In a Blog post which may be found here, Deacon Ryan Duns argues that same-sex "marriage" could actually be beneficial to society.
Deacon Duns quotes from Louis Dupre, who said that, "The quality of a civilization may be measured both by the complexity of its ingredients and by the harmony of their order. The more diverse elements it succeeds in integrating within a harmonious and unified balance, the greater its potential and, usually, its achievements are." (Louis Dupré, Passage to Modernity, 29).
Then this confused soul writes, "...the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has yielded simultaneously great rejoicing from some, much hand-wringing from others. From Twitter to Facebook, blogs to news sites, the Court's actions were debated and discussed, celebrated and denounced. Mike Huckabee tweeted that 'Jesus Wept' and the USCCB called it a 'tragic day for marriage and our nation.' The New Ways Ministry website likens the experience to 'justice rolling down like a river,' washing away what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg referred to in March as 'skim-milk marriage.'
I find the above quote from Louis Dupré particularly helpful this morning as I reflect on yesterday's events. For, to my mind, a new question begins to emerge and demand response: if gay marriages are considered equal and of the same standing as heterosexual marriages, will this contribute to or detract from the harmony of society? Can this so-called marriage equality contribute to unification or will it result in further fracturing?
In their press release, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops rightly stresses 'the common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. These decisions are part of a public debate of great consequence. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance.'
Yesterday's SCOTUS decision is hardly the final word on the issue of marriage. As the USCCB asserts, it is 'part of a public debate of great consequence.' Indeed, it may be better to see these decisions less as offering the definitive word on marriage than on opening up a space for new words to spoken. The words to be spoken can come only through the lived witness of same-sex couples living lives of love and commitment that contribute to, rather than detract from, the common good of our nation.
Pope Francis has managed in three months to capture the attention of a skeptical world and an increasingly jaded flock. The credibility of his words arises from his actions and it's hard to deny that the Holy Father is active. His is a faith that works, his works are born of faith.
In the months and years ahead, a great burden will continue to be shouldered by those same-sex couples in the United States willing to commit themselves to one another. Great attention will be focused upon them and many Christian communities will remain skeptical of their relationships' ability to witness to the values of God's Kingdom. Gay and Lesbian Christians must now accept the shadow of the Cross falling long upon them. Many will deny that God's Spirit can be active in their commitments. It is only through the testimony of their lives, the witness of fidelity and love, that they have any chance in changing the hearts and minds of others.
In the Acts of the Apostles, the Pharisee Gamaliel offered the following counsel concerning the nascent movement growing around the claim that Jesus had been raised from the dead:
"...in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them - in that case you may even be found fighting against God." (Acts 5:38-39).
I accept that, whether we like it or not as a faith community, a new path has been opened up to citizens of our nation. My prayer is that marriage will continue to be the glue that holds the fundamental unit of our society together: the family. Whether same-sex couples can contribute to the common good in and through their witness of socially sanction and legally protected fidelity, we must wait and see. We must, all of us, keep our hearts and eyes and ears open so that if we begin to see the movement of God's Spirit, we can respond with joy and gratitude. Should the trace of God's life not be found, should only greater disharmony and rancor reign, we will find confirmation of our received Tradition's wisdom."
Got that? According to this Deacon of the Boston Archdiocese, waiting to be ordained while my own vocation to the priesthood is thrown into the garbage heap because I accept, defend and promote the Church's perennial teaching, especially in the area of sexual morality, God has allowed "a new path" to be opened up - one that permits homosexual and lesbian sex and even sacramental marriage - and we should all keep our hearts and minds open in order to discern "the movement of God's Spirit."
Isn't it amazing how people will strain to rationalize sin (especially those sins they are engaging in themselves)? But homosexual acts may never be approved of. They are intrinsically evil acts. They cry to Heaven for vengeance.
These intrinsically evil acts are not the result of the movement of the Holy Spirit but the movement of the Evil spirit. They are the fruit of the demonic spirit.
Because I accept and promote the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which teaches authoritatively that, "...In the sanctorum communio, 'None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.' 'If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.' 'Charity does not insist on its own way.' In this solidarity with all men, living or dead, which is founded on the communion of saints, the least of our acts done in charity redounds to the profit of all. Every sin harms this communion." (CCC, 953), my vocation is relegated to file 13.
Paragraph 817 of the Catechism assures us that "ruptures that wound the unity of Christ's Body...do not occur without human sin."
Granted that when an evil act, such as a homosexual act, is done in public, the resulting scandal compounds its intrinsic evil. But an intrinsically evil act does not become good or neutral simply because it is performed in private. The evil nature of the act remains unchanged. Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, explains that, "If acts are intrinsically evil, a good intention or particular circumstances can diminish their evil, but they cannot remove it. They remain 'irremediably' evil acts per se and in themselves they are not capable of being ordered to God and to the good of the person." (No. 81).
Pope John Paul II insists that, "No damage must be done to the harmony between faith and life: the unity of the Church is damaged not only by Christians who reject or distort the truths of faith but also by those who disregard the moral obligations to which they are called by the Gospel (cf. 1 Cor 5: 9-13). The Apostles decisively rejected any separation between the commitment of the heart and the actions which express or prove it (cf. 1 John 2: 3-6). And ever since Apostolic times the Church's Pastors have unambiguously condemned the behavior of those who fostered division by their teaching or by their actions." (Veritatis Splendor, No. 26).
Deacon Dun's vocation is accepted, nurtured and encouraged. Mine is rejected.
The difference: I stand with Jesus Christ and the Church He founded. I'm not a spiritual whore. I won't promote sodomy for the sake of being accepted. I refuse to sell my soul for a bowl of porridge.
For what does it profit a man to gain the entire world...you know the rest!
Related reading here.