Tag Archives: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

LGBT Discrimination and the Catholic Church

In a notable contribution to a document on LGBT discrimination and belief for the UN Human Rights Commission,  Krzysztof Charamsa lays out all the ways in which the Catholic Church actively discriminates against LGBTI Catholics.  It’s not comfortable reading.

 

Krzysztof Charamsa (right) with partner Eduard

One of the key points in my own thinking about the Catholic Church and queer Catholics, came when I heard Charamsa speak at the 2019 conference of the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups in Gdansk. Like many others, I’ve been delighted by the notable change in pastoral tone coming from the church, ever since Pope Francis took on the see of Rome. Charamsa’s talk in Gdansk however, was a sobering reminder that notwithstanding the changes in pastoral tone, core doctrines remain unchanged – and these can be extremely damaging, even dangerous, to the emotional, spiritual and even physical health of LGBT Catholics.

There are many strands to the dangerous Vatican doctrines. In his paper for the UN Human Rights Commission, he discusses in detail just one – the problem of discrimination. It is true, as he points out, that doctrine dictates its opposition to discrimination against homosexuals – but immediately qualifies that, to mean only “unjust” discrimination. What they term “just” discrimination, it turns out, includes just about all the forms of discrimination that civil law in many Western countries, aims to eliminate. This then  becomes the rationale for the Vatican’s opposition to anti-discrimination in civil law.

Worse, for LGBT Catholics, is how the formulation of “just” discrimination does not only accept, but even mandates, active discrimination in the Church’s own practice. Most egregious of these of course, is Pope Benedict’s statement against the ordination of gay priests – a prohibition more recently endorsed even by Pope Francis. However, there are other, more insidious forms of discrimination, that many LGBT Catholic will not even be aware of.

For instance, there’s a clearly stated prohibition on offering premises for LGBTIQ persons to publicly pray and to form groups in the Church. Charamsa describes this prohibition:

The most eloquent expression of this fight against pastoral assistance is the Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church: Homosexualitatis problema (October 1, 1986: thirty years ago!) which has effectively forbidden the pastoral care of homosexual persons. According to this document, the Vatican and local Bishops eliminate every Catholic organized pastoral care for gays, which had been done in respect for human dignity and scientific knowledge about sexual orientation.

 A further prohibition that will be a surprise to many LGBT Catholics, one against even coming out and publicly affirming a gay or trans identity. This may not be as directly stated, but is implied in the argument that non-discrimination laws are not necessary – because discrimination can be avoided by simply remaining in the closet. All the evidence is that for one who has a natural same-sex orientation, acknowledging and coming to terms with this, is a path to emotional and affective maturity and growth. Several notable writers on spirituality, state that in the same way, coming out is a process even of spiritual growth. Conversely, staying in the closet and refusing to come out, is harmful to mental and emotional health – one of the many ways that Vatican doctrine is realistically described as dangerous.

Then there one further form of discrimination that I too was not aware of. This is what Charamsa describes as “the prohibition of serious and objective studies about LGBTIQ minorities in the theological field”. In effect, this is really two different forms of academic discrimination – in the fields of theology, but also of science.

In the last half-century the scientific and interdisciplinary progress about homosexuality can be consider the “Copernican revolution” in the human knowledge about LGBTIQ questions. This progress, with its hypothesis and thesis, should be investigated by the theology and by the Church for understanding the development and confronting it with theological/doctrinal position about homosexuality. This real, objective and serious confrontation was made impossible in the Church of Wojtyła and Ratzinger, and nothing has been changed by Pope Francis.

Some of these “prohibitions” will surprise many, because in some areas at least, they are clearly flouted. There are an increasing number of parishes and dioceses with strong, vibrant programs of lgbt inclusion in the life of the church, with various forms of LGBT support groups, retreats, and worship services – even including support for participation in gay pride celebrations. Many bishops, and some cardinals, endorse the value of coming out for LGBT people. However, these helpful practices are conducted not in compliance with standard doctrine, but in direct contravention of them.

The upside, which leaves me a little less disturbed by these harmful doctrines than Charamsa, is that for most people, it is pastoral practice on the ground that is more important than abstract doctrine. It is frequently pastoral practice that leads to changes in doctrine, and not the other way around. The simple fact that so many effective programs of LGBT pastoral support exist, and are growing, implies that in the long run, doctrine will inevitably change.

