Theologian responds to Archbp. Marini’s less than helpful comment on same-sex unions

A noted Swiss theologian has responded to the non-theologian but former-papal MC, Archbp. Piero Marini, in the matter of Marini’s approval of recognition of civil same-sex unions.

Archbp. Marini, Piero (not to be confused with the present papal MC Msgr. Guido Marini) is, right now, the head of the Holy See’s office that organizes Eucharistic Congresses.

Archbp. Marini did not say same-sex “marriage” could be approved, but his approbation of same-sex unions makes that slope slipperier still.  Another official of the Holy See also made a less than prudent statement to the press about this issue.

At CNA, we read that Fr. Martin Rhonheimer has responded.

Swiss theologian: Same-sex civil unions discriminate against married couples
By Estefania Aguirre

Rome, Italy, Apr 24, 2013 / 04:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After a Vatican official stated that the Church could support same-sex civil unions, a Swiss theologian is saying that if they are equated with marriage these unions discriminate against married heterosexual couples.

“Besides containing an erroneous moral message, it actually means to objectively discriminate against married people, who intentionally have engaged in a union ordered towards the task of the transmission of human life, accepting all the burdens and responsibilities of this task,” said Swiss theologian Father Martin Rhonheimer.

“Conferring legal equality to same-sex unions signifies to publicly establish, in the law system, the principle of dissociation of sexuality and procreation,” he explained in an April 22 telephone interview with CNA.


“When equating homosexual unions to marriage, however, the legal system starts including a principle which in fact transforms the nature of marriage as a social and legal institution,” Fr. Rhonheimer stated.

“Besides being discriminating against those who bear considerable sacrifices in raising children and contribute in a most essential and irreplaceable way to the common good of society over time, it also has non-predictable long term consequences for the entire legal and social system,” he added.

He explained that approving same-sex unions could only be consistently argued for by assuming there is no moral relevant link between sexuality and procreation, an idea which is the legacy of the “sexual revolution” of the second half of the 20th century having disastrous effects on the societies of Western countries.

“Any attempt of proving the equality, in social and political terms, of heterosexual and homosexual unions is vain, simply because homosexual unions are by their very nature non-procreative,” Fr. Rhonheimer said.

According to the Swiss professor, the Church teaches that homosexual orientation is a disorder, but people who experience that disorder should not be blamed or somehow seen as guilty for having it.

“On the other hand, the Church teaches that homosexual acts are gravely and intrinsically sinful and that therefore persons with homosexual orientation should abstain from sexual acts, being continent (equal to unmarried people),” he said.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a document in June 2003 which stated that “respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”

The document, titled “Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons,” says the common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family.

“Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity,” the document says.

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  1. The Masked Chicken says:

    Good comment by Fr. Rhonheimer. What was Bishop Marini thinking?

    The Chicken

  2. APX says:

    Maybe this last comment from him will keep him from being reinstated as papal MC lest scandal occur.

  3. Nathan says:

    I so do not understand the workings of the Roman Curia. From my American-military-and-minor-government-functionary perspective, it would seem that if a major curial official (after all, Archbishop Marini is the head of a curial office) would make such a statement, it would be an occasion for a special audience with either the Cardinal Secretary of State or the Holy Father himself in order to be administered a vigorous application of the Spiritual Act of Mercy “Admonish the Sinner.”

    What actually happens when curial officials make, um, unhelpful statements?

    In Christ,

  4. Giuseppe says:

    Father Rhonheimer makes a very interesting argument that same-sex unions discriminating against married couples. It is an novel twist on the frequently-argued point that excluding same-sex couples from marriage discriminates against them re. >1000 benefits and protections accorded to marriage in Federal law.

    Ed Peters reflects on the issue of same-sex unions in the Additum to his post below:

  5. acardnal says:

    According to recent news reports, Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn has also spoken favorably of homosexual civil unions. And he was the editor of the CCC?!? Perhaps he should have a discussion with the CDF and Father Martin Rhonheimer on this subject.

