Thursday, September 17, 2015

Cardinal Schönborn - another look at what he said on stable gay relationships.

Isherwood and Auden - partners at one time.

Cardinal Schönborn gave an interview.

I wrote a post.

I insisted he didn't say what everyone thinks he said.

Turns out - I may have been wrong.

I was serious - it seemed to me he wasn't recommending stable gay unions/relationships - he was pretty much simply stating it was better than a promiscuous gay lifestyle.  Basing my opinion on the Catholic Herald article, I wrote: Pope Benedict could have said the same thing - recall his speaking of a homosexual prostitute using a condom out of a sort of charitable concern - a first assumption of responsibility? I think it is easy to understand Schönborn, Benedict and Francis - when we listen to their actual statements in context. It seems to me Schönborn makes himself clear when he insists pastoral care “cannot transform an irregular situation into a regular one”.

Perhaps I was commenting on a snippet, rather than the entire interview?  I'm not sure now.  Joe Sciambra didn't take the interview well, and strongly disagreed with what Cardinal Schönborn had to say on stable gay relationships.  Perhaps I am naive, but I still didn't get the impression the Cardinal was recommending such accommodations, but simply pointing out a situation he was familiar with socially, and suggesting there may be hope those involved could move closer towards accepting Catholic teaching.

That said, Gerard J.M. van den Aardweg has written a very good article on LifeSiteNews taking apart what he calls Cardinal Schönborn's naive pipedream on stability in gay relationships.  It lends credibility to Sciambra's post.  I have the greatest respect for van den Aardweg's work - in fact I've been looking for one of his books which I seemed to have misplaced.  He is correct - in my opinion - on the nature of so-called stable same sex relationships.  

"When more information became available, it invariably appeared that appearances are deceptive." - Gerard J.M.van den Aardweg

Idealists like Msgr. Schönborn live on a rosy cloud. Many gays are more realistic. They know well one of the pivotal facts of the practice of homosexuality: its intrinsic promiscuity. Prominent German gay activist, homosexuality researcher and professor of sociology Dannecker stated unequivocally that homosexual men have a “different” sexual nature, and this is a promiscuous one.9 An experienced gay man, after many “eternal” partnerships, commented, “Homosexual ties begin and end with sex. There is so little else to go on.”10 The well-known Catholic American publicist Andrew Sullivan, a practicing gay man, is a proponent of gay “marriage,” stipulating however, that this particular “marriage” contract has to be “open.” For it should reflect the “greater understanding for the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman.” - van den Aardweg

"People in monogamous relationships have to be willing to meet me a quarter of the way and acknowledge the drawbacks of monogamy around boredom, despair, lack of variety, sexual death and being taken for granted.” - Dan Savage

I've written on this topic many times in the past.  One or other - or both together - of the partners will eventually be promiscuous in a long term relationship - unless both elect to live chastely and celibately and simply live as friends or brothers.  That's feasible.  Perhaps it is the type of situation the Cardinal refers to.  But it cannot be a marriage or union or simulation of marriage.  Again - that's another post and I've written about it many times in the past.

The Cardinal is criticized for holding out a false hope to people who believe they can have a sort of gay-Josephite marriage.  If he is doing that, I hope he will see it more realistically.  However, I tell guys who have lived together for years that they can come back to the Church - especially now they are old and no longer sexually active.  I admit I was naive about such situations however.

It turns out their relationships were often 'open' - they 'consented' to extra affairs, sharing partners, call-boys, and so on.  (Apparently consent is something of a doctrine for people in same sex relationships, or at least a free pass to promiscuity.)  They use medications like Viagra and pornography to stimulate their sexual relationship.  In other words - they are not at all interested in giving up sinful sexual activity, much less recognize the enabling, co-dependent element in their relationship.  Are there rare instances of genuine fidelity between so-called monogamous partners?  Maybe.  People make such claims - I'm dubious.  Just as I'm dubious regarding a person coming out publicly and identifying as gay while claiming to be a virgin.  It can happen, I suppose.

Msgr. Schönborn’s naive idealization of gay relationships is at the same time highly irresponsible. - Van den Aardweg

I have to agree - if we are really talking the idealization of gay relationships.  I certainly do not want to contradict a Cardinal or accuse him of being in error or irresponsible, but I do agree something is off with that interpretation.  The consolation one seeks in an irregular, illicit, and immoral relationship is deceptive.  In cases where the partners/friends do not repent and reform their lives, their life becomes at best an imitation game, to some extent.  I often think of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor as a sort of parody of sterile married life and/or the purported monogamous gay relationships I've encountered over the years.  Tasteful clothes, chic houses, endless travels and dinner and cocktail parties, pets as children, social engagements and names on donor's lists, theater and museum patronages, gallery openings, endless activities and piles of possessions - yet a certain emptiness haunts them.

I suppose now that same sex couples can adopt children, there is an altered dimension to their lives, a deeper sense of responsibility and reason for commitment.  Recently I was reading how life has changed for designer Tom Ford, now that he's a father and is getting older... he been noting the change, naturally.  Perhaps they can do better these days when gay civil marriages are legal, and open adoption or selective IVF with willing surrogates is more available - and there's no religion too.  Yet I wonder how - without God?

Buckley and Ford - going on 30 years.

I'm someone who likes being part of a couple 
and always wanted that and always sought that, 
and it would probably be true for me 
whether I was gay or straight. 
Richard and I are bound together, 
and I think that's what that recognition is 
when you look someone in the eyes 
and you feel like you've known them forever. 
It is a kind of coming home. - Tom Ford


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Human sexuality (sigh).

    Things would be much easier if we were coyotes. Their track record in such matters is considerably better than ours:

    1. True ... we could wild and free and not be bound to anything or anyone save the earth. ;p

      I do have one question for those of you who can relate to the above blog post by Terry. Where does Bruce Jenner aka Caitlyn fit into all of this? He is quoted as saying "he would find it really attractive if a man treated him like a normal woman."
      He still has his male privates though unless he underwent a complete sex change and no one knows about it.

      He will forever be a man though because of his God given DNA.

    2. Did Jenner really say that? Anyway - Bruce and Caitlyn don't fit in.

    3. Yes he did. He was talking to another man (also dressed as a woman) on his "I am Cait" show when he said it. The other guy told him he was "part of the sisterhood now and did not need a man to make him happy." Bruce just pursed his collagen filled lips and pouted.

      I saw the clip on Yahoo. It was a hoot to say the least.

  3. hi Terry: unrelated to any of the above; today;s (thursday) NYT has a really nice piece ( pictures ! ) about the completed restoration of Saint Patrick's: I visited some years back, there was scaffolding outside, and was struck by the darkness: sure wish I could make it back into the city and re-visit it and many other wonderful churches, plus a few museums. used to do this all in a day, including the three hour drive in and back. old, now.
    anyway: really interesting to see the areas of needed repair superimposed over the drawings: and the work done on the marble. *sigh* So Interesting !

    1. I will check it out - thanks Consolata.

  4. Oh ! and such a cute cap on St. Patrick, never saw one like that. wonder if I could knit one like it......

  5. Anonymous9:27 PM

    I tried to paste a picture of Christopher Isherwood with his long-term partner, Don Bachardy but couldn't do it. You can Google it. It was, how you say, a December-May affair.

    1. Hi Ryder - I have posted on them before - Don and Chris - I think Isherwood was at once interested in both Don and his brother at one point. It was the classic gay relationship in my opinion.


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