Bishop Tobin Defends Marriage: Gay Activists Fight Religious Exemptions
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin is a faithful and courageous Catholic Bishop
'Can there be any doubt that Almighty God will, in His own time and way, pass judgment upon our state, its leaders and citizens, for abandoning His commands and embracing public immorality? I encourage Catholics to pray for God's patience, mercy and forgiveness in these distressing times' (Bishop Thomas J. Tobin)
PROVIDENCE, RI (Catholic Online) - Bishop Thomas J. Tobin is a faithful and courageous Catholic Bishop. He has stood strong in his defense of the dignity of every human person from conception to natural death as well as his defense of true marriage and the family and society founded upon it. He has also tried to help erring Catholics, including Catholic politicians in his own Diocese, to turn from error and turn toward the truth.
This good Bishop is now faced with the continuing moral erosion which has as one of its bad fruits, the movement to eliminate marriage and the family and society founded upon it by giving a moral and legal equivalency to homosexual relationships. Last week New York passed the "Marriage Equality Act" which uses the Police power of the State to force a legal equivalency between homosexual partnerships and authentic marriage between a man and a woman. On Wednesday of this week the Rhode Island state Senate passed HB 6103 which authorizes same-sex civil unions and gives them the same rights and responsibilities as married couples.
On June 3, 2003 the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger issued a directive entitled "Considerations regarding Proposals to Give Legal recognition To Unions Between Homosexual persons." It clearly rejected any effort to give equivalent legal status to homosexual unions. It restated the unbroken tradition of the Catholic Christian Church for two thousand years. It sought to help Bishops to direct Catholics in Public Life:
"The present Considerations do not contain new doctrinal elements; they seek rather to reiterate the essential points on this question and provide arguments drawn from reason which could be used by Bishops in preparing more specific interventions, appropriate to the different situations throughout the world, aimed at protecting and promoting the dignity of marriage, the foundation of the family, and the stability of society, of which this institution is a constitutive element. The present Considerations are also intended to give direction to Catholic politicians by indicating the approaches to proposed legislation in this area which would be consistent with Christian conscience"
There is a cultural revolution underway led by those on the fringes of the homosexual activist community who will stop at nothing less than legal "equivalency" between homosexual unions and true marriage. Having learned from the verbal engineering of the movement to make the taking of innocent life in the womb through abortion "a right", they are master manipulators of the language. They have reframed their anti-marriage movement as a movement for "marriage equality" much like the proponents of abortion succeeded in calling killing the unborn a "choice."
Catholics must be honest about some in our own house. Purporting to speak for the Church or to promote some "new way", some Catholic Politicians undermine the Church, do violence to the truth, cause scandal, injure the common good and put their own souls in jeopardy. They hide behind a self erected "public/private" dichotomy in rejecting their duty to defend the right to life and protect marriage and the family and society founded upon it. They engage in sophistry to explain away their error. They are not only being unfaithful to the truths proclaimed by their own Church, they are undermining the common good. The directive spoke forcefully to these folks:
"If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favor of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications. When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral."
The directive also addressed the whole of civil society: "Since this question relates to the natural moral law, the arguments that follow are addressed not only to those who believe in Christ, but to all persons committed to promoting and defending the common good of society." The document presents a lucid, solid, powerful defense of the truth about marriage and family. Yes, it presents this truth from within biblical revelation and the Christian Tradition. However, like all of the Church's Social Doctrine, it also does so from the order of right reason, the natural law, the biological and anthropological order, ...
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