  6. yatzer says:

    If the higher-ups can’t say something useful, they should just be quiet. Now I’m going to hear about how the Church doesn’t really outlaw same sex marriage, just look how so-and-so defended civil unions that are basically the same thing! Don’t they have any idea of what can be like down here in the fray?

  7. John V says:

    Maybe this last comment from him will result in his being appointed the first bishop of a newly erected Archdiocese of Antarctica.

  8. acardnal says:

    Austrian Cardinal Schonborn reportedly spoke in favor of same sex unions in a speech in England recently. I find this disconcerting coming from the editor of the CCC.

  9. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Nathan,

    Abp Marini is not a “major curial official”, but an “ex-major curial official” for whom a post had to be found. [I am not sure that MC is “major”. Prefect of a Congregation is major.] I d1o not doubt that his office has actual work to do, but it has nothing to do with, excuse the expression, “real politics”. He was a major curial official (of some sort) when he was master of ceremonies.

    And then, the Vatican is not America – and generally (I refrain from discussion of this concrete case) this is not entirely a bad thing.

  10. Nathan says:

    Imrahil–all good points. That’s why I asked. It helps to get the perspective from Catholic brothers and sisters outside my cultural and occupational spheres.

    With that in mind, what does happen when a curial official (or, as you point out well, an ex-major curial official) makes inopportune statements? Is it simply overlooked? Is it dealt with at the next assignment? There just seems, from the outside, to be no dealing with has the appearance of undermining the Holy Father and the traditional faith when these kind of statements are made.

    In Christ,

  11. marylise says:

    Advocacy of sin or the near occasion of sin is in itself a sin.

  12. majuscule says:

    I do not want to come off sounding uncharitable. (Urgggh, I have a problem with that and should quit typing this minute!) but…there was a bit of speculation among the “usual suspects” that, after his recent meeting with Pope Francis, Abp. Piero Marini would be coming back to his former position as Papal MC.


    Did anyone see the recent Holy Mass on the occasion of Priestly Ordinations?

    I thought the altar looked nice. And Msgr. Guido Marini was still assisting.

  13. donato2 says:

    This situation is quite distressing to me.

    I can think that any Catholic who advocates civil unions either (a) openly dissents from Catholic teaching, (b) is disingenuous, or (c) is seriously stupid. Civil unions serve no purpose apart from weakening the institution of marriage and promoting unchaste living arrangements. Some argue that they are justifiable as a means of heading off change in the definition of marriage. I put those who make this argument in categories (b) or (c). Civil unions do nothing to forestall change in the definition of marriage. On the contrary, they facilitate that change by denying the institution of marriage the status of being the exclusive means by which the law recognizes and fosters intimate relationships.

  14. MKR says:

    It continues to astonish and sadden me that there are still people who believe that the Left will just quiet down and get along with us if we give them most but not all of what they ask for.

  15. Frank H says:

    Re Msgr Guido Marini’s job security, I understand that he has about 4 1/2 years remaining of his second five year term in the position, which is not one of the Curial positions from which everyone resigns at the papal sede vacante.

  16. anilwang says:

    One really has to ask why the state has to recognize any marriage or civil union at all.

    If it’s just a legal statement on the sharing of property or “give and take” conditions, contract law covers it.
    If it’s just a question of inheritance, inheritance law covers it.
    If it’s a matter of visitation rights or insurance coverage, then a specific law relating to these rights can be created. After all, siblings that live (platonically) together likely want to have the same rights, as do people with disabilities and their close non-familial care giver (e.g. Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan).
    If it’s a matter of shared finances, banks already allow for joint accounts.

    Since different relationships need different combinations of the above (e.g. you might want someone to have visitation rights but not access to your finances), there is simply no reason for the state to bundle all these laws together under the title of “civil union”. Not only does this reduce flexibility, it also invites complaints when the definition of “civil union” (i.e. someone in a “civil union” agreed to these 10 “rights”, but now the state decides to drop 3 “rights” which you agreed to and add 5 other “rights” which you did not). People already try to tinker with “marriage rights” it with per-nuptual contracts, but it would get worse once everyone and his dog (no pun intended) is able to go into a “civil union”.

