Days When I Appreciate the Certainty of the Catholic Faith


#1

There are some days when I appreciate the moral certainty derived from the Magesterium and scripture as opposed to moral relativism.

My ecclesiastical superior (non Catholic) and I were dialoguing about the issue of homosexuality and blessing of same sex marriages. My opinion was that I support some sort of civil recognition in order to protect the rights of those couples (pensions, inheritance, right to property in a seperation, next of kin rights and so on). Those relationships are their right in a free society and I respect that and have nothing against them. However, marriage is a unique, beautiful and sacred blessing founded by God for a man and a woman. The church is held to a higher standard than secular society and we should live that out with love and respect. I could not bless a same sex union.

He replied that he tries to take a middle ground and feels there is some deep & insidious part of humanity that comes out in attempts to subjugate, demoralize, and defeat
others. He ends by thanking me for the dialogue and saying that he just checks his clothes when he leaves in the morning to make sure he has not mixed any fabrics for fear of stoning (ie he referred to Levitical laws and compared non approval of blessing homosexual marriages to antiquated Jewish laws).

I don’t think there is much debate over this issue in the RCC. I am not in any way implying that we should violate someone’s rights, treat them badly, etc. In fact I believe in their inherent dignity and need for societal protection in certain areas. I have good relationships with gay people BUT that is different than endorsing something through a sacrament that I feel that God has called upon us for a different response to. Neither would I endorse siblings marrying one another, or an adult mother and son, polygamous relationships and so on whether between consenting adults in mutually respectful relationships (without chance of procreation in the case of close relatives). God has called us to higher standards.

Any way, I think I stepped in it but felt I needed to speak my conscience respectfully regardless of consequences. :shrug:

Rev North


#2

I think that was well reasoned.


#3

Nor should you be required or expected to do so if it is in violation of your religious beliefs, just as no one is required or expected to perform a marriage ceremony for someone who has been divorced if that is against the teachings of their religion. The same sex marriage movement is one seeking legal rights, not forcing clergy to do something that their religion forbids. There is a world of difference in saying “I am not willing to perform a religiously sacramental marriage for a same sex couple” and saying “same sex couples should have no legal recognition of their relationship regardless of their religious beliefs because my religion disapproves of such relationships.”


#4

Thank you. I do not think he is the type of guy to hold it against me but of course he realizes (as do I) that we are not on the same wave length theologically. He is my church superior and is emphasizing more inclusiveness and so on.

I guess I find it strange that sometimes even holding traditional Christian values with love and acceptance you can get accused of being some sort of religious bigot. I know the RCC gets that all the time. I recall a women once who taught Religious Education. She was part of some organization determined to reform the church (in her terms make it more liberal).

In any case, the RCC knows what it stands for and why. Being relevant to changing cultural ethics is not on the radar screen.

Rev North


#5

I’m afraid that legal status will never be enough for these people. I’m not sure what they want. This is a funny way to ask for acceptance. The crazy thing is, they are really angrier at Fundamentalists, not Catholics, but we are the face of the church as far as they are concerned so we get the brunt of the hatred. Mayor Blomberg of NY just got an ear full from GLBT activists because he wouldn’t march in front of St Peter’s cathedral during the gay parade last weekend. They want confrontation, nothing less.


#6

I, too, appreciate your position.

Maybe someone here can correct me if I’m wrong, but my belief is that the Church objects to same sex marriages and civil unions for more than just theological/moral reasons.

The Catholic Church realizes that the traditional family unit is the building block of society and the degeneration of that foundational institution threatens the very existence of society as we know it. Giving any recognition to these relationships (whether it is a same sex marriage or civil union, or giving “partner benefits” to a unmarried heterosexual couple) threatens society as a whole and devalues the traditional marriage covenant. One can see the damage that the breakdown of the family has had on society in the last 20-40 years.

When the whole “Marriage Amendent” debate was going on in regard to amending the Constitution to ban gay marriages, I was flabbergasted by these politicians who were against gay marriage, but were unwilling to support the amendment because they didn’t think the issue was important enough to amend the Constitution for. Looking at history, one can argue that the downfall of some of the greatest empires the world has known (notably the Roman empire) were brought down in large part because of the breakdown in the family unit. In my mind (and the Church’s, as well, I think) there is no more important issue in our day, with the exception of the life issue.

This is probably off topic a bit, so sorry.


#7

Well, for starters, I’m not sure what relevance an unidentified photo of the burning of a Vatican flag in Santiago, Chile during a same sex march in 2003 has to do with the same sex marriage movement in the US and their goals or with last weekend’s parade in NYC. I will freely admit I am unfamiliar with the specifics of the gay rights movement in South America. Perhaps there they are indeed looking for religious marriage.

It is the most extreme, the most radical portion of any movement that gets media attention and, thus, is disproprotionately represented in the public eye. None of the folks that I know or have met here in the U.S. who support same sex marriage advocate trying to require any religious group to perform same sex marriages against their will. They simply want the same opportunity to have a legally recognized marriage and the benefits (and responsibilities) that that brings.

