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.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another Reader's Thoughts on Church Teaching, Christian Doctrine, and Sexual Morality

Another Mirror of Justice reader, active in Catholic Church work, responds on this thread and in particular response to my post, which I had concluded by asking:  "Might the surgery necessary to excise moral teaching on sexual relationships from the rest of the body of Christian tradition prove to be so radical that the patient cannot survive?"

Here are this reader's thoughts:

"I have been following the exchange on the Mirror of Justice blog on homosexuality and church teaching and I think your analogy to a patient is most apt.

The physician may view a patient as a sum of the individual's parts, but from a personalist perspective, the patient is a whole person.

Isn't the wholeness even more so with church teaching?  Isn't a fundamental principle of the Catholic faith that Revelation, including the moral teaching, is a whole?

The fact that we, with our less than perfect reason, categorize, divide, and specialize various teachings does not mean that they are, in truth, divisible.

We may not be able to empirically show that excising one teaching unravels the rest.  However, as Catholics, don't we start with the understanding that severing one teaching damages the whole?  

It seems, therefore, the Catholic social scientist should always work with the understanding that the teaching is not divisible and seek to discover how removing one teaching has consequences.  The fact that it is not discoverable by us at this time and place does not mean that consequences do not exist and does not give us liberty to disregard a part of the church's teaching."


Sisk, Greg | Permalink

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