Father Neuhaus tempts Mark’s ire by commenting on this editorial in America magazine.

I thought that Father Villa hit on something in his letter in reply. But still, even those who regard the Jesuits as a shaky lot must have been comforted to see them invoke the Catechism:

“As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, homosexual men and women are to be treated with “respect, compassion and sensitivity” (No. 2357).”

I believe this is known as the argument from authority, with the authority being the Catechism. I agree with the claim wholeheartedly, but I do admit to a measure of surprise in seeing America take this tactic.


  1. Mark Mossa, SJ says

    What’s the Catechism?

    But, seriously, I’m not surprised at all! I know those guys!

    I think it’s going to take a while for people to realize that the Jesuits aren’t this mob of men disdainful of an uninterested in Church teaching.

    One little “measure of surprise” at a time, I guess! 🙂



  2. Matthew Lickona says

    Hey, Mark,
    I never said, and I hope I didn’t imply, that Jesuits were disdainful of/uninterested in Church teaching. I was just surprised to see them use the argument from authority, since (and here is where I may be in error, feel free to correct me) they seem to take poorly to others using arguments from authority on them.

  3. Reading Mark Mossa, S.J.’s blog was a bit like trying to have a conversation with someone with a borderline personality disorder. It’s frightening to me — truly — that he will be the position of being a spiritual pastor. You don’t certainly have to be an intellectual to be a great priest, but being a pseudointellectual with the victimization complex of an adolescent ain’t a great start.

  4. Mark Mossa, SJ says


    I wasn’t implying that’s what you said, so no worries. In fact, I took what you said to be quite positive. So, sorry for any confusion.

    As for your anonymous commentor, I think I’ll have to add “pseudointellectual with the victimization complex of an adolescent” to my resume!

    He/she must have great skills of intuition to discern my talents as a “spiritual pastor” merely from reading a few things. It’s good that the people that I do spiritually pastor (don’t have to be a priest to do that!) don’t jump to such quick an uninformed conclusions.

    Hope things are well with you and the family!

    When’s you’re new book coming out?



  5. AnotherCoward says

    I thought Fr. Villa’s comments were pretty much right on target.

    I’m sad to say that my first and only experience with the Jesuits was decidedly non-positive and in the same vein of many of the complaints I see against Jesuits. I did not realize Jesuits had such a reputation beforehand, either. The priest, in my case, was just wrong by the teachings of the Church. He knew it, but what he thought was more important … more or less.

    So … my question: if this perception is unjustifiable, why is it so prevalent?

    I don’t mean this in form of attack … but there has to be more to this perception than, “Jesuits are meanies and so lets disparage them all we can!!” In my case, there is something substantial to my misgiving towards at least these specific Jesuits. And though I’m not casting my experience as a mark against all Jesuits, when I hear more than one person say that they have had similar encounters, it would seem natural to conclude that there is a problem beyond just what I have seen.

  6. Mark Mossa, SJ says

    But you’re just as likely to come across testimonies of the sort I recently received on my blog: A Jesuit saved my life!!

    And even people like Karen Hall (“Some Have Hats”), who can be as critical as the rest when it comes to Jesuits, will tell you how important certain Jesuits have been in her life.

    As with many things, it depends on who you talk to.



  7. I hate the phrase Gay Culture. Its as bad as Straight Culture.

  8. “As with many things, it depends on who you talk to”.


    Don’t you think the questions you’re talking about go a little deeper than this?

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