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Seeking Truth

The Episcopal Church is holding its General Convention this week in Anaheim, California.This is where they make their polity. They decide who will be considered saints. It is very educational to watch. Imagine the Catholic Church without the Magisterium. Imagine Voice of the Faithful running the Church. The blog Stand Firm has been providing complete coverage of this event. This post comes from the debate over a resolution to allow someone who is in an active gay or lesbian relationship to be ordained to any ministry within the Episcopal church. As a matter of background, in 2003 the Episcopal church did ordain as bishop a gay man who was in an active homosexual relationship. This caused great consternation in parts of the Anglican communion. In 2006 the Episcopal church voted at their General Convention to refrain from ordaining any other gay or lesbians as bishop until some sort of consensus on this issue could be reached within the communion. The resolution being debated does away with this moratorium. My point in posting this is not to delve into the internal affairs of the Episcopalians. Rather, I want to call attention to the following address by a convention delegate during the above mentioned debate:

As a young person, I feel the moral compass that is guiding our young people has changed from the past. And we need to align our church with that. For while we are losing some, we are also not gaining so many who are looking for something. 66% of young people support gay and lesbian rights. 91% of the young people not attending church see it as anti-gay. 82% of the attenders still see it as anti-gay. The church is there to help tend to the flock of God and we are sending the message all to often that we are not accepting gay and lesbian people. We can send a message to the entire world that all are welcome in the kingdom of God.

If the church is not providing the moral compass, then what is? What is that higher authority to which the church should be aligning itself? Is there no such thing as objective truth? I would like to ask this delegate the same thing I suggested Sonia Sotomayor be asked:

“Is the difference between right and wrong a matter of truth or a matter of personal or societal opinion?” Will she respond like another well-known judge and say, “What is truth?” Or will she acknowledge that there exists a permanent body of truth that is fixed and cannot be overruled by the latest polling data or the latest social engineering agenda?

Perhaps this is a good time to once again draw attention to the Holy Father’s latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate:

To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity. Charity, in fact, “rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor 13:6). All people feel the interior impulse to love authentically: love and truth never abandon them completely, because these are the vocation planted by God in the heart and mind of every human person. The search for love and truth is purified and liberated by Jesus Christ from the impoverishment that our humanity brings to it, and he reveals to us in all its fullness the initiative of love and the plan for true life that God has prepared for us. In Christ, charity in truth becomes the Face of his Person, a vocation for us to love our brothers and sisters in the truth of his plan. Indeed, he himself is the Truth (cf. Jn 14:6).

The young people flocking to the student ministry at Texas A&M or to the religious life of the Nashville Dominicans or the Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist belie the young Episcopal delegate's assertion that youth are following a new moral compass. There is only one compass. Those not following it are wandering and lost. Young people are not looking for a “new way”. They are seeking the Truth.


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