However, this does not change the fact that harmful doctrines are still in place. As long as they are, they will provide justification for those opponents of LGBT people, when they refuse sound support, or actively promote discrimination or outright homophobia.

Krzysztof Charamsa deserves thanks for so clearly reminding us of the problem that still remains.

 

Krzysztof Charamsa: “”God loves me, because I love my husband”(German Interview)

It is always worth paying close attention to press interviews with Msgr Krysztof Charamsa, the Catholic theologian at the CDF who came out as both gay and partnered, on the eve of the 2015 Synod on /marriage and family. There have been several of these, initially on the occasion of his coming out, and later with the launch of his book, in the original Italian and the later translations.  Sadly, as far as I am aware, none of these have yet appeared in English.

I therefore provide below, my own free translation (based on a modified Google translation), of his most recent (German) interview with Berliner Zeitung. In this post, I present the interview in full, without comment. My responses will follow, in a series of follow-up posts.

Openly gay Msgr Krysztof Charamsa (left), with partner

Ex-Monsignore Krzysztof Charamsa “Gott liebt mich, weil ich meinen Mann liebe”

(Translation: “God loves me, because I love my husband”)

We meet in the breakfast room of a small hotel at Hamburg main station. Krzysztof Charamsa, 44, has presented his book here. He wears a light, waisted jacket, with a blue handkerchief, if I remember correctly. A white shirt. Blue jeans. He looks very elegant. The most striking however is orange glasses. Krzysztof Charamsa laughs and loves to cry. I had not imagined the Grand Inquisitor of the Catholic Church so. Not even one of his staff. Krzysztof Charamsa is a Pole, but speaks German. Very rarely does he search for a word.




What is Spinning?

This is my sport: cycling in the gym. At the bottom I am struggling, everything is going through my head. I can think clearly.

One does not step forward. This is your favourite sport?

It is like liberation. You kick wildly into the pedals. They sweat. You are exhausted. But you do not have to worry about anything. Your head is free. It hits the spot.

That’s why you wrote a book about the “immutability of God”.

My dissertation. At that time I did not know Spinning. I was looking for security, for a solid foundation. It seemed to me to offer me a God who is self-sufficient. This was a God who does not lean toward his creature. No God of friendship, no God in the world, in history. A very sad image of God, I find today. I’ve been thinking about why we’re going to suffer during my studies. Where we have a gracious God. That was my determining question. I have no answer. But today I think it was my homosexuality, my suffering for it, which made suffering such a big subject. I did not know anything about the pleasures of love, nor of gay love.

When masturbating did you have homosexual fantasies?

Yes.

That was not nice?

I was anxious. I spent my puberty in communist Poland, in the Catholic Church. Both hyper-homophobic facilities! With whom could I have spoken? How? I had no words for it. I had feelings of guilt. I would have had them, even if I had been heterosexual. But my gay fantasies increased my insecurity.

You were ten, eleven years in Hamburg. You  must have seen homosexuals at least at the Hauptbahnhof.

I did not see them. Because I could not see them. In the world I lived in, there were no homosexuals. People just did not talk about them. They did not exist. As one says in Chechnya today: homosexuals can not be suppressed, because they do not exist. This is the way the Catholic Church behaved.

How many homosexuals are there in the Catholic Church?

Nobody can tell you. There are no surveys. I can only g. Based guess. Based on my experience. I was in priestly seminaries, I taught. I have always lived among priests. I was not a monk who lived in a single monastery. I believe that, cautiously estimated, fifty percent of the Catholic clergy is homosexual.

The total population is assumed to be 10%.

The priesthood is a fantastic space to conceal homosexuality when it is not socially accepted. For this reason the priestly life attracts many homosexuals. It does not matter that you are not interested in women. One is always in male company.

A homophobic organization of homosexuals

This is the dilemma of the Church. Hence much of the suffering and despair of the priests. Homosexuals are persecuted and at the same time homosexuality is celebrated. Aesthetic. Pope Benedict XVI has greatly aggravated the hatred of homosexuals. At the same time, however, under his pontificate, it was as gay as never before in the modern age: the red shoes, the peaks, tassels, and fringes that were on display everywhere. “Soon we will all have to wear lace underwear,” one of the papal ceremonial masters complained. See for yourself on Youtube how Ratzinger and other dignitaries of the Vatican look at the naked torsos of the brother Pellegrini! That same Ratzinger writes that homosexuals can not love. They have, he says, only this morbid desire.

