The online edition of the National Catholic Reporter filed the following story ‘US BISHOPS REBUKE CREIGHTON THEOLOGIANS’ by John Allen Jr. September 24th.
“Two theologians at Creighton University, a Jesuit-run school in Omaha, Neb., have been sharply rebuked by the Committee on Doctrine of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for defending the moral legitimacy of homosexuality, contraception, premarital sex, and other hot-button issues in sexual ethics.
The theologians, Michael Lawler and Todd Salzman, had been previously censured in 2007 by Omaha’s then-archbishop, Elden Curtiss, for articles that, according to Curtiss, expressed “serious error ... [that] cannot be considered authentic Catholic teaching.” The Sept. 15 statement from the doctrine committee reaches the same conclusion about a 2008 book by Lawler and Salzman titled The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology.
“The book proposes ways of living a Christian life that do not accord with the teaching of the church and the Christian tradition,” the statement says.
Salzman is the chair of Creighton’s theology department, while Lawler is now an emeritus professor.
In the Catholic theological guild, their work has often drawn sympathetic reviews. In a 2009 essay for the National Catholic Reporter, Julie Hanlon Rubio of the Jesuits’ St. Louis University said that The Sexual Person is “among the most important works in Catholic sexual ethics to emerge in the last two decades,” and that the authors “stand firmly within the Catholic tradition even as they argue for significant change.”
The Sexual Person also earned first-place honors in the books in theology category from the Catholic Press Association”.
That story immediately prompted several responses supporting the Bishops from several angry readers. Since our celibate bishops see so much evil in human sexuality, the following ‘tongue in cheek’ response might be in order.
And so, on the sixth day God created human beings, making them to be like himself . . . and he looked at everything he had made, and he was very pleased. . . . except for one little thing. God accidentally created a human being with an imperfect soul and body that is capable of being sexually aroused, sexually motivated, sexually attracted to another human being, etc., etc., For heaven’s sake why did God put such a terrible temptation into humankind? Sex must be from the Devil! The Devil, not God, must have put these features in humans so we would be constantly tempted. What a clever devise to distract humans from becoming holy? No sex for me tonight I’m just going to mentally masturbate my soul. Well, maybe. Just one more time back into the body just for pro-creation . . . just ignore any pleasure it brings to you and your loving spouse. If you want to be a real honest to goodness celibate Christian – just like any other bad habits like smoking - give it up! Just learn to do without it! But if it continues to distract you . . . take cold showers, invest in haircloth clothing, or practise some honest to goodness mortification of the flesh, just like those holy people from Opus Dei and apparently even Pope John Paul II. Such diligent efforts are bound to please God and frustrate the Devil. You may not have learned this in Sunday school but God wants us suffer from our sexual temptations. But if you are still secretly enjoying ‘it’ – you’d better confess ASAP. It’s a sin - Augustine said so, and the Church made him a Saint for it.