There is, among faithful Catholics, a dismay, and even an understandable anger at the events unfolding at the Supreme Court these past days related to to gay unions. And even if the court were to uphold traditional marriage (which does not seem likely), or merely return the matter to the States,  it seems quite clear where our culture is going regarding this matter, approving things once, not so long ago, considered unthinkable.

What then to do with our dismay and anger? It is too easy to vent anger, which is not only unproductive, but in the current state of “hyper-tolerance” for all things gay, angry denunciations are counter-productive.

Rather our anger should be directed to a wholehearted embrace and living out of the biblical vision of human sexuality and marriage. Our anger should be like an energy that fuels our zeal to live purity, and speak of its glory to a confused and out-of-control culture.

The fact is, traditional marriage has been in a disgraceful state for over 50 years, and heterosexual misbehavior has been off the hook in the same period. And, if we are honest, heterosexual misbehavior and confusion has been largely responsible for bringing forth the even deeper confusion and disorder of homosexual activity, and particularly the widespread approval of it.

We have sown the wind, and now reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7).

Our anger, dismay and sorrow are better directed inward toward our own conversion to greater purity as a individuals, families and parishes, than outward toward people who will only interpret it as “hate” and bigotry” anyway.

A few thoughts to frame our own reflections in how we have gotten to this place of darkness in our culture.

1.  The fundamental flaw in modern thinking about human sexuality, the “Ur” (root) problem, is the (sinful) declaration that there is “no necessary connection” between human sexual activity and procreation. Here is the real taproot of modern confusion about human sexuality and all the disorders that flow from it. Such notions began as early as 1930 in the Lambeth Conference where the Church of England was the first Christian Denomination to serious brook this sinful notion. The thinking gained steam through the 1950s, via Margaret Sanger et al. and came to full (and ugly) flower in 1960s with the pill and the sexual revolution.

2. Any 8th grade biology student ought to be able to see the flaw in the “no necessary connection” argument. For if sex has no necessary connection to procreation but can be only for fun or pleasure, then what are the sperm and ova doing there? Did not nature and nature’s God intend some connection. Alas, what even an 8th grader can see, was set aside and/or became unintelligible to a generation obsessed with its passions. Claiming to be wise they became fools and their senseless minds were darkened (Rom 1:22-23)

3. Once the necessary connection between sex and procreation was set aside, contraceptives moved from being something related to prostitution to being a downright “noble” thing to use and promote. Sex became a frivolous plaything and promiscuity became widespread, since the most obvious consequences of sinful, frivolous and out of control behavior, now seemed to be to largely preventable. Promiscuity exploded on the scene and was celebrated in popular culture, in the music, on T.V. and so forth. Enter the further explosion of sexually transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancy, single motherhood and exploding divorce rates. Because guess what? Contraceptives were not full-proof (or should we say “foolproof”). It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature and our “no-necessary connection” insistence  thus ushers in all these disorders.

4. But never mind all that, we didn’t learn, we just doubled-down. Next we put marriage in the shredder by further declaring that there is no necessary connection between marriage and procreation. More pills and condoms please. Divorces continued to skyrocket, as birthrates plummeted.

5. In a parallel trend, single parent families entered the scene in a big way. For if it is true that marriage does not have any necessary connection to children, then apparently having children has no necessary connection to marriage. As single parent families rise, so do juvenile delinquency rates, and teen suicides. SAT scores and graduation rates, however, went down.

6. But never mind all that. What was needed is more condoms! Never mind that contraceptives and the underlying “no necessary connection” distortion ushered all this pain and distortion in. No! what we need is some more hair of the dog that bit us. More contraceptives! The government should promote and provide them free.  In fact, start giving them to children and teens. After all, with decades of sexual misbehavior, who is really able to control themselves? And any one who suggests we ought to try is called puritanical, judgmental, unrealistic and a likely Christian. Let’s add free abortion to the mix and pass laws that permit parents to be kept in the dark when their daughters are taken to abortionists.

OK, you get the point, we heterosexuals have been involved in a down spiraling series of distortions and sexual misbehavior for over fifty years now. And this misbehavior is widespread and even celebrated in our culture.

Add to this terrible picture, the scandalous silence of pulpits, the shrugging over flagrant fornication, cohabitation and high divorce rates by Church leaders, parents, and other community leaders.

Yes, we have sown the wind. And now comes the whirlwind. Enter the “gay” community who have in effect called our bluff and illustrate the absurdity of our “no-necessary connection” philosophy. For, if sex has “no necessary connection” to procreation, and can just be about what pleasures you, or is just your way to show “care” for another, if this is the case, what’s wrong with homosexual behavior? And if marriage is just about two adults being happy and there is “no necessary connection” to procreation, why can’t homosexuals “marry”?

Welcome to the whirlwind. Yes, we heterosexuals have misbehaved for over fifty years now, and, in process dispensed widespread confusion about sex and distorted its purpose. We have loved the darkness, and now the darkness deepens with the obvious absurdity of homosexual “marriage” a misnomer before it is even uttered. But so is contraceptive marriage.

Is Homosexual activity disordered? You better believe it. But so is contraceptive heterosexual activity since it is no longer ordered per se to procreation. In fact, it is rightly argued that contraceptive sex is really just mutual masturbation, it is not true or ordered human sexual activity at all. It is disordered, for it is not ordered to its proper end.

