Marriage is a permanent, faithful union between a man and a woman. It is necessarily open to life, creating the proper setting not only for sexual union between spouses, but also for giving birth to, raising, and educating children. As such it is a natural institution and genesis of the family, the most basic element of any society. No matter how some may clamor that this natural view of marriage is somehow oppressive or restricting, they cannot change its basic biological, societal and spiritual character.
This fact, as we know, doesn't stop them from trying. Indeed, this attack has been underway for some time now, and is only increasing in its aggression. There are now several television shows (which we will not dignify by naming or linking to) that campaign feverishly for alternative views of marriage and family. Homosexual "marriage," polygamy, cohabitation, infidelity and divorce on a whim-all these and other attempted corruptions of natural marriage are featured not only as normal, but often as even preferable to the real thing.
Notice that every one of these corruptions has a different fundamental character than marriage: each one is based on mutual use, not mutual gift. Each has the self, not the other, as the primary source of motivation. None has true gift, fidelity and openness to life as desired ends.
Yet one in particular is poised to be elevated to the level of natural marriage in American law, and indeed has already been given sanction in several states by bypassing the will of the people: homosexual "marriage". These two words cannot meaningfully occur next to one another. Proponents of this offense to sanity would have us believe that marriage is only what the whims of society happen to hold today; it has no essential character. And anyone who says otherwise is being unjust, perhaps even hateful, and thus must be silenced.
This increasingly common theme is a perfect example of what the Catholic scholar Monsignor Michel Schooyans refers to as "The Totalitarian Trend of Liberalism." The last thing the proponents of homosexual unions are interested in is rational dialogue; they only care about getting their way and will use the state to enforce their corrupt views.
Their enablers in the mainstream media cannot report on the controversies around homosexual unions without presenting their limited view of the Church's position with a detached scorn, analogous to those who don biohazard suits to handle something that they really don't want to touch.
Amid this growing cacophony the Church continues to charitably speak out and defend these basic truths about the essential nature of natural marriage, basic truths that are necessary for the common good to be achieved.
A 2003 document from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith has a wonderful response to all those who seek to undermine natural marriage:
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.
Precisely. The same document gives direction to Catholic politicians who waver on the marriage issue in the face of ever increasing pressure to erase traditional marriage from among the natural institutions that still enjoy the protection of the state. I would encourage you to give careful consideration to this brief instruction, as it very concisely lays out not only a summary of the Church's understanding of sexuality and marriage, but the basic arguments against the confusion that we are force-fed every time we see the media treat the issue. The document's conclusion sums things up nicely:
The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior 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 behavior, 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.
In Spirit & Life the last several weeks we have been focusing on our political responsibility as Catholics and Christians to exercise our right to vote in a way that is consistent with our faith. Since the moral and social teaching of our Church stands far above the meager political options we face in the upcoming election, this is necessarily a non-partisan effort. Truth is like that: if there were a party of Truth we would have no objection whatsoever to declaring our partisanship. So we must carefully examine the positions on marriage held by those who are asking for our vote, and side with the truth.
We are partisans for Truth and the common good. We reject the distortions surrounding the topics of sexuality and marriage, and we gladly proclaim the truth, in season and out of season. And in this political season, we proclaim it all the louder, grateful for the teaching of the Faith that unites us in the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula
Interim President, Human Life International
Every person who honestly considers the abortion issue knows that abortion does grave harm to women. What many people don't necessarily know, however, is the harm that abortion does to the partners of those women who have abortions. Raymond DeSouza discusses this phenomenon in this latest episode of LifeLines. See the video here...