Moral/Sexual Issues

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

by Dr. Edward Peters

STEVE RAY’S INTRODUCTORY COMMENT: This article was written by Canon Lawyer Ed Peters around the time the US Supreme Court foolishingly and arrogantly decided that homosexuals could marry and it was a valid and legal marriage. Now that we have lived with this egregious ruling for several years, I thought it good to remind ourselves of the issue and the teaching of the Church. We will no doubt be persecuted for our stand against “Same-sex marriage.”

Remember that John the Baptist was not beheaded for preaching Jesus Christ, but for speaking out against the government, particularly on the issue of marriage.

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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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Some Men Are Born Eunuchs . . .

Some men are born eunuchs, some become eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven, and some, to the great profit of unscrupulous surgeons and the pharmaceutical industry, are made eunuchs by fathers who have abandoned them and by mothers who, alas, have not.

The last castrato to sing professionally, Alessandro Moreschi, died in 1922.  It is not known whether he was castrated as a boy to preserve his voice or to remedy an inguinal hernia.  A poor recording of his singing survives.  His voice was a thready soprano, not the kind of thing for which even a partisan of the practice would have recommended mutilation.  Perhaps it was once stronger and surer.  We do not know.

The boy’s voice as he nears puberty has a peculiar quality to it, unique to the temporary configuration of his larynx and oral cavity.  It produces a sound that choirmasters have treasured, and that inspired the talents of such composers as Palestrina, Allegri, and Bach.

To preserve that quality, sometimes a boy soprano would agree to be castrated.  When castrati were the rage in the courts and music halls of the European Enlightenment, a talented boy in a family strapped for means would be tempted to endure the mutilation to provide for himself and his parents.

Naturally, he would be made welcome in the chambers of aristocratic ladies, who might play with him as they would with a puppy, without bringing shame to their husbands.  That is the reason for the stratagem that the aptly named Horner plays in Wycherley’s salacious play, The Country Wife, though in his case the castration was supposed to have been required by what the English called the French disease, i.e., syphilis.  A eunuch might also become a favorite receiver of favors from sodomites.

Unnatural and barbaric.  Pope Leo XIII condemned the practice when he assumed the papacy in 1878.  We will not see it again, thank God.

Alessandro Moreschi

Instead we are seeing what is worse.  Let us think the matter through.

Far be it from me to say anything exculpatory about the filthy priests whose vices warped the lives of many boys and young men and reduced many a parish and diocese to penury.  But when those wicked men were done fondling the family jewels, they were at least still attached to the kid.  He might still grow up to be a husband and father.

That is not the case when the boy “transitions,” that is, when he undergoes surgery to make it seem as if he is a girl when he is not and never can be.

The boy who decided to be mutilated did so to secure something that was in itself good.  It is good, not evil, to have a beautiful voice.  It is good to be the solo in Allegri’s Miserere.  It is not good to mutilate the body for it.  It is good, not evil, to provide for your family.  It is not good to mutilate the body for it.  It is good to praise God.  It is not good to express your praise by what is contrary to nature, as mutilation is.

That boy was, in all likelihood, quite clear about what sex is, clearer than our children now are.  He would have seen barnyard animals all his life.  He would have slept in close quarters with other children.  He would have developed a matter-of-fact attitude toward the embarrassing exigencies of our physical life.  He will have been near men doing hard physical labor, every day of his life, labor that only men could do.

He was not rejecting his sex.  He was not seized by the madness of believing that he was really a girl.  He had not been taught in school that his sex was responsible for all the evil in the world.  He would not have grown up in a divorce, with a mother infected with feminist fantasies, of a world bleached clean of the masculine.  He would not have been subjected to story-time by men in drag.  He would not have gazed at pornography, just a click away.  He was not in the grip of delusion.  The mutilation really would secure the good in question.

He would not be subjected to one surgery after another.  His body would not be pumped full of dangerous drugs, including puberty-blockers and tissue-growing hormones, the latter likely to prove carcinogenic.  He would not be sentenced to a lifetime of pharmaceutical dependence.  His long bones would still grow.  His body would be rather soft, but otherwise he would look like an ordinary man and not a freak.  He would not be troweled out for a mock vagina.

He would not be a part of campaign to preserve and extend a thoroughly anti-Christian ethos, that of our sexual revolution.  As I have said, he might be tempted to sodomy, but he would not be having the operation precisely so that he could engage in unnatural sexual relations.  He was not embroiled in the destruction of language.  He would have been called “he,” and would have thrown a fist at anybody who called him otherwise.

