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Catholic Nun Denouced For Book About Sex, Gay Marriage, Masturbation

Back in the Dark Ages, the Church was the only place where literacy and scholarship were valued. But it seems like things have reversed themselves, as the Vatican’s doctrinal office has denounced an American nun for writing a book reconciling same-sex relationships, masturbation other taboo topics.

On Monday,  the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated that Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics by Sister Margaret Farley—who teaches Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School and is a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America—was “not consistent with authentic Catholic theology,” and should be eschewed by good Christians.

But unlike Pope Benedict, Farley never claimed to be infallible—or to speak for the whole Church. In a statement she clarified that the book “was not intended to be an expression of current official Catholic teaching, nor was it aimed specifically against this teaching. It is of a different genre altogether,” one that utilizes “present-day scientific, philosophical, theological, and biblical resources.”

In Just Love, Farley never indicated she thought the Church was wrong or that it should change its tenets. She did make an ethical case, though, for how same-sex marriage “can also be important in transforming the hatred, rejection, and stigmatization of gays and lesbians” and that gay relationships “can be justified according to the same sexual ethic as heterosexual relationships and activities.”

The Vactican said Farley’s take on gay marriage  “is not acceptable,”  nor were her views that divorce and female masturbation have their place, as well. (We imagine those last two go hand in hand, so to speak.)

The Vatican said this assessment contradicted church teaching that “the deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose

As The New York Times reports, the Church didn’t come to its censure of Farley rashly:

The Vatican’s doctrinal office, led by an American, Cardinal William J. Levada, has spent more than two years reviewing Sister Farley’s book, which was published in 2006. The office first notified Sister Farley’s superior of its concerns in March 2010, and said it had opened a further investigation because a response she had sent to the Vatican in October 2010 had not been “satisfactory.” It said her book had “been a cause of confusion among the faithful.”

A Vatican spokesman said there will be no formal sanctions against Sister Farley—mainly because she’s retiring.

This is just the latest attack on Brides of Christ: Last year, a committee of United States bishops condemned Sister Elizabeth Johnson’s Quest for the Living God. And, more recently, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith rebuked  the 57,000-member Leadership Conference of Women Religious for being too “radical.”

Man, we always thought it was the nuns who were supposed to be the mean sons-of-bitches.

Photo: Yale Divinity, Kevin Dooley

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jun 5, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 9 Comments
    • Belize
      Belize

      JASON: “Sex and ethics should not be put in the same sentence. Sex is evil and I know this even though I’ve never done it because porn stars do it and porn stars are all evil.”

      There. I’ve already placed a comment that you would most likely put in, love. No need to comment anymore. I wouldn’t want you to spend time commenting when you can be helping Christine O’Donnell fill her cauldron with gay porn DVDs that you two have never watched… together.

      JAYKAY: “This is obviously bullshit. Women can’t write. In my home town, their only job is to give birth and cook for us macho men who are too manly to come near a burning hot stove for fear that it may burn our bushmen eyebrows off. How the hell am I supposed to act straight without them brows?”

      There you go my hick town honey. You no longer need to leave your daily Westboro Baptist Church meetings over which non-American country God has decided to “hate” next.

      Jun 5, 2012 at 12:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1equalityUSA
      1equalityUSA

      I’m slowly realizing that I’m a, “Belizbian.” You are so funny.

      Jun 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad
      Chad

      @1equalityUSA: I agree.

      Jun 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ruhlmann
      Ruhlmann

      @Chad: I must be missing something.

      Jun 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Richard Ford
      Richard Ford

      The Vatican claims Sister Margaret Farley’s book is a “cause of confusion among the faithful.”

      Ah yes, the only thing that is not confusing to the flock is what the Vatican, that paradigm of truthtelling, says.

      But a confused flock is a frisky flock, and we don’t want any of those ewes masturbating or any same-sex woolly ones tying the knot.

      Ideas are so dangerous.

      Jun 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevininbuffalo
      kevininbuffalo

      @Richard Ford: Most of the flock has never heard of the book, until now!

      Jun 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad
      Chad

      @Ruhlmann: you are.

      Jun 5, 2012 at 6:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • freddie
      freddie

      @Belize: Belize, I love you so much. Keep on keepin’ on.

      Jun 5, 2012 at 9:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aussie Col
      Aussie Col

      @Chad: @1equalityUSA: @Belize: You guys make one Aussie very happy. Belizbian’s unite.

      Jun 6, 2012 at 7:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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