Equally Blessed released the following statement in response to the criticism of Just Love, by Sister Margaret Farley, a Catholic theologian emeritus at Yale University, released today by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
We are saddened, but not surprised that the Roman Catholic hierarchy has found fault with the valuable work of yet another female theologian.
The Vatican’s legalistic parsing of Sister Margaret Farley’s work will only enhance her well-deserved reputation as a gifted scholar. Rome’s attempt to steer Catholics away from Just Love will serve instead as a recommendation for all those who seek a sexual ethic rooted in justice and mutuality, rather than in platitudes and abstractions. The positions Sr. Margaret articulates resonates with many Catholics, who seek to live out the values of our faith in the context of real life.
We applaud particularly Sister Margaret’s understanding that “same-sex relationships and activities can be justified according to the same sexual ethic as heterosexual relationships.” As always, when differing with the hierarchy she makes it clear that this is purely her personal opinion. Yet the scholarly care with which she reaches it will be persuasive to Catholic readers who do not believe the Vatican’s claim that intellectual inquiry is unnecessary because the truth is what the Vatican says it is.
We are hopeful that Sister Margaret’s strong body of work will inspire and encourage other Catholic theologians to continue this kind of research.
Equally Blessed is a coalition of faithful Catholics who support full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people both in the church and in civil society. Equally Blessed includes four organizations that have spent a combined 115 years working on behalf of LGBT people and their families: Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry. On the web: equallyblessed.org