Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Frank Exchange

The following comments on what I wrote on the Synod came from my regular correspondent.   His frank admissions about his sexual liberation make interesting reading.   
I know your agenda goes further than mine. I would be happy if the synod just ok’ed masturbation. I read the account in today’s paper and while I don’t see any big change coming soon there is at least a dialog taking place. I was never a fan of Vatican II, I still favor the Latin Mass. I think Vatican II should have addressed some of those things the synod is now at least looking at, i.e., divorced being able to remarry and receive communion, masturbation, civil marriage, cohabitation, contraception. With the courts currently giving approval to gay marriages the Church has to also address the issue. In addressing gay marriage they must also address homosexuality, like it or not. Since I met my friend Jim, opened a communication link with you I have come to better understand that men can have relationships with men and women with women. Jim being a priest and a lifelong masturbator made me see things differently. While I believed that some priests masturbated I never thought I’d ever know a priest who would state in a magazine that he was a lifelong masturbator nor that he would invite me to be naked with him, play with his genitals, masturbate each other and eventually consent to me sucking his cock. As I’ve said before, at first I was very reluctant to go beyond being naked with Jim and discussing masturbation. Once we touched each other’s genitals all reluctance disappeared. As I said above, I don’t think we’ll see any great change soon. As masturbation is such a small part of all of this I doubt it will ever be addressed as a subject but it will just become something that is no longer considered wrong.

I think that masturbation is in no way a small part of the whole homosexual debate.  The acceptance by religious authorities of the rightness and normalcy and of the moral goodness or neutrality of masturbation is the one thing that opens up the road to a sound understanding of homosexual potential.  If, for example, it is all right for me to masturbate by myself, then it is all right for two of us to masturbate together, for two of us to masturbate each other, and, ultimately, to masturbate anally or orally.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Synod Final Statement

With regard to homosexuality the Synod of Bishops closed with remarks meant as a support for families that have children or siblings who have a homosexual orientation.  The context, of course, is that the Synod was held on the theme of the family, and not on that of sexual morality.
In the context, to avoid what the Bihops would see as possible ambiguity, they repeated the standard position of the Catholic Church that there is not the remotest parallel between marriage and homosexual unions.  This has to be seen against the unrelenting Catholic definition of marriage where the begetting of children is the purpose of marriage on a par with the love of the spouses, to the extent that the intention not to have children can invalidate the marriage contract.   

Against such a background view, obviously, there is no parallel between homosexual unions and marriage.  But, the Bishops go on to say, from a pastoral point of view, despite this Catholic manner of viewing homosexual unions, people with homosexual tendencies (including, presumably, those living in homosexual unions) must be welcomed with respect and sensitivity.  There is to be no unjust discrimination.  Presumably, this means, in fact no condemnation.  This is based on the Catholic teaching on the primacy of the individual conscience.  Everybody should respect the choices that people have made in good conscience.  If the respect of the individual conscience is not present then talking about welcoming people with respect and sensitivity has no meaning.  In some ways, given the particularities of Catholic thinking, this statement of the Bishops’ Synod might be more positive that people would generally give it credit for.  I give below the original Italian text of the paragraph on homosexuality with my translation.

Alcune famiglie vivono l’esperienza di avere al loro interno persone con orientamento omosessuale. Al riguardo ci si è interrogati su quale attenzione pastorale sia opportuna di fronte a questa situazione riferendosi a quanto insegna la Chiesa: «Non esiste fondamento alcuno per assimilare o stabilire analogie, neppure remote, tra le unioni omosessuali e il disegno di Dio sul matrimonio e la famiglia». Nondimeno, gli uomini e le donne con tendenze omosessuali devono essere accolti con rispetto e delicatezza. «A loro riguardo si eviterà ogni marchio di ingiusta discriminazione»
“Certain families are living the experience of having one or other of their members with a homosexual orientation.  We asked ourselves what would be the correct pastoral approach when faced with this situation, given that the Church teaches “There exists no basis for likening or drawing analogies, even remote ones, between homosexual unions and the design of God for marriage and the family.”  Nonetheless, men and women with homosexualtendencies must be welcomed with respect and sensitivity.  “In their regard every sign of unjust discrimination must be avoided.” (A quotation from a document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.)