Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bishop Paprocki must have won this debate

A talk convened in Phoenix, Illinois was billed as "Two Catholic Views of Gay Marriage" and featured Bishop Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois and Sister Jeanine Gramick who is a long-time advocate for gay and lesbian people.

The bishop faced a hostile crowd of about 150 people but, from the responses that I have read, it would seem that he had the better answers to the questions that were put forth. Why do I say that?  Because at one point in the talk, no further questions were addressed to Gramick, but only to the Bishop, and even though the event lasted 2 1/2 hours, people were still lined up to ask the Bishop further questions.

Right off the top, Bishop Paprocki stated that the name of the event was inaccurate.

"This event was billed as 'Two Catholic Views of Gay Marriage,' " he said. "But there is only one view that is authentically Catholic. The other view is dissenting."

When criticized for his viewpoint, Bishop Paprocki stated that Gramick's argument for gays and lesbians was based on emotional appeal, whereas his position was coming from faith and reason. When one audience member said that her son was not "intrinsically disordered", the Bishop responded that, while most people are sympathetic towards gays and lesbians, the Church's approach cannot be anecdotal. Doing so would be to sacrifice objective truth, that the Church has only one position on this and she will not change.

This is one smart and gutsy bishop. He didn't back down from this confrontation with the relativistic position, but I think he came out on top with his truthful and firm responses. He also showed a good amount of compassion in his responses. I hope that other bishops are listening to this and taking notes.

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