The decisions of the Supreme Court regarding marriage today were disappointing but not surprising. Especially disappointing was the decision turning away “Proposition 8″ where California voters rejected the status of  legal marriage for same-sex attracted couples. The court seemed to set aside that proposition for technical reasons. This is not a legal blog, and hence I am not equipped to speak to legal aspects of the questions. And frankly, I am not at all certain that a Proposition 8 were it voted on again today, would pass.

For indeed, I think many of us who support traditional marriage are bewildered by the kind of tsunami that has swept over our culture in regards to this matter. DOMA passed not so long ago with an overwhelming majority in the House and Senate, and was signed into law by a relatively liberal President, Bill Clinton. More recently, Proposition 8 passed in the rather liberal state of California. Now, just a few years later, polls show that over 60% of Californians want Proposition 8 removed.

Yes, there have been dramatic shifts, and within such a very short number of years! Perhaps “tsunami” is a adequate description, or that it almost seems as if some hallucinogen has suddenly had its effects on American opinion.

And while this is also not a political blog, it seems, culturally that proponents of same-sex unions have scored their victory by successfully shifting the terms of the discussion away from marriage per se, to the rights of the individual adults in the question. The legal analysis of the attorney for the plaintiffs in these cases indicated that a crucial factor in his victory was that his side was able to demonstrate damages incurred by the plaintiffs, whereas of those who opposed them could show forth “no damages” in permitting the same-sex unions to be recognized.

Culturally and politically this also seems to be the essence of the problem, that the focus is on the rights of the adults in the question, not on what is best for children. And we Catholics too, who engage to debate on behalf of traditional marriage, often fall into this trap of focusing on the adults in the equation, not on the children, and what is best and just for children.

Simply put, the Church has, and must continue to oppose every erosion of traditional marriage because traditional marriage is what is best for children. And while it is true that we have a pastoral concern to call to repentance those who commit serious sexual sins, such as fornication, adultery, and homosexual acts, from the public policy point of view the Church’s stance on marriage is that traditional marriage is what is best and just for children. Hence to act in ways, or adopt policies that further erode traditional marriage, is to act unjustly. It is unjust because it fosters and encourages a climate that is increasingly poisonous and problematic for the children who are raised in it.

And hence, our objection to the legal recognition of Same-sex unions is not only an objection to homosexual aberrations, but also to other assaults on the family such as fornication, cohabitation, polygamy, no-fault divorce, intentionally single motherhood, and fatherhood, and so forth. Every child deserves, and has the right to be raised by his father and mother, who have committed themselves to a lifelong stable union.

Psychologically as well, every child deserves to have a father and mother. The father both teaches and forms his child in the way a mother cannot. Likewise for the mother, she also teachers and forms a child in ways that a father cannot.

Given what is best for children, the Church holds that it is reasonable to expect that traditional marriage and the traditional family be upheld and encouraged in our culture. Fornication and cohabitation should be shunned. Where adoption is necessary, the traditional family setting should be sought and have the preeminence among any other sort of setting. Only in rare cases where a traditional setting absolutely cannot be found, the children be put into less than ideal settings such as with one mother, or one father, or same-sex couples and so forth.

Further, as a culture, we ought not go on celebrating all sorts of other “diverse” forms of family and marriage. This does not help children, but it harms them by further fostering less than ideal family settings.

One may wish to argue the legal aspects of giving special recognition in terms of benefits and other legal rights to traditional families. There are possibly legitimate legal arguments about the equal protection clause etc.

But as a principle, it is not unreasonable that a culture might seek to foster traditional family settings and bestow special benefits upon a traditional family to encourage such settings. And thus, prescinding from all the legal questions that may surrounded special benefits, as a principle the Church does support certain special benefits and prerogatives be given to traditional families.

Again, the bottom line is we want to support and foster what is best for children. The traditional family setting, with a father and a mother in a lifelong committed relationship of marriage, and raising their children in that setting is what is best for children. It is what we must seek to promote.

As a faith community, we set forth what God himself has set forth. God’s wisdom is also vindicated by the common sense of natural law. Traditional marriage, is what is best, and what is just for children.

Supreme Mistake - The systematic dismantling of traditional marriage through sexual irresponsibility, fornication, adultery, easy divorce, and now elevating as same sex unions to the status of legal marriage, all shred what children need and deserve, namely, traditional marriage.

The Supremes of SCOTUS have weighed in on the topic, but it is we who have made the supreme mistake, as a culture. We have made a mess of the family over the last 60 years. Sadly, it our children who suffer, and our children yet to be born will suffer by our supreme mistakes.

76 Responses

  1. Jennifer says:

    Monsignor, I am so sorry for even my limited participation in the sexual revolution. It was such a mistake. And this decision just reaffirms the sexual revolution and those who keep pushing for it.

    Children really are the ones who suffer in the end.

    • Repent and Believe the Gospel ! says:

      Ah yes the next generation will suffer greatly!

      The liberals will come into the classrooms and corrupt the youth with their filth. And AIDs and STDs will spread like wild fire. This is a deadly agenda and it’s not about “rights.” Beneath all of these “rights” is DEATH.

      Abortion, euthanasia, promotion of the homosexual lifestyle === POPULATION CONTROL. Beneath all of these “rights” is a sinister agenda – population control. Can no one see this? The materialists are master of the sinister agenda!

      And of course, if the homosexual people grow in numbers they can’t really reproduce. And isn’t that the goal of the materialist liberal leaders? Homosexual might adopt or they might not but the aging community will not have enough young people to support them and off you go grandma – Euthanasia Land for you!!! Bye, bye grandma. Oh and let’s not forget what Emperor Obama said: “Grandma might have to take a pain killer pill.”

