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Why No Call for Dialogue With “Homophobes”?

America magazine continues its apparent campaign to subvert Catholic teaching on homosexuality (for prior instances, see our New Oxford Notes section for Nov. 1999 and Sept. 2000).

In America (Sept. 30, 2000), Eileen P. Flynn, a professor of theology at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, N.J., rejects the Magisterium’s scriptural teaching against homosexuality “out of hand,” says that the Church might need to “revise” its teaching on homosexual acts, and calls for “dialogue” with proponents of what she calls the “gay agenda.”

Flynn is troubled by Catholic morality, which “evaluates actions based on the object of the act (that which is done) rather than a broader context that includes intention, circumstances and consequences…” — i.e., she favors the “situation ethics” minted by liberal Protestants long ago. She also says that “scientists still do not know the root causes of homosexuality” and therefore Church teaching should be “tentative.” Consequently, “gays and lesbians” should be able to “speak openly and freely” to Church leaders, who need to “listen” and “learn.”

Flynn, it goes without saying, opposes “homophobia.” She tells about a “gay rights” march where a bullhorn-wielding man yelled at the marchers, “Sick! Sick! Sick!” She also refers to “the depth of homophobic malice that can be harbored in the soul” — presumably that man with the bullhorn would be an example. Curiously, however, Flynn doesn’t call for dialogue with homophobes. Why not?

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