Homosexuality is a topic you would rarely see mentioned in the Catholic press but recently with the results of the referendum in Catholic Ireland and the legalization of homosexual marriages in the Christian United States we see a response in the two Catholic papers.One priest columnist In the Catholic Times reviews some of the issues involved for the readers.
During the last Sunday of June in Seoul they had a queer festival for the supporters of homosexuality. He mentions how many of the Protestant Churches in the West have accepted homosexual marriages and have dropped the terms husband and wife for the word couple.
Not a small number of Christians have accepted this drift in society which they consider progressive and are waiting for the Catholic Church to join. The columnist limited by space addresses the issue from a Catholic understanding of marriage.
First it is necessary to understand the Church's teaching. Sex can not be separated from the understanding of procreation in Catholic thinking. The love of husband and wife lead to the fruit of life. Consequently the use of the sex outside of marriage is not supported by the Church. For one's own pleasure in masturbation, sex outside of marriage, before marriage, prostitution are all the same. True also with two people of the same sex for it has no intention towards life. However, the Church does not condemn the tendency but only the homsexual acts.
Secondly, whether homosexuality is legal or not, supported by the public or not, we should not consider the issue superficially.The Church like a mother has always embraced those with these inclinations and accepted them although there have been times of strictness in outlook, they have tried to help those with this tendency. He hopes with the crisis in the family life and the talk we are having on these matters will help us to come to a better understanding of family life.
Thirdly, with these discussions our faith life, actions, and the Church's relationship with society must be examined. Like many of the other religions who have accepted the will of the majority of the citizens the Church does not see it as a matter of majority vote. Our faith is not something for the present only, and requires more attention from us. We have to know what are the essentials of our belief and examine ourselves on how to behave in the present world.
We talk a lot about the cross and this is also present in dealing with this issue. We are all faced with carrying the cross and those with this inclination also have a cross to carry.Our faith tells us that in following the way of the Gospel we will enjoy the resurrected life here and hereafter. We all need give the issue a great deal of thought on how to live fully with what we can't change, and change what we can and trust that we will be given the grace to live with joy and peace if we follow the dictates of our conciences and Church teachings.