A reader writes:
So Bishop Williamson's views are canonically irrelevant. So what? Or, more to the point, why ARE they irrelevant?
If the Bishop denied the existence of the 'sin' of abortion by saying it didn't exist ... or the 'sin' of homosexuality saying those who called it sinful were wrong, would they be 'personal' opinions? Would he be welcomed into the Church? (For an enlightening view of just such a situation, see the wikipedia entry on Bishop Jacques Gaillot who was demoted to Titular Bishop of Parthenia for promoting the rights of gays).
Why is it a 'personal' opinion to deny the shoah or the facts behind 9/11, but not 'personal' opinion to approve of homosexuality? It seems a terribly selective view of 'sin' (if not, indeed, a rationalization), to call sex related issues a matter of dogma, and issues related to genocide and fascism 'personal' opinions.
That's one of the problems plaguing the Catholic Church. Its morality is almost exclusively sex related. It has no mechanism for dealing with the real world. When crimes like genocide and mass murder are 'personal' opinion, but issues dealing with sex are part of the 'culture of death', the institution has lost its bearing and has failed in its leadership role. It's become an instrument of oppression rather than guidance. The very things it chooses to call 'sin' vs. 'personal' tell us about the mindset of those making the distinctions.
And they are ugly distinctions indeed.
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