The grave disorder of homosexual acts and the equally grave celebration on them in our culture is a very deep darkness. Scripture calls homosexual activity παρὰ φύσιν “para physin” (contrary to nature – cf Rom 1:26). Any cursory examination of the structure and design of the human body (which is revelation) makes it clear that the man is not for the man, the man is for the woman. The woman is for the man, not another woman. Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? (Mk 8:18)

In Romans 1:17ff St. Paul and the Holy Spirit describe a culture that has gone very dark. For the men of St. Paul’s day “suppressed the truth by their wickedness” (v. 18). And this suppression of the truth led to an ever deepening darkness wherein their thinking became futile and their senseless minds were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools (vv 21-22). And darkness led to depravity wherein: God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lieBecause of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in their bodies the due penalty for their error. (v 24-27).

Some Protestant preachers have warned over the years that God would punish this nation for celebrating homosexual activity. But St. Paul’s point is even more poignant: The widespread acceptance of homosexual activity IS God’s punishment. It is a punishment that does not single out homosexuals, it is a punishment on us all. We are collectively very confused, and the darkness grows every deeper. We have sown the wind, we are now reaping the whirlwind.

The faithful Catholic is right to be dismayed and angry. But allow this anger to fuel commitment to living and speaking the truth. Do not direct it merely to wrath or scapegoating. Let this anger fuel your commitment to speak the truth about human sexuality to your children and grandchildren, to be silent no more, embarrassed no more. Speak plainly and boldly, clearly and with charity. But let your anger fuel commitment to the truth, by what you say and how you live. Be angry, but do not sin (Eph 4:26).

Most of us have contributed to the darkness of these times and need to repent. Perhaps we have bought into the lie of contraception and spread it. Perhaps some have been promiscuous. Other too may have been pure, but were too silent to the impurity around them. And having sown the wind, we reap now the whirlwind. It’s time to repent. It’s time to be angry but sin not.

Update:

Thanks to everyone who participated in the discussion here. I think it is now necessary to close to any further comments. First it is Good Friday and time to focus on the Lord who died for us poor and confused sinners, who endured our darkness to bring us light. Secondly, the remarks have turned largely poisonous and I’m getting some pretty awful remarks.

Trackbacks show that this post was linked to by a couple of “gay” interest sites because the tide has rather suddenly turned and the discussion has drifted from the point of the original post. The initial hit backs came at the post mostly from the contraception dissenters and that was ugly enough but now things are getting even uglier in the combox and the topic in the thread is morphing too much.

I admit to opening the door to “gay” push-back. I am very clear, as is the Catechism, that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and that this is obvious not only from Scripture but also from biology. Our bodies are simply not built or designed for what homosexuals do.

But as is well attested in the article, there are many ways in which Heterosexuals also offend against the proper ordering of sex and thus also engage in disordered sexual practices.

For what it is worth, as a closing comment the point of the post was to wade into the current “marriage equality” (I would call it the “marriage redefinition”) debate with the perspective that we are all to some degree responsible for the current darkness. 50 years of heterosexual misbehavior and redefining the meaning of both sex and marriage has set the stage for cultural whirlwind we are currently in. Many moderns are currently exulting in its lusty breezes, but as I argue, it is rooted in darkness and the body count of the sexual revolution (literally and figuratively) is very high. We all have much to answer for, whether as outright sinners in these matters or as all too silent “saints.”

Clergy are high on the hit list for our silence. But, as can be seen, these issues are hard to discuss well, and with the proper balance of courage and compassion. Yet still we ought to have spoken long before things got so dark and hot.

I do not deny my anger at the current situation that many of my interlocutors accuse me of (as if they were not also angry). My point is to suggest that we who are believers be angry without sin. To use the energy that anger supplies to do whatever personal repenting is necessary, to become ever clearer on the central issues and the “why” of biblical and Church teaching, and to courageously witness to the beauty and truth of a proper understanding of human sexuality.

I want to write more next week and focus a bit more on what the Church must finally offer to those of homosexual orientation (namely the call to live as celibates in heroic witness to the truth of God’s Revelation) if she is to be faithful to Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and Natural Law.

Peace to all even if you think badly of me. Veritatem in Caritate!

This commercial teaches that trouble tends to multiply and advises us to try an avoid ending up in a roadside ditch.

197 Responses

  1. Rock says:

    JPP: do you think that marriage act should be limited to two people? Why yes or not?

    • JPP says:

      The marriage act should be defined by your church. Recognizing marriages should not be a function of the state as it is a religious sacrament.

      Unions should be recognized by the state for any consenting and capable adult. In terms of whether polygamy or polyamory should be allowed, my answer is yes. The state has no business regulating the sex-lives of consenting adults. I have no idea how it should be implemented though and it certainly seems like that option would open another can of legal and custodial worms.

      • Richard Gentle Spirit Bear Webster says:

        I think we should leave Marriage the way that God intended it to be period! One Man one women…I mean come on if everybody were gay how would there be any other generations…common factor here.

