I love Elizabeth Scalia, aka The Anchoress, and I very much appreciate her effort yesterday to inject a new perspective into the controversy over New York’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and the LGBT group that will be marching in it....In his email, our reader remarks: "Well...! With one column I can now see clear to forgive Steven G. his indulgent critic's plug for "Noah" ... LOL. Hell. I could even forgive him something as dopey as an imagined plugging of John Denver's "Oh God" on DVD -- or worse, a column pointing out the gospel parallels in Disney's "Frozen" -- if it meant more people listening to him and snapping out of the ... Lizzie Scalia sort of nonsense -- yes, nonsense -- that is fast becoming gospel mid-decade. And btw, if Scalia wasn't Catholic, I'd bet my bottom dollar she'd end up Episcopalian and seeking ordination. Just saying. As a former mainliner it's all just too familiar..."
Having said all that, I can’t agree with Elizabeth’s conclusions, or with the way she has framed the issue of Cardinal Dolan acting as the parade’s grand marshal....
She begins her post by commenting on the woman caught in adultery ....
She also points out Jesus’ well-known habit of sharing table fellowship with people deemed sinners. Finally, she cites the parable of the Prodigal Son ....
There are some lines of thought here worth considering. In general, though, I think the disanalogies are more important than the analogies.
It’s true that, when confronted by the crowd seeking to stone the woman taken in adultery, Jesus didn’t begin by saying to the crowd, “You are right, adultery is sinful”; it was only privately, to the woman, that he condemned her sin, saying “Go and sin no more.”
On the other hand, in the first place, in Jesus’ social milieu adultery was universally recognized as sinful.
There was no movement in Jesus’ day to normalize adultery. Adulterers did not form pressure groups demanding that their relationships have social status equivalent to marriage. Whatever Galilean wine seller provided the first round of drinks for the wedding feast at Cana did not have to worry about legal action or even hostile public-opinion campaigns if he declined to cater a dinner in celebration of adultery.
This means there is a greater obligation today to defend and uphold precisely those aspects of Catholic moral teaching that are under fire, and to do so by both word and action.
It is true that this obligation must be weighed alongside the obligation to make amends for mistreatment of same-sex attracted individuals. We must find ways of upholding Catholic moral teaching while also upholding the dignity of all persons and giving no support or cover to homophobia or gay-bashing.
At the same time, we can’t uphold the dignity of persons or make amends for injustice by downplaying or neglecting precisely those elements of Catholic teaching that are under fire, or by cooperating with the movement to normalize homosexual acts.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
"If Scalia wasn't Catholic, I'd bet my bottom dollar she'd end up Episcopalian and seeking ordination"
So says a reader after examining Steven Greydanus, "Gays, Jesus and St. Patrick's Day" (NCR, September 10, 2014), who says: