Gay Marriage & Being a Good Catholic


#1

Hi, All,

I was a member of this Forum years ago but seem to have forgotten my previous account's information, so I made a new one. This is my first post with my new account, and I guess I'll just jump right in...

The "right" of persons of the same sex to get legally married to each other is, of course, a cause célèbre right now in the United States and much of the Western world. As Catholics, obviously we do not believe that a sacramental marriage can exist but between one man and one woman. Legal marriage, i.e. marriage defined by the state, however, is of course a different animal - it reflects the Christian understanding of marriage in some ways, but not in others. For instance, one can dissolve his or her legal marriage through a divorce, whereas according to perennial Christian doctrine "divorce" is impossible - valid marriages last until the death of one of the spouses.

In any case, here is what I am concerned about: we often here from the Church's bishops (a holy and humble group of men, increasingly, of whom we should all be proud) that we must oppose efforts to legalize gay marriage. My question is: is it truly a Catholic's duty, is a Catholic truly not living in accord with the Church's teachings, if he faithfully holds to the Catholic Faith in believing that a marriage in the eyes of God could only ever be between a man and a woman, but who does not necessarily believe that the state can legitimately deny to same sex partners their desire for a (legal/civil) marriage?

Although I certainly don't subscribe to the view that a legal marriage to a person of the same sex is a Constitutional "right" as we hear so often by the gay marriage lobby, neither can I find a foolproof reason why, if the majority of a state's citizens (by state I mean each of the 50 states, not the federal State) decide to vote in favor for it, why we must oppose that. Often it seems that the Church's bishops imply or even explicitly state that we, as good Catholics, must vote against these measures, whereas to the best of my knowledge, there is no Catholic doctrine that says "You must vote to make laws of the nation reflect exactly the Church's doctrines" - all I am aware of is that there is a Catholic doctrine that says "marriage, in God's eyes, is only between a man and a woman" - something I certainly agree with.

I think the bishops mean well, and they mean to stem the tide of sexual depravity gripping our nation, but at the same time I think it's quite dangerous to try and make something appear as if it's part of the Church's immutable dogma when it is not.

Can someone help here? Tell me where I'm going wrong, or if I'm going wrong?

RC


#2

I’m wondering about this as well. Like, is it really something that we should strive against? Are we better off approaching the issue negatively (by arguing against it and trying to keep the unions illegal) or positively (by displaying a good example of marriage and charity)?


#3

As a gay Catholic, I have made a choice to commit to the teachings of the Church and therefore have no partner and will never marry. However, I do have friends who are married by civil authorities and I do not condem them. They are not Catholic and are thus not bound to obey the teachings of the Church. I must also add that they do not condemn me in any way for my choice-they may not understand it, but they are still my friends.

The Church will never allow gay marriage and neither I or my friends have any desire to see Her do it. What is a concern for us is when the Church wants to use civil law to impose Her teachings on people who are not members. The Church does not require every divorced couple in America to receive an annulment before remarrying, the Church does not require every couple to even marry in the church! As long as the couple is straight, the Church doesn't intrude on civil marriage at all. It is the couple's choice whether to have a sacramental marriage and it is the Church's choice whether or not to allow them to have that sacramental marriage. I'm not sure why it simply can't stay that way. Civil marriage is governed by the State, Sacramental marriage is governed by the Church.


#4

Reading Genesis may be helpful for you


#5

[quote="RCConvert34, post:1, topic:301536"]
Hi, All,

I was a member of this Forum years ago but seem to have forgotten my previous account's information, so I made a new one. This is my first post with my new account, and I guess I'll just jump right in...

The "right" of persons of the same sex to get legally married to each other is, of course, a cause célèbre right now in the United States and much of the Western world. As Catholics, obviously we do not believe that a sacramental marriage can exist but between one man and one woman. Legal marriage, i.e. marriage defined by the state, however, is of course a different animal - it reflects the Christian understanding of marriage in some ways, but not in others. For instance, one can dissolve his or her legal marriage through a divorce, whereas according to perennial Christian doctrine "divorce" is impossible - valid marriages last until the death of one of the spouses.

