Getting sucked into the debate over the New Homophiles.
It's getting deep and way over my head - the arguments which show up in the com boxes at Crisis on the subject of concern over the new homophiles. Last weekend I was invited to comment on Austin Ruse's post, which included a mention of my posts on the group, and I've been distracted ever since. The arguments in the com box at Crisis remind me of a cat chasing her tail. They wear me down, distract me, confuse me - that's what I mean by making my head swim and chasing my tail.
The arguments are getting to be like the Chris West controversy over his interpretation of Theology of the Body. It tends to be more an academic-intellectual debate playing magisterial and non-magisterial teaching against each other rather than fostering any deeper understanding. The so-called new homophiles usually speak over the heads of the ordinary person. They claim to be leaving Catholic teaching intact, yet it nearly always sounds foreign to the common understanding Catholics have of traditional moral teaching. They use self-referential gay vernacular in their literature, explaining how faithful they are to Catholic teaching while dismissing what they consider offensive or hard to understand language used in Magisterial instructions. A fact more than ironic, since Magisterial-catechetical teaching is always clearly stated and much easier to understand than anything these people write in their own defense.
There is nothing wrong with this group per se, and they will tell you that. The insistence on accepting the Church's teaching on chastity is their standard claim to orthodoxy. Chastity is after all, what the Catholic Church calls everyone to - according to one's state in life. Chastity is more than simply abstinence from sexual behavior - but that's another post. It is clear their network is very tight, perhaps exclusive, a safe distance above theological scrutiny, until now. The Crisis series is a very good exposé if you will, bringing to light the confusion generated by this movement.
Like I said, I do believe they are faithful to Church teaching as regards chastity, but what seems in process of developing is a promotion the so-called gay lifestyle - more or less inadvertently perhaps - by advocating queer theory, gender confusion, as well as the idea that God created some persons gay. In other words, they are saying homosexuality is a good in itself, that it is a gift from God. This is where they come very close to rejecting magisterial teaching regarding the very nature of man. I wholeheartedly agree with Mattson and Ruse in calling for their positions to be examined by Catholic theologians. The articles in Crisis magazine, and the debate these essays generate will hopefully bring about such an examination.
"It must certainly be admitted that man always exists in a particular culture, but it must also be admitted that man is not exhaustively defined by that same culture." - Veritatis Splendor