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Storm over Catholic editor's article on gay marriage
His apparently pro-gay stance was misread, he says
- Carl Bunderson for Catholic News Agency
- United States
- August 28, 2013
(Note: Joseph Bottum is an editor and contributor to Commonweal, a noted Catholic online magazine, where the controversial article appeared. You can read it here.)
Author Joseph Bottum says that while parts of his controversial article on Catholic responses to “gay marriage” may have been unclear, he did not intend to suggest a divergence from Church teaching.
“I'm not dissenting from Church doctrine here, in any way,” said Bottum, who wrote the essay “The Things We Share” in Commonweal last Friday.
Rather, he told CNA Aug. 26, “I am taking exception to some prudential judgment about the way in which we try and evangelize the world.”
In the more than 9,000 word essay, subtitled “A Catholic's Case for Same-Sex Marriage,” Bottum suggested that federal and state recognition of same-sex “marriage” is already so far advanced that Catholics would do well to not expend energy fighting it in judicial and legal spheres, but rather to evangelize and share the Christian world-view in other ways.
Bottum's essay was popularized by an interview which appeared in the New York Times by Mark Oppenheimer headlined “A Conservative Catholic now backs same-sex marriage.”
This characterization was the first introduction to the article for many, both on the political right and left.
“Much as I was grateful for the publicity” of the Times article, he said, “I think one of the problems with that was our conservative Catholic friends read the New York Times essay first, and then read the Commonweal piece, and it's effect was, 'Catholic deserter comes to our side.'”
“They look at it through the lens of 'Catholic deserter', and the first blog posts about it really blocked me into a position.”
Similarly, he said, that the left's first reaction, “based on the New York Times profile” was “'hooray, hooray, we've got a defector'; and then they actually read the essay, and now they're all out after me.”
Source: Catholic News Agency