Christine Flowers: Some things in the Catholic Church will never change

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The Roanoke Times — Christine Flowers: Some things in the Catholic Church will never change

The Vatican came out last week and confirmed that it would not be “blessing” same sex unions, a move that should have surprised no one.

The church changes certain things all the time, adapting and updating as it sees fit. Beyond changes in language and style, there have been some more substantive changes, including allowing for “altar girls,” allowing lay persons to distribute communion, allowing women to participate more fully in the liturgy and delighting butchers everywhere by removing the “no meat on Fridays” prohibition.

Along the way, they also got rid of some totally respectable saints, like Christopher and-to my grandmother Philomena’s disgust, Philomena. She carried the weight of that injustice with her to the grave.

However noteworthy, none of these changes significantly altered church teaching. That’s because, for whatever else you might think of it, Catholicism does not change with the times, with cultural evolutions, or with the whims of the woke.

The sacraments are not optional rules that we can update depending upon group membership. They are fundamental, inalterable, doctrinal precepts that define the character of the church itself.

In the years that I’ve been writing about culture and politics, the confluence of Catholicism and evolution has been a frequent topic of discussion. Ironically enough, I’ve found that non-Catholics are often the ones most sympathetic to my position – namely, that the struggle between conscience and compromise is a hard one.

So when the Vatican came out and said that it would not bless same-sex unions, it shouldn’t have been a surprise, even with this kindler, gentler pope. The sacrament of matrimony is reserved for two people – one heterosexual man and one heterosexual woman. It is not designed for two gay men, or two lesbians, regardless of how devoted they are to one another.



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