The Vatican recently called Ireland’s referendum vote for homosexual marriage a “defeat of humanity”.
Some would say it’s not the business of heterosexual individuals to comment. But I guess it is now.
62% of Ireland voted for a change to the constitution, and less than 5% of the populations are assumed to actually be homosexual. The definition of marriage affects everyone, especially the generations of the future.
I (and all Catholics should) believe in marriage as a Sacrament. An outward sign, the loving and life giving union between man and woman, reflecting the invisible reality of Trinitarian exchange of love (the image of God). St JPII calls it our “foretaste of heaven”, it is that sacred. The Catholic marriage rite has 4 conditions verified during the ceremony:
• Do you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage? (Free)
• Will you honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your lives? (Total and Faithful)
• Will you accept children lovingly from God (Fruitful), and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?”
Marriage vows, as we know it, completely encompass a Free, Total, Faithful and Fruitful love, aimed at the standard of love of the Father’s love for the Son and the Son’s love for the Father. We are divinely made to image this love. St Paul said “This [marriage] is a great mystery but I speak in reference to Christ and the church” (Eph 5:32). Earthly marriage does not exist for its own sake; we partake in the divine mystery of love. It is simply a preparation for a heavenly marriage one day. This is the idea of marriage that we are defending. We need to care about how the rest of the world is defining the institution.
“Marriage equality” is the term being used. Basically it requires marriage to no longer discriminate between genders but provide equal rights to be married regardless. Effectively this means that the same definition we prescribe to the marriage between a man and a woman should then be given to same sex couples. While I am all for gender equality this idea is actually naturally impossible since same sex partners cannot naturally create life (Fruitful). Further to this the family will be left with either a motherless or fatherless home, also unnatural. Knowing all this, those who vote for same sex marriages must be of the opinion that having children and raising them in a home with both a mother and father is not fundamental to marriage. If this were so then what would marriage be left with?: Two people promising to be together for life, having “sex” which cannot naturally bear life, but wanting to raise a child and therefore either adopting, using IVF or surrogating babies.
The extent to which the practice becomes more and more unnatural is frightening. But I also cannot help think that we should have expected this. Since the sexual revolution, the dawn of ‘sexual liberation’ through contraception, men and women have been redefining the sexual act as one of freedom and pleasure, free of any consequences and free from commitment. Back then already the definition of marriage was changing. Into the 1980s the idea of safe sex helped lower possibility of STI’s but it did not reintroduce an openness to life. Many Catholics come from this school of thought. Openness to life has slowly been removed from marriage practices.
So how then can we expect the homosexual community to believe in openness to life as a fundamental component of marriage, when so many marriages are not currently exhibiting this? It seems easy to hide under the heterosexual blanket, and then keep all sexual morals out of the marital bedroom. Homosexuals are exposed to this abandonment of sexual morals, and there is no doubt that their sexual acts have no possibility of being natural and open to life. But what example have they had when so often the sexual behaviours of heterosexual couples are just as disordered. Both have the potential to be far removed from the true meaning of sex, which is both bonding and procreation.
Without the openness to life any gender would do I guess. Sex is then just about bonding and pleasure, which is completely hormonally possible in a homosexual couple, dopamine and oxytocin do not discriminate against gender.
There is no real argument for homosexual marriage. There is argument for equality in terms of the law, such as having a life partner who is legally dependent and receives tax benefits. But to actually say that marriage is gender neutral is to say so much more, it is an opposition to what is written in natural law imaged from divine law. Western culture trends are becoming more tolerant and accepting of a relative approach to truth, love and life. This does not look good for us trying to defend the original meaning and truth of marriage.
There will be more blows. It is inevitable that others will try follow suit, married homosexual couples will be wanting to adopt or otherwise make use of surrogates. The Catholic community better be more ready than the Church in Ireland. Lay people need to put their guards up, because for our kids these attitudes and behaviours will become the unquestionable norms of their society. We must resist the culture of passivity, complete tolerance and moral relativism.
It’s a slow fade, happening right under our noses and if we keep looking down the punches will definitely land in our face. Stay awake, the call to re-evangelisation is now.
About Bradley Page
In it to win it. Life is about love, learn it, endure with it, do it deliberately, commit to it and keep at it. IO psychologist by profession, youth educator by heart.