Thursday, June 28, 2007

Living in sin?

An article appearing in the June issue of US Catholic is getting surprisingly high-level responses. "A betrothal proposal," by Michael G. Lawler and Gail S. Risch of Creighton University's Center for Marriage and Family in Omaha drew a letter of disagreement to the magazine from Omaha's Archbishop Elden Curtiss. Today's Omaha World-Herald has a story on the controversy.

Another high-profile archbishop, Charles Chaput of Denver, dedicated his column in the Denver Catholic Register to what he referred to as the "bafflingly naive" approach to cohabitation Lawler and Risch suggest.

In the authors' defense, they don't approach this topic without solid research and theological reflection. They're not promoting "fornication" (which has been among the favorite words of many letter-writers), only a change to the definition, one that at least used to be good enough. In the end, they see a pastoral problem and have proposed a pastoral solution. It may be wrong, or it may not be to the liking of some, but it is at least a creative approach to a difficult issue.

And at least they have the courage to bring it up openly. It seems to me that there are a few people afraid of some grown up conversation.


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