I decided to take a peek at John Heard’s group “Dreadnoughters” on Facebook. It has a discussion board, and I think it is fostering a lot of healthy debate on topical issues.
I found this thread “Should SSA Catholics Have Boyfriends?“.
I feel, given what was discussed here, that there is hope for SSA Catholic’s seeking to have fulfilling and holy relationships.
Erik Huntzicker had this to say at the end of the thread:
“People, and institutions, can be wrong.”
But God cannot be wrong. Catholics believe that the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ, i.e. God, and therefore entrusted it with the guardianship of His truth. The moral teaching of the Church – especially when seen as also guided by the Holy Spirit – is therefore not seen as a human invention, an institutional behavior code, but as the command of God himself.
Therefore, if one stipulates to the divinity of Christ and to the fact the He founded the Catholic Church, then the Church’s teachings MUST be viewed as authoritative.
This does not mean that the Church has something to say on every little detail of life. For instance, it is clear that the Church teaches homogenital sex to be wrong. But the Church is silent on whether two men who are homosexually inclined can live together in chastity for the purposes of mutual love and support. In these cases the Church teaches the Christian to invoke prudential judgment and use his conscience – hopefully well formed – to make the best decision.
So there is considerable freedom to act within the Catholic moral framework, given that the intent of the one acting is in the spirit of Catholic moral teaching and for the greater glory of God. This is where a “faithful SSA Catholic” – or any faithful Catholic – can become mightily confused. It is expected that people of good will will disagree on many matters governed by “prudential judgment”.
Having this “externally imposed” moral structure does not relieve the Catholic of making moral decisions for himself. On the contrary, in very real ways, it forces him to do so. And it is when a person is compelled to make moral decisions contrary to his personal will or physical appetites that, as a person, he asserts those qualitites of his human being – namely reason and rational will – which distinguish himself from the rest of the created world. Therefore, rather than robbing a Christian of his human dignitiy and self-determination, the Church actually demands it and provides us with the best means of achieving it.
This thread is definitely worth a read for those of us who are feeling alone and conflicted.