In any case, here is what I am concerned about: we often here from the Church's bishops (a holy and humble group of men, increasingly, of whom we should all be proud) that we must oppose efforts to legalize gay marriage. My question is: is it truly a Catholic's duty, is a Catholic truly not living in accord with the Church's teachings, if he faithfully holds to the Catholic Faith in believing that a marriage in the eyes of God could only ever be between a man and a woman, but who does not necessarily believe that the state can legitimately deny to same sex partners their desire for a (legal/civil) marriage?

Although I certainly don't subscribe to the view that a legal marriage to a person of the same sex is a Constitutional "right" as we hear so often by the gay marriage lobby, neither can I find a foolproof reason why, if the majority of a state's citizens (by state I mean each of the 50 states, not the federal State) decide to vote in favor for it, why we must oppose that. Often it seems that the Church's bishops imply or even explicitly state that we, as good Catholics, must vote against these measures, whereas to the best of my knowledge, there is no Catholic doctrine that says "You must vote to make laws of the nation reflect exactly the Church's doctrines" - all I am aware of is that there is a Catholic doctrine that says "marriage, in God's eyes, is only between a man and a woman" - something I certainly agree with.

I think the bishops mean well, and they mean to stem the tide of sexual depravity gripping our nation, but at the same time I think it's quite dangerous to try and make something appear as if it's part of the Church's immutable dogma when it is not.

Can someone help here? Tell me where I'm going wrong, or if I'm going wrong?

RC

[/quote]

Is it possible that what the church sees is the bigger picture, we look at it from our individual perspective personal rights and such but should not we consider the larger sociological implications? Our civilization has been founded and rests on the family the balance that each part has to give to the development of the family and civilization.
When we redefine the concept of marriage we are also opening the door to redifine the relationship of human reproduction. If a married couple cannot have children how soon will they start demanding that they be allowed to get offsprings by genetically manipulating their sperm/eggs or even from their DNA.
We are opening the proverbial pandora's box and the spiral has no end.

Same as the natural evolution of abortion is euthanasia, once you remove the intrinsic value of human life....


#6

I think everyone here is over thinking this by a quite a bit. Marriage (regardless of what "kind") is catered towards procreation. It must be unitive and open to life. Same sex marriages, regardless inside the Church or out, can not satisfy these. If a same sex couple is living together and having an "active" homosexual lifestyle, they are commiting a mortal sin. The same for sexually active opposite sex couples. We have to remember to put Christ first in "all" things. I know for some of us who have friends who are more intimately effected by this societal issue, might feel duty bound to our friends to sympathize with their cause. But that lifestyle (and any sexually active lifestyle out of God's marriage) leads to mortal sin and damnation. Let us not forget that "acting" on sexual urges is still a sin, whether make believe marriage is involved or not. We are our brothers keeper. We can't "force" anyone to live a certain way or to reject certain things. But we are morally bound to always stand for Christ and Truth. Trying to find middle ground where none exists is putting our human sentimentality about Christ's love. And that's not something a good Catholic can compromise on. Christ first in all things. God Bless.


#7

[quote="SaintPatrick333, post:6, topic:301536"]
I think everyone here is over thinking this by a quite a bit. Marriage (regardless of what "kind") is catered towards procreation. It must be unitive and open to life. Same sex marriages, regardless inside the Church or out, can not satisfy these. If a same sex couple is living together and having an "active" homosexual lifestyle, they are commiting a mortal sin. The same for sexually active opposite sex couples. We have to remember to put Christ first in "all" things. I know for some of us who have friends who are more intimately effected by this societal issue, might feel duty bound to our friends to sympathize with their cause. But that lifestyle (and any sexually active lifestyle out of God's marriage) leads to mortal sin and damnation. Let us not forget that "acting" on sexual urges is still a sin, whether make believe marriage is involved or not. We are our brothers keeper. We can't "force" anyone to live a certain way or to reject certain things. But we are morally bound to always stand for Christ and Truth. Trying to find middle ground where none exists is putting our human sentimentality about Christ's love. And that's not something a good Catholic can compromise on. Christ first in all things. God Bless.