      • Brandy says:

        You act as if the actions in the bedroom have no implications for the future of society as a whole and that therefore society has no right nor interest in regulating these actions. This is simply untrue. The very reason that government became involved in marriage is the same reason religion did – what two people do in the bedroom has implications for ALL people in that society. The children I bear – or don’t, the way I raise those children, the example I set by my behavior, these things impact not only me but everyone else around me. Society has a right to speak up and to set rules for this kind of thing precisely because it is largely society and not merely the individuals who bear the consequences for mistakes and misjudgments. How many times do you hear people saying, “I don’t want to pay to raise someone else’s kid?” They recognize that their money has to go to fix the problems created by poor choices in sexual partners, by poor choices in raising a child, etc. etc. This is why government – representing society – has and should have the right to set laws regarding marriage.

  2. Lin says:

    While I agree with many of the aforementioned comments, it is truly a disservice to always link a positive correlation between divorce and contraceptives. While the rate of no-fault divorce and the use of contraceptives appeared to increase in the 60’s and 70’s, there were other societal issues besides the increased use in contraception that may have led to the increase in divorces (i.e. women in the workforce, women having more choices outside of the home, ability to support oneself if in an abusive marriage, etc.). I’m not saying I agree with divorce, but I do take issue with the fact that there always appears to be the connection that a higher divorce rate is automatically due to the access of contraception. Again, there are other issues at play here that should also be taken into consideration.

    • Kendra G says:

      True. Divorce rates in France and Great Britain are less than in America and contraceptives are just as readily available as they are here. I think their divorce rate is less because it’s harder to get a divorce. One must wait several years before the divorce is “approved” by the court and lots of things can happen during that time period, like reconciliation. Americans are notoriously impatient and selfish.

      • Michael Petek says:

        I live in the United Kingdom. Believe me, you can get a divorce here at will. The divorce rate is low because so many fewer get married to begin with.

      • Repent and believe the GospeI! says:

        Lin and Kendra,

        Maybe you should look at the whole picture. How could you not see a link between contraception and divorce? What about a man or a woman who cheated on their spouse and used contraception inorder to avoid pregnancy? Can’t you see that contraception is an enabler to adultery? And here, we have contraception being linked to divorce. Folks, this is logic 101!

  3. Mike says:

    In the ancient tradition of the church, Sodomy is one of the four great sins that “cry out to heaven for vengeance”, the other three being the sin of Cain, oppressing the poor, and withholding the wages of the laborer. Our nation has embraced three of the four sins, and soon our government may embrace Sodomy. When and how will the vengeance of heaven come? Can we beg his mercy?

    Our only hope is indeed God’s mercy. He visited the people of ancient Mexico through his mother, and millions were converted. Turn to her again, Our Lady of Guadalupe.

    Thanks Msgr. The root cause of this is indeed contraception. If we start there and begin preaching on this, results will come. Working on any of the other branches of the bad tree without digging out this diseased root will of no avail. The reason we have divorce and promiscuity and abortion and child molestation and sodomy, is that we have forgotten the sacredness of this act of creating new life.

    Going to print your article and share with my fellow parishioners.

    • Robbie J says:

      +1

    • Brother Art isT says:

      Mike… While I may agree with the Monsignor that heterosexuals should look to their own disordered behavior first (take the log from your own eye before attending to the speck in your brother’s) when considering why the sacrament of marriage may be in trouble, and while I agree that many of the predictions of Humanae Vitae have come to pass in this brave new world where sex is considered a casual entertainment rather than a sacred trusting bond, I can harly believe that you think there was no divorce, promiscuity, child molestation and sodomy occurring prior to the invention and common acceptance of contraception.

    • Karl says:

      So correct me on this; Sodomy is wanting to rape someone’s male guests, but refusing to rape their daughters, right? If they had raped Lot’s daughters, it would’ve been fine?

      • Lot was a bad guy Karl, the Bible doesn’t hide his sins. But even bad guys are sometimes right on some issues. So “homosexual rape” as you put it, is bad. Or do you argue otherwise? Lots offer of his daughters was wicked, but that does not thereby acquit you Karl. The darkness of this passage is deep, and its the kind of darkness we have today where millions are aborted and many millions more forced to live in poorly formed families. Welcome to the sexual revolution. All of us are implicated in this, homo and heterosexual alike, that is the point of this article, not your attempt to justify your sin by pointing to the sins of others, some long dead. This is about our collective guilt.

  4. J.C. says:

    Father; This has hit me hard. I needed to know what to do with my anger and hurt especially as I frankly with love voiced my opinion to family who turned and did exactly what you said, called me a bigot and intolerant. Father all I want to do is see my friends and family get into heaven, that is it. It truly saddens me. I am a sinner I have done my best to do my worst at times. I helped perpetuate this. I know Christ forgives me. Thank you for your words Father

  5. Maureen Tomaino says:

    ” If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray
    and TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, I will heal their land.

    There are none righteous no not even one!
    We are all guilty.
    We need to live in Divine Mercy.
    We must surrender to Christ…..accept His Amazing Grace.

  6. Lawrence Peloso says:

    In taking online Social and Criminal justice Capstone course, recently my final 20 page paper was to be of a topic related directly to a social issue, currently effecting the rate of criminality in the United states of America. A list of suggested topics was offered, but an alternative topic could be used, with instructor approval. My topic of choice, which was not in the list of suggestions was “The decline of the Traditional American Family” which subsequently yielded me an A+, despite an early warning from my instructor about my straying off-topic; which notion was completely dispelled by his invitation to a personal phone conversation,between us, which conversation was centered on death row. inmates. We know the root cause(s) of crime and criminology, which is the single most debilitating issue we face as a civilization. When the family disappears, so does humanity..

  7. Disgusted says:

    I do not think angry denunciations are counterproductive. Isn’t that being cowardly, tolerating sin? And in the name of heaven, could we ever return to a time when we didn’t have to discuss sex or homosexuals every waking hour of every day?

    • I’d love to see it disappear. I am only responding to what is in the news. As far as I can tell it is the “Marriage Equality” crowd that is driving the topic in the news. Also, not sure to who the “angry denunciations” denunciation by you is directed.

      • Karl says:

        The discussion will disapppear, once it’s no longer needed. The drivers are those who object to people being treated as equal. If they were not around, equality would have been achieved long ago. Same as those who held slaves, and for a long time after slavery, insisted on treating people as inferior simply for their ethnicity.

        Everyone wants freedom. That desire won’t go away, the demand for it won’t go away, until it is granted.

        • You speak of freedom, but an abstract freedom. There is no legitimate freedom to sin, it only leads to the slavery of sin.

          • Paul Mc says:

            There is no sin in loving between two consenting unrelated adults and the theology posed here is an increasingly inaccurate and outdated and unscientific reflection of the human person in all its evolutionary complexity. The huge majority of sexual acts in all of human history since the emergence of homo sapiens has been without the possibility of ‘connection’. Only very very few occasions are the male and female bodies aligned to allow this. Sex has a social and romantic role in joining two persons, to bring about an mutuality and intimacy that endures the many environmental challenges that prehistory throw at our ancestors.

            The Catholic Church is wrong about Natural Law just as it has been wrong about all the major advances of insight into our universe and the mind.

            Good luck in the narrowing circle of hell that is the fundamentalist Catholic world view.

  8. Meredith says:

    The original word is in fact “foolproof” – there is no such thing as “full-proof” unless you are talking about alcohol! Minor edit.

  9. Susan says:

    You have spoken the truth.

  10. Elena Bresee says:

    The simplest and most profound article to be found on this subject. Each of us knows these truths deep within our hearts. Thank you Msgr! I am praying for you each day. Please continue to lead us.

  11. Howard says:

    AMEN, Monsignor.

  12. Sharon says:

    All I can say is I needed to read all these comments today. Many others should read them too. I am praying that all Catholics -all people if faith see that we have allowed so much of what has happened. We need to go to our God and beg him to forgive us. I am now more commited than ever to continue to do what is right and what God wants me to do. We have permitted the evil one to seduce us. No more. Speak out and be a strong soldier for Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and The Life! This article has been so helpful . Thank You.

  13. tacitus says:

    It’s fascinating that you qualify “Catholic” with the term “faithful.” According to surveys of Catholic women, as many as 95% of all American Catholic women have used contraceptives at some point in their reproductive lives. Are they all “unfaithful Catholics?” Also, the vast majority of Catholics have engaged in sexual relations before they are married (and we’re not talking about the odd one-night stand here and there).

    Likewise, was it an unfaithful Catholic bishop and his appointed judges who granted Newt Gingrich annulments for not one, but two 19 year marriages (one of which resulted in two children), marriages that he destroyed through his unfaithfulness and against the wishes of his wives? Note that the second divorce was caused by his sexual liaisons with his Catholic mistress and third wife. It was also reported that at least one of Gingrich’s ex-wives objected to the annulment when she was consulted. I am sure the diocesan tribunal that judged the case managed to come up with the convincing-sounding reasons why Gingrich should be allowed to dismiss nearly four decades of marriage as null and void, but in reality, when you allow such things to happen, it places the value of marriage even below that of lust and political expediency.

    (Perhaps if the Catholic Church had been as understanding of Henry VIII’s predicament, Britain would still have been a Catholic nation today.)

    Although I am not a Catholic, I have listened enough to Relevant Radio, whose output exclusively represents the conservative Catholic point of view, to know that conservative Catholics are not being serious when they talk about tackling issues of divorce, contraception, infidelity, and sex outside marriage. You occasionally get the odd discussion (typically little more than hand-wringing) on those issues, but much more often the ire is aimed exactly where you place it — attacking the gay community and those who would support their right to marry.

    If it reeks of hypocrisy, it’s because that is what it is. You can’t call for a little introspection and then claim the moral high ground. It would take a lot more time and effort to right your own ship, by which time the world will have moved on anyway.

    • Yes, there are unfaithful Catholics. History by the way shows that cultures, civilizations etc. et al. All move on while the Church stays. So you can move on all you want, but when you cease to exist as history shows you will the Church will still be here proclaiming the gospel.

    • Brandy says:

      First, the 98% statistic has been debunked as the survey takers only included women who were sexually active but were actively seeking to avoid pregnancy – ignoring women who were pregnant and/or open to life. Second, when I did use contraception it was because I was NOT a faithful Catholic – I didn’t believe the teachings of the Church, so technically I was a heretic at the time. I engaged in sex before marriage because I didn’t understand the teachings of the Church on that matter and because I didn’t value myself enough to say no. The truth is, had I followed the Church on both teachings, my life would have been much better and I would have saved myself many years of grief and trouble. Just because children disobey their parents doesn’t mean their parents are wrong to tell them the right way to do things.

