Opposition to Church teaching

Hello brothers and sisters in Christ.

I was under the impression that as a Roman Catholic, it was important, even essential, to concur with all of the Church’s teachings, or at least submit to them.

But I see many dissenting voices from members of Catholic orders. For example, on the issue of gay marriage.

Gay marriage is an area that is troubling me, because I find it impossible to oppose gay marriage without holding prejudice against people who are homosexual.

So I am asking: can a Roman Catholic support gay marriage, for example, and still be Roman Catholic. If not, what are the penalties? Excommunication?

God bless you all.

Hi David,
However, that being said, it by no means condones homosexual behaviour and still less “gay marriage”.

You might also find it very helpful to read into the church’s teaching on marriage.
Marriage exist for the primary purpose of rising children. In the fruitfulness of the marriage act, the very creativity of God is at work. Homosexual relations do not lead to this reality (in any real or proper fashion). Therefore the church teaches that “gay marriage” is not simply immoral but impossible.

In terms of you last question, you are entitled to your private doubts, but as you yourself said at time you may simply need to submit to the church’s teaching. I think if you look into it a bit more, you may well find yourself not only submitting but begin to understand the reasons for this teaching.

Catholics understand that the church has authority given it by God to teach on matters of faith an morals. This is a central tenant of the faith. While it would be unlikely that you would ever suffer any formal excommunication for privately doubting or dissenting from church teaching this is a poor way to look at things. Would you put yourself in a position of discord with the teaching of the church, the one organization with appropriate authority to teach on this matter and yet dare to think that you would remain in good standing with God?

A Catholic can not accept gay ‘marriage.’

Marriage is based on the sexual compatibility that only a man and woman have.

I recommend reading this article on gay ‘marriage:’

catholic.com/documents/gay-marriage

=David Alexander;9363206]
Gay marriage is an area that is troubling me, because I find it impossible to oppose gay marriage without holding prejudice against people who are homosexual.

One can oppose gay “marriage” without being prejudiced against those with same sex attraction disorder. If a straight couple is living together would it be a prejudice to oppose their living arrangment? There is an absolute moral right and wrong and it is not prejudice to point that out to those who are violating that truth.
Saying that two men or two women can “marry” is a contradiction. It’s like saying there is such a thing as a square circle. Marriage is for the procreation of children and their God given right to be raised by a mother and a father, a man and a woman who are married.

So I am asking: can a Roman Catholic support gay marriage, for example, and still be Roman Catholic. If not, what are the penalties? Excommunication?

One cannot oppose Catholic teaching and be in full communion with the Church.If one has doubts on a Church teaching then they are obligated to study what the Church teaches and form their conscience according to the Church which is the pillar and foundation of the truth. ( 1 TIm 3:15)

Thank you for your replies.

But why do I see Catholic representatives quoted as being so openly in favor of gay marriage? Not all of course but for example: dignitycanada.org/sin.html. You can scroll down and see the comments from Catholic representatives. I am not condoning or promoting the source, but it is important to illustrate my point.

As for my own opinion, which is secondary in this thread, I have read up on the Church’s teaching on gay marriage, which is very clear to me. I just feel that Scripture is far more ambiguous on the subject than might be presumed. When Paul writes to the Romans about “burning lust”…well most of us know the story of Caligula. The Church justifies its teaching as being based on Scripture though. But it just doesn’t seem very sympathetic to those born/who grow up homosexual, nor very loving, nor very…Christian?

Who am I to pass judgment on a loving gay couple?

I want to be proud in my faith, not feel like I am being uncharitible. Please help!

And to Third Day, may God bless you, are we not taught explicitly not to judge others?

My impression is that we should not aim for such a living arrangement ourselves, referring to your example, rather than accusing others of wrongdoing.

The theme of love and accepting others, especially the ostracized, is a far more dominant theme in the Gospels than sexual behaviour, which is dealt with in the form of lust and adultery - clearly not orientation issues.

Can. 752 Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.