[/quote]

This is all true..for Catholics. However, not everyone has committed to the Catholic faith and therefore cannot be expected to follow Catholic teaching. Remember, even Paul wrote letters to Churches about how they must live, not to the government about laws they must enact. ;)


#8

[quote="RCConvert34, post:1, topic:301536"]

Can someone help here? Tell me where I'm going wrong, or if I'm going wrong?

RC

[/quote]

I don't think you are wrong as I essentially agree with you. But on this forum, I fear we will be in the minority. However, if Gallup pols are any indicator, we are in the majority of Catholics nationwide.


#9

I've wondered about this issue too. I've asked myself, for what secular reasons should I oppose gay marriage?

The conclusion I've come up with, although I am not really able to put it into words at this point, is in line with what JerryZ posted. It not only has bad moral implications for Catholics, but if you look at the bigger sociological picture, I think we can find legitimate secular reasons to oppose gay marriage.

You're right on the count that theoretically, if the majority of people want gay marriage to be legal, it should be legal, but then you have to take into account, is this going to contribute to the good of society, to the development of our civilization?

I personally come to the conclusion that, no, it does neither of those things; therefore, our government should not allow it, and we should not support the government allowing it.


#10

I think people are missing the obvious effects of the Sex without love Revolution of the late 1960s. Today, decades later, are we, Catholic and secular, better off in our relationships with other people or not? Is our culture healthy? Is our view of the dignity of all human life better or worse?

The primary fallacy that affects some people is their great desire to believe that moving away from all authority, especially the Church, will make them "free." Free of what? The evidence today is clear. There are only two directions - toward what God has taught, Tradition and the Church today, or the opposite direction regarding what God tells us as to what it means to be authentically human. Recently, Pope Benedict has made statements regarding society:

"The Holy Father says:

If we cannot have common values, common truths, sufficient communication on the essentials of human life–how to live how, to respond to the great challenges of human life–then true society becomes impossible."

Additional commentary by the Practical Catholic:

"How true this is. Where there is no communication, no culture, no shared experience, there is no society; because there is no people. There remains only a vast and foreboding, unforgiving sea of individuals ready to crash upon each other and the world with the slightest wind. Without a common basis, we have not the vaulted pluralism we’re taught to embrace, but Babel, in all the confusion and madness of a society with no binding forces. Already we are seeing the tensions of this fragmentation breaking out across cultures."

And Culture:

ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/pope-renounce-culture-that-disguises-falsehood-as-truth

Here is the Church teaching on same sex marriage. It is quite unambiguous.

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

Peace,
Ed


#11

[quote="Julia_Mae, post:8, topic:301536"]
I don't think you are wrong as I essentially agree with you. But on this forum, I fear we will be in the minority. However, if Gallup pols are any indicator, we are in the majority of Catholics nationwide.

[/quote]

Yes, this forum is far more to the right than the Church as a whole.


#12

What would some of those be?


#13

[quote="SaintPatrick333, post:6, topic:301536"]
I think everyone here is over thinking this by a quite a bit. Marriage (regardless of what "kind") is catered towards procreation. It must be unitive and open to life..

[/quote]

This is a religious belief, not part of the code of civil law. The state is indifferent to married people having or not having children. The state really does not care if marriage is "unitive" as arranged marriages have been very common all through history. Marriage has mostly aimed at defining, conserving and distributing goods and property.

I believe romantic relationships and marriage for love was invented by Elizabeth Barrett Browning with a helping hand from Hallmark and daytime dramas.