      Ah, this atmosphere is truly diabolic!!!

      • Repent and Believe the Gospel ! says:

        I’m sorry for being graphic but liberals don’t seems to understand the physical danger of this (I pray that my post don’t get deleted for being too graphic):

        AND OUR CHILDREN WILL SUFFER GREATLY FROM THE HANDS OF THE LIBERALS.

        “The anus lacks the natural lubrication the vagina has. Penetration can tear the tissue inside the anus, allowing bacteria and viruses to enter the bloodstream. This can result in the spread of sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Studies have suggested that anal exposure to HIV poses 30 times more risk for the receptive partner than vaginal exposure. Exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV) may also lead to the development of anal warts andanal cancer. Using lubricants can help some, but doesn’t completely prevent tearing.” – WEBMD.COM

  2. Paul Zummo says:

    I think we need to be very careful in how we treat the Prop 8 decision. In fact, for those of us who support marriage, it may be a blessing in disguise. First of all, there is merit to the decision from a constitutional point of view about the lack of standing. More broadly, had the Court actually decided the case on the merits, then it is very likely that not only would Prop 8 have been overturned, but that we’re basically looking at the marriage equivalent of Roe v. Wade where all state laws prohibiting gay marriage are effectively thrown out based on the Equal Protection Clause. If you read Justice Kennedy’s opinion in the DOMA case, that’s certainly where the Court is heading. I think Roberts (and Scalia) helped stave off a much worse catastrophe. It’s a shame that we’re at the point where the Court punting on these issues is the best result we can hope for, but that’s where we are.

    Other than that, great post as always.

    • Bender says:

      If Kennedy had wanted to assert a fundamental right to “same-sex marriage” he could have done so in Windsor. The fact that he did not, but based the decision on DOMA treating people from the same state (New York) differently, suggests that he does not want to go that far.

      • Paul Zummo says:

        Good point Bender, though I think Kennedy’s ultimate logic points the way towards an eventual SCOTUS decision upending all state laws opposing same-sex marriage.

        • Bender says:

          Beyond the curiosity of Kennedy NOT ruling that there is a fundamental right to SSM when the door was wide open for him to do so, there is also the fact that of the five justices who chose to avoid the merits of the Proposition 8 case were three justices who presumably are not merely supporters, but advocates for SSM. That tells me that had there been a ruling on the merits of SSM in the Prop 8 case, the pro-SSM side would have lost. That is, the votes are not there.

          Those who recognize authentic marriage — marriage as is can only be, the union of a man and woman — would do well to grab hold of Kennedy’s opinion saying that it was a matter for the states to decide and run with that. The push is to nationalize SSM, but Kennedy’s opinion in Windsor provides ammunition to bar that.

  3. [...] Supreme Mistake – A Response to the Supreme Court Decisions on Same-Sex Unions-Msgr. Charles Pope,… [...]

  4. Robert says:

    Today is the anniversary of Jose Maria Escriba. Scary, we would do well to revisit his canonization process.

  5. Jamie R says:

    Any opposition to “same sex marriage” on the grounds of what’s best for children will go nowhere fast because (i) people do not view marriage as the best ‘framework’ within which to have children, (ii) many, many people view marriage as a relationship between two adults, not as a unit within which to raise children, (iii) many, many Catholics have children outside of marriage (either before marriage; or they never get married, and (iv) there isn’t a shred of evidence that children in marriages are better off long-term as a result of the marriage. There are studies to show that children are better off in a home setting with two parents, which is exactly why gays now have the right to adopt.

    There is no convincing legal or constitutional reasons – and I stress, legal and constitutional reasons – to deny these unions, sinful though they are. This is the society we live in, unfortunately.

    • It seems as though you are going to say or do nothing, and that there is no reasonable argument against such things other than that they are sin. But of course, as Catholics we always argue that God speaks in accord with right reason when it comes to the moral law. Hence there must be more of an argument and simple moral or legal positivism.

      • Jamie R says:

        No, I am saying simply that a strategy based on the effect on children is doomed to failure for the reasons I mentioned. I do not know what viable strategies to counteract these massive social changes are.

        • KT says:

          Actually, according to a study conducted by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin:

          Compared with children raised by their married biological parents, children of homosexual parents:

          •Have lower educational attainment
          •Report less safety and security in their family of origin
          •Report more ongoing “negative impact” from their family of origin
          •Are more likely to suffer from depression
          •Have been arrested more often
          •If they are female, have had more sexual partners–both male and female
          •Are more likely to be currently cohabiting
          •Are almost 4 times more likely to be currently on public assistance
          •Are less likely to be currently employed full-time
          •Are more than 3 times more likely to be unemployed
          •Are nearly 4 times more likely to identify as something other than entirely heterosexual
          •Are 3 times as likely to have had an affair while married or cohabiting
          •Are an astonishing 10 times more likely to have been “touched sexually by a parent or other adult caregiver.”
          •Are nearly 4 times as likely to have been “physically forced” to have sex against their will
          •Are more likely to have “attachment” problems related to the ability to depend on others
          •Use marijuana more frequently
          •Smoke more frequently
          •Watch TV for long periods more frequently
          •Have more often pled guilty to a non-minor offense

          So, yes, the argument that again same-sex marriage based on what’s best for children certainly does have a leg to stand on.

          You can read the study for yourself here:
          http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000610

          • Jamie R says:

            A single small-scale study of a single variable is nowhere near sufficient to form the foundation of a major argument. You will note that the study does not establish causality. We should all be careful not to mis-represent research.

          • Spunky says:

            KT, you misrepresent Regnerus’ work.

