Church Teachings on Gay Marriage and Sex

Hello Everyone,
I just received an email from one of my friends about various Catholic topics, all of them under the social justice wing. To state it simply, he is asking me for reasons for why the church believes what it does on these matters. I will include parts of the email below. I just feel so incompetent in answering these questions because while I have been raised Catholic I feel as if I do not have very good answers. However I do believe that the Catholic Church has given me the ability, tools and most importantly the grace to find the truth, so I figured I would ask for some help here :). Chiefly, I was wondering if you all would mind pointing me to some good literature and sources (encyclicals are awesome) to answer the following questions. Questions:

**Why do all sexual actions have to be for/open to the creation of new life? **
- If this is true then how are we okay with Natural Family Planning?
- If I were to (to be rather tactless) pull out, am I sinning?
- Why do they all need to be open for the creation of new life?

**We as a Church are (or at least should be) in support of the separation of Church and State (because it always seems to start particularly bloody wars yay crusades), ** so then why are we not okay with civil marriages for gays, since we don’t consider civil marriages real marriages? Since the people getting married in civil marriages are ALREADY sinning, why are gays in civil marriages sinning MORE? And if they’re not why are we so against it? Civil marriages are always going to be apart of our society right?

Oh, and If this helps any we are both Catholic teenagers so if there are any article that would even further help to personify this for us, that would be great. I can’t wait to start really understanding why our Church believes and teaches what it does on these topics! Thanks again!

Regarding Natural Family Planning:

ncbcenter.org/page.aspx?pid=1124

Regarding gay marriage:

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20030731_homosexual-unions_en.html

Peace,
Ed

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_en.html

Theology of the body and love and responsibility by pope john paul II – any related texts

I’m not sure to which paragraph of the Catechism you refer when you say the Church should be for “separation of Church and State”. That term simply means the state cannot impose an official religion on the people, not that persons of religion are forbidden from bringing their ideas to the table like anyone else. What kind of discriminatory motive would censor persons based on religious views but not other world views that are essentially religious views as well?

Of course, you are seeing such state-sponsored-religion now, as the current state forces certain religious dogmas on religious entities like buying contraception, et al, but I digress. But a good Catholic can be against the state forming an official religion.

Also, endorsing an “imitation” to marriage that others see as identical to sacramental marriage creates an unhealthy illusion in society. Additionally, the foundation for a stable society, religion aside, is built on stable mother-father families. The current issue in the culture does not foster that environment, but fosters an environment in which children grow up without a father or without a mother. Civically, that has proven detrimental to children.

The Church only requires that Catholics have to marry within the Catholic Church for it to be valid. The Church doesn’t hold two non-Catholics to this. Therefore, it’s possible for two non-Catholics to be validly married outside of the Catholic Church. But two of the same sex can’t be married because marriage between one man and one woman is an institution that was created by God. Marriage from the beginning was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Therefore man has no right to redefine what God has made. It must also be noted that the Catholic Church doesn’t recognize an invalid marriage between two heterosexuals either such as when someone who is validly married divorces and tries to marry another. All the Church is doing here is being consistent in standing up for what is true as she has always done for the past 2,000 years. Governments rise and fall, but the Catholic Church will continue to be here until the end of time.

I disagree, the Church ministers to the world. Nations are to receive moral guidance from the Church as Supreme Authority in the World. It is not a US and THEM relationship as you would find in a club or bogus religion. The Church does not offer suggestions, but absolute Divine guidelines.

Nations sin collectively by first refusing to adhere to Catholic principles, secondarily
by the compounding effects of this first breach, which now has it legislating approval for these practices.

. So I spent all evening trying to work on my responses to my friends questions. The first thing I have realized is that I am going to answer each of their questions in a separate letter because I can’t rush my responses and want to be clear and concise. I was hoping that you all wouldn’t mind taking a look at what I have written and commenting on it, making suggestions or critiques? Chiefly I am looking to make sure I am not being heretical but also want to make sure I am being clear and concise as well as not have major grammar mistakes. I am going to apologize in advance for any major grammer mistakes and the torcher I am putting you all through lol. I am having multiple people look it over so I figured why not see if some more kind people wouldn’t mind helping me out again:D. Thanks so much! Oh and I am not even close to being done yet.

Hey ----, 07/15/13

I am writing you this letter in response to your questions about some beliefs that the Catholic Church holds on many social teachings. Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for trusting me with conveying the teachings of the church on these matters, although I may dis-agree about my own worthiness in sharing these holy truths. Irregardless, I am glad and thankful that you have allowed me to join you on this journey for truth;  a search for the very purpose of humanity itself, in a way. Anyways, I would like to take this opportunity to ask for the intercession of Saints Thomas Aquinas  and Ambrose (both  being Patron Saints of learning and truth) that we both may be endowed with the graces of wisdom and sound judgment of mind and soul. Anyways, enough with the fancy rhetoric, you asked me some questions and I might as well get down to business!