      As for bishops and councils who make erroneous decisions, the truth is that the Catholic Church is not pure, holy, and blameless because of the people who make up her membership. She is pure, holy, and blameless because she does exactly what Christ asks her to do at all times and in all places. She tends the spiritually sick – including her bishops and her priests and her parishioners – and teaches them the right things to do so that they can become better.

  14. Gwen says:

    Dear Msgr.,
    I love the article and have been thinking of how to best promote the good of marriage and family for a while now. I want to add that I think the window for the healing of our culture through Indulgences is wide open. This little known and under practiced gift from the Church should be spread for this purpose. If all the Catholics in our country were spending their days turning from even venial sins as a work of charity for our deceased fellow Americans the healing of temporal punishment due to sin in this world (think slavery and abortion) would be greater than we know. Have a Blessed Triduum.

  15. Tom Frazzini says:

    When the Soviet Union collapsed everyone thought that communism was dead. Nothing could be further from the truth. They, the communists, stated that if they could discredit the priesthood, destroy the middle class and the family that the west would fall like ripe fruit. The communist just hide in plain site. They are not dead. It looks to me as though they have won or, at least are about to win.

  16. chris awo says:

    The dismay and anger expressed by catholics about the present gay agenda, is not a self righteous emotion. Rather it is in the footseps of the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus. there are very few sins refered to as abomination in the scripture and the homosexual act is a prominent one of these.
    Sins involving heterosexual acts can never -repeat never- be compared with those involving gay sexual acts.
    In the old testament sins initiated by heterosexual acts and desires were punished but never collectively and severely. However sins initiated by homosexual acts and desires were invariable punished collectivey and severely (cf Genesis; Judges).
    Any christian church that supports homosexual acts should provide us with precedents in the scriptures and the church fathers.
    Worse still are homosexual acts involving Catholic priests. These acts are equivalent to pouring raw sewage into the santuary of the Most High God.
    In all these homosexual acts not only must we be angry, we (every catholic) must also do the penance (with prayer and fasting) and atone for these sins on behalf of the perpetuators.

    • Recusant says:

      This is where we disagree.

      The sin of Onan was dealt with severely, though too rare for a collective punishment.

      The prophets spoke, at great length, of the evils of Judah being greater than even those of Samaria and Sodom. Idolatry was compared with adultery, which was also liberally practiced, and frequently denounced.

      No, misuse of our sexual gifts are utterly blasphemous, with homosexuality, bestiality, and other perversions being simply a matter of degree of absurdity.

  17. chris awo says:

    even if gay marriage becomes legal world-wide the important thing is for catholics to take a stand and bear witness to the fact that all homosexual acts are not in keeping with natural law, and the law of the God we serve.

    • Karl says:

      You can serve your God all you want, as long as you let others serve their gods, or no gods at all.

  18. Ignatz (@ignatzz) says:

    Do the opponents of same-sex marriage actually have any LEGAL arguments, or just religious and cultural ones?

    This is a LEGAL question of CIVIL law.

    Unless the church is ALSO trying to make no-fault divorce illegal, they have no credibility when trying to do it with same-sex marriage.

    • Well I suppose that Law has never recognized gay unions before, stare decisis etc? But note, this is not a legal blog and you may wish to see marriage in merely legal terms. but it is not.

      • Ignatz (@ignatzz) says:

        As far as whom the church should marry, it is not. But the church is not simply stating the rules for sacramental matrimony, but trying to influence the civil law, for both Catholics and non-Catholics.

        • Aren’t you trying to do the same?

          • BobN says:

            Of course we are. But if we win, you still get to be a practicing Catholic with full marriage rights, even if your vows prevent you from taking advantage of them.

            If you win, we get nothing. Don’t you have a moral obligation not to obfuscate?

            • How am I obfuscating? I am writing an open blog on the internet. Marriage, family and human sexuality are important to get right and understand properly, they are bedrock matters. You have been deceived and that concerns me greatly and it will not lead to your happiness. This is not about winning, it is about truth, and only truth can set us free.

  19. Ignatz (@ignatzz) says:

    By the way, when quoting Romans 1:26-27, perhaps you should keep reading to Romans 2:1.

  20. john says:

    Anger is unproductive and counterproductive. Moses, Jeremiah and Jesus showed anger toward a ‘stiff-necked’ people and the Jews. I find anger, properly directed, quite effective. Satan is not convinced by gentleness and courtesy when his agenda is opposed.

    • Repent and believe the GospeI! says:

      Agree. Righteous anger is the best anger! Not the foul language anger. But the LOGIC and Righteous anger is the best anger:

      “He who persist in sin, rebuke him in the presence of all.” – 1 Timothy 5:20

      I am completely depress when I found out that Cardinal Dolan personally gave Holy Communion to Joe Biden.
      I don’t know what to say anymore. This Cardinal fear man more than God!

  21. Michael Petek says:

    What is human fertility but the power to create a human being?

