Church and same Sex Marriage
How it works
Sacred scripture states that homesxual acts are of great depravity. Tradition declares that homesexual acts are intrsenclty evil. Homesexual acts are contrary to the natural law. It closes away from the act of the gift of life (CCC 566). The topic over homosexuality and why it is something that the Church believes is wrong has been debated over for years. The Church believes and teaches that same sex sexual acts are morally wrong. Even though the Church has this belief, they insist that every unjust discrimination against them should be avoided.
Every human life from the moment that they are conceived till natural death is sacred. All human lives should be cared for at every stage. The right to live is a basic human right that everyone should have access to (USCCB Human life and Dignity). Procedures like abortion and euthanasia are great examples of this. A fetus has no way of deciding whether or not they want to live. Even without that babies consent, it should not be killed because it is a human life. The moment that the baby was created, it had a right to live and grow. As with Euthanasia, someone’s life might be taken away as a loved one sees that person has no chance to live. That person, no matter what kind of condition they are in, has as much right to live. In Genesis 1:27, it states that God created every human life in the image of himself. Every life is a reflection of God, therefore human lives should be treated as such (Pope Benedict XVI. “Human Life and Dignity.” Human Life and Dignity, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,2019).
The gay marriage dispute is not purely based on homosexuality, but about marriage. It’s not about who is allowed to marry who, but what marriage itself is. This has been a long struggle from over the years between the views on what marriage is (Girgis,Anderson, and George, Sherif, Ryan T., Robert P 1). Marriage is a bodily, emotional and spiritual bond. Love flows out into sharing a family life and to lifelong faithfulness. The central point of marriage is the spouses’ union of body and mind. Complete vow by making love and creating new life. (Girgis,Anderson, and George, Sherif, Ryan T., Robert P 54). The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenant. A covenant expresses a relationship between two people. The marriage covenant is referring to the relationship between the husband and wife, a permanent union of two people that are able to love each other as well as God.Celebration of marriage is a liturgical act as they are held in a public church.This covenant is also a sacrament. This covenant between two baptized people has been categorized by Christ to be a sacrament. Christ brings attention to the divine plan of marriage. Christs’ first miracle occurred at the wedding of Cana. There is great importance in his appearance at that wedding. It is seen as the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and that marriage will be considered an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence. In the church the consent from both peoples in the marriage sacrament is the heart of the marriage celebration. When two catholics marry there must be consent from both sides. They must exchange this consent in front of the Church’s minister, two witnesses, and the congregation. Priest ask the couple to say these words, to confirm each others consent: “Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, join your rights hands and declare your consent before God and his Church.”In the Eastern Churches, the Sacrament is sealed by the priest after the couples consent is received (USCCB Matrimony 310).
The Church and its beliefs on same-sex marriage, is in line with what God implements in our lives. God has set a plan, a way of life that individuals must follow. In Romans 1:21-27, St. Paul writes about the men and women of his time. In an age of sexual confusion and disorder, calls to chasity are not just unwelcome they are despised. women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. What we as humans do with our bodies matter. As Christians, we find that purpose in the word of God; then so does our sexuality (Pope John Paul II. “Catechism of the Catholic Church.” USCCB). Homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act of life that God created (CCC 566). God created humans in his own image, which means that the sexuality of a man and woman is a gift from God. Genesis 1:27 “male and female he created them.” Man and woman as male and female is inherent within God’s creative design. They can come together in a union that is open to the possibility of creating new life. Homosexual acts close the act of creating life as well as contradict God’s plan. From the beginning of time,God made man and female. Man should leave his parents and become one together with his wife (Pope John Paul II. “Catechism of the Catholic Church.” USCCB).
When someone has an attraction towards something, it is very hard to detach oneself from it. The Church understands this urge or force when it comes to homosexuality. While the Church believes and teaches that homesexual acts are immoral, it also distinguishes between acting apon homesexual acts versus having an inclination. Homosexual inclination is objectively disordered, it is an inclination that influences one toward what is truly not good for the human person. Simply having the tendency or an inclination itself is not a sin. The Church teaches that the experience of homosexual attraction is not sinful. A person has a particular inclination that is disordered is not to say that the person as a whole is disordered. Does not also mean that it has been rejected by God or the Church. Sometimes the Church is misinterpreted or misrepresented as teaching that persons with homosexual inclinations are objectively disordered. While the inclination to homosexual acts is wrong, the person still retains his or her intrinsic human dignity and value (Pope John Paul II. “Catechism of the Catholic Church.” USCCB). The Church as a whole is still welcoming to all.
Those that have homesexual inclinations look to the Church for a place where they might live in authentic human integrity and holiness of life. A welcoming of Christian love by the leadership and the community is essential for this important work. Many with a homosexual inclination feel unwelcome and rejected (Pope John Paul II. “Catechism of the Catholic Church.” USCCB). The Church believes that every form of unjust discrimination towards homosexuals should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter in their condition (CCC 566). Eve Tushnet, the author of Gay and Catholic, talks about gay individuals and the need of a place to be honest and come out openly. In their own way they can model Christian life for others. Tushnet continues to talk about a personal account from an Orthodox Christian who wrote on his blog about homesexuals in the Church. Gregg said that when the Church functions as a place of honesty and openness, those individuals will be able to be loved by the parish. Gregg himself has witnessed the deep love that comes from being accepted (Tushnet 140). Those like Gregg and Tushnet who are Christians are called to unite the sacrifice of Christ in the cross with the difficulties that they might encounter (CCC 566). Many homesexuals fear the Church becuase of its strong beliefs on same sex marriage. The Church does not want these individuals to run away from the church, instead the Church wants to help them through that open moment in their life.
In today’s society, homosexuality is widely accepted throughout the West (“Opposing viewpoints Homosexuality”). In the past years, homosexuality was seen as something that is as open, as it is today. Most of the opposition to homosexual lifestyles, comes from traditional, faith-based ideas on relationships. Although there is a lot of pressure to legalize same-sex marriage, it still goes against God’s plan for marriage and its natural and moral order of creation (USCCB 314). An account from someone who is a devout Catholic, talks about the struggle of embracing same-sex marriage without compromising her faith. His views on same-sex marriage changed when he looked back at her own marriage. His marriage to the one he loved made him more willing to listen to same-sex couples who did not gain the same right to marriage. His religion teaches that there is a difference between their love and his love between him and his wife.The Catholic Church has the right, to perform marriages only to those of the opposite sex (“Opposing viewpoints Catholics Can Embrace Same-Sex Marriage Without Compromising Their Faith”).
Still homesexual acts are a grave depravity and it prevents the form of human life. Immoral actions like these, destruct the human person as well as demindes and degrades the human dignity given to us by God (“USCCB Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination: Guidelines for Pastoral Care”). Even though the Church has these beliefs, they believe that every unjust discrimination against them should be avoided.