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I'm sorry, its been a while since I've read the document and I thought it was filled with questions. But you get the gist of what I meant.

A couple of males or females living together is not a family. It might be a community of sorts. Family applies only analogically, but even then its further removed than when we use family analogically in other situations, like in the case of a monastery, because there there is hierarchy, the abbot being the father (who disciplines and molds the monks, etc.). (and of course, monasteries and such only work either with a rigid discipline or when its full of saints, literally [or both]; anyone who has been to some decadent friary can attest to how low they can stoop, so I wouldn't really grant that most persons with homosexual tendencies can live in such arrangement saintly, even if they don't engage in literal sodomy—it would be hard for a male and female even).
But even granting that what we can interpret the loose meaning of unions as this sort of chaste thing (ignoring matters of scandal, btw, and all other sorts of things that could follow from it), still this reminds me of one of Dr. Feser's articles,

Quote:Hence while it is true that secular news outlets routinely read too much into such statements and spin them to their own purposes, they are by no means entirely to blame.  They have been given ammunition.  Some conservative Catholic commentators have tied themselves in knots trying to put a positive face on these sorts of remarks, usually via a pedantic emphasis on what is strictly entailed by the literal meaning of a certain remark considered in isolation, while completely ignoring the glaring implicatures.  At best this reflects an astounding naiveté about how language works; at worst it is itself a kind of intellectually dishonest spin-doctoring.  And it does real damage by giving the false impression that to be a Catholic you have to become a shill and pretend not to see the obvious. 
(09-16-2015, 10:13 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote: [ -> ]I'm sorry, its been a while since I've read the document and I thought it was filled with questions. But you get the gist of what I meant.

Totally.

(09-16-2015, 10:13 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote: [ -> ]A couple of males or females living together is not a family. It might be a community of sorts. Family applies only analogically, but even then its further removed than when we use family analogically in other situations, like in the case of a monastery, because there there is hierarchy, the abbot being the father (who disciplines and molds the monks, etc.). (and of course, monasteries and such only work either with a rigid discipline or when its full of saints,

That's why I used "of sorts" and "insofar as." Families are related by blood or marriage. That isn't the case of friends or animals. But still, people use the word "family" loosely nowadays to describe such situations. BFF to another BFF: "You're more than just a friend; you're my SISTER!", people referring to their beloved pets as their "babies," -- you know the drill. And in situations in which, say, the BFFs don't have blood sisters, or the person calling his or her pets "babies" has no real babies, no family, those others do take the place of, or form, a "sort of" family insofar as they're the ones who feel like "home" to them. Maybe we need a new word in the English language. But whatever the case, those sorts of scenarios are real and important.

(09-16-2015, 10:13 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote: [ -> ]literally [or both]; anyone who has been to some decadent friary can attest to how low they can stoop, so I wouldn't really grant that most persons with homosexual tendencies can live in such arrangement saintly, even if they don't engage in literal sodomy—it would be hard for a male and female even). But even granting that what we can interpret the loose meaning of unions as this sort of chaste thing (ignoring matters of scandal, btw, and all other sorts of things that could follow from it), still this reminds me of one of Dr. Feser's articles,

I almost hate the word "scandal." It's usually used to refer to the phenomenon of someone sticking his nose into someone else's business, becoming being pseudo-appalled at his own imagination, and then running off and gossiping about what he thinks he knows, engaging in slander and detraction, all while posing as morally superior.

Anyway,  Sherlock Holmes and Watson were two bachelors who lived together, making a home together. There are Felix and Oscar. And so forth.  Spinster women used to live together all the time --  some of them were lesbians ("Boston marriage"), some of them not. I think people should assume the best about others, assume goodness and chastity and virtue and forgetaboutit, not put their minds to questions such as "So! Are they doing it or what?" It's tacky and pretty ugly. And it's simply no one's business but the people involved, their priests, and God.

I also don't buy the idea that a person can't live with another person belonging to the sex he's attracted to without it necessarily being an occasion of sin. Priests used to have women live in their rectories as housekeepers and cooks, for ex. I see men alllll the time I have no desire to fornicate with. I'm sure you see women all the time you also have no desire to fornicate with. I always assume that if something is true for me, then it can be true for others as well, so I assume people can live together without having illicit sex. Of course, it's a question of fact for each person involved in a situation like that as to whether it IS an occasion of sin or not, but that's for them to discern and be honest about with themselves and each other. If it is an occasion of sin, they shouldn't be together, plain and simple.

(09-16-2015, 10:13 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:Hence while it is true that secular news outlets routinely read too much into such statements and spin them to their own purposes, they are by no means entirely to blame.  They have been given ammunition.  Some conservative Catholic commentators have tied themselves in knots trying to put a positive face on these sorts of remarks, usually via a pedantic emphasis on what is strictly entailed by the literal meaning of a certain remark considered in isolation, while completely ignoring the glaring implicatures.  At best this reflects an astounding naiveté about how language works; at worst it is itself a kind of intellectually dishonest spin-doctoring.  And it does real damage by giving the false impression that to be a Catholic you have to become a shill and pretend not to see the obvious. 