    To whom does the control of this power lawfully belong but to God alone?

    Here’s what I propose concerning contraception and artificial human procreation.

    They don’t violate only the Sixth Commandment, they also violate the First.

    They don’t violate only the First Commandment, they go further in that they interfere with the fact on which God’s unique Lordship is based, that He alone is our Creator. They connote an attempt on the Divine Sovereignty itself, in the one case tying His hands, in the other case forcing His hand.

    If it were morally licit for a fertility technician to make a human embryo by his work of hand and brain, then he must lawfully own that embryo as he lawfully owns a thing. Slavery!

    What a perfect work of thick, black Satanic darkness!

  22. Pete Kelley says:

    Some of the points I’d want to make would not be listened to by those who disagree, so I’ll skip those for now.
    This article is replete with Biblical one-liners taken wholly out of context, and unsupported facts. The author chose to leave out all recent istory that would not make you think that we’re in some “whirlwind of darkness”, and that the 1950’s were just like “Happy Days”.
    Point (1) from reading this, you’d think that marriage was perfect and that bad marriages and affairs were very rare before the 1930’s. You only suggest some vague relationship between legal abortions, contraception and the failure of marriages.
    But also you should consider that prior to the 1960’s, a woman who got divorced could end up in a tough situation without support.
    (points 1,2,3) I simply don’t follow the logic there. Are you saying “sex” is only for procreation or is “marriage” only for procreation? I’ll agree that the best possible situation for children is that the parents are married and committed as a family. But marriage is just one part of a strong family. By the way, I’ve known people who were raised by gay parents (yes it is NOT new) who turned out just fine.
    (4) Nobody has “…put marriage in the shredder”. To the contrary, I think marriages have become stronger. I know lots of people with good marriages, ( true there are some not-so-good but that has always been true). #4 is a rehash of points from (3). I will say that the implied statistical connection between the use of contraception is a farce. Yes there might be more divorces now than before now that contraception is available. But another point is that a woman married to a violent man should get divorced is she needs to. In 1950’s that were fewer good options for such women, and anecdotally (sp?) I’ll add that the Church only made it much worse in at least one case but certainly more.
    Bottom line is that I think that people simply are struggling to find arguments against openly-gay marriage because they think it’s “icky”. There’s plenty of evidence that it is normal for some people to be homosexual. I think they should be able to be together.

    I did get a laugh out of the Advertisement at the bottom that “teaches that trouble tends to multiply and advises us…” I was expecting an inspirational message there –

  23. Jannett Oropeza says:

    En realidad, leí el artículo, no voy a responder a nadie pues de lo que creo se trata es de tener la conciencia conectada a LA VERDAD. Si pensamos bien, tendremos buena comprensión y cada idea conectada con otra tendrá coherencia. Es sencillo, si cada habitante de la tierra lanza desperdicios sin orden, eso nos afectará a todos. Si solo de cada 10 habitantes del mundo uno solo es quien lanza a diestra y siniestra sin conciencia del ambiente, entonces también nos afectara igualmente, pues llegará el momento que esto alcance un inimaginado exponencial desorden ambiental, etc. Sabemos que hagamos lo que hagamos en cuanto a esto hay una anarquía de no conciencia, o de no sincronía y todos nos afectamos(en cuanto al planeta y su limpieza se refiere). Imaginemos de verdad, si cada error que cometemos ( llámalo pecado o no pero que traiga consecuencias) es un desperdicio (o basura) para el alma y el espíritu, si todos anárquicamente hablando lanzamos un desperdicio al mundo espiritual que planeta espiritual (o Reino) estaremos ejerciendo? Claro, yo comprendo que much@s no creen esto pues lo tildan de puritanismo, pero has pensado ¿si no lo es, que estás haciendo con tu cuerpo y con todo tu SER creado para se HIJO DE DIOS y no seres que nos comportemos como criaturas? (Dios ama al pecador NO al su pecado). Yo también cometo errores y pecados…solo que le ruego DIOS me ayude a no ejercerlos para ser mejor y disculpen las posibles torpezas.

  24. Robbie J says:

    I am deeply troubled at the state of (Catholic) marriages today. It is all too easy to take the high ground and criticize those who are “liberal minded” but what about ourselves? We (faithful Christians) are supposed to be a sign to the world of God’s love. Our marriages, especially should reflect that too. How are we to respond to all this confusion? It is (in this context) by living out our faith in our marriages. It is by staying faithful and loving even in the worst of times. It is by setting an example to our children so that they too, do not grow up confused by everything that’s going on around them; as it’s so easy to be. Thank you, Msgr. Pope. God bless you.

  25. Edward says:

    Father Pope is sorely misguided. The logic is wrong, which is why the faithful rightfully reject his authority. Since when does one purpose of an act exclude all others? Father Pope argues that the only legitimate purpose of sex is procreation. Not pleasure, not connection, not a mutual expression of joy. I suppose by his logic, the only food the faithful should eat are vegetables and fruits, and only the bare minimum to survive. The purpose of eating is to survive healthfully – eating junk food distorts God’s plan, too, by Father Pope’s logic, right? Food is for maintaining health and survival – that is it’s sole purpose – and eating for any other purpose (like for pleasure) should be strictly forbidden. Say goodbye to your sinful popcorn and M&Ms.
    Of course people eat for reasons other than mere survival – they eat for fellowship, for pleasure, for connection with humanity. One purpose does NOT exclude all others. The same goes for sex. There are other purposes of sex beyond procreation. And the faithful know it.
    Father Pope is just angry because the faithful are rejecting his authority. And rightly so.

