Thinking about this again, on early Catholic gay marriage:
A couple of notes. First, and less interestingly, it’s useful to understand that when Catholics write about historical same-sex marriage it’s to make a claim that this is not new. It’s not necessary to believe there are no new ideas if you’re a Catholic but it’s a useful move in apologetics and a good way not to have to think critically about doctrine.
Secondly, though... why was the Church sanctifying same sex relationships and why did they stop? My speculation is that it was a move to claim marriage - a civil and economic institution that existed long before Christianity - as a religious matter by making it about sacred love and not the worldly matter of dowries and family alliances.
@ghost_bird I've spent much of my life in Catholic circles and recovering from spending much of my life in Catholic circles. Appeals to how things were done in the early Church is a very popular move among reformers because the Church's immune system is so skilled at killing any ideas with the stink of modernity on them. It's the only way to even have a discussion on controversial topics like say, ordaining women to the diaconate.
@srol I can believe that, but here I’m thinking more of Chesterton and his imitators.
@ghost_bird I have to say I'm not terribly familiar with him or his work, although the wikipedia page dubs him a successor of John Cardinal Newman, whose influence in the US is so great almost every secular university has a Newman Center on campus.
Not terribly familiar, either, but I know he tends to be popular amongst the either trad. Cath.s or, at least, those with a more traditional bend; I know he had had a hard time with one Catholic doctrine (I forget which) and eventually resolved himself on the reasoning that the Church had been right on all these other things so he would submit due to that (you can see the appeal, for them).
Kind of C. S. Lewis, for Catholics (though Lewis is also wide-read, admittedly).
@ghost_bird That was quite a long article, but an engaging read all the way through.
@gcupc LRB articles tend to be long - I always forget just how long that particular one is.
A fire is burning in Bird Spirit Land.