Round 1. Why do all sexual actions have to be open/ for the creation of new life?
To start, although you may have heard this before, as Catholics we hold Scripture and Tradition (Upper Case T) as equals. Seeing that this is a friendly debate with a fellow Catholic, I am going to hold this debate keeping in mind that we share this belief. Also, before I start, I would like to mention that I will be using the Douay-Rheims edition of scripture because it is a direct translation of the Traditional Latin Vulgate, published by Saint Jerome around 400 A.D, and thus is the most reliable translation for our discussion.
Okay, your first question as stated above is asking why the Church teaches that all sexual acts must be open for the pro-creation of life. Now, as Catholics we believe that God created us with an over-arching purpose, and this purpose for Catholics is (as is stated in the Baltimore Catechism), “ God made us to show forth his goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in Heaven and to gain happiness in heaven we must know, love and serve God in this world” (Baltimore Catechism, Revised Edition: Pg.12). One of the two chief means to learn how we can show forth God’s goodness and to purely, “Know, Love and Serve Him”, is to read his Holy Scriptures. This concept of pro-creation can be found strewn throughout scripture even in the very bosom of Creation, for it states in the Book of Genesis, “And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them, saying, “Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it”” (Gen,2-18). This is the very first Commandment God has given to man, “Increase and Multiply”. Would it not go against this commandment if one were to, purposefully, turn sex from a pro-creative act into a anti-creative act by means of contraceptives. The Marital Act is much more then a means by which a person can intimately give themselves over to another, so as to give each other pleasure or “happiness”.
The question however is why? Why would God’s first commandment to man be to, “Increase and Multiply” and how does it pertain to us, the individuals of the 21st century. Secondly, if I were to have increased and multiplied already by having children previously would I not have fulfilled this commandment? Firstly, let us see what the CCC has to say about this topic of pro-creation or the openness to fertility, as it calls it. “By it’s very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds it;s crowning glory; Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: “It is not good that man should be alone,” and “from the beginning [he] made them male and female”, wishing to associate them in a special way in his own creative work, God blessed man and women with the words: “Be fruitful and multiply.” Hence, true married love and the whole structure of the family life which results from it, without diminishments of the other ends of marriage, are directed to dis-posing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich his family day to day”(CCC 1652). To state this much more simply, the Catholic Church believes that Children are the supreme gift of marriage and the married love and marriage is structured to the upbringing of Children in Christian love and charity. Yet why is this? Why is sex such a key element not only for Catholic private life but public life as well? Why must we be, “fruitful and multiply”?

**to be continued with the rest in another post**...

Rest of the Letter
Now, I take this opportunity to visit the works of one of the most influential men of the 21st century and devoted advocat for “The Catholic Sexual Revolution”, and I am speaking of none other then Pope John Paul II and his encyclical, Humanae Vitae. Christopher West gives us very good insight into the teachings of John Paul II when he states the following, “The Church has always maintained that we are embodied spirits, or spiritualized bodies . Through the profound union of body and soul in each of us, our bodies reveal or “make visible” the invisible reality of our spirits. But the body does even more. Because we’re made in, God’s image, our bodies also make visible something of God’s invisible mystery. It’s from this perspective that John Paul wants to study the human body- not as a biological organism, but as a theology, as a “study of God.” The body isn’t divine. But it is a “sign” of the divine mystery( Theology of the Body for Beginners: Pg6). The Church upholds the belief that the human body is the place where divinity or “the spiritual realm” kiss the physical world. In a sense, we are not of this world but at the same time of it. Also, because we are made in the image and likeness of God we in turn must, as stated above, be a living theology of God. We are in effect are a living symbol of God. To further delve into the mystery of theology of the body, I yet again will take a look at Christopher West’s step by step analysis on some of John Paul’s teachings. “So, once again, when we speak of the invisible “mystery hidden in God from time immemorial” we are speaking of the fact that (1) God is a communion of love and (2) we are destined to share in that exchange. This two-part “mystery” is what the human body signifies right from the moment of our creation… God imprinted in our sexuality the call to participate in a “created version” of his eternal; “exchange of love”… No explanation of the Trinity suffices. Nonetheless, we can discern from the revelation that the Father eternally “begets” the son by giving himself to and for the Son. In turn, the Son (the “beloved of the Father”) eternally receives the love of the Father and eternally gives himself back to the Father. The love they share is the Holy Spirit who, as we say in the Nicene Creed, “proceeds [eternally] from the Father and the Son.”( Christopher West, Theology of the Body for Beginners pg 8) … So, firstly lets take a deep breath and contemplate this reality…because even this “Stellar Catholic” is in awe of this statement, which is the core of our faith and at the heart of our question (yours and mine)which I haven’t forgotten. Which is, as you may recall, “Why do all Sexual Actions need to be for the Pro-Creation of life?”

