A day after the hubbub. A few thoughts:
We live in a day and age where Christians of every kind need to understand that their theological statements are more than theology, they are evangelism. To a world conditioned to think of Christians as politically rigid, morally judgmental, and generally dull, every theological statement or policy shift or clarification that smells of division or discrimination or oppression will be seen divisive, discriminatory or oppressive…if not all three.
This may not be fair but as an old friend says, “Fair is a place where men in overalls throw cow chips for distance.”
This is a reality of our information age.
Before anyone gets out of whack consider this – no one was more attentive to his marketing and the marketing of his message than Jesus. He understood his day, his culture, the sensitivities, and the right way to communicate his message. Why should Christians today have to be any less sensitive to how their faith is viewed.
Some have railed against the media for misinterpreting the document, for not being sufficiently well steeped in Catholic theology to put the document into context of other statements. Instead of being angry, let this serve as a lesson to all church leaders that when they issue major (or minor) statements they do so in a way that is easily understandable and easily digestible recognizing the demands on already strung out reporters who have to meet multiple urgent deadlines.
It is incumbent upon the faithful to make their faith as understandable and approachable as possible to a world sometimes confused and scared by it.