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Reaping the Whirlwind: A reflection on the deepening darkness that celebrates homosexual unions and activity.

March 27, 2013

032713There 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.

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  1. About Same-Sex 'Marriage' | Big Pulpit | March 28, 2013
  1. Elaine says:

    You are getting there, Father, and thank you. But you are wrong about one thing – contraceptive heterosexual activity is not disordered in the same way in which homosexual activity is.

    What this is about is the fundamental anthropological understanding of human nature that everyone has understood forever, in which homosexuality is an outlier behavior. Two men or two women cannot mate. They can do a lot of things, physically and emotionally, and some of it, like any deep friendship, may be marked by deep sacrificial love. But only men and women can “mate” in every sense.

    • Contraceptive sex is disordered because it is not ordered to the proper and obvious end of sexual intercourse which is procreation. Sperm and ova are not incidental and uninvited guests to the matter, they are intrinsic and to exclude them wholly is is to dis-order the matter and ignore the obvious. That homosexual behavior is disordered in a different manner is obvious and you attempt to school me and others in a matter we do not need to be schooled in. Rather it would seem that you need to study a little philosophy and learn that distinction is not the same as difference and that to say things are disordered generically is not to say that they are disordered in the same manner specifically.

      As for the rest of your comment, it was deleted due to its uncharitable content and mean-spirited accusations

      • I Like The Church Fathers says:

        Excellent response, Monsignor. Charitable but firm.

        • Elaine says:

          Msgr. Pope:

          Is that what St. Thomas would say? That they are at equal levels of being “disordered?” Not at all. St. Thomas saw sodomy as a worse sin than heterosexual rape.

          And as for the rest of the comment – it was merely pointing out the specifics of why homosexuality is disordered. The fact that you see that as mean spirited is quite revelatory of what you actually believe, as opposed to your rhetoric, and explains while you will only go so far in your critique.

          • Well I would be careful about trotting out St. Thomas in a matter like this. And I’ll leave it to the Thomists to Debate the finer points of his views. But, as a general rule St. Thomas is less helpful In these matters of life And the physical aspects of procreation. This is due simply to the Understanding of embryology Etc. that was existing at the time of St. Thomas in the 13th century. And as for all this “mean-spirited” kind of talk, can you just stick to the issue and avoid Getting all personally offended. Come on let’s have an adult conversation. I explain rather clearly in the article what is meant by the term disorder Namely, something which is not ordered to its proper end. I am not mean-spirited etc., you don’t even know me.

            Back to St. Thomas for a moment, St. Thomas Aquinas is not the magisterium of the church. He is a valuable and influential theologian who contributed greatly To the churches understanding, but he is not Flawless. Believe it or not, the church does actually make use of the findings of modern science. To which St. Thomas Aquinas was not always privy In this article I am drawing from the magisterium, especially what is stated in the Roman Catholic catechism.

          • Patrick Madrid says:

            Excellent explanation, Msgr. Pope. I’ve shared this on Facebook.

            And thanks for setting Elaine straight. Judging from her second attempt at a rebuttal, though, it appears she didn’t understand (or is unwilling to admit) the point you were explaining to her.

          • Deacon Jason Miller says:

            Heterosexuals can and do engage in sodomy as well. Furthermore, there are homosexuals who do NOT engage in sodomy. The details are not necessary, but suffice it to say that this is why we can’t dump people into these categories and say one category is better than the other.

      • Liam says:

        Excellent reply to Elaine, Monsignor. My understanding of ‘contraceptive’ sex is that it is nothing more than mutual masturbation.

  2. Rick says:

    Good article and absolutely right I believe…

    • Repent and believe the GospeI! says:

      Monsignor,

      Keep up the good work, the Holy is Spirit is with you!
      Here is a verse for Today’s world and with the whole gay “fake” marriage debate:

      “…and they strengthened the hand of the wicked, that no man should return from his evil doings: that are all become unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrha.”- Jeremiah 23:14

      I believe that the supreme court will strengthened the hand of the wicked, as it did with Roe v. Wade.
      I believe that we have now reach the lowest level of Hell in the U.S. .
      And it would truly takes a miracle to climb out of this pit!

  3. Debbo says:

    Some of the most pro-SSM people I know are members of my parish. What to do there, when all they’re concerned about is “feelings.”

  4. Pilar says:

    Msgr., having attended yesterday’s March for Marriage with my 11 year old daughter & 14 year old son, I really needed to read your words. It was quite the experience, especially in front of the Supreme Court building. When confronted by the opposition for being “a bad mother” for teaching my children “to hate,” I answered back with charity and Truth, only to be called “ignorant.” So, I prayed for them. Thank you for your thought-provoking words and encouragement. Onward Christian soldiers march!

    • Repent and believe the GospeI! says:

      This is in reply to JPP below,

      “In my view, labeling homosexuality as disordered and restricting state-recognized unions to heterosexual couples is infringing on the rights of homosexuals.”

      Guess what? You and People like you JPP, are infringing upon my rights as a PARENT to teach my child what is right and what is wrong in this world. You and people like you are undermining my authorithy as a parent.

      “How is that” asked JPP? JPP, your liberal friends will go into the class room and teach SEXUAL EXPERIMENTATIONS and SOW SEXUAL CONFUSIONS. And AIDS and STDs will spread like wild fire. But you are too DENSE to understand that!

  5. JPP says:

    As I am not a Catholic and do not normally peruse Catholic forums or publications it is rare that I come across articles like this. I was originally interested in this piece because a friend of mine on facebook ‘liked’ it and I am curious about arguments anti-equality advocates use to make their case.

    Unfortunately, this article did little to illuminate the anti-equality position, but rather it offers a tired rehash of the predictably ridiculous and unpersuasive anti-contraception arguments. Is having sex (with no intent of having children) really just mutual masturbation? Really? REALLY?

    As a loving husband in a monogamous, heterosexual marriage, why on Earth should I revisit these fantastical bronze-age musings when I am trying to keep my marriage healthy and strong? Sex is beautiful and powerful and the non-procreative properties of sex should be taken full advantage of by couples who want strong and healthy marriages. Sex, for many couples, is an important tool for building and maintaining lasting marriages. How dare you cheapen it to mere ‘mutual masturbation.’

    Does the proliferation of condoms and sex education really lead to sky-rocketing teenage birth rates?
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57345568695/teen-birth-rates-hit-historic-low-in-u.s/
    No.

    These ‘bedrock of the traditional family’ arguments will sputter and cough before fading away into quiet whimpers- just as the anti-miscegenation, anti-suffrage and anti-catholic voices have before them.

    • You have been deceived. Neither do you answer the concerns raised in the article but rather go off in self-justifying (and protesting too much) directions. Look at the fruits of contraception and the “no-necessary connection” view and explain to me how I am to know you by anything other than the fruits of your vision. The mutual masturbation has struck a chord with you. It is a minor point of the article, a mere sentence. Why has it struck a chord, why does it bother you so and how is it untrue? Contraception thwarts the fertility and lays hold of the pleasure. How is this different that what is described as petting or mutual masturbation. You can talk about love all you want, I will not deny it, but sex is about more than love, it is about fruitful love, it is about having ones love bear fruit in a third, as is in the Trinity. Be outraged if you wish, but I ask you why and how have I struck a nerve. Something has struck you here.

      • Jennifer says:

        Monsignor, what you have written has struck a nerve with me, too! You have articulated some of the reasons I don’t care to remarry after my divorce. I want to show my children that sex is not just recreation and narcissistic self-soothing. That we should not engage in serial monogamy and use each other for sex. I have discovered a beauty and generativity in celibate chastity that I want to show my children by my example.

        This may be too much information, but used condoms are really yucky. Also, if your husband watches pornography he may end up asking for disordered sexual experimentation.

        I admire your willingness to write plainly about such unpopular truths. :)

      • JPP says:

        It is true, labeling sex as mutual masturbation struck a nerve. As did claiming that contraceptives have lead to skyrocketing teenage pregnancies.

        Birth Rates for U.S. Teenagers Reach Historic Lows for All Age and Ethnic Groups- NCHS Data Brief Number 89, April 2012
        http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db89.htm
        (The last link I posted did not work, so I am trying another one.)

