At our “Is Love Forever?” seminars we discuss the virtue of chastity and relationships. Part of the seminar is dedicated to the meaning and purpose of marriage. Once, when I arrived at the Power-Point slide on the complementarity between males and females, one young man blurted out that Pope Francis supports “gay marriage”! I quickly corrected him, stating that what the Pope actually said was that he cannot judge our homosexual brothers and sisters, so we as Catholics should not judge them either.
The young man glared at me (maybe wondering if I was ‘homophobic’). I told him and the others present that we are to LOVE our brothers and sisters with same-sex attractions, and to really LOVE them is to tell them the truth about human sexuality and the benefits of chastity. They, like the rest of us, are called to live chaste lives. Chastity is sexual purity and it is to be practised by everyone – married, single or religious.
If someone has not been sexually pure, the Church does not condemn and judge them, but rather says that they will never flourish as a human being unless they start to live chaste lives. What the Church does condemn is the “act” of homosexuality, not the person. We love the person, but hate the sin. It must be understood also that the sin of homosexual acts is no more sinful than heterosexual fornication or adultery.
The first book of the Bible states, “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Also in Genesis 1:28, it states “Be fruitful and multiply.” What these quotes connote is that the purpose of marriage is for the good of the spouses and for the procreation and education of children. What is considered “good” for the spouses is the gift of the spouse. Spouses are meant to be “gifts” to one another – the man the donor, the woman the receiver, our bodies are meant for each other and literally fit together like pieces of a puzzle. This is what is discussed concerning “complementarity” between men and women in our seminar. We fit like a “lock and key”. So in other words, being called to marriage is being called to love and commit oneself to a person of the opposite sex. The word “marriage”, however, is now used to describe (in certain countries) the union of same-sex persons. This was where the confusion existed in the young man’s head, since the word “marriage” was used incorrectly. The word “union” or something else should be used instead since the meaning of marriage has not and will not change, at least in the Catholic Church.
A “former homosexual activist and current faithful Catholic committed to chastity” implored all Catholics to teach the truth about human sexuality. In his article “Out of the Closet and into Chastity” (available online), David Morrison wrote about how his life was turned around through his attraction to the virtue of chastity – and this came about through the friendship and LOVE of Christians he met, and also through reading the truth, which included the Bible and the lives and teachings of a martyr and various saints. By means of grace received through the Sacraments (Reconciliation/Confession and the Eucharist/Holy Communion in particular), this man’s life was changed and he started living out the virtue of chastity. As Crystalina Evert puts it in the video “Romance Without Regret”, it does not matter where you have been or what you have done. What matters is where you go from here!
Scientific evidence backs up what the Catholic Church has been saying about marriage. Some professional bodies in the United States have supported same-sex unions by arguing that they promote the “well-being of children”. The American College of Paediatricians (ACP), however, has disputed the claims of these professionals. The ACP quoted scientific studies that support traditional marriage as being the best for children and wrote that “same-sex marriage deliberately deprives the child of a mother or a father, and is therefore harmful”.
The Billings Method supports traditional marriage, as we say “This Method is LOVE”.
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