Monday, October 19, 2015

On Bishop Peter Doyle and the Queering of Theology

Vatican Radio just released an audio recording of an interview conducted by Philippa Hitchen with Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton, England. While you can listen to the whole recording here, I'd like to focus your attention to a two-minute section of the interview which dealt with so-called "LGBT" issues. The following is a transcript of that section (emphasis mine):


Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton
Vatican Radio (VR): I know that you received correspondence from the LGBT Catholic community in England and Wales sharing their hopes for this Synod with you. What kind of response do you think you can take back to that group?

Bishop Peter Doyle (BD): I have to confess, I'm a little concerned that we don't seem - in the Synod - to have faced up to those issues. So, I'm very concerned for people in that group. It would seem to be that the majority of Synod Fathers are not regarding that as the main issue in their own situation, and the issues have been raised occassionally, but I've been surprised that they've been put into a siding.

VR: Is that because they're too difficult?

BD: I think it's a combination of it being too difficult and also the basic, I suppose, theological anthropology - what I mean by that is that our understanding, from the Scripture, of man and woman... there is no room at the moment for a same-sex relationship. And so, I think they've sort of said - well, they haven't actually said this, but in my heart I wonder if they're saying - "We don't know what to do." Now, that's not going to be very helpful for these good people, and maybe something will come out unexpectedly, but at the moment, it seems to be being parked to one side.

VR: So, a strong sense of denial?

BD: I'm not sure that there's a denial. There may be a denial in some parts of the world, or maybe it's just that they haven't got to that point. I don't think there's a denial in Europe, among the European Bishops or North America, but I just don't think people know what to do or how to respond at the moment.

VR: Would you be wanting to encourage greater theological exploration, as you say, of the anthropology?

BD: Well, I think that has got to happen, hasn't it? I think we can't leave people dangling in the air, and in limbo, and the Lord loves us all, so somehow we've got to find a way of embracing everybody. But it's a real challenge at the moment, and I just don't think we've really begun to deal with it in any serious manner. That would almost need a Synod all it's own, I think. I think it would be really difficult to embrace all these issues that have been brought to us at this Synod now.


If that last bit about an "LGTB"-Synod struck you as far-fetched, gentle reader, recall that Bishop Doyle's musings follow immediately upon the heels of Pope Francis' statement that "the journey of synodality is the journey that God wants from his Church in the third millennium" - as if the last 2,000 years of meticulously preserved and vigorously defended orthodoxy were just a warm-up for the heretical free-for-all currently unfolding before us. If they don't get what they want this time around, there's always next year's Synod. It could be a Synod on Technology, and Cardinal Marx & Co. would call for an examination of how advances in medical technology have "deepened" our understanding of the "flexibility" of human sexual identity. A Synod on Geography, you say? Simply unthinkable without discussing the complex tapestry of sexual spaces around the globe. (Think I just made that up? Think again.)

What troubles me most about the Bishop's comments, however, is his openness to a "theological exploration" of an "anthropology" which would "embrace" those in "same-sex relationships". This is Modernist-lingo for "finding a loophole to circumvent the plain and obvious meaning of Sacred Scripture." I suppose we can take some comfort in the fact that they don't feel confident enough to claim outright that Sacred Scripture supports sodomy. But give them time. Can there be any doubt that there is a team of Jesuits working overtime to produce just such a theological abomination?


  1. This bishop sounds so sincere and caring, doesn't he? Why have we bought this idea that Our Lord loves us all, therefore we don't have to worry much about mortal sin - that Jesus will stay His hand and wait until we are taught enough to realize we are in mortal sin, and slowly arrange our lives accordingly.

    I believe He does love us all. I heard a priest say that He loves some more than others. I may be mistaken but I think there are some Church Fathers who believed this - maybe St. Thomas? As God sees all men, all actions, all history in one glance He is able to see/foresee those who will respond to grace and those who will not. Is there a difference in how He loves these two groups?

    When God has sent floods, plagues, armies, heresies, apostasies, etc. as chastisements killing the good and the evil - would that mean He only loves the survivors?

    Catholics are supposed to hold themselves in the most sinful, most guilty, most repentant, most humble of positions. Is it uncharitable to say that those in mortal sin who assume God loves them 'where they are' are in danger of Hellfire?

  2. Same sex relationships involve sinful sexual activity. Do these prelates even believe that the activity is a sin?


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