        Other nerves were struck when you labeled homosexuality as disordered (something the DSM abandoned in 1973) or claimed that their must be a connection between sex and procreation by virtue of some irrelevant philosophical or scriptural argument. The argument is of course irrelevant to me as I do not see the Bible as more than ancient man-made texts. I guess this is the reason that I posted a flurry of emotional objections rather than held my tongue. At the end of the day, your faith probably can’t be challenged by evidence or carefully crafted internet responses, but this immunity that you possess is also a main reason why educated people are leaving the church in droves and why the youth aren’t embracing it as their parents did. Now your only hope is finding souls in the developing world and in so doing the western cultural expectations and stability that European and North American Catholics are accustomed to will be challenged. There is another more powerful whirlwind coming.

        It may also be relevant to mention that abstinence is not ‘fool-proof’ either. Quite the contrary, though it has a fairly strong theoretical track-record (with one exception being Mary’s little whoops) abstinence is not nearly as effective in practice as couples and teens who take the pledge often are unable to keep it and when they crack they are much less likely to use contraception. And yes, when couples do not use reliable forms of contraception it increases the risks of unplanned pregnancies and the spread of STIs. Good thing that, Catholic or not, few couples intentionally avoid contraception.

        I realize that it is far too late to admit that I am beginning to ramble, so let me close by revisiting an earlier point: we must agree to disagree. I cannot persuade you to tolerate natural variation in sexual dispositions and you cannot convince me to treat the bible as though it is a relevant source of wisdom for life in the 21st century. But, because my friends and family members who are homosexual suffer because of the prejudice of your church I will vote and campaign against it. We live in a constitutional republic and laws dictating the evolution of our society will not be decided here.

        Time for me to get back to work…

        • Well of course the DSM is not the Catholic magisterium, and while the Catholic Church can and does look to science for the conclusions of physical sciences, She does not look to them As authoritative for metaphysical and moral conclusions. But honestly, even the scriptures aside, any cursory examination of the design that the human body Shows the disorder Homosexual ask. The catechism speaks of them as intrinsically disordered. Sorry if this offends you, but the fact that you take offense does not mean that I was the church has given offense. At the end of the day, it would seem that the field is yours, is quite clear where a culture is headed with this. And though you may win politically this battle, I fear that in the end our culture loses. The Greco-Roman culture that indulged similar notions, As well described by St. Paul, was already in decline when he wrote it And is long gone now. I fear the same for us, in the decadent west. We cannot long endure the kind of assault that our families have taken with divorce contraception fornication and homosexual activity.

          • Henry Bowers says:

            Another rebuttal to the DSM is that not every developmental disorder qualifies as mental illness. The homosexual inclination could still be a developmental disorder.

        • Brian says:

          JPP, since you prefer a secular point of view, let me offer one for you. But I don’t expect you to be too persuaded by it either, because I can’t reason you out of something you didn’t reason yourself into. Yes, despite all your posturing about “education” and rationality over faith, your position is based just as much on faith. Faith in the certainty that a bunch of political activists in APA *weren’t* being political activists when they agitated to have homosexuality removed from its list of disorders. Faith that somehow natural variation as brought about by natural selection EVER takes the radical form it does in homosexuality, where digestive organs somehow become turned to a reproductive function. If you can point to a SINGLE multicellular organism in nature that ever made a transformation that revolutionary in the course of a single generation, you should write a paper and win some kind of award from a scientific society. Perhaps you can find a chimpanzee that found that using the heart muscle to break open nuts conferred some advantage of reproductive fitness.

          Until then, you’re going to have a hard time convincing me that homosexuality is nothing more than an aberration, a psycho-sexual developmental disorder, and that your belief that it IS just a natural variation, like different patterns on the coats of various species of large cat, is nothing more than an article of post-modernist faith.

          And as for your rejection of ancient wisdom on nothing more than its age, you’re a fool. Human nature isn’t something new every time a new generation of self-absorbed narcissists comes along congratulating itself on the fact that they belong to the new, marvelous xth century with all its wondrous advances in human wisdom and virtue, and rejection of all those dark, ignorant superstitions of the past. Because as much as you declare those before you to be fools, you will be the next century’s fool. No, people have been observing human nature ever since humans started observing in general. You are no wiser than earlier observers. In fact, you may be quite a bit less wise in your pompous rejection of past wisdom, because you assert that all you think you know is all there is to know. The thoughtless instincts that govern your reason are all you need to devote to the question in your mind. As long as it sounds reasonably clever. And that bar has sunk pretty low, as anyone who has ever listened to what passes for clever humor from Jon Stewart knows.

          Again, human nature is not different just because you wear a shiny chrome badge and call it 21st Century with a voice like those breathless infomercials from the 1950s declaring the advent of the new modern age of shiny toasters and flying cars just around the corner. Human nature has remained unchanged for thousands of years. And insights into it are just as valid whether they were written in the 12th century or yesterday, despite your presentist bias.

          And no, homosexuality is not just a variation. Variations serve purpose. Even from a completely naturalist perspective, there must be a purpose for a variation to persist. You don’t even need God to figure that out. Homosexuality is an evolutionary dead end. Therefore homosexuality will always be inferior to behaviors that produce offspring, fulfilling the prime directive of all life: be fruitful and multiply.

          • JPP says:

            Brian, you were correct, I was not persuaded.

            Bonobos, bison and giraffes have all been observed engaging in anal sex, i.e. using their digestive organs as sexual organs. Homosexuality and bisexuality have been widely observed in nature. Is this new to you? Are you asking whether there is evidence of a multicellular organism that can bare children by anal penetration or homosexual intercourse?

            You claim that homosexuality is not variation as it does not serve a purpose. To set you straight, variation does NOT have to serve a purpose, nor does it have to serve one that you understand in order for it to persist. The world of genetics is far more complicated than you seem to understand and an entire constellation of factors determines whether or not genes are successful. In addition, sexuality appears to exist on a spectrum rather than as a purely binary state. This means that an organism may have a tendency towards heterosexual procreation while also engaging in homosexual relationships. In this case, the organism may still pass on its genes. Basically, you should be comfortable admitting that you don’t know why and can’t predict which genetic tendencies will be passed on and once they are passed on we still might not know which ones were expressed or exactly how they were triggered. There is a lot to still be learned in the field of genetics and I am speaking far outside my specialty, but you can be sure that just because YOU can’t understand the evolutionary benefit of a variation in no way proves that there is no evolutionary benefit to that expression.

            It seems that you relish calling me out on my claim that I do not see the Bible as a source of wisdom for life in the 21st century. Fair enough, I should elaborate. The Bible, may very well contain wisdom relevant to life in the 21st century, but as an ancient text with no special authority it should be viewed with the same scepticism that you might use when you read Homer’s Odyssey. Are we clear now? Not everything that is old is worthless.

          • Brian says:

            Like I said, an irrational faith drives you. You have no evidence that homosexuality serves any purpose. But instead of taking the simpler answer that it is a developmental disorder, you pontification on the mysteries of the unknown, and that I don’t understand ____’s plan, whatever you believe does the planning around here.

            It doesn’t work that way. If you can’t come up with an explanation for something, and the next best explanation is a developmental error in the brain, you don’t get to cling to the adaptation explanation, just knowing that somehow, *somehow* there must be an explanation for it, just because it satisfies your prior biases. You would make a terrible scientist.

            And oh, yeah. Some animals engage in the practice. Animals get cancer too. It doesn’t make brain tumors any more of a selectively beneficial adaptation. Bonobos also practice child monkey molestation. Are you going to join NAMBLA now?

          • JPP says:

            The focus of your words is attacking me personally, while ignoring what I have written and how I have responded to your earlier arguments. You need to relax. Nothing I have said warrants these kind of attacks.

        • Martin says:

          So your magisterium is the CDC and DSM and your own personal opinion. Mine is different. Mine is the Church. Respect it! There is no need to insult the Blessed Virgin Mary to try to make a point (very unconvincingly I may add).

