The Catholic Church — and most Christian churches — teach that all sexual activity outside of marriage is a sin against God. Marriage is defined as between one man and one woman. It is intended as a permanent representation of Christ and His love for the church. In summary, sex is not a sin; sex outside of marriage is.
Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego recently and controversially encouraged his fellow priests to embrace all types of families — including those that are LGBT in addition to allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.
“We call on Catholics and all those concerned for preserving this sacred union to unite in prayer, to live and speak out with compassion and charity about the true nature of marriage — the heart of family life.”
There is a disagreement of monumental proportion at the door of the church — any church — that has held firm on traditional marriage. Is homosexuality (and therefore same-sex marriage) acceptable in the eyes of God, or is it a sin?
The church must love people as Christ loves them, with unmeasured grace. The very reason for Christ as Savior is because of the sin of all men and women.
His death on the cross was the offering required for forgiveness. His resurrection is the reason for salvation. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” All people have been embraced by God. He offered His one and only Son to the world so that all might be saved.
However — there is also the requirement to instruct people in truth, based on Scripture — not opinion.
What McElroy proposes is lovingly embracing all people — but is actually acceptance of what the church has determined to be sinful, according to Scripture.
Vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine caused a stir in September 2016 when he suggested the Catholic Church would eventually evolve and embrace marriage equality. However, Kaine’s own bishop, Francis X. DiLorenzo, head of the Richmond Catholic diocese, disagreed in an online statement:
“More than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage, and despite recent statements from the campaign trail, the Catholic Church’s 2000-year-old teaching to the truth about what constitutes marriage remains unchanged and resolute. As Catholics, we believe all humans warrant dignity and deserve love and respect, and unjust discrimination is always wrong. Our understanding of marriage, however, is a matter of justice and fidelity to our Creator’s original design.”
The statement continued: “Marriage is the only institution uniting one man and one woman with each other and with any child who comes from their union. Redefining marriage furthers no one’s rights, least of all those of children, who should not purposely be deprived of the right to be nurtured and loved by a mother and a father. We call on Catholics and all those concerned for preserving this sacred union to unite in prayer, to live and speak out with compassion and charity about the true nature of marriage — the heart of family life.”
The sacrament of marriage was created by God for two purposes: to unify and for procreation. A disagreement of what a true marriage is does not have to be hateful. It is simply the desire and right to uphold a belief taught by church leaders and informed by personal conviction.
Katie Nations has been married for 15 years and is a working mother of three young children. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.