Catholics face vocal `mutiny’ over teachings on gay marriage

Print More

Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content by logging-in here.

WASHINGTON (RNS) For 13 years, the Rev. Joseph Palacios lived, prayed, and studied with the Jesuits. But he left the Roman Catholic order in 2005 because he would not profess a vow of obedience to the pope. “I felt that I could still be a Catholic priest,” Palacios said, “but I could not deal with […]

  • Gail Fabrega

    No one has the authority to condone something Jesus Christ explicitly said was wrong. The gosple is clear on the subject of homosexuality as well as on the subjects of adultery and fornication. We are called to live pure lives. Sex outside of the marriage covenant and in any other context than that which He created (man with woman), is forbidden according to God’s own word.

    The bible is also clear about leading other’s astray. Leading others into sin is worse than being sexually impure. We are called int he gospel to “Speak the Truth in love”. We are called to admonish one another when we see our brother doing wrong.” We must always do so without judging and with a pure heart and without losing sight of our own sinfulness.

    We must not confuse loving and accepting someone with condoning and accepting their immoral behavior. All people deserve the love and respect of others. But, love is speaking the Truth- not lying to them. We were not made for ourselves and to satisfy our own proclivites. We were made to fullfill His purpose. The first words God spoke to Adam and Eve were “be fruitful and multiply”. People think their lives are their own and are for their seeking after their own happiness- this is a lie. We were made FOR HIM. Jesus tells us when we lose our lives (for Him) we will find it. When we see Christ arms outstretched on the cross the message is “sacrifice”. What are we willing to sacrifice for Him? If we are not even willing to sacrifice by reigning in our sexual desires, how can we even think we are ready to sacrifice our very lives for HIm. He expects no less from us. If we truly loved HIm, we would eagerly give up our very lives for Him. What does it say about our love for HIm, if we can not even reign in our sexual appetites?

  • JPovey

    I would like to respond to the comment below this article. First and foremost, I’d like to emphasize that I do my best to live my life according to His word. As Gail mentioned, my life is not exactly mine, but God’s, and I’m beyond proud to call myself a Catholic. I do everything I can to live a life that’s aligned with what the Bible teaches. I’ve also done my best to instill these same qualities in my children. This being said, I have a story I’d like to share…

    Mine is a family that attends church together every Sunday. Both my adult children have always lived within miles of my husband and I, so I’ve been fortunate enough to attend church with not only my husband, but also my son and daughter. My children have always been good children, my husband and I have a loving marriage, and overall I’ve felt incredibly blessed in my life…

    You can imagine my surprise one Thanksgiving when my son was 25 and announced at the dinner table that he “couldn’t pretend anymore,” that he’d been in a relationship with another 25 yr old man for almost a year now. I nearly had a heart attack on the spot, and locked myself in my bedroom for three days. I was in absolute shock! How could this be? This is my son! I raised him, he is part of me – how could he do this? Who is this man he is dating? What do they talk about? What do they DO together? Is his soul in danger? I was sick. I couldn’t imagine what his future would look like. I couldn’t imagine what this would do to the family, how this would change things. There was no way he could bring another man to my niece’s upcoming wedding! I was devastated. I only left the house to attend church, which I started going to daily in hopes of praying away this sin from my son’s life…

    I prayed that my son would come to his senses, that he’d meet a woman and fall in love with her. I prayed that this man he was dating would break his heart so the “veil” over his eyes would be lifted and he would see that this man had manipulated him into this relationship. Of course my son, my own flesh and blood, wouldn’t WILLINGLY enter a relationship with another man. This is something OTHER people do, not my family. He must have been tricked. This is a temporary phase. I just had to keep praying…

    …and I prayed, and avoided my son, and then when we finally did speak a few weeks later, I let him know just how I felt – reminded him of all he’d learned growing up going to Catholic schools about what the Bible says. He’d quietly cry and simply say “love is love” but I couldn’t accept this. I’d tell him love is not love when God doesn’t approve of it. He’d say, “God always approves of love. Promiscuous sex with random people? No. Cheating on your spouse? No. But love, yes.”

    I didn’t understand how there could be love there. Just the term homoSEXuality led me to really ONLY think about what they were doing together, which was just so sinful to me and heart breaking.

    My son suggested I attend PFLAG. I unwillingly went, and came across a bunch of parents who were completely fine with their children being gay and even went on vacations with their children and children’s partners! I couldn’t understand it. I figured they were faking it or convincing themselves…or maybe they weren’t practicing Catholics. Good for them that they’d made peace with their children’s relationships, but I knew I had a duty to God to wake my son up…

    I had another breakdown with this son…this time when I received a phone call that he had been in a terrible accident and I needed to get to the hospital immediately. A drunk driver had flipped over the highway divider and his car collided with my son’s…my baby…as he was driving to my house for a family dinner…

    My son was on life support for almost 2 months. He remained in a coma the entire time, and I found myself desperately missing my son as he lay right next to me. No parent should have to go through that. I would have given anything just to see him open his eyes and say hello. None of my previous worries about his homosexual relationship ever entered my mind. All I cared about was my son getting better, and getting as many people as possible together to pray. I couldn’t understand what our Father was creating with this tragedy. How could this be turned into something good? Was there something I was meant to learn here?