He was not setting a precedent for other violators of the meaning of the human: I mean those who believe we ought to be manufacturing ourselves, via genetic manipulation, artificial wombs, and other bridges thrown from man to the robot or the beast.  He was not setting a precedent for sick people who believe they cannot be made whole unless they are made partial: I mean those who cannot endure the integrity of their bodies, and so they find an evil doctor somewhere who will remove a healthy arm or leg.

He was not the leading edge in subjecting the thoughts and speech and deeds of ordinary and normal people to the oversight of a vast totalizing state, and its symbioses in mass entertainment and mass schooling.

However sick it was to do that then, it is far sicker to do what we do now.

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SEX ABUSE SCANDALS CATHOLIC, PROTESTANT AND SECULAR:

Article by Dave Armstrong “Scandalous Sexual Misconduct Committed by Protestant Clergy” and it’s original source.

I kept hearing about all these scandals going on in the Catholic Church.  I would hear about scandals from the east coast to the west coast and even in Europe.   The secular press was relentless in making sure the public knew about all these scandals.  And my non-Catholic and Evangelical friends were more than happy to bring this up, the moment that they found out that I was Catholic.  I am hard on the Evangelicals because most of the criticisms were coming from the Evangelicals.  On the other hand there are some Evangelicals who are not this way; in fact they are very caring and understanding.  Here are the words of one Evangelical who in her humility didn’t have a need to trash the Catholic Church on the basis of scandals.  She wanted the truth to be known about the sexual abuse she experienced as an Evangelical.

  • “I am a survivor of 10 years of sexual abuse at the hands of my preacher father. I have now become an advocate for victims of abuse. For years I have been saying that when the full scope of the abuse within the evangelical church comes to light, the Catholics will pale in comparison. I have talked to thousands of abuse victims and it would shock you how many are preacher’s kids, missionary kids and kids who have grown up in evangelical homes. The problem with tracking these numbers is because the evangelicals don’t have the hierarchical system that the Catholics do. Abuse victims can’t take it ‘up the chain of command’ because so many of these churches have no accountability. I seriously warn evangelicals about gloating over the Catholic scandals because our day is coming and it isn’t going to be pretty when we see what has been swept under the rug for decades. God is cleaning his church and this is a day that I have long prayed for. May every pedophile and predator preacher be exposed and may our churches become safe havens for the brokenhearted.”

On another occasion a Baptist minister warned not to gloat because very soon the second shoe may fall and Evangelicals will have their own sex abuse scandals brought out in the open.   This minister saw the big picture and saw no need to throw dirt at the Catholic Church.

Why did the Catholic Church seemingly have this huge problem and other Christian and secular groups seemingly did not? I later found out that the Protestant arena had as large or larger problem with sex abuse among their clergy than the Catholic Church, according to the insurance companies that insure them.   And there was a much larger problem in the secular world.

When I was working at the post office I had an Evangelical colleague tell me how shocked he was about the sex abuse scandal going in the Catholic Church.  I was left to wonder why he was not shocked about the huge child sex abuse scandal in his own Baptist Church.   Apparently he was either unaware of it or was in denial of it.   For those who claim there is no problem, I would suggest that you go online to, Baptist sex abuse scandals.

Then there was my friend who attended Elm Brook Church, who was wondering, “What’s the big deal in the Catholic Church, why are these scandals happening?” She didn’t have long to wait, about six months after asking this, there was this child sex abuse scandal involving a youth minister in her own Elm Brook Church.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 5th, 1999 was quoted as saying “Any church — any organization — would have difficulty dealing with the overwhelming tragedy that has struck Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, where seven boys have said that youth minister Daniel Varga sexually abused them. As the investigation was beginning, Varga committed suicide.”

My compliments to the press, the Journal Sentinel, who I would say gave them very compassionate coverage.  From the secular press in general if this happened in the Catholic Church with their heavily non-Catholic bias, they would say “if only priests could marry,” as though this was the solution to the problem.   Where does this type of thinking come from?  It comes from articles on any number of anti-Catholic sites on the internet.  These articles allege that the reason for sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is forced celibacy.  Forced celibacy is not in the teachings or practices of the Catholic Church or in the Bible; it exists only in the minds of those who wish to believe it. Celibacy is in the teaching and practices of the Catholic Church and in the Bible.  The youth minister at Elmbrook was not involved in forced celibacy and yet, he was involved in a child sex abuse scandal.  He was married; why didn’t that prevent the problem?   I was left to wonder, if the youth minister at Elmbrook would not have committed suicide, would this child sex abuse scandal have even made it in the local press?…

…The information is out there, and the secular press is silent in its reporting of it.

