Why Is Gay Marriage A Life Issue?

Fr. Michael Mendl Reveals Why Life Issues Are Not Just About Abortion

If Homosexual Sexuality Is Allowed Then “Why Not Allow That Any
Sexual Relationship—Polygamy, Polyandry, Incest, Bestiality. . . “

Fr. Michael Mendl SDB

From the Eastern Front – And gay marriage? How’s that a life issue? By nature’s design, homosexual relations are sterile. They ignore one of the 2 vital, necessary, essential characteristics of marriage. Marriage is an exclusive relationship of mutual love, commitment, fidelity, and support. But it is also a relationship ordered toward fertility, toward new life. To exclude deliberately either of these essentials—the mutual love, etc., or openness to new life—is to speak of something other than marriage.

You can have mutual love, commitment, fidelity, and support in many kinds of relationships: parent-child, brother-sister, threesomes (and more), you and your dog. If openness to new life, if sexual complementarity, aren’t considered, why not allow that any sexual relationship—polygamy, polyandry, incest, bestiality—be sanctioned as a loving and committed relationship, and called “marriage”? There’s no logical reason to say no.

Someone will always say, “But what about elderly couples who marry, or a man or woman who is naturally sterile?” There’s no deliberate exclusion of fertility there. Their male-female sexual relationship is open to life, even if, practically speaking, a new life’s unlikely or “impossible.” The relationship itself is life-affirming and not intentionally life-denying.

Gay relationships—and relationships that deliberately exclude the possibility of children, either permanently (marriages that are childless by choice) or temporarily—are inherently life-denying. In other words, relationships involving contraception are life-denying. We can also see now, with hindsight, that the acceptance of contraception in marriage has been the camel’s nose inside the tent, changing our understanding of marriage from one that was always open to the possibility of new life to one in which the couple became the focus of the relationship. If they’re what the relationship is all about—their love, their feelings, their mutual support—then of course any relationship, regardless of gender, can be called “marriage,” and as noted already, you can’t logically confine it to a relationship of 2 only, or of 2 unrelated people.

We can call all of this Church teaching “the Gospel of life,” which is in fact what JPII titled one of his major encyclicals. But if you look at the issues and the reasoning closely, you’ll see that the Church’s teaching doesn’t depend only upon a reading of the Bible or upon a papal encyclical. It depends on science, on reason, on the laws of human nature—what philosophers have for ages called natural law. But we associate it with the teaching of Christ because it’s centered on human beings, people created, we believe, in the image of God and redeemed by Jesus Christ, raised from the dead; people destined for “salvation in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” If we hope to attain that eternal glory in Christ Jesus, then we must hold fast to him and to his teaching, even at the risk of being countercultural, of being stigmatized if not criminalized. Better yet, we have to unchain the word of God, to try to change the culture, to Christianize it by making it more life-affirming.

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5 comments to Why Is Gay Marriage A Life Issue?

  • Jay G

    Dear Father Mike, Thank you for you for your clear teaching on this matter. Recently, I wrote to your Provincial, as well as the Principal of a local Salesian Catholic Elementary School in Westchester County regarding an upcoming fundraiser honoring the late pastor. Featured at the fundraiser is a TV Celebrity and Designer, who is in a documented gay marriage (announcement of marriage was printed in a notable newspaper). This celebrity is scheduled to design the School Auditorium and attend the event celebration as an honored guest. The event begins with a Mass at 5 pm followed by a dinner.

    Needless to say, it is discouraging for all those who revere the memory of this saintly, humble, zealous Salesian priest, as well as understand the teachings of our Church regarding gay marriage. Do you have any thoughts/suggestions on this matter? Thank you Father.

  • Thank you for your comment Kathy. Being a person with homosexual tendencies can create quite a trial for the individual. However, with great trials come great opportunities for holiness. People with homosexual tendencies are called to the same thing that our Catholic priests are called to. They are called to perfect chastity. God and the church do not condemn the person with homosexual tendencies. For God made everyone in his image and likeness, and he created all things out of love. However, homosexual acts are gravely sinful according to the catechism of Catholic Church, and sacred scripture refers to homosexual acts as an abomination before God. Therefore, the Church and for that matter God can never condone such acts because they lead to the damnation of souls.

    God through his church calls each and every soul to holiness so that we can be reasonably happy in this life and happy with God forever in the next. More than anything God desires our eternal happiness because this life is passing away and all trials no matter how painful are only temporary, but heaven and hell are eternal. We must make decisions in this life that plant us firmly on the path to heaven.

    As sacred scriptures tells us, “Wide is the path that leads to destruction (hell) and those who take it are many. But the path to life (heaven)is narrow and those who find it are few.”

    Pray and offer sacrifice for your loved one, and admonish them if necessary because one of the spiritual works of mercy is to admonish the sinner.
    God Bless you and your loved in this difficult situation,

  • Kathy Houck

    I have a close relative who also says she knew she was gay as a child when she fell in love with her 4th grade female teacher. She’s tried to date but couldn’t seem to click with the whole thing. So, why did God send her to earth only to be condemned and ridiculed by the church. If these are civil unions, why does the church need to condemn it, Isn’t it between her conscience and God? Why would God subject her to this if physically and mentally is a hard burden to bear.

    • Hello Kathy!

      It is so hard to have relatives struggling with the rules God has given us. Your compassion is very heart warming. It is very impressive that you approached this issue as a true question and not with a closed mind. Do you want to know what really helped me understand this better? It was when I realized that chastity is not a calling just against homosexuals. Do you think it is fair for God to demand chastity for a single hetero-sexual male or female. Isn’t this a physically and mentally hard burden? What is the difference?

      If you would let me take your scenario and change it up a little bit.

      I have a close relative who also says she knew she was hetero-sexual as a child when she fell in love with her 4th grade male teacher. She’s tried to date but couldn’t seem to click with the whole thing as she had no desire to marry. So, why did God send her to earth only to be condemned and ridiculed by the church. If she just wants a physical union, why does the church need to condemn it? Isn’t it between her conscience and God? Why would God subject her to this, if physically and mentally it’s a hard burden to bear?

      Do you see what I am getting at? God fairly calls all His children to holiness. Holiness demands chastity for all whether you are single, married, homo-sexual or hetero-sexual. The Church doesn’t ridicule either homo-sexual or hetero-sexual, but gently reminds God’s children what God’s will is concerning faith and morals.

      Yes, Kathy, ultimately it is between your conscience and God. It is our choice to either line up our conscience with God’s will or our own. It is these choices made right now that determine our ultimate destination, either heaven or hell.

      Sometimes seeing God’s word written plainly really helps confirming our will with His.

      Romans 1:
      [26] For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. [27] And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. [28] And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient; [29] Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers, [30] Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, [31] Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy. [32] Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.

      May God bless you Kathy and please pray for us. We desperately need prayers from women with compassionate hearts.

  • Courageous priest<
    I agree totally that "gay" marriage is not marriage as our God ordains it. Contraceptive mentality turned the focus onto the "self" instead of on Gods plans for the couple.
    This same "self" selfishness has also caused my current generation – last 40 years – to suffer an explosion in the divorce among Catholics . As a church we need our priests to Defend life, to Defend marriage. Allowing the evil of Divorce to go unchecked / hardly mentioned from the pulpit- has led to the movement to allow "gay" marriage.
    Natural Law is teaches that Marriage is between a Man and A Woman, and is a LIFELONG unbreakable, committed union. open to life.
    Why is the church seemingly silent on this?

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