    The only reason for the state to recognize marriage as a combination of all the above laws and more is the state sees the stability of marriages as a positive good and the definition of marriage is stable. The only reason the stability of marriages is a positive good and the definition of marriage is stable is based on biology namely the procreation of children. Without this foundation, the state has no business recognizing marriage.

    Unfortunately, we’ve come to the stage in this contraceptive “children are an evil attack on the environment and the ability to avoid whiny brats and the ability to watch porn during prime time” culture that procreation is no longer valued. As a result marriage is no longer valued, and the state attempts to undermine true marriage at every turn to ensure that this is the case.

    I predict that if things don’t change, in a 100 years, the state will get out of the marriage business and simply having separate situation specific laws.

  17. Pingback: Wednesday Update on Marriage and Same-Sex Attraction - Big Pulpit

  18. JacobWall says:


    I think the CCC came out fine because – despite having Card. Schoenborn as editor – the projected was headed up and scrutinized by Card. Joseph Ratzinger. What surprises me is that having edited that work, he has views that are so contrary to its content.

    The book that concerns me is YouCat, a project of which Card. Schoenborn was in charge. I’ve read that there are several errors in it; they are few in number (I’ve seen 3), but glaring, likewise pertaining to sexuality and family. The response was that they were “translation errors” which will be corrected in future editions. However, everything I’ve heard about Card. Schoenborn’s views makes me distrust him. From what I’ve read, he’s a classic “Catholic But.” “I believe what the Church teaches, but as for homosexuality …” “I support family values, but when it comes to having lots of kids …” etc. These aren’t his words, but they capture the essence of statements I’ve read from him.

    Considering everything else I’ve heard about him, his most recent support for gay unions doesn’t surprise me. It worries me, but does not surprise me.

    What confuses me the most about Card. Schoenborn is that, rumour has it, he had the backing of Card. Ratzinger/Benedict. I’ve never seen any real evidence of this. Or perhaps it’s that Ratzinger chose him to edit CCC, and entrusted him with the project of YouCat? But I simply can’t imagine that Benedict would have actually looked favorably on his views/actions.

    My conclusion about him is either that I’ve seen a very skewed and twisted version of his actual views, or he’s just hopeless wreck that no one wants to do anything about, and we’ll be better off without sometime down the road.

  19. JacobWall says:

    I just reviewed the criticisms of YouCat, and it looks like Card. Schoenborn did indeed recognize the errors and plan for them to be corrected. And it looks like they were mostly in the Italian edition, with some in the French. At some point I would like to review the English version.

    In any case, many of Card. Schoenborn’s public statements on various issues seem to be in direct conflict with what the Church teaches. He worries me.

  20. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:


    I agree with you, I see no problem in a civil union recognition for people in general. Such a support is no more complicit in promoting homosexual sin than supporting a grocery store that people in such a relation also shop at. The fact is such a union could be partaken of by any group of people regardless of their sex, relation, or purpose, so long as, for whatever reason, they have decided to seek the benefits granted by a civil union. The union could also be availed by siblings, friends, the sick and their caregivers, aging parents and their children, etc. This is because the purpose is not to acknowledge or approve of any relation as such, but simply to enable certain practical matters to be faciliated. It is, at its heart, a business contract, not a marital bond.

    I see no reason why a Catholic must oppose the ability for a person in a SS union to visit the other partner in the hospital, or cosign loans, or any such similar things. Mainly, because I don’t see how a Catholic could oppose, in principle, the right of a person to grant any person they choose those kinds of rights.

    Which isn’t to say that there are no rights properly reserved to marriage (there are), but many could be granted to any two people who wish to enter into a contractual agreement to that effect.

