Sunday, 30 June 2013

12 Things Roman Catholics need to know about same-sex marriage.

Sts. Serge & Bacchus
There are still  some  people who wish to see homosexuality and same-sex marriage as a sin greater than almost any other sin.  Many uninformed Traditionalist Catholics continue to defend this position based on the very negative definitions first provided in the 1993 Catechism of the Catholic Church whereby homosexual acts are viewed as ‘intrinsically evil’ and ‘gravely depraved’.  Perhaps due to the fear of contradicting church teachings many of these uninformed Traditionalists prefer to use homosexuals as scapegoats to shield themselves from their own shortcomings.  Meanwhile Traditionalist clergy within the church continue to defend their position on homosexuality at every opportunity claiming that any opposition to this claim is not only sinful but constitutes a direct disobedience to church teachings which somehow, according to the U.S. bishops, even violates ‘freedom of religion’.         
So far the Roman Catholic Church along with several other fundamentalist Christian faiths are refusing to accept the real facts or truths behind this ongoing battle.  For that reason I submit the following response:
12 Things Roman Catholics need to know about same-sex marriage.
1.       Homosexuality is not an option.  The condition is entirely due to a hormonal imbalance during the last weeks of pregnancy  affecting these innocent individuals in greater or lesser degrees.
2.       Prior to the issuance of the 1993 Catechism homosexuality was acknowledged as a condition for which its cause was unknown.
3.       All Catholics regardless of race, age, nationality or sex and sexual orientation, state of life or social position have the right to receive all the sacraments for which they are adequately prepared (Canon 213, 843).
4.       Gay ‘conversion therapy’ does not work.  Exodus International, an organization whose mission for almost 40 years was to “help” gays Christians become straight, recently shut down its operation admitting that the therapy did not work.  Exodus apologized for “being part of the very system of ignorance that perpetuated hurt”.
5.       The Acts of the Apostles states that Christians have no right to declare unclean anything that God has made (Acts of the Apostles 10:15).  To do so, in fact, is a sin.
6.       Marriage can be defined as the unique and special form of committed friendship between sexually attracted persons.  Marriage is a supreme human good involving exclusive, committed, enduring, generous, and faithful love, and this kind of love is not something that only heterosexuals can achieve.
7.       The view that homosexual people are condemned to involuntary celibacy for life is as cruel as it is absurd.  Jesus said of celibacy: “Let those accept it who can” (Matthew 19:12).
8.       When there is a debate on a moral issue (in this case same-sex union), Roman Catholics are free and encouraged to inform and make up their own minds about Church teachings. (Canon 748.1)
9.       Vatican II declared that marriage is not exclusively reserved for pro-creation but rather on one based on love. Not all heterosexual couples are capable of producing life, so why punish homosexuals?  With regard to the transmission of life, ‘Parents themselves should ultimately make the judgment in the sight of God’  (GS 50).
10.   The Catholic Church actually honoured same-sex marriage through Saints Serge and Bacchus whose marriage is preserved in a seventh century icon which shows Jesus as the official witness, or best man at their wedding. 
11.   We have no moral right to declare marriage off limits to persons whom God has made gay.  We have not right to say that marriage, with all of its advantages and beauty, is a reward for being heterosexual.
12.   Those who claim that the Bible condemns same-sex activities must read these passages in their proper context and with the understanding that there are many more passages that cannot be interpreted without the knowledge and understanding we have reached today.   
The Roman Catholic Church’s claim that homo-sexual couples and same-sex marriages do not constitute Traditional families and cannot therefore be accepted into the Church is clearly wrong and contradicts the true meaning of Christianity.
Putting the matter in its proper perspective Franciscan priest Richard Rohr recently stated “homosexuality was never a criterion of proper membership for the first 2000 years but reflects very recent culture wars instead. Jesus is clearly much more concerned about issues of pride, injustice, hypocrisy, blindness, and what I have often called “The Three Ps,” or power, prestige, and possessions, which are probably 95% of his written teaching. We conveniently ignore this 95% to concentrate on a morality that usually has to do with human embodiment. That’s where people get righteous, judgemental, and upset, for some reason. The body seems to be where we carry our sense of shame and inferiority, and early-stage religion has never gotten much beyond these “pelvic” issues. As Jesus put it, “You ignore the weightier matters of the law—justice, mercy, and good faith. . . . [And instead] you strain out gnats and swallow camels” (Matthew 23:23-24). We worry about what people are doing in bed much more than making sure everybody has a bed to begin with. There certainly is a need for a life-giving sexual morality, but one could question whether Christian nations have found it yet. Christianity will regain its moral authority when it starts emphasizing social sin in equal measure with individual (read “body-based”) sin and weave them both into a seamless garment of love and truth.”


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