Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Catholic Bishops continue to assault marriage equality

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, once an agent for social justice, has veered into a right-wing focus where they exclusively focus on abortion and gay rights. Their upcoming manifesto on marriage has been leaked, and the liberal National Catholic Reporter has gotten a copy (pdf). Here's part of what it says:
One of the most troubling developments in contemporary culture is the proposition that persons of the same sex can "marry." This proposal redefines the nature of marriage and the family and, as a result, harms both the intrinsic dignity of every human person and the common good of society. Marriage is a unique union, a relationship different from all others. It is the permanent bond between one man and one woman whose two-in-one-flesh communion of persons is an indispensable good at the heart of every family and every society.

Same-sex unions are incapable of realizing this specific communion of persons. Therefore, redefining marriage to include such relationships empties the term of its meaning, for it excludes the essential complementarity between man and woman, treating sexual difference as if it were irrelevant to what marriage is.

Male-female complementarity is intrinsic to marriage. It is naturally ordered toward authentic union and the generation of new life. Children are meant to be the gift of the permanent and exclusive union of a husband and a wife. A child is meant to have a mother and a father. The true nature of marriage, lived in openness to life, is a witness to the precious gift of the child and to the unique roles of a mother and a father. Same-sex unions are incapable of such a witness. Consequently, making them equivalent to marriage disregards the very nature of marriage.

When marriage is redefined so as to include or be made analogous with same sex partnerships, society is effectively stating that the permanent union of husband and wife, the unique pattern of spousal and familial love, and the generation of new life are now only of relative importance rather than being fundamental to the existence and well-being of society as a whole.

Today, advocacy for the legal recognition of various same sex relationships is often equated with non-discrimination, fairness, equality, and civil rights. However, it is not unjust to oppose legal recognition of same-sex unions, because marriage and same-sex unions are essentially different realities. “The denial of the social and legal status of marriage to forms of cohabitation that are not and cannot be marital is not opposed to justice; on the contrary, justice requires it”. To promote and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman is itself a matter of justice. In fact, it would be a grave injustice if the state ignored the unique and proper place of husbands and wives, the place of mothers and fathers, and the rights of the child”.
what about MY children? What about MY family? And what about couples who cannot procreate, why are THEY allowed to marry?

It is only a matter of time before the Conference of Bishops uses marriage equality as the same kind of issue as abortion, and tries to deny communion. And not just communion: funerals too. Reported in Time, for performing a funeral for Sen Ted Kennedy
Rome-based Archbishop Raymond Burke.... charged Boston Cardinal Seán O'Malley with being under the influence of Satan, "the father of lies."
You may recall a case in San Diego a few years ago where a gay man was denied a Catholic funeral.

The gloves are off between the Catholic heirarchy and the GLBT community. GLBT Catholics and straight allies need to speak out vociferously against this campaign of intolerance and fight for the intrinsic worth of all persons. Or, join the Episcopalians.

Update Much to their chagrin, I'm sure, a report commissioned by the Bishops finds no evidence that gay priests are more likely to abuse children. How long will we have to wait for them to apologize to the gay priests they have castigated?

Update 2 Conservative Catholics are also signatories to the awful Manhattan Declaration.

"I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish, where no public official either requests or accepts instruction on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches, or any other ecclesiastical source."
--John F Kennedy

1 comment:

NancyP said...

Another Burkean eruption - not at all surprising, from the man who fulminated against the evil of Harry Potter.