Can. 1371 The following are to be punished with a just penalty:

1/ in addition to the case mentioned in ⇒ can. 1364, §1, a person who teaches a doctrine condemned by the Roman Pontiff or an ecumenical council or who obstinately rejects the doctrine mentioned in ⇒ can. 750, §2 or in ⇒ can. 752 and who does not retract after having been admonished by the Apostolic See or an ordinary;

2/ a person who otherwise does not obey a legitimate precept or prohibition of the Apostolic See, an ordinary, or a superior and who persists in disobedience after a warning.

The bible is absolutely explicit in its opposition to Sodomy, both in the old and new testament. Paul list it as a sin 1 cor 6:9. No one is ostracised by the church for their orientation the sin does not condem homosexuals, only homsexual actions.

We need to act towards those of homosexual orientation with the love of Christ, certainly. But Christ NEVER condones sin. Go your way and sin no more is rather the line he takes. You are right to be concerned for the needs of homosexuals however the answer to their needs does not lie in our condoning the sins of those who engage in homosexual acts. Rather, for the good of the persons involved the church supports them to live in a way consistent with the teachings of Christ. This no doubt involves great sacrifice on their part, and the strugle with this issue can be a path to great holyness. Yes, homosexuals can be holy!

Furthermore the bible recognises that marriage belongs properly between a man and a woman. " For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh… Gen 2:24, Ep 5:31, Mt 19:5 Mk 10:7
The fact that some Catholics find it acceptable to publically dissent on this issue in no ways lends and credence to the legitimacy of such dissent. You can find dissenters on almost any issue. We are called to hold fast to the teaching of the church and scriptures and not provide our own make shift interpretations.

Well, I must keep praying for guidance from the Holy Spirit.

I thank you again for your replies, they have been helpful and informative.

For what it’s worth, my problem derives from sympathy with the pain homosexual people can suffer, but I myself do not understand homosexuality. Its very existence puzzles me. But, to judge others, especially good people who happen to be in a gay relationship…is difficult.

I love Catholicism, and feel Rome’s leadership is highly beneficial, and now I have my answer regarding the consequences of disobedience.

Thank you.

Because no one is immune from sin - not even prominent members of the clergy or religous life. You also need to understand that the media loves to put dissident Catholics in the spotlight. There are a few media darlings that you see on the talk shows every time there is a Catholic issue but they are not good examples of faithful Catholics. You can’t blame the media entirely - what’s the news story when a Catholic says “Yes, I believe what the Churhc teaches.”? But it can get annoying when these few are put out as if they are representative of the Church.

Dignity, by the way, is not a recognized group by the Church. It’s members are excommunicated in at least one diocese.

What can add to the confusion is that the Church teaches that once you are Catholic, you are always Catholic. So many of htese people, who are so vocal in their dissidence, are still Catholics. They are just not faithful Catholics.

Who am I to pass judgment on a loving gay couple?

Christians do not “pass judgement” on anyone. You don’t pass judgement on bank robbers or murderers either. But that doesn’t mean that you condone their behavior or fail to recognize sin when it is presented openly.

Why? The truth about marriage has nothing to do with prejudice.

No you cannot support “gay marriage” particularly because there is no such thing possible.

Corki, thank you for the information. I don’t mean passing judgment like in a court, but rather examining the sins of others and deciding whether they are sins or not. It can be very difficult to remove the sin from the sinner in practice.

1ke, I am not yet officially Catholic so it’s not about me per se, but I appreciate your input. But I am coninually pulled towards Roman Catholicism, and am effectively a practicing Roman Catholic wirthout the sacraments! I had a meeting with my parish priest today regarding next steps. Regarding no such thing as gay marriage being possible, perhaps not in the Church sense, but clearly other churches and legislative bodies have recognized unions between partners of the same sex and the ‘free world’ has moved in that direction.

This is different from an issue like abortion, because there we can clearly use science to establish a strong case against it. But with homosexual relations, science is not clearly on the Church’s side, and it is an ever growing club with which to beat Catholicism.

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