Vatican Censures Yale Nun for Sex Book
Margaret Farley's book presents support for gays, masturbation
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jun 5, 2012 1:00 AM CDT
Former Yale Divinity School teacher Margaret Farley says the book was never intended to be an explanation of Catholic theology concerning sex.   (Yale Divinity School)

(Newser) – The Vatican has censured a nun and emeritus professor of Christian ethics at Yale University for her book on sexuality, calling it "unacceptable" and a "grave harm" to Christians. Leading theologian Sister Margaret Farley's book, Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, aims to present a religious rationale for acceptance and support for same-sex relationships, male and female masturbation, and divorce and remarriage. But the Vatican warns that the book is "not consistent with Catholic theology," which considers homosexual sex "acts of grave depravity" and "contrary to natural law," according to the official statement.

As for masturbation, says the statement, “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” Farley, a member of the Sisters of Mercy, has responded that the book was never intended to be an explanation of Catholic theology concerning sexuality. The book offers “contemporary interpretations” of justice and fairness in human sexual relations, eschewing a “taboo morality” for a "sexual ethics based on the discernment of what counts as wise, truthful, and recognizably just loves," she said in a statement obtained by the Christian Post. The Vatican spent years reviewing the book, published in 2006, and will not follow up with sanctions because Farley is no longer teaching, reports the New York Times. Piling on Farley is part of the latest Vatican crackdown in its battle with nuns.