        • Jennifer says:

          JPP,
          I have a professional practice that treats many homosexuals. They also blame their suffering on various churches. But that’s not really true…For example, a lack of love and acceptance does not cause HIV, as so many gays will tell me. In truth, the best way to avoid HIV is to live a life of chastity and to avoid using drugs. But it is not politically correct to say this…

          Also, I wonder why you bother to post on this blog when you so heartily disagree with the positions of the Catholic faith. You want us to tolerate your “natural variation” in sexual preference and behavior, but you don’t want to tolerate other people’s natural variations in opinion about homosexual sex. By the way, I am very kind to the homosexuals whom I treat. But the gay life is not all rainbows and parades. The problems of homosexuals are much deeper than other people’s prejudice against them. Ultimately, no one (when they really speak honestly with me) believes that HIV, anal herpes and warts, dysentery etc. was worth the fleeting sexual experiences.

          Time for me to get back to work….

          • JPP says:

            To me, hearing that ‘a good way to avoid HIV is to live a life of chastity’ is similar to ‘a good way to avoid tuberculosis is to not go outside.’ While it may be valid advice, it is probably not feasible for most people. For this reason, I can see that when treating a patient who is gay and worried about contracting HIV it would be better to give them a range of ways to avoid contraction, rather than just the one very difficult route.

            I will not claim to speak for homosexuals here, but I will say that it sounds like you have been speaking predominately with the infirmed. They are much more likely to express regret for doing the things that have contributed to disease and sickness then those who have not. I am sure that if your patients were paraplegic skiiers, they two would feel remorse for skiing and would likely tell you that skiing was not worth it.

            In my experience, many homosexuals lead happy and fulfilled lives. They do not regret their sexual activity generally, though I certainly have friends who wish specific nights never happened… This seems irrelevant though. There are likely many examples of heterosexuals who regret their sexual activity as well.

            In terms of tolerance of others’ opinions: we are all entitled to our own opinions, but when you express yours you leave yourself open to a rebuttal/counter-expression- much like I have done on this forum.

          • JPP says:

            To me, hearing that ‘a good way to avoid HIV is to live a life of chastity’ is similar to ‘a good way to avoid tuberculosis is to not go outside.’ While it may be valid advice, it is probably not feasible for most people. For this reason, I can see that when treating a patient who is gay and worried about contracting HIV it would be better to give them a range of ways to avoid contraction, rather than just the one very difficult route.

            I will not claim to speak for homosexuals here, but I will say that it sounds like you have been speaking predominantly with the infirmed. They are much more likely to express regret for doing the things that have contributed to disease and sickness than those who have not. I am sure that if your patients were paraplegic skiers, they two would feel remorse for skiing and would likely tell you that skiing was not worth it.

            In my experience, many homosexuals lead happy and fulfilled lives. They do not regret their sexual activity generally, though I certainly have friends who wish specific nights never happened… This seems irrelevant though. There are likely many examples of heterosexuals who regret their sexual activity as well.

            In terms of tolerance of others’ opinions: we are all entitled to our own opinions, but when you express yours you leave yourself open to a rebuttal/counter-expression- much like I have done on this forum.

        • Sam Schmitt says:

          There’s a difference between the pregnancy rate and the birth rate. Many abortions are due to failed contraception. The connection between sex and procreation is not due to any arguments anyone might make, but is built into the act itself, in that a child is the natural product of sexual relations (I hope I don’t need an “argument” to convince you of that!)

          You also speak of what the Church teaches as something that “probably can’t be challenged by evidence,” as if the Church has only been around a few years and has never heard the arguments from the other side. As Msgr. points out, the Church was making the same case almost 2,000 years ago at the height of the Roman Empire. I don’t have to tell you which one is still around.

          At any rate, it’s not so much a matter of Church teaching – as if it decided what marriage is – as it is making clear what is built into human nature, something that everyone understood until very recently. You can’t defy nature for very long without losing. Try redefining gravity sooner or later you will start breaking bones. Saying that water does not conduct electricity doesn’t make it so and pretty soon you’ll be electrocuted. We can already see the tragic consequences of the denial of nature in the realm of marriage and sexuality and it looks like it will only get worse.

        • ELC says:

          I note that Msgr. did not say teenage “birth rates”. He said teenage “pregnancy”. Both of the links you referred us to are about births not pregnancies.

          If you do not understand the difference between pregnancy rates and birth rates, here’s a one-word clue: abortion.

          Even CBS doesn’t seem to know the difference: “Teen pregnancy rates have been declining for years. In April, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report showed an all-time low for teen birth rates in 2010 at 34.4 births per every 1,000 women between 15 and 19 years old. That reflected a 44 percent drop in teen birth rates from 1991 to 2010, and there were fewer teenage mothers in 2010 than any year since 1946.” (Note the switch from “pregnancy” in the first quoted sentence to “birth”, “births”, and “mothers” in the following two.)

          So, if you cite CBS, I guess your confusion can be excused. Except, it looks as if you gave not a moment’s thought to what the statistics are really about, and I’m not sure there’s much excuse for that.

      • Henry Bowers says:

        I would be careful in claiming that contraceptive sex is mutual masturbation. Per barrier methods, that claim seems plausible, but if instead the pill is used, then I think we need to call that copulation an actual sex-act (even though the separate and distinct act of contracepting is neither a sexual act nor a marital act). This is important because such copulation is precisely what we insist homosexuals cannot achieve, so I’m going to propose that barrier-free contraceptive sex-acts still physically embody marriage, even though they categorically desecrate, and therefore violate, the spiritual-reasonable dimension of marriage.

        Anyone disagree?

        • RichardC says:

          I think this is an important and well stated distinction. I think, and I could be wrong, that barrier-free contraception, is worse than homosexual sodomy, if for no other reason than by using it, at least one of the partners, is open to the possible abortive effect of such pills.

        • AN interesting distinction. Although I wonder, even if the pill is not a barrier in same sense as a condom, it is still a barrier, a chemical barrier. And, as a chemical barrier does it not have a physical mechanism whereby it works? In this sense, how is a chemical barrier different from a latex one? Both are physical. At any rate, that is my puzzlement on what you propose here.

          • Henry Bowers says:

            Certainly, I would say the pill is a barrier to conception, but not a barrier to 100% successful coitus, just as an oophorectomized woman may achieve 100% successful coitus but never again conceive. Use of the male condom, on the other hand, seems masturbatory, since stimulation is derived entirely from a rubber interface. An objection might be that a gloved hand still performs its function, still grabs successfully (as barricaded sex organs may crudely co-actuate), but my reply would be that a professional massage from a practitioner wearing mittens would not constitute a ‘qualified’ massage; it would be fraudulent. So my theory of action is not impregnable, but I think chemical contraceptors still undergo reproductive-type acts; they can at least initiate the non-deterministic reproductive attempt.

    • Steve M says:

      Funniest thing I have read all day. This is a perfect write up for the ultra-liberal there is no virtue hedonistic anti-religion crowd. If you are really not Catholic why even bother to read the blog. You are either being totally sarcastic or hate people of faith. Why do you hate Catholics? Agian you either are joking or don’t understand anything about the Church. Why are you discriminating against us? If you believe that everyone should do what ever they want then why are you hating us for doing what we want? At least try and be consistent to what you claim to believe. If you are joking then I thank you for the laugh. If you are serious then let me know so I can get another laugh in for the day.

      • JPP says:

        “Funniest thing I have read all day.”

        Glad I could make you smile.

        “If you are really not Catholic why even bother to read the blog. You are either being totally sarcastic or hate people of faith.”

        I Believe I explained that: As I am not a Catholic and do not normally peruse Catholic forums or publications it is rare that I come across articles like this. I was originally interested in this piece because a friend of mine on facebook ‘liked’ it and I am curious about arguments anti-equality advocates use to make their case.

        “Why do you hate Catholics?”

        I do not.

        “If you believe that everyone should do what ever they want then why are you hating us for doing what we want? At least try and be consistent to what you claim to believe.”

        As long as “doing what you want” does not infringe on the rights of others, you may do as you wish. In my view, labeling homosexuality as disordered and restricting state-recognized unions to heterosexual couples is infringing on the rights of homosexuals. This is consistent with what I have posted.

        ” Why are you discriminating against us?”

