Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Amoris Laetitia

“I don’t understand those Catholics such as...Fr. Martin,” Yiannopoulos said, "who imply that if people don’t like what the Church says, maybe the Church is wrong or should apologize. The Church was founded on a rock and a cross, not on a hug.”

Leave aside the implication that Fr. Martin "implies" adherence to Church doctrine is not essential to Roman Catholics (it's a cheap shot), and notice that the real purpose of church is to decide who is in and who is out.  Which leaves Isaiah out, to begin with:

"Come for water, all who are thirsty;
though you have no money, come, buy grain and eat;
come, buy wine and milk,
not for money, not for a price.
Why spend your money for what is not food,
your earnings on what fails to satisfy?
Listen to me and you will fare well,
you will enjoy the fat of the land."--Isaish 55:1-2, REB)

Yes, I drag that one out repeatedly, but it's as compact a statement of inclusiveness without boundaries as anything in Scripture.  The invitation is not predicated on armed guards keeping "bad people" away, or ticket holders only being allowed in, or the approved streaming through while the disapproved are barred at the gate.  There is no gate, there is no judgment, there's not even a cover charge.   There can be a rock and a cross, but they aren't barriers to entry, or standards to which you must comply before you can eat and drink.  There is certainly no cross wielded as a sword rather than borne as a burden.  Since I don't have my REB with me and can't find that version on-line, here's the KJV of the entire chapter, just to keep it in context:

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2Why {Wherefore} do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3Incline your ear, and come unto Me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. 4Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander to the peoples. 5Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD, thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee. 6Seek ye the LORD while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: 7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. 8For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

10For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not there {thither}, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater, 11So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 12For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

I especially like v. 9 there, where the LORD says God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts, God's ways higher than our ways.  Not a lot of room there for exclusion based on human preferences or even human interpretations of God's word.  In the end we must be humble before God, not childishly arrogant and sure of who is in, who is out.

Of course, "in" and "out" are crucial terms if you think your side is about to be overrun:

“We’re in the beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict...[if the church does not bind together and really form what I feel is an aspect of the church militant, to really be able to not just stand with our beliefs, but to fight for our beliefs against this new barbarity that’s starting, that will completely eradicate everything that we’ve been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years.”
That, too, is a directly un-Biblical view of history and creation.  It's a view that God is absent, or powerless in the most fundamental way (unable to act, v. powerlessness as real power) and that evil will win the cosmic battle if good doesn't join the fight directly through those who think exclusion is the way of God.  It's also the idea that God is not present in history at all unless we act for God; which puts God not higher than us, but merely a passenger in our hip pocket.  I'm sure that's appealing to some people, but to put it in terms the British Yiannopoulos would understand, it's got bugger all to do with Christianity, or a rock, or a cross, or a hug.

Yiannopoulos is welcome into the body of Christ; he's just not welcome to his own, exclusionary brand of Christianity.


  1. What's so fundamentally, outrageously and purposefully dishonest about Milo's charge against Fr. Martin is that Fr. Martin is in line with both Catholic teaching and the recent statements of the Pope, namely that while the Church may teach that homosexuality is disordered, the inclination itself is not a sin and certainly not a reason to discard individuals, as everyone is imperfect.

    Meanwhile, Milo's confessions about his own philosophy on the matter are not at all in line with Church teachings - namely, that he can live an actively homosexual lifestyle, hope for forgiveness one day when he tires of it or on his deathbed, and that somehow he gets a pass because he is claims to be representing the TRUE teachings of the Catholic Church. And like a rodeo clown he wants Catholics to laugh and look away at the horror what he's really saying because of his "yeah I'm a sinner but I'm more Catholic than the Pope" schtick" with a pithy utterance from a medieval saint that has a kind of wry bumper sticker value. He's saying HIS sin isn't serious, but HOMOSEXUALITY is! Trust him people, he is one!

    Milo is a sniveling liar and Wormtongue with a dark, regressive agenda against women, the marginalized, the stranger - basically the usual victims that fascism seeks out. I think he sees himself as having a place in the new fascistic order envisioned by the powers he serves despite his open homosexuality; that he will be issued an exception from discrimination and oppression because he's been a tool in bringing it about. And maybe he will for a time, if it's ever successful. But in the end these dark currents take on lives of their own and turn on even those who brought them about in the name of "purity."

    He is a ridiculous damn idiot for thinking otherwise. That his is "real" disorder.

  2. Let me just clarify that my views aren't those of any of the contending parties named above - I don't believe for a moment that homosexuality is "disordered" or sinful at all. I'm the contrary, I believe that LGBTQ individuals brings their own special gifts that enrich the human community and that it's pretty obvious that they do. The abominable argument that these individuals can't be chaste because the only intimate human relations they can have are outside of a legitimizing marriage is simply an exercise of defining them into depravity. The answer is simple: they are humans with the right to form the bond of committed love we call marriage.

    Whether or not Fr. Martin believes this or would like the church to allow it is beside the point that he doesn't ADVOCATE for it, because as a Catholic priest he isn't permitted to - which gives the lie to Milo's criticism.