Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Amy's presser notes USCCB

(What would we do without Amy?)

Some notes from the press conference, but then I'm working on other stuff, and am not going to allow myself to watch the afternoon session...

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter asked why there was the resistance to Archbishop Burke's suggestion about Courage. Bishop Serratelli said that had been discussed in committee, and there were many different groups, and it made no sense to single out one.

Reporter pursued it, asking - well, even though Courage is an official apostolate, approved by the Vatican? That doesn't play into giving them more....(trailed off)

Bishop S. shook his head.

The NCR(egister) asked a strange question - is a contracepting heterosexual couple doing something as sinful as an active homosexual person?

Bishop Naumann (KC, KS) said that both are serious sins.

Rachel Zoll: Trying to welcome people, but also telling them they have to live a difficult life. How can this be welcoming...do you think it is welcoming while at the same time ther'e soemthing wrong with your sexuality?

S: Presenting the truth is welcoming

Niederauer: Disagreement about behavior, not the worth of the person. Yes it is difficult.As it is with many cases proclaimingt the gospel.

NCR(egister) is a heterosexual couple as sinful as a practicing homosexual?

Naumann: They're both very serious sins. They're both grave matter. Then you have to get into culpability and so on.

There was much discussion on the whole "disordered" thing again, as well as Rachel Zoll of the AP asking how this can be "welcoming" if you're telling homosexual people they are disordered.

The bishops restated Church teaching. Alan Cooperman of the WaPo asked about the analogy of homosexual inclinations with malice,envy and greed, which he said was in the document, but, as another reporter cleared up, wasn't - but was in Bishop Serratelli's speech introducing the document.

Bishops Serratelli and Niederauer explained about the proper direction of human sexuality, etc. They said that anger could be properly ordered and improperly ordered. Sexual desires are the same thing.


The quite difficult thing here is that the bishops who speak on this are just one step away from stating the full story on Catholic teaching on this. It is such a challenging thing to just say, "This is dis-ordered because it is not consistent with God's design for human sexuality that men have sex with other men or women with other women. There is a mystery at the heart of these temptations, there is goodness in deep affection between persons of the same sex, but yes - it is sinful to engage in this activity and to embrace it as a good. There are many holy people past and present who have struggled with this. They are not a "they" - they are us, a part of us, a part of the Body of Christ. But we can't and won't do what activists would like us to do which is, frankly, to throw Catholic teaching on sexuality completely out the window, and remake it in a completely different image, unrecognizable in the context of the broader and deeper tradition and, we believe, revelation of God."

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