        Against Catholics? How am I being discriminatory? Was I the one who said, “I have a book that I believe is the word of god and in this book it says that marriage between two Catholics is an abomination. We as a society should not allow Catholics to marry”? Did I say that? I’m sorry, I take it back.

        • Steve M says:

          “your church I will vote and campaign against it”

          Looks pretty discriminatory to me. I believe that there is good and bad in certain behaviors and I should strive for our society to support the good and not the bad. It is logical for me then to be opposed to gay unions as I believe it is harmful to our society. It would be illogical for me to do anything different.

          So you do not hate the Catholic Church but feel compelled to campaign against it. What do you do if you hate something?

          “As long as “doing what you want” does not infringe on the rights of others, you may do as you wish”

          But when I say that “gay unions” and promotion of homosexuality infringes on my rights you deny my right to be offended by these. So do I give up my rights in your society because I am offended by the actions or because I am Catholic? I am unable to unravel your logic about not discriminating against Catholics but you deny that I have a right to my beliefs because someone else in society does something I find offensive. You woudl place the rights of homosexuals above my rights as a Catholic. Seems like discrimination to me. Maybe you mean that I do not have a right to go out into public without being forced to see something offensive.

          “anti-equality advocates”
          That would be me. I truly believe that there are some beliefs and behaviors that are harmful to society and individuals. I do not equate harmful behaviors with good behaviors.

          Again thanks for the chuckle

    • Meli says:

      I’m always amused when people try to discredit Church teaching by some historical reference. In this instance, it’s the bronze age – which pre-dates Christianity by quite a bit. If we really looked back honestly, we would see that the Church was born into a world with similar sexual mores to today. Some of the first Christians gave up their lives for refusing to cooperate with those mores.

    • Stephen says:

      JPP should also note the wording of the study he linked to (the link does not work, btw). Msgr. Pope, quite correctly, referenced teenage pregnancy rates, while this study references teenage birth rates. This may seem like a slight difference, but it is not. The historic low birth rate could very well be due to the acceptance and proliferation of procured abortions among teenage girls.

      Msgr. Pope, wonderful article, concise and firm. Your comments re: mutual masturbation are spot on. When my wife and I were less-informed Catholics, we made the decision for her to have a tubal ligation after our fourth child. The resulting change in our intimacy was palpable, physically for her and psychologically for both of us. A very concrete lesson is the dignity of the human person and God’s plan for human sexuality and marriage. Although not a required reparation for the sin, we decided to go through the very expensive tubal reversal surgery, and two years later we are expecting our fifth child! Thank you, Father.

  6. Robertlifelongcatholic says:

    I can invision a time when scripture by law will be ordered to be edited and revised if sold and used in a public venue or banned because much of it will be deemed hate speech and discriminatory. It will be considered the Huckleberry Fin in a progressive rendition of Gomorrah. Such decisions are being made by a select few justices who by judicial fiat act outside of the powers given them by the constitution. That’s how we got abortion on demand and a mandated health program.

  7. Candida Eittreim says:

    I loved this. Thank you Msgr. Pope. We have indeed reaped what we’ve sown. And now, like badly spoiled children, we want God to fix it. You are right, He won’t. This indeed is our “just” punishment. Prayer, fasting and alms giving, coupled with true repentance and a return to our Catholic roots may eventually change things. If not, your advice sounds eminently sensible to me.

    • Beulah says:

      I wholeheartedly agree, and am so excited to see a member of our hierarchy writing such a piece. “Woe to those through whom judgment comes,” but it will, and has, come.

  8. Joe says:

    God bless you father. Maybe if people would of heeded humanae vitae, we wouldn’t be in this mess, The contraception deception indeed.

  9. Doge of Venice says:

    God bless you, Monsignor. You are a CATHOLIC PRIEST…the kind we pray for! Holy Mother Church needs men like you that preach the Gospel — charitably, but without making concessions to the fleeting passions of this world.

    You didn’t mention divorce — and men and women have indeed made a mess of the country with that — but one reason the rate is so high has GOT to be that it’s legal. Sounds too obvious, right? The libertarians have persuaded everyone that laws cannot make people good. I don’t have any expertise in US legal history, but no-fault divorce laws are as new as our problem with rampant divorce. In light of your essay, however, I realize I’m talking about issues from a past that’s likely forever past in this republic.

  10. Marlene Lopez says:

    Why are so many people becoming so desensitized over homosexuality? I was raised Catholic,as was my daughter , and my husband and I have tried to raise our daughter in the best way possible, to follow the teachings of Christ. To make a long story short, our daughter now feels that people who are truly in love, even though they are of the same sex, should have the right to marry, and enjoy all the benefits that do come with marriage. My anger got the better of me, and I let her know in no uncertain terms, that marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman, and that homosexuality is a gross perversion that is deeply offensive to God, and therefore should also be deeply offensive to us. Now, she informs me that her children will be told that homosexuality is a normal, different way of life for some individuals, and that my husband and I must not make any remarks to the contrary. Should I remain silent?

    • Tobias says:

      Dear Marlene,

      You have done well and no, you should not remain silent. All we can do is witness with truth and charity. I’m not sure we can “convince” people as that seems to me to be a work of grace. We can suffer for others though. So if you continue to pray for your daughter and make reperation for her through sensual mortification, God will bless you both.

      Pax et bonum.

      • Michael says:

        Dear Marlene,

        I might suggest, instead of a head on confrontation that may cause your daughter to forbid you to speak to or see your grandchildren, concentrating your efforts on teaching them positively about what true maritla love is and it’s place in society. When they say, “Mother says gay people have the same right to love as married people”, you can tell them they need to respect their mother’s authority; note you didn’t say they had to believe her, and you can’t be accused of contradicting her. I would then re direct the subject and talk about how much fun it is growing up with a mom and a dad. I’m sure if you don’t have your own “large family” stories, you can borrow from a friend :-) I find this effective in dealing with my neices and godchild. I haven’t had to deal with that from my children yet, though heaven help them if they try to cross swords with their daddy 😉

        God bless you , and remember that you must have contact in order to influence :-)

        Lux et Veritas,

        Michael

  11. Ana says:

    Spot on! I never saw it this way. This is such a comprehensive, honest look into why we are in this mess. While you are in the middle of this storm there in the US, you also have a strong army of chastity speakers who I admire in giving their time and efforts to counter the culture of “no necessary connection.” Young speakers who will bring forth a new generation of faithful. This army of chastity speakers who live what they preach and are starting their own families are valuable seeds whose harvests our future generation will reap. It’s like the mustard seed but it brings much hope to the future of all, even for us who are on the other side of the globe here in the Philippines. Thank you again for this enlightening, intelligent reflection and analysis!

  12. Bobbette M. Davis says:

    Thank You Msgr. Pope!!! Your defense of the teachings of CHRIST are on target. Allow me to add one more comment regarding the selfish, “contraceptive” mentality that the world lives in today. I am paraphrasing from a talk given by Fr.Donald Calloway,MIC on EWTN. I share this particular talk with my 8th grade catechism class . Fr.Calloway stated that as our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST suffered humilation, torture, and death, not once, did our LORD scream at any time during HIS Passion “STOP!!! FATHER!!! Take this away from ME!!!, No, CHRIST gave every last drop of HIS “seminal” life giving blood to HIS bride, Holy Mother Church. As the last molecule of HIS Precious Blood left HIS Body and soaked the good earth, that moment was the conception of our Catholic Church, and Pentacost was the birth. CHRIST opened the gates of Heaven by giving HIS all to HIS bride, We, as Christians, of the Church Militant, should imitate CHRIST’S total love for HIS bride in our daily lives. Only then, will the world through humble obedience to CHRIST and HIS teachings be at peace. Never will there be peace as long as we humans arrogantly shout to GOD, the Author of LIfe, we “know” better than YOU.

  13. Jill Kerekes says:

    Thank you Msgr. Pope!

    The rotten fruits of contraception run so deeply that our culture seems to know no other way. Children in public schools are indoctrinated into the Culture of Death in middle school (or younger!). Even kids from practicing Catholic homes are fed by Lord of Lies on these issues, sometimes by their own parents. So many women of my generation (I’m almost 42) have contracepted for almost their entire fertile window! So many broken homes, so much sadness, so much despair…..and almost all related to the refusal to ‘be fruitful and multiply.’ People are robbed of so much joy in their marriages when contraception is involved. We must pray for conversion of hearts and, as always, clean up our own houses first.

