Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By F. K. Bartels

6/29/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

It is only through an anthropology informed by the full truth about man that the question of homosexual union in all its aspects can be appropriately answered.

"All the evils which poison men and nations and trouble so many hearts have a single cause and a single source: ignorance of the truth -- and at times even more than ignorance, a contempt for truth and a reckless rejection of it. Thus arise all manner of errors, which enter the recesses of men's hearts and the bloodstream of human society as would a plague. These errors turn everything upside down: they menace individuals and society itself" -- Pope John XXIII


By F. K. Bartels

Catholic Online (

6/29/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: homosexual unions, homosexual sex acts, same-sex union, same-sex marriage, anthropology, truth of the human person, marriage, marital union, union of one man and one woman, man and woman, matrimony, unitive and procreative, transmission of life, F. K. Bart

GLADE PARK, CO (Catholic Online) -- There is no shortage of articles posted on the Internet that, in some form or other, argue in favor of unions between homosexual persons; i.e. same-sex unions. If one should desire to peruse the long list, the New York Times is the undisputed champion. 

Proponents of homosexual unions who write there and elsewhere continue to argue from the same predictable positions of fundamental rights, basic human fairness, unjust discrimination, emerging consensus, and shift in public morality.

All of those positions are based on false premisses, and betray a serious failure to recognize the full truth about who man is. As the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church informs us, only "an anthropology corresponding to the full truth of the human person can give an appropriate response" to the question of unions between homosexual persons (No. 228). In other words, the various aspects of who man is, his purpose and destiny, the consequences of his abuse of free will, the purpose of the sexual faculties with their differences between man and woman, the meaning of marriage and those ends toward which it is ordered and so forth, all need be taken into account in order to understand why homosexual unions gravely contradict the truth about the human person.

Before continuing, it is important at the outset to note the constant teaching of the Catholic Church on human dignity: all people possess human dignity and are therefore to be always treated with the proper respect, which obviously includes homosexual persons. In fact, it is precisely because of the dignity of homosexual persons that they deserve to be informed about the real dangers homosexual unions pose to those involved individually and to society collectively.

Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his encyclical Caritas In Veritate: "To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are . . . exacting and indispensable forms of charity." Love of God for his sake and love of neighbor obligates the Christian to live by the truth, always and everywhere. That aim is twofold here: to defend the truth about the human person, and to defend the truth about the dignity of the institution of marriage, an indissoluble and permanent bond between one man and one woman, because charity demands it.

But let's look briefly at some of the typical arguments posited by marriage equivalency advocates. Take, for instance, the notion that homosexual persons have a "fundamental right to marry." This not only implies that homosexual unions are identical to heterosexual ones, but also suggests that homosexual persons have a right to engage in homosexual sex acts. But does the human person -- any person -- possess the "right" to engage in any sex act deemed to be desirable? Nope.

The natural law inscribed into the heart of every person and recognizable by reason, reveals that certain actions or inactions are opposed to true goodness and are therefore evil. Just as we know that murder is evil, so too we know that certain uses of the sexual faculties are disordered and run contrary to their purpose intended for goodness. Another way to think about this concept, is that some actions and/or inactions are opposed to the reality of man's existence and to his nature: if man willfully complies with these, then he is engaging in a self-dehumanizing action. If man combats the truth about who he is, he intentionally diminishes his dignity, and brings grave harm to not only himself but to society as a whole.

The homosexual person has no "right" to engage in homosexual sex acts any more than any other person has a "right" to incest, adultery, fornication or other disordered uses of free will with respect to the sexual faculties. The fact is, by choices of free will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, good or evil, the human person shapes his character and fathers his own being, either toward the good or toward its opposite: evil. The person who, for example, steals, is not merely a person who made a mistake but is a thief.

Another premiss we find in the argument in favor of homosexual unions is that there is more to be gained by capitulation than by resistance. The basic notion is, if same-sex unions were legitimized, then perhaps we could all agree on other important issues involved in the marriage equation. For instance, perhaps both homosexuals and heterosexuals could agree that cohabitation, extramarital sex, "trial marriages" and so forth are wrong. It's not unlike saying, "Let's all go along to get along."

