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Dolan on Gay Marriage

Archbishop Dolan's blog refused to take Father's Day off from the crusade against gay marriage. I applaud Dolan's embrace of blogging, and Dolan's posts have attracted a great deal of media attention, but I wish he would put more thought into his posts on this topic. I think it would be a much more powerful use of the medium, and would be helpful for those of us struggling to understand the Church's state of panic in the face of gay marriage, if he would engage in a more detailed way with the arguments on both sides of this issue. One searches his posts in vain for reasoned argument, finding instead a series of conclusory zingers like the one with which he finished up his most recent post. "Government presumes to redefine these sacred words at the peril of the common good." How does expanding the definition of the family to encompass same sex couples threaten the common good? Dolan doesn't tell us. His post simply ends.I looked back at his earlier post, and it also fails to adequately explain his views, except to tell us that the family is the foundation of our civilization and that tinkering with its definition is dangerous. I suppose I agree with both of those points, but neither one rules out same sex marriage. After all, the definition of marriage varies across time. Polygamy is approved in the Bible, though it is now illegal. Dolan doesn't discuss that, despite a reference to the authority of Genesis in his most recent post. Divorce used to be prohibited but no-fault divorce is now ubiquitous. Interracial marriage was legally forbidden in many US jurisdictions until just a generation ago. Now it is constitutionally protected. Telling us that revising the definition of the family is dangerous either means that all of these past changes were wrong or that, more likely, some were better than others. But if it means the latter, it adds nothing but a cautionary note to the present debate. It cannot be decisive.Indeed, Dolan himself can hardly make up his mind on the subject of marriage's meaning. In his two posts on the issue, he tells us that traditional definition of marriage is "timeless" and "as old as human reason and ordered good." And, yet, in these same two posts, separated by a mere four days, Dolan himself actually gives us, not one, but THREE different definitions of marriage. In his first post, he says that marriage is "one man, one woman, united in lifelong love and fidelity, hoping for children." His second definition, in the same post, is similar but not identical: "a loving, permanent, life-giving union to pro-create children." Finally, in his Father's Day post, he says that marriage is a "loving, faithful union between one man and one woman leading to a family."Of course, marriage has not been "lifelong" or "permanent" by law for a long time, and yet no blog posts urging NY legislators to (re)prohibit no-fault divorce as a grave threat to the common good have yet appeared on Dolan's blog. [UPDATE: By the way, no-fault divorce is actually a recent innovation in NY family law. While the Church opposed the change, during the debate, the director of the New York State Catholic Conference (which bills itself as the "official public policy voice of the Catholic Church") noted that [c]learly, not every marriage can be permanent."] Perhaps someone pointed this out after Dolan's first post, which might explain why he dropped any reference to duration in his most recent, timeless definition.As for procreation, "hoping for children" and "to pro-create children" are far from identical. Both might be read to rule out marriages among the non-fertile, though the "hoping for children" formulation is less exclusive on that front. But this leads to the question -- which is it to be? Does the marriage of two 80-year-olds threaten the timeless definition of marriage or undermine the common good? If not, why not? In his most recent definition, the reference to procreation is replaced by "leading to a family." This is circular, since legal recognition of same-sex couples as "families" would allow their unions to also "lead[] to a family." That's the whole point.These blog posts were useful opportunities for some thoughtful reflection on these questions, but the Archbishop chose instead to write unconvincing little screeds aimed at producing nice sound-bites for the press. Those who agree with him will no doubt take heart from his vocal opposition to New York's proposed legislation. For the rest of us, we are no better able to understand the foundation for his fears than we were before.

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I think Jim Ps point was that contracting a homosexual marriage is a public renunciation of a doctrine of the Church.Felapton,It would be no more public than a heterosexual civil marriage following a divorce without an annulment.

Since Catholics as a whole are imbued with a culture of father-knows-best-and-I'm-just-a-passive-parishioner, let me state more explicitly something I touched on in my previous comment: eligibility for communion is a two-party process. The primary responsibility for receiving communion is with the recipient. If you know you're not eligible - because of your church-illicit marital status or because of some other serious sin - don't go. You're committing a very great sacrilege by presenting yourself in the communion line. If you'll pardon what isn't hyperbole at all: you could burn in hell for the rest of eternity. The minister of communion also has some responsibility, and shouldn't quail from exercising it, particularly in some of the clear-cut examples I presented in my previous comment.

