The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has been chortled and snickered at for causing a book it condemned to go from virtual obscurity to a near best-seller almost overnight.

Even popular Catholic blogger Rocco Palmo criticized the Vatican in the pages of The Washington Post, asking sarcastically, “Have they seen ‘Footloose’ at the Vatican? Jeez.” (For those not up on 80’s movie trivia, he means that the minute you outlaw something it becomes attractive to many.)

So why would the CDF condemn Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics by Sr. Margaret Farley? Especially since the author herself wrote on Yale’s website “that the book was not intended to be an expression of current official Catholic teaching, nor was it aimed specifically against this teaching. It is of a different genre altogether.”

Well, somebody forgot to tell that to many Catholic theologians, because they’ve used the book in classrooms in Catholic colleges all across the country and as support for their own writings, sometimes challenging the teachings of the Catholic Church.

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