Moral/Sexual Issues

A primer on Church teaching regarding ‘same-sex marriage’

by Dr. Edward Peters

No matter which way the US Supreme Court rules in the “gay marriage” cases before it the international debate over the definition of marriage will continue because that debate is, at root, about matters beyond a civil court’s competence, things like the nature of human beings and the fundamental good of society. Because we Catholics are and will surely remain major participants in such a debate we should be clear among ourselves as to what our Church teaches in this area. I offer as a primer (I stress, primer) toward such better understanding my position on following points.

1. The Catholic Church teaches, though its ordinary magisterium and with infallible certainty, that marriage exists only between one man and one woman. CDF, “Considerations” (2003) passim; CCC 1601-1608; CCEO (1990) 776; 1983 CIC 1055 § 1; Rite of Marriage (1969) n. 2; Vatican II, Gaudium et spes (1965) 48; Pius XI, Casti connubii (1930) 6, 20, 23; Leo XIII, Arcanum (1880) 5, 24; Matthew XIX: 4-6; and Genesis II: 21-24. There is no evidence of ecclesiastical authority ever supporting any other definition of marriage.

1. Note. It is possible that this teaching is proposed as an object of belief (credenda, per Canon 750 § 1, doubt or denial of which assertion would be heresy under Canon 751 and thus sanctionable under Canon 1364 § 1); at a minimum, however, the Church proposes the man-woman assertion as necessarily to be held (tenenda) in order “to safeguard reverently and to expound faithfully the same deposit of faith” (Canon 750 § 2), rendering those who “obstinately reject” the assertion liable to “a just penalty” if, having been duly admonished, they refuse to retract (Canon 1371, 2º).

2. The Catholic Church has the right and duty “always and everywhere to announce moral principles, even about the social order, and to render judgment concerning any human affairs insofar as the fundamental rights of the human person or the salvation of souls requires it.” 1983 CIC 747 § 2; CCC 2246.

3. Catholics who promote “same-sex marriage” act contrary to Canon 209 § 1 and should not approach for holy Communion per Canon 916. Depending on the facts of the case, they also risk having holy Communion withheld from them under Canon 915, being rebuked under Canon 1339 § 2, and/or being sanctioned under Canon 1369 for gravely injuring good morals.

3. Note. The situation of Catholic politicians lending support to “same-sex marriage” is to be assessed as above, with special attention being paid to the heightened responsibility that civil servants have to protect the common good. CDF, “Considerations” (2003) 10; CCC 2235-2237, 2244; 1983 CIC 1326 § 1, 2.

4. The Catholic Church would regard any attempt by persons of the same sex to marry, regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof, as null. CCC 1603; 1983 CIC 1055 § 1.

5. Catholics who attempt a “same-sex marriage” act contrary to Canon 209 § 1 and should not approach for holy Communion per Canon 916. Depending on the facts of the case, they also risk having holy Communion withheld from them under Canon 915, being rebuked under Canon 1339 § 2, and/or being sanctioned under Canon 1379 for simulation of a sacrament. Morevoer, Catholics who assist others toward attempting a “same-sex marriage” cooperate in the bad act of those others, which cooperation is liable to moral assessment in accord with the usual principles applicable to cooperation with evil and, under certain facts, according to the canonical principles applying to cooperation in crime per Canon 1329 and/or scandal per Canon 1339 § 2, etc.

5. Note. Catholics who have attempted a “same-sex marriage” or who have assisted another toward a “same-sex marriage” can be reconciled morally under the usual conditions by sacramental Confession (Canon 959) or by a ‘perfect act of contrition’ per CCC 1452; they can be reconciled canonically, if necessary, in accord with applicable law.

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After posting my blog entry “Jesus and Homosexuality” I received a correspondence from a Harry H. McCall, a self-proclaimed ex-reverend, on June 4, 2012. He referred me to his blog “Debunking Christianity.” His post was entitled Jesus the Homosexual: Evidence From the Gospels.

It is despicable to even say or suggest this of Our Lord but we need to be prepared to refute such vulgarity in view of the gay agendas desire to twist everything to fit their perverted view of the world.

McCall’s blog was not a tit-for-tat response to my article, but was an article he wrote and published at the same time I uploaded my post. I am responding to the content of his blog post since he sent it to me for my comments. I always promote honest and courteous discourse, seeking the truth with charity and honesty. I hope I have accomplished that in my response below. I am strongly against the gay lifestyle and the practice of homosexuality, yes; but I also hope that my response is not angry or antagonistic.

