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Teaching love

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Jemy Gatdula

Being Right

The problem here is not the failure to communicate but the refusal to communicate. There are many good reasons to uphold that there is a male-female distinction, that gender is synced with sex, and that marriage is between one man and one woman. Yet those reasons are not being heard.

Perhaps because of a lack of faith that truth is applicable to today’s modern world (whatever “modern” means: every day in our history used to be modern), an incoherent appreciation of truth such that feelings dominate over facts, or even perhaps because of a misplaced form of charity, many institutions that should know better either keep quiet and let dissenting voices have exclusive hold of the public square or, even more troubling, actually join in spreading misinformation themselves.

The issues before us all boil down to freedom and truth leading to the common good.

So the imbalance in the voices being heard is unfair to the greater populace that deserves such common good.

Part of that common good is also transparency of institutions: if parents were persuaded to enroll their children in a university representing itself as upholding certain values or principles, it behooves such universities to actually uphold such values or principles.

If you say you’re a Catholic university, then teach Catholic doctrine.




In any event, the Catholic Church apparently has had enough. Tardy. But better than never.

In the middle of “Pride” month, the Congregation for Catholic Education (CCE) released a document titled “Male and Female He Created Them: Towards a path of dialogue on the question of gender theory in education” to guide Catholic educational institutions on how to deal with an increasingly gender-confused world brought up about by an ever aggressive LGBT lobby.

The document’s rationale is clear: “we are now facing with what might accurately be called an educational crisis, especially in the field of affectivity and sexuality.”

“The problem,” it goes on to say, is not in the distinction between the terms “gender” and “sex,” “which can be interpreted correctly, but in the separation of sex from gender. This separation is at the root of the distinctions proposed between various ‘sexual orientations’ which are no longer defined by the sexual difference between male and female, and can then assume other forms, determined solely by the individual, who is seen as radically autonomous. Further, the concept of gender is seen as dependent upon the subjective mindset of each person, who can choose a gender not corresponding to his or her biological sex, and therefore with the way others see that person (transgenderism).”

This position is not new but merely a reiteration of longstanding and permanent Church teaching on sexuality. Thus, the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “‘Homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

Also, the “‘sexual orientation’ of a person is not comparable to race, sex, age.” (Some Considerations Concerning the Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-discrimination of Homosexual Persons; Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith [CDF], 1992)

Having said that, the argument about discrimination is misleading considering that the Bill of Rights and every other law applies equally to all citizens, including members of the LGBT community.

On the other hand, the liberal progressive plea for “diversity and acceptance” would have been believable had not any position contrary to the LGBT lobby been automatically dismissed as medieval.

Finally, love wins? What “love”? To say all “love is valid” is sloppy. No sane person will declare bigamy, adultery, pedophilia, bestiality, or incest as the kind of love that should “win.”

Catholic universities — those owned by the Catholic Church, those run by Catholic missionary orders, or those that represent themselves as loyal to the Catholic teaching — are thus enjoined to reject “ideological reductionism or homologizing relativism by remaining faithful to their own gospel-based identity, in order to transform positively the challenges of their times into opportunities by following the path of listening, reasoning and proposing the Christian vision, while giving witness by their very presence, and by the consistency of their words and deeds.” (CCE, 2019)

Furthermore, it is reminded that “all support should be withdrawn from any organizations which seek to undermine the teaching of the Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely.” (Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons; CDF, 1986)

Finally, the laity are reminded of their right (and duty) to report to their Bishop any institution that undermines Church teaching or misleads the faithful.

Parents and students are also well within their rights to demand that Catholic universities teach Catholic doctrine properly. Refusal to do so cannot be unjustly excused as academic freedom, when doing so not only misleads students but also violates truthfulness in representation and compliance with legal contractual obligations that every university is subject to.

Bottom line: “love,” “equality,” and “diversity” are all good. But truth must underline them all.

 

Jemy Gatdula is a Senior Fellow of the Philippine Council for Foreign Relations and a Philippine Judicial Academy law lecturer for constitutional philosophy and jurisprudence.

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