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June 5, 2012


Vatican Scolds Nun for Book on Sexuality

Oh for a church with this kind of resolve in the face of heresy:

The Vatican’s doctrinal office on Monday denounced an American nun who taught Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School for a book that attempted to present a theological rationale for same-sex relationships, masturbation and remarriage after divorce.

The Vatican office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that the book, “Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics,” by Sister Margaret A. Farley, was “not consistent with authentic Catholic theology,” and should not be used by Roman Catholics.

Sister Farley, a past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and an award-winning scholar, responded in a statement: “I can only clarify that the book was not intended to be an expression of current official Catholic teaching, nor was it aimed specifically against this teaching. It is of a different genre altogether.”


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15 comments

“an award-winning scholar” Aren’t they all.

But I’ll bet her TEC budget bracket collapsed in the first round.

[1] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 6-5-2012 at 10:07 AM · [top]

It shouldn’t have taken two years for them to do it, but at least they did something.

[2] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 6-5-2012 at 01:48 PM · [top]

Question to Catholics out there: shouldn’t they excommunicate her? They cannot stop her from teaching as with Kung since she is not teaching at a Catholic institution. What is the good of this warning by the Vatican if she can continue on, using the credibility of the Catholic Church to push her teaching? Shouldn’t there be a Mt 18 situation here? ie. give her a chance to reconsider this, but be firm in the end. Who will remember this rebuke in a few years time?

[3] Posted by SpongJohn SquarePantheist on 6-5-2012 at 02:50 PM · [top]

Apparently, we use excommunication “with great care and restraint” :^>.

All I can say is that I’m forewarned if I should stumble across her book, and I’m reminded of Catholic teachings on these subjects - and that there are Catholics who would divert me from them if I’m not careful.

It’s hard to imagine there are Catholics (or Episcopalians - of which I used to be one) who would teach me falsely. It is a very unfriendly and deadly thing to do but we all have to watch for it. The notice is at least good for that.

In faith, Dave
Viva Texas

Why is it that our children can’t read a Bible in school but they can in prison?

[4] Posted by dpeirce on 6-5-2012 at 03:51 PM · [top]

Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of dissident Catholics like the Spanish Inquisition (Predecessor to the Congredation for the Doctrine of the Faith). But most particularly, the Anglican Disquisition does not!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the author of the book to which the CDF objects: Sr. Margaret Farley.

[5] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 6-5-2012 at 04:15 PM · [top]

[2] Underground Pewster,

Better to take two years, get the correct result, and provide the wayward member the opportunity to repent, I think. Deliberation, rather than a rush to judgment, is almost always the more godly course, because it does give the malefactor time for examination of conscience and possible repentance. Additionally, it highlights, at least for all who “have eyes” to see, the adamant obstinacy of the impenitent.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

[6] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 6-5-2012 at 04:21 PM · [top]

H Potter: Forgive me!!! Following your link, I looked at her face, and she reminds me of someone….. someone high in the councils of the Episcopal Church….. Katherine something…...

Is that an accident or a revelation???

In faith, Dave
Viva Texas

[7] Posted by dpeirce on 6-5-2012 at 04:36 PM · [top]

The Catholic Church moves slowly and deliberately. Part of the delay is that the CDF expressed their concerns and gave Sr. Margaret a chance to respond. She responds and then they re-evaluate. After this re-evaluation the CDF was still not satisfied so they issued the notice.

[8] Posted by DJH on 6-5-2012 at 05:43 PM · [top]

#5 completely insane. I wonder if she feels this way about any other actions (such as murder) which are now considered ‘objectively’ immoral. Can they be sanctified into virtuous actions by the mere magic of the ‘subjective’ state of mind of the person who commits them? And she’s a professor of ethics at Yale. Maybe she claimed to be part Native American as well. Or they hand out those things in the same way they’ve been handing out ‘Nobel Peace Prizes’ recently.

“Although homosexual genital actions are still judged to be intrinsically disordered, and hence, ‘objectively’ immoral, they can be ‘subjectively’ moral depending on the state of mind and intentions of an individual person,” she writes.

