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Question 5 – Extraordinary Synod on the Family

5. On Unions of Persons of the Same Sex

a) Is there a law in your country recognizing civil unions for people of the same-sex and equating it in some way to marriage?

Yes, such is the case in many states and the Bishops and the Maryland Catholic Conference lost the fight in Maryland despite an aggressive Marriage Matters campaign.

b) What is the attitude of the local and particular Churches towards both the State as the promoter of civil unions between persons of the same sex and the people involved in this type of union?

There is a real culture war and increased tension between conservative and liberal churches. Prince George’s is heavily Democratic and yet the voters just barely opposed the same-sex legislation. However, the high numbers in favour in other areas like Baltimore and Montgomery County carried the day for those proposing same-sex marriages. The Black churches leaned against the proposal while the liberal white churches and reformed synagogues were in favour. The Episcopal churches also largely supported the change.

c) What pastoral attention can be given to people who have chosen to live in these types of union?

That is the question right now, is it not? The Pope’s assertion about who is he to judge has fuelled speculation of a shift in attitude in the Catholic Church toward homosexuals. My late cousin (Fr. John Harvey) was the founder of COURAGE, an organization that urged homosexuals to embrace celibate love, service to others and prayer. He took a great deal of ridicule from the renegade DIGNITY group that argued for the acceptance of homosexual acts. We can urge them to go regularly to confession and Mass. But it seems to me that we cannot rubberstamp sin. Complicating the issue, homosexuals identify themselves chiefly by their orientation. Thus they reject the “hate the sin but love the sinner” scenario. They contend that if you judge “how they love” then you judge them and that this is hate speech.

d) In the case of unions of persons of the same sex who have adopted children, what can be done pastorally in light of transmitting the faith?

Boston and Washington, DC shut down their adoption services. What else can we do? I fail to see how we might deliberately place children into homosexual and lesbian households. There may be no pastoral answer that suffices. Having said this, other organizations are going to make this happen. Lesbians are also going to get themselves inseminated (they often abort male children). If they come to us it seems that we should reach out to them with compassion and understanding of human weakness and the need for love. Life is messy and we may have to get our hands dirty. Some situations are going to defy correction or fixing. News stories of parochial schools firing lesbian teachers or expelling children with “two daddies or two mommies” only seems to make matters worse. But how should we proceed?

2 Responses

  1. Thank you for clarifying that most of these women are just looking to be good parents, and not to sacrifice innocent souls to Molech.

  2. Do Lesbians regularly abort male children? I have never heard of this before. Where did you learn about this?

    FATHER JOE: I first encountered this phenomenon in the 1980’s. It surprised me. There was even a NOW rally on the mall where a speaker brought it up again. I had a couple of women try to justify it to me saying that if the unborn is not loved it is not really a child… which is ridiculous! The irony is that NOW and various segments of Planned Parenthood used to oppose abortion in India because of sex-selection against females. I should qualify my statement that only the most radical of the leadership in their movement (against male patriarchal oppression) propose such strategies openly. While certain Lesbians feel that the abortion of males in preference to females helps to balance the equation, I would suspect that many (if not most) would be good mothers to their sons. Lesbians have to go through certain hurdles to get pregnant and it is in that area where the subject came up… artificial insemination if not strained efforts at bi-sexuality.

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