We live in strange times. On the one hand there is the marketing of “natural” and “organic” food. Processed foods and products are bad, natural and organic ones are good. Free range chicken, grass fed cattle etc. Nothing “unnatural” should enter the body. Or so the logic and marketing goes.

But when it comes to human sexuality and also the raising of kids, apparently, nature has to go. Many women take unhealthy and artificial pills to drastically alter their hormonal system and become chemically sterile. Or artificial barriers are used to unnaturally hinder the sexual act for its natural end. Perfectly healthy babies are aborted from wombs. And many today advocate homosexual acts as normal even though any study of the design of the human body will indicate that man is not for man, or woman for woman. Rather, man is for woman, and woman for man. In Romans 1:27 St. Paul calls homosexual acts παρὰ φύσιν (para physin) , “contrary to nature.”

The latest rejection of nature is the declaration of Florida’s 3rd District  Court of Appeal that “gay people and heterosexuals make equally good parents.”  It is odd that Mother Nature never got the memo from the Florida Court for she apparently thinks it is best for a child to have a (female) mother and (male) father. In her plan,  Mother Nature never made the two daddies, or two mommies option equally available through something like parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction). Mother Nature in her backward and primitive notions only allows for natural conception to occur between heterosexuals. But the Florida Court of Appeals has now rescued us from the backward notions of Mother Nature. Here is a summary of the Story from the Florida Sentinel:

Sept. 23–Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami ruled Wednesday that the state’s 33-year-old ban on gay adoption is unconstitutional, unleashing cheers from the gay community and condemnations from conservatives. A three-judge panel upheld a Miami court ruling that Martin Gill could adopt the two foster children he had been raising with his partner. The appeals court ruled that the ban on gay adoption was unconstitutional because it singled out gays as unfit parents. Judge Gerald Cope, who wrote the opinion, said there was no evidence to show that gays were less effective than heterosexual parents. “Given a total ban on adoption by homosexual persons, one might expect that this reflected a legislative judgment that homosexual persons are, as a group, unfit to be parents,” Cope wrote. “To the contrary, the parties agree ‘that gay people and heterosexuals make equally good parents.’ “…….The appeals-court decision is not the final word on the law. Gill and the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented him and his partner, want the state to take the case to the Florida Supreme Court to obtain a final statewide determination on the law.

Shelbi Day, staff attorney for the ACLU….. said, “This is a very solid and well-written opinion that very clearly states what the science says — which is that gay parents make just as good parents as straight people,” John Stemberger, head of the Orlando-based Florida Family Policy Council, which opposes gay adoption, criticized the conclusions reached by the court. “They ruled that two dads are just as good as a mom and a dad. We know that is empirically wrong,” Stemberger said…..Copyright (c) 2010, The Orlando Sentinel, Fla.

Now honestly, does it really stand to reason that “two dads are just as good as a mom and dad?”  No it does not. It is clear that it is best for every child to be raised and influenced by both a father and a mother. A father has things to teach his child that only a father can teach. Likewise for a mother. Being raised and formed with both a male and female influence is clearly better. It is plain that nature (and I would add, nature’s God) intends for parents to exhibit diversity, that both sexes influence and form children. Two fathers or two mothers is not “equally good” or “no less effective” than heterosexual parents.

Now notice, I have not quoted one Bible verse here. I only ask you to consider in this post a simple natural law approach. The statements by the Court and advocates of its decision are setting aside what nature has clearly given us as the best and proper model for children. Many of these same advocates talk extensively about diversity in everything else as being wonderful. But when it comes to raising children they want to sing a different tune.

What is natural is what is best. Children need and deserve the diversity that a mother and father can provide. To intentionally place them in less than ideal situations when more ideal settings are available is unjust.

In the end, it is not nice to fool Mother Nature. We don’t usually fare well when we toy around with what she has set forth. Governor Crist said of the ruling, “This is a great day for Florida.” But time will prove where wisdom lies.

68 Responses

  1. Pat says:

    Interesting that so many mental health doctors say homosexual adoptions are a mistake. They give a long list of reasons why–including sexual abuse, and violence from the homosexual adults.
    Most of the the homosexual “marriages” do not last, and their life span is said to be short. As for the children, they know when things are not right, they naturally want a mother and father –not two people that are partners…
    A lot is coming from the health field exposing the error in homosexual adoptions, but sadly it is is being ignored by selfish people with an agenda. They are not doing children a favor–they are causing them harm.

  2. Nick says:

    Epic condemnation of the book “The Sexual Person” by the USCCB:

    INADEQUACIES IN THE THEOLOGICAL METHODOLOGY AND CONCLUSIONS OF “THE SEXUAL PERSON: TOWARD A RENEWED CATHOLIC ANTHROPOLOGY”

    It includes Church teaching on morality, philosophy, sexuality, and especially homosexuality.

  3. Nick says:

    I wonder what people who advocate gay marriage and adoption think of biology? Because in biology, mascularity and femininity are what make mammals the mammals, and human beings are mammals.

    • Charlie says:

      Here is a list of mammals that show homosexual behavior.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mammals_displaying_homosexual_behavior

      • You don’t expect people to take this seriously do you? This sort of thinking shows how base we have become in comparing ourselves to brute animals. In the end what you call “homosexual behavior” is explicable in other ways. WHen I was a kid the family dog would sometimes “hump” my knee so I’d shoo him away. Sometimes he’d go after the sofa arm too. What am I to make of this? Nothing other than a confused animal in some sort of misguided moment.

