OK, I know I shouldn't. But this is the first time today (though I realise, that like cigarettes, it is the first Tina Beattie fisk of the day that is the hardest to give up).
Here is what the Professor says, in a comment on the Pill's rather prejudicial reporting of Edmund Adamus' reflection on the Westminster responses to the pre-Synod questionnaire.
My comments interpolated in Bold.
"Like most other Catholics I know, I respect the Church’s teaching on marriage and parenthood. (What do you imagine she means [or even thinks she means] by 'respect' in that sentence, given what follows?) I also know from experience that marriage and family life can induce agonies of guilt over our inevitable failures and shortcomings. However, I do not experience guilt (and that is the criterion...) over deciding in good conscience (What do you think she means by 'in good conscience' in this sentence?) to use contraception to limit the number of children we had. I do not feel ashamed of my adult children for cohabiting with partners who have enriched our lives by their friendship. (How, precisely, does the good Professor square this easy acceptance of adultery with Our Lord's very clear teaching on the subject, never mind the Church's?) I do not feel compelled to pass negative judgement on the loving relationships of my gay friends. (Note the circumlocution to avoid the real problem. It is not 'loving relationships' but 'sexual relationships' that is at issue.) I am glad that some of my divorced Catholic friends have found joy in second marriages, and I want to share the sacraments with them. (Where is the compassion for the abandoned spouses and children? How does this square with Our Lord's very clear teaching on the subject, never mind the Church's?) In other words, I’m like the vast majority of Catholics whose answers to the questionnaire have been made public. (Quite possibly so: in which case Adamus' analysis that we need better formation is spot on.)
I seek from the Church the formation I know I need most (because I am the ultimate judge, the ultimate authority on ME) – formation that has to do with love and generosity of spirit, with faithfulness and integrity, with wisdom and discretion, with prayer and discernment. (Quite a good list, actually...) The list is long, but it does not include learning to regard contraception, premarital sex and homosexuality as intrinsically evil, (Who says it should not include Catholic Moral Teaching? And on what authority?) nor does it include regarding divorced and remarried Catholics as people uniquely barred from the forgiveness offered by Christ in the sacraments. (This is either extremely ignorant or intellectually dishonest. All are offered forgiveness on the same terms: Sacramental confession, accompanied by repentance from sin, including making right what can be made right, penance, and a firm resolution of amendment.)"
All in all, a very poor apologia. I think that she should sit at Adamus' feet and seek a formation that has to do with love and generosity of spirit, with faithfulness and integrity, with wisdom and discretion, with prayer and discernment.
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