Senior Catholic clerics weigh in on gay marriage

I think the position of the Catholic Church in the United States should be to adopt the European approach to marriage where there is state sanctioned “unions” and “marriage” is conferred by religious organizations. Instead, the two are hopelessly intertwined where religious officials can act as agents of the state in conferring both the state sanctioning rights of marriage and the religious sacrament. Ultimately there is no rational basis for the state to deny LGBT people marriage equality rights, even giving all the same benefits and calling it something different has zero rational for the government.

I just saw the interview of Cardinal Wurel (spelling?) with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday this morning. My oh my, did they ever take his words out of context to make it sound like the cardinal was soft on Church teaching on gay marriage.

I wish I had a link to the actual interview but I’m not skilled enough to do it. Please … sombody out there get a link going for us.

Cardinal Wurel did well. Mr Wallace dug a nice pit for him trying to get him to step in and say something that could be interpreted as “unloving” towards SSA Catholics but Cardinal Wurel was too smart to step into it.


Ultimately there is no rational basis for the state to deny LGBT people marriage equality rights, even giving all the same benefits and calling it something different has zero rational for the government.

You’re going to have a heck of a time trying to convince me that either my mother or my father could be easily and arbitrarily replaced. Call it “love” all you want, but if you subject children to a needlessly stressful environment, that’s not love. Every child deserves a mom and a dad, which is why we need to work to preserve biological marriage, between a man and a woman. So called “civil unions” between homosexuals undermine this ideal and are detrimental to society.

There is too much love in this world. - Said No One. Ever.

Yes I will indeed call it love. There is plenty of beauty to be seen in the relationships of two people of the same sex. The problem in our society is we automatically associate it with sex and lust. This is simply not the case for heterosexuals nor for homosexuals.

Nor of course do I find your argument compelling in the slightest. In fact you make a better argument for the prevention of divorce than you do for preventing same-sex unions. I doubt you know of any same-sex couple actively raising children, because if you did you would see they parent just as well as any heterosexual couple. The damage doesn’t come from the relationship, but from those that actively condemn homosexuality.

The bible itself reminds us the concept of marriage has changed over the millenia. It also reminds us to be mindful about making judgments about others especially those that are view as “unfavorable” by society.

“Dead bodies float downstream.” – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Appearing on Bloomberg’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” retired Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick said he has “no problem” with civil unions for gay couples that confer the same rights as marriage.”

“I certainly would prefer that” to what I could call ‘a marriage,’ in quotes,” Cardinal McCarrick said.

Catholic teaching does not support civil unions!

Bishop Conley cites a quote from Bishop Salvatore J Cordileone who said:

in no way can civil union measures be considered a permissible compromise or a step in advancing the common good; instead, they directly violate principles of justice and accelerate the push to redefine marriage itself

Vatican document, ‘Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recongition to unions between homosexual persons:’

In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.

9. What is the Church’s position on legislation to allow civil unions or domestic partnerships?

On two different occasions, in 2003 and 2006, the USCCB Administrative Committee stated: “We strongly oppose any legislative and judicial attempts, both at state and federal levels, to grant same-sex unions the equivalent status and rights of marriage – by naming them marriage, civil unions, or by other means.”

In 2003 a statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated: “Every humanly-created law is legitimate insofar as it is consistent with the natural moral law, recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the inalienable rights of every person. Laws in favor of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex” (Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons, n.6).

At any rate civil marriages are not recognized by the Catholic Church as marriages and the couple in such a union is living in a state of serious sin. So whether homo- or hetero- marriage, it is a sin unless it involves a vow of Holy Matrimony in a Catholic Church. My OCDS president even said we should not attend Protestant marriage ceremonies, that it would be a sin for us to do so.

And the next call will be to legalize pedophilia. Write it down.

I love my parents. Don’t want to marry them, though.

