Saturday, May 24, 2014

Q&A

Here's a question that I got on yesterday's blot post...

Michael, I'd really like an answer from you to this question...
Why does the Catholic church care about gay marriage? Why are they sticking their nose's in other people's business?
Since gay marriage is against Catholic belief, the church won't perform or recognize the union.
The government isn't going to force the church to marry gay people.
What about all the Catholics practicing premarital sex, using birth control or having children out of wedlock? Are these Catholics turned away at the door? No, because the collection plate would be empty. I guess some 'sins' are more tolerable than others.
For the record I am neither Catholic or gay.

1. For the record, I have never heard any Catholic priest talk about gay marriage, in any of the 2,000+ masses that I have attended. I have only heard abortion get mentioned twice. I know the Catholic Church has a reputation for being obsessed with abortion and gay marriage, but in my lived experience, that is completely false.

I agree that gay marriage should be a non-issue, in a legal sense, as state laws do not govern church laws. However, marriage has great public significance, and changing marriage laws will have effects on society. Some people worry that legalizing gay marriage will have bad effects on gender relations (since it makes both genders interchangeable), while others worry it will eliminate the legal attachment between parents and the children they procreate. Personally, my concern is about promoting the idea that marriage is just about adult satisfactions and romantic attachment; a marriage built on passing emotions seems like a good recipe for divorce.

2. "The government isn't going to force the church to marry gay people." True, but there have been lawsuits and sanctions placed against Catholics, on the grounds that they discriminate against gay people. Some people are worried this will continue.

3. "What about all the Catholics practicing premarital sex, using birth control or having children out of wedlock? Are these Catholics turned away at the door? No, because the collection plate would be empty. I guess some 'sins' are more tolerable than others."

Gonna be honest here. The collection plate is empty, most of the time, no matter what.

The official law about this situation is Canon 915. People should be denied Communion, if it is publicly known that they continually commit grave sins. As Pope Francis pointed out, it is not a sin for gay people to be in committed relationships with each other; therefore, it is illegal for Catholics to exclude gays, on the basis of this law.

In fact, this law is rarely enforced against anyone. In general, Catholics tend to lean on the side of mercy and inclusion, rather than judgment and punishment. Indeed, that is what Jesus did when confronted with the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). When I was in training to become a priest, I was told that the important thing was to avoid creating a scene or causing scandal, by denying someone Communion. It was recommended to give out Communion to the person during mass, then speak to them about it privately, afterwards.

4 comments:

Stephanie said...

Michael, I am responding to your answer with the utmost respect. Please forgive me if I come out sounding angry or argumentative.

I don't understand a few of the points you've made.

"Some people worry that legalizing gay marriage will have bad effects on gender relations (since it makes both genders interchangeable)..."
Are you opining that a large portion of the straight population will wake up one day and decide to marry someone of the same gender just because they can?

"...while others worry it will eliminate the legal attachment between parents and the children they procreate."

First, I believe the laws of our country require parents, no matter what their sexual orientation, be legally and financially responsible for their children - AND - is this a Catholic issue or a legal issue?

"a marriage built on passing emotions seems like a good recipe for divorce"

Are you insinuating that gay people are unable to love someone the same way that straight people do?

"The government isn't going to force the church to marry gay people." True, but there have been lawsuits and sanctions placed against Catholics, on the grounds that they discriminate against gay people. Some people are worried this will continue."

Are Catholics discriminating against gays? Why? Why can't "God's children" be allowed to live the life that they've been given? While things seem to have gotten better for gay people as far as acceptance, it's not an easy life to live for most. I would opine that the majority of gay people have wished at some point or another to be "normal" or fit into societies view of normal. People want to fit in, they want to be accepted by their family and peers.

"When I was in training to become a priest, I was told that the important thing was to avoid creating a scene or causing scandal, by denying someone Communion. It was recommended to give out Communion to the person during mass, then speak to them about it privately, afterwards."

Out of curiosity, what would you say?


Anonymous said...

Personally, my concern is about promoting the idea that marriage is just about adult satisfactions and romantic attachment; a marriage built on passing emotions seems like a good recipe for divorce.

Hm. This is the point that puzzles me ... I don't understand why you say this as if this is only an issue for gay couples, and why you say this as if gay couples can't hold up a marriage. Why ... why do you think this? What is it about straight couples' marriage that is inherently better than same-sex marriage?

since it makes both genders interchangeable

I don't get what you mean by this.

Tiago Paolini said...

"As Pope Francis pointed out, it is not a sin for gay people to be in committed relationships with each other"

Which is precisely the opposite of what the Church says: having a homossexual tendence is not a sin but practicising homossexualism does. The Catechism is clear about it, and Pope Francis would NEVER say that.I have no clue where you got that quote, but it obviously did not come from the Pope.


"What about all the Catholics practicing premarital sex, using birth control or having children out of wedlock? Are these Catholics turned away at the door? No, because the collection plate would be empty. I guess some 'sins' are more tolerable than others."

Just because something happens it does not means that it is right or less harmful. No matter how many times a lie is told, it is not going to become a truth. Sorry to be blunt, but justifying something by saying that there are people that do it is very stupid. By the way, any sin is terrible and not even a single one of them is tolerable, but one of the consequences of the Original Sin is blinding people of how bad sinning is.

Anonymous said...

I try not to be biased by controversies, but I can not see what's wrong with gay marriage (aka marriage). You said something about how a marriage based on adult satisfactions and romantic attachment would end in divorce. First, I don't understand what you mean by this. Isn't romantic attachment the point of marriage? I know many couples marry to have children but just as many get married just because they love each other. What's wrong with getting married because you love your partner? We aren't like other species, who sometimes seem to be procreating machines rather than loving creatures. That's one of the things that's great about being a human! Also, a ton of straight couples get married and divorced what's the difference between a gay couple getting divorced and a straight one? Finally, why do you care if they get married? It doesn't affect you at all. So what if they get divorced? That's their buisnuess not anyone else's just like it is in straight marriage.

Sorry if I offend you or anyone else in anyway. I just want to share my opinion but I respect yours too. As a wise man once said "I disagree with you, but I still like you as a person who is a human being and I will treat you like that because if I don't it will make everything bad and that's what lots of people do and it's lame"