May 28, 2015

The Redefinition of Marriage

I've started versions of this post a couple times. I guess it's part rant, part examination of conscience, and part lament for the trials that await the Catholic faith in our time.

I remember one of the catechetical books I was given when I was taking 'convert instructions.' I don't remember what it was called but I do remember that it was blue. What I remember most from the content was the section on the Church's teaching on artificial contraception and how it had an extra little paragraph that basically apologized for the teaching.

For the world, sexual relationships and openness to the generation of new life are two different things. They are separate and separable. That's why something like same-sex marriage is a no-brainer for the world, and anyone who might be against it can only seem like a bigot. For the world, to use the terms of Humane vitae, the unitive and procreative aspects of sex are readily separable. Sex is something between two people, graced and beautiful, but without any necessary connection to the gift of procreation.

From what I understand--it was before my time--the pastors of the Church didn't do a very good job standing up for Humane vitae. And I put myself with them, in a sense. I've never preached a sermon on artificial contraception. In the context of marriage preparation, did I ever challenge a couple on their cohabitation? No. As a priest, I too have acquiesced to the redefinition of sexuality, the so-called sexual revolution.

When the Church didn't stand up for Humane vitae, that's when sexuality was redefined, not now with same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is only possible as an idea given the redefinition of marriage afforded by artificial contraception, that is the redefinition that takes the separation of the unitive and procreative graces as a given.

This is why, and I hate to say it, I don't have much pity for the leaders of our Church on these questions; for it seems to me that they already made the decision to tolerate the redefinition of sexuality a generation and a half ago.


Louis M said...

Excellent point, Father. Hadn't thought about the BC connection with gay so called marriage. And, of course, that makes perfect sense. Thank you.
BTW, I am a pharmacist who hasn't dispensed BC's at my pharmacy for over 20 years (thank God).

Anonymous said...

Regardless of how it is we got to this point, it certainly doesn't make my life any easier in trying to navigate these cultural waters with my pre-pubescent 11 year old daughter. The world will sell her promiscuity and sex while I will preach the consequences thereof. Who will she listen to when even her father is of the opinion that biological needs override moral responsibility as long as one "protects" oneself? These conversations need to start in earnest before we lose another generation of souls while the church is busy pointing fingers at one another.

mary camilleri said...

But they didn't know did they? And the world was busy selling us the population explosion story, with people spilling out of a sardine can on the cover of Newsweek.