Im not sure this is 100% correct. If Protestant marriages aren’t recognized as such, why would someone who was in a Protestant marriage have to seek an annullment to remarry within the Catholic Church? My understanding is because it is recognized as a marriage, though not a sacramental one.

I think you are right. And if the marriage is between to Protestants who are baptized, it is recognized by the Catholic Church as a sacramental marriage.

Consequently, should such a couple divorce and one of them later attempt to marry a Catholic, that prior marriage–between two Protestants–would have to be submitted to the marriage tribunal, and could well be determined to have been valid.

Indeed. Love your neighbor. Love your enemy.

Love is an act of the will, not of the flesh.

Here is a good definition of love that I read here:

True love is “other-centered” and willingly diminishes, while it nourishes others to the exclusion and often to the detriment of the self. It has no “contingency”, and is forthright and enduring.

The matter at hand is not whether homosexuals should be allowed to “love” each other, where love is as described above. Of course they should, as should we all. And a marriage “certificate” is not required to do that. The approval of society is not required to do that.

The matter at hand is “sex outside of marriage.” And here I’m talking about marriage as defined by God (“become one flesh…go forth and multiply”) Gay marriage is impossible, since the marriage cannot be consummated. There are no “2” persons (male and female), there are 2 of the same “person”, and so they cannot combine to become “one” person / flesh. And neither can they multiply, not even theoretically.

Homosexual “sex” acts are not acts of love. They are disordered desires manifested as disordered acts. Instead of this sex act potentially resulting in a seed planted in fertile “ground”, the seed is intentionally planted in a location designed for defecation. Like all of our disordered desires, the truth is turned upside down and mocks God and his creation, and his commands.

The church teaches that those with same sex attraction have a difficult cross to bear, and that we should be aware of this, and sympathetic to it. They should bear it in the same way that unmarried heterosexuals should - which is to say, celibacy.

We all have crosses, though I admit that celibacy is a tough one to be told one must embrace when disordered desires can be so strong.

Right. Jesus told (at least indirectly) those who would stone the woman caught in adultery not to judge her. But he went on to say to the woman even more explicitly, go and sin no more. Jesus tells all of us, homosexuals included, the same thing.

So if I read that correctly, certain **Catholic ** Church leaders support at least civil unions? Why is this allowed?

NO. In charitable language, certain church leaders have acknowledged that once a change in law by a valid government has been made that to a certain extend we must live with it.

Having “Civil partenerships” or similar legal forms that are different in name from “Marriage” in Law is very much the lesser of 2 evils when compared to having a law that calls such unions “Marriage”, and enables or forces religious organisations to ritualise and facilitate such ceremonies… But evil they remain.

That is not what this sounds like to me:

*Appearing on Bloomberg’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” retired Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick said he has “no problem” with civil unions for gay couples that confer the same rights as marriage.”

“I certainly would prefer that” to what I could call ‘a marriage,’ in quotes,” Cardinal McCarrick said. *

Thank you ricmat, when I first read stlcatholic86’s post I was shocked and wanted to write something back, but I think that’s a perfect response you have given, It’s everything I would have liked to of said :thumbsup:

Id just like to add something small to it, that will hopefully show clearly why it is wrong to think that homosexual couples should raise children.

A Child needs role models, which are the parents to mimic, whether they want them to or not, they will mimic them and their lifestyle if they are homosexual or hetrosexual, because it’s all they know, there is no magical choice that they can make, because their choice is bias, with hetrosexual parents their choice will be bias towards hetrosexuality, regardless if they are homosexual or hetrosexual, same with homosexual parents, their choice will be bias towards homosexuality regardless if they are homosexual or hetrosexual, they mimic their parents in how to live their life by what they do, kids are very observant.

Please consider these facts:
A) The nature of homosexuality means using your organs in a manner they are not designed to be used for (this is why we say that homosexual desires are disordered and immoral desires to act on)

B) The greatest role models or influences in a Child’s life are their parents, not what they say, but what they do. (Example when a parent say’s to their Child “Don’t Smoke” the chances of that Child smoking are greatly increased simply because the parents smoke)

People might say that A) is behind closed doors so there is nothing for them to observe and mimic, but even if they kiss their partner in a way that a hetrosexual couple would, than it’s no longer behind closed doors.