It's not really "public politicization of a sacred liturgy" though, it's politics of which the Church disapproves. It's rainbow ribbons, not pro-life pins, American flags, etc... I see all kinds of political pins and bracelets, don't see much fuss being made about them.

Well, of course we don't want public sinners and those who have publicly renounced doctrines of the church receiving the Eucharist, do we? Heaven forfend. And how could the purity of the assembled community be assured unless it had a stigmatized group of public sinners (and renouncers of the doctrine of the church) to target? Sinners are always, as we all know, someone other than ourselves . . . . I'm wondering if some kind of system of sirens and loud bells would be advisable, to alert the pure assembly to the presence of a public sinner and renouncer of a doctrine of the church in the communion line).At the very least, cameras seem in order, and amplifiers for the whispers in the communion line, so that the entire pure assembly might benefit from the instructive whispering about who is or is not a public renouncer of doctrine.And then when the purge is complete and people abandon the church preaching compassion and inclusion while practicing its opposite in droves, those left behind--the pure and holy--would at least have those videos to detect public renouncers of doctrine to console and edify them.

So if someone removes the offending ribbon upon refusal of the Bread of Life does the Eucharist then get offered?

Jim P. quizzing the communicants at my inner-city parish in San Francisco would be startling to see and it would make the Mass about a half hour longer.

Jim, you're wrong. I've tried three times to write a response, and erased it three times because I can't keep it measured. You're wrong, wrong, wrong. You're wrong. You're wrong. You're wrong.

Are we sure all the disciples were in a state of grace at the Last Supper?

Communion sounds a bit like applying for a mortgage under this scenario.

"Which commandments would Moses discover missing, Ann? Any new ones?"David Smith --Yes, here's a couple of new ones: marry for love of your spouse, do not keep slaves.Dear David and all you other conservatives of little faith: why are you apparently unwilling to admit that people of our time (of all generations, actually) would be wrong about some of God's will for us?The big gulf between contemporary conservatives and liberals that the conservatives don't realize that the teachings of the official Church about the infallibility of the popes and bishops in council is not really based on the very historical facts which Vatican I claimed to have happened, viz. that the Church has always since the beginning claimed infallibility for bishops and popes in certain circumstances.IT's not anybody's fault that they believe this -- the popes and bishops have told us it's true and that we must all believe it under pain of being condemned to Hell for all eternity. But if the sex scandal has taught us anything, it is that popes and bishops sometimes lie whether to themselves or others. (See JP II's pitiful denial of Maciel's wickedness, or the numerous American bishops who have covered up and lied about the predator priests.) In fact, popes and bishops seem to tell bigger lies than the little old lady Sodality members who warm the pews. We have no right to trust their veracity as we used to do.Ultimately, the problem is one of how to tell when a theological statement is true, qnd that often boils down to: which historians and historical evidence should be believed and why? Most specifically: what is the historical evidence for the infallibility of popes and bishops in council? Has the official Church *always* what the official Church now claims about its infallibility? That's for 20 other threads, but that is the basic problem, I think, when it comes to the bitter oppositions we find in the Church today.

David N. says: "It would be no more public than a heterosexual civil marriage following a divorce without an annulment."I think it would, because the status of an annulment is not a matter of public record. (Not sure, maybe somebody else knows.)I think the Communion question is pretty simple. At my parish, somebody hears confessions before every mass. If I haven't gone to confession right before mass, I don't go to Communion. About half the parish follows the same plan.

"God commanded mankind to marry and bring forth children. A commandment is not obligatory for every individual human, but only for those who are able to fulfill it. A prohibition is forbidden to everybody, because nobody is compelled to violate it."Felapton --What is there about an affirmative command that necessarily makes it only a *general* one? And what is there about a negative command that makes it intrinsically *universal*?? What in either Scripture or Tradition justifies your making this distinction? (I never heard of such a distinction before. Hmm)

@William F.: "Communion sounds a bit like applying for a mortgage under this scenario."Ah, so much more serious, since one's immortal soul is at stake.And if bells, whistles, spycams, and microphones and other such benign modern truck and piffle don't remind us of the seriousness with which mother church in her infinite mercy and wisdom considers public renunciation of doctrine and saving our immortal souls, perhaps the rack and breaking people on the wheel, scolds' bridles, burning at the stake, and other stalwart medicines of mercy for errant sinners from the past would help. Whips have often done the trick in the past, too, I seem to recall, to keep public renouncers of doctrine who don't head to the confessional prior to receiving communion in line.Torture, after all, has been around for millennia, and who dare question the norms handed down to us from antiquity? Civilization might well fall apart if we let ourselves go down that baleful path.

