Friday, December 22, 2023


By Tim Rohr contributor, Phil Lawler, begins an insightful analysis of Fiducia Supplicans by recalling a question by a fellow student asked during a Catholic high school religions class: “How many buttons can I undo on my girlfriend’s blouse before it’s a mortal sin?”

I smiled when I first read this because I recall similar questions in my Catholic high school religion classes in the early 1970's. (I am probably near the same age as the author). 

I recall that our audacity to ask such questions was encouraged by both the "fresh air" of a recently concluded Vatican II and religion teachers (usually still nuns or priests) who were "hip" and "with it," or who wanted to be. 

"Enjoy" Mr. Lawler's column:

At my all-boys Catholic high school, one day’s religion class during senior year devolved into a discussion of an issue that was apparently on the mind of at least one student: “How many buttons can I undo on my girlfriend’s blouse before it’s a mortal sin?”

Readers can make their own judgments about the prudence of the adult teacher who let that conversation take place in a classroom full of teenagers. For now I want to focus on the attitude behind the young man’s question—an attitude which is unfortunately widespread. What is the minimum that I have to do in order to avoid damnation? How much can I get away with? How far can I indulge myself without risking my immortal soul? CONTINUED

1 comment:

  1. Great article! Lawler hits the nail on the head. If the next conclave fails to reverse direction, the Church is in for a long, dark, and bitter winter.