        Now, back to the subject, rational human beings who can learn from what their body teaches them by its design.

  4. Mr M. Savage says:

    Judge Gerald Cope… said there was no evidence to show that gays were less effective than heterosexual parents.

    This reasoning is flawed:

    It is not for the current ‘order’ to prove that homosexual unions make bad parents for adopted children, nor even for homosexuals to prove that they make good parents, for this is to build a case on something which is itself subject to a higher right, namely the right of a child not to be denied access to (or hope for) a mother and a father.

    This principle is easily understood when considering slavery, where equal civil rights for all trumps the question ‘should people be allowed to keep slaves’.

    It is the same argument with Pro Life, where the right to life for an unborn child overrules any apparent right for a woman to choose ending a pregnancy.

  5. Erin says:

    I wonder what the church’s position on adoption by singles is. I’ve always felt called to adopt a child and I plan to pursue this after I finish my doctoral studies. However, I would be doing so as a single woman, not by choice exactly but I have yet to find a spouse. I completely agree that a child benefits most from 2 parents (male and female of course), but I also believe an orphaned child is far better off with me despite not having a husband than in his/her current situation.

    • Yes, I am not sure. I think Catholic Charities does not place infants with single parents as a policy. But I’d have to check. The situation is more complex when it comes to older children who may not have lots of people wanting to adopt them. I am just not sure of the policies here.

  6. Tim H says:

    The secular courts ignore sin. Placing a child in close proximity to sin and teaching a child that this sin is acceptable is open rebellion against God. Insofar as parties arguments ignore sin, It’s like two blind people arguing what the sky looks like.

    This is why states like Vermont have lost so many Catholics.

    -Tim-

  7. JMG says:

    “Now notice, I have not quoted one Bible verse here.”

    “In Romans 1:27 St. Paul calls homosexual acts παρὰ φύσιν (para physin) , “contrary to nature.””

    Lying makes the Baby Jeebus cry, Monsignor.

  8. Daniel says:

    Comparing homosexual versus heterosexual adoptions and their success rates is fine, but what about a comparison between the success rate of homosexual adoptions versus no adoption (foster care until 18)? It’s one thing to speak of the ideal, but are there times when the lesser evil, for the benefit of a child, might be SOME parents who care ? Could it ever be justified, or is it better to ban it and allow some children to go without the benefit of any type of family?

    • Yeah, I wonder about this too. It seems to me from my research that there is usually a waiting list for newborns. But it is a true fact that older kids are not as easily adopted. I don’t know all the reasons why some kids end up in foster care in this way. Perhaps they were taken from their parents by the state etc. But at any rate I get your point, that is the real comparison of data needed. But in the end we’re still back to square one in that it would seem that the debate would continue if heterosexual couples were still preferred as a policy. What I object to in the ruling is the court’s broad statement that there is no difference. It seems to me that, if it can be found, it is always better to have a father and mother and that this is what nature itself sets forth.

      • Lisa says:

        I work in the public-welfare system. While I don’t necessarily agree that gay or lesbian couples should be allowed to adopt, I do think it’s better for a child to be placed in a permanent, loving and safe home than to “age out” of the system. Foster children who “age out” of the system are more likely to be homeless, experience unwarranted pregnancies, more likely to be incarcerated, be dependent on welfare, suffer higher rates of unemployment, etc. These children do not have family or personal connections or access to education and opportunities as other young adults. In short, it’s not a perfect system but our main goal – and it is an urgent one – is to place these children in permanent, safe homes if reunification with their natural families is not possible. If gay or lesbian couples can provide a loving, safe and stable environment, it is much better than the foster care system for these children in the long run. Until we find enough heterosexual couples willing to adopt these “troubled” children, we are mandated to find singles, unmarried couples – whether heterosexual or homosexual – that are willing and suitable to be adoptive parents.

  9. Continuum says:

    The Archbishop’s words ring shallow and hollow.

    They come from a hierarchy that for decades covered up abuse, hid embezzlements from the faithful, and in some cases willfully allowed the abusers to continue in the priesthood while castigating and denigrating their victims.

    These same archbishops actively fought health care reform in the United States. These same archbishops made under-the-table deals with rightwing evangelicals who called Our Holy Mother Church vile names, and termed the Holy Father himself to be the Anti-Christ.

    The Archbishop and his cohorts now actively campaign against equality by mis-quoting and mis-using facts and scientific studies.

    Is it any wonder, that the Faithful have lost confidence in the Church and the hypocrites who now feign to represent the Words of the Christ.

    • Who is the Archbishop you are referring to here? I wonder too Continuum, if I were to look into your past and find some sin, perhaps a serious one, and then conclude you could never speak of sin in any capacity, ever again. I don’t think my position when it came to that would be fair or realistic. Sometimes former offenders in certain areas are the best healers in that very area due to reform. I think it is a true fact that the Church got off track in terms of unambiguously preaching and applying the sexual norms of Scripture. The past wisdom of treating sexual sin as something of importance was set aside in the 60s and 70s. This sowing in the wind, brought us the whirlwind. Perhaps too you might consider that 80% of the child abuse was committed by homosexual men. The data seems reasonably to show that homosexuals, at least homosexual men, struggle more in this area than heterosexual men do as a group. So I am not sure what you mean by “equality” here since there are significant differences that have to be accepted as part of the discussion.

