Bishop Lynch (St Pete) comments on gay marriage in Florida

So Bishop Robert Lynch (St. Petersburg) provided a column to the Tampa Bay Times on the upcoming legalization (govt judicial fiat) of gay “marriage” in Florida. One paragraph in particular, seems like a page from the now infamous Relatzio document in the most recent Synod.

*[RIGHT]In light of the judicial decision that legalized same-sex marriage in Florida as of Tuesday, I wish to lend an additional voice to the discussion regarding the challenges we in the Catholic Church face as we strive to preserve the traditional sacramental understanding of marriage even as the law now accommodates couples of the same sex.

The Catholic Church upholds marriage, one of our seven sacraments, as an indissoluble relationship between a man and a woman committed to mutual consolation and open to procreation. Such a view is rooted not only in the church’s long-standing theological understanding of married life, but in the church’s understanding of Christian anthropology as well, which views the conjugal and complementary relationship between a man and a woman as part of God’s providential design whereby human beings are able to be co-creators of life with God.

Therefore, any dialogue which reaffirms such a view of marriage and which seeks to ensure that such a view continues to be respected and enabled to serve and edify both the church and the wider society is to be commended and supported.

However, together with Pope Francis and in light of the discussions at the recent Extraordinary Synod on the Family held in Rome, I also recognize that the reality of the family today, in all its complexities, presents the church with pastoral challenges as the church strives to accept people in the specific circumstances of their lives and support and encourage them in their search for God and their desire to be members of the church.

Therefore, I do not wish to lend our voice to notions which might suggest that same-sex couples are a threat incapable of **sharing relationships marked by love and holiness **and, thus, incapable of contributing to the edification of both the church and the wider society.

In the midst of changing societal definitions and understandings of marriage, there may no doubt be some confusion. However, with patience and humility, our church must continuously strive to discover what the spirit is saying and respond to the Synod Fathers’ suggestion to discern what pastoral response faithful to church teaching and marked by respect and sensitivity might be appropriate for same-sex couples, even as God’s creative designs for and the church’s sacramental understanding of marriage are affirmed.[/RIGHT]*

Could someone explain to me exactly what “love” and “holiness” can be found in gravely immoral sin?!?!?

He’s saying that the immoral sex, if present, does not invalidate the goods that are also found within the relationship, namely the mutual caretaking and love between partners. Just because gay sex is immoral does not mean that gay relationships have no good components.

I am certainly glad it’s not my place to judge others and try to untangle these situations. I believe firmly in the Sacrament of Matrimony and NOTHING else. God Bless, Memaw

Absolutely none. And the only way they can “contribute to the edification of both the Church and wider society” is by showing us the face of evil and galvanizing us against it.

Can’t say it surprises me considering its him. I learned all I need to know about him from this article:

Would it be best then to overlook immorality and focus instead on the good which may be present?

Wow. From the article:

The guidelines, which were sent to priests of the diocese in a June 12 letter from Bishop Robert Lynch, also claim that the focus on the Real Presence in the Eucharist overshadows the presence of Christ in the minister, the Word proclaimed, other sacraments, and the participation of the faithful.

There can always be good in friendships.

But when one makes reference to “sharing relationships marked by love and holiness” with respect to same sex couples, it can only result in confusion. Any reference to same sex couples by a Catholic prelate speaking in the context of the legalization of gay marriage inevitably is taken to mean a relationship involving gay sex. That can’t help but lead to moral confusion.

It seems to me that the statement lacks moral clarity. And moral clarity is needed.

*Therefore, I do not wish to lend our voice to notions which might suggest that same-sex couples are a threat incapable of **sharing relationships marked by love and holiness ***and, thus, incapable of contributing to the edification of both the church and the wider society.

In light of the Synod I view the “sharing relationships marked by love and holiness” isn’t a statement about that particular couple’s relationship, but the capacity for the two individuals in that relationship to enter into relationships marked by love and holiness with other parishioners and the society overall.