#14

[quote="SaintPatrick333, post:6, topic:301536"]
I think everyone here is over thinking this by a quite a bit. Marriage (regardless of what "kind") is catered towards procreation. It must be unitive and open to life. Same sex marriages, regardless inside the Church or out, can not satisfy these.
If a same sex couple is living together and having an "active" homosexual lifestyle, they are commiting a mortal sin. The same for sexually active opposite sex couples. We have to remember to put Christ first in "all" things. I know for some of us who have friends who are more intimately effected by this societal issue, might feel duty bound to our friends to sympathize with their cause. But that lifestyle (and any sexually active lifestyle out of God's marriage) leads to mortal sin and damnation. Let us not forget that "acting" on sexual urges is still a sin, whether make believe marriage is involved or not. We are our brothers keeper. We can't "force" anyone to live a certain way or to reject certain things. But we are morally bound to always stand for Christ and Truth. Trying to find middle ground where none exists is putting our human sentimentality about Christ's love. And that's not something a good Catholic can compromise on. Christ first in all things. God Bless.

[/quote]

Marriage is not only catered to procreation.
People get married for all sorts of reasons, including friendship, security, etc. In fact, most of the heterosexual married couples I know haven't had sex in years!
And everything else you said above...is not true for people who do not follow the Catholic religion. In the non-Catholic world, these things are not a sin at all, they do not even exist. So I agree with the OP... it makes no sense for them to follow rules from a community that is not their own.


#15

[quote="DaddyGirl, post:14, topic:301536"]
Marriage is not only catered to procreation.
People get married for all sorts of reasons, including friendship, security, etc. In fact, most of the heterosexual married couples I know haven't had sex in years!
And everything else you said above...is not true for people who do not follow the Catholic religion. In the non-Catholic world, these things are not a sin at all, they do not even exist. So I agree with the OP... it makes no sense for them to follow rules from a community that is not their own.

[/quote]

Exactly, after all would we want to follow rules of another religion because they got the State to enshrine them in civil law? Of course not!

and then of course, even if gay marriage is legal in your state you aren't be forced to go marry a gay person. You can ignore the entire thing, disapprove of it, teach your children that it's wrong and so on.


#16

[quote="RCConvert34, post:1, topic:301536"]

The "right" of persons of the same sex to get legally married to each other is, of course, a cause célèbre right now in the United States and much of the Western world. As Catholics, obviously we do not believe that a sacramental marriage can exist but between one man and one woman. Legal marriage, i.e. marriage defined by the state, however, is of course a different animal - it reflects the Christian understanding of marriage in some ways, but not in others. For instance, one can dissolve his or her legal marriage through a divorce, whereas according to perennial Christian doctrine "divorce" is impossible - valid marriages last until the death of one of the spouses.

[/quote]

The Church accepts that civil divorce can be necessary and not always a moral offense.

My question is: is it truly a Catholic's duty, is a Catholic truly not living in accord with the Church's teachings, if he faithfully holds to the Catholic Faith in believing that a marriage in the eyes of God could only ever be between a man and a woman, but who does not necessarily believe that the state can legitimately deny to same sex partners their desire for a (legal/civil) marriage?

Yes, we are obligated to oppose it.

Often it seems that the Church's bishops imply or even explicitly state that we, as good Catholics, must vote against these measures, whereas to the best of my knowledge, there is no Catholic doctrine that says "You must vote to make laws of the nation reflect exactly the Church's doctrines" - all I am aware of is that there is a Catholic doctrine that says "marriage, in God's eyes, is only between a man and a woman" - something I certainly agree with.

Marriage is a natural institution that predates the Church. It is not a Catholic doctrine that is imposed on society any more than proscriptions regarding murder are Catholic doctrines imposed on society.

I think the bishops mean well, and they mean to stem the tide of sexual depravity gripping our nation, but at the same time I think it's quite dangerous to try and make something appear as if it's part of the Church's immutable dogma when it is not.

I think you are confusing a few things here. The Church is not asking that the law force people to Mass on Sundays or the like. She is asking that positive laws reflect the natural law that bind all people.

The real threat to our liberty is from those that impose the dictatorship of relativism on us.


