This article originated as a response to a question posed at our website, MassImpact.us: "What is your stance on LGBTQAP, Muslims, and Pope Francis?" Many suggested that we submit our reply for publication, as it offered “unassailable reasons” for marriage, even in the political/legal realm, as something between only a man and a woman.
Thank you for your question!
First of all, we respect everyone’s right to choose their own profession of faith. We hope all would rigorously pursue truth and humbly avail to its findings!
As a Catholic organization, we faithfully and thoughtfully affirm all the Catholic Church teaches in matters of faith and morals. We believe Jesus gave us His Church that He might remain with us “till the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). We believe the Church is a “pillar and foundation of truth” (1 Tim. 3:15), that “we might be one” (John 17:21). Accordingly, as with Pope Francis and all popes before him, anchored in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, we affirm that marriage is only between a man and a woman.
Faith is not an abstraction, a feeling, or merely subjective, but a conviction about what has been revealed by God. Our faith is fully integrated with reason.
On the reason side:
(1) Logically, if "marriage" were up to each individual, such that any detractor could be named hateful, bigoted, intolerant and the like, then "marriage" literally means anything, which is to say, nothing. Ergo, logically, marriage is not what anyone wants it to be. It must have boundaries and definition.
(2) Logically, with regard to marriage between a man and a woman, there's no argument that surpasses the one the body has already made: (a) same gender bodies simply do not fit together, and (b) the engaged sexual processes can not accomplish what they are undeniably designed to accomplish. Even outside a faith context, the burden of proof is on the detractor to demonstrate otherwise.
(3) Factually, while Catholics have a view about God's design in these regards, we have never held that one ought to be forcibly compelled to act or not to act in certain regards. In sum, from a legal/political perspective, people can do whatever they want to do behind closed doors, so long as it is doesn't entail a certain level of harm (i.e., smoking cigarettes versus narcotics).
(4) Logically, if matters of marriage and sexuality are truly private, there would not be claims for public (financial) support, and certainly, not compelling us to fund the consequences! Rights were never understood to be handouts-- or privileges-- but actually, to protect us against the usurpation of government.
Can anyone explain to me why I should have to pay for someone's contraception? Much worse, abortion? How is that "private" -- even if you deny the humanity of the unborn child in the womb?
Underlying this is a simple dividing line on perspective of human nature: If we do not master our passions, they will become our master. The "passions=identity=right" view has been elevated to a socio-political status-- with catastrophic results... with no capacity for sustainability.
As a husband, father and friend-- I presume a true, best of human nature, our capacity to choose it, and to seek God's grace where we fall short and striving for the same.
The only "orientation" that matters is from sin to salvation in Jesus Christ. This is based upon a truth we did not create, but Who created us.
On Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Christians, atheists, agnostics and all other categories: We believe all have been created in the image and likeness of God.
We recognize that as all law is predicated of "do's" and "don't's", there is an underlying philosophical framework/perspective, whether named or not. We subscribe to the Judeo-Christian foundation of our Constitution and nation as most according with the dignity of the human person.
Of course, we recognize when and where this has been poorly realized, to the unfortunate detriment of what it truly means to be Jewish or Christian.
Thank you for reaching out. Let us pray for one another!