A priest’s take on same-sex marriage
I’M AN avid reader of the Inquirer. I find its Feb. 20 editorial, titled “Startling bigotry,” very interesting. Many friends ask me about my position, as a priest, on the Catholic Church stand on same-sex marriage (in the light of Manny Pacquiao’s statements on the topic, which have stirred a controversy).
From the moral teaching of the Catholic Church regarding same-sex marriage, a simple explanation would do (without being too simplistic). Same-sex marriage is not right because marriage has a two-fold purpose (which cannot be separated): unitive (love) and procreative (having an offspring). In same-sex marriage, it is obvious that only one of this dual purpose can be fulfilled—i.e., unitive (love); same-sex couples can’t have an offspring.
A question is asked: What about a heterosexual couple who can’t produce a child for one reason or the other? If the biological conditions of the couple (either the man or the woman) have irreversible reproductive problems that make it impossible for them to produce a child, they can adopt a child (or live productive lives like volunteering for charity work in an orphanage). Actually, there are acceptable medical interventions to address the problem, like the low tubal ovum transplant. So why wouldn’t adoption be applicable to same-sex couples? The answer is: Male and female qualities are distinct from and unique to each other. The child has to grow in a family setting in which these unique male and female qualities are recognized, appreciated and expressed accordingly.
For sure, LGBTs (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders) have their own set of beliefs. It’s correct to say they may not be interested in getting married in the church, only in a civil court. Rights and privileges are provided by the Constitution. There’s the separation between Church and state. However, setting aside the differences of a set of beliefs/faith (or no faith at all), the moral teaching of the Church regarding same-sex marriage is appealing to reason: the family as foundation of society. If the family becomes fragile, so does society.
Lastly, what the Catholic Church teaches is that we should respect homosexual persons as human beings with dignity. But what is not acceptable is their homosexual acts (because of the two-fold principle cited earlier).
—FR. JAY-AR BABOR, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, New Manila, Quezon City
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