objective principles to which the mind must subscribe, NOT BECAUSE A PERSON FEELS THAT WAY OR BECAUSE HIS WILL WANTS IT THAT WAY.

    Conscience, therefore, is a specific act of the mind applying its knowledge to a concrete moral situation. What the mind decides in a given case depends on principles already in the mind.

    These principles are presupposed as known to the mind, either from the light of natural reason reflecting on the data of creation, or from divine faith responding to God's supernatural revelation. CONSCIENCE DOES NOT PRODUCE THESE PRINCIPLES; IT ACCEPTS THEM. NOR DOES CONSCIENCE PASS JUDGEMENT ON THE TRUTHS OF THE REASON AND DIVINE FAITH; it uses them as the premises from which to conclude whether something should be done (or should have been done) because it is good, or should be omitted (or should have been omitted) because it is bad. Its conclusions also apply to situations where the mind decides that something is permissible or preferable but not obligatory.

    Always the role of conscience is to decide subjectively on the ethical propriety of a specific action, here and now, for this person, in these circumstances. BUT ALWAYS, too, THE DECISION IS A MENTAL CONCLUSION DERIVED FROM OBJECTIVE NORMS THAT CONSCIENCE DOES NOT DETERMINE ON ITS OWN, receiving it as given by the Author of nature and divine grace.

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  19. I think I see where Michael is coming from...the Church has changed over the centuries, even in matters concerning faith. The Immaculate Conception was not dogma until 1854 when it was defined so by Pope Pius IX. Fish Fridays are now optional, substitute another penance. Vatican II, wheter you agree with the changes or not, restructured ALOT of different areas, including the Mass. And what is a sin has been redefined, like Michael said, usury is no longer a sin. Maybe veniel sin, but not mortal sin. Mariage,divorce, and remarriage too, seen differently. Catholics and those of other faiths can marry now. A priest denied that to my mom in the 50's when she wanted to marry my dad, a Protestant. She promptly left the Church and became Protestant.

    Change in the church will happen..it does have to be approached sanely and rationally and with much prayer and not change for change's sake. It only took the dogma of the Immaculate Conception 1850 years and a Pope's autograph.

    Homosexuals in the church have it tough...probably like divorced people a generation back..it's almost like they have a big H painted on their foreheads...I hear alot of "love the sinner, hate the sin" but they sure aren't loved as we should love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves..

    Tear me to shreds now..

    Sara

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  20. Sara, I could hug you, and most likely would, if you were here.


    No one says it enough: Thank you.

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  21. Sighing in St. Paul9:15 AM

    " ... The Immaculate Conception was not dogma until 1854 when it was defined so by Pope Pius IX. Fish Fridays are now optional, substitute another penance..."
    -Sara

    In these two statements you imply concepts that are not quite accurate. Unfortunately, I am not qualified enough to address the errors, so perhaps Terry or someone more knowledgeable can elaborate on the nuances.

    With that said, I have read and heard in lectures, certain teaching proclamations made by the Church such as the one you give as an example above (Immaculate Conception) had been forced to the table because of certain cultural influence confusing Catholics, regarding what had been held as 'true' by the Church had to be clearly stated to clear up the confusion. So in this case, nothing really changed but reaffirmed a belief held by the Church in a dogmatic statement.

    The "Fish" on Friday statement - sigh - nothing has changed either, the fasting on Friday is still there but how it is practice has developed. What has changed is that for decades Catholics were not told they had to still honor the Friday Fast.

    My family did eat fish on Fridays ... meatless tomato sauce with pasta ... my dad didn't like fish.

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  22. sighing in St. Paul9:18 AM

    oops. "My family did not eat fish...

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  23. Austringer10:20 AM

    Sara,

    I appreciate the conciliatory tone of your post, but you're making some generalizations or some assumptions that need closer examination. For example, you write that "Fish Fridays are now optional, substitute another penance" -- well, you have to understand that abstinence from meat of Fridays was a discipline, not a doctrine. The sin involved did not have to do with something wrong about meat but about disobeying a directive of the Church. Obedience is big with God, and so it is with His Church. Many saints suffered stupidity, cruelty, and humiliation at the hands of those in the Church -- BUT THEY OBEYED. No, it does not follow that those who are obedient to the teachings of Christ's Church are mind-numbed robots, but they are conforming their wills to the institution founded by Christ. They have a good role model, you know -- Abraham may have thought it stupid and cruel to sacrifice Isaac, but he was prepared to obey, and was rewarded.

