10 Catholic priests were recently asked to write roughly 4 sentences on the topic of “gay marriage”. Here is what they said…
Fr. Jeffery Kirby from South Carolina
A while ago, while I was at a wedding reception, a lesbian couple approached me and asked what I “thought of them.” I responded that I thought they were children of God, with dignity, who want to love and be loved. They were human persons who desired companionship to share the joys and struggles of life. They seemed surprised by the answer. I continued, however, and explained that the expression of this basic human need should always follow our spiritual and bodily reality. Homosexual acts and supposed “gay marriages” do not follow this natural order, and are a dis-order that does not bring the stability, peace, and fulfillment which love and fellowship should supply.
Fr. John Hollowell from Indiana
In talking gay “marriage” we so often get bogged down in arguing points about children, the common good, etc. The Church’s teaching on this topic is much more simple. The Church says there are certain “first principles” that any just society ought to be based on and consider “non-negotiable.” One of those “first principles” is that marriage is between a man and a woman. The Church says that if a society gets “first principles” wrong, then the society will not endure.
Msgr. Charles Pope from Washington, D.C.
Gay Marriage is neither. Same-sex attraction is not a source of happiness (which the word “gay” implies) but as the catechism says, “constitutes for most [with homosexual tendencies] a trial) (2358). Neither is such a union a marriage, since as Scripture and thousands of years of human culture have held, Marriage is the union of a man and a woman intrinsically ordered to the procreation and rearing of children. Words must mean things; “Gay Marriage” does not respect the meaning of either word.
Fr. Allan McDonald from Georgia
In a world where the entertainment and news media as well as political lobbies have redefined marriage and have been successful in many states to have it codified in law, the Church must compassionately but boldly present the true nature of marriage between one man and one women and for a lifetime within the context of the common good of society and the welfare of children who have a right to a father and mother in a stable nuclear family. We must find ways to make the Church’s teaching attractive to our culture of individualism and lead the culture to a renewed appreciation of God’s laws discovered in natural law by anyone and in Scripture and Tradition by those seeking God’s way through faith.
Fr Peter Junipero Hannah from California
It is an infantile idea that two persons with the same reproductive organs could contract a marriage, but I don’t think the “solution” to this recent political juggernaut is focusing sights on it in red-eyed condemnation. The idea of “same-sex unions” only came about because of a prior failure in heterosexual marriage. In this new era of the Church’s life in the Western world, I think Catholics would do well to not get overstrained about the evident social disorders all about us, but focus instead on living faithful, humble, and devout lives from within, beginning with the family. The spiritual and intellectual energies ignited in this way from within, will naturally work outward and—according to God’s providence—affect the culture as they will.
Fr. Shenan Boquet from Virginia (President of Human Life International)
Many Catholics, out of a sincere but misinformed compassion, think they must approve of the destructive homosexual lifestyle and the redefinition of marriage, lest they “judge” another person. The scandal caused by this confusion leads also to the further marginalization of those who defend traditional marriage in light of God’s moral and natural law, and leads to the loss of souls who sadly approve of this sinful homosexual lifestyle. We find again and again how well Scripture and the Magisterium align with natural law on this fundamental question. “Man participates in the wisdom and goodness of the Creator, who gives him mastery over his acts and the ability to govern himself with a view to the true and the good. The natural law expresses the original moral sense which enables man to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie.” (CCC 1954)
Fr. Ezra Sullivan from Rome
One argument often proposed by those in the anti-“gay marriage” camp is that the practice is contrary to “traditional marriage.” Unfortunately, it depends on whose tradition one follows. The ancient Romans practiced marriage between males; in fact, the Emperor Nero “married” a teenage boy, Sporus, whom he dressed like a woman. That was before Nero executed St. Paul—who represents another tradition, the tradition of Christendom.
Fr. Thomas Longua from Texas
Marriage is, among other things, a contract whereby each party gives and accepts rights over their bodies for those acts which are suitable for procreation. Homosexual activity is in no way suitable for procreation. We do not deny the homosexual persons legitimate desire for companionship and unity, but to engage in homosexual behavior is not healthy in any way. Thus we love the sinner, but hate the sin (activity) and say that gay marriage is an oxymoron and cannot be.
Fr. Ryan Humphries from Louisiana
From the first commandment in the Bible (“Be Fruitful and Multiply”) to the first miracle of Jesus (at the Wedding Feast of Cana) to the description of Heaven at the end of the Book of Revelation (an eternal “Wedding Banquet”), the institution of Marriage is to be seen as an image of God imprinted upon our humanity socially—just as intelligence, love, and the capacity for sacrifice are the image of God imprinted upon us individually. Marriage is created to image the Holy Trinity in that it must be Full, Free, Faithful, and Fruitful. Whenever anything impersonates God’s creation, but without the capacity to give life—to bring about a complete (body and soul) gift of self—to make that gift of the self in true moral freedom and to do all of these things in a way which illustrates the unity of all of Creation, it cannot come from the Giver of All Good Gifts (c.f. James 1:17).
Fr. Edward Connolly from Pennsylvania
If a man and a woman were to ring my Rectory doorbell in order to talk about getting married, I would welcome them, then invite them to sit down and tell me about themselves—I might offer them some ginger ale. If they were to tell me that they were gay, I would breathe a sigh and say, “Bless you, my children! We all have our problems!” Then I would ask them in a confidential tone of voice whether, in spite of their gayness, they thought they would be able to consummate the proposed marriage. If they said, “Yes”, I would say, “Good!” and continue the discussion. But if both of them were gay men (or gay women), I would tell them that I am fixated on Natural Law and, walking them to the door, would refer them to a Unitarian pastor—Unitarians are so much more flexible than Catholics.