I was sad, but not surprised, to read of the bishops' condemnation of a book about sexuality by two Creighton theology professors. I worked with one of the authors, Michael Lawler, on a piece for U.S. Catholic magazine in which he and another researcher argued that not all premarital sex was morally wrong and suggested a ritual for couples moving toward marriage.
We editors (I used to be managing editor there) knew it was a touchy topic but were convinced that the authors were responsible in their assertions. Next came the usual angry letters from organized, conservative Catholic groups denouncing the article and one from then- Archbishop Elden Curtiss, who eventually cut ties with Creighton University’s Center for Marriage and Family.
This latest move by the bishops may not be censorship, per se, as the book is already published. But these attempts to shut down serious discussion of issues by the hierarchy are misguided, as I recently wrote here. Of course, it does have the ironic effect of giving the authors' views wider exposure. As of this morning, "The Sexual Person" was ranked the 20,409th best-selling book on amazon.com, and #7 in Catholic books. Let's see if that climbs in the next days and weeks.