            Regnerus’ study, while longitudinal and randomly sampled, is a study about children whose parents have had a homosexual relationship, not about the effect of homosexual parenting on children. Regnerus was able to sample no more than 45 children whose parents had been in a gay relationship for over 3 years. As Regnerus points out, that’s not a large enough sample to draw a statistically meaningful conclusion (and in fact, I’m not sure he even isolated these families and examined just their children). Read more about it here (http://wakingupnow.com/blog/regnerus-admits-he-lacks-the-data-to-critique-same-sex-parenting-so-why-is-he-doing-it).

            Unlike Rob Tisinai, I still think the study has its merits. Namely, that it suggests that many children with same-sex parents probably experienced a divorce. If you want to judge gay parents based on that, then fine (although you could say similar things about children with black parents, since the divorce rate among blacks is significantly higher than that among whites). But you can’t say that gay parenting is bad for children and then cite Regnerus’ study because he wasn’t able to conclude that.

    • BM says:

      I fear you are correct.

      It seems to me that moral considerations are how the Church measures and weighs these matters, while the culture appeals to “studies”, a truncated mode of reason. Studies are the religion or “Magisterium” of the culture and they are, of course, dependent upon how they are framed. Thus, if a child seems to “do well at school”, or something along those lines, he is considered “healthy”. No true spiritual/moral account is made. Perhaps none can be made by such means. At any rate, the studies will at best reflect what the framers of the study already believe or prefer to be concerned with. It doesn’t have to be malicious: their view is simply a narrow one; and what they cut out of consideration is what Catholics are concerned with. So, when the studies are done, they’ll say: “See! Science says children left to the care of homosexuals are just as healthy because they successfully do ____ (insert secular goal here). The Study has spoken, the case is closed.”

      My brother went to a Catholic school for graduate studies. He was weak in the faith before he went, but now he doesn’t practice at all. Why? “The faith is unreasonable, because studies show that…..”

      This is a problem that Catholics need to address more squarely: that the secular rules we are trying to play by are framed in advance for us to lose. We are trying to reason with a people that doesn’t take reason in the same meaning. As long as we keep to their lines of thought, we will continue to be unconvincing.

    • Richard M says:

      “…there isn’t a shred of evidence that children in marriages are better off long-term as a result of the marriage. ”

      There’s a veritable mountain of such evidence, and I’m astonished that you seem unaware of it.

  6. [...] DRg 12 Things to Know About Homosexual ‘Marriage’ Decisions – Jimmy Akin Supreme Mistake: SCOTUS Decisions on Same-Sex Unions – Msgr. Ch. Pope Supreme Court on ‘Gay Marriage’: Quandary of Confusion – [...]

  7. Bender says:

    The legal analysis of the attorney for the plaintiffs in these cases indicated that a crucial factor in his victory was that his side was able to demonstrate damages incurred by the plaintiffs, whereas of those who opposed them could show forth “no damages” in permitting the same-sex unions to be recognized.

    This was particularly disingenuous on the part of the challengers. Despite “same-sex marriage” advocates and much of the media presenting the issue in these two cases as being about justice and not discriminating against homosexuals, that two men or two women who love each other have a fundamental equal right to spend their lives together in marriage as do opposite-sex couples, the facts of these particular cases were actually much more narrow than that.

    In Hollingsworth, the California domestic partnership law already offers same-sex couples all of the legal rights, protections, benefits, and responsibilities that pertain to the marriage of opposite-sex couples. The only issue with Proposition 8 was the usage of the word “marriage.” As Chief Justice John Roberts said about the case at oral argument, “it’s just about the label in this case. . . . Same-sex couples have every other right, it’s just about the label.” Moreover, same-sex couples are perfectly free to personally consider themselves married and those people in society who are willing to do so are likewise free to consider them married. In short, there was no real or substantial legal injury involved here.

    The case in Windsor was likewise not about the ability of same-sex couples to freely live together in loving relationships. The challenger actually lived with her wealthy partner in a “same-sex marriage” recognized under New York state law until her partner’s death. Rather, what was at issue in that case was MONEY. Specifically, Ms. Windsor asserted a right to claim marital status in order to avoid federal estate taxes. For federal tax purposes under the now-invalidated DOMA, instead of different and unequal tax rules for residents of different states, a single uniform rule applied that recognized marriage as it has always been throughout human history, the union of a man and a woman.

    The facts of the cases put a much different light on things and show how falacious these proceedings have been.

  8. [...] the rest here: Supreme Mistake – A Response to the Supreme Court Decisions on Same-Sex Unions « Archdiocese of W…. VN:F [1.9.22_1171]please wait…Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)VN:F [1.9.22_1171]Rating: 0 (from 0 [...]

  9. one anonymous says:

    These are the last days. Satan’s last stand before Christ comes again. I have watched in awe and wonder over the decades as the “systematic dismantling” of marriage and a lot of other things has taken place, and not only in this country but throughout the world. These are not random acts of evil but “systematic” in nature and purposefully executed for their desired results. So far it is going well for the “evil one” as he is, after all, the master mind whether his contented minions know it or not. So hold on to your cross because you will be picking up and carrying it more and more as things really start to unravel. The pace has been stepped up and we can see it is so. But no need to fear for Christ has conquered the world and He warns us in His Word of all of this coming to pass, all this is just a confirmation of what we have already been told, what we know will take place, we just have to remain diligent and persevere to the end. Come Holy Spirit!!

  10. Jason says:

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2013/06/justiice-anthony-kennedy-full-communion.html

    And the Catholic Supreme Court Justices who voted for this will stroll right up Sunday morning and receive our Blessed Lord in Holy Communion, without so much as a peep from the Church or her clergy.

