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Acting for love

Christopher Damian | Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Alex Coccia, in his Valentine’s Day article “Be For Love” (Feb. 14), depicts what I take to be pangs in the hearts of our homosexual brothers and sisters at the University of Notre Dame. Seeing a man and woman holding hands, caressing, kissing, can awaken a deep longing for a fulfillment that can only be found in the heart of another. These bodily acts of love are done so casually in our culture that one begins to question, “Why can’t anyone do them?”

I think I’ve come to learn that most people shouldn’t; at least, most people who currently do them shouldn’t. At the Edith Stein Conference last weekend, Professor O’Connor addressed the discrepancy between negative and positive uses of our body. We take murder seriously, but conception casually. A punch in the face is a grave pain, but a caress isn’t a big deal.

We touch, caress and kiss so often in our culture that now what was once an intimate act of affection is something one does with a stranger in a dim dorm room party. They mean close to nothing today, and so our relationships with the people we do these things with have a kind of superficial air about them.

But we should take seriously our actions and understand that romantic relationships should be seeking and ordered towards one thing: marriage. If not ordered for marriage, or at least the discernment of marriage, then the relationship isn’t ordered towards anything.

This teleology explains what Mr. Coccia calls “straight privilege.” I don’t have time in this letter to explain why, but I will only repeat the Church’s stance that marriage is for a man and a woman.

And actions that are ordered toward marriage, likewise, should be between a man and a woman.

Please don’t take me to be a homophobe or whatever. If any homosexual (or heterosexual) students on campus would like to meet with me for a legitimate discussion on these matters, or just to hang out, I think I can find some time. You certainly have my prayers.

In Notre Dame,

Christopher Damian


Morrissey Hall

Feb. 15