[9] Posted by SpongJohn SquarePantheist on 6-5-2012 at 05:59 PM · [top]

This “all you need is love” theology is almost 50 years old and hasn’t gotten a bit better as far as I can see. Still as silly, dull and sleep-inducing as ever.

i would respect it more if they wrote books like “Doing Whatever You Want: A Framework for Everything”.

[10] Posted by Real Toral on 6-5-2012 at 07:15 PM · [top]

[7] dpeirce,

You asked:

Is that an accident or a revelation???

I honestly don’t know the woman, and thus cannot offer a personal opinion. However, I will say that the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung somewhere plainly stated that by the age of about 35, an individual was responsible for their physical appearance, by which I don’t believe that he specifically intended the features of their face, but rather the persona one shows to others, “the appearance we present to the world. It is the character we assume-through it, we relate to others. The persona includes our social roles, the kind of clothes we choose to wear, and our individual styles of expressing ourselves. The term persona comes from the Latin, meaning “mask,” or “false face,” as in the mask worn by an actor on the Roman stage through which he spoke. In order to function socially at all, we have to play a part in ways that define our roles. Even those who reject such adaptive devices invariably employ other roles, roles that represent rejection.

The persona has both negative and positive aspects. A dominant persona can smother the individual, and those who identify with their persona tend to see themselves only in terms of their superficial social roles and facades. In fact, Jung called the persona the “conformity archetype.” As part of its positive function, it protects the ego and the psyche from the varied social forces and attitudes that impinge on them. The persona is, in addition, a valuable tool for communication. In Roman drama the actors’ boldly drawn masks informed the entire audience clearly, if somewhat stereotypically, of the personality and attitudes of the role each actor was playing. The persona can often be crucial to our positive development. As we begin to play a certain role, our ego gradually comes to identify with it. This process is central to personality development.”

I think our attitudes are reflected in our facial appearance in much the same way that the environment shapes the face of the landscape. If we are perennially sour, it will gradually become imprinted on our facial features, not by magic but by the fact that we all tend to wear our moods in our expressions.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

[11] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 6-6-2012 at 09:59 AM · [top]

She teaches Christian ethics at Yle Divinity School? There’s an oxymoron right there!
I agree, Keith[11], that our perennial attitudes become imprinted on our faces. This nun does indeed resembe Katherine, probably for that reason.

“Subjectively” moral? She can’t be as dumb as she sounds. Does she not see the difference between the morality of an action and the morality of the doer? Possibly the person doing the action is not an immoral person, in the sense that he is truly following his conscience and honestly thinks what he’s doing is right and will therefor not be consigned to eternal damnation by God. That, however, doesn’t make his action moral. The action is objectively right or wrong. And in the case of homosexual behavior, the person doing the actions would have to ignore or twist an awful lot of scripture to convince himself that homosexual actions are okay; therefor it would be quite a stretch to believe that he is honestly acting in good conscience.

[12] Posted by Nellie on 6-6-2012 at 10:37 AM · [top]

[12] Nellie,

You write:

Possibly the person doing the action is not an immoral person, in the sense that he is truly following his conscience and honestly thinks what he’s doing is right and will therefor not be consigned to eternal damnation by God.”

In my Church the distinction is always made that one must be following one’s properly formed conscience, which is a part of the obligation of the individual. I can’t help but suspect that requirement must leave her in a precarious position with respect to the day of judgment.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

[13] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 6-6-2012 at 08:12 PM · [top]

I’m just disappointed there’s no discipline that will prevent her from using the RCC “brand” to help purvey her apostacies.

[14] Posted by evan miller on 6-8-2012 at 02:26 PM · [top]

Next thing you know, she’ll announce that she’s decided it would be a neat thing to become a practicing Muslim as well.  And tell the Pope it’s OK because she’s living in a completely different genre altogether.

[15] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 6-23-2012 at 12:25 AM · [top]

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