The Vatican says “no” to same-sex mariages
July 31, 2003,
the Vatican released a 12-page
document condemning the legalization of same-sex marriages, and calling
Catholic politicians to vote against it. This document of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, signed by Cardinal Joseph
Ratzinger, and approved by Pope John Paul II, is dated June 3, feast of
St. St. Charles Lwanga and his companions, martyrs of Ouganda (They were
martyred in 1886 for having refused the homosexual proposals of the
King.) Upon its release, this document, called “Considerations
regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between
homosexual persons”, caused an uproar all over the world in
circles favouring the recognition of homosexual unions, and especially
in Canada, where the Federal Government wants to legally recognize
homosexual unions, and call them “marriage”. Here are excerpts from
this important document:
“Homosexuality is a troubling moral and social phenomenon, even in
those countries where it does not present significant legal issues. It
gives rise to greater concern in those countries that have granted or
intend to grant – legal recognition to homosexual unions, which may
include the possibility of adopting children.
nature of marriage
“The Church's teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the
sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized
as such by all the major cultures of the world. Marriage is not just any
relationship between human beings. It was established by the Creator
with its own nature, essential properties and purpose. No ideology can
erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely
between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and
exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In
this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with
God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives.
“God has willed to give the union of man and woman a special
participation in his work of creation. Thus, he blessed the man and the
woman with the words `Be fruitful and multiply' (Gen
1:28). Therefore, in the Creator's plan, sexual
complementarity and fruitfulness belong to the very nature of marriage.
“There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to
be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for
marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against
the natural moral law. Homosexual acts ‘close the sexual act to the
gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual
complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved’.
Scripture condemns homosexual acts ‘as
a serious depravity... (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10;
1 Tim 1:10). This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us
to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally
responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts
are intrinsically disordered’.
This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first
centuries and is unanimously accepted by Catholic Tradition.
“Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women
with homosexual tendencies ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion
and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard
should be avoided’. They are called, like other Christians, to live
the virtue of chastity. The homosexual inclination is however ‘objectively
disordered' and homosexual practices are `sins gravely contrary to
those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or
have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear
and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of
formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely
unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the
level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the
right to conscientious objection.
Arguments from reason
“To understand why it is necessary to oppose legal recognition of
homosexual unions, ethical considerations of different orders need to be
taken into consideration.
the order of right reason: The scope of the civil law is certainly more limited
than that of the moral law, but civil law cannot contradict right reason
without losing its binding force on conscience. Every humanly-created
law is legitimate insofar as it is consistent with the natural moral
law, recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the
inalienable rights of every person. Laws in favour of homosexual unions
are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees,
analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the
same sex. Given the values at stake in this question, the State could
not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to
promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common
the biological and anthropological order: Homosexual
unions are totally lacking in the biological and anthropological
elements of marriage and family which would be the basis, on the level
of reason, for granting them legal recognition. Such unions are not able
to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the
human race. The possibility of using recently discovered methods of
artificial reproduction, beyond involving a grave lack of respect for
human dignity, does nothing to alter this inadequacy.
“Homosexual unions are also totally lacking in the conjugal dimension,
which represents the human and ordered form of sexuality. Sexual
relations are human when and insofar as they express and promote the
mutual assistance of the sexes in marriage and are open to the
transmission of new life.
“As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in
these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who
would be placed in the care of such persons. They would be deprived of
the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood. Allowing children to
be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing
violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of
dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not
conducive to their full human development.
the social order: The principles of respect and non-discrimination cannot be invoked to
support legal recognition of homosexual unions. Differentiating between
persons or refusing social recognition or benefits is unacceptable only
when it is contrary to justice. 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.
of Catholics politicians
“If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal
recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do
so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as
politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favour of homosexual
unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following
legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is
proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic
lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly
and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the
common good is gravely immoral.
“The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in
any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of
homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote
and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of
society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the
same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant
behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day
society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common
inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values,
for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.” (End
August 1, Toronto Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic sent a letter
to all 233 Toronto parishes, stating it is “imperative” that priests
speak out from the pulpit against same-sex marriage legislation. With
his letter, the Cardinal also included the recent Vatican document on
homosexual unions and two strong homilies on the subject.
Fred Henry, of Calgary, warned that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien risks
burning in hell if he makes same-sex marriage legal in Canada. “He
doesn't understand what it means to be a good Catholic,” Bishop Henry
said in an interview. “He's putting at risk his eternal salvation. I
pray for the Prime Minister because I think his eternal salvation is in
jeopardy. He is making a morally grave error and he's not being
accountable to God.”
Mr. Chretien replied: “I'm a Catholic and I'm praying. But I am the
Prime Minister of Canada. When I'm Prime Minister of Canada, I'm acting
as a person responsible for the nation. And the problem of my religion,
I deal with it in other circumstances.”
