On June 26th, the Supreme Court of the United States declared that two people of the same gender have the right to marry in our entire country. Archbishop Kurtz, President of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishop (USCCB) immediately issued a statement describing the court’s decision as “a tragic error.” The court’s decision is a legal decision, not a moral decision.
Like a lot of people I like to avoid controversy so I haven’t talked about the gay marriage but as I have said before, people may interpret our silence as agreement. So, I feel I need to say something now. I agree with the Church’s teaching that marriage is to be between a man and a woman. This is what the Bible tells us as God’s Word from the very beginning when God created them male and female (Genesis 1:27). It is also seen in nature how male and female complement one another physically (also emotionally and psychologically).
I could go into an extensive writing on what the Church teaches but instead I will provide some references from the USCCB and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Before I do that I want to make two very important points.
- A person is not a sinner simply because they experience same-sex attraction. The sin only comes when one acts out in sexual ways with a member of the same-sex.
- We may all know someone who is homosexual. That is not right or wrong. It is simply a reality. What is the saying? ‘Hate the sin, love the sinner.’ We need to show love and compassion. Think about the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). The woman was caught in the very act of adultery so there was no question to her guilt. Jesus does not condemn but neither does He say it is OK. Jesus tells the woman “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin anymore.”
Here are some links on Catholic Church teaching about marriage and homosexuality.
- Marriage – http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c3a7.htm
- Homosexuality – 2357-2359 – http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a6.htm
- USCCB Statement on the Supreme Court Decision legalizing Gay Marriage – http://www.usccb.org/news/2015/15-103.cfm.
- USCCB Page on the “Promotion and Defense of Marriage” http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/index.cfm
- The USCCB has created an excellent website on the origin, definition, and sacramentality of marriage in general. It includes some material on gay marriages. The website is http://www.marriageuniqueforareason.org/.
- Information on the 2014 & 2015 Synods of Bishops – http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/2014-2015-synods-of-bishops-on-the-family.cfm.
- Information on the 2015 World Meeting of Families – http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/world-meeting-of-families-2015.cfm
We are all called to be chaste and to sin no more. I think this is something for us to all pray that we offer a Christian response to this dilemma.