This is a real story.
After confession, I had a question for the priest.
Arnold Scott (AS): "Father, can I ask you a question?"
Real Priest (RP): "Sure."
AS: "I noticed the parish has an "QBTGL Group." Does that group promote the teachings of the Church?"
RP: "Um, ok, I have gotten this question from several people and we try to explain that this group is...um, if you find out biologically that you are attracted to...you know, and you are Catholic, how do I live that out...that's what it's about."
AS: "So, does it promote the teachings of the Church?"
RP: "Well, with the benefit of modern science, biology and all we know, yes I would say so."
AS: "What do you think St. Paul would say if he attended a meeting?"
RP: "Oh, St. Paul was around 2,000 years ago and we have learned so much since then. He was writing without the benefit of modern science. So I would have to ask you, do you mean St. Paul then or St. Paul now?"
AS: "Are you saying that modern science can change teachings of the Church?"
RP: "Uh, yes I mean look at the example of IVF for instance, that was a new teaching"
AS: "But that was a new issue, not changing a settled teaching that already existed"
AS: "So, for example, could abortion become moral because of a new finding in science?"
RP: "Oh no, that one, I don't think that could change. Oh, well other people are in line waiting for confession so we can continue this another time. Thank you."
Now, the evasive responses from this Real Priest raise several important questions, which I don't think would be too easy for him to answer:
1) Are St. Paul's letters found in Sacred Scripture the inspired Word of God and eternally true?
2) If a settled teaching like this, which has been affirmed throughout Christian history, can be overturned by modern science, doesn't that undermine the credibility of the Church? The Church must have been wrong for 2,000 years about a moral issue so how could she have authority to teach anything?
3) You have suggested that some moral teachings can never be overturned by science. How are we to determine which are provisional teachings awaiting further scientific research and which are immutable moral truths?
4) Who has the right to judge when a moral teaching has changed due to science?
5) How can you tell when a teaching has been overturned by modern science?
6) Is science a higher authority than God?
Say a prayer for all priests and bishops who have forgotten that God's Word is true and that the Truth can set us free!
St. Peter Damian (Feast day February 21), pray for us!