Fr. James Martin recently raised a few eyebrows, and brought the condemnation of some fellow clergy, by seeming to question whether the Bible could actually be trusted on moral issues.

At first glance, Fr. Martin seems to be implying that the Bible’s supposed “sanction” of slavery means it’s not trustworthy as a moral authority—and therefore we don’t have to abide by its condemnation of homosexual behavior.

As it turns out, the full argument in the article to which Fr. Martin links takes a slightly different approach. It’s not so much about biblical authority, says Methodist minister Walter Wink, but biblical interpretation. He argues that although the Bible does teach that same-sex sexual behavior is wrong, we must not accept every biblical admonition as binding on us today. Rather, we must first interpret Scripture in light of Jesus and his love. As we interpret scriptural prohibitions of homosexuality through the lens of Jesus’s love, we will change our view about what is sinful and build a more inclusive Church.

This is obviously not a Catholic position, nor a Catholic argument….

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