Church Teaching on”Same-Sex Marriage”

marriage_logoI found this video out on YouTube. It is rather well done in articulating the Church Teaching against “Same-Sex Marriage.” It is sensitively done as well, making clear that the Church does not reject or “hate” individuals with homosexual orientation. Yet to speak the truth in love means that we must insist on abstinence from sex for all unmarried individuals. Further, we cannot depart from Biblical teaching on the nature and purpose of marriage. We must remain consistent with Biblical truth and the constant teaching of the Church. It is a rather brief video and I recommend you view it and share the link with others.

Bottom line is, God has established marriage as a stable, lasting union of a man and a women and oriented it to the pro-creation and rearing of children. I have often quoted Genesis 2 and 3 in this regard but, here is another quote from the book of Malachi 2:15-17:

15 Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring.  So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. 16 “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself  with violence as well as with his garment,” says the LORD Almighty.   So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.

Here then is the video

9 Replies to “Church Teaching on”Same-Sex Marriage””

  1. Polemic is not allowed in the Roman Church it seems, as my reply seems to have been removed?

    How dare one dissent or challenge!

    I think the removal of my comments adequately proves my point previously made?

    The Roman Catholic Churches power over its people…….

    1. Hey Morse,

      I am sorry I wasn’t able to post your last comment. I try to keep a tone here that moves the ball forward. Comments should focus on the issues not on people and motives. Your deleted comments were largely ad hominem argumementum (or should I say ad Eccelsiam?) In other words you were content merely to attack the Church and guess at her motivation rather than focus on the issue. As you might guess the purpose of this blog is not to merely to attack the Church. This blog exists to encourage Catholics in their faith. Legitimate questions as to why the Church teaches this or that are good and provide an opportunity for vigorous discussion. I was not born yesterday and I know that even very faithful Catholics are at times troubled by Church teaching or are puzzled as to why something is taught or what it means. I am happy to field questions that focus on issues even if they ask tough questions. But simply accusing the Church of power mongering etc. is neither helpful nor accurate.

      If the Church could wield her power as you suggest perhaps the world would be a lot more Catholic. As it is we are not so powerful in a temporal way as you suggest. I as a priest must be content to be a prophet but I am surely not a police officer. I cannot force people to live to the faith. I must try to persuade, encourage and teach. In the end they are in their own power not mine or the Vatican’s.

      If you wish to comment I might suggest you focus on the issues raised. Please avoid arguments that try to impugn motives or are simply attacks at people and institutions. Also, please be sure that I WILL NOT publish links to dissenting materials. Make your arguments in your own words and be willing to use your own insights. A blog of the Archdiocese simply cannot refer people to what we consider to be false and/or misleading interpretations of Scripture or Church teaching. I hope you will understand that.

      If you have a point to argue in your own words, with your own point of view in a way that is not ad hominem I will be happy to post and then reply.

  2. Thank you for your reply,

    Although I still have grave concerns about the video and my main points that were withdrawn remain my primary concern.

    However, If I may then ask a legitimate (and genuine) question pertaining to matters sexual:

    With a comprehensive understanding of the hebrew and Greek language ( You must be theologically trained ) you will know there is an inordinate amount of textual variation and semantics within any given text, indeed with emendation of the language that scholars continue (from what we have learnt from the Dead Sea Scrolls for example) will surely only prove that the soundness of the biblical text is wholly unwarranted.

    Therefore how can you possibly hold true to a few key text knowing that anything you (the Roman church) propose regarding any issue (but we’ll stay with matters sexual) can be so easily refuted?

    Today the Anglican Church is splitting because of this issue – but that I feel is due to open debate being allowed, and with the greatest of respect, congregations within the Anglican community are encouraged to question debate and argue more than their Roman brothers and sisters. Thus we have a deep irony.

    I look forward to your reply, and thanks for engaging.

    1. There is not a lot of textual variation. Biblical texts are remarkably consistent when it comes to sexual ethics and there are not a lot of textual problems with the passages. All the texts, both Old Testament and New speak very clearly that sexual union outside of marriage is seriously wrong. Fornication, Adultery, homosexual acts are all wrong. What you claim to be a few texts are actually dozens and they are not on shaky grounds. It is a fact that certain groups or individuals may claim there are textual problems but this does not mean those claims stand the tests of scholarship or hold up against the consistent interpretation Tradition has had of them. Further, I have read some of the literature which strives to radically reinterpret certain texts and it usually asks us to abandon the plain meaning of the biblical text in favor of some very outlandish meanings and some rather doubtful historical claims.

      So the bottom line about the Biblical texts is that they are clear, consistent and concise. Sexual union outside of marriage is wrong, whether heterosexual or homosexual.

      As to the Anglican Communion, you are right they have surely split asunder. I personally think it demonstrates that when a large segment of an ecclesial communion abandons or opens to radical interpretation one of the pillars on which it rests, it cannot stand. Scripture is one of those fundamental pillars. Accepting its fundamental message and protecting it from radical misinterpretation is a sine qua non for church stability. While it is true, there may be a range of acceptable interpretations of many passages, it must also be admitted that Scripture has a plain meaning too. It’s message is not THAT difficult to understand. Hence, part of what the Roman Catholic Church has done over the centuries is to set forth some guard rails in Biblical Interpretation. There are just some interpretations that go too far either because they reject the plain meaning of the text, or do not stand up to scholarly scrutiny, or gravely offend against the long historical understanding of the Church’s Tradition, and so forth. It is the Church’s obligation to set forth these guard rails. Otherwise the Scriptures are lost under layers of exotic claims and ultimately become a document that divides rather than unites. Surely the Anglican communion has lost its way and has fragmented into ever smaller camps. This would NOT be a good example to follow.

