Saturday, June 08, 2002

Sirman on the Mount's "indiscretion"

Bubbles over on Sirman on the Mount posted a definition for "indiscretion" that equated it to "buggery." I don't know, but it seemed a commentary on the "inappropriate nature of my relationship with Paul M------." So whether or not, here goes. Forgive me, Bubbles, if I'm wrong about that.

Whether or not that relationship ever got physical, and how much, we will never know, and it is really none of our business. Our only evidence is Paul M's interview with GMA, and everyone with two functioning gray cells has figured out by now that was as phony as a three dollar bill.

BUT, it also does not matter. The kind of relationship that Rembert W had with Paul M (as evidenced by the Dear Paul Letter) would be seriously sinful, at least for Rembert W, even if they never touched.

Rembert W, like all of us who are pledged to live the evangelical counsels, has made a promise to God to live in chaste singleness. (usually abbreviated "celibacy"). To become involved in any relationship that makes one excessively entangled with any one other individual, or that makes one's own conscience secondary to someone else's conscience, is a violation of that singleness to God, and is sin. And, that is the sin that Rembert W is confessing to, and renouncing, in the Dear Paul Letter, clearly. Rembert W can have only one Love, God alone. There can be no other loves. Paul M must go.

This is such a recognised pattern of temptation and sinning in the Tradition, even from earliest times, that there is shorthand jargon for it in the Catholic vocabulary. That phrase is "a particular friendship." After the emotions of the crisis calm down, take a look at the commentaries on the dangers of the particular friendship, and you'll find the initial sin of Rembert W. Even if, perchance, they never touched, or even if they did. Dear Bubbles, prurience is unnecessary.

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