Religious groups currently are not required to perform religious marriages for anyone who asks just because such a marriage is legal, nor are they banned from providing a religious marriage to anyone they choose just because such a marriage is not legally sanctioned. Legal and religious marriages are two separate issues. A church can refuse to perform a marriage for an interracial couple even though the last of the anti-miscegenation laws were finally struck from the books in 2000. They can refuse to marry a couple who are interfaith, if one of the partners is divorced, if the girl is pregnant, if they don’t like the style of clothes or choice of music for the ceremony or refreshments for the reception even though none of these things is a legal barrier to marriage. Why would same sex marriage be any different?


#8

Rev. North,

How is that singing voice of yours? Greek Catholics could use a few good priests… and marriage would be no impediment here.

Let us know when you have an interest…

Simple


#9

I can see your point about and objection to partner benefits for unmarried heterosexual couples. Those couples have the option to legalize their relationship if they want the legal benefits of marriage.

Letting Joe and John down the street who have been living together monogamously for 20 years have the right to inherit property from each other and visit each other in the hospital without having to spend legal fees to do so is not a threat to my marriage nor does it have any impact on my marriage whatsoever.

The things that have devalued marriage in our society are drive-by insemination, a culture that promotes a focus on instant gratification, the lack of personal responsiblity/commitment and rampant divorce—things that sit squarely within the heterosexual community. Our society has determined that stable committed relationships are advantageous to our societal well-being. Barring people who, despite great opposition, are already trying their best to live up to the goal of a lifelong committed relationship from the legal benefits given to other such relationships will not help fix those problems. Stable committed relationships support society, discouraging such relationships does not.


#10

Sit squarely with the heterosexual community? I beg to differ. I’m not sure what “drive-by insemination” refers to - the impregnation of a woman and then the total lack of participation of the father after the fact, maybe? The issue of promiscuity (instant gratification) is at least as prominent in the homosexual community as it is in the heterosexual. I believe that you will see that divorce rates among homosexual couples in states that allow such marriages will be comparable to heterosexuals over time. We’ll see.

Bottom line is that a central function of the marriage covenant is procreation, which is impossible for homosexual couples. The contraceptive mentality has largely removed this part of the natural law from the conscience of society.

Homosexuality is intrinsicily disordered and legitimizing it through the acceptance of same sex unions will only work to weaken society.

Before you write me off as a homophobic bigot (if you haven’t already) please know that I feel the same way about legitimizing heterosexual non-marriage relationships.


#11

** I’m not sure what “drive-by insemination” refers to - the impregnation of a woman and then the total lack of participation of the father after the fact, maybe?**

That’s the gist of it.

** The issue of promiscuity (instant gratification) is at least as prominent in the homosexual community as it is in the heterosexual. I believe that you will see that divorce rates among homosexual couples in states that allow such marriages will be comparable to heterosexuals over time. We’ll see.**

I did not claim that there was no issue of promiscuity in either community. I see such as undesirable regardless of sexual orientation. The divorce rates may well be similar eventually. However, divorce rates and presence of promiscuity among other heterosexuals are not legal barriers to a particular heterosexual marriage, so there is no reason to put them up as a legal barrier to a particular same sex marriage.

**Bottom line is that a central function of the marriage covenant is procreation, which is impossible for homosexual couples. **

That argument would hold more water with me if the only legally possible heterosexual marriages were those in which procreation was possible. In fact, in some states, the inability to procreate is precisely what allows a legal marriage that otherwise would not be allowed (as in the case of first cousins). I understand that lack of the possibility of procreation is a barrier to religious marriage in the Catholic Church and that is up to the Church, but that is not a barrier legally in the US.

Before you write me off as a homophobic bigot (if you haven’t already) please know that I feel the same way about legitimizing heterosexual non-marriage relationships.

There is already a widely available way to legitmize a heterosexual non-marriage relationship. It’s called marriage.


#12

Maybe we should start a new thread…

I am a little bit at a loss to understand the plight and suffering of those who have opted to set up house with members of their own gender.

It seems buying a house together mostly takes a banker.

Visitation rights at hospitals mostly take a lawyer to draw up some power of attorney stuff…

Investments can be passed on via designation of benificiaries…

Children and parental rights seem to be squared away with legal documentation of custody - either from the state or appointment of secondary guardian status when legal parent is incapacitated.

The number of fortune 500 companies allowing for same-sex partner benifits are growing… (although the way it is set up to benifit those presumbably self-indentified as gay over other unmarrieds is bothersome. If my sister comes to live with me for grad school, why can’t I get bennies for her?)

Aside from forcing social acceptance and chipping away at what little notion we have of traditonal marriage that is intact, I just don’t see the pressing need.


#13

The Federal Government of the US has identified over a thousand specific legal rights and protections that are automatically granted to a heterosexual couple upon marriage. Some of those rights and protections can be arranged at great expense through lawyers for same sex couples, some cannot.

gao.gov/archive/1997/og97016.pdf


#14

Wow, you sure got a lot of information out of the ‘unidentified picture’. And you completely tied it all together, but still claim to be blind to the agenda. I’m afraid you are voluntarily refusing to see the truth of it. The Vatican also has nothing to do with US laws, but get’s their flag burned anyway.

