Tuesday, January 10, 2012

More on the Cardinal George apology.

I guess I'm not the only one who thought it 'troubling'.
His primary justification or at least his public justification was that his analogy was hurtful. I wonder if he would publicly state that homosexual acts are "abominable." Surely, that would be "hurtful" to those who identify as homosexual, and yet that's how Scripture characterizes them.

The notion that the presence of hurt feelings means that Cardinal George has done something wrong suggests that the ethical legitimacy of public speech is determined by the subjective response of hearers. But consistently applied, that principle would prohibit all expressions of moral propositions.

Although it's unpleasant to say something that results in hurt feelings and at times hurt feelings result from our sinful words, sometimes "hurt" or bad feelings result from an encounter with truth.

Anyone who bothered to read his original comments knows that he did not suggest that all homosexuals are "like members of the Klan." His comments were about "some" homosexual activists. Moreover he expressed his "hope" that the "gay pride" parade would not "morph" into something like the marches the KKK led against the Catholic Church. - Catholic Citizens
Personally, I'm not trying to make a federal case out of this, nor do I see a need to call in the canonists or the CDF, but I think, if you study the matter closely, one can agree in principle with the article cited above. 

Likewise, all I intended when I stated that the coercion and intimidation worked - hence the apology from the Cardinal is that it seems to me the tactics of intimidation and coercion really did work.  What I mean by tactics of intimidation and coercion in this case is: I interpret the flood of complaints and general outcry against what the Cardinal's statement a form of intimidation - I may be wrong, and perhaps the Cardinal was not at all intimidated, perhaps he was moved by witnessing sheep without a shepherd.  I don't know.  However, the Always Our Children style of emotional coercion seemed to work on him since in his apology he made it clear he took into consideration, "the fact that these are people we know and love and are part of our families."   I may sound cold, but I'm simply trying to be objective here - something very much needed when it comes to this subject.  That said, the fact that many gay activists are praising the Cardinal's apology just may prove my point.

Holding out false hopes does not serve the truth.

Don't listen to me though - it is only my personal reaction to the apology.  I'm not vilifying the Cardinal - I really do think it was a very kind, gracious gesture.   I am not at all against trying to soothe hurt feelings, which left alone can result in greater anger and hostility.  However, the real point in the Cardinal's apology I found particularly troubling is this statement:
"The question is, 'Does respect mean that we have to change our teaching?' That's an ongoing discussion, of course. … I still go back to the fact that these are people we know and love and are part of our families. That's the most important point right now."- Source  
 To my knowledge, there is no discussion, and there can be no discussion involving changing Church teaching on faith and morals, which declares homosexual acts as gravely sinful, thus prohibiting any recognition of same sex marriage.  It is my understanding and conviction that the Church does not have the authority to redefine marriage, any more that it has the authority to redefine the priesthood and thus permit women priests.

So did the Cardinal do a bad thing?  No.  Did he confuse the faithful?  I don't know - but his statement left me a tad befuddled and strikes me as compromise.  But what else is new?


  1. Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Let's stop pussy footing around here. Homosexuality is a sickness! A terrible disease that goes right to the heart of the soul and ultimately seeks to mock Almighty God's plan of creation.

    We are slowly being brainwashed as a culture to accept this as cute, romantic, funny, clever, fresh, fun, sexy--it is none of those things!

    Let's remember what we are talking about here, we are talking about men who desire to insert their penis into another man's intestinal track. If that alone doesn't scream "Ouch!" "Eww!" "Gross!" "Unnatural!" I don't know what does.

    These people are sexual, and for the most part, social deviants and need serious psychological and spiritual counseling. What you formerly called, being "locked-up."

    I worked with my local school board back in the 1970's to ban these deviants from teaching in our schools, because I saw too well where this was leading. They've not only spread deadly social diseases, but spiritual and mental illness as well, by making this sickness appear normative.


  2. Locking up persons with SSA is not the answer. And not every person with SSA engages in sodomy.

  3. "To my knowledge, there is no discussion, and there can be no discussion involving changing Church teaching on faith and morals, which declares homosexual acts as gravely sinful, thus prohibiting any recognition of same sex marriage."

    Amen. Well put.

    I was very disappointed in his retraction.

  4. Bev Fordyce:

    Your statement that homosexual orientation is a sickness is an unfounded opinion, but it is definitely not the teaching of the Catholic Church. Also, you focus on what homosexuals may or may not do rather than the people - people who are made in the Divine image and likeness. The Church draws a firm distinction between orientation and act. As dougboy correctly points out, not all people with SSA engage in sodomy. Indeed, not all people with SSA engage in sexual activity. Period. You even flippantly state that homosexual people are for the most part social deviants; this comment is nothing less than moronic.

    As for your wish to lock homosexuals away, you clearly do not agree with the Church's teaching that unjust discrimination against homosexuals is unacceptable (CCC 2358). I presume that you are a Catholic. If so, you need to get your thoughts and opinions in line with what the Church teaches regarding homosexual people.


    When I read that Cardinal George had apologised, I wondered about the details. From my reading of the Cardinal's apology, it related solely to comparing some homosexuals with the KKK; it was a comparison that many - including myself - found odious. The Cardinal did not apologise in the slightest for the Church's constant teaching that sex belongs only within marriage.

  5. Well said, doughboy.

  6. Terry,

    A number of people are pointing to this without noticing something very important:

    "The question is, 'Does respect mean that we have to change our teaching?' That's an ongoing discussion, of course. …

    Did the interviewer inadvertently leave something out at the end, not knowing what kind of firestorm would be created? (note the ... )

    I'd like to know what Cardinal George told the reporter that was cut-off from the print, before judging the man on this point. He has no control over what the reporter decided to omit and that missing information could give his comment context.

    Do you see what I mean?

  7. Diane - that was pretty much the point of my post - no one else seems to have picked up on it. That said - I do not know if there is a missinmg conclusion to the statement.


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