#17

[quote="DaddyGirl, post:14, topic:301536"]
Marriage is not only catered to procreation.
People get married for all sorts of reasons, including friendship, security, etc. In fact, most of the heterosexual married couples I know haven't had sex in years!
And everything else you said above...is not true for people who do not follow the Catholic religion. In the non-Catholic world, these things are not a sin at all, they do not even exist. So I agree with the OP... it makes no sense for them to follow rules from a community that is not their own.

[/quote]

Actually that is a very simplistic approach and not quite factual. In fact it denotes a very narrow view of marriage, this institution is not something that the Catholic Church invented it is rubish and the proof of that is that the same concept exists in all the cultures around the world that are not even Christian.

So you need to go back and try to learn why it is that is virtually universally accepted practice regardless of religion.

Marriage is the fundament of the family nucleous and it is an integral part of human civilization and for it to be this universal must have been around for thousands of years.

On your statement that it is not considered a sin this is factually wrong, homosexuality in many other religions and cultures is considered a very grave form of sin.


#18

Really, what is the alternative here? Everyone is allowed to vote their morals into law except those that have the fullness of truth? This is nuts. If one person wants to die and another is willing to help them should we allow two consenting adults to do as they please? Why does sex enter the picture at all? Why can't a father and daughter "marry"? They love eachother. Society has no business supporting anything other than one man and one woman as marriage. It benefits society through the normal course of human nature by the begetting of children. And, lest we forget, God created man and woman to reveal Himself more fully to the beings he created. Marriage is the imagery God uses for us being united to him. It is not unloving or intollerant to fight against same sex marriage. It is loving, it is Christ like.

Dear God help us if the rallying cry of the secular humanist; "separation of church and state", has seeped this far into your Church.


#19

[quote="Seeker1961, post:11, topic:301536"]
Yes, this forum is far more to the right than the Church as a whole.

[/quote]

It's interesting that moral issues that affect profoundly humans should be chategorized as "right" or "left" of a political spectrum when in reality they are 100% center.

Is murdering a human right or wrong, is murdering and indefense human less right or more wrong?

Is homosexual behaviour right or wrong?

Is a homosexual union a valid union, does it contribute positively to the development and continuation of the human race.

Can it provide a balanced environment for the development of the children it is allowed to rear, since it's impossible for them to reproduce.

And by balanced I am looking at the contribution of man and woman.
Science has demonstrated that woman and man are different in their cognitive emotional aproach to life.
Their brain are wired differently no one can deny that.
I am not implying either is better than the other, just different and provide therefore different and complementary inputs in the development of the offsprings.

This complementarity is absent in a same sex family and it is in the end a lie.

For all these reasons I don't believe these issues have any bearing in political terms except maybe that it shows us that the people more prone to embrace deviations to be slanted toward one end of the political spectrum rather than the other.


#20

[quote="JerryZ, post:19, topic:301536"]
It's interesting that moral issues that affect profoundly humans should be chategorized as "right" or "left" of a political spectrum when in reality they are 100% center.

Is murdering a human right or wrong, is murdering and indefense human less right or more wrong?

Is homosexual behaviour right or wrong?

Is a homosexual union a valid union, does it contribute positively to the development and continuation of the human race.

Can it provide a balanced environment for the development of the children it is allowed to rear, since it's impossible for them to reproduce.

And by balanced I am looking at the contribution of man and woman.
Science has demonstrated that woman and man are different in their cognitive emotional aproach to life.
Their brain are wired differently no one can deny that.
I am not implying either is better than the other, just different and provide therefore different and complementary inputs in the development of the offsprings.

This complementarity is absent in a same sex family and it is in the end a lie.

For all these reasons I don't believe these issues have any bearing in political terms except maybe that it shows us that the people more prone to embrace deviations to be slanted toward one end of the political spectrum rather than the other.

[/quote]

And that's exactly my point-people on this forum are more likely to slant towards the right as it is known politically and socially in the US. Comment, not accusation.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.