Jim - If you're half right, just make an announcement from the pulpit beforehand directing those ineligible for communion for reasons you specify to stand up and move to the side. Anyone who should and fails to do so has presumably committed another sin of disobedience or something. The pseudo-semi-confessional ritual would become unnecessary, and political complications (see above) could be addressed elsewhere in a forum more appropriate than the altar.

David's new post on the declining state of matrimony in the Church is I think much in play here.Jim's idea that his "shocking" approach is right is the kind of thing, in my opinion, that drives many way from Church rules and, unfortunately, sacraments as well.

@WilliamL, what with baptismal fonts getting less use these days, there's room for waterboarding.

What's the Scriptural basis for denying Communion--seems even Judas partook.

"Generally, Catholics believe the commandments have changed when the Church teaches that they have. Catholics believe the Church, by the special assistance of the Holy Spirit, cannot err when it teaches a doctrine of faith or morals."Felapton --C'mon now. If something was in fact universally true in 1066 it is still true now. If the Church teaches the opposite now from what it taught in 1066, that means the Church made a mistake either in 1066 or now.You really can't have it both way, Felapton. But does that mean that the Holy Spirit is not with us *leading* us to truth? (Do look at exactly what Jesus says about the HS remaining with us!) Does it follow that because we == the Church, hierarchy, whomever -- are sometimes wrong that we are *always* wrong about the basics? That there is nothing to old on to as true? Of course not. But it does imply that sometimes we can all be wrong. Not the HS and what He intends, but the rest of us can. I think it's like this: the basic teachings of the Church (whatever it is that the HS intends) are all true, and our problem is to discover just what exactly those basic teachings are. The best places to start looking for the truths are Scripture (which is not always literal history and which is ambiguous), Tradition (which is often ambiguous) and nature -- which reflects the Truth that is God Himself, but these natural truths are also difficult to discover.Does this mean that we don't need a pope and bishops? Heavens NO! We need experts to *guide* us in the best that the Church has had to offer over the millennia. And, yes, the buck has to stop somewhere, and that's the pope, or should be, anyway. (Unfortunately, they too can be mistaken and lie.) That is their function and we may not just dismiss what they see as the best teachings of the Church. They are guided in a special way -- but sometimes they too fail their special charisms. We know this from Church history. So finding theological truth has to be a group effort, with respect on both sides when there is disagreement. We'll only be completely sure in Heaven.

Denying communion to anyone is bad theology, I have long believed, and it was the ultimate reason I finally became an Episcopalian and worship weekly in a parish where all truly are welcome to receive. I'm sure we have a case of the Big Enders and Little Enders on that one.

"If something was in fact universally true in 1066 it is still true now."In 1066 it was true that "Flying machines do not exist." But it is not true now.Didn't you just say the opposite of this yesterday? That in 1066 it was true that "The survival of the human race depends on prolific procreation," but that that is no longer true?

I think it would, because the status of an annulment is not a matter of public record. (Not sure, maybe somebody else knows.)Felapton,If a divorced Catholic got an annulment and remarried, he or she would have a Catholic wedding, not a civil wedding. My example was a Catholic who was divorced and who remarried in a civil wedding. That would be just as public an act of "apostasy" as a same-sex civil ceremony. Of course, the whole unspoken assumption here is that it is a worse sin to be in a same-sex relationship than it is to be in a heterosexual adulterous one.

Gerelyn, people whisper to each other in communion lines all the time. Not infrequently, it has to do with eligibility to receive communion, usually along these lines: hey, dad, has the little tyke standing before me and staring up at me rather ambiguously made his first communion yet?-------- (Just because I don't believe it doesn't mean it isn't true.)Maybe the busybodies so lacking in devotion, etiquette, custody of the eyes, and recollection need to be questioned before being allowed to receive communion. Do they think passing judgments on others is appropriate when approaching the sacrament?

