Can The Church Lose With Grace?


J. Peter Nixon has his doubts:

From the sale of contraceptives to abortion to the introduction of no-fault divorce, the Catholic Church has tended to lose most of its high profile fights over social issues.  To the extent that one sees these struggles as a form of witness the Gospel, victory or defeat may well be beside the point. There’s losing, though, and then there’s losing ugly.

… I suspect that many young people who grow up within the Church sense that the ways that heterosexuals fall short of Church teaching—fornication, cohabitation, contraception, remarriage after divorce—are, in pastoral practice at least, taken less seriously than the sexual sins of gays and lesbians.  While I have no illusions that a more consistent application of the Church’s teaching would be “appealing,” it would at least immunize the Church against the charge of hypocrisy.  The emerging generation of young people may not be inclined to adhere to the Church’s sexual ethics, but it would be a measure of progress if they could at least respect them.

(Photo: 'Stained Window,' a collaboration between renowned street artist Banksy and the City of Angels public school in Los Angeles students, is on display at the 'Art In The Streets' exhibition at the Museum for Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. By Robyn Beck /AFP/Getty Images)