At this point you are probably thinking that I am completely insane and you probably are right (lol).Anyway though I haven't gone on rambling for no purpose, I actually am getting somewhere on this journey for truth and I will yet again turn to Christopher West to clarify the teachings of our Great Pope John Paul II. “ God created us male and female so that we could image his love and becoming a sincere gift to each other. This sincere giving establishes a “communion” not only between the sexes but also- in the normal course of events- with a “third” who proceeds from them both. In this way, sexual love becomes and icon or earthly image in some sense of the inner life of the Trinity... In addition to imaging the Trinity,  sexual love is also meant to image the union of God with humanity. Christ's redeeming self-donation is a new outpouring of the Trinity's love on all creation. The Church receives this Love and attempts to reciprocate it. God endowed our bodies as male and female with the sacramental ability to convey this exchange between Christ and the Church As St. Paul says, quoting Genesis, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.'”” ( Christopher West; Pg. 9). Okay, there was a lot of information in there especially for myself. What I am understanding in this statement, please correct me if I am wrong, is that the marital act between too married spouses is a living symbol of the Trinity and harkens back our source, Love Incarnate; Jesus Christ, the Holy Trinity. What an awesome power it is to be able to become a living symbol of Love, of the Trinity itself. Shouldn't that ought to bring us all to a new found awe and a deeper reverence, a great appreciation, for this holy act?  It is with indescribable joy that I learn about this deep and  near incomprehensible gift with you and I yet again thank you for that!

Rest of Letter
So, after nearly three pages of me rambling you probably are wondering what these beliefs have to do with the fact that the Catholic Church professes that all marital acts ought to be open for the creation of a new life. Well to start, who are we to destroy this indescribably beautiful symbol of the Trinity that we have been given? Is it fair for us to take a beautiful act by which one could argue we take part in the mystery of the Trinity albeit one needs to make it clear the God is above sexual impulse? What would happen if Jesus decided that he wanted to contracept the love of the Father… would the Holy Spirit cease to exist… would the Trinity be not destroyed? In effect one would be placing himself or herself above the other person… even if the contraceptives were consensual then would you still not be placing yourself above your child. This in effect would cause the sexual act to not only cease to be the selfless symbol of the Trinity by which we share in that immense and unending mystery but cause the sexual act to turn on itself and become degrading and cause it to have no real end other then mere feeling or pleasure. It is a noble idea for one to desire to give himself over to another person as a mean to bring the other person joy however we all need to think long and hard ( asking for God’s guidance with our decision) if it is right to separate this Great Symbol, the Marital Act, from the stable and loving relationship a marriage provides? Is it fair for a child to be born fatherless or motherless in some instances or in broken relationships… is it fair to take this stability… this living symbol of the Trinity, a Father, Mother and Child away from your child intentionally? This is what most likely would happen if contraceptives fail is it not? I will leave you to make your own decisions on the matter at this point.

So yeah that is all I have written so far. I am going to apologize in advance for the grammar mistakes. It have been working on this since 8 P.M and will definitely notice way more mistakes tomorrow but I figured I would get a head start on asking for advice! Thanks again!:slight_smile: :thumbsup:

Why would anyone think that war was particularly bloody only in the Crusades?

Many of the wars that have been the bloodiest in terms of human death and injury have been in the 20th Century, and not related to religion in any real sense of the word. Fascism, and Nazism, along with Militarism (Japan), was responsible for the bloodiest and deadliest conflict in known human history, World War II. Many millions dead, entire countries ruined, maimed and injured in incalculable numbers, and it was no respecter of status (military or civilian). The only one closer to that was World War I, if memory serves. Then there was the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and all the other Marxist wars and anti-Marxist wars and proxy wars between the Super Powers. :rolleyes:

I don’t know what they’re teaching kids these days about the Crusades, but it seems to not reflect the actual history of them, and is much more like propaganda to tar the Catholic Church with by those that oppose Her. :shrug:

Just my :twocents:

Something you may or may not want to either look into or address.:wink:

I agree Michael. That was actually one of the first things I picked up when I was talking with this friend. Particularly that although he does attend a “Catholic High school”, they firstly are following the mainstream schools in using a Protestant version of History which demonizes the Crusades and the Inquisition, while down playing things like the Reformation in England and Ireland and the “so called” Age of Enlightenment. I also have noticed that that like most schools they would rather teach their opinion even if it is the opinion of the church or not, without giving reasons for these opinions such as why they believe the Crusade was one of the bloodiest wars of all time (not!). Anyways, I will address that particular topic of history and the Separation of Church and State in a separate letter because his questions are so important and vast that I will need more then one letter to answer his questions in a decent fashion.

