American liberals continue to be clueless (willfully or otherwise) as to the nature and purpose of the Catholic Church and its relationship to its members. The latest proof comes in the case of theVatican’s condemnation of left-wing nun Margaret Farley’s book, “Just Love, A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics,” which advocates gay sex and marriage, divorce, and female masturbation. These practices are contrary to Catholic theology as practiced since the beginning of Catholicism.
But the Church’s reaction to the book is, to liberals, another example of the Vatican stifling women. Here’s how one Sarah O’Leary described it in the Huffington Post: “Sister Margaret A. Farley, a scholarly woman of faith who taught Christian Ethics at Yale University and served as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, is being brought to the woodshed by Rome for penning "Just Love.” How dare she use her God given gifts of cognition to share her educated point of view with the world!”
Sister Margaret Farley probably would have had Sally Quinn's respect when she endorsed same-sex marriage in her 2006 book Just Love, which has recently been denounced by the Vatican as unsuitable for use in Catholic theological or moral instruction due to its various departures from Church teaching.
But by golly, it's the Church's rebuke of Farley's defense of masturbation that Quinn thinks is her ticket to convincing her audience that the Church has lost its mind. From her June 7 On Faith blog post "Fifty Shades of Catholicism" (emphases mine):
CNN took some shots at the Vatican on Thursday when touting a dissident nun's book that made the Amazon.com best sellers list. "The nun who wrote a book about sex should be thanking the Vatican for condemning it," anchor Carol Costello quipped.
Exactly why CNN thinks this is news is uncertain, unless it wants to advance a liberalreligiousagenda. Just the other day, a regular contributor to CNN's religion blog came on and blasted the church for declaring the nun's book "Just Love" to be not in conformity with Catholic teaching – even though the nun herself admitted the book was not an official expression of church teaching on sexual ethics. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
When the news pertains to issues in the Catholic church, CNN loves to promote liberal theologians and religious, especially ones that are defying Catholic teaching. In contrast, orthodox priests and bishops might receive vastly different treatment – if they even get on CNN, that is.
So when an American nun's book on sexual ethics was found by the Vatican to be "not in conformity" with the Catholic Church's teaching, CNN contributor Stephen Prothero smacked the Vatican for its "unjust" condemnation of the book and accused the Catholic Church of continuing to "attack the sort of apple pie, mom kind of institutions in America."
When a nun tows her vows, she pledges among other things obedience to the Catholic Church and its teachings. So when a sister writes a book on sexual ethics that in various ways contradicts Church teachings and refuses for six years to recant, is it really all that shocking when the Vatican issues a rebuke (and an extremely mild one at that)?
That's exactly what has happened in the case of Sister Margaret A. Farley, whom the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith rebuked yesterday* for her 2006 book Just Love: A framework for Christian Sexual Ethics. But to Reuters's Philip Pullella, the Vatican is waging war on a "popular American nun." From Pullella's June 4 story headlined "Vatican attacks popular U.S. nun over sexuality book" (emphases mine):