  • “The Catholic Church Sex Abuse Stats: Father Jonathan Morris is a Roman Catholic priest in New York City and he is also a news contributor for Fox News Channel. In a recent news story, “Father Jonathon” stated that heavy media scrutiny forced the Catholic Church to open the books on how many sex abuse cases there have been. Since 1950, 13,000 credible accusations were brought against Catholic priests; this averages 228 cases per year.
  • Sex Abuse in Protestant Churches: Three insurance companies in the United States that provide liability coverage for 165,000 Protestant churches revealed data to the Associated Press that they typically receive 260 reports every year of children being sexually abused by Protestant clergy or other staff.

Some people are acting like modern day Pharisees pointing out the sin of others while not acknowledging their own sin.   “The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous –or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week, and I pay tithe on my whole income’” (Lk 18:11-12).

They are busy confessing the sins of others rather than their own sinful scandals….

Click here for the whole Article by Dave Armstrong

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INTERVIEW: Cardinal Müller on Homosexuality Practiced and Covered Up within the Clergy and Hierarchy

November 24, 2018

Pope Francis recently fired him from his position as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (and maybe now we know why!) Here is part of the interview: “In this discussion about the abuse crisis, Müller does not shy away from pointing out that the Church needs to address the problem […]

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St. Paul Walks Passed the Brothal

October 23, 2018

Every time I visit Ephesus I show my tour group my favorite things in this ancient city. We are here today with 80 pilgrims. 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 […]

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Fr. James Martin not just screwed up about sex, but also about Canon Law

October 12, 2018

From Dr. Ed Peters, Canon Lawyer: According to Fr. James Martin, although the Church teaches that “LGBT people must be celibate their entire lives” this expectation “has not been received”, by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender people, and therefore it has failed to become “authoritative” in their regard. I am reminded of a furrowed-brow comment […]

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October 5, 2018
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Maybe a Better Illustration for the Pope to Use

October 2, 2018

In some of his recent homilies and comments the Pope has suggested he is being like Jesus when he retreats to “silence.” When Jesus was at trial before Pilate he kept his mouth closed and was silent. Pope Francis has made it clear that this his position regarding the charges against deviant and sinful clergy, […]

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Winning on Abortion; Losing on LGBTQ

September 30, 2018

According to recent surveys it looks like we’re losing the war an LGBTQ. Here is a survey of the major religious institutions and their change and acceptance between 2007 and 2014. The trend is not good. St  Paul wrote, Rom 1:26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did […]

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Archbishop Viganó’s New Earth-Shattering Letter. God Bless Him!

September 27, 2018

A month ago Archbishop Viganó exposed the secrets of the homosexual network in the Vatican and the Catholic Church. He called on Pope Francis to resign and all the bishops and Cardinals in the network to resign with him. Since Pope Francis has been silent (and unhappily Pope Emeritus Benedict too) Archbishop Viganó has released […]

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Why the Church Cannot Reverse Past Teaching on Capital Punishment

September 20, 2018

If Pope Francis were to teach that capital punishment is “absolutely” immoral, he would be contradicting the teaching of scripture, the Fathers, and all previous popes, and substituting for it “some new doctrine.” June 7, 2017 Joseph M. Bessette, Dr. Edward Feser  Editor’s note: This first part of a two-part article on Catholicism and the death penalty was originally […]

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Was Jesus a Homosexual? Some say “Yes” and try to Prove it from the Bible!

September 10, 2018

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 […]

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Why Didn’t Jesus Condemn Homosexuality?

September 9, 2018

Steve’s extensive response to new questions in the ComBox below. For the newly revised and full article click here. IN RESPONSE TO MY BLOG JESUS IS NOT A HOMOPHOBE, ROD WROTE: Rod May 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM Steve, Your posting is remarkable! It is remarkable that, despite your attempts at convincing yourself that Jesus […]

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Really? The Pope has more important things to do ?!?!

August 28, 2018

When I saw this I couldn’t believe it. With the sex scandal raging, Cardinals exposed as perverts, young men, seminarians and priests abused and raped by clergy, men raised to Bishop and Cardinal while doing such despicable and perverted things, the Pope credibly charged with culpability — and Cupich of Chicago says there are more important […]

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Former Apostolic Nuncio to Washington DC calls prelates out — naming names and exposing corruption to the highest levels including Pope Francis

August 26, 2018

UPDATE Sunday morning:  Bishop Strickland of Tyler Texas responds to the letter below. A courageous Bishop… I hope other bishops follow his lead (write your bishop to do the same). UK Spectator aticle here. (Picture: Pope Francis greeting the perverted predator knowing what he was according to the letter below.) UPDATE COMMENT Sunday Evening: This continues […]

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Still Good Bishops Who Speak and Act…

August 19, 2018

Everyone is dismayed and uncertain who they can trust right now. The Catholic hierarchy has to be cleaned up. It is certain there are bishops who knew and were silent. BUT not all bishops were complicit. I know many that I trust were as shocked and angry as us. Here is one: Read his recent […]

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