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Ana wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have been a Catholic all my life and am 100% pro-Choice and pro-gay marriage. As a teenager
I am questioning the Church's positions on these issues.

I am wondering how the Church justifies that they are not discriminatory and believe everyone is equal if they oppose things such as gay marriages.

In addition, the Church opposes:

  • abortions
  • euthanasia, and
  • gay marriages

and hopes they are banned by the United States.

  • What right does the Church have to be involved in people's life?
  • Do they not recognize the separation of Church and state?

Ana

  { What right does the Church have to be involved in people's lives and in these social issues? }

Paul replied:

Hello Ana,

The Church teaches against these things because 1.) She hates sin and that is because
2.) God hates sin, and that is because 3.) sin destroys us.

It's that simple.

Abortion is prenatal homicide, the killing of an innocent human being. That kills the baby's life and the mother's soul. The Church loves both, as God does.

Homosexual acts are an abuse, of self and other. They do not create union nor create persons, which is the two-fold meaning of sexual love.

Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide is also objectively murder, the killing of an innocent human being.

These are serious violations against the law of God, which means they are also serious violations against the natural law. They violate human nature and cause harm to all involved, and to society as a whole.

The Church has an obligation to stand up for good and for human dignity; and speak out against violations that dehumanize others.

Peace,

Paul

Ana replied:

Paul,

I understand the opinion that life begins at conception and therefore is prenatal homicide, however, euthanasia is a choice and God gave us free will.

In addition, homosexuality is not a sin. It is not a choice, it is the nature of a human. Catholics teach that God created everyone the way that they are, therefore God created people homosexually. By opposing homosexuality She is being incredibly discriminatory.

  • Also, does the Catholic Church not recognize the separation of Church and state?

The Bible mentions things like selling your daughter into slavery and stoning women who had premarital sexual relations; the Bible is clearly outdated.

  • Why is Her opinion of homosexuality referenced but not these other passages in the Scriptures?
  • Lastly, does the Church believe all Popes ever are infallible?
  • Was the call for the Crusades infallible?
  • Is the Pope infallible if he ignores all the bishops?

He is human and he can make a mistake just like everyone else does.

Thank you,

Ana

Paul replied:

Ana,

I can't address all the errors in your last e-mail in detail here, but I'll make quick comments:

You said:
...however, euthanasia is a choice and God gave us free will.

Of course euthanasia is a choice, as all sin is a choice. In fact, no one can sin unless they freely choose the evil committed. Just as an act of love is a choice, so too is an act of sin.
The difference between love and sin is the object chosen. Euthanasia is murder of the self,
which is never morally permissible.

Homosexual acts are unnatural even with those that may have a disordered homosexual orientation. Unnatural acts always violate God's design for human nature regardless of how strong the disordered desire for them may be.

Homosexuality is not natural to human beings; we are a sexual species whose sexuality is designed to unite and procreate with the opposite sex. Every person, due to original sin or other negative influences of the world, has objective disorders. Nobody is exempt. People who have propensities to:

  • alcoholism
  • overeating
  • bad tempers
  • homosexuality, or
  • other abusive behaviors

have a moral responsibility to themselves and to others to try to the best of their ability to resist these propensities and the behaviors they can lead to. It is not the propensities or desires that the Church recognizes as sin, but rather the choice to engage in the unnatural, intrinsically disordered behavior.

The separation of church and state has nothing to do with the Church's obligation to speak out against evils — even, and especially, when the evils are denied or even popular.

Your reference to the Old Testament include practices that Christ and His Church made obsolete. Selling a woman into slavery was never said to be good, and the stoning to death of people for premarital relations and homosexual acts (as well as other sins) were punishments under Mosaic law, rescinded by the new Covenant made in Christ.

