Yale Catholic Chaplain: Sister Farley’s “Teaching” Could Be Official Church “Position” in a Century
Father Robert L. Beloin, the Catholic chaplain of Yale University, used the occasion of his Corpus Christi sermon to put forth a defense of Sister Margaret Farley, an emerita Yale professor, who recently was notified by Rome that her book Just Love contradicts Church teaching.
“Margaret Farley and the Mystery of Human Sexuality” is the title of Father Beloin’s sermon, as reproduced on America magazine’s “The Good Word” blog, which is devoted to scripture and preaching.
In it, Father Beloin reportedly says:
The “notification,” signed by Cardinal Levada, pointed out that some conclusions that she holds are contrary to the official teaching of the Church. That is true. But, in her statement, she points out that she did not set out to write a book about Catholic moral theology.
(It’s like if I sat down and wrote a homily for a wedding and someone came along and said “well, that’s not an appropriate homily for a funeral.” I didn’t set out to write a homily for a funeral.)
Well, Margaret did not set out to write a book reiterating Catholic positions on some contemporary moral issues. She set out to explore some moral issues from the starting point of Scripture, Tradition, anthropology and human experience. She brings a different methodology to the table.
Father Beloin relies on a novel interpretation of the Catholic idea of the development of doctrine to come up with this rather shocking idea:
And so maybe Margaret is right and what she is teaching will be the official position of the Church in a hundred years. And maybe she is wrong and further research will prove that.
Father Beloin apparently believes that the development of doctrine, an important Catholic idea, includes the ditching or complete reversal of doctrine, which is what it would take for Sister Margaret’s “teaching” ever to become the “official position” of the Church.
It is worth mentioning that Sister Margaret’s work contradicts the Church, according to the notification, on the issues of masturbation, homosexual acts, homosexual unions, the indissolubility of marriage, and the authority of the pope and Magisterium.
Undaunted, Father Beloin declares himself “excited by the challenges before us” as regards the development of doctrine.