1968 at 50
Written by Robert Royal
Friday, February 16, 2018
A wise priest/professor at Notre Dame told me recently that the great Catholic historian Philip Gleason (now emeritus at ND) often counseled people to keep calm: “Remember, at least it’s not 1968.”
I’m not so sure. We’ve just had an archbishop, head of two pontifical councils, praise a nasty Communist China with a recklessness not seen since Hanoi Jane Fonda visited Communist North Vietnam. We’re seeing the return of priests, bishops, and cardinals teaching contradictory things, sometimes even claiming that what was once “intrinsically evil” is in some cases now required – and certain they’re riding a new outpouring of Spirit. Centuries of moral theology seem in peril when the pope steps on a plane. And the message out of Rome hasn’t been so confusing since Paul VI.
A remark I just came upon by a well-known American priest (not Fr. James Martin) took me back to those troubling days. He claims that belief that human beings are divided into male and female is the product of our “binary” minds.
This priest’s other work has some spiritual heft and, until I look further into what he meant, I’m not going to name him. Besides, my concern is less with him personally than with a way of moral reflection that now seems everywhere in the Church, from ordinary laypeople in the pews to Rome.
Because it’s important to recognize that some people now think such statements are a Christian approach to neuralgic sexual conflicts. For time out of mind, the question never even came up; it was settled “by inspection.” Our creative species has produced some exotic blooms across cultures and millennia, but never until now LGBTQQIAAP. . . .