Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Quote of the Day

Earth to Rome: lots of communities are already celebrating both same-sex blessings and same-sex weddings, indeed even calling them Catholic marriages, naming them as sacraments because they are. According to contemporary Catholic definitions, a sacrament is an occasion when a community lifts an everyday human experience to public expression because it is holy. For example, a baby does not ‘become’ Christian through the Sacrament of Baptism. The fact of their being part of a Christian community is highlighted in the baptismal ceremony (i.e., sacrament) for everyone to affirm and embrace.

Likewise, with ordination. Magic words spoken by a bishop do not a priest make. The ordinand’s demonstrated commitment to ministry is recognized and affirmed in the Sacrament of Ordination. That is why in Catholic teaching, the ministers of the Sacrament of Marriage are the people who make a covenant with one another, not the priest who is a witness along with the rest of the community called church. As was true in the civil arena, it is a short step from heterosexual marriage to same-sex marriage in religion.

So the Vatican’s ethical contortions in [its recent document] are all the more pitiful. It claims that the church can bless “individual persons with homosexual inclinations” who live according to the Church’s teachings, i.e., a celibate existence. But should such persons find love, happiness, companionship, energy to create family and spark community, should it occur to such persons and their loved ones that their lives are healthy, good, natural, holy, and worthy of celebration and encouragement, the answer, to quote this dubious document, is “Negative.” Happily, the Roman Catholic institutional Church is only a small and shrinking part of a much broader Catholic community that has more common sense and ethical savvy. Catholic people are far more generous in their thinking and blessing than many Vatican officials.

Meanwhile, it’s heartening to know that on the strength of this document, people, including some priests and deacons, are jumping out of the woodwork to offer their pastoral services to bless same-sex couples. Thanks to the media coverage of this [document], ministerial resources offered by groups like DignityUSA, New Ways Ministry, and the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics are getting broader attention. Some other Christian denominations around the world are making clear that they will bless Catholics whether the Catholic Church does or not.

Mary E. Hunt
Excerpted from “The Vatican ‘Doubts’ Same-Sex Love,
But More Doubt the Vatican

Religion Dispatches
March 16, 2021

Related Off-site Links:
Vatican Says Yes to Gay People, No to Blessing Gay Unions – Thomas Reese (National Catholic Reporter, March 17, 2021).
Catholics React to Vatican Ban on Clergy Blessing Same-Sex MarriagesNPR News (March 16, 2021).
Catholic Priests Vow to Bless Same-Sex Unions in Defiance of Vatican – Jordan Williams (The Hill, March 16, 2021).
Catholic Parishes Are Already Supporting and Celebrating Same-Gender Couples – Francis D. Bernardo (Bondings 2.0, March 15, 2021).
CNN’s Don Lemon on Vatican Refusing to Bless Same-Sex Unions: “God Is Not About Hindering People” – Aris Folley (The Hill, March 15, 2021).
Why Do So Many Catholics Support Marriage Equality? Blame the Catholic Imagination – Jamie Manson (National Catholic Reporter, October 8, 2012).

UPDATES: Love Is No Sin: Response to Vatican Statement on Same-Sex Marriage – United Theological Seminary (March 18, 2021).
Bishops Criticize Vatican’s Ban on Blessing Same-Sex Couples – Malo Tresca (National Catholic Reporter, March 19, 2021).
Vatican’s Decree on Gay Unions Risks Making Francis Into a Hypocrite – Editorial Board (National Catholic Reporter, March 19, 2021).
Ruling on Same-Sex Blessings “Is Not Last Word” – Christopher Lamb (The Tablet, March 18, 2021).
Pope Francis Seen as Distancing Himself from Vatican Ban on Blessing Same-Gender Couples – Robert Shine (NewWaysMinistry.org, March 22, 2021).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Beyond the Hieracrchy: The Blossoming of Liberating Catholic Insights on Sexuality
Mary Hunt: “Catholicism is a Very Complex Reality”
Our Catholic “Stonewall Moment”
Stop in the Name of Discriminatory Ideology!
Relationship: The Crucial Factor in Sexual Morality
The Many Manifestations of God’s Loving Embrace
A “Fruit” Reflects on the Meaning of “Fruitfulness”
Getting It Right
The Standard of Sexual Ethics: Human Flourishing, Not Openness to Procreation
Joan Timmerman on the “Wisdom of the Body”
A Catholic Statement of Support for Same-Sex Marriage
Tips on Speaking as a Catholic in Support of Marriage Equality
LGBT Catholics Respond to Synod 2014’s Final Report
“Trajectory is More Important Than the Current Status”


Clayton said...

If common sense and ethical savvy are all one desires, who needs God, except as a self-designation?

Michael J. Bayly said...

Hi, Clayton! It's been a while. Hope you're happy and well.