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The Catholic Church and the Future of Same-Sex Marriage

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Smellincoffee, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Trekkie At Large

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    Earlier today I read a news story in which the administrator of a Catholic school, a nun, was forced to abandon her post after parents and students responded in outrage to her firing a swim coach involved in a gay marriage. A conservative commentator, Rod Dreher, noted that Catholic culture itself seemed to be increasingly accepting of homosexuality.

    The Catholic church has considerable staying power; it has weathered the rise and fall of empires and seen radical cultural shifts in its history. Taking for granted the fact that the Catholic Church will still be keeping the faith a hundred or two hundred years from now, then, I wonder what the official doctrine on homosexuality will be. Will the church as an institution attempt to hold the line, becoming more sternly orthodox and possibly shrinking in number and popular influence, or will some papal bull or encyclical or series thereof find room for evolution on this matter in the church canons? What examples are there of radical shifts in Catholic doctrine through the years? Does anything approach a possible shift to the Church's policy on homosexuality as sin and same-sex marriage as invalid?
     
  2. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    Well, the most radical shift would be Vatican II which did bring the Church much more in line with the common man by saying mass in the vernacular, by having priests face the laity for much of the mass rather than with their backs to them.

    Another shift would be the abandonment of Limbo and the broadening view of salvation in 2007.

    However, both how mass is said and the ideas of Limbo are products of Church and Catholic tradition, not scripture. The Bible does state in no uncertain terms and in both testaments that homosexual sexual relationships are sins. It would be a far greater shift for the Church to fully accept homosexual relationships than it was for it to abandon Limbo and Latin Mass.

    Furthermore, the growth sectors of Catholicism are generally in more conservative areas, such as Latin America and Africa. Those areas have much stronger mores against homosexuality than the developed West. The Church is unlikely to attempt a doctrinal change in the view of homosexuality if it means alienating those populations.

    I do however expect the Church to become somewhat more progressive in its treatment of homosexuals. Being a homosexual, in itself, isn't seen a sin by the Church, instead it is the homosexual act that is sinful. I imagine that the Church, at least in some dioceses, may choose to downplay the sinfulness of the homosexual act and instead attempt to welcome homosexuals as parishioners and members of the lay community. After all, Church doctrine holds that we are all sinners and require salvation, and that it is not for man to judge man. One extension of this line of thought is that the Church's doors should be open to all parties, including homosexuals.
     
  3. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    I would imagine this has far more to do with the fact that US Catholic schools serve a TON of non-Catholic students, than any kind of actual theological shift.
     
  4. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    Downtown's absolutely right to note that the policies of organizations under the Catholic umbrella, like schools, universities, and hospitals, could very well have different policies than the Church proper.
     
  5. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    There have been so many. Here are some of the ones at the top of my own list:

    Abandoned the notion that the Earth was the center of the universe, which eventually led to the end of all dogma relating to science.

    Renounced passion plays and no longer blamed Jews for the death of Jesus. The Pope felt he had to reinforce the latter again in 2011 despite the church taking that position in 1965.

    Stopped burning heretics at the stake, or otherwise torturing and murdering them.

    Given their history of eventually relenting on various forms of dogma once they fell out of favor with the masses, I'm fairly certain they will eventually stop discriminating against homosexuals.
     
  6. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish Deity

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    The least they can do is approve of gay sex between two consenting adults in marriage.- after all, they already approve of sex between priests raping their children.

    Moderator Action: Unnecessarily inflammatory.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  7. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    Hmmm. What about replacing the celibacy by same-sex marriages of Catholic priests ???

    Who would blame Jews for the death of other Jews... Oh, wait. The Ghetto Police...

    Spoiler :

    Not that there were no religious wars of Jews versus other Jews in Palestine before Jesus was even born.

    Zealots over here, Zealots over there... I forgot the names of all those hostile-to-each-other factions.

    Anyway - they disliked each other even more than they disliked the Romans.

    There is a nice book "W obronie Świętej Inkwizycji" ("In Defence of the Holy Inquisition") written by Roman Konik.

    Author proves, that most (not all, but most) of those heretics were religious fanatics, who advocated things likes mass suicides or no sex at all, etc.

    In other words - most of Medieval heretics were even worse (and even more fanatically religious) than those who burned them at stakes.

    To summ up - it was good, that they were executed (maybe it would have been better if later those who burned also joined them, but still...).

    Those heretics were introducing chaos and disorder into the society. They were something like modern neo-Nazis or far-left / far-right groups.

    Since Medieval Europe had no institution of prison (at least not enough prisons), the only institution to apply to them was stake.

    But actually the % of those burned at stakes was much smaller than according to popular myths. To most of them resocialization was applied.