Perhaps the Ratzinger’s own – deep-rooted – life experience … He is doomed to non-love.

That I do not know. But I do know that is precisely the situation in which many thousands of priests find themselves. The situation I was in, it took very long before I realized: it is not homosexuality that is sinful, but the church. Many, many homosexual priests are very good priests.

You were a member of the Congregation for the Congregation for twelve years. You persecuted the devil on behalf of the church. Then, on October 3, 2015, you publicly declared to the world : I, Krzysztof Charamsa, Catholic priest and member of the Congregation of the Faith, am gay, and this is my partner, Eduard Planas, whom I love. You changed from Saul to Paul.

I inherited the place, which became free, when Georg Gänswein became Ratzinger’s private secretary. I inherited his computer, his office, his chair. Paul followed the truth. When he persecuted the Christians, he believed that he had to do so for the sake of the truth. Then he recognized his error and became a Christian. I thought God was against my homosexuality, so I fought it. Then I discovered that God had nothing against my homosexuality. He had given something against which my love was strugling. I was an official of a truth office, a Stasi. I was perfect in this office. I put together, for every question, the views that the Church had represented over the centuries. The new knowledge of science did not matter. The church was in possession of the truth. This treasure was to be lifted. I did not do that as a cynic. I did it because I believed in it.

This was the purpose from one minute to the next.

I had nothing but a suitcase and my husband. That was a liberation. And peace. The first time: peace. A new security. I am a believing man, so I know: That was a gift from God.

You always have to get everything from the top!

Yes, yes. Of course I also have to develop energy and strength. But they also come from God. Life needs a foundation. If you have that, you can let go. This was the experience of Paul. This was also my experience. But it took me a long time to realize that the ecclesiastical texts against homosexuality speak about me. In the Catechism, for example, it says of homosexual relations: “They violate the natural law, for the transmission of life is excluded in sexual act. They do not arise from a true affective and sexual supplementary need. They are in no way to be approved.” Today I know that the catechism preaches homophobia and not the love of God. That’s why I introduced my partner at my coming out. This was a theological statement. I wanted to make it clear: I’m not looking for sex. I’m looking for love. Sex I can have anywhere. For me, it’s about love. Homosexual love.

Is the doctrine that the Father has the Son nailed to the cross in order to save mankind, not unloving?

The suffering, the self-sacrificing God – that is the mystery of religion.

This God, who always kills whole tribes of nations, would not you weep for the dead of Sodom and Gomorrah?

It is impossible to understand how God can allow this. But I believe it is his respect for human freedom. His respect for our freedom. It is the limit of the action of God.

But the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah did not perish because they were fighting each other. God eradicated them.

In the Old Testament there is this image of God. Jesus corrects this. The relationship between God, suffering and freedom is the greatest question of religion. That is their secret. I took the liberty to first acknowledge my homosexuality before God. He accepted me. When I did it before the church, she rejected me.

Sodom and Gomorrah?

When you read the text in the Old Testament, it was not about homosexuality – the later tradition shifted the emphasis to the sexual – but about xenophobia and the refusal of hospitality. Lot receives the strangers, in truth God’s angels, with friendship and is attacked by his fellow citizens. It is – in this the story is quite topical – about the correct handling of refugees and migrants. The Sodom of today is my home country Poland. No one is willing to accept refugees. There is no place for a Syrian family in all Poland. Poland is Catholic, but no one opens strangers to his house. This is just one example of the terrible confusion in the Catholic Church.

Clerical Pedophilia, Sexual Immaturity

Continuing with my free translation of gay theologian Monsignor Charamsa’s interview in Religion Digital.

Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa
Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa

Do you not think that the Vatican reacted swiftly and drastically with you, while doing the same with pedophile priests?

The reaction was automatic. Legalistic and formalistic automation is the soul of the Catholic Church to one who tells the truth, even though the pope Francisco continually speaks against legalistic formalities.