The Jewish Jesus of History

I am writing this in a few free hours I have in Jerusalem. A busy day starts tomorrow but I thought I would respond in the few hours I have available. As I write I am looking out at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus was crucified, died and was buried before rising from the dead. My wife and I joined the Mass in the Tomb at 5:30 AM.

To my right I see the top of Mount Zion where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper. I am writing this in context — not only the context of Scripture and history, but the context of the land of Israel where I spend a large part of my time. (I will pray for McCall while here.)

You may rightfully say, “You don’t take this guy seriously so why take the time to respond to his post on claiming Jesus was a homosexual?” The reason is simple. Homosexuality is becoming more and more accepted in our country. Catholics, other Christians, Jews, Muslims and who condemn the homosexual lifestyle will find themselves ostracized as it becomes more recognized.

We will be called bigots and old fashioned. Clever arguments will be crafted that may sound reasonable at first (just read the combox on McCall’s blog post to see how gullible many people are). As with McCall’s blog, they will often twist the Bible around like a rubber nose and even contend that Jesus himself was homosexual.

So, you may say, “That is stupid and I disagree.” Good, but why do you disagree? When they marshall Scripture verses against you, will you be prepared to respond? That is why I am refuting this otherwise foolish and waste-of-time article. We who are not caught up in the gay life or the support thereof, need to know what we know and why.

I have no doubt that McCall does not accept the Bible as the inspired word of God, nor does he really care about what it says or why. His website is called Debunking Christianity which is what he has set out to do.

He is homosexual and that is how he finds his identity, and it is his driving motivation—to eliminate biblical arguments against homosexuality; rather to twist the Bible like a rubber nose to suit his purposes. Any discussion of Scripture by McCall is simply to twist it to fit his agenda and to confuse those who try to read it honestly.

It is certainly not my objective to attack homosexuals or the gay lifestyle. However, it is being forced down my throat (no pun intended). It is being forced down America’s throat. I hope to engage the conversation in a rational, reasoned, cordial and biblical way.

I decided the best way to respond to his attempt to paint Jesus as a homosexual was to address his claims paragraph by paragraph. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt whenever possible, but to be exacting and uncompromising when necessary.

To read my full biblical refutation, click HERE.

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Homosexuality in Genes and in Animals?

by Steve Ray on August 31, 2016

A while ago I had a heated discussion about homosexuality with some good liberal friends. They contend that 1) homosexuality is seen among animals (certainly not proved and if it is – it is only in unnatural situations; more in my response) and, 2) since God “made people homosexual” it must be natural, normal and accepted.

The discussion was heated though friendly. I thought I would respond and I share the response with you. My letter begins:

Dear Friends:

We enjoyed your company and friendship this weekend. We were glad that we could host the birthday party. You are all welcome here anytime. In line with our discussion, I did some research on homosexuality, especially “homosexuality” among animals and the genetic propensity to homosexuality.

The challenge was made that since there are “homosexual animals” it “proves” homosexuality is natural. First, I don’t think there is proof of homosexual animals. But, even if a few animals seem to demonstrate what might be referred to as homosexual behavior, that in itself, certainly provides no conclusive or foundational basis for the acceptance of homosexual behavior in the human population.

It does not establish homosexual behavior as normal, healthy, desirable or even morally right. Animals can be born with two heads (my friend hatched such a snake a few years ago) and people can be born as Siamese twins, but such aberrations don’t make the condition normal, healthy, or desirable. In fact, both are considered as odd, things to be gawked at or corrected.

If one replies, as you did, that homosexuality is natural because it is found among animals, then we should notice that there are all sorts of activities practiced by animals that we as humans reject as repulsive. There is extreme cruelty among animals: mothers eating their young, mates eating their partners after mating (e.g., the Black Widow spider), animals eating their own feces and vomit (dogs and cats), or urinating on themselves (goats), etc.

Some animals have mates for a lifetime while others have sex with multiple partners indiscriminately. Some animals even eat their mates. I could go on and on. What can we draw from these facts? That it is OK for people to practice such things because animals do? Heavens no! Just because animals do things that animals do does not make them a model for human morality and behavior.

We are in sad shape if we look to the creatures to search for our origins or to find a model for our behavior. Even worse, if we begin to use animals as our model, we as humans can then justify any deviant behavior since every form of aberrant and repulsive behavior can be found among the animals that share our planet. St. Paul was no fool 2,000 years ago when he wrote . . .

To read the rest of the letter, click here.