    Have a prayerful Triduum Msgr. and a blessed Easter!

  14. Doubledad says:

    Bless you Msgr. Pope,
    I desperately need to hear some sanity in this insane world. Your thoughts echo my own. Mea Culpa. I bear as much responsibility for this corrupted culture as anyone and should work to repair it.

    • Blaine says:

      I’m with doubledad.

      God Bless you Msgr. Pope, and thank you for your thoughts. I too am wholly responsible for all this, as my past behavior (and resulting tendancies I struggle with to this day) are just as directly responsible for the mess as that of any generations past. Your words near the end, “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” strike a chord with me – I will do my best to teach my young son and any other children we have the Truth.

      If only all our bishops, priests and deacons would do the same as you. Again, thank you.

  15. garym says:

    Well presented Monsignor. Very clear and concise truth. Best wishes for the valley of tears.

  16. Nathan says:

    I wish we could hear this from our pulpits. Instead we hear jokes, inane personal stories, vague platitudes and generalities, etc. I don’t mean to suggest the blame is solely, or even primarily, to be rested on the shoulders of our pastors, but with the scandalous number of Catholics I’ve seen on Facebook stumping for SSM, I’m left feeling we need to hear the Church’s teaching again and again in Mass to at least make clear where Moher Church stands on the issue. I also yearn to hear Papa Francesco speak out on the subject. I know he was a strong voice as Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, but we need to hear from him as Pope. The world is transfixed by his humility, a strong condemnation of SSM would really help, even if just to lift the spirits of those fighting this evil. God bless you for your witness Monsignor.

  17. I Like The Church Fathers says:

    Whoever the Pope is in 2018 ought to issue an encyclical commemorating the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, the greatest and bravest encyclical of the 20th century.

    Said encyclical should highlight all of the many poisoned fruit of the sexual revolution – homosexual equality, promiscuity, STDs, divorce, single motherhood, delayed marriage, declining fertility rate, declining economic growth because of declining fertility, etc. Said encyclical should unequivocally state that while Humanae Vitae was roundly condemned by mainstream thinkers when it was released [and even by some Catholics], the last 50 years have proven that the “backward” Catholic Church was right all along. Ecclesia Triumphans!

  18. Dawn Eden says:

    Thanks, Monsignor, for saying what needed to be said.

  19. Greg says:

    Why did this whirlwind hit the African American community first? Single parenthood was a problem going back to the 40’s and 50’s?

    • I Like The Church Fathers says:

      I don’t have a complete answer, Greg, but one part of the answer is that the early birth control advocates like Margaret Sanger were unabashed eugenicists and racists who believed that “inferior” races were reproducing too much and that their numbers should be controlled through aggressive promotion of birth control. Black leaders of the past, such as Malcolm X, were onto this game. They denounced birth control and abortion as instruments for racist white elites to control the black population.

      How many black leaders today share Malcolm X’s view? Virtually none. Anyone who speaks out would be denounced as an Uncle Tom. In reality, of course, Malcolm X was right. As a result of pervasive birth control and abortion in the black community, the black American family is fractured even more badly than the white American family. Black American political and cultural influence is also far less than it would have been if so many black babies had not been aborted or contracepted out of existence.

      Birth control and abortion are forms of social control by elites who oppose the gospel of life.

    • O. Possum says:

      Obviously the whirlwind was racist. 😛

  20. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Were someone to come up with a pill that allowed people to eat as much as they want without biological consequences, most people would recognize that pill as a bad thing: an effort to undo part of people’s biological nature and a promotion of vice (in that case, gluttony). Yet contraceptive pills are ubiquitous. Were someone to ask to be blinded or deafened, that person would be considered mentally ill. Yet people flock to have their reproductive ability surgically discontinued at public expense. Our society has too long bought into the idea that sex can and should be disconnected from biology. We’ve seen a few of the bad results of this tragedy, but more are on the way.

    Fantastic idea to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae — which played a big role in my becoming Catholic after I read it in hopes of discrediting it.

  21. Vijaya says:

    Thank you so much for this article, Father. Yes, fight back by strengthening the family unit. I have come to realize it is bedrock of society (not the individual as I had once assumed) and when families crumble, so does society.

    The Good News about Sex and Marriage by Christopher West is a great source for helping our young people prepare for marriage. It’s got a summary of Theology of the Body by JPII and then the rest is a Q&A. Very frank and informative.

  22. K Gemender rooney says:

    Brilliant, Monsignor. Thank you. I needed this direction.

  23. Tim says:

    This subject has been a struggle for me for a long time. I think the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and marriage is consistent with its other teachings and well-based in philosophy and reason. My brain gets that, and I want to follow it without reservations. But then I see my aunt, who has had a lesbian partner for 30 years and helped bring her partner out of alcoholism while helping to raise her partner’s kids. My best friend from high school came out to me in college, and he is a lot happier as an out gay man than he was while he was closeted. And how are we supposed to combat the studies and scientists that suggest that finding a partner is beneficial to homosexuals, that gay teens — for the sake of their mental health — need to be told by their parents that being gay is fine, that gay parenting can be more than adequate? This all leaves me terribly torn. I want to follow the Church on this, but I have a lot of trouble reconciling all this.

    • Craig J says:

      Hello Tim. I admire your longing for answers and will attempt my best to provide some semblance of wisdom on a topic that eats at our hearts when we must endure the sight of people legitimately suffering.

      How do you respond in the sight of legitimately consoling and charitiable love of the kind you’ve witnessed with your Aunt? It’s understandable that when a relationship endures the test of time (30 years is quite a while) we are inclined to question how that is possible apart from God’s grace. Additionally, we may wonder how one overcomes the disease of alcoholism apart from god’s grace? The answer is that indeed, God’s grace is superabundantly present throughout the earth and God permits the sun to rise on the good and bad alike. We shouldn’t be surprised that God permits good things to people that are in a defacto state of mortal sin. They may not have had their eyes opened, and like St. Paul, go about their sinning out of ignorance of God’s truth. God has sent each of us into the world to bear this truth with humility and confidence. And just as God has not condemned your aunt, His work may not yet be complete. We cannot know all of God’s intentions or reasons – His ways are above ours and he can see to the infinite nuanced details of our lives in such a manner that leads to a conversion – when it all comes together at last is a time of great rejoicing. In the mean-time, you must place your faith humbly in the Teaching arm of the Church. Jesus Promised the Gates of Hell would not prevail over this Church, and indeed, this means that her Teachings are from the Holy Spirit, without error and are trustworthy. It may not all make sense, but demanding that God’s action in the lives of those around us make sense to us is rather childish and possibly quite arrogant. It will never all make sense, but what reason has illuminated for us – homosexual activity is objectively disordered – means that although we see something good in your aunt or in loved ones around us practicing their disordered sexuality with aplomb, our response must be to pray. Pray because the intellect understands that it is harmful to her because the Church has always taught so, and no one who believed the Church’s teachings ever went astray. Pray because you love her and desire for her salvation, which cannot occur apart from an awareness of – and subsequent abandonment of her sinful activity. It is in God’s hands and He will do as He pleases, but when we see good in the lives of someone committed to something contrary to His plan, we should not stumble. We should glorify God for His mercy and pray for a conversion.

      With regard to the studies and scientists – What good is mental health if the soul is dying? We are all sinners and death is our sentence. We who receive the grace of Christ are also given crosses to carry. Suffering cannot be avoided in this life. We either comply with the demands of our faith – that we take up our cross and follow (and suffer in the process, although we do so redemptively)- or else we suffer the consequences of sin in our bodies. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive//ldn/2005/jun/05060606 Check out this site and inform yourself of the medical consequences of sodomy. Combat pseudo-science with statistics. Men that practice homosexuality lose 20 years off their life on average. What good is it if your mind is at ease but the body AND soul are dying? Just a thought.

      Blessings to you and may you remain steadfast as you seek answers. Christ will always reveal to you the truth if you are a lover of truth.