Homosexual couples acting on their desires are percieving that their actions are not perverse, disorderd or immoral, and in doing so the children that they raise will perseve the same thing, than what kind of view will those children have on what desires are disordered, perverse or immoral desires to act on? what is a child supposed to say to themselves about the acts of homosexuality being apparently normal? it won’t add up, how are they supposed to live their lives? what kind of example will be set when it comes to acting on sexual desires?

We all suffer from immoral and disordered desires, homosexuals and hetrosexuals, just because we desire something doesn’t make it right, In the New Testament it teaches us not to be a slave of our disordered and immoral desires, because our desires will ultimatly leave us for dead, we must rule our desires not let our desires rule us.

I also liked what TheUserName also mantioned, because Im the same, they are going to have a heck of a time trying to convince me that a child doesn’t need a mum and a dad, the common response to that is “what about single parents” and the thing about that is, I doubt that single parents intentionaly set it up that way for their children, however homosexual couples are intentionaly setting it up that way for the children they plan to raise which is very wrong I think.

Thank you for reading

I find the state has no legitimate interest in denying marriage to same-sex couples, even with the name. It simply goes against a plain text reading of the 14th Amendment and denies the SCOTUS decision of Loving v. Virginia that “marriage is fundamental right.” The issue here isn’t religious “marriage,” but civil “marriage.” Marriage has been an evolving institution since the beginning of time. With that said it is likely that SCOTUS will decide Prop 8 on narrow grounds, making gay marriage legal in California and strike down DOMA allowing the federal government to recognize same sex marriage in states where it is legal.

Separately, I think the notion that Josh brings up that kids will learn homosexual “behaviors” as incredible dubious. This would suggest that heterosexuals would never have homosexual kids because their would be no place to “learn” such behavior. Just as straight parents raise gay kids, gay parents raise straight kids. There is zero empirical evidence to suggest homosexuality is a “learned” behavior and anecdotal it makes no sense either.

At the end of the day we just have to disagree to disagree.

Would the authors’ of the 14th Amendment have agreed that the amendment permits same sex ‘marriage?’ If not, then it could not have been in the plain text meaning of the amendment.

Did the Loving v Virginia court mention that their ruling would perforce legalize same sex marriage? If it was not the authors’ intent to put it in there, then the only way it gets in there is for someone to change the meaning of what they actually said–to add something that was not there to begin with. That of course, is just making it up as you go along. But we’re used to that by now.

Marriage has not been evolving since the beginning of time. But suppose you’re right. If it “evolves”, then what is the limit? What will, in the end, NOT be permitted as “marriage?” I ask this not as a rhetorical question. Where would you put the limit?

We ALL have exactly the same marriage rights at this point in time. We ALL have the right to marry a person of the opposite sex who is not related to us closely, and reap whatever benefits the state allows for that union. We also ALL have the right to love any person we want outside of marriage, including those of the same sex. We don’t need an amendment or certificate or societal approval for that. And NONE of us have the right to marry “anybody we want just because we love them.”

What is happening has nothing to do with marriage. What is happening is that per God, per society, per cultural norms that have been in place since the beginning, man-woman marriage is OK. The hidden agenda has nothing to do with marriage. It’s about taking something that is NOT OK, and making it OK. It’s all about forcing society to accept disordered and sinful acts as OK. If God won’t approve it, then we’ll get society to approve it by other means - the force of the state. “Approval” is what’s behind all this. That way, nobody can say “it’s sinful”, or “It’s wrong.” What is desired is that nobody can have those beliefs, or say them out loud.


Cardinal Wuerl was our bishop for many years (Pittsburgh) and he is a highly intelligent, well-spoken and holy man. He would easily outsmart the likes of Chris Wallace.

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