Tuesday, October 14, 2014

THE INTERVIEW and "situation ethics" [REPOST]

THE INTERVIEW and "situation ethics"
OR "all you need is love"... and mercy
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In the first interview granted by bergoglio to the press which appeared in America Magazine the topic of "the divorced and remarried" and other "problematic situations" were discussed.
http://www.americamagazine.org/pope-interview
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I will try to demonstrate how bergoglio applies "situation ethics" in responding. And how in so doing he attempts to circumvent Church teaching on faith and morality.
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BTW. The title of the article is "A Big Heart Open to God". This fits right in with bergoglio's theme that "all you need is love"... and mercy.
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Here is the excerpt with my comments inserted. I also highlight the use of the word "situation" with asterisks.
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I mention that there are Christians who live in ***situations*** that from the point of view of the church are irregular or somewhat complex, Christians that, in one way or another, live with open wounds. I mention the [situation of] divorced and remarried, same-sex couples and other difficult ***situations***. What kind of pastoral work can we do in these cases? What kinds of tools can we use? [Can we use situation ethics?] The pope signals that he understands what I mean [we both know I mean situation ethics] and he responds:
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“We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner,” the pope says, “preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing [with love and mercy], even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound. In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ [an example of a "situation"] because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this [actually it DOES]. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge [that situation]. By saying this, I said what the catechism says [NOT really]. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person. [This is an expression of the anti-dogmatic teachings of situation ethics.]
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“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality [another situation]. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ [All you need is love] We must always consider [the situation of] the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the [particular situation of a particualar] human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their ***situation***. It is necessary to accompany them with [love and] mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing [in the particular situation rather than relying on Church teaching and dogma].
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“This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case [according to the particular situation] and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy [and love] motivates us to do better. I also consider the ***situation*** of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That [situation in this case the] abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do? [Apply situation ethics and take a merciful, loving approach while ignoring Church teaching? NO!]
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“We cannot insist only on issues [situations] related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. [Because we have to apply situation ethics instead.] I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues [situations], we have to talk about them in a [situational] context. The teaching of the church [dogma], for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but [BUT I don't believe in dogma -- only situation ethics -- and therefore] it is not necessary to talk about these issues [situations] all the time.
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“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent [some are more important than others depending on the situation]. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently [dogmatically and consistently, rather the situation must be taken into account]. Proclamation in a missionary style [using situation ethics] focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things [not dogma]: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn [with love and mercy] , as it did for the disciples at Emmaus [interject an unrelated biblical reference]. We have to find a new balance [by taking into account the situation]; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church [tradition and dogma] is likely to fall like a house of cards [if not we will push it to fall by introducing situation ethics], losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel [of love and mercy]. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant [, anti-dogmatic]. It is from this proposition that the ["im-" or "a-"]moral consequences then flow.
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You get the idea.... see also Wikipedia article on "situational ethics".
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Situational_ethics

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