    • I think your weapons are pointed in the wrong direction, the opponents over there, that way. As for the blog site reference, it has become nasty and anti-papal site, I would not recommend that anyone read that site. I have personally removed it from my blog rolls, devoted to the traditional mass that I am, but the site in question has become negative and anti-papal. Reading It will not help one to maintain the necessary charity we will need in times like these, again I repeat, I strongly recommend against the site in question. Remember Jason, the opposition is over there, that way. Save your venom for the real bad guys. You make the devil very happy with your venom.

      • Woody says:

        Considering that all the bishops are your boss, I would say the same thing in your position. However, the laity do not work for the bishops. A great deal of the problem of the current culture acting the way it does must be placed at the foot of the bishops for their failure to properly lead their flocks…..I put the US episcopate right up there with SCOTUS and the rest of the federal government. You made the vow to obey them, I didn’t.

        • Would that you would take your equanimity in terms of laity not “working” for the bishop and also be willing to apply such eqanimity to laity also being responsible for the current issue. If pulpits have been too silent, and they have, so have dining room tables in lay residences. If priests have failed to correct or punish, so have most parents while their children cohabited, fornicated etc. Where are all these lay leaders who “don’t work for the bishops?” IOW, the Church is just a little bigger than your small-minded blame somebody approach. Turn your weapons in the right direction Woodie. We’re all in this together, both in terms of responsibility and in terms of solution. Your bitter cynicism is unhelpful and you ought to go to confession.

          • Clare Krishan says:

            Perhaps this is what was needed to make US Bishops see that publishers of popular catechetical materials of recent decades are no longer up to snuff – they need a serious overhaul to point the way in all clarity to the new evangelization along Pope Francis’s simple teaching of eternal truths of God’s grace goes before, the Devil leads astray. The temptation to focus on terms redolent of Thomist rigor risks sharpening the polemics and driving a dualist wedge into the communio proper to patriotic fervor, perhaps sending our youth headlong in to the arms of Islam. No, we need to study the fruits of VII more deeply, the gift of filial fidelity, gentle obedience of heart-speaks-to-heart informing by example, not condemnations of our fellow sinful man from priviliged perches on high.

            • BM says:

              I disagree. I grew up on very gentle Catholicism and the faith was decimated everywhere I looked, including in my own heart. It simply could not withstand the cultural onslaught. It was in finding Thomism of a rigorous type that lead me back to the faith.

  11. Bill M. says:

    The push for plural marriage is next.

    • And funny, that’s probably just what they’ll call it, plural marriage, rather than the traditional polygamy.

      • Thomas F. Gallagher says:

        There has in fact been a push for Polyamory (multiple males and females in the same legal union) for some time, especially in certain Quaker circles. We now seem to be spiraling down into the Ninth Circle of Hell, don’t we?

  12. [...] Msgr. Charles Pope: “to act in ways, or adopt policies that further erode traditional marriage, is to act unjustly.” [...]

  13. X Contra says:

    I spoke with my wife about it today, saying it made us more like the Soviet Union, in a way. The collapse of the Soviet economy was guaranteed by the central control of it all by politicians. But economies do not work well that way; they prefer zillions of little decisions than a few big decisions in the Kremlin. It’s almost a mathematical theorem.

    Mutatis mutandam, trying to force a culture by central redefinition marriage, something that grew slowly in all cultures over millennia, is guaranteed to be destructive. Wanting a family to be run by the prevailing desires of a small group, even under the color of law, is just like the oligarchic decision system in the Soviet Union.

    I keep seeing our culture sliding in that direction, towards the central control culture. And it seems to be the culture of death. I have no idea what will happen, but I figure we have to pray and be ready to bear costly witness.

    • Mary Katherine Esposito says:

      The Russian government is opposed to all things that are pro-gay (including marriage) and the government has banned any such information, gathering or public display.

      So, who stands on the side of the Soviets’, X Contra?

      Is it not possible that an illegal, discriminatory version of marriage was forced upon gay Americans in 1996, in 1776 and beyond? Have you and Charles Pope ever heard of a law that was designed to keep one set of people from having equal access as others? (ie. denying women the right to vote, segregating schools, and miscegenation.) That is discrimination. That is what DOMA was, and as such was correctly declared to be unconstitutional. Some laws and traditions, no matter how old they may be, are fundamentally wrong.

      Most gay people are religious. Many are even Catholic. Are their relationships with God somehow inferior to yours? Are you saying gay people do not have Religious Freedom and Freedom of Expression in the U.S.A., too? Are they not citizens and tax-payers with the right to redress the government. Does the Constitution belong to them, too, or not?

      You and Charles Pope are the ones who wants to control gay people’s lives. You are the ones who want to say that your religious beliefs are better than other Americans. You are the ones who say your God is better than other people’s God, so everyone must do what you say.

      Have you never been wrong about anything in your life before? Why should other people follow your beliefs when you are flawed; when you are being vain and judgmental; when you have not “taken the log out” of your own eyes first?

      Marriage is a civil, legal matter — a legal agreement between two adults for the purposes of financial, health, death and other personal matters of legal significance, to be recognized by the state for the purposes of designating a primary “next of kin.” Why can’t you understand that your religious beliefs about marriage are yours and yours alone?

      Stop trying to destroy other people’s lives by denying them the ability to care for one another as they see fit. It’s un-American and un-Christian of you to say gay couples deserve less freedom, understanding and ability to choose a legally-recognized spouse than you. If you believe your God is against same-sex relationships, then don’t have a same-sex relationship and shut up about gays ruining America. It’s hateful nonsense, and you should be ashamed of your behavior.

      • P says:

        I’ve met a lot of gay people over the years (went to university in the heart of a homosexual community, in a city known for its homosexual population), but never met one who was both openly homosexual and religious. Mostly, in my personal experience, homosexuals have attacked religious faith and ridiculed those who believe/practice it.

