The most excellent Anthony Esolen:
The synod’s final recommendation to Pope Francis is mainly bland and inoffensive. It is also an exercise in unreality. That’s what happens when your mode of thought and expression is neither philosophical and theological, nor earthy and poetic: It does not aspire to reveal the essences of things, and it does not confront the sweat and mire of the created world. The bishops write in sociological patois, abstract and banal at once. Reality escapes them ...
So, too, do they turn their eyes from passion. It seems strange, in a document on sexuality, that the bishops seem unaware of what moves men and women to make the beast with two backs. By their account, young men and women shack up because they are insecure in their finances, or because they are beholden to the philosophical errors of individualism or of a certain kind of feminism, or because they have witnessed the pain of divorce. Let me correct you on this point, your excellencies. If a boy and girl are playing house and doing the child-making thing, there is nothing, financial or otherwise, to prevent them from getting married. If they are committed to each other for life, they should make that promise public before man and God. If they are not, they are lying and are willing that their children should pay later for their hedonism now. They are not afraid of divorce so much as they take it for granted, as a way of life. It is the exit sign above the bedroom door.
They rut because it is delightful and dangerous. Let Shakespeare instruct us:Th’ expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight,
Past reason hunted; and no sooner had,
Past reason hated as a swallowed bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad.
About nothing in life do people more often and more dreadfully lie to themselves and to others than about sex. Not even money comes close. People in the grip of sexual vice are “not to trust”—they perjure themselves, they stifle the conscience or suborn it, they make a conquest and soon despise the conquered. It is the old story. But the bishops pass by that misery in the ditch because it’s more comfortable to stroll on the academic side, to issue high-toned warnings about income inequality, than to confront the sinner, to clean him and bind up his spiritual wounds.