The United States Supreme Court recently struck down the defense of marriage act as unconstitutional. The Korean Times desk columnist discusses the subject, seeing it from a Korean Catholic layperson's perspective. The bishops responded to the decision with sadness, he says, since it gives approval to same-sex marriage, contrary to the understanding of the Catholic Church.
society today, he goes on to say, the Church has to deal with
secularization exemplified in the cases of sexuality and life issues:
abortion, artificial insemination, capital punishment, euthanasia. With
the recent advances in science and in collusion with commercial
interests, there is also growing disagreement over embryonic stem cell
we look into the controversy surrounding these issues, we see society
distancing itself from the certainties of religion and the ethical
standards of the past. When it comes to the present situation in the
States, we notice that even though Christianity has been an important
part of the American culture, the traditional influence of bishops on
life issues is losing its ability to sway the people. In polls, the
numbers supporting the Catholic position continue
In Korea, it is easy to see that even though Catholicism
has respect within society, the influence of the Church, as a newcomer
to the scene, is less important among the majority of Koreans, which
makes the teaching of life issues mostly a Catholic concern.
the problem is not only a failure to influence the larger society, for
even Catholics overall are not in agreement with what the Church
teaches, which is the greater problem. In many of the issues of life:
abortion, artificial insemination, contraception, homosexuality, and the
like, the response of Catholics is no different from others, and even
at times more in opposition. This is the present reality, and the
columnist sees this as the central dilemma that the Church has to face.
The numbers of
those in the West who see homosexuality as a serious issue is not
small. It is not only the small number of those who see it as a sickness,
but the Church itself requires respect for all; even when it
considers homosexuality not normal, it has to be concerned about the
pastoral issues dealing with this inclination, which he says is another
dilemma which the Church faces.
Koreans still have a very unified Catholicism, and it's easy to understand the way Catholics would tend to look upon the
Catholicism of the West, though the thinking of Korean Catholics is probably not much different
from the Catholicism of the West, only not as
vocal and as opposed as some in the West. In promoting the culture of life, the Church faces many difficulties, says the columnist, which will not be easy to overcome.