        Marriage – in the Catholic view – is not by any means a civil, legal matter. Modern culture has turned it into that. The Catholic Church’s views are not the views of the culture. See Msgr. Pope’s post for June 27.

        It does not “destroy other people’s lives” for us to say that their relationship cannot be a true marriage. What is “ruining marriage in America” is the current culture’s idea about marriage being mere “civil union” and “legal agreement”.

      • X Contra says:

        Thanks for the compliment of responding to my paragraphs. However, I was not writing about current Russia, MKE, although it certainly has its problems. My thought was about the Soviet Union, 1917-1991, and its centralized “command” economy. I was thinking of their economic lying. It was a gigantic cultural lie. It fell.

        Similar point, or, as one can say in Latin, mutatis mutandam, concerning the gay marriage ram-through. :D Forcing a culture to call something a marriage that is not a marriage — it’s possible, but not recommended. A command ethic is not going to hold, and many lives will be lost as a result, I predict.

        Go read Waclav Havel’s essay about the greengrocer.

        Your group won a battle but it is a difficult position to hold. It is inherently unstable.

        • P says:

          “Forcing a culture to call something a marriage that is not a marriage…” This is what the culture is already doing. Marriage has traditionally been understood as “for life” and procreation was the expected result. Only since Henry XIII and Anglicanism, and secondly, “no-fault divorce”, was it understood (I speak of Western culture) to be merely a “civil, legal agreement”. Only since “the pill” has it not been a given that marriage would be for procreation (I speak of the wide understanding, not a miniscule percentage of exceptions).

          I agree it’s possible many lives will be lost. Martyrdom. We are hoping we won’t have to, but we know it’s possible.

      • Steve M says:

        Mary:
        Your input was thoughtfuly presented so thank you for that much. The heart of the issue is really when is it appropriate to discriminate. Unfortunately in our modern world we have created some bizarre definition that makes discrimination always bad. But we as a society do it all the time. We discriminate against minors by not allowing them to drive cars. If you understood Catholic teaching, you would run into the fact that the Church is opposed to the behavior of homosexuality not people with Same Sex Attractions.

        Marriage is both a civil matter and a religious matter. You wish to deny our religious liberty to work to maintain the definition of marriage that is consistent with our Faith and with the moral formation that our Faith causes us to bring to the society as a whole. You have every right and responsibility to advocate within the society for those things you believe in. That you hate those who disagree with your views is unfortunate because it makes it impossible to have any meanignful dialogue.

        You basic premise is people who chose to act out homosexual behaviors should have the right within the society to do so. We disagree. We see these as harmful behaviors to the society as a whole. If it were as simple as you somehow think then it would be easy to just not have a same-sex relationship and shut up. Unfortunately when we attempt to exercise our right of free speeach people like you come along and demand we shut up. You have the most simplistic and bizarre understanding of a society and of the Constitution that it is impossible believe. If it were as easy as everyone can do what they chose to do then prison would not exist or do you somehow arrive at a view that those who murder or commit othe rcrimes really aren’t guilty of anything becuase they were just doing their own thing? You and your opinion show why it is so important for Catholics to standup for what we believe and not become the pseudo-catholic like Rep. Pelosi. What you advocate for does not even make logical sense but it is typical of many people today who hate people of Faith who actually live it.

  14. X Contra says:

    I spoke with my wife about it today, saying it made us more like the Soviet Union, in a way. The collapse of the Soviet economy was guaranteed by the central control of it all by politicians. But economies do not work well that way; they prefer zillions of little decisions than a few big decisions in the Kremlin. It’s almost a mathematical theorem.

    Mutatis mutandam, trying to force a culture by central redefinition of marriage, something that grew slowly in all cultures over millennia, is guaranteed to be destructive. Wanting a family to be run by the prevailing desires of a small group, even under the color of law, is just like the oligarchic decision system in the Soviet Union.

    I keep seeing our culture sliding in that direction, towards the central control culture. And it seems to be the culture of death. I have no idea what will happen, but I figure we have to pray and be ready to bear costly witness.

  15. Robbie J says:

    This is just so sad. I can’t help feeling that it is at this point where the slippery slope suddenly gets a lot steeper. Fornication, adultery etc. have always been part of the (regrettable) human story, but when a people start calling evil good, and good, evil, then things are really going to deteriorate quickly. Lord have mercy !

  16. Rosemary says:

    Please correct me but this ruling appears to affect the reciprocal benefits received by unisex couples. It does not comment on the institution of marriage being between man and woman.
    This seems to me a way for the Court to throw the ball back into the civil union end. Again, I could be wrong but states have laws giving those in civil unions rights to benefits, estates, etc. (Can someone help here?)

    This ruling seems to be a disappointment for the unisex marriage agenda. The Boies-ancy may be premature.

  17. Ken says:

    The enemy has convinced so many that yes, you can be a god. You can control life, death, and anything in between. It’s all up to you!

    In reality, this culture is one like the Tower of Babel. When the basis of morality and respect for the natural law (based on God’s authorship) has eroded far enough in the minds of the populace, the culture will become paralyzed and consume itself just as the enemy intends. These are the conditions for the failure of a once great nation.

    Only the Church stands in the way.

  18. edraCruz says:

    SCOTUS just threw away in the gutter the votes of millions of Californians for Proposition 8 due to technicality because the government as declared by AG Eric Holder will not defend DOMA. This administration is really not prolife, profamily nor proChurch. Sometimes, it drives us to desperation that this country is no more a ‘Nation under GOD.’ Good we have the Church to look up to and be guided accordingly. What if you don’t have a church that sticks to its moral sense, what have you got? We are in the midst of persecution, definitely. We need to anchor down in the Catholic Church, the Church built by Our LORD JESUS CHRIST!!! CHRISTE Eleison.