What would happen if Jesus decided that he wanted to contracept the love of the Father… would the Holy Spirit cease to exist… would the Trinity be not destroyed?

If I understand you correctly…

The Trinity does not have the same sense as it does in this world, and is a description to satisfy our human reasoning. To their joy, it will probably be revealed to the elect of various qualifying beatification. But this is a prime example of our limitation this world places on us. If you were given a divine answer, could you without divine faculties comprehend it? How could it dilute the prime command to stay away from such activity? It would still stand. In Lev when God showed us what he thought of this act, he chose the best form of communication we could understand, and the best Contact for the answer.

Personally, I think you are going beyond human jurisdiction. All what is needed to know has already been given to us. [As well, this is an article of faith to be believed, which I understand takes it out of the Sententia Pia sphere].

HS acts are evil, period. It’s offspring is destined to join it. We don’t need to discuss proper literary form used on a Ouija board if we know it is dangerous to use.

The pressures of nature are to be controlled, and no doubt this affliction seems to be of it’s own species and assisted by the human libido and other factors. It is a “tough” one, but a wimp when it’s opponent the Rosary comes to the challenge.

This good news shows it for what it really is, a trick.

Ask your friend to explain the cures and the complete change of former afflicted. This is an obstacle to any claiming this is a permanent condition, and we can thank the Holy Mother and her promises for that.

I think you might want to stick to the well reasoned and well referenced CCC. You’re getting into very esoteric territory in your reply, and you may have your point lost in the confusion of over-explanation. Keep it simple, and straight-forward.

Shorter is better, and it forces you to think more about it.

I stated the position of the Catholic Church with regard to recognition of the validity of marriages. If you disagree you disagree not only with the Catholic Church but with Christ Himself who said about the Church, “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Lk 10:16) and “…if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” (Matt 18:17). The Church teaches that a marriage between a non-Catholic man and woman married outside of the Catholic Church can be a valid marriage because from the beginning marriage was not a sacrament but a natural institution of one man and one woman (Adam and Eve). Jesus elevated this natural union of one man and one woman to the supernatural level of a sacrament. So the union of a non-catholic man and woman in marriage isn’t a sacrament, but it can still be a natural marriage. For us Christians, we should note that Eve was created as Adam’s wife. So marriage is directly tied into why God created us male and female in the first place.

Cjhubbs97

Re:Why do all sexual actions have to be for/open to the creation of new life?
If this is true then how are we okay with Natural Family Planning?
If I were to (to be rather tactless) pull out, am I sinning?
Why do they all need to be open for the creation of new life?

Simply because God’s purpose in making us as we are is for procreation – the accompanying pleasure is to nurture that purpose not to thwart it. As the acknowledged St John Paul II affirmed: “God gave man, with the light of reason, the capacity to be able to know the fundamental truths on life and his destiny and, specifically, the norms of moral behavior."

In Natural Birth Regulation, for serious reasons, the couple merely uses the infertile periods for the complete act.

To not carry out the marital act by withdrawal is to substitute pleasure for the complete marital act in an unlawful way.

The purpose of the human anatomy, made by God, is to enable procreation between a married man and woman, not to allow or sanction homosexual sex, bestiality, polygamy.

The purpose in God the Son founding His Church is so that we may know His teaching unfailingly and thus right from wrong.

As a Catholic your friend should be amenable to these answers, but please feel free to query this and ask further questions.

The first “refusal” came when some decided to go and set their own definitions and join non sanctioned churches.

The Church must deal with a generation today that was similar to the times of Moses. The overall mandate of the Church must foresee an end to the means, and sometimes that is to allow the hardened hearts of groups to set even further while the Sheppard waits for his flock.

The end is to have all nations to leave all this baggage behind, and become one with it, which means to deny ourselves and place trust in the Church and follow the proper rituals.

The commands are for everyone to see. We know what the ideal is and we should not settle and wait for contingencies. If we wish to join The Heart of the Church, the true Substance and Spirit, then we need to join it wholly.

To the Church and all the people, all implementations,legislations,encyclicals,etc must have a vision for a grander end with a context of a united peoples dedicated to one common service. If then this comes a reality, there would not exist questions as to whether some group shares a differing viewpoint or wishes a separate treatment. This is what I meant.

I agree with your post, but I just wanted to point out that this is wrong as worded. If you meant non-baptized, then you would be correct, but two validly-baptized non-Catholics of opposite genders CAN enter together into a Sacramental marriage outside the Church.

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