The Heart of the Matter: Sexual Ethics vs. Human Dignity

Bryan Cones, the managing editor of U.S. Catholic magazine has emerged as a leading voice–if not the leading voice– supportive of LGBT issues in Catholic journalism. To know the reason why, you need to look no further than his latest article which appears in the January 2012 edition of the publication, and is already available on the website.

U.S. Catholic graphic designed by Tom Wright

Though written before Secretary Hilary Clinton’s Human Rights Day speech yesterday, the article is a good complement to her talk because both deal with the inherent dignity of LGBT persons.  Since our inception in 1977, New Ways Ministry has been promoting this message that comes straight out of Catholic social teaching.   Cones highlights a conflict in church teaching with sexual ethics that we have often said must be remedied:

“To put it bluntly, to describe any human being as “objectively disordered” does not reflect the more fundamental truth that all human beings are equally made in God’s image and likeness. While church teaching restricts physical sexual expression to marriage between a man and a woman, church leaders must also find a way to affirm the created value of sexuality that does not fit the heterosexual model.”

As many theologians have pointed out, this conflict is the “heart of the matter” when it comes to Catholic discussions of lesbian/gay people.  Sooner or later, it will need to be resolved.  Let’s hope and pray it is resolved in the way that Cones suggests above.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

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