'Just Love,' Reviewed

Margaret A. Farley's Just Love: A Framework for Christian Social Ethics has been the subject of much discussion and controversey following the announcement by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in June 2012 that the book "contained erroneous propositions, the dissemination of which risks grave harm to the faithful."

In 2007, theologian Lisa Sowle Cahill of Boston College offered a more positive view in a review for America:


This long-awaited work by America’s leading Catholic feminist theological ethicist, Margaret A. Farley, is the product of years of experience, reflection, scholarship and wisdom. Just Love is decisively shaped by Farley’s longstanding interests in the sexual equality of women and men, and of gay and straight couples; and, more recently, in advocacy for people affected by AIDS, especially women in Africa. Just Love’s thesis is that justice is central to sexual morality, especially justice in the sense of respect for the real identity and needs of the other.

This is an important message in a time in which sexual abuse and violence are rampant, and the Catholic Church has failed to protect children from sexual exploitation, while campaigning against the unions that many gays and lesbians view as essential expressions of their identities. It is just as important a message for a culture, like ours, that often reduces sexual morality to freedom and enjoyment, and regards commitment as an ideal or a luxury. It is even more important under conditions that systemically expose women to threats to their sexual integrity and health, and to their very lives.

Read the full review here.

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6 years 8 months ago
Putting the lable Femisist before thological ethicist says alot about the bias of Margret Farley. I wonder if our Blessed Mother Mary would have trumpeted same sex marriage the way so many of our religious appear to be doing. The notion that the "Catholic Church" has failed to protect children from sexual abuse leaves one to believe that this is what the Church is all about. Nonsense. Our Church is not alone in this abuse. Why don't we say the same for Lutheran, Mormon, Jehova Witnesses, etc etc churches? It is sthe sinners who make up the assembly of Christians and non-christians alike that are the wrongdoers. Margaret Farley must not believe that the Holy Spirit is in and guiding our Holy Church. Lisa Cahill's written words betray the same disbelief. Sexual abuse is like a forest fire. It can take place in any given forest and conflagration so often makes it's own wind with far-reacing consequences. Farley and Cahill live to focus on the firemen who let the fire get out of hand. Trouble is that society at large bought into the pleasures of the world that corrupted souls who were then open to anything perverted.
Asking God to bless a same sex union as marriage is contrary to our Lord's teaching.
I am sure that Jesus would have let everyone know that the wedding at Cana was a gay or lesbian wedding had that been a fact. Had that been true then our Church would have been practicing what the Roman Empire believed was acceptable behavior and which in the end led to its demise.
Eileen Gould
6 years 8 months ago

As my husband, John, said shortly after our marriage in 1958, in response to some diatribe about lesbians and homosexuals, "Would you have them go without love for all of their lives"? I learned a lot from John, who was not a Catholic.

We are all creatures of God.

Anne Grady
6 years 8 months ago
Thank you Eileen
Joseph Quigley
6 years 8 months ago
Thank you, Eileen Quinn.
Why is there such opposition to the fact that some people are same-sex attracted and attractive?
And even where the fact is acknowledged that there are men and women who are same-sex attracted and attractive,  why are they looked down on if they want to express that attraction physically?
And even when the fact of some women and men being homosexual at the very core of their personality is acknowledged, why does the state refuse to accept their covenant to love, honour and abide with one another as long as they both shall live?
I think it is because those who are opposed have a very limited idea of what love is and how human beings may express it.
Margaret Farley expands the idea of love to such an extent that it is incomprehensible to life-long celebate males.
The whole point of Jesus's life was to illustrate the limitless nature of God's love for broken man. Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friend. Jesus lay down his life (in fact he emptied himself of his Divinity) for all men, women and children of all times to show us as best he could physically - because that is how we know love, by deeds - that God the Father loves us with an everlasting incomprehensible and mercifully tender love.
Ubi caritas et amor, ibi Deus est.


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