ISTM the reason the question of denial of Communion provokes so much outrage is that everybody is aware that all sorts of people go to Communion all the time when they shouldn't. So it seems outrageous to point out that anybody ever should not receive.I think Jack Barry's suggestion is a good one. A brief review at the beginning of mass of the circumstances under which one should not receive. Who ever came up with the idea that everybody should receive all the time?

@David, I'm not an expert on this. But I think one of my state's prominent citizens divorced his wife and remarried in a civil ceremony. Then, under (mostly political) pressure, he filed for an annulment. Some years later, the annulment was granted. He didn't have a church wedding when the annulment came through. I think the civil marriage can be made retroactively sacramental or something. Anyway, nobody knew whether he was properly annulled or not until his campaign publicized the fact.

Someone at Sullivan's blog raised a point today that has often troubled me. If you belong to a religion that accepts and performs SSM, is it not true that your religious liberty is being infringed upon, if your church wedding is not accepted by the state?

"Who ever came up with the idea that everybody should receive all the time?" "Ding! Alex, what is 'Jesus'."

Whats the Scriptural basis for denying Communionseems even Judas partook.----Another instance where Jesus is ignored. (Like "Call no man father.")The minister of the sacrament may decide to withhold it, if he considers the communicant unfit, but the communicant may not refuse to receive the sacrament from a minister s/he considers unfit.We know from St. Thomas Aquinas that, "One should not shun God's sacrament be the man good or bad". (He was quoting Augustine.) Only if a priest keeps a concubine must we avoid hearing his mass.

"If you belong to a religion that accepts and performs SSM, is it not true that your religious liberty is being infringed upon, if your church wedding is not accepted by the state?"Don't think so. There was a case in Detroit a few years ago, in which a Yemenite immigrant argued his religion permitted him to marry a ten-year-old, so the state ought to accept it. He lost and the marriage was nullified.

Mary,I was to say the very same thing, with Jesus suffering the children to come unto Him and instructing, nay commanding, us to partake of His Body and Blood. But this form of prooftexting isn't going to work with those among us who believe that the Eucharist is an appropriate site of admonition and the regulation of members of the Mystical Body. You and I are operating under a very different ecclesiology than many of our fellow Catholics.

One of the saddest memories of my childhood through to adulthood was climbing over the knees of my parents on my way to communion. The sin of these good people was two-fold: the use of contraceptives within marriage after their second and eight years later, third child, and a certain scrupulosity that accepted the rules of the road.

Ken --I'm still waiting for you to tell us your reasons for saying that homosexual unions cause the "self destruction" of the partners, whether in whole or in part?Or are you going to just dismiss the question by saying "I'm not going to answer that question" the way Jim P. recently did?(What's with some of you conservatives about not answerig questions? Liberal might have silly aswers, but we do try provide them :-)

"Jim, so, you are declaring that a gay man who entered a civil marriage has automatically excommunicated himself. Where did you read that? I know that this was promulgated a few years ago for abortion (so youd have a case for refusing communion to a doctor who procured an abortion), but I am not aware that that was decided for anything else."Claire - not precisely. Excommunication is a formal juridical pronouncement by someone in authority. One can sever communion with the church without being excommunicated - as, for example, remarrying without getting the previous marriage properly annulled, or by profaning the sacred Eucharist, or by publicly joining another religion or sect - there are many ways. We can break communication with God in the privacy of our own homes rather easily.

I don't see the link between marrying a child, and two adults being married in their own church. I see the necessity of protecting children from predators, something the church seems to have come to rather late in the proceedings.http://www.theinquiry.ca/Sylvestre_080509.hide.php

"Well, of course we dont want public sinners and those who have publicly renounced doctrines of the church receiving the Eucharist, do we? Heaven forfend. And how could the purity of the assembled community be assured unless it had a stigmatized group of public sinners (and renouncers of the doctrine of the church) to target? Sinners are always, as we all know, someone other than ourselves . . . ."It is perfectly possible for a person to commit one or more sins that disqualifies himself from receiving the sacrament. There is no need to stigmatize anyone, nor does anyone want to stigmatize anyone. In the topic at hand, the member of the church removed himself from communion with the church by conferring his consent in an illicit/invalid/impossible marriage ceremony that flies directly in the face of what the church teaches about marriage and arguably profanes the sacrament. Presumably, nobody coerced him to do so; he did so of his own free will, understanding the consequences (or not). It seems odd, to say the least, to do something so momentously and unmistakably deleterious to one's spiritual salvation and then gripe that the consequences of his action have come home to roost.