      • Dan says:

        Perhaps too you might consider that 80% of the child abuse was committed by homosexual men
        Orly?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV5PbrTySxY

      • Interesting video and articulates the position well. However, he cites only one study by a psychologist who may (or may not) have an agenda. The sex scandal according to the John Jay study had 81% of its victims as male. The vast majority of them had reached puberty. Hence this is not true pedophilia from a clincial definition. It simply isn’t credible to say homosexuality had nothing to do with it when the vast majority of victims of victims we pubescent young men and the victimizers were men. There is a homosexual connection here. I don’t know who the psychologist you are citing is but here data just isn’t credible.

        It is possible that those who cite the 80% number aren’t merely attacking homosexuals. It could be that the data compels a conclusion that is not an attack but just a common sense conclusion.

  10. Joshua says:

    Wiil all due respect Msgr. Pope, this is just another sign of why the Roman Catholic church continues to become more and more irrelevant.

    • Not sure exactly what you are getting. That said, ‘relevance’ is not the CHurch’s first mission. Preaching the whole counsel of God and insisting upon it is her first mission. If the world wants to take a holiday from common sense it may not be that we are irrelevant so much as it means the world is wrong and that the gospel is “out of season.”

  11. Vijaya says:

    As always, the biggest losers are the children. Of course the best option for a child is to have a mother and father. That is what nature intends. And the natural law is God’s law.

    That said, there are so many unwanted children living in squalor and subject to terrible injustices. Better they live in a home with same-sex parents than be homeless. Yes, they will be expposed to homosexuality. But imagine what else they’d be exposed to on the streets?

    I agree that in any adoption procedure, the best interest of the child should be considered, so naturally, preference should be given to unaltered heterosexual married folks.

    ps: I had to edit what I said because now I can’t even say “married” without qualifing it as unaltered heterosexual marriage. How twisted our world has become because I’ve heard of strange cases in the news.

    • I understand the quandry about “unwanted children” and realize the difficult decsions involved here and even the tinking that it may be better to be in some care than no care. But in the end what I am addressing here is the court’s pronouncement that there is no difference, nothing more or less optimal between gay vs heterosexual adoption.

      • Vijaya says:

        The court is wrong in saying that the two are one and same. I think they say this in attempts to “normalize” an abnormal behavior.

  12. X Torm says:

    This is a weak argument because it attempts to define parenting as something that nature defines as opposed to the reality where societal forces define it. Biology defines the physical act of procreation and nothing more. The circumstance of how and where offspring are raised are largely determined by things outside of biology.

    If you look at any familial structure outside of the western hemisphere (and even within it for that matter), you’ll see very few family units conform to a one male / one female structure. The western notion of a nuclear family is of relatively recent development and has certainly not been the traditional family unit for most of history and not for most of the world.

    Most of the early arrivals to this country (the US) were raised by single parent or same sex households. Many male heads of household often had to leave home and would be gone for months at a time for work. Child-rearing fell to the women: mothers, grandmothers and sisters. Mothers died in child-birth leaving males to raise children.

    Even today there are families headed by a grandmother and mother, a grandfather and father, mother and aunts, mother, father and grandparent, mother, father, uncle, tribal clans. Jesus himself was undoubtedly raised more by his large familial clan than simply his father and mother. All of these different family types – including those having only same sex parents – have successfully raised children to be healthy happy adults for centuries.

    It is often easy to fall into the trap to believe that what is familiar to us is what is required. However, it is disingenuous to use the familiar as a argument against something you do not like. If you don’t want gay people to raise children because you have a moral opposition to them serving as parents then claim your view honestly and be willing to defend it. Do not take the moral weakling approach and try to manufacture a bolstering argument.

    • Scott says:

      X Torm,

      I generally agree with some of your historical/anthropological observations, but your conclusions from these still haven’t touched the Catholic view of the family. The Catholic view has never been a “nuclear family” view–that is more of a product of 20th century WASP culture. The Catholic view is a multi-generational understanding of the family, and the benefits that come from the complementarity between not just generations, but especially the sexes. What Catholics in the 21st century are particularly keen to defend (because we focus on where the “world, the flesh and the devil” have made the greatest in-roads), is the complementarity of the sexes. These benefits hold in a nuclear family setting, as well as the multi-generational setting (which you correctly take to be more historically typical). Notice that where this complementarity has been historically absent, it is because of sin: in particular, war, and in our times, homosexual relationships. So in our nuclear family era, relationships of two men and two women particularly lack the benefits of complementarity. Finally, Monsignor knows that the nuclear family is a recent phenomenon–he’s both educated and wise ;-)

  13. C Scott says:

    I am so tired of being lectured to about my sexuality – especially from religious figures who know NOTHING about what it is like to be gay.

    I completely understand that physiology says men and women should be together, that they “fit” and that since they “fit” they should reproduce.

    But so what? Being gay is genetic. Do you honestly believe that men and women around the world have, for millenia, chosen to be part of a minority that is reviled? A minority that at the hands of all world religions leads to nothing but pain and suffering?

    Your thinking must be that at the age of 12 or 13 I personally decided I’d rather be assaulted in school, ostricized by peers, lie to my parents, family, and any number of girls who liked me in a way I didn’t like them, because it would be, what? Fun? Exciting? Something different to try?

    I didn’t ask to be gay. I denied the fact that i was gay. I like women – a lot. Just not in the way that it takes to “fit.” Yes, many gay men and women will deny their same-sex attraction and find someone they’re comfortable with and marry them and have sex and then have children. However, that does not make them straight. It means that they’re in denial.

    That’s just a fact of genetics (and God doesn’t care about genetics). I can’t turn on or off being gay. At the time I was conceived, a myriad number of genetic switches were thrown: I’d have brown hair and go gray early. I’d be tall like my father, have the same fingers and toes like my mother. Per-determined and unchangeable traits each, including my sexuality. I was going to be gay.

