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Unsurprising, still depressing: Pope on same-gender marriage

Unsurprising, still depressing: Pope on same-gender marriage

Reuters is reporting that Pope Benedict XVI, said “that gay marriage was one of several threats to the traditional family that undermined ‘the future of humanity itself.’ ‘

He told diplomats from nearly 180 countries that the education of children needed proper “settings” and that “pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman.”

“This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself,” he said.

I can think of a number of things I would call the gay and lesbian parents whom I know, many of whom are raising children who were given up for adoption by their heterosexual parents, but “threats to the future of humanity” wouldn’t be among them.


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rick allen

JCF, no, I would have thought that most Episcopalians would agree that policies undermining the family are a bad thing. There are differences about what can constitute a healthy family, but that’s not at all what this speech was about. And that’s the crux of my observation.

I remember the first time I saw this happen. A Washington newspaper reported an “attack” on gay marriage by John Paul II. I was curious enough to find the speech, and it was a talk to Bosnian survivors of war crimes, and the pope was talking about the importance of strong families in supporting each other in such unimaginable circumstances. Somehow that got translated into an attack on gays in the American media.

You know as well as I the Catholic teaching on these issues. Homosexuality, per se, is not a sin. Sexual acts between unmarried persons are. Marriage is a relationship between opposite sexes. These are part of a notion of chastity that the Catholic church continues to teach and confess. But having noted that obvious fact, there is considerably more to Catholic ethics than these few propositions. There just seems a boneheadedness is so much of the media that, if the pope mentions families, he must be attacking gay marriage. It’s so much easier than listening to what is actuallly said.


So, rick, you’re saying this

“This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself,” he said.

is an incorrect translation?

JC Fisher

rick allen

Having been prompted by this item to look at the pope’s words themselves, I find no reference there whatsoever to homosexuality or gay marriage:

“L’éducation est un thème crucial pour toutes les générations, puisque d’elle dépend aussi bien le sain développement de chaque personne que l’avenir de toute la société. C’est pourquoi elle représente une tâche de première importance en un temps difficile et délicat. Outre un objectif clair, comme est celui de conduire les jeunes à une connaissance pleine de la réalité et donc de la vérité, l’éducation a besoin de lieux. Parmi ceux-ci figure en premier la famille, fondée sur le mariage d’un homme avec une femme. Il ne s’agit pas d’une simple convention sociale, mais bien de la cellule fondamentale de toute société. Par conséquent, les politiques qui portent atteinte à la famille menacent la dignité humaine et l’avenir même de l’humanité. Le cadre familial est fondamental dans le parcours éducatif et pour le développement même des individus et des États ; en conséquence il faut des politiques qui le valorisent et qui aident à la cohésion sociale et au dialogue.”

Benedict does specify that by “marriage” he means that of a man and a woman, a necessary contemporary clarification, but his remarks simply reiterate the plain teaching of Vatican II’s Gaudium et spes:

“God Himself is the author of matrimony, endowed as it is with various benefits and purposes. All of these have a very decisive bearing on the continuation of the human race, on the personal development and eternal destiny of the individual members of a family, and on the dignity, stability, peace and prosperity of the family itself and of human society as a whole. By their very nature, the institution of matrimony itself and conjugal love are ordained for the procreation and education of children, and find in them their ultimate crown. Thus a man and a woman, who by their compact of conjugal love “are no longer two, but one flesh”, render mutual help and service to each other through an intimate union of their persons and of their actions.”

It is inevitable, I suppose, that any reference to such notions will today be taken as an “attack” or “bigotry.”

E Sinkula

This is one more reminder that we as the Episcopal Church need to reach out to that Catholic community – including GLBT people and let them know we exist!



Once again, I feel an almost blind rage rising—to Go Off on the blogs of some RCs I know,

Stop effing giving them effing money!!!! >:-0

…but I’ll try to resist this rage. I know it’s counter-productive. Honey/Vinegar, n’ all that…

How long, Lord? How long?

JC Fisher

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