It is both a naďve and instructive premiss. It is naďve because proponents of marriage equivalency are uninterested in shoring up moral values as they apply to human sexuality and marriage. And it is instructive, not because the premiss is in this case somehow true but precisely because it is not; that is, the truth is further illuminated when contrasted with what is false. The fact is, the more the notion of marriage equivalency is accepted, the more the timeless values and goods inherent in traditional marriage are viewed in a diminished manner. Soon, marriage could mean anything or nothing.

The more the institution of marriage is undervalued in society, the more frequently it is rejected in favor of extramarital partnerships, so-called trial marriages, or discarded through civil divorce the moment difficulties arise between spouses. While men and women suffer the heartbreaking consequences, children bear the brunt of the burden. For instance, if we think for a moment about the delicate and impressionable nature of children, their need to be raised in a stable paternal and maternal family environment, and the potential grave psychological harm that can ensue if they are deprived of that loving nourishment, it is easy to see that marriage is indeed a vital component for their human growth and flourishing. Children have a right to a father, mother, and stable family in which they can be properly nourished in the womb of nuptial love.

That the healthy future of society rests on the institution of marriage, an "intimate partnership of life and love" (GS 48), is self-evident in virtue of the objective truth of the marital union: it is ordered toward the procreation and education of children (GS 48, 50). Marriage is not merely one phenomenon found in society among others, it is the undergirding principle upon which the family and the society that flows from it is founded. Every society traces its origin to the basic familial unit produced by the fruits of the union of man and woman. There are no exceptions. The family is a primary, vital and indispensable cell of society. A culture devoid of marriage is also devoid of that vital family cell, and, even if it were possible to somehow sustain itself, it would cease to function as a fully human community, since it would rapidly descend into irreparable and dehumanizing chaos.

Given the necessity and importance of marriage, one does not have to think long nor hard about the marriage equivalency movement to realize that it can be harmful to people individually and collectively through its injurious tendency to falsely redefine marriage. Marriage equivalency teaches the unwary that traditional marriage is ultimately valueless, which perpetuates and reinforces severely problematic ideologies. At the nucleus of society is marriage and family; whatever undermines that center and foundation affects the whole structure. If the damage is extensive enough, society may well collapse into ruin.

Blessed John Paul II emphatically observed the importance of a proper anthropology of the human person in order to address the question of homosexual unions. Speaking to the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, he noted that the light of such an anthropology reveals "how incongruous is the demand to accord 'marital' status to unions between persons of the same sex. It is opposed, first of all, by the objective impossibility of making the partnership fruitful through the transmission of life according to the plan inscribed by God in the very structure of the human being. Another obstacle is the absence of the conditions for that interpersonal complementarity between male and female willed by the Creator at both the physical-biological and the eminently psychological levels. It is only in the union of two sexually different persons that the individual can achieve perfection in a synthesis of unity and mutual psychophysical completion" (given 21 January 1999).

With that statement, John Paul II is noting three important facts. First, to give same-sex unions marriage equivalency is incompatible with the natural law. It is clear from human reason that homosexual couples lack the necessary sexual differences to join in true marital union. Second, the homosexual sex act is entirely incapable of procreation; therefore the transmission of life, which marriage is ordered toward, is an impossibility. Third, homosexual partners lack the sexual complementarity and differences necessary to achieve the full dimension of perfection and unity that is possible in the marital bond of husband and wife.

It is important to remember that the question of unions between homosexual persons cannot be reduced merely to questions of "the dignity of homosexual love" or "basic fairness." Nor is the moral licitness of these unions dependent upon popular consensus. The duty to respect homosexual persons "does not justify the legitimization of behavior that is not consistent with the moral law, even less does it justify the recognition of a right to marriage between persons of the same sex and its being considered equivalent to the family" (CSDC 228).

The dignity of homosexual persons demands that they be informed by an anthropology which is consistent with the full truth about the human person. It is clear that homosexual unions betray that truth.


F. K. Bartels is a Catholic writer who knows his Catholic Faith is one of the greatest gifts a man could ever receive. He is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit him also at


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More U.S.

BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big and so powerful, you won't believe this MASSIVE SHOCKING fact about it! Watch

Image of Obama is the titular head of the world's most nefarious terrorist organization, a title he may have inherited from his predecessor, and that will be passed to his successor.


If you were asked, what is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated in human history, how would you answer? Global warming? Vaccines? The Moon Landing? Entire religions?  (Not that we agree with these). But what would you say? In a moment, we're going to offer an answer ... continue reading

'Black Friday' leaving bruises as shoppers trample each other for best deals Watch

Image of Sales for pricey items such as electronic devices erupt into violence on


Everyone has had their turkey leftovers from the previous day's Thanksgiving Feast - and now it's out the door to the nearest "big box" store in a mad scavenger hunt called "Black Friday," where shoppers trample each other for the best deals then can get just before ... continue reading

President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in Thanksgiving address Watch

Image of The president then went on to say that, all Americans must open their neighborhoods, their homes, and hearts to Syrian refugees.


United States President Barack Obama called on Americans to welcome Syrian refugees this Thanksgiving season, who - like the pilgrims that set sail on the Mayflower, were likewise fleeing persecution in their native land. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart Watch

Image of Around tables throughout America, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren gather with mothers and fathers, Grandpas and Grandmas, extended family, neighbors and friends to thank God and one another. And then, we feast; not only on the food, but even more importantly, on the gift of the love which informs all family relationships and true friendships, the real source of lasting joy, the love of the God who gave us life and liberty.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Happy Thanksgiving Day. May it be a day for love and gratitude. No matter how difficult the challenges we face as a Nation, we have much to be grateful for. As we give thanks, we will find the strength we need to love even more fully. As we practice regularly ... continue reading

New ISIS video taunts United States to 'bring it on' Watch

Image of While the video is pumping up Islamist State, the fact of the matter is is the group is suffering heavy losses on the ground form allied bombardment, especially since Russia began bombing the group


A new video from the Islamic State is highlighting the high number of U.S. soldiers who commit suicide, in effect to tell the world's last remaining superpower to "bring it on." U.S. President Barack Obama has since dismissed ISIS as "a bunch of killers with ... continue reading

Horrific outrage erupts over proposed mosque in Virginia after Paris attacks Watch

Image of The Muslim community in Fredericksburg, Virginia has received support from the local Christian and Jewish clergy.


"Nobody wants your evil cult," declared a man at a zoning meeting in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was lobbing his invective at several American Muslims there over a proposed mosque to be built there. "Every one of you are terrorists. I don't care what you say. ... continue reading

The revealing truth behind the traditional presidential Thanksgiving turkey pardon Watch

Image of President Ronald Reagan was the first U.S. president to use the word


President Obama will pardon two turkeys - named Tom One and Tom Two - from a turkey farm in Modesto California on Thanksgiving Eve as part of an annual presidential tradition. Obama will make a few jokes with his family and then pardon the turkeys to live out ... continue reading

'Domestic terrorism': 5 People shot during Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis Watch

Image of Despite a shooting at a Minneapolis Black Lives Matter protest, the group plans to return to the precinct to continue their protests.


Protesters were standing outside the 4th Precinct in Minneapolis for Black Lives Matter in the case of 24-year-old Jamar Clark when gunshots rang out. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -Five protesters were shot outside the police station Tuesday afternoon as one ... continue reading

Planned Parenthood sues the State of Texas: Find out why NOW Watch

Image of The complainants maintain that planned intervention of the government is a violation of the federal statute and the 14th Amendment, which ensures equal protection.


Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit this week against the State of Texas for blocking its Medicaid funding. Planned Parenthood says that the decision was motivated by politics - and not because of health care concerns. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading

Terror threats spark shocking WORLD WIDE TRAVEL ALERTS Watch

Image of In either case, travelers can expect beefed-up security at airports in the coming weeks - and longer lines.


It is the start of the holiday season in the United States - and with the world still thoroughly rattled after the attacks in Paris this past November 13, travel alerts are in high effect. Even worse, those who decide to stay home through Thanksgiving and ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • 'Black Friday' leaving bruises as shoppers trample each other for ...
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Saturday, November 28, 2015
  • St. Catherine Laboure: Saint of the Day for Saturday, November 28, 2015
  • President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in ...
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:2-14
2 Daniel said, 'I have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
75 Bless the Lord, mountains and hills, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree and indeed every ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2015 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of ... Read More