  21. Kathleen10 says:

    And here I am thinking that Card. Schonborn is a name I associate with fidelity and constancy, not social engineering and chaos, which is what these Cardinals will be inflicting on us if they keep saying such confusing and destructive things.
    I’m about to be Debbie Downer, and nobody wants to hear Debbie Downer, I know. But given the unsettling nature of the scandals that we have had to endure, if Cardinals are feeling the time is right to finally come out and SAY why we haven’t heard much on traditional marriage from them, because they actually support homosexuality, I can envision the day I leave the church. I’ll not bother to leave the house and save money too. The last holdouts would be the Southern Baptists, and I’d go there.
    I also notice I am reading in these comments that gay people need to be treated with “respect”. Yes respect as is due every human being, but, they seem to be saying respect their choice, respect their status. I don’t. I won’t. Again, we are in a battle for the soul of our own society here. This is not hyperbole. The acceptance of homosexuality as equivalent to heterosexuality would only change EVERYTHING, and there are many who are champing at the bit. In New York, it was just reported (by Pastor Scott Lively) that a public school just taught six graders on homosexuality in one of their damnable indoctrination sessions. The girls were asked to turn to another girl and ask for a kiss. The boys were told to “always carry condoms”. Two girls were asked to come up on stage and pretend to be on a lesbian date. Parents were NOT informed beforehand. When they complained, they were told that not only was the school unconcerned about what was taught, they plan on doing more.
    So if the hierarchy of the church leaves us high and dry on this issue, it will be bad. It doesn’t have to be ALL, just multiple, and they will, as one commenter aptly said, make it unbearable to those of us in the trenches. What a sorry, pathetic, state we are in if this is true. I pity us.

  22. originalsolitude says:

    John V says:
    24 April 2013 at 12:42 pm
    Maybe this last comment from him will result in his being appointed the first bishop of a newly erected Archdiocese of Antarctica.

    Ah, John, please, have some compassion on the Catholics working in Antarctica ???? (who, by the way, are being looked after by the diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand. With an excellent bishop.)

  23. originalsolitude says:

    Oops! The ???? is supposed to be a smiley.

  24. merlk says:

    @ JacobWall
    Card. Schönborn is Ratzinger’s student. And he is really not “progressivist” (despite his some questionable views).

  25. The Astronomer says:

    The elephant in the room seems to be the fact that good Catholics don’t want to acknowledge the existence of the ‘Lavender Mafia,’ and the fact that acceptance, if not outright quiet support of homosexuality, goes very high in the Church.

    A number of Lavender proponents are feeling emboldened by the election of Pope Francis after so many years of oppression under those ‘meanies’ Pope John Paul II & Pope Benedict XVI.

    St. Padre Pio, Pray for us!!!

  26. CharlesG says:

    The bottom line is that homosexual activity is immoral and sinful. How are “civil unions” any different from same sex “marriage” in that they are imprimatur by the state on immoral activity? I get worried when Catholics who should know better start saying civil unions are OK, just don’t call it marriage. They do this so they can sound all reasonable and compassionate with their liberal friends. But isn’t the state’s encouragement of immoral activity a problem just as much as the redefinition of marriage?

  27. Denis says:

    What happened to that report about the Vatican’s “Velvet Mafia”? If only it had been made public! Dozens of naughty pink birds would have been slain with one stone, and we wouldn’t now be reading about these coy statements to the media from the curial coquettes.

  28. RafkasRoad says:

    Dear anilwang at #14,

    you make some very interesting points. I believe that South Africa has more or less adopted the approach that you have outlined, getting out of the ‘marriage business’ for want of a better term, and erecting a legal framework/structure of recognition that affords a range of rights e.g. inheritance, visitation, financial, insurance etc to all parties who sign on from married couples to (platonic) sibling households, persons with a disability and their close, non-familial carers, even including orders of religious.