    This is the same as my being left-handed or right-handed. Genetics determined that I’m left handed. Yes, you could have forced me to write with my right hand as a child (and hey, catholic schools did that for years because being left-handed was somehow sinister), but it doesn’t change the fact that I am left-handed. Period.

    Just because a child is exposed to homosexuality does not mean they will turn out gay. If true, then the reverse should work as well – children exposed to heterosexuals will turn out to be heterosexuals. AND YET, all of these darn homosexuals (who are demanding they be treated equally in society as straight people) derive from heterosexual parents.

    • Scott says:

      C Scott,
      I would actually say that if any “religious figures” knew about the struggles of same-sex attraction, it is the Roman Catholic clergy. As we all know, relative to the rest of the population, our men and women religious have a disproportionately higher level of same-sex attraction. And God Bless them–who knows how many of our favorite saints had such a struggle? If I persevere and see them in heaven, it will just lead me to admire them all the more.

      The Church has never officially pronounced whether same-sex attraction is genetic or acquired–it is agnostic on the issue so far, and the Church doesn’t codify matters of science. But I’m with you, it is abundantly obvious to me that 90% or so of cases are genetic (and I have even argued for the point on catholic radio).

      Studies have shown that children raised by gay/lesbian parents have a higher likelihood of following their parents. Just Google.

      Finally, I sympathize with your frustration. God gives all of us unthinkable burdens. I remember my shock when an extremely wealthy, successful and powerful business leader said that he had noticed over the years that “everyone has their own personal hell”. That was when I realized that it wasn’t just me, or a few other unlucky souls, but all of us. And that is why Christ came on the cross, certainly as sacrifice, but also in solidarity. Peace.

      • JCF says:

        Studies have shown that children raised by gay/lesbian parents have a higher likelihood of following their parents. Just Google.

        “Following”, as opposed to committing SUICIDE? Pardon me if your “Just Google” statistic doesn’t bother me in the slightest!

        Returning to your post: In Romans 1:27 St. Paul calls homosexual acts παρὰ φύσιν (para physin) , “contrary to nature.”

        How can Paul have been speaking of “homosexual acts” . . . when the CONCEPT of homosexuality wasn’t invented until the 19th century?!

        Of course, he wasn’t. At MOST, he was speaking of certain sexual acts between men (probably a bunch between men&women, too). Without the concept of homosexual orientation, however, he was speaking of sexual acts between (defacto) heterosexuals.

        It is ORIENTATION, not mere plumbing, that creates “homosexual acts.” Why is is that homophobes (means “have antipathy towards homosexuals” FYI) never seem to understand this?

        I’d tell you to stick to morals, Fr Pope . . . but you and your Vatican overlord seem to have as little understanding of those, as you do of nature!

      • Hmm… you seem quite angry, not sure who gave me or others here the power to do that to you.

        Incidentally the point you are reacting to was not made by be, rather a commentor.

        In terms of the rest of your point: It is simply silly to suggest that the concept of homosexuality was invented in the 19th century. Paul is very clear in Romans 1 to say that “men did shameful things with men and burned with lust for one another.” He goes on to state that they “gave up natural relations with women.” (Romans 1:27) It is not unclear here what Paul is describing. Your point amounts to wishful thinking.

        You final ad hominem attack indicates you simply ran out of ideas.

    • C Scott,

      I am not lecturing you any more than you are lecturing me for stating your views.

      That being gay is genetic is not a settled matter. But if it were that would not settle the matter. For example if alcoholism were genetic (and may be) then all that proves is that the person should stay away from alcohol. Ditto for things like diabetes. These are abnormal occurances in the usual human capacity to manage sugar and alcohol

      Neither do I know if your orientation is chosen. I doubt it was, at least not in the way one might choose to be a pilot or doctor.

      The fact is I don’t know exactly where the Gay oreintation comes from and you don’t either. Where it comes from is not at issue but what is to be done is. As I heterosexual it may well occur to me to be inappropriate with a woman. I have no business doing it though and this is where morality takes us.

      Being left or right handed is not all that analagous to this situation and is rather a trivial matter when compared to sexuality which reaches the deepest parts of our personality.

      FInally, I have not argued here that children will turn out Gay if with Gay parents. I know others have. My argument is more directly related to the court’s statement that there is no difference between same-sex parents and heterosexual ones. THis is just not sensibile since it is obviously better for a child to have male and female parenting with all the complentarity that includes. THe diversity is just better and is intended by nature.

      • Bender says:

        If genetics makes someone gay, then genetics have condemned that person to extinction since it is biologically impossible to reproduce by homosexual means. Of course, that means, as a purely Darwinist matter, that homosexuality should have died out millenia ago.

        If we are going to pull out the genetics card, then it is genetics, and no one else, that says to gays that they cannot be, they will not be, parents.

      • CScott says:

        “The fact is I don’t know exactly where the Gay oreintation comes from and you don’t either.” Fr. Pope, as long as you choose to believe this, fine. I’ll tell you now, you’re wrong. I know it is not a choice and any other homosexual will tell you the same thing. The difficulty in coming to terms with what and who I desire from the inside compared to what society deems appropriate for me is too great for sexuality to be anything but decided and not chosen.

