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.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.
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
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."- SourceTo 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?