    , Secondly, in the West (and increasingly in the developing world), the intrinsic link between marriage and procreation was broken a long, long time ago, first with licenciousness and promiscuity, to acceptance of non-pharmaceutical contraception, to the development of pharmaceutical contraception, the development of IVF, loosening of surrogacy and adoption laws in certain instances etc. (not forgetting abortion and divorce law changes that occurred in the UK, Australia, NZ, Canada and the US from the late 1960’s to mid 1970’s). For the vast majority of the secular, and Christian world (even within groups otherwise considered conservative, faith-wise), many or all of these things are permitted. And now we arrive at the situation we now have. SS Marriage is the logical outcome of a chain of events that first reared its head in the 1920’s with a massive cultureshift following WWI (the decade of ‘rose coloure nightmares’ as some historians have dubbed it). If we as orthodox Catholic Christians wish to protect laws such as marriage laws, the culture itself needs to be drastically altered; after all, laws merely reflect widely accepted ‘majority society’ norms and expectations. e.g. up until around the mid 1920’s decency laws forbade short skirts and exposure of ankles etc by women in many parts of the West (largely administered by local govt.) (any student of costume/fashion history would be familiar with this). Departments of education and governments dictated such decency laws. Imagine if such laws were re-introduced today. they would be considered so far away from accepted cultural and even democratic norms and principles that they would be laughed off by all but a handful who alrady adhere to such standards organically as their free choice. Likewise, said principle is in operation re reproductive and marriage law. One by one, SS marriage is being written into the legal framework of nation after nation. We miht ignore small countries with even smaller populations such as New Zealand as test-labs or aborations, but with France (the elder daughter of the Church) having signed it into law, I believe that such is eventually inevitable across the globe unless the wider cultural landscape is drastically re-oriented, not to mention the attitude of the average churchgoer. Rather than decrying what has gone on, if folk wish to stem the tide, they need to develop comprehensive, effective solutions – being wise as serpants, gentle as doves.

    Those in the US would do well to listen to presentations or go to hear talks given by Mgr. Riley of NYC who goes right into the foundations and history of the cultural outcomes we have today. Remember, SS Marriage is the logical conclusion of a long string of events, not the commencement. the environment that makes it possible has been developing over the last century.

    Chicken’s thoughts re culture in a more recent Fr. Zuhlzdorf entry dovetails perfectly into what I am trying to articulate. Read this and his comment together.


    Aussie Marounite.

  29. JacobWall says:


    I understand Card. Schoenborn was Fr. Ratzinger’s student back in the 70s, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that follows him theologically. I’ve seen him described as a “conservative theologian.” This may in fact be true on most other points, but it makes his public statements on homosexuality that much more scandalous; “Look what Schoenborn, the conservative theologian, says …”

    I took a look at his “views” as listed in Wikipedia. I understand that such a source could greatly manipulate and distort his actual views, so I’m cautious not to make judgments based solely on that. From that information:

    As far as I can tell, he gets these points right:
    • Response to the sex abuse scandal
    • Response to dissident priest movement
    • HIV/AIDS and condoms (He fell short of saying it was a sin, but still criticized condom use. In fact, it’s this style of soft criticism without overtly mentioning “sin” that has made people suspicious of YouCat. It seems to be his style.)
    • Evolution and the Catholic Church

    The following points are wrong or at least leave too much room for doubt:
    • Mozart was a Freemason, but, according to Card. Schoenborn, he was also fully Catholic – is he saying it’s OK to be a Freemason?
    • Gay pastoral council member – he overrode the authority of a parish priest to instate a man who was living in “registered same-sex partnership” into the parish council. We’re not talking about a single man who is struggling with same sex attraction. It’s an active, open and registered couple. “After meeting with the couple, Schönborn reinstated him.” So, he met with this openly gay couple (not just the man in question, but his partner as well!), officially registered as such, and decided that the couple was a good element for the parish council?!?

    Looking at the balance of pros and cons here, it does look like he has more pros than cons. Yet, the last point, combined with his recent statement about same-sex unions, is a major issue – even if it’s his only one. The Mozart one is questionable, but perhaps out of context. However, I don’t think his view on homosexual relationships leaves much doubt that he’s gone “off to left field” on this point. I don’t see anything Ratzingerian about it.

    I agree with Card. Schoenborn’s view that priests must apply a pastoral approach that is “neither rigorist nor lax” in counseling Catholics who “don’t live according to [God’s] master plan” (i.e. homosexuals) but in action and public statements he seems to go beyond this concept to simply “we should just tell them it’s OK, and let them be happy.” Forcing a priest to accept an open, active and registered gay couple as council member is most certainly not “pastoral” and certainly is very lax. His recent comments support this.

    So, yes, it seems that there is only one BIG issue. But it is really a BIG issue.

  30. JacobWall says:

    I am glad to see this sound response from this theologian.

  31. Clinton R. says:

    It is apparent from the comments of Absp. Marini and similar comments by Cardinal Schonborn that many in the clergy, as well among the laity have simply lost their faith. No belief in hell, no belief in mortal sin, no belief in the treachery of satan. Then what did Our Lord Jesus come down from Heaven to steer us away from then?! There are far too many who acquiesce to the world’s insane and perverse demands. The glorious Martyrs of the Church willingly chose death rather than capitulate one iota of the teachings of the Catholic Church. Perhaps it is a sign we are entering end times when the pastors of the Church Militant would rather she be the Church Milquetoast.

  32. Katylamb says:

    Kathleen 10: I hope and pray you don’t mean what you say about leaving Christ’s Church for the Southern Baptists. The bishops and all are just sinful men, like the rest of us, and some are bound to go wrong here and there. That is no reason to abandon hope, and believe me, to leave the Catholic Church, while understanding it is the true Church, for a Protestant Church is pretty much to abandon hope of heaven. A person who has the catechism and access to the sacraments has no reason to leave the Church. Bishops come and go but Christ is the head of the Church. I have already prayed for you and will again, that you don’t cut off your nose to spite your face, as the old saying goes. :)

  33. Sissy says:

    Kathleen10 said: “So if the hierarchy of the church leaves us high and dry on this issue, it will be bad.”

    Dear Kathleen, I want to second what Katylamb said and encourage you not to give in to despair. Even if all the Cardinals and Bishops in the Church were to jump on the bandwagon and endorse sin, still we will NEVER be left high and dry by the Holy Spirit and the Magisterium. The enemy wants us to feel deflated and hopeless. But the disordered thinking of the world will not prevail over Christ’s spotless Bride, Holy Mother Church. If times of persecution are coming, then let us strengthen our resolve to stand firm. I know you were only speaking from a place of frustration and concern, but no place on earth has the Sacraments outside the Church. For me, better the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in a drafty barn surrounded by heretics than the most comfortable pew in a Baptist congregation surrounded by people who think as I do. I am praying for you today, that you will be encouraged and not dismayed. “Be not afraid!”

  34. Southern Catholic says:

    The Southern Baptist are the last hold out of what exactly? Their beliefs are not similar or compatible to Catholic belief.

  35. Oneros says:

    I’m not really sure if the language of equality/inequality is the right paradigm for analyzing this. Yes, that’s the language gay liberationist activists use, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to do so. In this case, I’m not sure at all I understand the talk of “discrimination” against married couples. The argument seems to be that the extension of benefits to other types of unions would be something like “equal pay for unequal work” or something like that.

    However, this has several problems. For one, we are from the religion that has the “Workers in the Vineyard” parable! In the end, there ISN’T anything “unfair” about equal pay for unequal work, because any pay at all is a privilege, as it were. As long as you’re getting a fair amount or what you agreed to for working the day, who are you to complain if someone working only an hour gets the same thing? I’m not sure the State is required to give any specific or particular benefit (in terms of taxes, etc) to a married couple absolutely speaking. So it would, seem, then odd to argue something like “But, whatever they DO get, it had better be comparatively greater than anyone else.” If you aren’t really entitled to anything absolutely, it’s hard to claim that Justice nevertheless requires some sort of relative superiority. If a Catholic is allowed to believe the State could be out of the marriage business entirely (and I’ve seen plenty of conservatives argue this)…then it would seem that there is no specific benefit the State is required to extend to marriage. But if it doesn’t give you an absolute claim to any particular benefit, it just seems really odd to argue that, when particular benefits ARE given, that there is then some right to be guaranteed that “nobody else will get” whatever privileges or level of benefits you do, in fact, get. Hey, as long as you’re getting your fair pay for working in the vineyard, who are you to complain about what other people might be getting for doing less??

    But secondly, I’d question whether a civil union even does constitute “equal pay for unequal work.” I mean, is that how you all conceive of civil marriage? As a sort of “wage” or reward that the State is giving married couples for doing what they do for society? I don’t think most people see it that way at all, as some sort of renumeration based on a relative valuation of the couple’s or institution’s social worth or contribution. Rather, as a few posters above have pointed out, I think most people just see civil marriage as about PRACTICALITIES. And inasmuch as same-sex couples have many of the same practical necessities de facto, it doesn’t seem to be any sort of value judgment one way or the other simply to recognize the same de facto practical needs. Extension of the WORD “marriage” might be considered practically unnecessary, and the extension of a value-judgment, and a “reward” of “social prestige” or whatever. But that’s why civil unions avoid using the same label: to extend practicalities without making an evaluation of equivalency one way or the other (except equivalency in the trivial sense of needing some of the same practicalities).

    And even if it is a question of “equal pay for unequal work,” aren’t there other ways the State could solve that? For example, by actually creating positive incentives rather than treating the practical necessities as if they were themselves a reward. For example, giving a $10,000 “social bonus” to any mother who gives birth? Certainly that would decrease abortions (though, there might be worries about a few women getting pregnant just to get money and then giving the kid up for adoption) and $20,000 for the couple if the birth takes place within lawful wedlock between the biological mother and father. That way procreation (and responsible procreation within the bounds of matrimony) would be getting its “fair pay” in a way that gay couples, obviously, could not get. Heck, if they complained that “Well, but some of us still RAISE” children, you could give anyone raising a child a $1000 stipend per year, but still keep the reward for actually GENERATING the child as a separate thing. Etc etc

  36. Indulgentiam says:

    Dear Kathleen10 –“John 6:69
    And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
    I am praying for you.
    When luther, that judas, looked about the Church and saw many injustices did he do what Our Lord did, in the temple, to the money changers? No he took his eyes off Christ and saw nothing but sinners and decided “hey I can do better than this” And a heresy was born. Despair is the evil ones favorite tool. As sissy said, “be not afraid!” Grab up your favorite Novena and commence to swinging sweetie ;)
    I have lived in the south for 15 years now. I know and have worked with many southern baptists. The are not the bastion of hope that you are envisioning. Many are already questioning, quite vocally, the “wisdom and justice” of depriving those who “can’t help the way they are”
    Only the Catholic Church has the fullness of Truth b/c It is the only Church founded by God. I don’t remember, at the moment, which Saint may have said this, ” the Catholic Faith is a gift and if you throw it away God is under no obligation to give it back”
    The Lord bless you and keep you,…
    Our Lady guard you and guide you.

  37. pinoytraddie says:

    He is the Best “Textbook” Example for the Watchword:”Save the Liturgy,Save the World”.

  38. Magash says:

    The real problem here is that members of the Church have bought into the lie that homosexual behavior has its roots in genetics. That leads to the lie that engaging in homosexual acts is because of something you are rather than decisions you’ve made. Up until homosexual PhD. and MD members of the APS push their agenda Homosexual behavior was seen as a mental disorder. No new scientific evidence was responsible for its re-designation, it was simple political maneuvering.
    Yes we should pray for the individual sinners who chose to commit sins of homosexuality, just as we respect sinners who steal, and lie and have relations with chickens. But we should in no way enable such sins, or support societal structure that enable such sins. Support for civil unions do that. Support for legal structures that in any way respect the “special” relationship between sinners who engage in such acts enable such sins.

  39. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    You ask, “is that how you all conceive of civil marriage?” What do you take ‘civil marriage’ to mean? Is there not only ‘marriage’ whether recognized by ‘civil society’ or not? (Newman’s novel Callista – online at – gives a striking picture of a ‘civil society’ in which Christians could not conscientiously contract anything the state deemed ‘marriage’… which does not mean they could not marry in fact.)

    Your ‘parabolic’ argument seems to overlook that the parable concerns the same work. Compare John 10:1-6, “qui non intrat per ostium in ovile ovium…” – different things are being done, although sheep are a constant. Fr. Rhonheimer’s point seems to be that states should not pretend things radically different are ‘the same’.

    Procreating in order to ‘game the state’ for social benefits is already grievously common and includes monstrous abuses of the ‘commodified children’ (including murder), as various evidence from the UK demonstrates.

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