It’s kind of like the ‘hate the sin, not the sinner’ stance. Yes, they may be misguided and living a life contrary to church teaching, but that should not negate the good they are capable of bringing to the parish community and society.

It seems the synod is trying to find a place within active parish life for same sex couples. To keep them away we basically push them toward other denominations where they are being fed lies which ensures they will continue down that path. Seems it pretty much makes us complicit in their sin. But if we made a place for them where they would feel welcomed, needed, productive, then they would be exposed to the grace which comes from our faith and perhaps, over time, will find the courage to correct their path.

The documentary, “Desire of the Everlasting Hills”, distributed through Courage International, really changed my heart on this topic. It should be seen by all Catholics who want to do what they can to help those with SSA come home to the faith. A study guide has even been developed and is available - all free online.

Well, we call Pau “Saint Paul” even though he was the chief of all sinners. All people everywhere are capable of holiness even as they are capable of sin. In theory, any and all of us still possess the capacity for both love and holiness, just as we are capable of sin and depravity.

When statements like this are posted, why is it always this part that is bolded. Bishop Lynch ends with, “even as God’s creative designs for and the church’s sacramental understanding of marriage are affirmed.” Affirmation of orthodoxy should be applauded.

Just more and more of the slow creep towards Laodicea.

We dilute the words love, marriage, holy, sacred, etc. to the point where they simultaneously mean anything and nothing.

…and our hedonistic, relativist, blasphemous society is lapping it up as fast as they can.

Hozier - Take Me To Church
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Same Love

If they have love(platonic) and holy relationships with other people like friends and family

Just to comment on your third paragraph.

It may well be that the Church is trying to find a way to integrate same sex couples into the parish. There are pitfalls to be avoided in that as well. When children of same sex couples enroll in the parish school, they give an example by their presence that is at odds with Catholic teaching. So the school ends up preaching against itself and against Catholic doctrine. That’s just one example and one possible complication.

Overlook? Of course not. But the Church cannot just badger people into submission telling them in consternation what horrible sinners they are and ignoring all good parts of their life. All that has been proven to do is drive people far away.

This is not an either/or situation. We can both affirm Catholic doctrine and affirm the good and holy natures of the areas of everyone’s life where one is not acting in sin. This includes the good and holy actions of a couple whom otherwise secondarily engage in immoral acts, whether heterosexual or homosexual. There are good and loving acts in both instances, again such as mutual caretaking and monogamous commitment, that some people want to gloss over in their zeal to condemn their sexual lives.

He’s not saying there is holiness found in the sex. And that’s the part Catholics consider the “sin” part, right?

He clearly says the “relationship” may be “marked by love and holiness”.
Obviously, just like an opposite-sex-relationship, a same-sex relationship can be full of love and support and friendship etc.

And those things, he is rightly pointing out, are loving and holy. Nothing changes that.


How do we try to care pastorally for cohabitating couples that come to Church? The outreach should be the same, both are living contrary to Church doctrine.

Well said.:slight_smile:

Yes, the situations are similar, and equally difficult in coming to grips with the practicalities involved. Preparing kids for first communion, one kid mentions ‘my mom and dad aren’t married,’ another one says, ‘well, I have two dads’ Pity the poor teacher charged with teaching them Catholic morality. And the other children trying to make sense of it all. And their parents trying to explain it.

And while the situations are similar, we can regularize the cohabitating couple’s union if they grow in their understanding and are willing, but not so for the same sex couple. Yet we are still called to be welcoming, and to build relationships that will provide an opportunity to explain Church teaching in this area. How can this be done if first we do not invite them into our community? There are no easy answers, but I think one thing we should be looking for is whether the couple is seeking to learn from the Church or seeking to change the Church.

Could someone explain to me exactly what “love” and “holiness” can be found in gravely immoral sin?!?!?


Saying there is "holiness’ in gay sex is slapping the face of Christ. What a shame of those words. It is like to say there is “holiness” in adultery, there is “holiness” in fornication, there is “holiness” in abortion, there is “holiness” in murder, etc… etc… What a shame!!! What in the world???:confused:::eek:::mad:

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