    • Steve m says:

      Huh? Faithful who reject the teaching of the Church? Sounds like Protestants by definition. You seem to be at the wrong blog big guy.

      • Edward says:

        Most Catholics practice birth control. A majority of Catholics support marriage equality. As do 81% of young people aged 30 and under. They continue to worship and take the Eucharist. This drives the hierarchy crazy, as witnessed by Father Pope’s outburst. Catholics will continue to reject the teachings espoused above, and there’s nothing the hierarchy can do about it. The more they yell and get angry, the more the faithful reject the teaching, and employ reason. Catholics do not believe one purpose (procreation) excludes all others (pleasure, mutual connection, deepening relationships).

        • Your logic seems a little flawed. It would almost seem, to use analogy, that medical doctors should just has piped down as americans because of obese and smoked themselves to death, and stroked out with high blood pressure. Using your logic, doctors should have just shut up and accepted the fact that americans werent listening to them and further, that since so many werent listening the doctors must be wrong and that americans were the reasonable ones and doctors just out of touch. And so you scoff and laugh at the church ithis way, never mind the abortion rates, the stds the teenage moms, the huge percentage of kids without fathers, the pornography and on and on. And nevermind that all these ills have come in the wake of contraception, a “medicine” that was supposed to cure all this and even prevent it. No, says Edward, more hair of the dog that bit us. No, youre the “reasonable” one and I am supposedly out of touch and just angry. Well dream on, but for some of us, your dream has become a nightmare and western culture is in the shredder, and you are probably not going to like what replaces it. Scoff all you want, but at the end of the day its not nice to fool mother nature

        • By the way, edward, I do not beleive that one purpose excludes all others, as you say. I would argue that it is you who say that. I argue that openness to life should not be excluded as you argue but is intended to be there along with the other purposes. It is you who exclude

        • Steve M says:

          First off our of respect it is Msgr. Pope not father. I doubt that this will make an impression on you but thought I would try. You may also have not be paying attention to actual events but the only ones yelling are those who reject Church teaching. You would not believe the things that have been said to my son when he and his classmates pray outside abortion clinics. Kind of low on the live and let live scale. The Church teaches the primacy of love not in the limited recreational sex type love but in the deep respectful love that a married couple should have in their relationship. The sexual relationship within marriage is both unitive and procreative. If a person or the couple deny both of these they are in danger of harming their love and lessening it to simply using the other for entertainment. The MTV world promotes self love and celebrates using of others. What else was the point of Jersey Shore but the celebration of that lifestyle? Edward it is too bad that your mind is already made up. It woudl probably be best for you to not read Msgr. Pope’s blog because it just seems to make you mad and not help you to lead a better life or ultimately reach Heaven. Happy Easter.

    • Michael Petek says:

      You’ve missed my point. To practise contraception is to practise a most radical form of idolatry by taking for oneself something God has reserved to Himself: the control of human fertility.

  26. Marti says:

    Great post Msgr! Thank you! Have a blessed Holy Triduum!

  27. vincent apisa says:

    Msgr.,

    Your “scandalous silence of the pulpits” comment deserves much more thought and deliberation, that is to say among the American bishops, and that is to say as to the content of the pastoral message, which I take from your essay would be as much about heterosexual misconduct as well as homosexual activity. We look forward to you developing the idea in this space. What did you have in mind?

    Here’s a related question: does a priest have the authority to decline officiating a marriage of two Catholics known to be long co-habitating, or must he conduct the marriage if requested? Would he run afoul of his bishop if he declined?

    • Perhpas you are a newer reader to this blog, but these points have been devekoped here quite substantially over the past four years of this blog. I will continue over course to do so.

  28. Fred says:

    I’ve read this post and comments over the past two days and it has been an eye opener and attests to the fact that the Sultan of Deception is alive and well. Incidently, I looked at this morning’s Washington Post and did not find a single reference to this most holy of holy days. Thanks Msgr. Pope for your witness to the truth.

  29. markrite says:

    Msgr Pope: In the main, I agree with your analysis and explication as to how this nation got to such a deplorable state; I DON’T AGREE that anger (HOLY, that is) can’t even be CONSIDERED as a tool to show our displeasure @ the cowardliness of so many politicians, judges, community leaders, etc., who have been EXTREMELY INSTRUMENTAL in helping to land us in such a mess. We should be VOCALLY OUTRAGED AND SHOW IT by 1st, praying and sacrificing, 2nd, BLITZING all the aforesaid politicians, judges, community leaders with letters and phone calls, etc., to SHOW our extreme displeasure in how all these self-appointed “leaders” messed up this nation so horrifically with their obvious moral incoherence, their massive incompetence, their blathering bloviating, and so on. And we should do so even to the point of organizing, if possible, a MILLION-MAN MARCH on the halls of depraved confusion iin our midst who FAIL US on so many levels; and I DO MEAN Congress in D.C. & the cretinous head of the Demonratic party sitting in the White House, mr. abortionist-in-chief himself, Barack H. Obama. Imagine a million-man and woman march OUTSIDE the W.H., ALL WITH A CHANT LIKE “ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, SHOW SHOW BARACK HUSSEIN THE DOOR”! (this is all of the top of my head @ 8:00 a.m.) or somesuch. Anger can be used constuctively, good monsignor. Surely you wouldn’t object to that, would you? Just saying. MAY THE HOLY VIRGIN IMMACULATE PRAY FOR US AT OUR HOUR OF EXTREME NEED, MARKRITE