  19. Bill Foley says:

    There is a natural argument against so-called “marriage” between two persons of the same sex.
    The basis is THE PARTS DO NOT FIT.
    This applies to the psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects—three areas in which a man and a woman do fit.
    The other facet is the physical dimension. The sexual-generative parts of the male and female bodies do fit, THEY ARE MEANT FOR EACH OTHER LIKE A LOCK AND A KEY, and this fit is IN ACCORD WITH NATURE. This natural fit also follows a natural purpose, namely, the generation of a human life. The sexual-generative parts of two males or of two females DO NOT FIT and do not fulfill the natural purpose of generating human life.

    • Yes, we have discussed this aspect of the problem here. Our bodies are revelation. Homosexual activity denies the obvious revelation the body gives.

      • Michael Petek says:

        There’s a stronger argument against same-sex marriage. The social and legal privileges of marriage are discriminatory and wrongful, assuming that there is no public interest in a unit of two persons who live together, whether they are sexually active together or not.

        Once you assert a public interest in the procreation of children, then there is a union of only one description that can cut it.

  20. Bill Foley says:

    Dear Monsignor Pope,

    Your comments re rorate coeli are so correct; this blog continually attacks Pope Francis.

    The following is what Fr. Byers has to say about those who attack the Pope.

    Father Byers Defends Pope Francis
    The following is from Holy Souls Hermitage by Father Byers.
    I took a peek on the internet to see what people were saying about the Holy Father not being at the concert in the Paul VI Audience Hall. I was really taken aback at the fury of the hatred I saw. What’s happening?! People are falling away from the faith, into their own little hells. What’s going on that this is taking place?!
    POSSIBLE REASONS WHY HE WASN’T THERE:
    • Preparing to announce Vatican Council III with Orthodox Churches
    • Averting World War III with world leaders
    • Assisting at the death of Benedict XVI
    • Cutting the “Lobby Gay” off at its roots
    If for any of those reasons or others you can imagine (and that last one on the list is not unlikely) you can surely bet that those who hate Pope Francis would still criticize him for what they call an abandonment of the papacy, that is, the concert, that is, the red shoes, that is, blah blah blah.
    All this criticism is hatred.
    Saint Thomas Aquinas says that the only reason for division is hatred.
    These people want division, in the end, to be with themselves, condemning all others, for eternity, in hate.
    Such is not humility.
    The same people mock the Holy Father’s humility, every chance they get, in their filthy pride.
    It was reported that the Holy Father had things to do which could not wait.
    But those who are filled to overflowing with hatred call him a liar, that he couldn’t possibly have anything to do, so that the image is that he is just an old fool, a damned fool, an irrelevant fool. Instead, they speak of themselves.
    You know, I think that people who are so quick to be full of rancor in this fashion are risking making the weak into bitter cynics, twice the children of hell as themselves. Instead of speaking of Jesus, they speak for Satan, author of all division.
    Such is not appreciated by our Lord. They should go to confession.
    And that’s maybe where the Pope was, hearing confessions, perhaps in prison. Great!
    • Should the musicians play for the Lord as they were going to do anyway, in all humility, whatever about the Pope being there or not? Sure! And I bet they did so in all solidarity of spirit with him, whatever he had to be busy with.
    • Should the crowd rejoice in the musical abilities given to mankind as they were going to do anyway, in all humility, whatever about the Pope being there or not? Yep! And I bet they did so in all solidarity of spirit with him, whatever he had to be busy with.
    But to think that the musicians and the crowd thought that the presence of the Pope was the be all and end all of the value of their very existence, to think that is to cast oneself in the darkest of existential peripheries, into such bitter cynicism and hatred and self-referentiality that one will have to expect, in all irony, Pope Francis to be there to rescue them from themselves, because that’s what he does, because he’s the Father of the Family of Faith on this earth. That’s what Fathers do.
    Thank God.
    I’m so happy to have our wonderful Pope Francis.
    Thanks, Pope Francis, for all that you do for us, for the Lord. Whatever it is you had to be busy with, we’re with you in all solidarity, Holy Father!
    We pray that people won’t lose the faith because they won’t go to confession with humility.

    • Peter Wolczuk says:

      Thanks for this piece of clarity to help see through the waters being muddied.
      There are many who grasp only a part of the objectively derived facts; and avoid the responsible involvement which adds a subjective quality to their viewpoint; so that they can claim a fallacious right to delegate to an involved authourity who has more things on his agenda than they seem willing to look at.
      Over-emphasizing the perceived needs of a small group to dismiss all the other parts of the papal responsability may feed a few egos but, what quality does it add?
      Reminds me of the Persian “Shah Mat” (death of the leader, king at that time) which is commonly pronounced as “check mate” in the game of chess. Death (real or metaphorical) of the King, or leader, by pushing a poorly informed criticism seems like a desire to remove the shepherd, or his effectiveness, so that the flock can become scattered. So many churches abandon God’s qualities as they become popular among obsessive/compulsive people who seek to escape the painful consequences of an increasingly meaningless short circuit of hedonism by turning to more hedonism.
      If one church speaks out against an agenda that tries to divert us from a meaningful use of God’s graces into self indulgence then – attack the leader on any trumped up basis, or human imperfection, and scatter the flock.
      Jeremiah 10:21 Jeremiah 23:2 Jeremiah 31:10 Jeremiah 50:17 Ezekiel 34:12 Matthew26:31 John 10:12

  21. Becky says:

    I found great comfort in today’s readings.

