Clear, compassionate: both and

When I read Fr Salmon’s letter authorising a same-sex couple to their Catholic high-school dance, two thoughts immediately occurred to me.

Firstly, it’s good that Fr Salmon is compassionate, and that he shows the Church is compassionate.

Secondly, it’s not good that he wrote this:

“I am not encouraging nor am I condoning homosexual activity just as I do not encourage or condone heterosexual activity at a dance.”

That’s not right. Encouraging and condoning heterosexual activity is theĀ whole point of Catholic dances.

Fr Salmon meant, of course, that dances aren’t supposed to encourage or condone fornication. I agree with him on that. But they are certainly supposed to encourage and condone marriage. I’ve linked to this article before, which explains the rationale: Catholics Awake! Marriage doesn’t just happen!

But before I invested in a lengthy blog post on this, Dr Peters beat me to it.

I’m glad really. I’m giving the whole same-sex thing a rest. It’s an important issue, but it’s not one that interests me especially.

What does interest me is clear and compassionate communication of Catholic teaching. So often it seems that clarity is sacrificed in the name of fuzzy compassion or (worse, in my opinion) compassion is sacrificed in the name of severe clarity.

Dr Peters excels at serving both. Here is another example, which is (thankfully) totally unrelated to same-sex marriage: Canonical consequences for suicide.

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