  30. Mike D says:

    One problem here, Monsignor: You have no authority to determine any of this. Clearly you want secular power over the sex lives of others, including non-Catholics and even non-Christians. Well, you don’t deserve that power and you aren’t going to get it. Your ludicrous faith is full of holes and makes absolutely no sense to anyone with a modicum of critical thinking skill. It is my fervent hope that eventually mankind will shed religion entirely.

    Now get a real job, Monsignor. It’s ridiculous that you actually make a living in such an unproductive way. You contribute nothing at all to society.

    • I do not have power over anyone’s sex life. I have never claimed such, you give me too much power and credit. I speak the truth in love, but you will not listen. You have been deceived, and that concerns me.

  31. Chuck Anziulewicz says:

    The morality of Gay marriage is comparable to the morality of Straight marriage: It is morally and ethically preferable to encourage people toward monogamy and commitment, rather than relegating them to lives of loneliness and possibly promiscuity.

    Studies have repeatedly shown that the benefits are substantial:
    1: Married couples typically contribute more and take less from society.
    2: Married couples support and care for each other financially, physically and emotionally and often contribute more to the economy and savings.
    3: Individuals who are married are less likely to receive government entitlements.
    4: Individuals who are married statistically consume less health care services, and often give more to churches and charities.
    5: Married couples are better able to provide care and security for children.

    So what sense does it make to exclude law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples from this place at the table? Why is it, for example, that Straight couples are encouraged to date, get engaged, marry and build lives together in the context of monogamy and commitment, and that this is a GOOD thing … yet for Gay couples to do exactly the same is somehow a BAD thing? To me this seems like a very poor value judgment.

    Couples do not need to marry to have children, nor is the ability or even desire to have children a prerequisite for obtaining a marriage license. There are also countless Gay individuals and couples who are raising adopting children into healthy, well-adjusted adulthood.

    As Judge Vaughn Walker said in the decision on California’s Prop. 8 Case: “Permitting same-sex couples to marry will not affect the number of opposite-sex couples who marry, divorce, cohabit, have children outside of marriage or otherwise affect the stability of opposite-sex marriages.” It was a view shared by the courts in the Golinski case against DOMA, where a Bush appointee in the Northern District of California concurred: “The exclusion of same-sex couples from the federal definition of marriage does nothing to encourage or strengthen opposite-sex marriages.”

    • All set forth and argued from a civil point of view. But the problem for a true believer in Biblical revelation and Natural Law is that homosexual acts are sinful as are heterosexual acts outside of marriage. Why should I, as believer celebrate the codification and celebration of what is sinful from my perspective?

  32. Thanks to everyone who participated in the discussion here. I think it is now necessary to close to any further comments. First it is Good Friday and time to focus on the Lord who died for us poor and confused sinners, who endured our darkness to bring us light. Secondly, the remarks have turned largely poisonous and I’m getting some pretty awful remarks. My guess it that this post was linked to by a couple of “gay” interest sites because the tide has rather suddenly turned and the discussion has drifted from the point of the original post. The initial hit backs came at the post mostly from the contraception dissenters and that was ugly enough but now things are getting even uglier in the combox and the topic in the thread is morphing too much.

    I admit to opening the door to “gay” pushback. I am very clear, as is the Catechism that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and that this is obvious not only from Scripture but also from biology. Our bodies are simply not built or designed for what homosexuals do. But as is well attested in the article, there are many ways in which Heterosexuals also offend against the proper ordering of sex and thus also engage in disordered sexual practices.

    For what it is worth as a closing comment the point of the post was to wade into the current “marriage equality” (I would call it the “marriage redefinition”) debate with the perspective that we are all to some degree responsible for the current darkness. 50 years of heterosexual misbehavior and redefining the meaning of both sex and marriage has set the stage for cultural whirlwind we are currently in. Many moderns are currently exulting in its lusty breezes, but as I argue, it is rooted in darkness and the body count of the sexual revolution (literally and figuratively) is very high. We all have much to answer for, whether as outright sinners in these matters or as all too silent “saints.”

    Clergy are high on the hit list for our silence. But, as can be seen, these issues are hard to discuss well and with the proper balance of courage and compassion. Yet still we ought to spoken long before things got so dark and hot.

    I do not deny the anger at the current situation that many of my interlocutors accuse me of (as if they were not also angry). My point is to try and be angry without sin. To use the energy that anger supplies to do whatever personal repenting is necessary, to become ever clearer on the central issues and the “why” of biblical and Church teaching, and to courageously witness to the beauty and truth of a proper understanding of human sexuality.

    Peace to all even if you think badly of me. Veritatem in Caritate!