Catholic for Life - No. 35 The Clamour for Same Sex Marriage
Is it not because many same sex couples see something noble and valuable in the institution of marriage, and wish that their behaviour not to be found morally, socially or legally wanting? Do not many or most of them also want to have access to the financial privileges that married couples enjoy? Their claim is pressed in the name of human rights, non-discrimination, equity, tolerance, compassion, inclusiveness and social progress. This has resulted in the clamour for altering the definition of marriage, so as to include same sex unions.
The political ploy today is to place such proposals before parliament as private members’ bills and to submit them to a conscience vote. Fundamental, all-important moral decision-making is left in the hands of inexpert and often prejudiced politicians courting the approval of their electorates.
(The blind lead the blind, away from God, while the public applaud or remain silent. And, the devil gloats in triumph.)
Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality
Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. Its expression has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Para. 2357). The Catholic Church is not antagonistic towards people with a homosexual orientation. The Catechism goes on to say, ‘Homosexual persons must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition (Para. 2358)’. Further, God gives his grace to such persons. ‘Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.’ However, both Testaments of the Bible are clear on the subject: all homosexual acts are sinful and inconsistent with the will of God.
Why? As Genesis informs us, ‘God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him….í (Gen. 1:27) God saw, that it was not right that the man should be alone…and made him a helper, woman (Gen. 2:18) and brought her to the man’(Genesis 2:22), who rejoiced: ‘This… is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh!.’ Genesis goes on to explain, ‘This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and they become one flesh’ (Gen. 2:23-24). Jesus taught the same thing in his discourse on the indissolubility of marriage and the grievous error in divorce and adultery (see Matthew 19:4 – 5). Thus homosexual practices, whether between men or women, are morally abhorrent. (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; & Romans 20:20-28). Moreover, marriage has to be open to the generation of life. In Genesis (1: 28) God blessed the union of man and woman, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply…..’ (something rather difficult to accomplish in the case of same sex unions!)
In sum: marriage is ordained by God and by nature, to be a self-giving relationship between a man and a woman. Through their union, come children, and the human species is propagated. Anything else is make-believe. And we know it. As Pope Francis makes very clear, … there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family” (Amoris Laetitia 35).
Homosexual leanings, whatever their causes and however strong such feelings may be, do not justify homosexual practices or same sex unions. (Can not the same be said in the case of adult attraction to a child or a minor?) These have to be refrained from, not indulged in, while the feelings and urges involved have to be sublimated through higher levels of love, self control, prayer and the blessings of chastity. Nothing is impossible with God and through God. And millions know and live this. Indulgence binds the person even more tightly than before in his chains. The Catholic Church continues to champion the beauty and dignity of marriage. She teaches, in the name of God, that adultery, divorce, polygamy (and polyandry), incest, trial marriages are sinful and are not to be countenanced. The quest has to be for pure love which is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. By creating the human being, man and woman, God gives personal dignity equally to the one and the other. Each of them, man and woman, should gratefully acknowledge and accept his sexual identity as a means of grace, the key to clean and true friendship, happiness and inner peace.
Christ is the model of chastity, and every baptised person is called to lead a chaste life, according to his/her particular state of life.
Lord, teach all of us how to love one another with a love that is pure and unselfish, and to make Your will our priority. Lord Jesus, how much we need you. Be our light and our strength. Mary, model of pure love, pray for us. Watch over all your children.