Not everything found in the Old Testament was meant to be permanent or universal. The dietary and purity laws of the Pentateuch for example, were meant for the ancient Jews at that time in their spiritual maturity. Homosexual acts and premarital sex, however, are violations of the universal and permanent law of God, called the natural law because it corresponds to human nature, even if the times of certain cultures (like ours) are blind to recognizing it.

On matters of faith and morals, which are the matters pertaining to salvation, the pope alone in a solemn proclamation, or in moral union, with bishops around the world, speak infallibly. This is because Christ promised that the Holy Spirit, which guides the Church, would never allow the faithful to be led astray on what is necessary for their salvation. Christ still teaches (on faith and morals) and gives His supernatural life (in the sacraments) infallibly through His Church — for our sake. If we reject the Church (including her teachings on faith and morals) we reject Christ. If we know better or should know better, we are guilty.

The Crusades were not a teaching on faith or morals. Likewise, when John Paul II warned against getting involved in the Iraq war, he too was not speaking infallibly.

Peace,

Paul

Ana replied:

Paul,

I may have made errors in my statements about euthanasia however I still question your statement that homosexuality is unnatural.

Things like alcoholism or overeating are developed over a period of time, and with help can be overcome. Homosexuality is the nature of that person, the way God made them. Homosexuality is not something that someone can resist, as you put it. It is extremely discriminatory to say that homosexuals do not deserve completely equal rights, specifically those of marriage.

The Church claims to be a institution that represents equality, however they do not allow women priests, which is extremely sexist. It may be based on the fact that Jesus had only male Apostles however this puts men in a position to be making many decisions in the Church without the inclusion of women.

  • How is this equal?

Even if you believe homosexuality is a sin, which I most definitely do not, gay people are still people who deserve equal rights.

  • What justifies one person's dominion over another because of something written years ago?

I have a few more questions that confuse me greatly:

  • What justifies the Church's discrimination?
  • How can the Pope be said to be infallible when things like the Crusades have been show over history to be terrible?
  • Can someone still be Catholic if they disagree with the Church's view on such modern topics like:
    • abortion
    • gay-rights, and
    • euthanasia?

Ana

Paul replied:

Hi, Ana —

First, there are theories accepted by some that certain propensities have a genetic component, including:

  • alcoholism
  • obesity
  • depression
  • violent temper, etc.

Regardless of whether or not these propensities do in fact have a genetic base, they are disordered inclinations; and choosing to act upon these inclinations is morally wrong. The same principle applies to same-sex attraction.

Homosexual acts are irrational and objectively abusive, for they contradict our natures as male and female. Secondly, we not only know this through unimpeded reason, but also through the Sacred Scripture, in the Old Testament and in the New Testament (Read Romans 1:21-28), as well as through all of Sacred Tradition guided by the Holy Spirit which is also the Word of God.

I believe your basic error on this is borrowed from the manipulation of the language and thought patterns by the cultural left, for the past four decades, equating feelings with being when it comes to homosexuality. The word homosexual throughout history, until recently, was used as an adjective describing feelings (homosexual feelings) or acts (homosexual acts). It is not consistent with truth to call or label someone a homosexual, or the more contemporary term gay. The human species is a heterosexual species, despite the disordered desires of some of its members.

Same-sex attractions are not who a person is, but rather what they feel. People should never be labeled by virtue of what they feel, for if that were the norm, many people would be rapists, thieves, and murderers without ever have raped, stolen, or killed anyone.

The Church does not represent equality, it represents Christ, who is God.

With that the Church upholds truth, goodness and beauty, the dignity of the human person, and especially it exists to provide the means to salvation through divine Word and Sacrament.

The second false premise you seem to have is another idea, made recently popular, and that is the notion that equality = sameness. Males and females are equal in dignity but different and complementary in nature. It is beneath the dignity of a woman to seek being a priest, just as it is for her to seek being a father on the natural level. Priesthood is spiritual fatherhood.

As for your last three questions:

You said:

  • What justifies the Church's discrimination?

