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Sexual autonomy the goal of the heterodox? May 18, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic.
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Larry D. at Acts of the Apostasy has a post up having fun with ‘Moonbat Central,’ also known as The Open Tabernacle, for their list of ten things Pope Benedict XVI should do to truly renew the Church, as he says is his goal.  It’s a great post, and Larry D. does his usual thorough and humorous fisking.   Essentially, the heterodox types over at Open Tabernacle want the Pope to beg the forgiveness of those heretical theologians he has previously chastised, and to reopen the discussion on women’s ordination, contraception, and other issues (translation, to succumb to heretical demands to change 2000 years of Catholic doctrine).  You probably know how I feel about that.

But I read something else this morning, a review of a book by Fr. Joseph Wilson called Amchurch Comes Out: The U.S. Bishops, Pedophile Scandals and the Homosexual Agenda.  The book itself is what you’d a expect – a long compendium of abuses and scandals involving priests, bishops, seminarians, and diocesan and USCCB bureaucrats.  The book makes the case that there has been a veritable homosexual invasion of the clergy and that the sexual perversion in the clergy has extended up to include numerous bishops, who then seek to either tolerate such behaviors in their priests, or to promote it.  The book also chronicles the collapse in Mass attendance, the horrid catechesis, and other indicators of the Church in decline.  But why?  Why have so many in the Church, especially since Vatican II, continued to pursue policies that have been demonstrably shown to cause grave damage to the Church and the faithful?  This is the interesting part.  Here, Fr. Wilson says:

As I was writing the preface to “Amchurch Comes Out,” a lay theologian offered a thought on this subject which I found so illuminating in its simplicity, I asked his permission to quote him. He said, “Years of watching the situation carefully have convinced me that it really IS all about sexual autonomy. People don’t turn institutions upside down because they’d rather hear the Mass in English. You can do that without destroying buildings and the structure of religious life, and catechesis. You turn institutions upside down to support a ‘complete change in teleological purpose’ in your life — and eliminate unpleasant reminders that maybe your new purpose, sexual autonomy, isn’t such a great idea.”

And the more I thought about it, the more sense that made. Perhaps you’d prefer to say simply, “personal autonomy,” rather than “sexual autonomy” — although you might revisit that after reading Paul’s book. But I think my theologian friend hit a bull’s-eye. If sexual autonomy is one’s goal, one will not want the traditional Mass as the central symbol of the Faith, for the very form it takes will always seem a reproach: one will want a pliable liturgy, something one can shape to one’s whims. One will obviously want to deconstruct Religious Life as well, that living image of the words of the Lord Jesus, “Seek first the Kingdom of God.” And as for catechesis: well, why else would one promulgate religion textbooks that avoided subjects such as commandments, precepts of the Church, original sin; why else would one find situation ethics attractive — unless one were anxious to usher in a new religion, one much more amenable to one’s whims.

The elimination of everything which reproaches our constant search for gratification goes a long way to explaining the postconciliar crises.

This is an interesting point, one I haven’t seen put so clearly before.  Does it make sense?  Are many of the changes in the Church driven by those who seek to turn the entire Church upside down in order to achieve their end – a vision of ‘personal liberty’ so all encompassing that all previous Church doctrine on sexual behavior can be chucked out the window?  Can a desire to have the Church not only sanction, but celebrate what have traditionally been seen as perverse sexual acts be the driving force behind the ‘hermeneutic of rupture?’ 

I don’t think the brief book review necessarily proves the point, but when looked at through this lens, the actions of many in the Church make a great deal more sense.  And we can also see the poisonous effect the very vague language about the ‘inviolability of personal conscience’ in Guadium et Spes at work through this agenda towards sexual autonomy.  For, if one’s conscience is truly paramount, a ‘good catholic’ can come to the conclusion that God intends them to use contraception  – so long as they have properly discerened, right?   This is exactly the line of thinking many progressives in the Church use to reject, and call for a change to, Church doctrine.  And so many of the issues most dear to the progressives are sexual in nature – gay marriage, ending priestly celibacy, abortion, contraception, divorce, adultery, you name it. 

To see where this leads, see the Anglican Church.

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