It is also true that many cases of pedophile priests were and are treated in a different way, not as drastic. Pedophilia is a shame on the Catholic clergy. It is related to the sexual immaturity of its members. It is not influenced by the world, as obsessively stated by the Church . It is the result of an obsession caused by repressed sexuality, sexuality which is rejected,not accepted, .

It is also true that at various levels of the Church pedophilia continues to be protected to save face and to avoid compensation for the damage caused. I’ll give an example. Late last summer the Polish Vatican nuncio, Archbishop Wesolowskiin died in prison, after conviction by the Congregation as a pedophile. This man had a funeral that lasted ten days, between the Vatican and Poland. 10 days’ burial for a prisoner who has already been tried by an ecclesiastical court for pedophilia abuse. The funeral began with a Mass celebrated by the Pope’s closest collaborators and ended ten days later in Poland with a reading of a letter it was said that the Dominican Republic accusations of pedophilia were merely Mafia inventions . The Vatican allowed all this show, rather than thinking immediately about how to compensate the victims of that pederast bishop. Seeing all this, one can conclude that there is a pedophile lobby in the Vatican. Yes, many pedophile priests and bishops have special treatment and many continue to be free from any penalty..

In this light the Vatican’s reaction to a gay priest who tells the truth is shamefully automatic. But this is the logic of the Church: all must remain hidden “for the good of the Church”. While hidden, nothing happens. For the Church “the devil” is the priest who tells the truth, which comes to light, the coming out of the closet.

See also the full series:

 

Charamsa Alleges CDF Attempts to Undermine Francis’ Papacy

Continuing with my free translation of gay theologian Monsignor Charamsa’s interview in Religion Digital.

Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa
Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa

Is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith one of the main pieces of resistance in the Curia to the Franciscan spring ?

Undoubtedly . The Congregation is experiencing its darkest period. What matters most is to keep our hidden taboo: homosexuality and sexuality in general. With spring Francisco, the congregation has a new enemy. Along with gays, there Pope Francisco. Along with homophobia a ‘Francisco-phobia “appears. The contempt for the Pope in the Congregation is huge. For the things I’ve heard about the Pope Francisco in the Congregation, it should be denounced for offending the primacy of Peter. In the past, we destroyed careers of theologians who reflected with respect and intelligence on new ways of exercising the primacy. Now the Congregation is against the Pope and his primacy in an irrational way.

Several people who work in the Congregation are simply fundamentalists and their intellectual level is not as high as the presumption of being “saviors of this criminal world.” Inside there is no possibility of discussion. Personally, I have no doubt that the Prefect of the Congregation, in a dignified and honorable way, should resign after my coming out. To save the situation, the Congregation should be closed by the Pope to begin a renewal of its methods of promoting the faith in the Church. Today the Inquisition remains . It is devoid of reason and full of paranoid emotional arguments as openly expressed by Cardinal Sarah.

See also the full series:

 

Charamsa on Gays in the Curia, Gays and the CDF

Continuing with my free translation of gay theologian Monsignor Charamsa’s interview in Religion Digital.

Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa
Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa

Do spirituality and sensitivity attract gays to the altar? Are there more homosexuals in the Church than in other social institutions?

I am personally sure that is so. Often in the past, for a gay man to be a priest was a way to hide his homosexuality and make it socially. Today, probably it is only a functional reason in homophobic and backward societies. I imagine that in my country, Poland, it is still working well. I think today it is much more common that a gay man with his sensitivity and openness to the transcendent and the divine, wants to be a priest.

And in the Curia, are there many gays? Is there really the Vatican gay lobby that is often spoken about?

In this area also I can speak only of my experience. We have no studies on the presence of homosexuals in the clergy, because it is a taboo, a topic that should not be discussed. In the Curia there are many gays. Many of them are good priests, if they are not homophobic, if they do not think only of their career, if they do not care only money and power. The problem occurs when gays have internalized homophobia. In the Catholic clergy there are many homosexuals who, repressed by their own orientation, hate those who are gay like themselves.

The other issue is the gay lobby, which I have not come across. I read something about it in Italy, but I have not had any experience. It may be that there is this lobby, as there are Italian or Polish lobbies in the Vatican. The Vatican, the heart of the Church, is a blend of power struggles, politics and money. I also think that the Vatican is itself an Italian and international lobby imposing ideas that have  never been seriously studied.