It is not unjust discrimination to reserve being a nun or sister to women, nor likewise is it discrimination to reserve priesthood to men. The Church recognizes the truth of our being, which includes the equal differences of the sexes that the modern world is in the midst of denying.

You said:

  • How can the Pope be said to be infallible when things like the Crusades have been show over history to be terrible?

As was already mentioned, the Crusades were not a teaching on matters of faith and morals. Infallibility ensures that the Holy Spirit will protect the teachings of the Church from error.

It doesn't protect the Church from sin, only from teaching errors on faith and morals, which are the matters pertaining to our salvation.

You said:

  • Can someone still be Catholic if they disagree with the Church's view on such modern topics like:
    • abortion
    • gay-rights, and
    • euthanasia?

If someone holds and asserts that the innocent preborn [and/or] the sick or elderly can be intentionally killed for any reason; or that unnatural sodomitic behaviors are good and moral, then they have objectively rejected truth and goodness, and ultimately God. They have at this point chosen self over God, which is the big test of everyone's life.

On the other hand, if someone trusts Church teaching even though they may not (yet) understand it, and in their struggle, they do not outwardly proclaim their opposition to the Church and Her doctrine, this spiritual struggle can be admirable, like when Jacob wrestled with God in the desert (Genesis 32:23-31). God eventually rewarded him for his humble perseverance. In the same way, you could also be rewarded with clarity and peace on this issues if you persevere in faith.

Peace,

Paul

Mike replied:

Dear Ana,

Let me add to what my colleague Paul has said:

You said:
I have a few more questions that confuse me greatly:

  • What justifies the Church's discrimination?

In another answer I said paraphrasing:

Marriage is the divine institution God founded from which all families are derived from and which Jesus blessed as a sacrament. The word sacrament comes from a word meaning to swear a covenant oath. Think of the sacramental grace of Matrimony as the Krazy Glue that keeps a Christian marriage together.

Three people are making a promise in a sacramental Marriage:

  • the man
  • the woman, and
  • God, Himself

It is the only institution that has been recognized by all cultures as a means to protect and safeguard both the children and their parents from society and its culture.

Marriage has nothing to do with same-sex relationships and there is no such thing as gay marriage because two men cannot bring forth new life — neither can two women. Although those that advocate for same-sex relationships always want to equate their relationship with marriage, it is not.

They strive to equate so-called gay marriage with Christian marriage by referring to previous historical movements in America, like the civil rights and women's rights movements.

These are extremely poor comparisons because individual gay people have the exact same rights as any other person. What they can't claim, is to do something that is biologically impossible — bring forth new life with a person of the same sex. This is why all societies have politically and legally placed safeguards in society to protect the traditional family.

Sure there may be just issues dealing with the rights of spouses resulting from broken traditional marriages, but those issues have nothing to do with so-called gay marriage and should be dealt with apart from any talk about marriage — a Judeo-Christian word.

Personally, I view the word gay marriage as anti-Christian hate speech. No Christian should tolerate anyone saying those two words in their presence because marriage is a Judeo-Christian term not a secular term that can be redefine by anyone.

So to answer your question: The Church isn't discriminating, secular organization's in the news media are ... against the Church. The problem Ana is you believe everything you see on T.V. and take the ideology of the on-air journalists as gospel.

You said:
The Church claims to be a institution that represents equality, however they do not allow women priests, which is extremely sexist. It may be based on the fact that Jesus had only male Apostles however this puts men in a position to be making many decisions in the Church without the inclusion of women.

  • How is this equal?

In the sacrament of Holy Orders, a special mark is put on the soul of the priest. After the laying on of hands and the words of Holy Orders are spoken, that priest's body, is no longer that priest's body! Because Jesus was a true man and grace always builds on nature and never destroys it, Jesus uses the body of a man to administer His sacraments. Because the secular media knows nothing about Catholic theology they come across to a knowledgeable Catholic as sounding very stupid.