        “Being left or right handed is not all that analagous to this situation and is rather a trivial matter when compared to sexuality which reaches the deepest parts of our personality.” It is analogous, because I had no choice in the matter, As I initially wrote, this was decided for me before I was born. Are you going to tell me that I chose to be left-handed? That as a toddler I (and every other left-handed person over time) thought, hey, let’s use the left hand? And that as we learned over the years how much simpler life is for the right-handed we chose to struggle along with tools and appliances designed for right-handed people? And more? Incredible on your part.

        Diabetes is a disease. It is a failure of part of your body to function properly. If one has a genetic pre-disposition to this failure they MAY become diabetic. It is not decided. Others become diabetic (Type II) due to lifestyle decisions, like being obese. Again, this is not genetic, it’s a choice – be fat or not.

        Alcoholism is far too hit or miss within families (like mine), so yes there may be a genetic component, but again it is not decided… a pre-disposition perhaps.

        PS “I am not lecturing you” Please. The church lectures every Sunday from the pulpit. Any time you write, you’re representing the church. You do not post as a private citizen. You write with the authority of a priest and yes, the church still believes that it should tell people how to live their lives based on the texts of the bible and decisions made by others over 2,000 years of church history. You and the church continue to try and shoehorn 2,000 year old teachings into 21st century situations and problems, forgetting that there are secular policy decisions which you should stay out of and religious decisions you have every right to discuss and make pronouncements.

  14. Paul Rimmer says:

    Actually, you did quote a Bible verse, from Romans. It’s unnecessary to your article.

    For the record, I disagree. I think two men are better than one, but not as good as a man and a woman to raise children. So either single people shouldn’t be allowed to adopt (in which case, the question still stands), or gays should be allowed to.

    Really, for secular society, this should be resolved by study, and not by religious bias and outmoded crypto-animism disguised as “natural law”.

    • Scott says:

      “Crypto-animism”? Can you say “straw man” argument? Actually, isn’t a “straw man” a kind of “crypto-animistic” thing? But I digress…

      Look, intellectual debate is useless without a charitable reading/understanding of the other’s argument. The first thing you learn in a PhD program: charity is the virtue of good academic work. Otherwise, you are just burning straw men, and that is boring, unenlightening and self-serving. If you really want to know what the Church teaches about the complementarity of the sexes, try John Paul II or Robert George.

      • Paul Rimmer says:

        I’ve read John Paul II. Both the “Love and Responsibility” before he became pope, and that “Theology of the Body” collection after. In terms of its depth and scope, amazing; much of the theology is beyond me. But in terms of its actual meaningfulness to my life, or anyone else, I was not impressed. Also, despite the richness of the position he defends, his arguments for that traditional Catholic position were unconvincing. The system is pretty, but I don’t think it connects well to reality.

        Ultimately, I find Natural Law to be uninteresting. I find studies about fitness of relationships to be interesting. If good studies comparing single parents to gay parents were conducted, I’d be interested in the results. I’d bet that gay families are healthier than single-parent families, but not as healthy as the traditional families. There must be a reason we evolved to desire a monogamous husband-and-wife structure. But all that’s conjecture. Without the empirical facts to back it up, it’s pretty-much as useless as Natural Law.

      • Bender says:

        So, Paul, I’m guessing that you lean toward utilitarianism?

      • Paul Rimmer says:

        In terms of politics, I favor John Rawls’s political liberalism.

        For personal ethics, I don’t know. None of the systems I’ve studied seems to provide very satisfying answers. Some are more interesting than others, but none seems to work very well.

  15. ThirstforTruth says:

    Thanks for a practical and reasonable approach to this emornous moral and cultural problem…and the truly
    reasonable approach that the Church teaches about this dis-order. Am sending this to my children to share
    in the teaching of our grandchildren….a subject we have had difficulty in our family convincing the young that
    while what our Church teaches is counter-culture, it is based upon God’s love and plan for us set out in the world of Nature! .You have given all Catholic familites here a great and meaniingful lesson to proclaim Thank you and God bless you for this gift…..we will pass it forward!

  16. CPT_Doom says:

    Apparently the good Monsignor is not as up on biology as he claims. After all, there are intersex people – often and incorrectly referred to as “hermaphrodites” – who must be considered part of God’s plan. These people, who cannot be categorized easily as male or female (e.g., an embryo with XY chromosones develops into an external female, albeit one who is infertile, due to Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, or a child born with mixed organs, both male and female), yet can make wonderful parents. Are they to be excluded from the concept of “family” as well? And is it that surprising that if there are people who are physically mixtures of the genders that there are those of us who are psychological mixtures? After all, I got my physical build and looks from my father, but my mother’s eyes. Is it that shocking I got my mother’s sexual orientation as well? Homosexuality and bisexuality are both present in hundreds of species – how can one argue we are not of Mother Nature?

    Every single major medical and psychological/psychiatric expert organization supports equal rights for gays and lesbians, including adoption. Catholic Charities in Massachusetts, before being shut down by Sean O’Malley, placed about a dozen children with gay or lesbian couples over the decade prior to the equal marriage decision in MA, reportedly with no problems. The experience we have with lesbian and gay parents shows that they can produce very healthy and happy children.

    Besides, any look at history tells us that children can thrive and prosper in non-traditional family settings (raised by uncles, aunts, grandparents, godparents, cousins, stepparents, etc.) and any individual can point to traditional family structures that have produced messed-up children. Family structure does not define the success of the children raised therein. In fact, before the advent of modern medicine, it was routine for women to die in childbirth and for families to include many step and half variations of relatives.

