From a reader…
A friend of mine is a faithful homosexual Catholic, in a committed chaste relationship with another homosexual Catholic since years [in a non-USA country]. He is [from non-USA country A] and his partner [from non-USA country B]. In accordance to the [country B] law for foreign students, he has only a few months left to find a job in order to avoid eviction. Since the search is not going so well, he and his partner are contemplating the possibility to “marry” so that he could automatically receive a residence permit. They know that it’s not right, but they seems to run out of time without another possibility.
My question is, is a “marriage” with such motive and under such circumstances possible for the Church to at least tolerate or even understand it? And what are the consequences if they insist to do it?
Catholics are called to live in truth. We are obliged by the Commandments not to bear false witness. We must resist cooperation with evil.
While the bond of friendship between these two men, both of whom labor under the tremendous burden of an attraction to the same sex, may be a chaste and holy friendship, it is not, cannot ever be, a marriage. Nor can it ever be anything like a marriage.
Marriage is ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children. It is, inherently, a covenant between a man and a woman.
For two men, whatsoever the civil law says, to attempt to enter into a “marriage” is to live a lie.
They would be deceiving the state, deceiving their friends and family, and deceiving themselves, even if they remained physically chaste and entirely continent.
They would be cooperating with a grave evil.
They would be living in an objectively sinful state that would bar them from the reception of the sacraments.
They would be seriously imperiling their souls.
One of the most damaging aspects of the contemporary fascination with same-sex attraction and its attendant circumstances is the diminishing understanding of true friendship.
Two men certainly can be friends, even very close friends. Even intimate friends … though not sexually intimate. The Christian tradition is replete with stories of friends who are closely bonded and who help each other attain holiness. One major difference between the bond of friendship and that of marriage is that friendship does not require close physical contact. It can be a true and holy joy to be in the presence of a friend, but the bond of friendship does not necessitate physical proximity.
If these two friends, because of a certain immigration law, have to live separately, it need not mean the end of their friendship. In fact, since they both struggle with same sex attraction, their bond of friendship might grow stronger if they’re apart, since it won’t be clouded up any warped physical attraction.