A similar analogy would be for men to complain to the Church because they can't become pregnant. The only difference between the two illogical complaints is:

  • the woman's complaint deals with a spiritual reality, while
  • the man's complaint deals with a physical reality.

You said:

  • How can the Pope be said to be infallible when things like the Crusades have been show over history to be terrible?

This posting should address your question:

You said:

  • Can someone still be Catholic if they disagree with opinions on such modern topics such as abortion, gay-rights, and euthanasia?

It depends on their attitude toward these issues. If they:

  • dissent
  • are closed-minded, and
  • have no plans to change their minds

they only scandalize themselves and the Church.

  • Why would anyone claim to be a specific faith when he or she doesn't believe in that Church's core teachings?

I can only think of one rational reason:

Because they were never taught (or catechized) the Catholic faith correctly, and more importantly, they were never evangelized. (Introduced in a heat to heart way to the Person of Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Lord and Savior.)

That said, ignorance of the Truth, Jesus, is not an excuse to blame all your troubles on the Church. Learn the Faith Today!

On the other hand, if they have an open mind, a willing-to-listen attitude, and are striving to understand the Church's teachings on these topic, yes, they are welcome to call themselves Catholics.

That said, a Catholic who holds your dissenting beliefs should not be receiving Holy Communion. Why? When we receive Holy Communion, we not only believe we are receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord, but we are also publicly proclaiming that we are in a Common Union with the Teachings of Jesus' only Church, the Catholic Church.

Those in similar situations like yours are encouraged to receive the Sacrament of Confession on a more regular basis and pray to understand the Church's teachings better. If one is unsure whether they should be receiving Holy Communion or not, they should talk to their pastor or Confessor about it next time.

I hope this helps,

Mike

P.S. You may find this posting interesting as well:

Ana replied:

Thank you for your responses.

I think that my overwhelming understanding is that Catholicism is not something I would like to continue to take part in. If an organization cannot see their inherent flaws, and vows to never change them, that makes them outdated and, in this case, unjust.

I will continue to hope the Church comes to a respectable conclusion on these aspects of life.

Thank you for expressing your beliefs. As a friend and I have discussed, the important thing is to be a good person, and I do not believe I can oppose:

  • a women's right to her body
  • full equality for homosexuals, and
  • other teachings

and remain a good person.

Ana

Mike replied:

Hi Ana,

Just a small correction.

These are not our own beliefs but Christ's beliefs; the pope just safeguards and protects them and has since 33 A.D.

  • If you choose to say that (the God-Man) Christ is flawed that's your choice.
  • If you wish to redefine what is good and what is sin to your own liking, you have the free will to do that, though it's not Christian, nor Biblical.

The Church refers to this as Moral Relativism - where each individual defines what is good and what is sin.

Objective reality is thrown out the window. If you are interested read Matthew 24.

Finally you said:
I do not believe I can oppose:

  • a women's right to her body

As my father, who recently passed away (Stephen William Jr.), always said:

A right always takes on a responsibility

If you wish to be promiscuous (that choice that is never mentioned in these discussions), you have to be willing to take on the responsibilities that come with it, even though today's culture says you don't.

Mike

Paul replied:

Dear Ana,

I would just add two things to your last comment.

  1. Your presumption is that the Church should change with the world, rather than vice-versa. Truth does not change with:
    • desires
    • fads, or
    • cultural popularity.
  2. Your definition of good person is permeated by the false thinking of the modern world, which is tainted by sin and selfishness and opposed to life and love. At this point it seems you may be unable to rise above the lies of the culture in order to judge it by the standard of objective truth and goodness. Maybe this is why you ignore the answers to your objections rather than try to refute them reasonably.

God loves all people; it is our duty to love Him back. That is what salvation depends on.

Love is more than a feeling, more than an opinion, and much more than displaced compassion.
It includes allowing God to be God and trusting He knows more about what is good and right than our own limited faculties and tainted judgments.

God bless, and Happy Easter!

Paul

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