Not Quite What We Meant…


Sister Margaret A. Farley, an professor emerita of ethics at the Yale University Divinity School, published a book, Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics that presented theological arguments in favor of things like same-sex relationships, masturbation and remarriage after divorce.

On Monday the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith condemned the book. According to an article by Laurie Goodstein and Rachel Donadio in the New York Times, the Vatican organization, which is “charged with enforcing” Roman Catholic teachings, explained that the book,

Was “not consistent with authentic Catholic theology,” and should not be used by Roman Catholics.

Sister Farley, a past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and an award-winning scholar, responded in a statement: “I can only clarify that the book was not intended to be an expression of current official Catholic teaching, nor was it aimed specifically against this teaching. It is of a different genre altogether.”

Well no kidding. That hardly seems to be the sort of thing worth qualifying. The fact that the book, which aims to help readers break away from “taboo morality,” is not Catholic doctrine appears pretty obvious.

The statement issued by the Vatican said that the book “cannot be used as a valid expression of Catholic teaching, either in counseling and formation, or in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.”

No need to worry. The book, which was published in 2006, appears to now be out of print. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer