Archbp. Nienstedt and the Marriage Amendment in Minnesota

Minnesota is ground zero right now for defense of true marriage.

The Church and right thinking people (in the matter of marriage) have a steep hill to ascend.  The mainstream media is in control of the “topics” (a technical term from rhetoric), the matters we discuss and how and when we discuss them.  The MSM effectively controls the conversation and even the popular imagination in regard to homosexual behavior.  The MSM promotes homosexuality as if it were normal.  The Church can barely get a toe hold on the edge of the hill in this matter.

I read a story HERE that, on American TV:

The number of gay and bisexual characters on scripted broadcast network TV is at its highest-ever level in the season ahead, according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. The total on cable television is also going up.

The 17th annual “Where We Are on TV” report, released Friday, found that 4.4 percent of actors appearing regularly on prime-time network drama and comedy series during the 2012-13 season will portray lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender characters. That is up from 2.9 percent in 2011, which saw a dip in what had been a growing annual trend.

This is purposeful. They are trying to change how people think.

The Church cannot compete with the MSM in a head-to-head struggle with the MSM. We are not without resources and paths to follow, but I wonder how many leaders in the Church have the will to follow them. We have the promise of the Lord that Hell would not prevail. He did not promise that Hell would not prevail in the USA.

Archbp. Neinstedt recently did some Q&A by email with the press from Rome.  HERE.

With that as a preamble, here is an article from the STrib about my native place.  Note especially the beginning and the end, with my comments:

On a cool April evening, over dinner and drinks, [?!? Why this detail? You'll see!] Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt gathered a group of non-Catholic clergy leaders at his St. Paul home to begin forging an alliance to persuade Minnesota voters to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.  [Some offer that if a state can define marriage then a state can redefine marriage. Nevertheless, let this amendment pass.]

“He’s reached out to us and we’ve reached back to him,” said Carl Nelson, president of Transform Minnesota, a network of nearly 160 evangelical churches in Minnesota.

Working aggressively behind the scenes, the 65-year-old Nienstedt has emerged as a key financial and political force for passage of the marriage amendment, which will be on the Nov. 6 ballot and is the most contentious issue in the state this election season.  [Catholic leaders, the Church's shepherds, have the right to speak in the public square.]

He has committed more than $650,000 in church money, stitched together a coalition [So, that term "church money" is vague.] of leaders from other faiths and exerted all his power within the church to press Minnesota’s million-plus Catholics to back him.

“We wouldn’t have gotten very far without him,” said Frank Schubert, campaign manager for Minnesota for Marriage, the lead group pushing the amendment. “What the archbishop is doing in Minnesota is what the pope asked him to do. It’s hard to overstate his importance.”

But Nienstedt’s central role in the campaign has also brought blistering criticism from the faithful. [Not just criticism, but "blistering" criticism.  LOL!]

“I just see that this is terrible. This is not how Christ would have spent this money,” said Pauline Cahalan, 67, a lifelong Catholic from Roseville. [I submit that Pauline has no idea how Christ would have spent money.]

“It’s very concerning to me when someone says you have to think like I tell you to think.” [Again, Pauline hasn't a clue.]

Nienstedt strongly defended his stance in a written response to Star Tribune questions last week. He said he sees no problem enshrining a religious belief about marriage in the state Constitution.

Marriage defined as a union between one man and one woman is a reality that predates any government or religious denomination,” Nienstedt said. “Marriage is meant for children and children flourish best with a mother and a father.

When asked whether a loyal Catholic could vote against the amendment, Nienstedt said: “It would be difficult to comprehend how a person could not believe that marriage is anything but a union between one man and one woman. On this point, Catholic teaching is clear.” [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]

The Vatican is keeping a close eye on the outcome of the marriage amendment vote. In March, Pope Benedict told Minnesota bishops visiting in Rome that the preservation of traditional marriage must be a top priority. Bishops who fought to uphold the definition of marriage in other states have been rewarded with promotions. [Watch the cheap shot now...] For an ambitious archbishop, the marriage amendment offers the potential for advancement in the Catholic hierarchy.

The political fight has pushed Nienstedt onto the campaign trail. Last month he joined nearly 40 evangelical and other leaders on the steps of the State Capitol to make a public appeal for the amendment. [The "campaign trail"?  It is a 15 minute walk from the archdiocesan chancery and residence to the steps of the Minnesota capitol!  But the writer, who just suggested that Nienstedt is "ambitious", is framing this in political terms.]

I explain and defend the teaching of the Church because I have been ordained to do so and I believe those teachings with all of my heart,” he said.

Clear priority for years

Nienstedt is not a new disciple to the traditional marriage campaign. In 2006, as bishop of the diocese of New Ulm, he mobilized Catholics to send postcards to lawmakers urging them to support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Not long after he was promoted to archbishop in 2008, Nienstedt ordered an end to the gay pride prayer service at St. Joan of Arc Church in Minneapolis. Before the 2010 election, he led a move to send DVDs opposing same-sex marriage to 400,000 Catholics in Minnesota, in which he gave a six-minute introduction.

Jason Adkins, executive director for the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church, said Nienstedt’s campaign sprang from a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex sexual activity and “gave tremendous impetus to the movement to redefine marriage throughout the country.”

Schubert, a longtime political strategist who has won marriage-related campaigns in California and other states, said he first met Nienstedt in 2010. Same-sex marriage opponents were worried at the time that the DFL-controlled Legislature was going to take a run at the state’s marriage laws. Activists contacted the National Organization for Marriage, a group Schubert was working with. The group reached out to Nienstedt and found an ally.

Nienstedt worked with Schubert to produce the DVDs and to put his views in writing. In a December letter to clergy, Nienstedt wrote that “the institution of marriage and family life are unraveling before our very eyes due to no-fault divorce, widespread cohabitation and promiscuous sexual activity.” Amendment opponents, he said, seek “to eliminate the need for marriage altogether.”

Many Catholics have welcomed hs activism.

“I am glad he is taking this particular role because marriage is in crisis,” said the Rev. Thomas Dufner, [A friend of many years and great priest.] pastor of Church of the Epiphany in Coon Rapids, one of the largest Catholic parishes in the Twin Cities. “His voice was the first to stand out.”

But others have rebelled. Protesters have sent the DVDs back to the archdiocese. The church should be fighting poverty, not engaging in secular politics, some say. Parents of gay children have appealed for conciliation. [We have to find a way to stress the Church's moral teaching in this regard with an ear tuned to how it may sound to people who have loved one's with same-sex attractions.  They have a hard time reasoning when it comes to this topic.]

Undeterred by the criticism, Nienstedt has raised the stakes. To a mother who pleaded for acceptance for her gay child, he wrote: “I urge you to reconsider the position that you expressed. … Your eternal salvation may well depend upon a conversation of heart on this topic.”  [OORAH!  Well... that makes the stakes rather high, doesn't it.]

To clergy, he issued orders that no “open dissension” would be allowed. He wrote one outspoken priest, the Rev. Mike Tegeder, that if he persisted, “I will … remove you from your ministerial assignments.” [Why this dimwit, Tegeder, wasn't suspended YEARS ago I cannot fathom. Perhaps it is because everything he writes demonstrates that he must have everything explained to him several dozen times. Had I been Archbishop....]

“He silenced his priests under the order of obedience,” said Ed Flahavan, a member of Former Priests for Marriage Equality, a group that went public in May with the names of 80 former Minnesota Catholic priests against the amendment. [Emphasis on "former" - ergo - Who gives a damn what they think?] “It’s the first time in my experience or knowledge that kind of blanket order has been given” in this archdiocese.

Individual Catholics have seen their parishes directed to form committees to work for passage of the amendment. The archdiocese also appointed married couples to talk up marriage at Catholic high schools. Nienstedt asked priests to recite a “marriage prayer” during mass.

But thousands of Minnesota Catholics angered by the church’s campaign have joined the opposition, said the Rev. Grant Stevensen, faith leader for Minnesotans United For All Families, [What a slithery name.] the lead group working to defeat the amendment. Signs proclaiming “Another Catholic Voting No” sprouted on lawns.

One priest who spoke on condition on anonymity [coward] because he feared censure by Nienstedt said he’s concerned about the “massive amount of resources” the archbishop has spent on the marriage amendment.

“There are some priests for whom he is a wonderful crusading figure,” the priest said. But on the other hand, he said, “The fact that the archbishop seems to present this way of voting as a loyalty test is very problematic to other priests.” [I remind that craven priest that before he was ordained he put his hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Church's moral teaching.]

‘More than anybody’

Nienstedt is not the first or only U.S. bishop to combat same-sex marriage. But in many ways, “Nienstedt’s done more than anybody,” said Jamie Manson, [A lesbian with the coveted MDiv from Yale, who was "mentored" by Margaret Farley] who writes about gender and sexual orientation issues for the National Catholic Reporter. [aka Fishwrap.] “No one has been more public … and has used quite as many strategies as Nienstedt has.”

Manson noted that U.S. bishops who have recently fought against same-sex marriage — including Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in San Francisco, Archbishop William Lori in Baltimore and Archbishop Charles Chaput in Philadelphia — won promotions afterward. Nienstedt would be well-positioned for promotion to a larger diocese, she said. [Again, the insinuation of ambition.]

“Clearly, [perhaps to her bemuddled mind] there’s a precedence here. There’s a reward system at work,” Manson said.

State Rep. John Lesch echoed that sentiment at a Friday campaign event for Catholics opposed to the marriage amendment.

“This archbishop has done his best to make a name for himself making this a political issue,” said Lesch, a Catholic DFLer from St. Paul. [It is NOT, at root, a political issue.] “That rift will take a long time to heal. Unfortunately, I think many members of the flock here in Minnesota will just wait until that bishop goes away, and then we can begin to heal.” [Boo hoo!  *sniff*]

The Rev. Michael Becker, a friend to Nienstedt and rector at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, said Nienstedt’s goal is clear and simple: “to protect marriage and family life.”

“Whether the amendment passes or not, the Vatican will view Archbishop Nienstedt with gratitude, that he is a shepherd that leads the flock … to truth and love,” Becker said. [This was my argument from the very beginning of this controversy.  Whether or not the amendment passes, the Catholic Church must must must take part in the fight and, once into the fight, not step back a single step, not slow down, not ease up one bit.  Only by fighting hard to the very end the Church retains her moral capital.]

“If the Vatican chooses to appreciate what he’s doing for marriage and give him another office in another archdiocese, they may do that. That’s not motivating him, not in the least.”

Nienstedt said he finds it “regrettable” that people attribute ulterior motives to his advocacy on the marriage issue. He said his commitment is deeply held and not part of any political maneuvering for promotion within the church.

“I do not see myself going to another diocese,” he said. “I believe I have already passed the age for doing so.”  [And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the article ends: on the topic of Neinstedt's supposed ambition.  Given that people scan the beginning and the end of articles, that is how the MSM cleverly guides the "topics".  We begin with a description of Nienstedt forging a coalition "over drinks" and end with how ambitious he is.]

Say a prayer for Archbishop Nienstedt and for the success of the Marriage Amendment in Minnesota.

Since hardly anyone is undecided about this issue, everything… everything… depends on getting out the vote in favor of the amendment.

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82 Responses to Archbp. Nienstedt and the Marriage Amendment in Minnesota

  1. Bryan Boyle says:

    And thus does Satan confuse the issues.

    One thing that always strikes me about these arguments/agendas is that, in the eyes of most of the clueless (and that includes politicians, the MSM, and pressure groups) is that it has NOTHING to do with what is right…but everything to do with POWER.

    Wasn’t it the prince of darkness itself who took Our Lord to the heights and said ‘all this I will give you if you bow down and worship me’? In the end, that’s what it comes down to…the sin of pride is the root of all evil; and what is more prideful than arrogating to yourself the power to change, at least on a political sphere, eternal truths such as marriage, children, doing what is morally right in the face of insensate greed and boastful pride.

    The good archbishop is speaking truth to lies. And for that, those who see him as a threat to their so-called ‘Civil Rights’ are keening and tearing their robes in faux high dudgeon, and ascribing a moral stance to politics. Well, yeah, when the commonweal of a society is threatened by perversion of divinely-ordered structures (again, because it panders to ‘what I WANT TO DO’), you use the tools you have in the system you’ve been given to strike a blow for WHAT IS RIGHT.

    No matter how gently and strongly he states the case…society and hell’s minions (the MSM) will see what they want to see and report from that standpoint. As Father says: “We have the promise of the Lord that Hell would not prevail. He did not promise that Hell would not prevail in the USA.” We would do good to remember that.

  2. LisaP. says:

    I was born in 1967, I grew up with television and I strongly believe my generation and those following are very susceptible to video. I can watch an Obama commercial online, for example, and feel in the back of my brain a little “I should vote for him” tug, even though I’m rabidly conservative. I think I’m fortunate in that I can at least recognize that influence, I wonder about the 20-somethings around me. I note this only to address the part about TV and gay characters, I think it’s a huge thing. I also find it interesting how stereotyped and shallow most of those characters are, not that shallow and stereotyped is strange for TV characters. It’s like we are not just being encouraged to think of homosexual lifestyles as normal, we are being encouraged to consider gay people fairly less than human, just fronts, stereotypes, characters.

  3. mamajen says:

    Not only is the number of gay characters on TV completely disproportionate to their actual numbers in society, but the way gay people are portrayed on television is sickening. It reminds me of the stereotypical ways in which black people were characterized in early TV shows and movies. According to TV, every gay man is effeminate, speaks with a lisp, loves fashion, interior design and shopping, has a best girlfriend, needs to be in a homosexual relationship, and above all is obvious about it. While I do know some gay men who fit that mold (purposefully), I know many more who are nothing like that. Why they do not bristle at the ridiculous caricatures on TV is absolutely beyond me. I guess they are so desperate for “acceptance” that they will let people do this to them. It’s sad. Hollywood is stereotyping all gays and using them to forward the agenda of a few.

  4. Late for heaven says:

    “We have to find a way to stress the Church’s moral teaching in this regard with an ear tuned to how it may sound to people who have loved one’s with same-sex attractions. They have a hard time reasoning when it comes to this topic.”

    Not all of us who have SSA loved ones have trouble with this reasoning. I can see very clearly that my loved ones’ choices are taking them further from God and making them miserable. I love them with all my heart and I pray daily that God may move close to them and open their hearts. I love them, I do not judge them. My own attachments and addictions are no less displeasing to the Lord.

  5. LisaP. says:

    Late for heaven,

    I feel exactly the same way, thank you for expressing it so well.

  6. The Masked Chicken says:

    I wonder if there might be a correlation between those Catholics who are opposed to the Minnesota constitutional amendment and those Catholics who think divorce is no big deal? St. Jerome said that ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ and these people, apparently, do not understand that ignorance of Church teachings is also ignorance of Christ. That they can appeal to Christ without his Church makes their faith half a faith, since the Church is headless without Christ and Christ is without a body in this world without the Church.

    I wish some one would tell them, politely, but forcibly, that if they don’t know what they are talking about, that they should SHUT UP. I am all in favor of excommunicating the lot of them. That would certainly make the number of Catholics who hold contrary opinions to the Church’s clear moral teachings less and it would edify the Faithful, more.

    The Grumpy Masked Chicken

  7. Jenice says:

    I read an excellent interview once by a Catholic blogger with a Catholic man who suffers from SSA. He has been working intensely to overcome this situation, has made some progress, and now considers it something he HAS rather than something he IS. But the greatest thing he said is that he is grateful for the Church’s teaching on homosexuality/SSA because it is so easy for him (and others) to lie to themselves about their condition. What great insight in the midst of an intense struggle. I do realize that not all men with SSA would agree with him, but I found his interview enlightening.

    Also, it is not only the MSM but also blogs that attempt to normalize homosexuality. I read a couple of design blogs which post home tours regularly, and often those tours are of the homes of homosexual couples. The unspoken attitude of the blogs is that these relationships are equal to, really no different from, true marriages.

    I completely agree with Lisa and Late for Heaven that people struggling with SSA need love, support and prayer. I have had friends in this situation, few of whom confided in me, but it is heartbreaking because SSA is compelling, isolating and depressing, and leads to a secret life, estranged family relationships, illness, etc. And these people are not happy. I have found Psalm 141 to be a good prayer for my friends, as well as the hymn Be Thou My Vision.

    But we really have hard work to do regarding true marriage. Our pastor gave a great homily yesterday about marriage, but in the parish hall after Mass I overheard a conversation in which one person was talking about how marriage had been defined in 17 different ways throughout history, so homosexual “marriage” was no big deal, just another way of being married. Not a great grasp of either history or Church teaching.

  8. Imrahil says:

    On the other hand, I do not feel the same way.

    Short of stressing the Church’s moral teaching, we must first be sure of it ourselves; and I mean not only by intellectual decision (that is comparatively easy), but will all our heart. Then, if we have done so much, I guess we will be able to tell our homosexual loved-ones if we have them, or express it with a real love for the homosexuals at need. (To the particular persons, on question, at least; the Church’s teaching is fairly known and thus we would rather do damage in moralizing; however the question “now I know that the Church teaches this strange stuff and I also know you’re Catholic but… come on… you just can’t mean that?”, which I guess will most of the time pop up somewhen, must be answered honestly and faithfully.)

    Now it is fairly easy to be convinced (with all our heart) that God has forbidden homosexuality. We can look that up in the Bible; the populace (differing of course from some theologians) do not tolerate twisting words from their real meaning, and rightly so. However, I see two difficulties:

    1. The rebuke “but the Bible also says that the World was created in six days”, etc. Now coming to such argumentation we really have a Faith problem; not a morality problem. (Now, the solution that then we must just part with natural science because God can do miracles, which some commentator here, I forgot the name, did indeed honestly advocate, is not a solution. Of course Christian physicists could take a closer look at what is mere assumption in natural science; among which is the cosmological principle which is mere unbelief that the Earth is anything special; but still mere literalism does not help.)

    2. The instinct we Christians have acquired over the last decades (if indeed we hadn’t it before; I don’t know that; but Chesterton had it already), and I think rightly acquired, that God (though He could) doesn’t just forbid good things to put us to a test, or so; and that such talk most of all must be left out when talking with unbelievers.
    Then, of course, natural morality remains; and indeed as it is of natural morality that homosexuality is wrong, the Church’s teaching is circumstantial evidence for the Faith and not against it. However, natural morality requires argumentation; and how to lead such argumentation in a foolproof way? For “men have never considered homosexuality normal, most of the time sinful; and it is not procreative” is no mathematical proof that a thoroughly homosexual person (with, for example, a homosexual gene) or a man totally absent of chances to marry should not do this stimulation in which the sin consists.

    Now I know there is an argument, but I’m not able really to give it. And, earnestly, I guess some Catholic anti-homosexuals feelings (as were described in this blog a while ago in a lengthy and compassionate comment of dear @Centristian) may have for origin that Catholics, who do not accept homosexuality, yet do now know what (even imaginatively) to say against them.

    Once we are with all our heart convinced that homosexuality is wrong, then we can love the sinner without loving the sin. It’ll be more hard when we only intellectually hold a proposition.

    [On an aside, this also is the problem with the remarried. We harbor some feeling that a demand sub gravi to leave their new partner and return to their spouse is too hard.]

    But what the problem is here: that homosexual marriage is nonsense; that State recognition and aids for homosexuals is nonsense; that [at least in the presence of willing really married couples] homosexual adoption is nonsense and detrimental to the child; that indeed can be mathematically proved from such a commonplace as “men have never considered homosexuality normal, most of the time sinful; and it is not procreative”.

  9. Imrahil says:

    second paragraph: *with* all our heart.

    It is, on an aside, not even so clear that these thoroughly homosexual persons exist at all (and for the rest, the natural argument against homosexual practices is just the same as the one against masturbation); but whether or no, they’ll be thrown at us in argument, all the more since the Church does acknowledge that there are some of them who have not chosen their attractions themselves.

  10. Imrahil says:

    Note, of course, that I mean something special, which I’m attempted to describe, with the phrase “with all our heart convinced”. That is not an invective against such which, in the sense used, are not; morality demands in these faith (and related) matters only assent (and complying, which to the heterosexual is fairly easy), and nothing more. This feeling which is something more than assent is by God’s grace and perhaps also by supererogatory merit; I’m not giving anyone a “but you don’t really believe” slander who (as I do) assents to the Church’s teaching but (as I have) has this kind of feelings not really being able to argument for it.

    Just that that’s clear.

  11. Legisperitus says:

    I wonder if that phrase was “conversion of heart,” mistranscribed as “conversation of heart.”

  12. Cathy says:

    Blind people are not equal in our country until we give them driver’s licenses and allow them out on the road! Anyone who disagrees with me hates blind people!

  13. B16generation says:

    Why isn’t our Archbishop Sartain here in Seattle taking a stronger stand? He could use some of the great pastoral tactics Neinstadt is using.
    We’re going to lose the marriage battle here in Washington state without a strong shepherd leading the flock! Use this time for catechesis…
    Please pray for us here in Seattle.

  14. SKAY says:

    Late for Heaven–Your comment expresses my feelings on this matter so much better than I
    could have. Thank you.

  15. frjim4321 says:

    Well, I’m not saying that this bishop has ambitions (I don’t really know him) but I think we would be naive to think that careerism is not often an episcopal quality, [As it is among your type, the parish priest. I am not saying that burn with scarlet fever. Oh no.] and that setting priorities in accordance with explicit vatican pressure would be a prerequisite for not being buried in situ.

    I do have some grave concerns about the use of $650,000.00 [And the funds seem to have been raised by a coalition, as the article suggests.] for this purpose unless the funds were raised with full disclosure as to how they would be spent, and since I am not in that diocese I have no way of knowing whether those funds were appealed for separately and with informed consent, or if funds intended for some other purpose were raided for this project.

    I know that a lot of K-of-C funds are going toward the defeat of full marriage rights [No, we won't be fooled by your false premise. They are not being used to defeat "full marriage rights". They are being use to defend true marriage rights.] in MN and other places, but this article seems to imply that the $65oK were funds from the diocese itself. [I think you are wrong.] Maybe someone here has some info along these lines.

  16. frjim4321 says: Well, I’m not saying that this bishop has ambitions (I don’t really know him) but I think we would be naive to think that careerism is not often an episcopal quality, and that setting priorities in accordance with explicit vatican pressure would be a prerequisite for not being buried in situ.

    Isn’t that really just a way of suggesting that this bishop in fact has ambitions?

    If the $650K being spent to defeat the marriage amendment comes from diocesan coffers, it couldn’t be better spent. The Church was established precisely to spread the Gospel and combat evil. This is not a political issue, but a question of good versus evil. And it is not about the “defeat of full marriage rights.” The “right” to do intrinsic evil does not exist. It is disturbing that a Catholic priest could even entertain the idea that it does.

  17. Frances M says:

    No praise for the bishop’s defense of marriage (a priority one would think any Catholic – especially a priest – would have), just oh-so-concerned handwringing about the possibility of careerism involved in being a faithful bishop. Yup, “frjim” never disappoints.

  18. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    Well, I’m not saying that this bishop has ambitions (I don’t really know him) but I think we would be naive to think that careerism is not often an episcopal quality, and that setting priorities in accordance with explicit vatican pressure would be a prerequisite for not being buried in situi).

    In situi?

    Who was more ambitious than Cardinal Bernardin?

    I do have some grave concerns about the use of $650,000.00 for this purpose unless the funds were raised with full disclosure as to how they would be spent, and since I am not in that diocese I have no way of knowing whether those funds were appealed for separately and with informed consent, or if funds intended for some other purpose were raided for this project.

    So you have a problem with a diocese spending money to promote the Catholic doctrine on marriage?

    I know that a lot of K-of-C funds are going toward the defeat of full marriage rights in MN and other places, but this article seems to imply that the $65oK were funds from the diocese itself. Maybe someone here has some info along these lines.

    What I find saddest about you is that you don’t believe in human discourse. On more than one occasion you have referred to marriage “rights” for homosexuals. More than one comment here has refuted that notion and shown that homosexuals have no natural right to marriage. Never once have you responded to any of those refutations, yet you insist on returning to the wrongheaded notion.

    Why?

  19. Imrahil says:

    I’m inclined to excuse any bishop (all the more since he already is bishop and thus has, in a sacramental sense, climbed all there is to climb) who is faithfully Catholic and willing to fight what I, pace dear @Fr. Z., call (necessary) political fights, if he ambitions to some still more influential post.

    And after all, why should not a capable man show his capability? True, the best tradition says that where the office of bishop is concerned (which he has already), a man both decent and reasonably prudent can only deem himself incapable; but the decision lies with the Pope (or the Cathedral Chapter with his consent, according to region), and there is no reason not to show any capability that one actually has.

    Needless to say that this wouldn’t justify actually feigning an attitude. There is, however, no reason at all to assume that just because someone happens to have the same attitude as the Vatican, he is feigning it.

  20. Sissy says:

    robtbrown said: “More than one commenter here has refuted that notion and shown that homosexuals have no natural right to marriage. Never once have you responded to any of those refutations, yet you insist on returning to the wrongheaded notion.”

    Thank you for drawing attention to this fact, robtbrown. It concerns me greatly. I have given Father Jim the benefit of the doubt that he was using “rights” terminology out of ignorance, but he has been corrected over and over again. So, it begins to appear that he is deliberately seeking to mislead people. The possibility that a priest would deliberately try to deceive Catholics is very troubling. I hope he will clear this up.

  21. skypilot777 says:

    frjim4321 says I do have some grave concerns about the use of $650,000.00 for this purpose unless the funds were raised with full disclosure as to how they would be spent, and since I am not in that diocese I have no way of knowing whether those funds were appealed for separately and with informed consent, or if funds intended for some other purpose were raided for this project.

    I want to ask you father, do you have as many of the same “grave concerns” – as I do – about the annual Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) collection, which recently withdrew its “full disclosure” in reaction to three nationwide expose’s of its giving money to groups which support and promote same-sex-so-called-marriage, and contraception, and abortion, when its own rules written by the USCCB prohibit the use of its funds for such groups, and which has directed not $650K to those “causes” but more than 10 times that amount?
    Do you have any concerns at all about reading the annual CCHD appeal from the bishop, passing the basket, and telling your parishioners to “pledge to give as much as they can” (knowing that they do not enjoy any “informed consent”) to a fund that amounts to millions of dollars annually and which is known to pass money to political groups who also happen to promote evil causes?
    If you have grave concerns about the $650K raised by Abp Nienstedt (to support a good cause) simply because it may be collected without full disclosure, then you certainly should have even more grave misgivings about the millions of dollars collected by the CCHD without full disclosure or informed consent. How about it father?

  22. LisaP. says:

    Imrahil,

    One of my favorite Chestertons is “There are two ways of renouncing the devil,” said Father Brown; “and the difference is perhaps the deepest chasm in modern religion. One is to have a horror of him because he is so far off; and the other to have it because he is so near. And no virtue and vice are so much divided as those two virtues.”

    I think one of the reasons that homosexual behavior has been singled out by “the opposition” is that so many of those who believe it is sinful do so in terms of it being “those peoples’ sins”. That compromises our charity, and that makes it easier to accuse us. We need to be able to see homosexual sins as no worse or better than sins the non-homosexual populace is tempted to.

    How can we feel in our “heart” that homosexual acts are sinful, rather than just intellectually assenting to the doctrine? By feeling in our heart our own sins, knowing them, repenting them, and then seeing how very, very like the sins of those neighbors they are, no matter how dissimilar on the surface.

  23. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Lisa P.,

    thank you very much for saying in very short and good terms what I wanted to express but couldn’t…

    My point was to your suggestion a quite simple question naturally poses itself:

    How can a heterosexual man feel (beyond a mere A= sin, B = sin, therefore A=B approach) that an action quite beyond his experiences is equal to his own sins? Dissimilar on the surface indeed.

    And also: What actual good does the homosexual seek in sinning? If we hate the sin and love the sinner, we will want to find that out. For sins always or, for the purpose of this comment, at least nearly always seek some good; and if we do love the sinner, we will, yes, declare that his sin is sinful, into his face if need be, but also we just cannot help to try to understand him as far as he is right, and find that out for the purpose, and by consequence find out where he goes wrong.

    (Such as that a pre-marital union is right as far as goes the sentence True Love Can’t Wait, an actual assertion all lovers feel [though many also feel that, life being complex as it is, they must still wait for some other, prudential etc. reason], but forgets the infinitive added to it, viz. To Marry. Pace the “True Love Waits” movement, who aim at a good and necessary end but who have a slogan that, for some reasons for which is here not the place, is not the point imo.)

  24. robtbrown says:

    LisaP. says:

    I think one of the reasons that homosexual behavior has been singled out by “the opposition” is that so many of those who believe it is sinful do so in terms of it being “those peoples’ sins”. That compromises our charity, and that makes it easier to accuse us. We need to be able to see homosexual sins as no worse or better than sins the non-homosexual populace is tempted to.

    Incorrect. Of all the sexual sins, only homosexuality and bestiality are sins against nature. Adultery and fornnication are sins of concupiscence.

  25. LisaP. says:

    robtbrown,

    Maybe you can explain to me what makes that worse or better, in the case of individual commission?

  26. LisaP. says:

    I meant that literally, not snarkily! :)

  27. MrTipsNZ says:

    frjim4321: I think your post and the STrib article at question do a very good job of highlighting the true base of the issue here in terms of simple public perception.

    1. The issue of homosexual (there is nothing gay about it) marriage, at base, tempers down to the following two questions: “why am I so different” (ie. homosexual)? followed by “who’s to blame”?

    There are no end of liberal, power playing people suggesting the answers are “you are not” and “bigoted society, especially Catholics”. Contrapuntal to this, the truthful answers given by the Catholic Church and other of sense and goodwill are: “we don’t know” and “what’s blame got to do with it?” Of course the theological/philosophical/psychological reasons are deeper than this, but I am only talking about the simple public perception here.

    Of course, in this simple “power play” by the media and malcontents, the answers reduce to money and power. Which says everything about them, and nothing about their targets.

    Which brings me to my question: given the above, it is clear that those promoting homosexual marriage care nothing for homosexuals or marriage – they lust only for their own power, wealth and prestige. It is in fact only the Church, and supporters of sense and goodwill, who support and care about homosexuals and marriage. Why then, are you supporting the former?

    If you like, asking the questions: “why am I supporting them?” and “who’s to blame?” may be very instructive. I suspect the answers may surprise greatly.

  28. LisaP. says:

    Imrahil,

    I think I get what you mean — it’s not just “I don’t get that sin”, it’s more like a “why would anyone even want to do that!?” sort of thing? How do you feel empathy in that case? Frankly, I think it’s easier for me as a woman. To a degree, there is a natural protection men have against homosexuality in that “oog factor”, you are in some ways supposed to feel disgusted by taboo things as a protection, so how do you then feel sympathy for those practicing the taboos?

    It might be similar to me, having given birth to three babies, feeling sympathy for a woman who has unrepentantly had a late term abortion?

    Still, I think you are right in your later comments — the “love is all you need” thing is very similar between gay sexual sins and straight sexual sins. The utlilitarian and materialistic aspects of modern sexual sin is common to homosexual and heterosexual acts. I think it may even be helpful to compare the sexual sin of practicing homosexuals to nonsexual sins of our own.

    Maybe part of the key is to sympathize with the lot, not the temptation. For example, I shrivel at giving sympathy to a woman who could passively allow her baby to be killed. I have a very visceral reaction there. But I can feel for a woman who is pushed to do wrong because everyone around her — everyone — insists that it is the right thing to do. I can sympathize with being so disjointed from your own body and soul that you could believe lies about them. I can’t empathize with her as a murderer, but I can hold hands with her as a sinner, and I can sympathize with her as a woman. Perhaps it might be useful for men to sympathize with gay men because this is such a difficult world for a man to live in. I feel for the boys I see growing up around me, they are oppressed. Manhood is disdained. Even those that can escape that are isolated, I don’t know many men who have actual friends these days — co-workers, maybe, but rarely friends. Men don’t work together, they work tangentially. They are squeezed into being smaller than they are, are admired for their sins and derided for their valour, are rewarded for perpetual adolescence and condemned if they take on the task of a man. Maybe there can be some affinity there?

    I don’t know, I don’t pretend to have it covered for myself, but I just wanted to pop in that I thought I understood your point. If a man who has an attraction to his own gender, in this world that celebrates and rewards that, is going to follow the teachings of the Church about the will of God, the perceived and actual sacrifice he will be making is enormous. An intellectual argument, particularly made by the lukewarmly convinced, will not do.

  29. Matt R says:

    God bless the archbishop and his diocese! His example is exactly what I’ve been looking for in our bishops. He hits it all-natural law, the spiritual consequences, the immediate secular political ramifications, you name it.

  30. frjim4321 says:

    Well, I’m not saying that this bishop has ambitions (I don’t really know him) but I think we would be naive to think that careerism is not often an episcopal quality, [As it is among your type, the parish priest. I am not saying that burn with scarlet fever. Oh no.] and that setting priorities in accordance with explicit vatican pressure would be a prerequisite for not being buried in situ.

    I do have some grave concerns about the use of $650,000.00 [And the funds seem to have been raised by a coalition, as the article suggests.] for this purpose unless the funds were raised with full disclosure as to how they would be spent, and since I am not in that diocese I have no way of knowing whether those funds were appealed for separately and with informed consent, or if funds intended for some other purpose were raided for this project.

    I know that a lot of K-of-C funds are going toward the defeat of full marriage rights [No, we won't be fooled by your false premise. They are not being used to defeat "full marriage rights". They are being use to defend true marriage rights.] in MN and other places, but this article seems to imply that the $65oK were funds from the diocese itself. [I think you are wrong.] Maybe someone here has some info along these lines.

    Thank you for fixing my coding.

    (1) I agree, there is absolutely careerism among parish priests, although I would probably use a word other than “type,” since that word can have other connotations. (e.g., Tall, dark, handsome) And I think the point was there are ambitions beyond that of scarlet fever? True that.
    (2) A couple articles I read say that the diocese contributed $650,000 to the cause, but like I said, there could be more to this. This particular article is vague, but it says “contributed $650,000.00 AND stitched together a coalition. Still an open topic.
    (3) It seems with a lot of hot-button issues semantics becomes a part of the argument, I don’t see any way of avoiding that, unless one simply says “for the amendment,” or “against the amendment.”
    (4) I hope I am wrong about the $650,000.oo coming from the diocese. But:
    From KTSP on 1/31/12: “The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis says it contributed $650,000 last year to support a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.”
    … I could not find it disputed anywhere

  31. frjim4321 says:

    If you have grave concerns about the $650K raised by Abp Nienstedt (to support a good cause) simply because it may be collected without full disclosure, then you certainly should have even more grave misgivings about the millions of dollars collected by the CCHD without full disclosure or informed consent. How about it father? PIC777

    Well, with CCHD I know what I am contributing to and I have the choice not to contribute to it. When I am contributing to the support of the parish I think I’m keeping the light burning, the boiler running and my pastor and parish staff being paid.

    Most people (but more than a few years ago) may not even be aware that 15% or so is siphoned off for the running of the diocese and the Vatican, and if they are they probably don’t assume that part of that goes to a political campaign.

    I think this is why in many places parishioners ask if there is a project or a “Repair and Improvement” fund that can be contributed to with all of the funds remaining at the parish.

  32. Kerry says:

    Wow! John Lesch pretends to be Catholic…? If he step out his front door and looks across the street and three doors south, he will see my “Vote Yes, Marriage, One Man, One Woman” sign behind the garden fence wire. (Once in a while I’ve even waved to him with my holster facing north.) It is interesting though, that for all his DFL signs in his yard, there is no Obama sign.

  33. LisaP. says: We need to be able to see homosexual sins as no worse or better than sins the non-homosexual populace is tempted to.

    This isn’t true. We know there is a hierarchy of sins from the Church’s teaching on mortal and venial sins; as for mortal sins, although any mortal sin will land one in hell if unrepented, some are worse than others, and thus deserving of greater punishment. Homosexual acts are contra naturam, and one of the sins that cry to heaven for vengeance. If, as Scripture says, Christ will render to each one according to his works, surely that entails not only greater or lesser reward for those who do good, but also punishments that fit the crimes of those who do evil.

  34. robtbrown says:

    Sissy,

    Actually, I have met other priests like FrJim4321. When I was studying at the Angelicum, then later teaching at the FSSP seminary, exchange and defense of ideas was not only common, it was encouraged.

    During the years FrJim4321 attended seminary it was a much different situation. Exchange of ideas, even in class, was discouraged. Consequently, there were many men ordained who were taught to suppress and inclination to discourse.

  35. robtbrown says:

    LisaP. says:
    robtbrown,

    Maybe you can explain to me what makes that worse or better, in the case of individual commission?

    I’ll answer your question with a question: Do you think that bestiality is worse than fornication?

  36. Sissy says:

    robtbrown said: ” there were many men ordained who were taught to suppress and inclination to discourse.”

    I guess that would explain why he doesn’t engage people who refute his inaccurate assertions. But it doesn’t explain why he persists in restating the same fallacious statements over and over again after he’s been corrected on his misinformation.

  37. Johnno says:

    I believe that so long as the government has any involvement in marriage, this issue will never be settled, will go back and forth and be a waste of money.

    If your Government is no longer Christian and your country no longer a Catholic Confssional State, then there is ZERO chance that over the long term, marriage will be protected for what it is.

    We have to face the reality here that the best thing to do would be to get the government out of Marriage COMPLETELY! They define nothing, they contribute nothing. Leave Marriage to the Church. The Church should be the only institution to perform marriages. The Church should not need any legal papers from the government to allow marriages to take place. This is completely stupid!

    The Secular Government should neither recognize nor grant any marriages whatsoever. Only grant subsidies and tax returns to anyone who is raising child per child in their household regardless of whoever they are so long as they are being raised. The relationships of the parents/guardians will no longer be the government’s cause for concern.

    Until you get the government out of your lives – Marriage, Catholic Schools, Hospitals, you will not be free of immoral programs designed to lead you astray. The government is evil and should be thrown out! Do Church/State Separation right or not at all!

    This way the natural course of events will raise up families who live virtuously, and everyone else perishes naturally.

    Marriage belongs to the Church and not the State, however beneficial it may be to the State itself. If the State no longer recognizes logic and the value of marriage, then it should no longer be involved with it in any capacity.

  38. Giuseppe says:

    Same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults is legal. It will never be outlawed on a state level. And it will never be outlawed on the federal level for the same reason. (Romer v. Evans, 6-3 before the gay rights movement started to flourish).

    Most Americans under 40 believe the sexual orientation is not a choice, but rather something which is (largely) innate. They adhere to the mantra “God created me, and God does not make mistakes.” Every friend of mine under 40 has attended at least one same-sex committment ceremony (or marriage), and believes that the vows stated are indistinguishable from an opposite-sex marriage. (Right or wrong, their views are what they are.)

    There is no longer a social opprobium against same-sex sexual activity, and those who do censure such attraction and activity will be considered fringe. I think Minnesota will vote to uphold same-sex marriage, and demographics are destiny. Young people think the Roman Catholic teaching on sexuality is Neanderthal, not ‘retro’ (which would make it cool, like getting dressed up for Church.)

    I’m not prescribing; I’m describing.

  39. frjim4321 says:

    During the years FrJim4321 attended seminary it was a much different situation. Exchange of ideas, even in class, was discouraged. Consequently, there were many men ordained who were taught to suppress and inclination to discourse. robtbrwn

    LOL, you have no idea where/when I studied nor what kind of spiritual direction and mentoring I experienced, but I have to give you credit for having an active imagination. Pick a year. All seminaries were not identical. Of course I will agree that to some extent “a seminary is a seminary is a seminary,” but as far as quality of formation there are differences.

    Frankly it became quite popular somewhat after my time for occult parallel processes of formation to take place in which off-campus self-appointed mentors (I’m holding back) encouraged their proteges to “play the game and don’t give yourself up, just get ordained and then you can do what you want.”

    I guess that would explain why he doesn’t engage people who refute his inaccurate assertions. But it doesn’t explain why he persists in restating the same fallacious statements over and over again after he’s been corrected on his misinformation.

    I have no interest in waging a war with anyone, nor do I particularly buy the assertion that just because someone disagrees with me I am bound by some mysterious force to consider myself “corrected.”

    With respect to your issue with me and this post you object to the phrase “equal marriage rights,” but de facto in the civil arena that is what is being sought by those who support the principle that the same legal protections that are enjoyed by opposite-sex partners being should be extended to same-sex partners.

    I have stated more than once that I am quite supportive of the Catholic Church or any other church body applying the term “marriage” in whatever way they wish. To repeat what I have said often, even the Catholic Church uses the term marriage in three different ways: natural marriage, canonical marriage, sacramental marriage. The term is not nor has it ever been equivocal, including in the scriptures, particularly the O.T.

    In civil law the term marriage refers to the legal protections that are offered to a couple who choose to enter into a civil marriage contract which is a fourth understanding of the word which is not the same as any of the three ways the church uses it.

    In society there are and have been stable couples who are of the same sex and who are committed to each other for life. Whether we like or approve of this, it is a fact. Such couples, at times such as the grave illness or death of one partner, seek the same civil protections that opposite sex couples enjoy.

    This post is about efforts by a bishop in MN to defeat the effort of those who wish to extend the rights as I mentioned above. But this is being done under the guise of “protecting marriage.” Frankly, I don’t think there is a direct link between denying those civil rights to same sex couples and “protecting marriage,” because in fact, it is not likely that a homosexually inclined person is going to seek opposite sex marriage any more than a heterosexually inclined person is going to seek same sex marriage. So actually defeating those who seek equal protection for same-sex committed couples really does little to “protect marriage.”

    Is this enough engagement for you?

  40. LisaP. says:

    rotbrown,
    Yes, all other things (full culpability, no guns to heads, all that) being equal for both sins, bestiality is a worse sin than fornication.

    But my assumption is that infanticide is a worse sin than bestiality. Is there something I’m unaware of in Church teaching that says that’s wrong?

    Miss Moore, maybe I needed to distinguish, I’m not saying that *all* sins heterosexuals are tempted to are equal to the sins of homosexual activity, just that some are. For example, as a mother, I am uniquely heterosexually capable of creating and then murdering a child. Is that not higher on the hierarchy than homosexual acts?

    Serious questions, I’m wondering if I’m missing something?

  41. robtbrown says:

    Lisa,

    Of course, murder is worse, but the thread concerns homosexual “marriage”. And you seemed to equate the seriousness of sodomy with the seriousness of heterosexual sins like fornication.

    Sexual sins are the lowest in the hierarchy of grave sins because they are sins of weakness. Of those, fornication and adultery are the lowest because they are sins of weakness but natural acts. Bestiality and homosexuality are the highest (i.e., most serious) because they are acts against human nature.

    BTW, St Thomas says that sexual sins are the most shameful because man is being reduced to his animal nature.

  42. Kerry says:

    We continue to be dismayed that the word “rights” is quickly preceded by the word “marriage”. Perhaps the writer thinks, no, he probably ‘feeeels’ something; what one cannot imagine. I do not give a flying monkey’s flaming bulbous backsides if the Church has had 75 definitions, a man cannot marry a man, and a woman cannot marry a woman. Period. Full stop to this phrocking nonsense!! And another thing. The military has a phrase, “Need to know”. As in, “That information is released on a need to know basis, and you don’t need to know.” You don’t Need to Know where that $650k came from! You don’t have any say whatsoever in how it’s spent. Take your slimy insinuations and put them someplace else, perhaps inside some newsprint with the fish guts. And one last thing. Try taking a basic course in logic, wherein you may find the curious and wonderful things called propositions, assumptions, conclusions, valid, invalid, and other ‘strange beasties’.

  43. The Masked Chicken says:

    Frjim4321 wrote:

    With respect to your issue with me and this post you object to the phrase “equal marriage rights,” but de facto in the civil arena that is what is being sought by those who support the principle that the same legal protections that are enjoyed by opposite-sex partners being should be extended to same-sex partners.

    I have stated more than once that I am quite supportive of the Catholic Church or any other church body applying the term “marriage” in whatever way they wish. To repeat what I have said often, even the Catholic Church uses the term marriage in three different ways: natural marriage, canonical marriage, sacramental marriage. The term is not nor has it ever been equivocal, including in the scriptures, particularly the O.T.

    I cannot let these remarks pass. There is so much wrong, here, that it would take a book to correct. Besides being a musician, I am also a physical scientist with a theoretical bent. In mathematics, if one definition contradicts another definition, the entire proof is counted as wrong. It is an act of spiritual mercy to instruct the ignorant, but it is not an act of mercy to instruct the stubborn, nevertheless, these remarks are so far from the truth that I am afraid that some readers might be scandalized if they are not addressed.

    God made certain immutable laws (from our perspective) called, in toto, the Divine Law. These are usually given through revelation – principally, from Scripture. He also created Nature according to those laws so that the so-called Natural Law is a manifestation of the Divine Will (Law), but only a subset of it, since Natural Law is finite and Divine Law is, essentially, simple, infinite, and eternal.

    Man, being made in the Imago Dei with free will is endowed, in a like manner, to construct or “posit” laws to govern the Earth and all therein that he was given to “subdue.” It is understood that these so-called positive laws (posit -ive) are subsets of both the Divine and Natural Law and derive their rights as laws from them. To the extent that a positive law contradicts either Divine or Natural Law, it ceases to have any force as law, just as a contradiction in a mathematics proof invalidates its right to be called a proof.

    In Divine Law, marriage implies a definite ontological change of two flesh (a man and a woman) becoming one by following a certain prescribed process (a teleology). Once this ontological change happens, it can’t be undone except by an act of God who ends the union at death. All valid derivative positive laws of man relating to marriage must start from that ontological reality or they fail, by virtue of being inconsistent with Divine Law, to be really and truly accorded the status of a law. Real, consistent, positive laws that are in accord with Divine Law give specific real rights; disordered and inconsistent acts of the imposition of power rather than authority over another that one simple chooses to call, ipse dicit, a law, do not confer real rights, because they are not, in reality, laws. Behind every valid right, there is a valid law, so the process is symmetric under implication (i.e., biconditional: laws imply rights; rights imply laws).

    The so-called, “Equal Marriage Rights,” idea, however, implies that a law must exist behind it permitting same-sex “unions” to be equated, somehow to marriage and this is a direct contradiction to Divine Law, since marriage has a specific definition outside the power of Man to change or to make equal to it something else. Thus, any “law,” equating same-sex unions to marriage is invalidated from the start and cannot ever, properly, be referred to as a law, nor recognized as such except by the insane – since people who seek unnatural power over others are either following a distortion of reality that puts THEM at the center of the universe (make no mistake – behind every argument for same-sex marriage there is someone with a God complex) or they cannot recognize reality to begin with. Man cannot give what he does not have. To give equal status to same-sex civil unions as any other natural union would give man a power reserved to God.

    Now, some people simply do not believe in God. They believe, as Hobbs does, that all laws start with Man. Of course, even Hobbs did not believe that you could pass a law saying that, “henceforth, all circles shall be squares,” – but that is exactly what the same-sex laws are trying to do. Divine Law and Natural Law both invalidate a positive law allowing same-sex unions. In fact, these “laws” are so abhorrent that, in my opinion, they may be resisted by violence, if need be (that will some day come to pass, but not yet). Certainly, they can never, except by the morally insane, be mentioned in the same breath as real and true laws.

    So, in the case of same-sex permissive, “laws,” we are left not with authority, from which all laws properly flow, but, rather, blind, naked, power. Rather than creating peace, it creates chaos. Such laws are a form of abuse. The CCC says:

    1902 Authority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself. It must not behave in a despotic manner, but must act for the common good as a “moral force based on freedom and a sense of responsibility”:21

    A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence.22

    1903 Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, “authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse.”23

    As to the Church using equivocal definitions of marriage – that simply is not true. The Natural, Canonical, and Sacramental aspects of marriages are all nested within the one true ontological and unequivocal definition of marriage. This is true even in the Old Testament, except when God chooses to temporarily suspend the definition – and, He, being the author of the Law, is the only one who has that right.

    Quit confusing the Faithful. My stupid posts are long-winded enough to do that.

    The Chicken

  44. LisaP. says:

    Thanks, robtbrown, I thought there was something I was missing there.

    And I think I was unclear, I wasn’t particularly saying heterosexual sexual sins (meaning fairly limitedly having sex with a “consenting adult” (ugh, hate that phrase) outside of marriage) were equivalent to the sin of a homosexual act, although I can certainly see why it would appear I was and now I understand the disagreement.

    I may have fallen into error, here, though. What I had in mind for comparison were in the realm of “relationships”, etc., but more ancillary. As the most obvious example, wouldn’t the use of chemical contraception be just as much an act against human nature as the above sins? That’s the sort of thing I was specifically thinking about, how many Christians will be signing petitions against gay marriage but then go home at night and take the Pill, how many Catholics in fact are in that boat. The folks with a bumper sticker with marriage = 1 man + 1 woman, shouldn’t they have something cute about babies being conceived in the womb instead of the lab, too? And while I totally agree that it’s a “lesser evil” all things being equal when folks are divorced and remarried, it’s a much more common one, isn’t it? And even if fornication is not as grave, shouldn’t it get more air time than it does?

    Maybe I’m still trapped in my old, secular, pre-re-conversion thinking, but it feels disjointed. I will always remember sitting nursing my child before her baptism and the mom next to me, nursing her child about to be baptized in the Catholic Church, turns and asks me that question I hear from women more often than, “How do you like this weather?” — “So, are you done?” I stuttered. She said, “Because I am, whewww, I’m telling you, this is our last baby, we’re not having any more babies” — I believe this was her second. Where does this fall in the realm of our duty to uphold marriage and life, these conversations? I do realize that homosexual politics is making an attempt to seriously distort our culture at large, but aren’t these kinds of conversations, where we stay silent (I stayed silent, to my shame), where the ground is truly lost? If the sins aren’t as grave, does it matter somewhat that they are so much more widely planted?

    Maybe I’m just contrarian. I admire the courage of the folks this post talks about, no hedging on that, and there is probably something about my brainwashed youth that just stops me from fairly recognizing the gravity of the sins this post is concerned with. I have no doubt I’ve been indoctrinated quite a bit. I’ll have to chew on that.

  45. Giuseppe says:

    @Masked Chicken – Thanks for your very clear explanation of different types of laws.

    In a secular society, there is no official requiement that civil laws match natural law or divine law. In the realm of sexual activity and marriage, the following are legal: contraception, in vitro fertilization and ‘extra’ embryo storage/destruction, ability to remarry after divorce, visual depictions of sexual activity including pornography, same-sex sexual activity among consenting adults, domestic partnerships, domestic partnership benefit, civil unions, civil union benefits, etc.

    Appeals to natural law or divine law do not resonate with those who do not hold these as guidelines for civil laws. They should, however, be taken very seriously by Roman Catholics. Should laws in the US, whose citizenry is not majority Roman Catholic, adhere to natural and divine laws?

  46. Late for heaven says:

    @chicken

    Thank you for taking the time to destroy those helllish arguments with such force and cogency. All I could do was squawk. We are “Slouching Towards Gomorrah” indeed.

  47. LisaP. says:

    Thank you, Chicken, that is useful. Good information here for those of us a little behind in our understanding.

  48. Sissy says:

    Guiseppe and Father Jim: the point that you both seem to overlook is that even in our secular society, even in a legal system that denies the existence of natural law, there is still no Constitutional “right to marry” accorded to same-sex couples. Other posters and I have repeatedly debunked Fr. Jim’s fallacious claim that such a right exists based on the Equal Protection Clause (or any other Constitutional basis). That is the “correction” he says he is not bound to accept. In reality, it is simply a fact that the Supreme Court has never, so far, recognized such a right. Yet, having been informed of this fact time and again, Fr. Jim persists in using this terminology, as if asserting a falsehood will make it true. It cannot be said that he is speaking from ignorance, so, I begin to wonder if he is deliberately trying to mislead when he makes such false claims.

  49. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Giuseppe, the acknowledgement of natural and divine law is at the very outset of the Declaration of Independence; and I think this should settle the matter. Even more, divine and natural law do not need a majority of Catholics, or indeed an acknowledgement in positive law. They have force just because of existence, and positive law has force only because of acknowledgement in natural law.

    On the other hand, it does make sense (as the theologians always have pointed out) not to prohibit all sorts of sins.

    But let’s leave out the truth “Homosexual acts are sinful” for a moment; it sometimes seems to me that giving too much arguments is counterproductive. Homosexuals have a very natural (though that word, in their case, is perhaps not the best to use) engagement against being told that their behavior is a sin, and a grave one at that; but (while this is the truth) that’s, mind you, not even at issue here. What we are talking about the state calling marriage what is not Marriage; we are talking about extending the tax etc. benefits meant for those who, as families, form the core of Society and bring about the reproduction of mankind and nation, and will care for our nowadays’ workers in their old age, we seriously mean to extend all these to those who, even if the moral qualification is left out for a moment, do nothing of the kind but have a little fun in two by two? Seriously? Ah, brave new world that bears such people in it…

  50. The Masked Chicken says:

    Guiseppe,

    You wrote:

    Appeals to natural law or divine law do not resonate with those who do not hold these as guidelines for civil laws.

    I know, but, nevertheless, despite having the appearance of “laws,” laws passed that do not conform to the Divine or Natural law are not, in reality, laws, only exercises of power. Unfortunately, since more and more societies have distorted notions of authority, they often confuse authority (which is the right to govern) with power (which is the imposition of will). In the West, the educational system is often the cause of this confusion (and also the cause of the erosion of true reasoning, paradoxically), having been at odds with true morality since the time of the Enlightenment. This is moreso true, today, with the logical extention being the rise of a rampant scientism.

    The Chicken

  51. The Masked Chicken says:

    Lisa P.,

    You wrote:

    As the most obvious example, wouldn’t the use of chemical contraception be just as much an act against human nature as the above sins?

    Different species, same genus. I appreciate your working through these issues. It is edifying for others who are listening in.

    As for the encounter with the other mother: she seems to have commoditized babies. If people really understood what they were involved in when they have sex, I think most people would be speechless that God has given such power to men.

    The Chicken

  52. Late for heaven says:

    “Appeals to natural law or divine law do not resonate with those who do not hold these as guidelines for civil laws. They should, however, be taken very seriously by Roman Catholics. Should laws in the US, whose citizenry is not majority Roman Catholic, adhere to natural and divine laws?”

    Good question. Judging from history I think non Catholics should take the natural law very very seriously also. As the Chicken so ably pointed out, without the natural law then all laws are simply based on power. That is only a good thing if you are King. Which is why we Catholics adhere to a Kingdom which is not of this world.

    Due to our lack of knowledge of our own faith, we Catholics tend to see marriage as civil society does, that is, as a contract. It is not. It is an exchange of whole persons, a covenant, which has specific obligations to each person in the marriage and to God, Who is that which makes the marriage valid. This understanding of covenant is the basis of all we do as Catholics. This covenant is the reason that humans can share in Christ’s sacrifice at the alter and it is all our hope of heaven. It IS Jesus, who He is and why He came among us. Mass IS the marriage of heaven on earth. Marriage is the Word of Christ that is our union with God.

