Monday, October 6, 2014

Gates Narrow and Wide

I just ran across an Andrew Sullivan op-ed in The Dish . What piqued my interest was the following: (My comments in red).

And it comes down to this: does it seem Christian to you to fire people for marrying someone or for having a baby?"  For one who becomes pregnant by the method(s) employed in "same-sex marriages," she would not be being terminated  solely for "having a baby." Catholic teaching prohibits in vitro fertilization, maintaining that a child has the right to be conceived in the marital embrace of his parents. Human sexuality has two components, the unitive and procreative; IVF separates these components and makes the procreative its only goal. Pope Paul VI said that there is an “inseparable connection, willed by God, and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning.”  IVF makes the child a commodity produced in a laboratory, and makes doctors, technicians, and even business people part of the conception process. The sperm used is usually obtained by masturbation, which the Church teaches is immoral. The sperm or eggs used may not come from the couple desiring the child; because one of the spouses may be infertile, it may be necessary to use the sperm or eggs from an outsider. Most of the embryos conceived—which the Church holds should be respected new human lives—die, are frozen indefinitely for later implantation, are used for research, or are discarded. Children conceived through IVF also have a greater incidence of birth defects. In sum, the Church views the child as a gift from God, not a right (although the child has rights). For more information on Catholic teaching on the issue, read the Catechism of the Catholic Churchparagraphs 2373-2379. This is applicable to all Catholics, not just those with a homosexual orientation.
When the next generation of Catholics comes to see their church as doing this, how will they reconcile that with the notion of the church as dedicated to universal love, social justice and compassion?" Yesterday I noted here that bishops are beginning to fulfill their responsibility as chief catechists in their dioceses by, among other things, overseeing the qualifications of teachers in Catholic schools. This is a good first step in ensuring that the next generation of  Catholics comes to uunderstand the fullness of Catholic moral teaching, the truth of which, when properly understood, is self-evident.
The “sins” that gay Catholics are committing, after all, are no worse in theological terms than masturbation, pre-marital sex or the use of contraception within a marriage. And yet only the gays are really subject to these new censures, because they can be more easily identified in the public space." With the exception of the use of parentheses around sins, this point is well taken and is evidence of the wisdom of bishops in beginning to oversee the qualifications of all who would engage in the Church's evangelical, catechetical and educational mission, not just those with a homosexual orientation. 
However way you slice it, that means that the Catholic church is engaged in a very targeted campaign of discrimination against gay people for the very sins most straight Catholics commit all the time. It must be remembered that not all people with a homosexual orientation engage in behavior the Church teaches is sinful.... Why this is so bears looking into on the part of Mr. Sullivan. This has to strike most people as wrong – deeply wrong. Even the most stringent church teaching on homosexuality opposes what it calls “unjust discrimination” against gays. And isn’t selective enforcement of morals against one tiny minority precisely the definition of “unjust”?" Againthe way to rectify this is not to enter where the gate is wide and leads to destruction, but to enter through the narrow gate, which leads to life, though there are indeed few who find it. (Matthew 7:13) Let us hope and pray that the bishops continue to take dead serious their role as shepherds, so eloquently set down in Vatican II's Christus Dominus.