Is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith particularly homophobic? And its top leader in the Congregation, Cardinal Müller?

Yes,the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the heart of a paranoid and irrational homophobia. In it there is no possibility of understanding and dialogue. It works by stereotypes.I had the impression that in the Congregation, faith in God was not promoted, we do not concern ourselves with Christology or Mariology, we only battle against gays and other sexual minorities. It is an obsession. This is our real faith: anti-gay paranoia. That’s all. It’s our favorite subject. There are meetings in which, of every three cases we discuss, two are against gays. We have invented an imaginary enemy and battle against it with all our strength. We call it “our war on gender”. There can be no discussions, we think that this gender can only promote sex changes. That is the level of paranoia which prevails in the Congregation..

Cardinal Müller has promoted all this ignorance, this extremism, this obsession among the top staff, without any reasoning. Instead of promoting studies, the Congregation is a political agency to sabotage the pontificate of Pope Francis and his synodal discussion. It is the agency that fights gender, which it doesn’t even know how to define. What is of importance is to use the word gender in ways that frighten people, no matter who has not read a single book on gender studies. Obsessive homophobia and misogyny (the real feminofobia, a hatred of women) are a drama for this congregation, whose members are not all heterosexual. As everywhere, there are homosexuals. The reality is that the Congregation hates gays, even though it is known that there are homosexuals among its members.

See also the full series:

 

Charamsa Contrasts His Penalty, and Those of Clerical Pedophiles

Continuing with my free translation of Monsignor Charamsa’s interview in Religion Digital:

Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa
Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa

Do not you think that the Vatican reacted swiftly and drastically with you, while doing the same with pedophile priests?

The reaction was automatic. The legalistic and formalistic automation is the soul of the Catholic Church to the one who tells the truth, even though the pope Francisco continually speak against the legalistic formalities.

It is also true that many cases of pedophile priests were and are treated a different way, not as drastic. Pedophilia is a shame of the Catholic clergy. It is related to the sexual immaturity of its members. It is not influenced by the world, as stated by the Church obsessively. It is the result of an obsession caused by repressed sexuality, not accepted, rejected.

It is also true that at various levels of the Church pedophilia continues to be protected to save face and not compensation for the damage caused. I’ll give an example. Late last summer in prison died the Polish Vatican nuncio, Archbishop Wesolowski, judged by the Congregation as a pedophile. This man had a funeral that lasted ten days, between the Vatican and Poland. 10 days burial of a prisoner who has already been tried by an ecclesiastical court abused by pedophiles. The funeral began with a Mass celebrated by the Pope’s closest collaborators and ended after ten days in Poland with a reading of a letter it was said that the accusations of pedophilia were the only inventions Mafia Dominican Republic. The Vatican allowed all this show, rather than thinking about how to immediately compensate the victims of that pederast bishop. Seeing all this, one can conclude that there is a pedophile lobby in the Vatican. Yes, many pedophile priests and bishops have special treatment and many continue to be free from it.

In this light the Vatican’s reaction to a gay priest who tells the truth is a shameful automation. But this is the logic of the Church: all must remain hidden “for the good of the Church”. While hidden, nothing happens. For the Church “the devil” is the priest who tells the truth, which comes to light, the coming out of the closet.

Will you remain a priest, he will ask secularization or the will to impose?

Am and me Sorry priest. I’m better priest before today. Conversely, it is I who will ask Church to open your eyes.

Do you plan to write a book about his experiences in the Vatican?

Yes, I believe it my duty to further explain my experience in the Church, and do it for the good of the Church itself, which must become and apologize for their institutional scandals, for its delays, its irrational paranoia of homophobia. Anyone who sees and experiences it has a duty to awaken the Church, which has already exceeded all tolerable limit.

If the pope asked him personally, leave your partner and return to the Vatican?

No, I would not let my partner because I love her and because no doctrinal reason to. Having a partner, whether male or female, to a priest does not go against their faith, not against the doctrine of our faith. Conversely, the Church and the Pope who should start thinking seriously about the inhuman discipline of mandatory celibacy and his obsession with homosexuality and human sexuality in general.

