May 10, 2012
By Daniel C. Maguire
"Cardinal Dolan: President Obama's remarks on marriage are 'deeply saddening'."
According to the Catholic teaching on conscience called Probabilism, in a debated
moral issue where there are good authorities and good reasons on both sides,
a Catholics conscience is free to choose either the liberal or the conservative
view and may not be held to the more rigorous position.
On the issue of same sex marriage, there are multiple authorities, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and other world religions who approve of same sex marriage. (Catholic defenses of same sex marriage are found in CHALLENGE TO LOVE: CATHOLIC VIEWS OF HOMOSEXUALITIY, edited by Robert Nugent, Crosssroads, 1983, with a foreword by Bishop Walter Sullivan. To see these positive views of Catholic theologians and other religious authorities, cf Marvin M Ellison and Judith Plaskow, Editors, HETEROSEXISM IN CONTEMPORARY WORLD RELIGION: Problem and Prospect , The Pilgrim Press, 2007.)
Therefore Archbishop Dolan (left) and the United States Catholic Conference are misrepresenting Catholic teaching on this issue; they are violating the religious liberty of those who approve of same sex marriage and do so with sound religious warranty, and they are wading into politics bashing Obama with their idiosyncratic minority viewpoint. This violates Catholic teaching on the freedom and integrity of conscience.
Silence now from the rest of the Catholic Church would be worse than deeply saddening.
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