Article by JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND on Monday Aug 22nd, 2016 Not ‘Born That Way’: New Scientific Analysis Questions ‘LGBT’ Orthodoxies

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California Court Declares It’s Illegal for Pastors to Advise Minors About Gay, Transgender Feeling

August 29, 2016

by CHRISS W. STREET, 23 Aug 2016, Newport Beach, CA101 The infamous and often-overridden Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld state legislation making it illegal for pastors to counsel minors who are struggling with their sexuality and gender, according to Pacific Justice Institute. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco on […]

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Canon Law and the Pope’s Unfortunate Words on Cohabitation and Non-sacramental Marriages

June 19, 2016

There are so many issues to write about; I would have wished that this would not be one of them, but… Canon Lawyer Dr. Ed Peters brings clarity to the confusion caused by the Pope’s recent words.  If you’re concerned about marriage, the problems in the Church in that regard, the Pope’s recent words about […]

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American College of Pediatricians Clash with Obama’s Sexual Confusion – Calling it Child Abuse!

May 19, 2016

The American College of Pediatricians has released an in-depth report stating that the move to indoctrinate children with the idea that they can pick their gender amounts to child abuse.  They are urging legislators and educators to reject all policies that would condition children to accept chemical and surgical distortions allowing people to impersonate the opposite sex. Some of […]

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US Bishops Respond to Obama’s Bathroom Lunacy

May 17, 2016

Two Committee chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement in response to guidance issued May 13 by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education entitled “Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students”: The Catholic Church consistently affirms the inherent dignity of each and every human person […]

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Interview with German Philosopher and Friend of St. JP II: Robert Spaemann on Pope Francis’ “Amoris Laetitia”

April 30, 2016

Stuttgart, Germany, Apr 29, 2016 / 10:49 am (CNA).- Greatly valued as an advisor by Saint John Paul II, a friend of Benedict XVI, and widely held to be the most important German Catholic philosopher of recent decades, Robert Spaemann, emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Munich, expressed a distinctly critical interpretation of Amoris […]

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My Final Post on Pope’s Exhortation: A Catholic World Report Symposium with Links Galore

April 13, 2016

From Catholic World Report: Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “On love in the family,” has been one of the most widely anticipated papal documents in recent years, following the closely watched and sometimes controversial Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 2014 and the Ordinary Synod of Bishops in 2015. It is also one of the […]

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On Cardinal Burke’s Comments on Pope’s Exhortation

April 12, 2016

The world is a flurry with commentary on the Pope’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Seems to be understood very differently by different people with differing perspectives and agendas.  Cardinal Burke wrote an interesting piece on the Pope’s exhortation and John Jalsevac wrote an interesting critique of Burke’s column. I post this because it a very good summary of […]

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The Pope’s New Document “Amoris laetitia” on Marriage. Dr. Ed Peters’ (canon lawyer) first thoughts

April 8, 2016

Traveling home from Israel with no time to read this yet. Here are the thoughts of Dave Armstrong  Below are the thoughts of my trusted friend and canon lawyer Dr. Ed Peters. First thoughts on the English version of Pope Francis’ Amoris laetitia. by Dr. Edward Peters There are as one might expect in a document […]

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My CD Audio “Swimming Upstream: Living a Catholic Life in a Pagan World” now available at Lighthouse!

April 3, 2016

This is the talk I have been most asked to give in the last few years. It is a hard-hitting, politically incorrect talk about the state of our culture and what we as Christians are called to do. I use some pretty scary and interesting stories and example. We step back into the early Church […]

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What to Do if You See Pornography? How to Talk to your Kids about an Important, Crucial Subject

March 30, 2016

This video is made by the Mormons but it is pretty good. It is for kids so they know what to do if they happen upon, see, or are introduced to pornography. It is worth a watch — at least it gets parents on the right track on how to talk to their kids and […]

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Prepare for a New America – Using Detroit as a Model

March 5, 2016

By Frosty Wooldridge. Frosty Wooldridge (born 1947) is a US journalist, writer, environmentalist and traveler. (I ,Steve Ray who is posting his article, was born in Detroit. My ancestors lived there since the 1700’s.) I posted this a while ago but thought it worth revisiting again with Detroit recently in the news.   For 15 […]

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People watched 4,392,486,580 hours of porn on PornHub in 2015 – and that just ONE site!

January 14, 2016

That is the equivalent of every person on the earth watching 12 porn videos in 2015. And that is not all porn sites – just PornHub. What kind of an effect is this having on men, on families and on women? Just imagine the change our world is going through! Imagine where and what young […]

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St. Paul Walks Passed the Brothal

November 4, 2015

Today we are touring Ephesus and I am showing the tour group my favorite  things in this ancient city. We filmed here for our Paul and Mary DVDs and have brought groups here on numerous occasions. One of my favorite things to show people in Ephesus is the Billboard for the Brothel that is carved […]

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