The [hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church] can’t retreat from its fight on gay marriage because to do so would take it back nearly 50 years to when it was on the brink of approving the use of contraception but backed down because it would codify the idea, which it had already tacitly accepted, that the purpose of marriage wasn’t limited to reproduction.
This, in turn, would negate much of the church’s biological determinism around the role of women. Many of the doctrinal developments on issues related to sex and women since then have been ever-more elaborate constructions to shore up this theologically weak underpinning. But like any structure built on a shaky foundation, you can’t start moving pieces around without the whole thing tumbling down. To give up the fight on same-sex marriage would be to cast doubt on the entire Pope John Paul II-Benedict moral framework around sexuality and that’s a house of cards the [hierarchy] can’t mess with.
– Patricia Miller
"I Agree with Douthat, Church Can't Accept Gay Marriage
June 10, 2014
June 10, 2014
Related Off-site Links:
Catholic Bishops Vote to Double Down on Culture War – Patricia Miller (Religion Dispatches, June 12, 2014).
Catholic Bishops Keep Focus on Abortion, Marriage – Rachel Zoll (Associated Press via Yahoo! News, June 11, 2013).
U.S. Bishops Open Assembly by Voting to Stay the Course – Brian Roewe and Joshua J. McElwee (National Catholic Reporter, June 11, 2014).
Bishops Talk Sex Abuse Complacency, Not Accountability at Annual Meeting – Brian Roewe and Joshua J. McElwee (National Catholic Reporter, June 12, 2013).
The Catholic Church Isn't Anti-Gay, But Are the Bishops? – Michael O'Loughlin (The Huffington Post, December 10, 2013).
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
What Part of Jesus' Invitation to "Be Not Afraid" Don't the Bishops Get?
Quote of the Day – May 31, 2014
Why the Bishops Are Being Ignored
Doug Mataconis on the Bishops, Religious Freedom, and Living in a Civil Society
Three Excellent Responses to Cardinal Dolan
Robert McClory on Humanae Vitae
The Standard for Sexual Ethics: Human Flourishing, Not Openness to Procreation
Relationship: The Crucial Factor in Sexual Morality
Quote of the Day – May 9, 2014
Responding to Bishop Tobin's Remarks on Gay Marriage
Stop in the Name of Discriminatory Ideology!
Catholic Church Can Overcome Fear of LGBT People
Beyond the Hierarchy: The Blossoming of Liberating Catholic Insights on Sexuality
Image: Kristen Solberg.