December 17, 2021

Letters to the Editor

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Consent does not make an act morally acceptable, reader says

In a recent “Making Sense of Bioethics” column by Father Tad Pacholczyk in the Dec. 3 issue of The Criterion (“Sexual Atoms and Molecules”), the point is made that consent forms the basis of various sexual activities between humans in our “anything goes” culture.

Father Pacholczyk points out that consensual sexual relations create a bond between two people, whether they choose to recognize that fact or not. However, there is another aspect of “consent” that needs to be explored. Does giving consent for an act make that act morally acceptable?

Though consent is certainly important, it is not the green light our liberal culture seems to accept. Far from it.

Two or more persons can consent to sin. Take the bank president who would like to skim some personal funds off the top of the bank’s income. This is known as the crime of embezzlement and is simply stealing, a violation of the Seventh Commandment.

However, he needs help to pull off his scheme. So the bank president approaches the chief financial officer (CFO) about “cooking the books” to hide the loss of funds, and the CFO would also get a cut. If the CFO consents to this scheme, does that make it right? Of course not.

The same applies to sexual relations. Stipulations against various sexual acts are contained in the Bible, and the Catholic Church has gone to great lengths to outline what is healthy moral sex. Two or more people consenting to do otherwise does not excuse the sin. What it does is replace God’s law with personal whim.

So the concept of “consent” as allowing all manner of sexual perversions has no logical basis and should be considered sinful rationalization.

- Robert Rose | Indianapolis

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