and in this case is really a (successful) stunt by a very conservative cardinal to rile his enemies.
I've seen no reason to think this. What it does is greatly simplifies ecclesiastical administration in a time when many thousands of confessions are being heard.
...one of the recurrent problems with religious arguments here on MeFi is that people get angry at abstract other believers...
So it's perhaps unsurprising that Jordan's research doesn't discover the actual nouns "sodomy" and "sodomite" until the eleventh century. The first and most influential polemic against it was the hermit monk Peter Damian's Book of Gomorrah. Given the period's expansive definition of sodomy (it did, after all, include masturbation), it's not surprising that Damian believed it was rife. But his particular fixation--which has persisted in religious teachings ever since--is with same-sex male sodomy. This is partly because Damian is most concerned with sodomy as a clerical vice, the ubiquity of which among priests he thought threatened the integrity of the Church. But what's fascinating about Damian is his struggle to understand the nature of the sodomite. He had no understanding of homosexuality, which even the Church now describes as an "innate" facet of human personhood. And so he keeps bumping up against the apparent ineradicability of the vice. All sins, after all, are redeemable in the eyes of God. But this sin seems immune to change. So Damian lays almost no emphasis in redeeming sodomites but, rather, focuses on purging them. This is where the analogy to Sodom comes in and why Damian seems so intent on connecting this vice to the ancient city. Because sodomites seem consumed by their desires and unable or preternaturally unwilling to change, the only possible response to them is damnation. Indeed, Damian favors the death penalty for such behavior, in line with Leviticus. The logic seems to be that, since these people cannot change, they must be destroyed, just as Sodom was destroyed, and that destruction is a vital reaffirmation of the divine order.
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2358)
Homosexuality is not a "valid alternative lifestyle." The Bible condemns it as sin. It is not, however, unforgivable sin. The same redemption available to all sinners is available to homosexuals. They, too, may become new creations in Christ.
WHEREAS, God makes it clear in Scripture that even desire to engage in a homosexual sexual relationship is always sinful, impure, degrading, shameful, unnatural, indecent and perverted (Rom. 1:24-27), so any effort to extend the meaning of marriage in order to sanction the satisfaction of such desire must also be in every case sinful, impure, degrading, shameful, unnatural, indecent and perverted;
it sounds to me like you're saying that the Catholic Church and/or the hierarchy of the Catholic Church are "actively fostering" child rape. That sounds offensive, perhaps you can clarify?
Bishops are instructed to pursue these cases 'in the most secretive way... restrained by a perpetual silence... and everyone... is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office... under the penalty of excommunication'.
. . .
Lawyers point to a letter the Vatican sent to bishops in May 2001 clearly stating the [above] 1962 instruction was in force until then. The letter is signed by Cardinal Ratzinger, the most powerful man in Rome beside the Pope and who heads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith...
The document, which has been confirmed as genuine by the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, is called 'Crimine solicitationies', which translates as 'instruction on proceeding in cases of solicitation'.
It focuses on sexual abuse initiated as part of the confessional relationship between a priest and a member of his congregation. But the instructions also cover what it calls the 'worst crime', described as an obscene act perpetrated by a cleric with 'youths of either sex or with brute animals (bestiality)'.
. . .
Rev Thomas Doyle, a US Air Force chaplain in Germany and a specialist in Church law, has studied the document. He told The Observer: 'It is certainly an indication of the pathological obsession with secrecy in the Catholic Church, but in itself it is not a smoking gun.
'If, however, this document actually has been the foundation of a continuous policy to cover clergy crimes at all costs, then we have quite another issue. There are too many authenticated reports of victims having been seriously intimidated into silence by Church authorities to assert that such intimidation is the exception and not the norm.
Women having sex whenever they want to with whomever they choose? Those sluts should have to live with the consequences of their actions. And those consequences should be dire. Eternal, even.
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