  3. You state: ‘Biblical texts are remarkably consistent when it comes to sexual ethics and there are not a lot of textual problems with the passages.’ Both christian and hebrew scriptures.

    There is NO clear word for homosexuality – not until 1946 did the word appear! Not in the Gospels and the seven references in the bible are not very expressive. Thus hermeneutics is recognised as being the centre of the debate. There is NO clear understanding, you hold to your party line – similarly many do not….but you and the Roman Church are no more correct in your interpretations because interpretation is all you (we) have.

    Regarding sexual ethics – why cherry-pick a few verses? Look at context of what is written? Lev: 18ff…..

    Are we to stone to death blasphemers? Lev:24ff of course not – so why condemn same sex partnerships? – texts must be read in context! Or is the real truth because they will not produce little Roman Catholics who can be inculcated into the faith who in turn will grow older and put money into the coffers?

    Gary Potter President of the Catholics for Political Action (you’ll know of him) talks of ridding the states of ‘evil’ namely the rights of the secular community and the ‘rights’ of homosexuals. Their ‘rights’ where does he display the love discussed in your video?!?

    I sound harsh but read the scriptures??? One can finds a God who justifies polygamy, racism, sectarianism, slavery, ethnic cleansing and genocide, and yet God condemns homosexual acts! Need I say more? I need not justify my position merely quote the scriptures.

    1. The biblical word is sodomy or sodomites. That we moderns prefer the word homosexual acts or homosexuality is our linguistic change. Modern translations simply refer to the development of our language. In the old days we called homosexual persons “sodomites.” That is considered offensive today and so modern translations reflect a greater sensitivity, but the meaning of the texts and the word is still clear. Further the biblical word is clear as to what it refers to. There are a number of texts that make it clear that it is “an abomination” for a man to lie with a man as with a woman (e.g. Lev 18:22; Lev 20:13; Romans 1:26-27). It is not unclear to what these texts refer even if the modern word “homosexuality” is not used.

      Regarding the texts there is no “cherry picking” going on. All the biblical texts on this topic are consistent in their negative assessment of homosexual activity as well as heterosexual mis-behavior (eg. fornication, adultery, lewd conduct etc). There are no texts which affirm homosexual activity. The scriptures are consistent and clear, and have a very plain meaning.

      As for the death penalty being prescribed, it is surely a confirmation that the scriptures consider sexual mis-behavior to be a serious matter. Stoning etc for adulterers, homosexual acts etc. was sometimes carried out, sometimes not. I suppose it is much like today where the death penalty may or may not (usually not) result from certain crimes.Just because it is allowed or even in rare cases “prescribed” does not mean we always go to that extreme. So it was in biblical times. But the fact that they did not always enforce the death penalty does not mean that the moral judgment of the acts is null just as today it does not mean that we think murder is fine just because we don’t impose the death penalty.

      Your cynical attack on the motives of Roman Catholic teaching is ugly and incorrect. Please avoid ad hominem attacks. No only is it rude, but it also discloses the possibility that your own motives are less about understanding the teaching of the Church and more in a desire simply to attack. If the Church cared only about money we would hardly be as prophetic about moral issues as we are.

      I don’t know Gary Potter or the group you mention so I will reserve any comment.

      Your last point would require a lot of ink. Each issue has a history of its own. But I will only say here that there seems to be a logic in your thinking that says, “If all issues are not condemned, then no issues should be.” That doesn’t seem realistic. Some moral issues have been clear from the start, and are quite simple and straight-forward other issues have required a longer time for God to lead us and teach us. I

  4. I do thank you for engaging in debate with me. Its clear we will not agree on this issue. I still hold true to my points.

    My cynical attack on the church may be ugly but I do (however hurtful – maybe i could have used language which was a little softer) feel there is some justification in the comment all religions are prothletising – thats their point in being. I think, only my opinion, that if no religious education in any form was allowed until children reach an age of reason (which would be my preference) the world would look very different – thats my point.

    Regarding your point about morality -You and your friends may do a lot of good in your community, but for good people to do bad things it ONLY takes religion…as the saying goes..

    Anyway; whilst we will cross swords over this issues and never meet in the middle i do thank you for your time.

  5. I didn’t like the video, I think Christianity should be fluid, as it was when Christ was alive, and a brief time after his death. There were many books and pamphlets circulating about Christianity, with differing viewpoints.

    It has always struck me as odd, why they wanted to collect a certain collection of book and label it Bible. But I presume that is just another roman trait that has been intertwined with Christianity.

    1. Hmm…. is there nothing fixed for you? Something essential and unfluid seems necessary for a sure foundation. Further, your description of early Christianity is based on what? The only source we have is the Scriptures themselves which report a very strong dogmatic core to the early Christians. Paul for example is very clear to denounce error and heresy. The early Christians in Acts of the Apostles also had to set very clear parameters as to questions of authority, questions of receiving Gentiles, what rles were essential. Etc. Do you have some other source that describes Christianity as “fluid” ?? I suspect you’ve just imagined a “designer” Christianity. The real one recorded in the books of antiquity is quite clear as to the necessity of many doctrines and is quite clear to correct and refute error.

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