Dear Pope: About Sr. Margaret . . .
I am just writing to thank you for denouncing Sr. Margaret Farley’s excellent book, “Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics.” This is the best PR any author could possibly get and, as a result, the book has soared to the Best Seller list at Amazon overnight. I realize that God works in strange and mysterious ways, but this is too good.
I am just writing to thank you for denouncing Sr. Margaret Farley’s excellent book, Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics. This is the best PR any author could possibly get and, as a result, the book has soared to the Best Seller list at Amazon overnight. I realize that God works in strange and mysterious ways, but this is too good.
It seems to come as some surprise to you and the Vatican that many Christian scholars, including Catholic ones, bring intellectual rigor and critical thought firmly grounded in scripture and tradition to some of the most urgent issues of our time. Sr. Farley is one of the most respected of these scholars.
More importantly to me, she was my professor and mentor in seminary. She was the reason I chose Yale Divinity School. She gave me a firm foundation in Christian ethics and taught me the skills of critical thinking in applying the tradition to pastoral ministry and activism. She more than anyone, pointed me in the direction of my vocation and I am forever grateful for that.
Sexuality seems to still confound you and yours. Your fear of new information and insight would be merely sad if it weren’t so harmful to individuals, families, and the church. In fact if you had studied Sr. Farley’s work and that of other contemporary Catholic moral theologians you might have had the resources to address the crisis of sexual abuse of children in the church.
Sr. Margaret’s fundamental principle in her book, Just Love, is that intimate sexual relationships be shaped by justice, respect, mutuality, equality, commitment and the absence of coercion and fear. These are the values that we should be bringing to our pastoral care, our preaching and teaching, and our activism. These are the values that support prevention of sexual abuse and violence.
Sr. Margaret is retired from teaching at Yale Divinity School. But her ministry among us is flourishing. Thanks be to God.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
P.S. When you have a moment, please denounce my book, Love Does No Harm: Sexual Ethics for the Rest of Us. Thanks.