    Genesis
    The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:

    “Fear not, Abram!
    I am your shield;
    I will make your reward very great.”

    But Abram said,
    “O Lord GOD, what good will your gifts be,
    if I keep on being childless
    and have as my heir the steward of my house, Eliezer?”
    Abram continued,
    “See, you have given me no offspring,
    and so one of my servants will be my heir.”
    Then the word of the LORD came to him:
    “No, that one shall not be your heir;
    your own issue shall be your heir.”
    He took him outside and said:
    “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can.
    Just so,” he added, “shall your descendants be.”

    Matthew
    Jesus said to his disciples:
    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing,
    but underneath are ravenous wolves.
    By their fruits you will know them.
    Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
    Just so, every good tree bears good fruit,
    and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
    A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
    nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
    Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down
    and thrown into the fire.
    So by their fruits you will know them.”

  22. Robertlifelongcatholic says:

    Cultural diversity demands cultural sensitivity which demands cultural permissiveness. Morality and religion require discrimination and that is anathema in the new global order of political correctness.

  23. Joel says:

    Your last paragraph should have been the first. This is our fault — both clergy and laity.

    The clergy have failed to teach why marriage involves a man and a woman, rather than two people of the same sex. In 33 years as a Catholic, I have never heard this discussed from the pulpit.

    As for us laity, we’ve embraced no-fault divorce, cohabitation, etc. if we’re not serious about marriage, why should we expect the legislatures or courts to be?

  24. james says:

    Monsignor,

    To your knowledge, is there a text somewhere of a draft Constitutional amendment codifying the traditional definition of marriage?

  25. David Alexander says:

    Msgr Pope, I think it is interesting to reflect on why not only the majority of Catholics support same-sex marriage, but why Catholic politicians and judges have been so instrumental in fighting for its growing acceptance. Indeed, Catholics support marriage equality at a higher rate that any other religious group. Why would this be? Why would so many act in a way so contrary to what their leaders instruct? As one of my students reminded me after yesterday’s rulings, perhaps it because Catholics take to heart what Pope Benedict XVI taught us: “Over the pope as the expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority there still stands one’s own conscience, which must be obeyed before all else, if necessary even against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. Conscience confronts [the individual] with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even of the official church.” I assume that you would argue that many have misinterpreted or misapplied this teaching, but given the passion of many Catholics for pursuing social justice, I do not think there is any other way that they would respond to discrimination against their brothers and sisters in Christ.

    • Jim says:

      “The conscience always binds, but never excuses.” In other words, yes Catholics have to follow the dictates of their conscience, but just because they follow their uninformed, misguided conscience into evil, they are not then exculpated from that evil. No, they are still morally responsible for the wrong they support. Conscience does not equal Truth.

    • Steve M says:

      David:
      You are making some amazing leaps there. The Church does not and never has taught that an individuals conscience is the ultimate judge of truth. An individuals conscience seeks the Truth and can be formed to understand the good. The simplest and most logical reason why some Catholic’s support the idea of som etype of special rights for people with same sex attractions who chose to act these out is that their conscience is not properly formed. They have chosen to go with what feels good. Your comment simply twists the words of the Holy Father around to fit a position. I am sure we coudl easily extract some language from Ghandi and twist it around to support violence.

  26. A word from the moderator – a number of comments have been sidelined because they are off topic. This is a post about the Church view on Same Sex unions and why we oppose them. This is not a post about who is to blame for the cultural shift, neither it is a post about the Latin Mass, or how evil Msgr Pope is, or the bishops or other clergy. Comments of this sort will continue to be sidelined, they are not the focus of this post.

  27. Donna L. says:

    I read an article that there will be a concerted effort in France to shift their thinking to accept homosexuality by working on their children’s minds:

    “In the new school year, a new subject, mandatory sex education, will be introduced in all French schools. Children will be educated from the age of six. Sex education is intended to completely shift the perception of the traditional biological roles of males and females in the children’s minds, replacing them with the ideas about the so-called social gender.”

    I am alarmed at all the Facebook comments by family members who were raised in devout Christian homes, celebrating the SCOTUS decision. I know for a fact their parents raised their children to understand that homosexuality and all sexual immorality is a sin, but their kids have been influenced to believe otherwise. I know that I am constantly stressing to my children that homosexuality is offensive to God and I do my best to explain the reasons. I understand that IF my children hold to this teaching, they are going to have many enemies and have a hard time living in American society. The coming days will surely be difficult ones.

    • Sarah in WA says:

      Isn’t Facebook depressing? Seeing Catholic friends and family publicly supporting gay “marriage” is SO hard. I’ve learned things about other people’s opinions that I really wish I didn’t know.

      My oldest child is only 3 years old, so I’m just starting to think about school. Your comment spoke to some of my deepest fears. I am terrified that schools will become indoctrination camps for this stuff, and will be openly hostile to families who object and try to stop it. Will our views even be respected? I am doubtful.

    • chris awo says:

      Tomorrow June 28th is the feast of St. Irenaeus. Join us in invoking him along with St Theresa of Lisieux and St JohnMary Vianney in praying for the total conversion of Catholic France back to the heart of the Lord Jesus as regards the present homosexual crisis that is threatening to completely devastate the Church and civil society.

  28. Michael says:

    Make no mistake about it, unfortunately “gay marriage” will become the law of the land within the not too distant future. Pray for this nation.

  29. Robert Mc says:

    I see my comments from yesterday have been edited out of the discussion. Perhaps I should be more in line with what the Church wants me to think instead of how I actually do feel on this topic. Herr Reichminister lives!!!