    It is also interesting that no one seems to have any problem with children being adopted by other types of people who fail to meet the Roman Catholic ideal of family – including divorced/remarried people (known as adulterers to the Church), Protestant heretics, atheists and even those who refuse to be married within any church (known as fornicators to the Church). Apparently, the only “sin” that matters any more is being LGBT.

    Meanwhile, all around the good Monsignor, there are healthy and happy gay and lesbian people – DC is teeming with us (IIRC, DC is second only to San Francisco for urban areas with large percentages of LGBT people). Perhaps he should take the time to meet us and understand our lives before dismissing our potential as human beings.

    • Hermaphrodites are extremely rare. As it happens some are also born with various birth defects. This is not. We do not take the abnormal to normal but call it what it is, abnormal. Abnormalitites my result from disease, envirnmental causes, genetic mishaps etc. Catholic theology attributes these sorts of things to the fallen world due to Original Sin which negatively impacted the world so that it was no longer paradise and death entered into it. In terms of merely natural law, observable abnormalities do not become normal simply because they randomly appear. In this world, the natural is afflict by uncommon but these abnormalities do not comform to the given nature of things, they depart from it.

      Every single major medical and psychological/psychiatric expert organization supports equal rights for gays….” Please, I was not born yesterday. As for Catholic Charities, they acted incorrectly and were discipined for it.

      That Children can thrive in irregular situations does not mean they should have to.

      What makes you think that “no one seems to have any problem with children being adopted by other types of people…..” There are many concerns expressed by these irregular situations. I written on them here on many ocassions. Divorce, single motherhood etc. all harm children and we need to cut it out. Adding to the irregularlity is no way to improve things though.

      I am not dismissing anyone’s “potential has human beings” You seem to like hyperbole. I do not live in cave and well aware of the presence of Gays in Washington. Why do you presume I know none. And why do you presume that all Gays think alike?

    • Scott says:

      CPT Doom,

      I, as well as millions of other catholics, are also annoyed/disappointed that we have to spend so much time addressing gay/lesbian issues given the current state of divorce and the prevailing hook-up culture among heterosexuals. To use an analogy, sometimes it seems like we are making sure to “make the bed” while half the house is on fire. Unfortunately, constant media stories and rapid changes in law obligate us to once again step forward and reiterate our understanding of the human good.

      I have to take issue with your characterization that gays and lesbians are “happy and healthy”. As far as health goes, the average gay man dies younger than their heterosexual peer in North America due to increased rates in STDs, HIV/AIDS, drug and alcohol addiction, mental health problems, suicide and anal cancer. A quick Google search on any of these issues will give you plenty to read. As far as happiness, see my previous sentence, but more importantly, happiness is an odd thing in that we can never quite know just how “happy” we can be. So I’m sure you have already said many times to yourself already, “I never thought I could be this happy”. Well, as Christians, we believe that we are “guided missiles” (to use Anscombe’s phrase) directed at God, and until we reach God and His love we will be fundamentally restless and moving toward that greater happiness.

      On an autobiographical note, I spent my 20s clubbing and “hooking-up”, and my heterosexual lifestyle mirrored that of my gay friends. I spent my time dancing in clubs (many of them gay clubs–because the music and vibe was better) in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver B.C., and then working in gay-friendly occupations (I was a waiter and academic). I thought I was happy, healthy and beautiful, but when I wasn’t “lost in the moment”, I was miserable and so were all of my friends. Now I’m 37, I’m a “boring” follower of Christ, and I’ve never been so happy. God bless you.

  17. John T says:

    I’m not particularly interested in listening to moral advice on the topic of which sexual behaviors and family structures are “unnatural” and therefore wrong, coming from a man who has presumably taken a vow of celibacy. How unnatural is completely repressing one’s sexuality for an entire lifetime?

    Neither am I particularly interested in listening to moral advice about who should or shouldn’t be allowed to love children and raise them as family, coming from a man who speaks on behalf of the world’s largest international child-rapist protection racket. Until the Catholic Church stops enabling and protecting pedophiles and begins caring about the welfare of children, its moral dictates will have no credibility, and Catholic moralizers will deserve not our attention and respect but rather mockery and disdain.

  18. Bender says:

    Well, of course, such a posting as this is going to bring out a bunch of anti-Catholic bigots and haters by those who claim to be morally and ethically superior.

    They might have saved themselves the effort. We already knew what they would say, what bile they would spew. Yawn. It is pointless to seriously engage directly with such types. They are not interested in dialogue, they are not interested in reasoned discussion.

  19. Mark Koppel says:

    Msgr:

    When you say “Mother Nature”, you are making arguments about natural law and science. Science has PROVEN that same-sex adoptions result in children that are as happy as those in opposite-sex adoptions. Biblical scriptures are irrelevant (and insulting to the Majority of the world’s religions).

    Furthermore, Science has PROVEN that the majority of child abusers are HETEROSEXUAL men.

    More to the point, as has been mentioned, most children adopted by same-sex parents would not be adopted by any other family, another FACT PROVEN by Science.

    You can quote scripture all you like, you can condemn people’s behavior all you like (as we condemn yours), but you cannot argue with facts

    • Your captializing of PROVEN tells me that you know it is not proven. It is not the role of science to prove complex sociological phenomena that cannot easily be compared.

      As for heterosexual men out-numbering homosexual men in abusing children, you have not given any distinctions so I do not know what you really mean. However it is clear that since 90% of men are heterosexual their absolute numbers are going to outnumber homosexual men. The real data would need to include the number of offenders as a percentage of the population in question. But again, let me assert that my article does not mention sexual abuse. I am simply focusing on the absurd claim of the court that two father or two mothers is just as good as a mother and father. In terms of optimal development this is just not so and nature itself provides for a diverse and complimentary influnce for children.