    In general - the Medieval Holy Inquisition was not even nearly as bad as we know from "Medieval myths".

    The Spanish Inquisition is a different story, but it is not a Medieval thing, but a Renaissance thing - because it did not exist before 1480.
     
  8. NovaKart

    NovaKart شێری گەورە

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    New York is very different. My sister lives there and I'm always surprised to hear about people she knows. It seems like its not unusual to hear about gay parents, transgender people, someone whose kid is dressing like a girl and says he's a girl. She works in the arts so that must be another factor.
     
  9. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    Domen, I stray off off-topic here as usual, but you should quite making a new alinea for every sentence or two.
     
  10. Neverwonagame3

    Neverwonagame3 Self-Styled Intellectual

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    Formaldehyde- Frankly, that's what's so bloody frustrating about the Catholic Church. They call themselves guardians of doctrine, but keep changing it!

    Hypothetically speaking, if the Church still advocated for burning heretics at the stake, blaming the Jews for the death of Jesus (assuming that was ever put into a formal Papal decree of some sort), most people here would condemn them. I maintain such a hypothetical Catholic Church would be worthy of respect, and if it were true it would even be evidence for the existence of God.

    "Pope" Francis is making this worse, frankly. If I were a Catholic, I'd consider the Augustinian doctrine that a heretical Pope isn't Pope any more.
     
  11. PhroX

    PhroX Deity

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    I'm not an expert on Catholicism, but as far as I can tell, Francis hasn't changed doctrine at all. To some extant, he's changed the focus of the church from some parts of the doctrine to others, and he seems to present the doctrine in a more open manner, but it's still the same core messages as before.
     
  12. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Well, the issue is more "flaunting" being a sinner while being in their employ. Now, this specific case is "ehn", because it's just responding to social pressure and not to laws. I respect their right to not employ people who they deem to not have met specific ethical standards. And, of course, that all changes if there's government funding involved.
    I think that anti-gay-marriage will go the way of anti-race-mixing, but it'll just take more time. And yeah, I think we can blame the Bible for that.
     
  13. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    I think that the Bible would point out that when one's government goes against one's conscience, that it is ok not to conform to the government. Some people call it discriminating. It may be if it is just personal opinion. When it comes to God and the Bible, having the government legislate against the Bible and God, seems that the government is then discriminating against God and the Bible. Not the other way around. I doubt secular society would agree to live by the Law of Moses. Why should God have to bow to the law of humans?
     
  14. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Look, being a religion is all about tradition. Of course they will revise their position on the face of overwhelming scientific evidence (such as in the case of Geocentrism or Evolution), but those were not doctrinal matters, let alone dogma. If they changed position every time it became unpopular they would cease being a religion and become a charity, social club or political party (the first two are pretty much the case of the Anglican Church, btw).

    I don't see why the Church's position on homosexuality will change. It's not like it's their only or even the most unpopular position. They still condemn pre-marital sex, despite the fact that everybody does it and no catholic really believes he'll go to hell for it. None that I know anyway. Why would they change their position on homosexuality but not pre-marital sex? They won't change either position.
     
  15. Neverwonagame3

    Neverwonagame3 Self-Styled Intellectual

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    Francis hasn't changed doctrine yet, but given that if Catholicism is true abortion is the greatest evil of our time his change of emphasis is grating. In modern times, focusing on love and compassion is for a religion the road to irrelevance.

    Do we at least all agree that a Church's ability to keep doctrine in the face of popular pressures, to a sufficient degree (whether the Chirch has it is a different matter) is worthy of respect?
     
  16. squadbroken

    squadbroken King

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    No. It can only be worthy of respect if the doctrine itself is worthy of respect.
     
  17. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Here in Canada our catholic highschools are incredibly liberal - you would never see someone getting fired just because they're in a gay marriage. Such a thing would probably be even celebrated here.

    It seems like these schools have to get with the times or lose membership.

    People also forget that a lot of catholics around the world remain against gay marriage. That American catholics seem to be largely for it is just one piece of the puzzle.. but of course, if we're just talking about the U.S. and nowhere else, you don't really have to consider the rest of the world.. well, you sort of do, but I doubt the church leadership would change their stance on this issue anytime soon just due to public pressure. They still have a lot of anti-gay people on their side anyway.
     
  18. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Yeah, luiz brings up a neat one. You'd think those in common law relationships would be in trouble too, given the Church's stance.
     
  19. bhsup

    bhsup Deity

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    Skip to 8:20 if you want to cheat yourself out of an excellent several minutes of film.


    Link to video.
     
  20. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Fair enough. I reject the Bible when it goes against my conscience.
    God doesn't. Only humans do.
     

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