    My son’s boyfriend came to visit him every day, and stayed for hours -crying and praying. I was surprised to see him praying, for in my ignorance I assumed a homosexual would not believe in God or pray to God. But he did, and I soon found out he called himself a Catholic and went to church each Sunday. In our mutual love for my son (and yes, I am saying LOVE) I grew close to Kevin. I understood that he wasn’t an outside force trying to manipulate my son, but instead some other mother’s son who happened to meet my beautiful son and connect…but what was the allure for a romantic connection? Kevin told me – to remain just friends with my son would have been as if some outside force that didn’t know anything about my relationship, insisted I remain just friends with my husband. Kevin told me the depth of his feelings for my son were more beautiful and pure to him than any other feelings he’d ever had. We sat there crying together for my son. My husband and daughter holding us both. Never once did a “homosexual act” cross my mind. It was evident to me that this was a soul (regardless of the body it was born into) that deeply loved and cared for my son. And prayed for my son. And that’s all that mattered…

    My son did not make it. After almost two months battling for his life on life support, he passed away with his hospital room full of loved ones. I feel God brought this lesson my way to share with others. Yes, it is our duty to share God’s word with our “brothers.” And yes, I am proud to have shared my feelings and beliefs with my son, and he understood how I felt about his relationship. But to make it a mission to “enlighten” someone rather than express yourself and then allow them to be, is a grave mistake. Our time here is limited. Each moment with our loved ones is precious. To have denied my son’s loving relationship would have been to deny a part of my son and his love. He knew how I felt about homosexuality, but he also knew I loved him…and therefore if my son had made it, him and Kevin would be welcome in my home anytime together and I think I’d even become like those parents at PFLAG who went on vacation with their children and their children’s partners. This was MY sacrifice – to let go of the hold I had on my dreams for my child and embrace who he was, regardless of the “reasons.” My pastor emphasized that even as a mother, I couldn’t take on the spiritual journey my son was undertaking in being in a romantic relationship with another man. To express my feelings to him was enough, and then I had to let go and let God. My son was in a loving relationship with a kind and caring individual. Did I wish this individual was a woman? Back then, yes. But as my son’s body lay before me at his funeral, I realized how unimportant my concerns were for the gender of the person he’d been with now that he was in spirit form. If my son had lived, it wouldn’t have mattered to me either way which gender my son was loved by. Just that he was loved and cared for, as I know he is now in the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • Jay S.

    Kevin words to you about the love he had for your son being the greatest and deepest he had ever felt shows the problem of homosexual love (and of any heterosexual love) that was greater than his love for His creator. There it is. Love of others and self above love for God renders one incapable of obedience to God if it means self sacrifice.

  • JPovey

    I appreciate what you’re saying, however, in Kevin saying he had those feelings for my son…in no way was he saying those feelings for my son were greater than his feelings for God. Just as each time a heterosexual married couple expresses their love for each other, they don’t then need to follow it up with “but I love God and am committed to God more than I am to you.” This is a given when you’re Catholic, and as I mentioned in my response, Kevin is Catholic.

  • Jpovey

    Also, I don’t want to make any assumptions about you as a person…but to reply to my story about my son, not by first saying “I’m so sorry to hear about your son passing” but instead to nitpick the way his loving partner spoke of his love for my son, shows exactly the grave danger Catholics are stepping into in remaining so “committed” to “enlightening” everyone. If you’re a Catholic, and a loving person, you first acknowledge that here I am, a mother who lost a child and shared a personal story that was very difficult to share, rather than just pouncing on the one comment you can twist to support your own argument. Again, read what I said above…every time you express love to or speak of your love for your spouse, children, etc…do you always say immediately afterward, “BUT I LOVE GOD AND AM COMMITTED TO GOD MORE.” I’m sure you don’t. Please take a look at yourself and your agenda and how it led you to overlook a comment nicety by saying “I’m sorry” about my son. THIS is a huge problem in the Catholic community and shows more of a compulsion to be “right” and on one’s high horse, than to promote love.

  • Jaye S.

    Your anger and your speaking for Kevin makes me to believe your story is phony. You are either someone pushing the Gay agenda or Kevin himself? I don’t believe your story at all.
    I am not a Catholic- I am a Muslim and I also know homosexuality is very wrong. Just because someone is good, goes to church, loved someone else and then sadly died in an accident, doesn’t mean they are immune to what God commands. This is not about human emotion. We all face tragedy, but the greatest tragedy is to live outside God’s law because we don’t fear, respect and love Him enough to put Him first.
    There are many, many sad stories in human history. The best are those where people died for defending God’s truth- not their own lie.
    Using the expression “love is love” to justify the sex act shows little reflection. Does a father not love his daughter, a mother her son, a sister her brother? Does this give them license to have a sexual act. Love is not sufficent cause to engage in sexual acts.
    We must take our authority about right and wrong from God alone- not sad stories or our own emotional feelings of love. That is a mature person.

  • JPovey

    I wasn’t angry in the least – just upset that the passing of my son wasn’t even acknowledged, but instead a comment was twisted to support an argument. However, now I AM angry. This is getting out of hand. Now I’m being accused of lying, or creating a fake persona? This is ridiculous. How could I be pushing a “gay agenda” when I emphasized my feelings about homosexual relationships and how I don’t exactly agree with them? That is paranoia on your part – to think a Catholic who is expressing love towards a gay couple MUST mean she is either lying or is actually a gay person pretending to be someone else? Come on now! I’m sorry to say – your insensitivity (hidden behind your so-called faith) is what is a sin to me. Please take a moment to reflect on yourself and realize YOU are coming across as angry, paranoid and just plain rude. I will pray for you. Take care.