"If youre half right, just make an announcement from the pulpit beforehand directing those ineligible for communion for reasons you specify to stand up and move to the side."Hi, Jack, no need to make an announcement. Just consult the back of any missalette.

The minister doesn't need to police communion because those who take the Church's tenets to hearts will police themselves. This is all you can expect.

Jim. P. how about the hundreds of thousands of couples who used the internal forum in the 70s early 80s before it was 'frowned ' upon. Should we 'call them out' ??

"Or are you going to just dismiss the question by saying Im not going to answer that question the way Jim P. recently did?"Hi, Ann, if someone asks me a question and I know the answer, I generally answer it. If someone asks me a question and I don't know the answer, I generally say, "I don't know". In fairness, that's not quite the same as saying "I'm not going to answer that question".

Hi, Ed, as recently as my diaconal formation, the internal forum isn't frowned upon. I'm not sure what you're asking though - you'd need to give me an example. I've thought I've been pretty clear with some examples of when I would deny someone communion. (Which, for the record, I've never done, and have no plans to do, but would like to think I would if I find myself in a situation where, in my considered judgment, I should).

One can sever communion with the church without being excommunicated as, for example, remarrying without getting the previous marriage properly annulled, or by profaning the sacred Eucharist . . . .Jim,

Can. 1367 A person who throws away the consecrated species or takes or retains them for a sacrilegious purpose incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; moreover, a cleric can be punished with another penalty, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state.

"The minister doesnt need to police communion because those who take the Churchs tenets to hearts will police themselves. This is all you can expect."Hi, Barbara, I generally agree, but would add that the church does have some expectations for communion ministers as well in this regard - cf certain bishops during recent elections who announced that so-and-so public candidate couldn't receive communion in his diocese. As a practical matter, it seems very unlikely that a person would be refused communion. I really know very few of the people who appear in my line, and I've belonged to this parish for something like 20 years now.

Almost 180 posts. A sure sign that power and politics is involved. We have had some great bishops in this country. For all his bark Cardinal Cushing was a good bishop as were many at that time. Theologian Richard McBrien has well termed the present American bishops as the worst in our history. It is indisputable really. Fifty years from now or maybe sooner, the American bishops will deplore this period in our history as one in which bishops were more political than pastoral, more polemic than peacemaker. And then some.

"Davids new post on the declining state of matrimony in the Church is I think much in play here. Jims idea that his shocking approach is right is the kind of thing, in my opinion, that drives many way from Church rules and, unfortunately, sacraments as well."Hi, Bob N - really, all I'm doing is proposing that the church follow her own discipline. That we find the discipline shocking is itself rather shocking.There is a theory afoot, and in fact I believe many bishops worldwide are rather fond of it, that the Catholic Church should not relax the bar it has set for membership and participation. I am rather partial to it myself.

ANN SAID: If something was in fact universally true in 1066 it is still true now.FELAPTON ANSWERED: In 1066 it was true that Flying machines do not exist. But it is not true now.Didnt you just say the opposite of this yesterday? That in 1066 it was true that The survival of the human race depends on prolific procreation, but that that is no longer true?ANN REPLIES:When William the Conqueror said in 1066 "Flying machines do not exist" the word "is" referred to that time only, and the statement could be said this way "Flying machines do not exist now" and it would mean exactly the same thing.However, that does not mean the same thing as your saying "Flying machines do not exist" because when you say "is" you're talking about a different time. So your statement is not the same statement as William the Conqueror's.Same with "The survival of the human race depends on prolific procreation". When somebody said that in 1,000000 BC, "depends" meant "depends now". If I say it today, then the "now" is a different now, so the statements are not the same, and one does not contradict the other.

It seems odd, to say the least, to do something so momentously and unmistakably deleterious to ones spiritual salvation and then gripe that the consequences of his action have come home to roost.Jim,People do have consciences, and they may follow them even if their consciences are not in agreement with the teachings of the Church. Of course, it is not something to be done without a great deal of serious thought. Didn't Aquinas say one was obliged to follow one's conscience even if it meant excommunication? We have at least two excommunicated saints that I know of: Joan of Arc and Mary MacKillop.

