Friday, April 07, 2006

Restoration Delayed

Foolables at Gonzaga demand homage be paid by all to the One Thing that Matters (2.0)

Consider this bit of double-talk:
A group of students, faculty and staff under the name GU Affirms Equality released a letter to the community last week affirming "the spiritual, political, moral and social equality of the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] members of the Gonzaga community."

The letter, which heavily cites Vatican documents and Catholic teaching, seeks to show that the Catholic Church's teachings affirm members of the LGBT community, and that recent actions on the part of the Vatican, including language addressing homosexuality in the priesthood, has not been consistent with the Church's overall teachings on homosexuality. These teachings prohibit malicious and offensive language and actions against homosexuals.

The project, facilitated by Dr. Mark Alfino, a philosophy professor, began as an idea in late November when Alfino contacted Alliance Forum, the GLBT advisory board and other campus groups to discuss recent events such as the Dr. Diggs lecture in the fall,. He felt it was not in line with Catholic teaching and recent Vatican documents that seemed contradictory to the Church's stand against discrimination, prejudice and maliciousness toward the LGBT community.

After the "Brokeback Mountain" chant at the St. Mary's game, the project gained more momentum.

"We need to address the negative publicity that Gonzaga has received and the negative human rights implications," Alfino said. He believes promoting equality and affirming LGBT members of the community will take a lot of energy, but he hopes that more than anything, GU Affirms Equality will spark discussion.

Before the group started, Alfino wanted to make sure everyone understood the commitment and that all the clubs to be involved were ready. Most people he talked to were ready to create a plan and take action by January, according to Alfino.

Three groups were organized for the project, all comprising students, faculty and staff: a contact group, a letter writing group and a steering committee, the latter comprising of about 10 people, making it the smallest of the groups.

"We wanted to make an affirmation in the letter," Alfino said. "The first idea for the letter was to describe the Catholic context for the discussion. I think we're at a critical point in the discussion for Civil Rights in GLBT equality…we could be at the tipping point."
Gotta love a philosophy professor that's more Catholic than the Pope. After all, he clearly knows that those nasty documents from "the Vatican" couldn't possibly be Catholic. It's not as if the Vatican can speak for Catholics. After all, only the Church teaches, not the Vatican.

Ironically enough, he's right. Catholics do not follow "the Vatican." We follow Christ. We believe that Christ reveals himself to us through his Church, a communion of disciples that he founded. We also believe that he called some of these disciples as particular witnesses of his glory. He named them Apostles. Furthermore, we believe that these apostles chose successors, whom we today call Episcopals, or Bishops. These Bishops, as the apostles' successors, have been commissioned through the Church by Christ to teach, lead and minister to the disciples, the laity. The Pope, as the apostle Peter's successor, is the head of this college of Bishops. Thus, Catholics follow Christ through the teachings of the Church, safeguarded and propogates by the magisterium--the Pope in communion with the college of Bishops.

Therefore, whatever comes out of "The Vatican" is irrelevent. That's because it came out of the Holy See, the expression of the Pope's universal ministry. In other words, there's no divorcing documents that come out of congragations under the auspices of the Holy See from the teachings of the Church.

But Dr. Alfino probably knows this.

The good philosopher also knows his Church teaching on the treatment of gays and lesbians:
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
So how does he not know the rest of the Church's teachings on homosexuality?
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
And this?
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
Now, consider this: Diocesan priests make promises of celibacy and obedience. Religious priests take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. So perhaps the good philosopher can tell rest of us: How does forbidding those that celebrate homosexual activity as a legitimate lifestyle constitute a contradiction of Catholic teaching?

It does so only if Dr. Alfino believes that the Church approves of homosexual activity. Yes, that does seem to be the strange dog he's selling here.

In spite of the growing national trend of Catholic colleges renewing their traditional identity, there clearly remain Foolables that carry the Reasonable OTtM(2.0) mouth-foamers water. They can pretend to speak for the Church. They witness only to their own unfortunate Foolableness.

They can keep whining right up to the moment that the broom sweeps them out!