Go back to the Vatican? No, not again. It should be a masochist, a person who seeks suffering and offense of their own identity. I’m not a masochist. The Vatican is one less holy places I’ve ever met in my life. I want to live happy, want to be holy, what it means to be happy and live in the light of God and the dignity of man. In the Vatican most people are not happy. It is a place that needs a spiritual and mental conversion. God needs air, air that there needed.

See also the full series:

 

Msgr Charamsa’s Damning Indictment of the CDF

Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, the Polish priest and theologian who came out as both gay and partnered on the eve of the Family Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, has inside knowledge of the workings of the Vatican, and of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in particular.

monsenor-charamsa-con-su-pareja

In a lengthy interview with the Spanish Religion Digital, he has delivered a damning indictment of the Vatican culture, of CDF machinations to undermine Francis’ papacy, of compulsory clerical celibacy, of Church persecution of the LGBT community, and of closeted, gay priests, who take out their anger and self-loathing in hatred of openly gay people.

The interview is well worth reading in full, but is available only in Spanish (here).  In the absence of a complete translation, I present below, a summary helpfully provided to me in email correspondence. Continue reading Msgr Charamsa’s Damning Indictment of the CDF

The Heavy – Handed CDF, Contradicting Pope Francis.

In his widely celebrated Apostolic Exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis touched on a wide range of important subjects in Catholic teaching – but notably had nothing at all to say about gay marriage, or on the wider subjects of sexual ethics or same – sex relationships in general. The only explanation for this remarkable omission on so topical a subject, is a clue in the opening section, where he notes that he has not attempted to discuss everything of importance, because some things need further study. Later, he suggested that the subject of homosexuality should be referred to the Pontifical Academy for Science, or that for Social Science. Throughout his papacy, he has consistently promoted openness and free discussion, and his hand – picked choice as leader of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Nunzio Galantino, has stated unequivocally that the Church needs full and frank discussion, without fear, and without taboos, of the controversial issues facing the Church – including gay marriage, abortion, communion after divorce, remarriage, and more. The pope has also urged far greater decentralization of the church, proposing that as far as possible, disputes within the Church should be settled at local level, by national bishops, and not in Rome.
evangelii gaudium
Cardinal Gerhard Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has clearly not got the message.
Instead, he continues in the same style as his predecessor at the CDF, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI, in clamping down hard on any perceived deviation from his interpretation of the rules. In the latest example of many, he has interfered directly in the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, instructing Archbishop Cushley to refuse permission for the respected Catholic theologian Tine Beattie to speak on church property.
Tina Beattie
In his letter, seen by The Tablet, the archbishop wrote: “Professor Beattie is known to have frequently called into question the Church’s teaching. I would therefore ask you to cancel this event, as it may not proceed or be publicised on any Church property in this archdiocese.”
The archbishop also uses the letter – dated 11 July but only released this week – to rebuke the association for organising a talk by theologian Joe Fitzpatrick, who has written a book critiquing original sin and seeking to make Genesis compatible with evolution
What is particularly disturbing here, is that this claim that she has “frequently called into question the Church’s teaching” is entirely unsubstantiated. Professor Beattie herself emphatically denies the charge. In previous instances where she was similarly prevented from speaking, also at the behest of the CDF (under the previous pope), the reason appeared to have been the open letter that she signed a few years ago on the subject of gay marriage. That letter however, was not arguing specifically in favour of gay marriage, but simply for the right of Catholics to disagree in conscience on the matter. That primacy of conscience is deeply embedded in Catholic teaching, and should not be seen as controversial.
Professor Beattie, a director of The Tablet, wrote to Archbishop Cushley expressing her concern about his decision in a letter dated 2 September – she has yet to receive a reply. “You say that I am ‘known to have frequently called into question the Church’s teaching’. Known by whom, in what context and with reference to which of my published works?” she wrote. “Never in my published writings or talks have questioned any of the doctrinal mysteries of the Catholic faith. On the contrary, I have consistently argued in defence of even the most frequently challenged doctrines of the Church.” On gay unions, Professor Beattie said that she signed the letter at a time when Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop Cushley’s predecessor, was one of the “most vociferous opponents of same-sex marriage” and that she believes that Catholics could enter a “more reasoned and nuanced public dialogue” about the matter than the hierarchy allowed.

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