On Gay Marriage: Vatican
Tells Catholics to be Catholic
by Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr.
August 4, 2003
Vatican chose the last day of July to release a major statement
on the Roman Catholic Church's teaching about homosexual marriage
[See the document]. Guess what? The Church is against it. The document,
entitled "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal
Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons," was released
by the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith, and carries the
full authority of the Roman magisterium and the approval of Pope
John Paul II.
"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," the document states,
leaving no room for doubt about the Church's position. "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."
This conviction is deeply rooted in Catholic moral
tradition and anyone surprised by this must be totally ignorant
of Catholic theology and moral reasoning. Count me as one evangelical
Christian who is embarrassed that the Roman Catholic Church is so
much bolder in this issue than many conservative Protestant denominations.
The real controversy in this case is not that the
Catholic magisterium has released a statement against homosexual
unions. The outrage is over the section addressed specifically to
Catholic lawmakers. "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 special way, in keeping with their responsibility
as politicians," the Vatican declared. Pay special attention
to the following language: "When legislation in favour of the
recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time
in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty
to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against
it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely
Gravely immoral! Hats off to the Vatican for the
courage to call Catholic politicians to account for their Catholicism.
But not all are pleased, of course. Marianne Duddy, who leads "Dignity
USA," a group of liberal Catholics advocating for the homosexual
agenda, found the Vatican's document "infuriating." "It
is very inappropriate for the Vatican to impose its own moral viewpoint
on legislators, who operate in a democracy founded on a separation
of church and state," she fumed--no doubt on her way to lobby
legislators and impose her own moral viewpoint.
Of course, the Vatican addressed its teaching to
Catholic politicians, not to national governments. It spoke of the
responsibility of Catholics, who run for office seeking Catholic
votes, to actually vote as Catholics on the great moral issues of
the day That's just too much for the Catholic left. Liberal Catholic
and Protestant politicians shout "separation of church and
state" when their votes don't match the convictions of their
churches. It's time for churches to call their wayward lawmakers
to task, and remind politician/church members that the church has
a responsibility to remove from its own membership those who reject
church doctrine and betray the Gospel. Now, that would be real news.