    • Ismael says:

      Such ‘proofs’ come from some statistical researches and statistics can be easily manipulated.

      TRUTH is that there is still very little data regarding the matter, as any well-informed person would know.

      Many of those studies are less than reliable, at best, and research is still going on. Sure Newspapers blow up some preliminary results and usually distorted to make headlines.

      You might throw the words ‘science’, ‘fact’ and ‘proven’ around as much as you want… but clearly you have a poor understanding of the meaning of these words, on how science works and how biased research can sometimes be, escpecially when presented by mainstream meadia.

      Finally we do not argue with facts and you do not present any.

    • anon says:

      In many cases the word ‘research’ is a misnomer. Often advocacy parades as research. It’s wrong to deny children a mother or a father in order to support gay rights. So while we can all debate whether or not the topic has been adequately researched, it has been “proven” that many organizations, i.e. American Academy of Pediatrics, have distorted and disregarded their own findings under pressure from gay rights groups. The statements they’ve put forth regarding children of same sex unions isn’t reflective of their own collected data.

  20. Pat says:

    Dear Monsignor you asked where I got information about the problem with homosexual adoption.
    Here are some of the sites:
    LifeSiteNews.com—- put into the Search box “homosexual adoption” and there are many articles.
    Another site was African Christian Action–looking in their
    search box for the same subject. These are but two, but I have seen other articles on the subject and printed them out and proceeded to misplace them. (I print our so much on various topics).I hope this might be of use to you. I would have sent you the sites and articles but my computer skills are lacking. You probably were aware of
    Life Site News– which I spend a lot of time on–a wealth of information.

  21. Billy Bean says:

    Monsignor Charles: I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian who was born into a Roman Catholic family and received the holy mysteries of Baptism, Holy Communion, and Confirmation in the Catholic Church before falling away from God completely and subsequently coming back to God (how imperfectly!) via Protestant Evangelical Christianity. I always appreciate your wisdom, and if I ever return to to union with the Chair of St. Peter, you will be one of the many reasons why.

  22. Ismael says:

    Nature had to go… it is not ‘politically correct’ enough…

  23. Peter Rox says:

    In the District of Columbia, approximately 27% of adoptions in recent years have been to same sex couples. This is a number in far greater proportion than the proportion of gays and lesbians in the general population. Same sex couples have generously opened their hearts, their homes, and their wallets for these children. Many of these adoptions have been “hard-to-place” children, that is, older kids who have some handicap or maybe a learning impairment. National Public Radio reported this several months ago on one of their nationally broadcast programs. I find it very interesting that almost all of the opposition to same sex couples adopting kids is from people who have not adopted themselves, and who seem to think that the permanent institutionalizing children is preferable.

    It must also be remembered that the opposition that the Catholic Church expresses toward gays and lesbians on every imaginable issue is only one point of view. Many other religious denominations welcome gays and lesbians, such as the Episcopalian Church, the United Church of Christ, Unitarians , Reform Judaism, Baha’i Faith. These denominations also do not relegate women to inferior status as does the Catholic Church. Catholics should allow other religions to peacefully exist in society and not be imposing their viewpoint on all, in our diverse American culture. Remember that the Catholic Church once burned people at the stake for challenging the notion in its dogma that the earth is the center of the universe, rather than the sun. The Catholic hierarchy has always been about 500 years behind its acceptance of science and medicine. What is a shame is that it is 2000 years behind in its acceptance of the Gospel of Love. I know that Msgr Pope will probably say how much the Catholic Church just loves women and gays and lesbians, but the fact is that we must all be judged by our acts, not by hollow words. IN DC, gays and lesbians are adopting kids in far greater proportion that heterosexuals. It is really funny how not too long ago, One of Msgr Pope’s colleagues ran an article in various Catholic newspapers about his vacation in Hawaii, and how much he loved the bumper stickers there that said “no room for hate in 808″ “808” is the telephone area code for Hawaii. I think that the guy’s name who wrote the article was Peter Daly. Daly’s article wrote about the nirvanna that is Hawaii, with people there expressing ( he thought with these bumper stickers) that in the land of all these ethnicities, there can be no hate. Well guys, guess what. The bumper stickers were made and distributed by gay and lesbian groups fighting the hate groups who were opposed to same sex Civil Unions in that state. The problem with Catholics is that they have an approved list of those who should be hated. Tell it to Jesus !!

    • Bender says:

      relegate women to inferior status as does the Catholic Church . . . the Catholic Church once burned people at the stake for challenging the notion in its dogma that the earth is the center of the universe . . . The Catholic hierarchy has always been about 500 years behind its acceptance of science and medicine. What is a shame is that it is 2000 years behind in its acceptance of the Gospel of Love. . . . The problem with Catholics is that they have an approved list of those who should be hated.

      Peter, you really don’t know anything about the Catholic Church, do you? None of what you say is factual or true. None of it.

      And it really is a shame, that apparently all you know are the lies that haters of the Church have told you. If you were to come to know the real Church, and I would invite you to do so, you would see that the Church does indeed love everyone, including women, including gays, including lesbians, including transgendered, including you.

    • Tony Layne says:

      Peter:

      Okay, you’ve established—twice now—that over a quarter of the children adopted in the DC area are adopted by same-sex couples. Could you please tell me how that shows Msgr. Knox to be wrong?

      It must also be remembered that the opposition that the Catholic Church expresses toward gays and lesbians on every imaginable issue is only one point of view.

