Archbishop Alexander Sample is to be commended for the tone, and the substance, of his response to Oregon's joining the ranks of states where same-sex marriage is now legal. There is no gay-bashing, no dark threats about a non-existent "gay agenda," no warnings about a civilizational threat. +Sample states the Church's teaching about the nature of marriage, but he first states the Church's teachings about the dignity of the human person, qua human person. I do not know if this is the "Francis effect" or not, but I do know that if our U.S. bishops had been speaking this way about same-sex marriage all along, they would have made fewer enemies, had a better shot at making the Church's case against same-sex marriage, and, going forward, this avoidance of vitriol and hyperbole commends itself to all bishops. Just say "No" to the culture wars. Just say "Yes" to the Gospel.
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In This Issue
- Francis' encyclical an urgent call to prevent world of 'debris, desolation and filth'
- Editorial: Churches can lead the fight against racism
- New family synod document a mixture of welcome, criticism of modern life
- Special Section: Women Today [Print only]
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by Patrick C. Beeman, Arthur Fitzmaurice NCR Today