Richard Sipe has written a trenchant and brief challenge to the Roman Catholic establishment. Entitled, "On Sex and Reformation in the Catholic Church," Sipe's piece throws down a common-sensical but blunt gauntlet supported by contrasting views from the Vatican and those who find Vatican policies rigid and unrealistic. In summary, he states:
Now let's get down to some serious discussion and dismiss the apodictic stance that sex is intrinsically evil and current church teaching is unalterable.
- Masturbation is not intrinsically evil.
- Contraception is not intrinsically evil either inside or outside of marriage.
- Certainly condoms should be used if effective in avoiding disease, especially the HIV virus.
- Gay orientation is not an intrinsic disorder.
- Homosexual love is not intrinsically evil.
- Marriage between same-sex partners is not intrinsically evil.
- Neither scripture nor theology unalterably dictates that women are intrinsically disqualified from the sacrament of priestly ordination.
Why are we, concerned followers of Jesus—and priests—afraid to discuss human realities?