      Ah, yes, the “moral relativism” argument. If all points of view were of equal truth or equal value, then there is no greater need or weight to adopt one over another. By this reasoning, a “tolerant” view is no more intrinsically worthy to be enshrined in law than an “intolerant” view; thus, the argument from plural perspectives shoots itself in the foot.

      Remember that the Catholic Church once burned people at the stake for challenging the notion in its dogma that the earth is the center of the universe, rather than the sun. The Catholic hierarchy has always been about 500 years behind its acceptance of science and medicine.

      False. So far as anyone was ever burned at the stake, it was for heresy or witchcraft. The terracentric universe was never a dogma of the Church, nor was anyone burned at the stake for it; Galileo himself wasn’t punished (by house arrest in a rich friend’s home) for promoting a heliocentric view of the planets but for making heterodox statements about transubstantiation. When you’re done re-writing history, we coould pick up from there on the relation of science and religion.

      The problem with Catholics is that they have an approved list of those who should be hated.

      You won’t find such a list anywhere. Try reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church; it might inform you of what the Church actually believes and teaches. You might also check out the CDF document On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons.

      The two APAs may very well have sided with the gay community on this issue, but it’s not from a position of science. In fact, both institutions abandoned the scientific method with respect to homosexuality almost four decades ago, and have simply limited themselves to adopting the dogmas of gay liberation wholesale. On the biological side, though, the evidence gathered to date does not support the contention that homosexuality is “hard-wired”. Even the scientists responsible for the since-discredited “gay gene” study don’t believe in a biological switch that permanently determines orientation. The nature-versus-nurture argument was settled long ago in favor of “nurture”; the gay-rights community insists on an exception for sexual orientation not because it’s better science but because it better serves their political and social doctrine. In this respect, it isn’t the Church that’s years behind the science, but rather the social liberals.

  24. anon says:

    There is a girl in my daughter’s class (at Catholic school) who was adopted as a baby and has two moms. Regardless of what anyone (in the school parent group) thought about gay adoption/same sex unions, we all embraced this family as we would any other- to do anything else would be cruel. One day, waiting for a soccer game to begin, the child brought out a scrapbook she made and showed it to the other girls gathered. It was her scrapbook of famous pop culture figures who were also lesbians and bisexuals. It was important to this girl to share this with her friends, 7 year old little girls who didn’t understand what she was about, but we moms did- she needed to validate/elevate her moms’ lifestyle. At a later date, the school hosted a Daddy-Daughter Dance. Another father brought her to the dance with his girls. Several other girls were also there with “stand-in” fathers (several parents were on active duty), but this little girl was obviously uncomfortable in that room. At one point, after several of the dads asked her to dance, she was on the verge of tears. She sat and watched the other girls with their dads most of the night. I really like both of her moms, but it is painfully obvious to me that this child is missing something the others are not and is self aware in this regard.

    Sometimes being without a mom or dad happens, but to intentionally create the situation where a child would be lacking one or the other is selfish, and shame on anyone who overlooks the selfishness to term it “healthy.”

    • Bender says:

      These situations really do put kids in an untenable position. On the one hand, they will naturally want to love both of their same-sex parents, and they might seek to justify and validate their relationship (perhaps even being pressured by their parents to do so), but on the other hand, they might very easily long for the parenthood of the other sex, and even might come to naturally understand as a matter of conscience that homosexuality is indeed not entirely right (I once had a girlfriend whose mom had decided that she likes women, and my girlfriend was not in favor of it, to put it politely).

      And then they will have been put in a position where they fell like they have to choose — parents or conscience, or parents or faith, or parents and need for parenting from the other sex. Having to choose for or against your parents is an untenable and unfair position to put kids in.

      As for the need for parents of both sexes — if Heather has two mommies, she is going to look for a father figure somewhere, she is going to seek to satisfy her natural need for paternal love from someone. Recent times show that little girls who do not have a father in the home (or have an unloving abusive father), lesbian mom or not, will go looking for that needed love in some guy’s bed or back seat.

  25. Anonymous says:

    A few years ago I considered myself a gay atheist. I was deep in the homosexual lifestyle, everything from pride parades to erotic parties to political activism. I was in a relationship and thought I was doing pretty well for myself. Then in a discussion one day someone managed to convince me that gay adoption was not ideal because of what we can see in the natural law. Everything clicked into place (though certainly not in the way I wanted it to), and about a month later God led me to His Church, the last place I thought I’d ever end up.

    God is good.

    Prayers for you, Monsignor. I am sorry to see all of the antagonism you’re getting.

  26. Deacon Joe says:

    And the debate goes on. Sometimes we lose sight of our starting point by focusing exclusively on our ending point. The Catholic Church starts from a particular view of marriage and parenting. From that starting point, certain conclusions will follow, while others will not. More to the point, God intends marriage to be between one man and one woman, and they are the only and hopefully the best parents of any children that may spring from that union. The law in many western countries ran parallel to this premise and conclusion, but that fact does nothing to validate either the premise or the conclusion. It simply means that the law mirrored our moral belief. Now the law is taking a different turn. Why? Because the law in many of the same countries have changed the premise. The result is that the conclusion will also change. In this case, it has, but that fact does nothing to invalidate the morality of the original premise and conclusion. It just means that things have changed. My point is that, when you begin with different starting positions, you are bound to reach different conclusions. Thus, much of the argument that we hear on this issue is a difference over where to begin; not where to end. If we really want to resolve this issue, that is where our arguments would also begin–at the starting point, not the ending point.

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