    • Theophilus says:

      Hi Tim,
      Just because someone does good things or says they are happy does not prove that their methods or way of life are pleasing to God. Many people settle for a natural happiness, but God calls us to supernatural life. Hence the old, “I am created by God to be reasonably happy in this world, and supremely happy in the next.” Goodness and natural happiness (thanks be to God) are not limited to those who are redeemed by God, but only He can give us holiness and supreme happiness. That only comes through the cross, and that is the only thing that will matter for eternity. Also, keep in mind that scientists have justified all manner of behaviors and evils in the past, so they don’t occupy some sort of infallible position on these matters.

  24. Andkaras says:

    In years past all people necessarily held marriage to a much higher degree of responsibility because of the obvious outcomes ( children ). Unfortunately our scientific advances have overcome our sensibilities in this arena. Does a couple in this day and age , who have contracepted them selves into a perfectly controlled and comfortable situation ,have any right to stand in the same line to heaven as our ancestors who gave all in marriage? Women who died in the service of life, dying in childbirth? Men who died working themselves to death to feed their 6 children? Couples who “came apart for a time of prayer” with the intention of reuniting in full openness to Gods will for their marriage? I can’t believe how many women have said to me ” My husband would never go for that NFP stuff, he would leave me if I insisted. Sad. To be in a marriage like that. It makes me cry for them . It makes me cry for all of us.

  25. Anne says:

    Could someone give me a good talking point to rebut for this argument for gay marriage: Two people who are 50 and past child bearing marry knowing they can not have children;still the marriage is considered valid. They marry with a total disconnect between sex and procreation. Why should it be called marriage?

    • I Like The Church Fathers says:

      Good point Anne. I don’t have a persuasive answer to this one either. You could argue that the older couple will hopefully set a good example for younger fertile couples, but I think that’s a fairly weak justification. Hopefully, Monsignor or someone else can enlighten us.

    • Gregg the Obscure says:

      One attribute of marriage is that society recognizes this couple as a family, not just as roommates. A marriage between a man and a woman of advanced age, while it may not result in children, still looks to the rest of the world like any other normal marriage. There’s usually no immediate indicator that the couple wasn’t married to each other at a younger age. Decent people wouldn’t pry into the details of the couple’s sex life in any event. Such a marriage won’t cause confusion to young children or scandal to anyone. It’s also quite rare for folks of that age to enter into a first marriage. More often than not at least one spouse would be either a widow(er) or a victim of divorce.

    • Erin says:

      They do not marry with a total disconnect. If they are having intercourse, then their marriage is ordered toward procreation, because intercourse is the way procreation happens. It’s just that no children will (likely) result. Children are not a requirement for a valid marriage, but intercourse is. This is why lack of consummation is a reason for annulment, even with the state. And this is also why the Church teaches that an impotent man cannot marry, but an infertile man can.

    • Richard A says:

      Because there is not a TOTAL disconnect between sex and procreation in that case. If each partner is freely and completely giving of himself (“herself” too, for you gender-sensitive grammar Nazis), then the specific act is still ordered toward procreation, even if it is extremely unlikely. As is the case with a younger couple who have found themselves to be infertile due to accident or physiological defect in one or the other party.

    • Dear Anne, The Catechism says that sex must be ordered per se to the procreation of human life (# 2366). “Per se” does not mean every act can be fertile but only that “by itself” (i.e. per se) the act is not intentionally hindered from its natural ends. This is what contraception, homosexual acts, and certain heterosexual practices, that do not complete or naturally render the marital act, do. But it is clear to any biology novice that not every sexual act results in conception.

      Consider by analogy, that I call a friend, and this might result in speaking with her, or perhaps being sent to a voice mail. Whatever the final result, my reason and purpose for calling was to try to reach my friend. One would likely consider me a madman if, in dialing the numbers, I had no intent of reaching my friend, and was angry if she did pick up the phone and begin to speak. Whatever the final result, the calling of my friend is per se related to speaking with her.

      And this is what it means that marriage, and sexual activity, must be “per se” related to the procreation of children, even if the results of that activity do not always attained the full purpose of that action.

      Older and/or sterile people do not intentionally exclude one of the two fundamental reasons for marriage and sexual activity.

    • magistra says:

      The rebuttal is that, if the two people are one man and one woman (you didn’t specify), they can have a true physical union; the complementary reproductive systems are present. Consequently, there is also the possibility that conception could occur. With advanced age, that possibility is remote, but it can – and has – happened (examples include Abraham and Sarah, and Zechariah and Elizabeth). The complementary male and female physical organs that are needed for conception (and for true union) are there. Whereas with same sex couples, there is no possibility for true physical union. That is because the complementary male and female reproductive systems are not present; rather, there are two of the same kind of reproductive systems, which are not capable of uniting.

      As an analogy, think of a nut and a bolt. The two can unite because they are complementary. But two nuts or two bolts have no possibility of joining together. (Yes, I know that example is rife with potential for puns and bad jokes.)

      To answer another situation along similar lines that is often put forth, I will quote the Aggie Catholic’s explanation (the entire post is worth reading: http://marysaggies.blogspot.com/2012/05/why-same-sex-marriage-is-bad-idea.html?spref=tw): “some say that infertile couples are an exception to the rule just as same-sex couples are. False. Infertile couples prove the point of natural marriage. An infertile couple is naturally oriented toward procreation and something is medically wrong. The reason a same-sex couple cannot procreate is because nature is working correctly.” By that is meant that each person’s reproductive system is working properly. The problem is not that there is a problem within one of the two complementary systems; rather it is that there are not two complementary systems.

    • Aaron says:

      The disconnect between sex and procreation isn’t the result of lack of conception, it is in the actual act itself. Look at it this way: the act of coitus is intrinsically ordered to procreation. Regardless of the individuals involved, the physiological mechanisms involved are always geared to the transmission of new life. If the physiological mechanisms are left alone (i.e. not contracepted), the act is inherently “open to life”, regardless is a new life results from it or not.

      The disconnect occurs when a willful decision is made to thwart the natural physiological mechanisms in someway.

      • Aaron says:

        It should say “connection” not “disconnect”, and “regardless if”, not “regardless is”

    • Beefalo says:

      Anne — The ability to form the existence of a marriage is not determined by whether or not a couple is actually capable of conceiving; rather, it is determined by the nature of the union that is formed by them qua man and woman. A man and woman who no longer are fertile nevertheless are capable of forming a bodily, two-in-one flesh union of the sort that naturally is directed toward the good of the spouses and the generation of children. Thus, it is a marriage because of who they are: a man and a woman capable of forming a conjugal union, regardless of whether they ever conceive. By nature, an eye is directed toward sight even if some defect prevents it from attaining vision. So too, by nature, marriage between a man and woman is directed toward a permanent, exclusive and fruitful conjugal union even it it is rendered infertile by time or physical privation. On the contrary, the physical union between two men or two women by its very nature cannot be directed toward physical union of the sort that may be procreative.

    • FMShyanguya says:

      ‘Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him…She added: ‘Who would have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse children! Yet I have borne him a child in his old age.’ Gn 21: 5-7

      ‘How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is getting on in years.’ Lk 1:18

      ‘But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. This is why a man must leave father and mother and the two become one body.’ Mk10:6-8.

      Without reference to G_d it is hard, nay, it is impossible to make the argument.

      The Msgr. is right: we can’t the make the argument unless we can say:

      ‘Meditating all the day on your Law,
      how I have come to love it!
      By your commandment, ever mine,
      how much wiser you have made me than my enemies!
      How much subtler than my teachers,
      through my meditating on your decrees!
      How much more perceptive than the elders,
      as a result of my respecting your precepts!’
      Ps 119(118): 97-100

    • David says:

      Such a couple is still open to the possibility of procreation, remote as that possibility might be. Use the example of Abraham & Sarah, who conceived Isaac at an advanced age.

