An issue of moral credibility

To the Editor:
As a practicing Catholic, I am a regular reader of The Catholic Messenger. Having followed the recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding marriage, I read with interest the article in the July 4 issue entitled “Bishops, theologian react to Supreme Court decisions.” Bishop Martin Amos’ remarks were predictable; he repeated some of the main talking points of the Church on same-sex marriage.
The article also contained comments by Father Bud Grant, a moral theologian at St. Ambrose University in Davenport. Fr. Grant stated his wish that the Supreme Court’s decision “will give the Church the occasion to revisit its theological arguments, and not just maintain its theological conclusions.” I agree.
He noted that one of the sources the Church draws upon for its moral teachings is Tradition. As a person with a master’s degree in history, I understand and appreciate the value of tradition for any established institution. However, there is a difference between adhering to tradition and being stubborn.
One of the most interesting parts of the Messenger article was the statistic that 62 percent of U.S. Catholics support same-sex marriage. That number is rising, and while the Church is not a democracy, these percentages will have to be dealt with.
I hope the Church does not make the same mistake on same-sex marriage that it made regarding birth control. The Church lost a lot of moral credibility on that issue and stands to lose more on same-sex marriage if the trend of lay Catholic support continues.
I have a strong personal stake in this. My wife of 44 years, Mary, and I are parents of a gay son. We are proud of him and the things he has accomplished in his 32 years. We love him and it hurts us that the Church regards his loving behavior as “an aberration.” The hurt runs deep.
Joe Gross
St. Ann Parish, Long Grove


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