Monday, April 11, 2016

Quote of the Day

[Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation on Love in the Family] reflects the papal conundrum of pastoring realistically in the contemporary world without changing any church doctrine or major teaching. The result is unequal opportunity ambiguity. Some things can be parsed – as in the communion debate – while other things are off the table, such as same-sex marriage. Rationales for such decisions are lacking other than wan references to previous church teachings. It reminds this reader of Francis’ openness to gay priests (“Who am I to judge?”) and his claim that the ordination of women is a settled matter. Settled by and for whom? Once again the patriarchal power paradigm is shored up by a pope who likes to have it both ways. Certain pastoral decision-making is kicked downstairs to priests and bishops, but that is effectively how things work now. Theology follows practice.

The fundamental problem in this document is methodological: there is only one ideal – heteronormative uncontracepted sex in monogamous marriage – in relation to which everything else is derivative, lesser, lacking, and/or forbidden. At the same time, the Pope wants to welcome and be pastoral to everyone. Catholic market share has slipped precipitously worldwide due in large part to this ‘one, holy, catholic and apostolic’ way of looking at sexuality. Thinking postmodern Catholics simply do not take kindly to such groundless generalities in the face of so much evidence to the contrary. What about Uncles Pat and Bill who love and share so generously?

– Mary E. Hunt
Excerpted from "Pope Francis’ Love Letter
is an Opportunity Lost
Religion Dispatches
April 11, 2016

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
An Erotic Encounter with the Divine
On Eve of Amoris Laetitia's Release, "A Moment of Pause and of Prayer"
James Alison on the Likely "Really Big Deal" of Synod 2015
Quote of the Day – October 30, 2015
Beyond the Hierarchy: The Blossoming of Liberating Catholic Insights on Sexuality (Part 8)
"Trajectory is More Important Than the Current Status"
Quote of the Day – October 20, 2014
LGBT Catholics Respond to Synod 2014's Final Report

Related Off-site Links:
Do the Pope's Latest Words on Marriage and Homosexuality Go Far Enough? Not for Me – Charles P. Pierce (Esquire, April 8, 2016)
Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia is a Closeted Argument for Gay Marriage – William Saletan (Slate, April 8, 2016).
Seven Notes re: Amoris Laetitia and the Papacy of Pope Francis as a Project to Shore Up Waning Heterosexual Male Power and Privilege – William D. Lindsey (Bilgrimage, April 10, 2016).
Catholic Families Need More from Pope Francis – Michele Weldon (USA Today via Religion News Service, April 11, 2016).
Pope Francis' "The Joy of Love" Falls Short – Gina Messina (Feminism and Religion, April 12, 2016).
LGBT Faith Community Voices Disappointment Over "Joy of Love" – Bill Daley (Chicago Tribune, April 12, 2016).

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