  26. Thomas Gallagher says:

    Wonderful teaching, Monsignor. You touched on so many things that need to be said, and said often. But I cannot help recalling that I have not heard a sermon in . . . how many decades? . . . against contraception. Very few mentions in sermons of the evils of divorce, very few references in sermons to homosexuality as an inherently disordered condition, but two (count ’em, two) sermons about some poor middle-aged priest, sent away, dismissed, removed for good from his loving and caring ministry for . . . guess what? . . . one or two sins involving “impure” or “inappropriate” “relationships.” Where is the sense of due proportionality in moral judgments, not only among our priests but among the several bishops who have covered up priestly misconduct. Can the obligation to avoid scandal possibly outweigh the obligation to protect innocent children? Our problems here are numerous, but one of them is the redefinition of sin by many priests of the generation who came into Ministry around the time Vatican II got implemented, and who took from the theological trends of their day the notion that sin is not some objective reality, but something–some feeling, perhaps?–that separates us from God. “As long as I’m good with God I can be tender with that teenage boy!” Sow the wind, Padre, and you’ll reap . . . Let’s keep in mind a final thought: sowing is done by the farmer, not by the plants themselves. Farmer : fields :: priest : humble laity.

  27. Kevin B says:

    Right on Msgr. Pope ! The current homosexual rights movement is clearly a “fruit of the poisonous tree” which is contraception. Oh how Pope Paul VI was prophetic in the Human Vitae Encyclical. In addition, contraception is not only spiritually and mentally unhealthy for users, but also physically and emotionally unhealthy! Check out
    http://lovefacts.org/Safer-Sex.html.

    If Catholics and Christians live the way God intended us to live as married couples and the Church preaches the TRUTH about theTheology of the Body and harms that occur when you do not live as God intended – we can mitigate the current disaster to our country and the world.

  28. Richard says:

    Monsignor, this is so true. Give an inch – take a mile. If Christians did not divorce, abuse, commit adultery, use birth control, watch “sex-in the-city”, etc. etc. our country wouldn’t be in this condition of abomination.

    As always,

    Thank you for insight and profound teaching.

    Rich

  29. Terrye Newkirk says:

    Please forgive an old proofreader, Father: Should that be “deepening darkness” in the title? :-)

  30. MT says:

    Yes, the root cause of the increasing acceptance of same-sex “marriage” is directly linked to the contraceptive mentality. So-called pro-marriage ‘conservatives’ who are also pro-contraception have lost any philosophical or intellectual foundation on which to oppose homosexual behavior. They’ve forfeited philosophical consistency and abandoned intellectual honesty on the issue of same-sex “marriage.” To be pro-contraception and then claim to be pro-marriage is an absurdity.

    But the larger issue is in identifying the root cause of the contraceptive mentality. At the root of the acceptance of artificial contraception is Liberalism (as defined by the Church) itself. Contraception is one of the great lies of Liberalism. It has even hypnotized the vast majority of “conservatives” who then hypocritically go on to oppose same-sex behavior and then attempt to stand up as some kind of moral force against same-sex “marriage.” It is not surprising that this Liberal deception was first widely accepted by “conservative” Protestant Churches. At the root of Liberalism is Protestantism itself. Behind every conversion (or “evolution”) to accepting same-sex “marriage” is the personal acceptance of artificial contraception — you can bet on that. While it’s true that heterosexuals have done great damage to the institution of marriage, it is not “heterosexualism” that is to blame. It is the acceptance of some element of Liberalism, including contraception and divorce, that is the cause. The cultural, legislative, and judicial push to fix that damaged institution (damaged by Liberalism in the first place) is to double-down on the Liberalism and impose one of the ultimate Liberal falsehoods — allow homosexuals to “marry” and somehow all will be made right, fair, and equal. Hoping to find a protection for real marriage in the Godless U.S. Constitution, which proudly enshrines abortion as lawful, is almost laughable.

    As Chesterton said, they don’t know what they’re doing, because they don’t know what they’re undoing. And they don’t know what they’re undoing, because they’ve abandoned the demanding wisdom of the Church and accepted the fashionable and seductive moral adolescence of Liberalism.

    • I Like The Church Fathers says:

      Good point, MT. There’s a reason why Blessed Pius IX included liberalism in the Syllabus of Errors.

  31. Greg says:

    One other question:

    How frequently do you here the use of contraception confessed as a sin?

    • Rarely. The problem with contraception is that it is rarely preached on. I preached on it recently, but the fact is, the setting of the Mass in mixed company etc. makes it difficult to mention often.

  32. Daniel says:

    Monsignor, thank you as always for your brave witness. It is not easy on the internet, especially with the many anonymous voices and resulting hostility. I consider you one of my heroes. Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

    St. Michael, Pray for Us!

  33. KH says:

    Amazing article, Msgr! Thank you for speaking the truth and being that guardian for our souls. This is one of the best, most concise articles I have yet to read, summarizing the topic and pinpointing the root problem where it begins. Stand firm in the face of the tsunami of criticism that is surely coming your way from the culture of lies. You will reap the fruit of your labors in heaven! Blessings to you, Msgr. kh

  34. Mary says:

    Amazing article, Msgr! Thank you for speaking the truth and being that guardian for our souls. This is one of the best, most concise articles I have yet to read, summarizing the topic and pinpointing the root problem where it begins. Stand firm in the face of the tsunami of criticism that is surely coming your way from the culture of lies. You will reap the fruit of your labors in heaven! Blessings to you, Msgr.

  35. Bill M. says:

    Next will be the push for making plural marriage legal. And the charge that polygamy exploits women will be countered with assurances that polyandry empowers them.

    • Vijaya says:

      And finally we’ll be able to marry our pets. Msgr. had already written about a woman who married herself.

  36. RichardC says:

    Amen.

  37. Tom Mulcahy says:

    We are seeing before our very eyes what seems like almost an entire generation of young people being duped on this very issue, and what this means in terms of loss of faith, loss of sacramental life, and loss of salvation is something very frightening. Evangelization is going to be key. Catholic families with generations of the baptized are seeing the beginning of their pagan line of descendants. A bad harvest.

  38. Momof6 says:

    Thank you, Msgr. This is a great article. I was called a hater for not accepting SSM this week. I’m holding my ground and explained that opposition to it is premised on love for the other, as other, and for no other reason, most especially not hate.

  39. Clare Krishan says:

    Msgr. While it may entertain comfortably-ensconced readers in suburbia but for the poverty-stricken suffering masses of American urban decay like those I teach CCD who live in the hood, your spoof clip is NOT amusing. It’s very condescending. May I make an attempt at course-correction to a certain sour moralistic tendency I sensed in reading this post? Permit me to refocus and redact a few words to apply the “sickness” diagnosis, not to fallen human persons aka the sinful culture of death, but to Catholics blessed with the culture of life in the Mystical Body:

    “1. The fundamental flaw in [worldy] thinking about the [conjugal union] of [Creator-Bridegroom] with his [Creature-Bride], the Ur root problem is the declaration that that there is no necessary connection between this conjugal union and [redemption].

    2. Any 8th grade biology student ought to be able to see the flaw in the “no necessary connection” argument. “

    – says who? They don’t teach religion in public school anymore. Who told them otherwise?

    Invincible ignorance is a brutal barrier to the receptivity of grace* in immature minds (who by 8th grade will have enjoyed the penguin-dad collective called “March of the Penguins” – a superb documentary on how the conjugal union gift is received in ‘functional-managerial’ Antarctica) unformed in the inspiring-anointing of transcendent beauty, goodness and truth. Msgr. our Ur problem is NOt managing the “means “on the path to redemption, the Ur problem is knowing that redemption “is.” The gift needs to be unpacked ever new, cor ad cor loquitur.

    Sin-sick souls are blind – they can’t see your logic.
    They’re crippled – they can’t follow your rhetoric.
    They are deaf/mute until they encounter love in the present tense, Jesus’ “My Peace I give you” grammar.
    The saints are our models (as Dawn Eden tells us in her eponymous book)

    Victims of original sin’s iniquity (which we all are through the abuse of freedom of our first parents) are like the sailors in the pithy St Exupery aphorism on building a sea-going barque:

    “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”

    Unction not function.

