The Corner

Religion

The Catholic Church Is Not a Political Party

St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City (Robert Sabo/Daily News/Pool via Reuters)

It is well known in Catholic circles that the New York Times long ago superseded St. Thomas’s Summa as the preeminent theological compendium of the Church. The most recent display of the Times’s doctrinal superiority can be found this morning in Question 58,975 of the Prima Nullae, “Can the Catholic Church ‘Evolve’ on L.G.B.T. Rights?

The author of the piece, John Gehring, points out that the Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage drives away young people, and he insists that the Church cannot rightly claim to support human dignity when the Catechism calls homosexual acts “intrinsically disordered.”

This call for the Church to change its teaching in response to “shifting cultural winds” is not new. The reader will search the op-ed in vain for any remark about whether homosexual acts are in fact intrinsically disordered. All that matters is how people feel about it, and the Church had better get on board. Most Catholics, Mr. Gehring informs us, support same-sex marriage, and we are supposed to conclude that the Church must change in response.

I for one conclude that the laity must be better catechized and that the hierarchy must impart Catholic doctrine unambiguously, not that the supreme government of the Church should be given to the latest poll conducted by John Doe’s Nonpartisan Research Posse. There was a time when the whole Church fit in a single room; it makes converts by convincing them, not by giving in to them.

This saying is hard, of course, but Christ did not found the Church to preach what is popular or easy to accept. He founded it so that it could preach the truth, even when the truth is hateful in the sight of the New York Times.

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