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More than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic ChurchInquiry, Thought, and Expression$
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J. Patrick Hornbeck II and Michael A. Norko

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823257621

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823257621.001.0001

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Same-Sex Marriage and Catholicism

Same-Sex Marriage and Catholicism

Dialogue, Learning, and Change

(p.141) 7 Same-Sex Marriage and Catholicism
More than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church

Lisa Sowle Cahill

Fordham University Press

This chapter notes that Catholicism is not embodied primarily in its formal institutions, offices, or teachings—reaffirming that dialogue among the laity and between the laity and ecclesial hierarchy is a critical element of the Catholic Church envisioned by Vatican II. It also surveys the diverse theological terrain of current discussions, including the development of the concept of natural law as a product of practical reason rather than rigid and static legalisms. It describes three examples of inadequate hierarchical responses to contemporary theologians and the laity. It traces the modern evolution of official Catholic teaching on marriage and its purposes, with its recent shift to proclaiming the importance of love—thus creating a plausible Catholic argument for same-sex marriage. Inductive reasoning and pastoral concern both speak to the procreative and intergenerational family-building value of marital relationships, forms of value that promote the public good and are justifiably applicable to same-sex marriages and families.

Keywords:   Catholic Church, dialogue, natural law, Catholic teaching, marriage, same-sex marriage

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