    *which always preceeds us, see then-Cardinal Bergoglio on meme here
    http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/cardinal-catechesis-is-pillar-of-the-church

  40. Kendra G says:

    Mutual masturbation? But what about Song of Solomon? I doubt seriously those lovers had procreation on their minds. Can you refute that? Is that supposed to be an “allegory”? I say “allegory” because I know some Catholics believe the Bible stories to be allegories. I’m Pentecostal so I guess that makes me a fundamentalist too. I believe the Bible is completely true. If it says Jonah was swallowed by a whale, then that’s what happened. What about 1 Corinthians 7? It says several times that if you can’t control yourself then you should get married. Am I to believe that those people are only unable to control their urges when trying to get pregnant? How are they to control their urges the rest of the time? In verse 3 specifically, it says that a husband should satisfy his wife’s sexual needs and the wife the husband’s. It certainly isn’t calling that “mutual masturbation” and it doesn’t talk about kids til later in the chapter. It also says the only time you should STOP giving yourselves to each other is when you fast for a time. I appreciate your opinion and I agree on most of what you said but as for the rest, I think I’ll stick with the Bible.

    • Beefalo says:

      No one said a husband and wife must have “procreation on their minds.” You miss the point. Masturbation is the intentional stimulation of one’s own genitals for sexual gratification. Why is it wrong? Because it intentionally disorders sex by destroying its true purpose, which is the affirmation of the marriage vows of a husband and wife through a two-in-one flesh union that is permanent, exclusive and fruitful. It is sexual gratification without conjugal union. Although in a different way, contraceptive sex between a husband and wife similarly disorders sex by insinuating a lie in the sexual act itself: the couple purports to form a conjugal union of complete self-giving, but in reality they are saying to one another that they do not give themselves entirely, since they demand that their union shall not be fruitful. The couple thereby objectively changes the nature of their act. It is no longer truly conjugal, and in that sense it may be compared to masturbation, which similarly is gratification without a conjugal union.

      • Kendra G says:

        And it says that in the Bible…where exactly? Again, I point to 1 Corinthians 7. Why all the hubub about not being able to control oneself if we’re only supposed to have sex for procreation? Why does it say a husband and a wife are to meet each other’s sexual needs in order to keep the other from sinning? Why the comments about not being able to control urges? What you are saying does not make sense to me in light of what the Bible says. I guess I’m not asking for opinions, I’m asking what in the Bible backs up your statement?

        • Kendra G says:

          Sorry, I missed his point about contraception when reading that statement. I see now 8)

        • I think you are missing the point of the Church teaching which is not that procreation is all there is, but that decoupling procreation from other meanings is a distortion and leads to disordered acts, that is acts not ordered to their full or proper end.

  41. Annette Strachan says:

    The First Commandment covers everything, beginning to end, “…you shall not have strange gods before Me”. Says Our Lord God, Maker of Heaven and Earth.

  42. Clare Krishan says:

    Re: whirlwind.
    Look for the devil in his usual haunts:
    Italian journalist Tommasso Debenedetti has done a great job to distract the media’s attention from the wonderful liturgical actions being broadcast worldwide from Rome: before the conclave he opened a hoax twitter account under French Cardinal Tauran’s name and then at noon today fired off four hoax tweets (in Italian French, Spanish and English). Who taught Tommasso to read and write? Who gave Tommasso internet access?
    Who pays Tommasso to work for them? All these souls need converting – the harvest is great but the workers are few. Praying my luminous mysteries for holy vocations.

  43. DB says:

    I think the overall self-centeredness, narcissism, and materialism in this society has been far more damaging to the American family than anything else. That’s just my two cents.

  44. Kendra G says:

    I’m sorry, I just went back and read the entirety of 1 Corinthians 7. I just don’t see HOW you could come up with “mutual masturbation”. Can you explain that to me? And what about Sarah and Abraham? She was obviously hot, for a king, who could have anyone in the kingdom, to want her. She was also barren. Do you think she and Abraham just never had sex after she figured out she couldn’t have kids? Do you think they just had sex sparingly after God told Abraham she would conceive? Do you think they didn’t enjoy it? I am just flabbergasted by your comment. Solomon had hundreds of wives. Do you think he had that many just so he could have lots more children? SERIOUSLY? What about King David? If God looked down on sex other than for procreation, do you think Solomon would have come from the womb of Bathsheba? I’m going to try to get over your comment now. Any reply would be appreciated. I really would like to know where you came up with that idea.

    • Sam Schmitt says:

      I’m trying to find the place where Msgr. suggested that God “looks down on sex other than for procreation.” The Church does not teach that sex is only permitted when it is possible to conceive a child, or that a person must have the intention of having a child every time he or she engages in sexual activity, or that procreation is the sole purpose of sexual relations. What is does teach is that a coupe cannot sever the natural connection sex and procreation, so it forbids doing anything that would prevent conception. So sexual relations between married people who are unable to conceive a child is fine. They are not doing anything to prevent conception. True, they are engaging in sexual relations which they know will not result in a child (just as with a man and his pregnant wife, or if his wife is older), but they are not doing anything or putting up any barriers to conception.

      In contrast, those who engage in contraceptive sexual relations are preventing the possibility of conception. This can be said to be morally equivalent to mutual masturbation, since the couple is mimicking sexual relations but doing it in such a way that they are ruling out conception.

        • Kendra G says:

          I reread his comment. Point taken. I don’t necessarily believe what you do about contraception but I am not about to say you are wrong in your beliefs. I do understand what you are saying. Thanks for clearing that up. I should pay more attention when I read!

  45. Maggie Goff says:

    THIS is why I continue to pray for you daily, Msgr…..that Almighty God continue to give you the words and the strength for writings like this….full of truth with charity.

  46. Pat N. says:

    If a married couple is older and the wife may no longer conceive a child is heterosexual intercourse between them disordered?

    • Sam Schmitt says:

      Why would it be?

      • Kendra G says:

        I have two comments above. You should read the replies to them. I, too, was confused at first.

      • Pat N. says:

        What about acts which would not have produced conception if the wife was still fertile?

      • Repent and believe the GospeI! says:

        Oh boy,

        As Sam S. mentioned earlier, contraception is ‘putting up a barrier to conception.’ An older couple who can not conceive is NOT putting up a barrier to conception. Man, this is LOGIC 101. Man, I can’t believe this!
        Sorry, for being impatient.

    • MT says:

      No. Understanding why requires a little basic philosophy, which is sadly lacking in what passes as wisdom in today’s ‘highly enlightened’ culture.

      An individual’s infertility for any reason, including age or medical conditions, does not invalidate marriage at all, nor does it make the marital union sinful or disordered. In principle, a man and a woman, the two being sexually complementary, can procreate (i.e. their sexual union, barring contraception, is naturally open to new life). If a man or woman is infertile or past child-bearing years, that condition is incidental, and the principle is not violated. The inherent infertility/sterility in same-sex “sexual” behavior is not incidental at all, and the principle is always and everywhere violated. Constructing any rightly-ordered culture demands the recognition of sound first principles. Cultures and individuals fall into disorder when incidentals are allowed to trump sound first principles, which, by definition, always comport with natural law and truth regarding human nature.

  47. Deacon John M. Bresnahan says:

    Excellent summary. My background is history –which I studied and taught for almost 40 years. And whenever I saw mention of homosexual behaviour in books of history it was almost always about the negative effect widespread such behaviour had on cultures and societies. I don’t think the human experience that “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it” has been repealed–though I hear many history books are being cut apart to give us a censored version of the past.

    • I Like The Church Fathers says:

      Good point, John. At all times and places in history, the liberalization of attitudes and laws concerning homosexuality is a symptom of broader societal decadence and decline.

  48. Greg Walek says:

    Msgr. Pope,
    It seems you have struck a nerve with alot of people. I’m sure there were posts that were not fit to print. Thank you for speaking the truth and working to save souls.

  49. 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.

  50. 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!

  51. 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.

  52. 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

  53. 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.

  54. 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..

  55. 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.

          • Scripture is clear, we cannot jettison it.

  56. 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.

  57. Susan says:

    You have spoken the truth.

  58. 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.

  59. Howard says:

    AMEN, Monsignor.

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. Ignatz (@ignatzz) says:

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

  68. 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!

  69. 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!

  70. 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 –

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. Marti says:

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

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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

  78. 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.

  79. 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?

  80. 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!