Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sex in the City of San Francisco: "Who-am-I-to-judge?" gone-to-seed

The following arrived in a Fed-Ex from Guy Noir - Private Eye from an undisclosed location in sub-Saharan Africa. Heaven knows what he's doing there. I certainly didn't ask him to go there. But here's what he had to say in the enclosed missive:
Over at The Week there is a piece about "The Fledgling Legacy of the great Pope Francis" (no I am not embellishing the headline: what is it with Catholics and this new instant deployment of 'great' when discussing their popes, anyway?) Here is how [Pascal-Emmanuel] Gobry gushes over the Franciscan philosophy:
Each one of us is called to render all things for the greater glory of God, and we become truly free from what separates us from God when we follow our calling...

[A]cross history, a big failing of Catholicism has come in this experiential side of faith for everyday people. The Church has always had its mystics, of course, but it's easy for Catholicism, with its rites and laws, to be turned in everyday life into a simple and lifeless set of boxes to check and actions to perform.

Francis understands that getting rid of this sort of Catholicism, and instead emphasizing a strongly spiritual and living Catholicism for everyday Catholics is what will rejuvenate the Church. That is what he has oriented his legacy towards.
Scant mention of sin, salvation, or change. Lots of assumptions of fulfilling experience and human potential.

That, I would argue, is the blossoming legacy of this "Who Am I To Judge?" papacy, even if said quote was taken out of context. The exact same currents and an example of how they alter the terrain in terms of cause-and-effect is on full display in this scenario being playing out in one of the churches of one of Archbishop Cardileone's separated brethren:

Robert A. J. Gagnon
[an EXCELLENT scholar, by the way!], "Why San Francisco's Largest Evangelical Church is Wrong About Sex" (First Things, March 17, 2015).

Wherein Andy Stanley meets Walter Kasper, or possibly Mel White enjoys some empathetic brainstorming with Frs. Martin and Barron. All in the name of avoiding harm and cultivating human flourishing. For those curious as to what the Church will sound like in 50 years, barring the surprise rise of a bonafide Traditionalist to the chair of Peter. The church's p.r. contact explained, as reported in "San Francisco's Evangelical City Church Will No Longer Ask LGBT Members To Be Celibate" (Huffington Post, March 16, 2015):
"Churches are slowly coming to recognize that if God is bringing people to them who are LGBT they have to meet them where they are and not demand that they change," Turner said. "Telling LGBT people they have to change before they can become Christians is leading to depression, suicide and addiction and we won’t do that anymore.
Play this against our Pope's "Everyone knows the Church's teaching..." Today it is much more like "Everyone demurs from the Church's teaching..." Which would call for a vital support for it, Instead, we witness the ongoing erosion.

It's No small church either, as the website impressively reveals: very cool... In some ways I would like to attend!

"City Church, San Francisco" (Home page)

The laughable thing here is that City Church still insists it condemns gay sex *outside of marriage,* like this is an important or noble distinction. More like an unreal one. Find me a planet, or even just a city block in San Francisco, where self-proclaimed gay men live who believe that all gay sex *outside of marriage* is wrong and that homosexuals should remain virgins until married. (Not to mention the fact that the case for celibacy outside of marriage rests every bit as much on Tradition with a capital 'T' as it does on any literal exegesis of texts.)

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