On helping the Faithful negotiate confusion (Alison, 2007)

On helping the Faithful negotiate confusion (Alison, 2007)


we are witnessing the fleshing out in a particular local Church of the mechanisms which the Catholic faith has given us to maintain unity, work through our being scandalized by change, and enabled to learn what is true over a time of discernment. The overarching priority is not to allow scandal at change to block us from receiving the grace which Our Lord seeks to give us through the sacraments. And then to make sure that this grace, and the new life it produces in us is available in ecclesial form so that others can be invited in as well.

I think this has come about because Church authority has become aware that the advent of “matters gay” in recent years may not primarily center on sexual ethics at all. Rather it concerns an emerging anthropological truth about a regular, normal and non-pathological variant within the human condition. In other words, it is not that the Church’s teaching about sexual ethics is being challenged by insufficiently heroic people, but that the field of application of that teaching is being redefined by emerging reality. And of course it is proper to the Catholic faith, where Creation and Salvation are never to be completely separated, that it takes very seriously “what is” as informing “what should be” rather than trying to force “what is” to fit into an understanding of “what should be” derived from other sources.

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