    You might not be aware that dogmas do not necessarily "begin" when they are "officially" defined. Sometimes dogmas have been held by the Church for centuries, but are only defined when challenged. So your citing the late institution of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception doesn't prove anything, or at least what you want it to.

    As for usury, we don't hear about it much because, unlike in precious ages, wealth is more liquid and is not primarily tied up in land. Usury is still a sin, however, such as when the interests of the borrower and lender are vastly unequal, and that inequality is used to extort unjust terms from a borrower with few options. But notice that it is conditioned upon its historical/societal context: human sexuality is NOT. It is not a human construct, but a divine one. Usury is a poor example to use to make your point.

    You mention that gays aren't treated well. I don't know, not being gay, but I suspect that gays who are sincerely trying to live chaste lives, in obedience to Christ's Church, are treated with compassion. Correct me if I'm wrong...but the gays that dominate the news in the Church are those like Michael, who seek to change the Church to fit their needs. Do you understand why those of us who love the Church and are obedient to her can end up just plain sick and tired of their whining? And are they living in chastity while seeking these changes? Gosh -- I doubt it, though obviously I won't assert it as fact. But why should the Church change her views on homosexuality, anymore than it should accomodate the wishes of adulterers? I don't get it...

    I'm sorry to hear that your mother left the Church. I doubt, then, that she really believed in the Church as Christ's own, else how could she leave it? I know you want to present this as an example of the Big Bad Meany Church, but think of the countless martyrs who died for their faith. Jesus himself said that those who loved mother, brother, etc. more than Him were unworthy of Him. Hopefully your mother's actions were simply made through ignorance.

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  24. Austringer10:22 AM

    Ooops, I meant "previous", not "precious"...the c and v are too close together for my thick fingers.

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  25. Austringer - thanks for helping Sara out there.

    Thom - I removed the other comment from St. Michael, therefore your response no longer makes sense standing alone as it does - therefore I'll remove that one too. :)

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  26. Oh - and Sighing in St. Paul - thanks for your help for Sara as well. It is too bad so many remain so badly catechized and that they do not understand these matters. I guess RCIA programs can't cover everything.

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  27. S.S.P9:05 PM

    TN - I guess so ...

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  28. Usury is still a sin: http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/100331 as Thomas puts it:

    "One can certainly find a nearly universal practical neglect of the question of usury, but one looks in vain to find that the Church ever retracted, abrogated, or substantially altered her teaching on usury."

    So there's your challenge: produce a single magisterial document that shows retraction, abrogation or substantial alteration of the Church's teaching on usuary.

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  29. "...Usury is still a sin:..."

    Great response.

    The Truth is wonderful.

    *

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  30. How about finding one recent instance when that teaching is actually enforced?

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  31. How about finding one recent instance when that teaching is actually enforced?

    I don't dispute that the teaching is scandalously neglected at a time when it should be taught, especially as it is often used as a gambit for making any hard teaching look like the Church is talking through its hat.

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  32. Sorry for the paleo-comment, but I wanted to highlight this entry by Dave Armstrong: http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2011/06/neo-geocentrism-excessive-interest-in.html

    It's meant as an answer to geocentrists, who (surprise!) also try to float the usury-no-longer-sinful canard. What I didn't realize that usury is explicitly named in the Catechism compendium:

    508. What is forbidden by the seventh commandment?

    Above all, the seventh commandment forbids theft, which is the taking or using of another's property against the reasonable will of the owner. This can be done also by paying unjust wages; by speculation on the value of goods in order to gain an advantage to the detriment of others; or by the forgery of checks or invoices. Also forbidden is tax evasion or business fraud; willfully damaging private or public property; usury; corruption; the private abuse of common goods; work deliberately done poorly; and waste.


    Granted, that was waaaay back in 2005, but hopefully we can lay this turkey of an argument for the changing Church doctrine to rest.

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