“By promoting … the Church teaching on homosexuality, you become, in my opinion, an active agent of a vindictive maintenance of a great social evil that is surely pro “culture-of-death”, since it is seemingly linked to the high suicide rate among gay teens.”
These words were written by Dr. Couling, who is a regular commentator on the articles on website of The Southern Cross, South Africa’s weekly Catholic newspaper. Dr. Couling opposes many of the Church’s teachings. I won’t bother listing them; it’s the usual list! Dr. Couling’s pet project is to actively promote gay marriage and get the Church to reverse the Church teaching on homosexuality.
So getting back to these words of Dr. Couling: Are you as surprised by these words as I am? Does Dr. Couling honestly believe that because I believe the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and support it, that I am contributing to gay teen suicide. Is he serious when he claims that because I do, what all good Catholics must do, which is to promote Church teaching, including the teaching on the subject of homosexuality, that I am a contributor to the high suicide rates among gay teens.
The next natural inference from this bizarre statement is that because it is the Church’s teaching that I am promoting, it is actually the Church that is contributing to the high suicide rate amongst gay teens. All Catholics who support the Church’s teaching in this regard are therefore Agents of this great social evil.
I decided to ask Dr. Couling directly if this was what he was inferring. His reply to me was categorical: “Yes, Mark, in this instance it appears to be precisely what the official Church might be doing, albeit unwittingly!” Huh?
Dr. Couling is not a stupid man. This is obvious when one considers that he is one of the academic staff at the University of Kwazulu-Natal and takes note of some of his research projects, such as the “Measurement of molecular polarisabilities and hyperpolarisabilities via the electro-optic Kerreffect, Rayleigh light-scattering and the Cotton Mouton effect”, amongst others. This sounds very impressive.
I am also informed by a few sources, though I have personally been unable to verify it, that Dr. Couling is also a Catechism teacher at one of the Catholic parishes in Pietermaritzburg.
So what is the lesson here?
It does not matter how many qualifications a man or woman may have, neither does it matter what position he or she holds, even if it is the position of a priest, religious or theologian; if what they say contradicts or challenges the Catechism of the Catholic Church, even slightly, they’re just plain wrong. Ignore them completely and, whatever you do, make sure they aren’t your child’s Catechism teacher! If they are the Catechism teacher, write to the bishop immediately. Untold harm is being done to young Catholic minds!
 Vincent Couling, The Southern Cross, extracted Oct 1, 2012: http://www.scross.co.za/2012/09/billings-has-had-100-success/comment-page-1/#comment-154416
 Vincent Couling, The Southern Cross, extracted Oct 1, 2012: http://www.scross.co.za/2012/09/billings-has-had-100-success/comment-page-1/#comment-154427