It is the most extreme, the most radical portion of any movement that gets media attention and, thus, is disproprotionately represented in the public eye. None of the folks that I know or have met here in the U.S. who support same sex marriage advocate trying to require any religious group to perform same sex marriages against their will. They simply want the same opportunity to have a legally recognized marriage and the benefits (and responsibilities) that that brings.

Religious groups currently are not required to perform religious marriages for anyone who asks just because such a marriage is legal, nor are they banned from providing a religious marriage to anyone they choose just because such a marriage is not legally sanctioned. Legal and religious marriages are two separate issues. A church can refuse to perform a marriage for an interracial couple even though the last of the anti-miscegenation laws were finally struck from the books in 2000. They can refuse to marry a couple who are interfaith, if one of the partners is divorced, if the girl is pregnant, if they don’t like the style of clothes or choice of music for the ceremony or refreshments for the reception even though none of these things is a legal barrier to marriage. Why would same sex marriage be any different?

Then why attack the church? Go burn the state flag in front of the courthouse, or the capital, they make the laws. They hate us because we don’t approve of they’re behavior, simple as that. And it’s not the fringe, I work with serveral alt-lifestyle folks and trust me, they make their view of my religion known to me daily. I have no recourse without being labled and drug into HR.


#15

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences. - Robert Green Ingersoll

I just now noticed your signature. I think this pretty well sums up why same sex unions should not be legally recognized or given any status that would be comparable to a heterosexual marriage.


#16

Recent events in Canada can add to the appreciation.

The Canadain Anglicans have just met in General Synod, and considered resolutions pertinent to blessing same sex “unions” (which they do in at least one of their dioceses).

They resolved that these blessings did not conflict with their “core doctrine,” a term left rather undefined, but presumably somehow the doctrine that’s important. Then they assembly failed to affirm the authority of dioceses to give the blessings – not withheld permission, because permission was never sought from the assembly, but just declined to affirm it.

So now in their community it’s not against core doctrine, and not affirmed. Confusion, anyone? :confused:

By comparison, the teaching of the Church is INDEED refreshing. :thumbsup:

Blessings,

Gerry


#17

**Wow, you sure got a lot of information out of the ‘unidentified picture’. And you completely tied it all together, but still claim to be blind to the agenda. I’m afraid you are voluntarily refusing to see the truth of it. **

Because I saw the alt-image tag when I went to reply to your message and knew how to research to find out the actual source, since it seemed at odds with the content of your message. Curious that you chose not to identify the picture yourself.

The Vatican also has nothing to do with US laws…

And there you have it in a nutshell. The Catholic Church and any other religious organization is well within their rights to refuse to perform a religious wedding for whomever they please. What is at issue is the legal marriage, a contract sanctioned by the State, which is totally separate from religious marriage.

One should be aware that, while Chile has religious freedom, the Catholic Church holds a different position in society and government there than it does in the US
state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2006/71453.htm

**Then why attack the church? Go burn the state flag in front of the courthouse, or the capital, they make the laws. **

I am unaware of a single incident of burning the Vatican flag (or any religious flag at all for that matter) in the US by anyone in the gay rights movement. Do you have documentation of such?

They hate us because we don’t approve of they’re behavior, simple as that. And it’s not the fringe, I work with serveral alt-lifestyle folks and trust me, they make their view of my religion known to me daily. I have no recourse without being labled and drug into HR.

Interesting. That has not been my experience at all, including observation of folks of various sexual orientation interacting with various denominations of Christians for a number of years (and I live in the middle of the Bible Belt). In my experience, it is typically only those who choose to blast those of differing sexual orientation publicly (and often repeatedly) who would get any kind of a response regarding their religious views. The vast majority have had a live and let live attitude. They simply want to be able to go about living their lives. Perhaps the folks that you work with are part of that more extreme end? They have to work somewhere, after all.

I would be curious to know how they know what your religion is and how clear you choose to make your view of their lives you while you were all at work. What sort of “recourse” would you seek that would require you to be “drug into HR?” It continues to amaze me the number of folks who seem to be so preoccupied with other people’s religion or personal life while at work.


#18

In what way?


#19

The whole issue comes down to the worth of persons. The Meeting I belong to has and does take under it’s care same sex couples who wish to “marry”, for lack of a better word at this time.

For those Friend’s Churches and Meetings where same sex blessings/unions are seen as a violation of conscience, I respect that…as I do with any religious organization that chooses not to bless such unions. However, the State is a different matter.

Laws are slowly being enacted that protect the rights of gay people…and that is right in every way. Gay people who form same sex unions should have full protection under the law to preserve their rights of ownership of joint property, visitation to partners in times of sickness, all the rights a state provides it’s other citizens. I support that and applaud that.

Religions have the right to offer sacraments/ordinances at their discretion. Religious prefrences should not dictate citizens rights however.


#20

Very nice style you have. Turn the tables and try to make it about me and my religion. I suggest you start a new thread if you want to discuss my role in the world.

P.S. I really didn’t think the picture needed anything to be explained.


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