    Civil society recognizes the marriage covenant because it benefits society. Civil society in effect says that we will support this covenant because the duties enjoined on us in lawful marriage bring stability and order, which are good things for society. Chief among those duties is the obligation to bear and rear children in a stable wholesome environment so that they may grow up to be good citizens. There are no such reasons for the state to extend civil protections to two people who merely wish confirmation for their emotional inclinations.

    So Fr Jim, which will you give us for our daily bread? Contract or covenant?

  53. Sissy says:

    Late for Heaven says: “Civil society recognizes the marriage covenant because it benefits society. Civil society in effect says that we will support this covenant because the duties enjoined on us in lawful marriage bring stability and order, which are good things for society.”

    Right on the money. Those who claim that the state regards marriage as a mere contract and nothing more are mistaken. The state claims a legitimate interest in regulating marriage for precisely the reasons Late for Heaven names above. The state cares not for the “happiness” of same-sex couples. The state doesn’t really care about the happiness of heterosexual couples either, other than so far as it promotes social stability and a whole host of other social goods. Marriage contributes to the overall good of society in ways that homosexual unions cannot.

  54. Giuseppe says:

    @Sissy — you are right that there is no constitutional ‘right to marry’. Yet. (Remember Scalia’s prediction at the end of Romer v. Evans…)

    @Chicken — I appreciate your clear-thinking/crisp-writing on this matter. We use the same word ‘law’ to describe 1) statues that are passed or decreed by the state and 2) directives in accord with natural or divine law. And you are right, that this separation has grown wider. Still, from a secular perspective, those in the first category are still called laws, even if they don’t meet the definition you clearly explain and which you helpfully referenced above from the CCC.

    @Late for heaven — Marriage is a contract. Matrimony is a convenant. Just as the separation of laws into two definitions (described above) has occurred, so too have the concepts of marriage and Matrimony. In secular society, marriage is a contract, able to be broken and repeated with a different partner. From a secular perspective, marriage is definable and the definition is malleable. From a natural law/divine law perspective, as Chicken has noted above, it is tantamount to defining a square as a circle.

  55. Sissy says:

    Guiseppe said: “Marriage is a contract. Matrimony is a convenant”

    What is your authority for this claim? You are just making up your own “facts”.

  56. Giuseppe says:

    @Sissy — I kinda am just making this up and playing with definitions, based on how I see the way these words are used.

    In the US, it seems like marriage laws are much more focused on a contractual nature rather than anything sacramental. They don’t seem to care much about joining the flesh of two into one. I don’t know if Christ, Cana, or Eden are mentioned in their preambles. One can divorce fairly easily and re-do the whole thing. One can even marry for insurance. Marriage is a contract.

    The word Matrimony more accurately describes the covanent nature of the marital union. We use the words ‘marriage’ and ‘Matrimony’ interchangeably, but they describe two different concepts, at least in the US. The “Defense of Marriage” is really a powerfully strong argument for “Defense of Marriage AS Matrimony”.

    Yes, from the Roman Catholic perspective, Marriage = Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. I don’t think, though, that this definition resonates with everyone. Many focus on the legal, non-permanent, changeable, benefit-defined nature of marriage laws and don’t see the sacramental underpining. (And it’s hard to legalize a sacrament.)

  57. Sissy says:

    Guiseppe said: “In the US, it seems like marriage laws are much more focused on a contractual nature rather than anything sacramental.”

    It may seem that way to a layman, but it isn’t the case. It never has been the case in any society I can think of. So, you’re just way off the mark. Like Fr. Jim, your basic premise is false. The only reason the state bothers with regulating marriage is precisely because it is FAR more than a contract. Even secular and non-Christian states recognize this. I understand that there are people who want to reduce marriage to a bare-bones “contract” status. But wishing doesn’t make it so.

  58. Giuseppe says:

    @Sissy – that’s very helpful, as I am a layman. It’s easy to forget the philosophy when all one reads about in the press are benefits, contracts, etc. So there has been a somewhat successful effort to define marriage as a contract, particularly in the US and Europe. As an example, look at this website from NY to apply for a marriage license. http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/4210/ No mention of love, lifelong committment, family (except that you cannot marry close family). Remarriage? Not a problem, as long as you have the paperwork, etc. Gender? Not mentioned. This is what many of my generation (particularly children of divorce) think of marriage.

  59. Late for heaven says:

    Guiseppi

    No one, whether here in the US or in any other time or place, can redefine marriage. No one doubts that the State has the power to pass a law declaring “xyz” and to force citizens to comply with the full weight of the law. We hold that the US does not have, will never have, the authority to make such a change. No matter what the words or penalties for enforcement, it will never have any moral validity. In other words, it is not true. It is not a good thing for a society to make lies into law.

  60. Giuseppe says:

    @Sissy — by the way, I love reading your posts, as I learn a lot from them. (Same with so many others on this site – esp. Chicken, wmeyer, robtbrown, and even frjim, to name just a few.) I wish I could post my posts in pencil, as I spend a lot of time trying to have a internal dialogue between what I see and hear out there with what I see and read in here, and a lot of my posts are playing with ideas and asking questions. It’s the only way I can wrap my mind around some concepts.

  61. Sissy says:

    Hi Guiseppe:

    Thanks, I appreciate that….you probably only feel that way because I’m “on my meds” today (that’s a private joke between Guiseppe and me, folks!). I understand that you feel a disconnect between what you hear and see “out there”, but I think it’s important to remember that subjective impressions don’t carry the same weight as objective reality.

  62. Giuseppe says:

    @Sissy — HAHA – I love it!

  63. The Masked Chicken says:

    Giuseppe,

    You wrote:

    Guiseppe said: “In the US, it seems like marriage laws are much more focused on a contractual nature rather than anything sacramental.”

    Yes, and no. The United States has had a somewhat complicated relationship with marriage. Remember that when the Constitution was signed, most of the definitions were imported from
    English Common Law or the habits of High Society Europe, which was gravely afflicted by Enlightenment thinking. Despite the plurality of state governments and the large number of differing Protestant groups, marriage was almost uniformly viewed as a composite Church/State affair. It wasn’t until the end of WW I and the rise of automation, the assembly line being the early pre-cursor, coupled with the influences of the Eugenics movement (a pre-cursor to Planned Parenthood), the misanthropic Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller, the beginnings of a youth movement which displaced the influences of the past, and the idea of feelings as being the basis for religious sentiments (the movement of Modernism to the masses) that divorce began to rise as marriage began to be seen as something for old foggies. This whole movement went underground during the Dpression until 1960, when roughly the same forces re-emerged in more modern forms as Planned Parenthood (complete with a contraceptive pill), the feminist movement (a corruption of the suffragette movement), post-Modernism, and the idea that science would provide or all. Just as religion took a beating in the 1920s, the same thing happened in the 1960′s and beyond. Unfortunately, there has been no Depression (not for want of trying!) which would temporarily reverse these trends.

    When science is all and religion is pooh-poohed, marriage becomes a matter of materialism, a commodity to be reduced to parts and a contract. We saw the rise of science for the masses in the 1920s and again in the 1960′s. We are currently much farther along towards depravity then they were in the 1920′s (but don’t kid yourselves – the homosexual community was very active during this decade) with no end in sight. With the modern educational brainwashing on moral matters, the mass media, and the fact that liberals are out reproducing conservatives, America is almost certain to reach a flashpoint in a few years. We are moving closer and closer to the eve of a French Revolution in America.

    If you want to ponder something interesting, ponder why divorces went down during two period in twentieth-century America: during the Depression and during the 1950′s flight to suburbia. The one word that hangs in the air is idleness. Eric Hoffer, the longshoreman philosopher observed that people who are focused on earning a living are very resistant to ideologues. Being close to the earth, so to speak, seems to be a hedge against unreality. A man and wife struggling to eat or to build a city have a sense of purpose and with a shared sense of purpose, divorce rates plummet. What we DON’T have, today, is a joint sense of purpose that can unite a man and a woman in a common vision. Divorce, today, has become not so much of a contract betrayed, but a vision lost. We have no common enemies to fight, so we must find them in our own homes.

    The Chicken

  64. Sissy says:

    Well said, as usual, Masked Chicken. You have a great grasp of history.

    But none of that really answers the question: why does the state has a legitimate interest in regulating marriage? And it goes to sexual reproduction: the state’s interest is in seeing to it that as many children as possible have a strong legal tie to the married couple raising them. In addition, clear property/inheritance rights, lower crime, higher levels of education, are all issues that tend to promote a better society for everyone. It’s been estimated that single parenthood costs California taxpayers somewhere upwards of 4 billion per year…that’s just one state. So, there are many secular, economic issues that motivate states to concern themselves about heterosexual marriage. Promoting the fantasy lives of consulting adults isn’t among them.

  65. Sissy says:

    ugh – “state has” = “state have” I need that invention of yours Chicken…the one that corrects the mistake you see the millisecond before it posts

  66. wmeyer says:

    Another factor: Only the state presides over divorce. I am not aware of any church which does so. And, as the couple likely had chattel, in which the state perceives an unhealthy interest….

