Vatican Slams U.S. Nun’s Book On Sexuality

The Vatican on Monday sharply criticized a book on sexuality written by a prominent American nun, saying it contradicted church teaching on issues like masturbation, homosexuality and marriage and that its author had a “defective understanding” of Catholic theology.

The Vatican’s orthodoxy office said the book, “Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics” by Sister Margaret Farley, a member of the Sisters of Mercy religious order and emeritus professor of Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School, posed “grave harm” to the faithful.

In its statement, the Vatican singled out specific problems in Farley’s book which it said “affirms positions that are in direct contradiction with Catholic teaching in the field of sexual morality.” Farley, for example, writes that masturbation doesn’t raise any moral problems and can actually help relationships rather than hinder them. The Vatican asserted that according to church teaching “masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.”

On gay marriage, Farley said legal recognition of gay marriage can help transform the stigmatization of gays. Levada wrote back that approving gay marriage would not only signal approval of “deviant behavior” but would obscure the value of traditional marriage between man and woman in society.

In her statement, Farley said she had aimed to propose a framework for sexual ethics that “uses a criteria of justice” in evaluating sexual relations. She acknowledged that her responses to certain issues do depart from traditional doctrine, but said they nonetheless were coherent in theological and moral traditions.

The Vatican criticism, while seemingly harsh, is rather tame. It’s not a formal censure of Farley herself, but just the book. And given that Farley doesn’t teach at a Catholic university, the Vatican couldn’t forbid her from teaching as it has done with other Catholic theologians who don’t toe the Vatican line.

Are you for or against Sister Farley’s views? Share your opinions with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Huffington Post

Federal Appeals Court: DOMA Is Unconstitutional

A key part of the law banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage was struck down as unconstitutional by a U.S. appeals court Thursday.

The Defense of Marriage Act — known as DOMA — defines marriage for federal purposes as unions exclusively between a man and woman. At issue is whether the federal government can deny tax, health and pension benefits to same-sex couples in states where they can legally marry. The ruling is a boost for gay rights advocates and the Obama administration, which in a rare move, has refused to defend a federal law in court.

Chief Judge Sandra Lynch, a Clinton nominee, and Judge Juan Torruella, a Reagan nominee, joined in the opinion. It is in effect only within states with gay marriage laws covered by the 1st Circuit — Massachusetts and New Hampshire — and has limited enforcement. That means there will be no immediate eligibility for financial benefits currently denied same-sex married couples. No change is likely until the high court decides the matter.

Massachusetts had challenged Section 3 of the law on behalf of a group of seven couples. Similar lawsuits have been filed across the country. A bill known as the Respect for Marriage Act is working its way through Congress and would repeal DOMA. Congressional opponents of DOMA hailed the court’s opinion.

The case was argued in Boston last month. The lawyer for the couples said states have long-standing authority to control and define marriage, and that Congress has no right to intervene through DOMA, clearly designed, said the lawyer, as “disrespect” to lesbians and gays.

Both the California and Massachusetts cases could soon be presented to the U.S. Supreme Court for review. The justices would have the discretion to accept one, both, or neither case — perhaps deferring judicial review until a later time, after more lower courts have had time to debate the matter.

Are you for or against DOMA? Feel free to share your opinions in the comment box below!

Source: CNN

Image: The Blaze