Saturday, April 28, 2012

Correspondence course

Some Georgetown University faculty issued a press release in the form of a letter to my congressman, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), in advance of his giving the Whittington Lecture on Thursday. An actual copy must have been sent since it indicates that a print copy of the Compendium of the Social Teaching of the Church was enclosed.

This seems odd unless none of the signers realized the text is posted online. While the Georgetown faculty declined to cite it except generally, here are a few selections which touch on issues in the news.

From section 228,
"Connected with de facto unions is the particular problem concerning demands for the legal recognition of unions between homosexual persons, which is increasingly the topic of public debate. Only an anthropology corresponding to the full truth of the human person can give an appropriate response to this problem with its different aspects on both the societal and ecclesial levels. The light of such anthropology reveals “how incongruous is the demand to accord ‘marital' status to unions between persons of the same sex. It is opposed, first of all, by the objective impossibility of making the partnership fruitful through the transmission of life according to the plan inscribed by God in the very structure of the human being. Another obstacle is the absence of the conditions for that interpersonal complementarity between male and female willed by the Creator at both the physical-biological and the eminently psychological levels. It is only in the union of two sexually different persons that the individual can achieve perfection in a synthesis of unity and mutual psychophysical completion”. ..." [emphasis in original, footnotes omitted]
And from section 233,
"Concerning the “methods” for practising responsible procreation, the first to be rejected as morally illicit are sterilization and abortion. The latter in particular is a horrendous crime and constitutes a particularly serious moral disorder; far from being a right, it is a sad phenomenon that contributes seriously to spreading a mentality against life, representing a dangerous threat to a just and democratic social coexistence.

"Also to be rejected is recourse to contraceptive methods in their different forms: this rejection is based on a correct and integral understanding of the person and human sexuality and represents a moral call to defend the true development of peoples . On the other hand, the same reasons of an anthropological order justify recourse to periodic abstinence during times of the woman's fertility. Rejecting contraception and using natural methods for regulating births means choosing to base interpersonal relations between the spouses on mutual respect and total acceptance, with positive consequences also for bringing about a more human order in society."

[emphasis in original, footnotes omitted]
There surely are many other sections the Georgetown faculty might have cited, as well.

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