That all highlights the dangers of the document we're talking about, and others like it. They're so ambiguous, so easily spun in many directions. They're worse than neutral, as in two possible readings "cancelling each other out"; they're morally dangerous, confusing about extremely important matters, and they make the Truth apparently unknowable. The Church's Magisterium has to be clear to do anything good, and so much after that Council has been anything but clear. It's nauseating, not physically, but in terms of - well, if one has as a premise "The Holy Faith is true," being unable to get at that Truth because of a lack of clarity is not just "frustrating," it's morally sickening.
Well, as one who has fallen into scandal many times (even, recently, through prelates of the Church) I suppose I'm more sympathetic to the concern.

And in any case, I suppose in an ideal situation the Church should not not be so individualistic. That's both historically and biblically not the case.
(09-16-2015, 02:25 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: [ -> ]Well, as one who has fallen into scandal many times (even, recently, through prelates of the Church) I suppose I'm more sympathetic to the concern.

What have our crazy prelates done to have caused you to fall into sin (aside from inordinate anger as a possibility)? I, of course, am not asking you to "out yourself" with regard to anything too personal! (I don't expect you to confess any sins here at all! None of our business!) I'm just very curious as to what a prelate could've done to have caused sin in a well-catechized person, as you seem to be.

(09-16-2015, 02:25 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: [ -> ]And in any case, I suppose in an ideal situation the Church should not not be so individualistic. That's both historically and biblically not the case.

Hmmm.. I'm not sure what you're meaning here by "individualistic." The Church has always dealt with individuals qua individuals, and has always handed down Her moral teaching (ha, at least the human element always had done that until you-know-when). No matter what moral teaching is relevant in a given situation, it's individual souls that are involved, that is each answerable to Christ alone, and each person has a different level of understanding, and a different level of consent of the will, and, therefore, a different level of culpability as individuals. We participate in others sins in various ways -- nine ways, to be exact: counsel, command, consent, provocation, flattery, concealment, partaking, silence, defense --  and we are our brothers' keepers, but each person owns his own sins, including the sin of participating in the sins of another. I'm not seeing how Sherlock Holmes and Watson, batching it up on Baker Street, otherwise family-less and forming a home of their own in order to have companionship and support -- is some "individualistic" thing, or a (truly) "scandalous" thing. And if they'd been homosexual but not sexually attracted to each other so that the other's presence is not a near occasion of sin for them, I don't see what difference it'd make with regard to their living arrangement. And I maintain that anyone who'd look upon a situation like that, who'd see a couple of men or a couple of women sharing a house, and were to jump to conclusions about it is himself sinning, and he sins again if he were to go speculating aloud and gossiping about it. We should give others the benefit of the doubt and treat them with charity. The only person who'd be "scandalized" by two men or two women sharing a home is someone whose mind is already in the gutter, and that's not the fault of Holmes and Watson, be they straight or homosexual.

We're to be innocent in our minds. An innocent child wouldn't look at Holmes and Watson and have his mind go immediately to "sodomy" -- which is typically meant to refer to anal sex, an act that many active homosexuals don't engage in, and which many heterosexual couples do. The anal sex is in the mind of the person looking, seeing it as existing in his imagination while what comes to his eyes  presents no evidence of anal sex whatsoever.

Then again, we're adults and have adult knowledge of things. In which case, I could put it like this:  we're to be wise as serpents, gentle as doves. As doves, we're to assume nothing evil of another individual without having good reason, we're to give others the benefit of the doubt, keep our minds out of the gutter, etc. Being alive and in the world, with brains between our ears, we could maybe, in our own minds, lay odds as to whether Holmes and Watson are actually active homosexuals. Well, wanting to leave the great Sherlock out of this, and if I were forced to put money on it, I'd bet that most homosexual couples sharing a house either have or have had sex with each other. But that's a generality, an abstraction, a dealing with mathematical probability. Christ doesn't judge us in that way, and we're not to make judgments about other individuals in that way.  He wouldn't look at an individual man on this forum and say to him, "I, Christ, am laying odds that you masturbate because you're a man, and I know that the percentage of men who masturbate is 95%." We have to treat individuals as individuals as much as possible, no matter what we might know about the percentages of this or that phenomenon relevant to the various groups he's a member of (another reason why I hate identity politics. It about forces us to treat others as members of groups, even if just in order to defend ourselves).