Mr. Chretien suffers from the same “split personality” problem as
many other Catholic politicians: they claim to be devout Catholic in
their private lives, but they also anti-Catholic views in public, like
abortion and the legalization of same-sex marriages. This is wrong, as
Archbishop Gervais put it: “You cannot have it both ways. Either you
are Catholic, accept and support the Church's teachings, or you are
not.” With his public statements, it is clear Mr. Chretien is not a
Catholic. And whether he likes it or not, he will have to account to God
for his acts on Judgment Day.
a professional politician, Chretien is quick to flip-flop and change his
tune: To the Bishops, he says a prime minister is responsible to the
people, not to the Pope. To the people, he says forget about a
referendum, because MPs must assume their responsibilities. To his MPs,
he says judges will decide, because good Liberals must defend the
Charter of Rights and Freedoms, except for its notwithstanding clause.
The truth is that even if courts say homosexual unions must be called
“marriages”, the Government has the legal power to refuse to do it,
by using the notwithstanding clause provided in the Charter, because in
the last resort, it is up to our elected representatives to make the
laws, not up to judges.
There are some people who say that homosexuality is condemned only in the
Old Testament, and that these condemnations do not apply to us anymore,
that Jesus would not condemn homosexuals, but “accept them as they
are.” Well, if it is true that God loves sinners, he also hates sin,
and he wants sinners to abandon their sinful ways. change their ways.
Paul said it very plainly in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 6. “Do you not
know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be
deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”
(Homosexuality was rampant in Greece at that time, and especially in
Corinth.) God's laws never change, homosexual acts are as strongly
condemned today as they were in Moses' time.
A close vote
Concerned Canadians are making their voices heard, and thanks to that, is
that it far from certain that this bill will obtain a majority of the
votes in Parliament and become a law. Despite the stubbornness of the
Chretien Government to call “marriage” same-sex unions, the goods
news is that reason and common sense still seem to prevail among many
Members of Parliament, including a lot of Liberals who, despite the
pressure of their party, will stick to their conscience and vote against
We had an idea of this trend with a vote in the House of Commons taken on
September 16, 2003, on a motion of the Alliance Party in support of the
traditional definition of marriage. It read: "That in the opinion of
this House, it is necessary, in light of public debate around recent
court decisions, to reaffirm that marriage is and should remain the
union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, and that
Parliament take all necessary steps within the jurisdiction of the
Parliament of Canada to preserve this definition."
Four years ago, this motion, with the same wordings, passed by a vote of
216-55, with a majority of Liberals supporting it, including Prime
Minister Chretien and Justice Minister martin Cauchon. In 2003, this
same motion was rejected by a vote of 137-132, with Liberals ministers
spending the entire debate eating their previous words. All 63 Alliance
MPs voted to keep marriage the way it is. They were joined by 53 of the
150 Liberals who turned up to vote, 10 of 14 Tories, three of 23 Bloc Québécois
MPs and three of four independents. Twenty-nine MPs did not vote, many
of them opposing same-sex marriages, but fearing breaking ranks with
their party line.
Moments before, MPs had reached a stunning 134-134 tie vote (the first
time in 40 years) on an amended version of the Alliance motion — one
that dropped the call to take “all necessary steps” to preserving
traditional marriage. When the tie vote was announced to a hushed
chamber, Speaker Peter Milliken cast a deciding vote that ultimately
defeated the motion. Had this motion been adopted, there is no doubt
that the second motion would have been passed too, and represent a major
setback for the Liberal Government.
The next day, another vote was taken on New Democrat Svend
Robinson's private member's bill C-250 to add protections against hate
crimes for groups defined by their "sexual orientation."
Several MPs complained the proposed protection for gays in the 1970 hate
crimes law would brand the Bible as hate literature, and criminalize the
views of those who oppose homosexuality on religious grounds.
Unfortunately, the bill passed by a vote of 140-110.
“Christians will be thrown to
At this year's Toronto Red Mass and Red Mass Dinner for Catholic lawyers,
judges and legislators, held on September 23, featured guest speaker,
the Honourable Norm Cafik, P.C., former MP and Cabinet Minister under
former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker.
Cafik compared modern Christians in Canada with their spiritual
ancestors in the Roman persecutions. Mr.
Cafik said that the time will shortly come when Christians who dare to
speak out will be thrown to the judges and lawyers instead of the lions.
Mentioning the recent same-sex "marriage" and hate crimes
legislation changes by name, he pointed out that John the Baptist lost
his head over the definition of marriage and that St. Thomas More also
lost his head over the definition of marriage. Cafik said that Catholic
lawyers were now being compelled by law to accept what these saints
would not accept.
reported by LifeSiteNews.com)
us stand with the Pope, the Church and common sense, and continue to
oppose the legalization of same-sex unions. Like St. John the Baptist,
let us say to the Government: “You do not have the right to do it!”
With God's grace, justice will prevail, and God's laws be respected!
This article was published in the August-September, 2003 issue of “Michael”.