Sunday, July 01, 2007


It's a little Jesuit College with an enrollment of less than 7,000, located in the cultural boondocks of Omaha. Yet it's making the news all the way across the pond in one of the most prestigeous papers. Does this fact represent a new direction for the Church--a return to orthodoxy led by faithful bishops who are willing to stand up and be heard?

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The Omaha Archdiocese has severed ties with a Jesuit university's family center after two researchers urged the church to allow unmarried couples to live together and have sex and children as long as they are engaged.

The Creighton University researchers' essay, published in the June issue of U.S. Catholic magazine, said that more unmarried Catholic couples are living together today, and that they doubt the claim that the couples are living in sin.

``It would appear closer to the truth that they are growing, perhaps slowly but nonetheless surely, into grace,'' Michael Lawler and Gail Risch wrote.

The essay prompted a letter to the editor from Omaha Archbishop Elden Curtiss. The June 5 letter, a copy of which was provided to The Associated Press by the archdiocese, aimed to discredit the researchers as Catholic theologians and dissociated the university's Center for Marriage and Family from the archdiocese.

``The teaching of the Catholic Church about fornication is clear and unambiguous; it is always objectively a serious sin,'' Curtiss wrote.

Curtiss wrote separate letters to the authors and Creighton's president, Rev. John Schlegel, said the Rev. Joseph Taphorn, chancellor of the archdiocese.

Taphorn did not know of any collaborations that were canceled because of Curtiss' decision, but said the archdiocese had worked with the university's center on several projects in the past. One project was designed to help couples assess their religious beliefs and bond from them.

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