If communion IS something to be denied, it seems good pastoral practice to inform--and enforce--this practice in a deliberate way. For example, the use of contraceptives within marriage and sexual activity outside marriage should be especially stressed so that the faithful do not become lax in their scrupulosity and receive Jesus when they should not. I think many people, poorly catechized, believe that taking communion under such circumstances is no big deal because they do not appreciate the gravity of their condition. So, tell me, anyone, why it would not be a good thing to regularly and explicitly remind people of the importance of receiving communion in a proper state of grace as part of the worship service?

"Whats the Scriptural basis for denying Communionseems even Judas partook."From the CCC:"1384 The Lord addresses an invitation to us, urging us to receive him in the sacrament of the Eucharist: "Truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."217"1385 To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself."218 Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion."My comment: these two paragraphs (and the two scripture passages they contain) encompass the basic tension at play. The church wants everyone to receive communion; but we need to be properly disposed in order to receive communion.As is well known, there were periods in church history where people received very seldom, and contented themselves with watching the host be elevated at mass (hence the ringing of the consecration bells) and making spiritual communions. Blessedly, that form of spirituality has mostly evolved into something better. But it would be a great mistake to imagine that the church now says, "Communion is for absolutely everyone! Come one, come all!" One still needs to be appropriately initiated, and one still needs to be propely disposed.

"For all his bark Cardinal Cushing was a good bishop as were many at that time. Theologian Richard McBrien has well termed the present American bishops as the worst in our history. It is indisputable really."I'm sorry, but this is just laughable on its face! The suggestion that Cushing and his ilk (McIntyre, Spellman, Stritch) were somehow preferable to the current lot is hard to take serious when the claim against the current lot is that they're ham-fisted and closed-minded! Come on! At least Dolan is attempting a justification of his position in public; I'd pay money to see you suggest to His Eminence Cardinal Cushing that he explain his indefatigable opposition to birth control on his blog! Secondly, that such an august figure as Richard McBrien should sniff from his heights that in his inestimable opinion the current lot fails his muster is worth about as much as real ecclesiologists assign to this views, which is about nil! Finally, what "period" are you referring to exactly? The period in which Cushing, et. al. ran the Church? Because that is the precise period in which problems began to surface. So when, pray tell, do you think the quality tanked? I would agree with some that the appointments under JP II, particularly in the latter years, were disappointing, but I think Benedict's appointments have been superb - do you think a Wuerl would have EVER gotten DC otherwise? The more I read the comments here, the more convinced I am that the problem many have is not with this or that bishop, or this or that teaching, it is with Catholicism itself, which refuses to be bent into whatever whims or desires those on the far right or the far left wish to make it into. Are the Church's ministers perfect, heavens no! Do they always make it easy to follow and defend them - of course not! But thus has it ever been, and I thank God for that! I thank God that we're not like the Anglicans who just take their votes and let the chips lie where they may; we're in this together, whether we like it or not, just the way I imagine it was planned all along.

JIm P. --At 9:02 a.m. you wrote: "William F wrote: Show me where gay couples in long term (even unto lifetime) committed relationships are doing something that bears bad fruit? You answered: "Sorry, I am not going to show you anything like that. But I am going to illustrate what I take to be a great inconsistency in this thread."I understood your first sentence to mean "I'm not going to answer your question." And you went directly on to say you would talk about a different question.So William's question still stands: how do gay couples in long term (even unto lifetime) committed relationship do something that bears bad fruit?As I see it, that question is much like the question that I asked Ken (how are gay marriages self destructive?)Once more some conservatives, when asked *why* gay unions/marriages are bad, simply don't answer or they just change the subject. I am still, after years of repeatedly asking for an answer, I am still waiting for one. It's been YEARS, for Heaven's sake. What is your answer?????

"Once more some conservatives, when asked *why* gay unions/marriages are bad, simply dont answer or they just change the subject. I am still, after years of repeatedly asking for an answer, I am still waiting for one. Its been YEARS, for Heavens sake. What is your answer?????"May I suggest you start with the Catechism of the Catholic Church? Then you might try Robert George. Or if you prefer, you can go to Cardinal Sean O'Malley's recent blog entry where he describes why it is that the Church has consistently opposed efforts to re-define marriage.What some of us are waiting on is a justifiable reason some Catholics have for opposing this consistently held teaching, at least on CAtholic theological grounds.

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