Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dear Michael S.,

Thank you for your response.

You ask:  "{A]re you suggesting that women are sinless?"  Um, no.  Did you think I might be?  You also ask:  "Or, are you suggesting that women sin differently than men so that while we might have avoided the abuse scandal, our human frailty (including the frailty of the bishops) would have manifested in other ways?"  Not that either.  Although, for all I know, the brokenness of women may express itself differently, in general, than the brokenness of men.  I've not thought about that (interesting) issue.

Next, you ask:  "Does the type of civility in dialogue that we are attempting to achieve on this blog extend to civility toward the successors to the apostles?"  "[T]he successors to the apostles"?  Michael, you and I live in very different theological universes.  I'm guessing, for example, that you interpret the infancy narratives literally.  I do not.  Anymore than I interpret the "apostolic succession" narrative literally.  I doubt it would be productive for you and me to try to bridge the chasm between those universes.

Next:  "Your post reads more like a rant against authority rather than a reasoned argument for - what - women priests and bishops?  married priests and bishops?  a change (development?) in the doctrine regarding human sexuality?  All three are implicated in your two line opening but you don't develop any of he arguments."  I wasn't engaged--nor do I have any interest in engaging in--a dialogue with those bishops who were sinfully complicit in the immoral, ugly, outrageous, disgusting abuse of children.  "[A] rant against authority"?  What "authority"?  Again, Michael, we inhabit different theological universes.  Your theology seems to me to be very much like the theology of my mother (whom I loved, and love, dearly).  My theology is rather different:  for what it's worth--probably not much--I am a post-metaphysical, apophatic Catholic/Christian.

I see no more need to argue *for* women priests and bishops--or *for* married priests and bishops--than I see a need to argue *against* the proposition that the earth is flat.  (Or *against* the position of young-earth creationists.)  What a pointless, tiresome endeavor that would be.  Moreover, after all that has been said in the theological literature--by Mark Jordan and many others--it would be otiose for me to argue against the magisterial position on, say, contraception or homosexuality.

Maybe, Michael, I should just let you say what you have to say from your theological perspective.  And I will say what I have to say from my different theological perspective.  I won't wag my finger in your face.  And maybe you will think better of wagging yours in mine.

Be well.



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