    • Jawohl But remember this, censorship is something that can only be done by a government agency. This is a private blog, we have no obligation or duty to publish anything anybody says And you have no right here simply say anything. Hence, as a private, nongovernmental site, we exercise our rights to not publish, and or edit Submitted comments, Especially when it is contrary to the faith or Christian charity.

      • Shamrock says:

        Great response, Monsignor! Too many come to Catholic websites with one purpose: to dissent and disseminate from the truth! Invite them to troll elsewhere with their offensive remarks.

    • P says:

      Absolutely, if you claim to be Catholic, you should trust what the Church teaches to be true. (Doesn’t mean trusting every member, but how can you claim to belong if you don’t trust the Church to teach the fullness of truth?) All the saints have consistently preached obedience, not just for those who have taken vows, but for everyone who wants to be holy. This doesn’t mean you must follow everyone who preaches within the Church, but it does mean you should trust in (and obey) the Church’s teachings.

      You are free to think whatever you want, but thinking whatever you want won’t get you into heaven. Is that your goal, or not? Dishonest to call yourself Catholic and reject the idea that the Church has any authority over you.

  30. RichardGTC says:

    God help us.

  31. Elizabeth says:

    There’s a wonderfully insightful yet succinct little book out there called “Getting the Marriage Conversation Right,” by William B. May. He deftly navigates ALL of the issues which have contributed to the erosion of traditional marriage and, consequently, to the instability of our society. He shares some very sobering statistics about the destructive effects of a child being raised without a mother AND a father in a stable, permanent union….. for example, the increased risk of behavioral problems, depression, getting abused, becoming an abuser, living in poverty, suffering neglect, winding up in jail, contracting disease….. and the list goes on.

    And while it may be true that, in some specific instances, a homosexual couple might make for more loving, attentive parents to a child than their heterosexual counterparts, this raises the very important point to which Msgr. Pope alluded about children being able to get something from their father that they can’t get from their mother, and vice versa. Sometime in the 20th century, we lost a sense of gender differentiation. People just refuse to admit that the temperaments of men vs. women are inherently different– in part, due to their biology. And no, I’m not saying that we need to oversimplify things by saying that a man can’t be a tender & nurturing parent, as a woman can….. but I think we’d do better to realize that a boy, for example, needs his father to help him, by example, find his place in this world as a man, and it is through his mother’s presence that boys first learn how to treat women…..

    My own brother was just 10 years old when our father died. Losing that wonderful male figure in the home took an enormous toll on him in his formative years. By the time he was 18, he was leading a homosexual lifestyle. I’m not saying that the loss of our father was the SOLE factor in that, but I think it was a major one. In any case, I really DO believe that people need to open up their eyes and notice what this culture of divorce, having children out of wedlock, having children raised by homosexual parents, etc. has done to the younger generation. Depression, anxiety, attention-deficit disorder, bullying, etc. are all increasing in the youth population at breakneck speed. I’m a pediatric nurse, and I’ve seen it all firsthand.

  32. Deacon John M. Bresnahan says:

    The” tsunami” for gay “marriage” is the rotten fruit from a powerful and pervasive mainstream media brainwash operation that has warped the thinking of many– especially of our young who are virtual creatures of the media.
    But this abominable decision is not as bad as Roe V. Wade which wiped out all abortion laws nationwide. We shouldn’t fall for the media’s completely ignoring that, though the way is open for more states to opt for gay “marriage” there is no reason a state may change in the other direction. In fact, the traditional marriage states still far outnumber the gay states and along with defending their principles these states should be HQs for a counter movement to win back the states that have gone gay—especially those states where it squeaked through or –like Ma. where it got through by crooked political and judicial dirty tricks
    But notice how biased the news coverage was along these lines. Any pushing back is going to be greeted by a virtual news blackout.

  33. Jason Denby says:

    Monsignor,

    I respect your concern for children, but (and I ask this as a father of a young child with my partner,) how do you consider questioning “what is best for children” when the Church has for many, many years overlooked/lied/covered up and later admitted to years of sexual abuse against young children?

    Before you cast stones at others from your glass house, you should look within your own house and consider how many millions of dollars the Church has spent to settle cases which truly hurt kids.

    In my house, my son is asleep upstairs looking forward to our vacation. At least he can know that he is truly safe.

    • Repent and Believe the Gospel ! says:

      Oh how lovely, you and “your partner” are lecturing us. Why don’t you get marry? Oh, I see fear of commitment.
      Well, guess what buddy there are sexual abuses everywhere going on outside the Church right now. According to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice these abuses happened in the 60′s through the 80′s. And 80% of these abused victims were male 13-18 years. These were Same-Sex sexual abuses. These abuses were the filth that roll over from the sexual revolution generation. The Church is changing and we will become Holy, but we don’t need an UNCOMMITTED MAJOR TROLL like you who is living with his lover to teach us about morality.

  34. Marty says:

    This decision in favor of gay marriage is just one of a series of objectives by this politically powerful, well funded and determined group of people determined to change the American culture. But this group is only one of a series of groups with political clout that is succeeding to change the American culture. The common denominator of all these groups is no opposition and willing allies in the press and federal government. As a result, the American people are being swept aside as their wishes are ignored along with their constitutional guarantees, Only strong opposition by the people and institutions who still believe in a constitutional America will stop the tsunami that has spread over much of this country.

  35. Nick says:

    Proposition 8 was considered unconstitutional because not enough Californians – such as myself – supported it when it was legally challenged in court.

    DOMA was partially considered unconstitutional because it violated the 14th Amendment.

    These are good reasons because of the natural right to participate in politics and the States’ ability to enforce their laws and not be forced by the Government.

    That said, if we did our political duties – morally speaking – the issue would have been avoided. We must, above all, trust in God and not in laws or states or governments. He alone has given us our rights and duties.

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