  67. Sissy says:

    wmeyer: true; divorce is another factor that tends to lead to a negative impact on society as a whole. Many people think in purely selfish terms about marriage; they imagine that the whole argument is just about the “happiness” of two (or more!) people (or pets!!). But each marriage, successful or not, has an impact on the entire community. And that’s why this pretense that we can just wave a wand and pretend that it’s only about contracts and “two committed people who love each other” is balderdash. The state couldn’t care less about love, nor should it.

  68. The Masked Chicken says:

    Another factor: Only the state presides over divorce. I am not aware of any church which does so.

    The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster might.

  69. Sissy says:

    The Masked Chicken: good point. He ( is he a he?) can do anything he wants. Or so I’ve heard.

  70. veritas76 says:

    I just sent in my absentee ballot today! Vote Yes!

  71. The Masked Chicken says:

    …why does the state has a legitimate interest in regulating marriage?

    A clearer way to say it might be that they don’t regulate marriage, but rather the effects on society that might occur because of marriage. Government regulations on marriage affect secondary causes, not primary ones. That is why governments cannot define what marriage is. That is a primary cause.

    The Chicken

  72. Desertfalcon says:

    El Pollo Zoro is correct. The State cannot “regulate” marriage nor does it have any power to marry anyone, but it does have a moral duty to uphold what is legitimate marriage.

  73. Late for heaven says:

    Sissy and Chicken, thanks again for your firm grasp of reality.

    Is it just me, or is there an element of magical thinking hovering around the issue of marriage? A certain sense that the” rite” confers “right?”

    I think that I had some of that thinking when I married the first time. Didn’t work for me. Maybe this explains part of the reason that lavish weddings are so popular these days? Could this be described as thinking like a pharisee?

  74. Sissy says:

    You can call it what you want, but the state does indeed regulate marriage. You cannot marry your brother or mother, you cannot marry your pony, you must wait as long as the state says after getting your license, you must wait until a particular age, and so forth. That is regulation, within the common sense and legal meaning of the word.

  75. The Masked Chicken says:

    Sissy,

    The reason you cannot marry a pony, your brother, etc., is because God says you cannot. The state, in principle, should agree with that in its own secondary re-iteration of that law, but it does not formulate the regulation in its original sense. Modern use may have changed that, but in Scholastic terminology, this is a derivative action of the State stemming from a moral precedent. The regulation of the State is secondary to the primary regulation in moral matters except insofar as touching on matters of prudence, like how fast to drive.

    On the other hand, since, “I am a chicken, Jim, not a lawyer,” I defer to those who have a better grasp of the situation.

    All I will say is that if we really appreciated marriage for what it is, few would be the persons who dared criticize it. Many, many people are unprepared for marriage these days because they completely misunderstand why Christ went to the Cross.

    The Chicken

  76. Sissy says:

    Dear Masked Chicken, I agree with you in principle, of course. I was addressing the legal aspects of what the state can and cannot do with regard to reasonable regulation of a fundamental right. Many people think that a fundamental right can’t be regulated in any way, but that just isn’t true. There are always “time, place, and manner” regulations that the state can impose and enforce.

  77. wmeyer says:

    Masked Chicken, the reasons we may not marry animals are of course, God’s law. The reasons the state currently does not permit it are much less consequential, and the state may soon change its rules.

  78. Imrahil says:

    Maybe this explains part of the reason that lavish weddings are so popular these days? Could this be described as thinking like a pharisee?

    No, the feeling behind the lavish weddings are quite different ones.

    The reason for the lavish weddings is a quite general despair of modernity. (Notice that nobody even does so much anymore as pay lip service to Modernity – with the exception of progressist Catholic theologians, always a decade or two behind the times, of course…) People are fleeing to a jolly sweet little home with a garden-dwarf before it – nay, leave out the garden-dwarf and also perhaps a sense of a really binding contract, that would be soo outdated and stuffy (and in the latter case, of course, pharisaical), but all the rest you have.

    Another thing of course is that people are all for celebrating anyhow, and feel that Marriage is the time to do it. Also they are self-loving (or for those who consider it to be so, selfish) enough to want a real party, not just the usual stuff, for themselves, to the enjoyment of their guests; and they feel Marriage is the time to do it. Actually an interesting point, because marriage is (and is still felt*) the time of commitment to another person; seeing this, it is a hopeful sign 1. that there are marriages at all, 2. that the marriage party is a more lavish party than the bachelor-farewell-party.

    *It is not for lack of commitment, or of a decided to bind oneself; it is that anything that looks like a contract, like something solid, is disdained for some reason. Which is also probably the reason why -at any rate it is an outstanding coincidence that – lawyering, orthodox theology and mathematics are so much disliked, and disliked together.

    And there may be some sense in the lavish wedding parties of course. The German word for wedding, in literal translation, is Hightime.

  79. Imrahil says:

    they want a real party… for themselves … once in life. Please add this to the sentence; I meant it when I wrote it.

    Which is also an encouraging sign: the feeling of the meaning of some unrepeatable moments is still known, after all.

  80. robtbrown says:

    FrJim4321 says,
    I have no interest in waging a war with anyone, nor do I particularly buy the assertion that just because someone disagrees with me I am bound by some mysterious force to consider myself “corrected.”

    You’ve just proven my point. The mysterious force that you says doesn’t bind you is simply human discourse. And it’s not a matter of waging war but rather discussion. You have made assertions here, and people have replied pointing out the fallacy in what you wrote. That you never replied to them but weeks later resurrected the same fallacy seems to me to me insulting,.

    With respect to your issue with me and this post you object to the phrase “equal marriage rights,” but de facto in the civil arena that is what is being sought by those who support the principle that the same legal protections that are enjoyed by opposite-sex partners being should be extended to same-sex partners.

    I have no issue with you. I just don’t think you have had anything approaching decent philosophical and theological formation.

    And once again, as various people have stated here over the past few months: Rights (which refer to the civil arena) have to have some foundation in nature. Communism is unjust because people have a natural right to property. Capitalism can be unjust because the right to property is not absolute. Homosexuals have no natural right to marriage, so there is no basis for any right in the civil arena.

    The civil protections that are to be found in the so called 4th way of understanding marriage that you mention are also grounded in nature–natural rights re property and children. It was also noted that the property rights and obligations are mainly a function of mothers having put themselves into a financial vulnerable position.

    Re seminaries: I am personally familiar with several. Further, I have friends, some from other countries, with whom I’ve also exchanged stories–some from time as seminarians, some as profs, some as both. Funniest thing–the stories were all the same. Can’t be ordained unless a man at least pretends to buy the ideology.

    In all fairness, I have to say, however, that was the residue of much of the formation after the Council of Trent, when theology became so ecclesiocentric that it was considered the Church’s ideology, enforced by law. Once the force of law was relaxed, the residue, deprived of understanding, became dessicated. A few years ago I met an American medievalist trained in Salamanca, I had to smile when he said something I have said for some time: During much of that Counter Reformation period, too often priests were taught the answers without ever really understanding the questions.

    There are basically three types of seminaries (which of course refers only to diocesan training). The Benedictine, e.g., Latrobe, Meinard, Mt Angel; the university, in which the profs are in no way connected to the seminaries (Rome, Louvain, CU); and the free standing seminary. The third type mass produced priests, but, IMHO, offered the weakest formation. Too hermetically sealed. And too often the profs had an extra academic voice in recommending ordination. In fact, a friend who was a prof loved to have seminarians in for spiritual direction because it meant he couldn’t participate in discussions concerning their fitness for Orders.

  81. robtbrown says:

    If I might make one final point re exchange of ideas, in class questions in particular:

    Like almost everyone else in the West, in Rome we were required to take Scripture courses every semester in the institutional courses (i.e., those for ordination). It was my experience that profs teaching those courses (usually based on the Historical Critical method) were incapable of answering a question. My last try came in the second year. The prof’s only response was “that’s a good question”. That was it. Afterwards, a fellow student told me “He doesn’t understand that unless he can answer that question, his entire thesis collapses.” Thus endeth my career as a questioner in Scripture classes.

    On the other hand, most of the theologians were happy to take questions, usually understood them, and flourished in answering them. One of my mentors was Fr Von Gunten, a consultor to the SCDF, Sacraments, and Clergy, was not an engaging teacher but was superb outside of class. My room was, no exaggeration, 15 seconds from the Angelicum cloister, so it was always easy for me to find him walking around the quadrangle saying his rosary. I never asked him a question that he hadn’t already considered. Once I realized what a source he was, I picked his brains at every opportunity. A Swiss, he died a year or so after retirement.

    NB: A consultor is not merely an informal consultant. Curial congregations have episcopal and theological commissions. For example, if a document has been written on the priesthood and will be promulgated by the Cong of the Clergy, it is voted on by members of the theological commission, who at a meeting go over it page by page, then by members of the episcopal commission.

  82. Bill Foley says:

    from Bill Foley

    There is a natural argument against so-called “marriage” between two persons of the same sex.
    The basis is THE PARTS DO NOT FIT.
    This applies to the psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects—three areas in which a man and a woman do fit.
    The other facet is the physical dimension. The sexual-generative parts of the male and female bodies do fit, THEY ARE MEANT FOR EACH OTHER LIKE A LOCK AND A KEY, and this fit is IN ACCORD WITH NATURE. This natural fit also follows a natural purpose, namely, the generation of a human life. The sexual-generative parts of two males or of two females DO NOT FIT and do not fulfill the natural purpose of generating human life.