Anyway, if I were to talk about my mental laying of odds with someone else, with regard to a specific couple, I could well be sinning. And if I were to go further and make evil assumptions, treat them as sinners without knowing whether they are sinning, in fact, or not, and doing all that without removing the beam out of own eye first, without following the right way to admonish sinners, and if I were to spread my assumptions around the neighborhood, then all that sin's on me. It's on me no matter what they're doing, or not doing, in their bedrooms, which frankly is none of my business (unless they want to make it my business) aside from what I owe them and can offer them by Christian witness, through teaching, by prayer and friendship, etc.


Well, you've got it, the primates and pope scandalize me to anger. Also, for some brief moments a bit of lack of faith.

Firstly, one should distinguish two room mates sharing a flat and a couple of gay persons who are romantically attracted to each other living together. If we consider the two cases as one we cannot say much about anything.

Now, we do sin individually, but we also sin in a community—that's one of the reasons for the general judgment is necessary besides the particular judgment. And we also do not practice virtue in isolation, but in a community (even if, in the worst or the best cases, say, in an atomized, fragmented society or in a hermitary, one still enjoys the communion of the saints).
As I've said many a time here, the Christian society, the Body of Christ, is not something that isolated meets in regular intervals, but its something that follows as from eternity, through the Sacrifice, and is united in this communion (I've cited many times Pseudo-Dionysius and St. Maximos on this). You'll never read in the letters of St. Paul something like “just leave them alone, its not our business”, but rather the opposite (cf. I Corinthians 5), and we are to help those in the Church, console, teach, weep with those who weep, etc.
Besides that, marriages historically are not private affairs, since it is literally the mixing of two families and is directed to the perpetuity of the community. It is something that concerns the community.
This is almost unintelligible to us because we live in a individualistic society, and this has even passed to the Church.

Two men living in the same house is not properly a family, so it doesn't exactly apply (by the way, this is probably a beaten argument, but we shouldn't discard how these fashions of SSM have the purpose or the effect of confusing us on what a family is), but still, it is of immediate concern at least for their families. Now, I'll not assume anything, but it should concern the Church if they are living chastely or not (and we have authorities to deal with it).
(09-17-2015, 12:39 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: [ -> ]Well, you've got it, the primates and pope scandalize me to anger. Also, for some brief moments a bit of lack of faith.

I hear ya. Par for the post-conciliar course. Sigh.

(09-17-2015, 12:39 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: [ -> ]Firstly, one should distinguish two room mates sharing a flat and a couple of gay persons who are romantically attracted to each other living together. If we consider the two cases as one we cannot say much about anything.

I totally differentiated between two homosexuals who are sexually attracted to each other and for whom proximity in that way would be a near occasion of sin, and two homosexuals who aren't sexually attracted to each other and just want to form a home, have companionship as they go through life, etc.

(09-17-2015, 12:39 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: [ -> ]Now, we do sin individually, but we also sin in a community—that's one of the reasons for the general judgment is necessary besides the particular judgment. And we also do not practice virtue in isolation, but in a community (even if, in the worst or the best cases, say, in an atomized, fragmented society or in a hermitary, one still enjoys the communion of the saints).
As I've said many a time here, the Christian society, the Body of Christ, is not something that isolated meets in regular intervals, but its something that follows as from eternity, through the Sacrifice, and is united in this communion (I've cited many times Pseudo-Dionysius and St. Maximos on this). You'll never read in the letters of St. Paul something like “just leave them alone, its not our business”, but rather the opposite (cf. I Corinthians 5), and we are to help those in the Church, console, teach, weep with those who weep, etc.
Besides that, marriages historically are not private affairs, since it is literally the mixing of two families and is directed to the perpetuity of the community. It is something that concerns the community.
This is almost unintelligible to us because we live in a individualistic society, and this has even passed to the Church.

I agree that our personal sins affect each other in spiritual ways, and have said that we are our brother's keepers, that we need to be concerned about each others' souls, that we owe each other witness, prayer, support, proper admonishment, etc., but those duties don't give us rights to judge others' souls, to demand answers to our questions about their private lives, etc.

(09-17-2015, 12:39 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: [ -> ]Two men living in the same house is not properly a family, so it doesn't exactly apply (by the way, this is probably a beaten argument, but we shouldn't discard how these fashions of SSM have the purpose or the effect of confusing us on what a family is), but still, it is of immediate concern at least for their families. Now, I'll not assume anything, but it should concern the Church if they are living chastely or not (and we have authorities to deal with it).

I agree that that sort of living arrangement doesn't constitute a family per se, but I also maintain that the word "family" is nowadays being used to describe very close friendships, even pets, etc. I think that reflects a number of things, like the demise of the family in our world, with families having fewer kids or no kids at all, their divorcing, etc. So people make do. They try to come up with substitutes. And that all makes perfect sense to me. It's sad that that's the way it is, but it's so, and I pity people in the position of being family-less and trying to make a "family" (note the quotes) with whatever they've got. I think we need a new word for those sorts of arrangements so we don't water down the definition of "family," but also express compassion and respect for people who have to make do in the way earlier described.
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