Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

7/16/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

A same-sex union is to marriage what a Black Mass is to the Mass.

On July 9, 2012, at the Episcopal Church's General Convention in Indianapolis, the House of Bishops voted 111-41 to authorize a trial rite for same sex unions for use for the next three years.  The next day, by a 171-50 vote, the House of Deputies approved the measure.  This means that the rite, entitled "Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant," presents an alternative liturgical rite for same-sex couples in addition to the standard liturgical rite which involves a marriage between a man and a woman.

same sex couple

same sex couple


By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

Catholic Online (

7/16/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: same sex marriage, gay marriage, episcopal church

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - "You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt if the salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?  It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot."  (Matt. 5:13).

On July 9, 2012, at the Episcopal Church's General Convention in Indianapolis, the House of Bishops voted 111-41 to authorize a trial rite for same sex unions for use for the next three years.  The next day, by a 171-50 vote, the House of Deputies approved the measure.  This means that the rite, entitled "Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant," presents an alternative liturgical rite for same-sex couples in addition to the standard liturgical rite which involves a marriage between a man and a woman.

With about 2 million members, the Episcopal Church of the United States is the 14th largest religious denomination, but it is the largest of the denominations in the United States to approve such a ritual.  The U.S. Episcopal Church is part of the Anglican Communion. 

The new liturgical rite is not forced upon the bishops, and the mandate specifically says that no one should be punished if he (or she) elects not to use it in his (or her) particular diocese.  Moreover, the liturgical rite is to be used only where such same-sex unions are, under civil law, allowed.

This represents another chapter in the moral dissipation of the Episcopal Church as it relates to active homosexuality.  The salt began to lose its savor in 1976 when it vaguely declared that homosexuals are "children of God" and are "entitled to full civil rights."  At the time, however, the Episcopal Church taught that it expected chastity and fidelity to be the norm in human relations, and that "physical sexual expression" was appropriate only within a monogamous "union of husband and wife."

However, by 1991, some bishops in the Episcopal Church had begun to bless monogamous same-sex unions, and in its 1991 convention, the church was asked to "continue to reconcile the discontinuity between this teaching and the experience of its members."  It was unlikely that by this coded language the 1991 convention intended the "experience of its members" to conform to the teaching that "physical sexual expression" should occur only within a monogamous union of husband and wife.  Rather, the writing was on the wall.

By the 2000 convention, the Episcopal Church recognized that there was a "variety of human relationships in and outside of marriage," and also recognized that there was "disagreement over the Church's traditional teaching on human sexuality."

By 2006, the homosexual agenda had taken over that church, and in the convention that year, the Episcopal Church called on legislatures to provide civil benefits to same-sex unions and called on its members to oppose any state or federal constitutional amendments intended to prohibit same-sex "marriages" or civil unions.

In 2009, homosexual men and women "in a lifelong committed relationship" were allowed to be ordained, and Episcopal bishops were given the authority to decide whether or not to bless same-sex marriage in their particular dioceses. 

By 2012, any effective opposition had collapsed, and an official liturgy to bless same-sex couples and their "marriages," entitled "The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant" for use at the various dioceses was approved. 

The Episcopal Church shows the truth of Virgil's words, facilis descensus averno.  It is easy to walk downhill to the nether-world.

Apparently, in its slow and steady dissipation, the Episcopal Church has plum forgot the Sixth Commandment, which traditionally has been seen as governing the requirement of chastity among all mankind. 

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church (§ 2357) teaches, "homosexual acts" are presented in Sacred Scripture as "acts of grave depravity."  It references the traditional loci classici: Genesis 19:1-29 (the story of Lot and Sodom), Romans 1:24-27 (homosexual acts involve "impurity," an improper expression of the "lusts of their hearts," the "mutual degradation of their bodies," "degrading passions," and exchanging "natural relations for unnatural"), 1 Cor. 6:10 (practicing homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God), and 1 Tim. 1:10 (it is ungodly and unholy to be a practicing homosexual).

Additionally, the Church cited to Christian tradition which, as anyone with any historical sense knows, "has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."

Moreover, not only is the teaching against homosexual activity consistent with the Scripture and Christian Tradition, homosexual activity is "contrary to the natural law."  The reason for this is obvious: such acts "close the sexual act to the gift of life."  Patently, these acts "do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity," which is a touchstone of human sexual or genital acts.  "Under no circumstances," the Church has stated in the Catechism, "can they be approved."

The Church is solicitous towards those men and women who have "deep-seated homosexual tendencies."  Thought the inclination or tendency itself is "objectively disordered," the inclination or tendency itself is not sinful.  But like all men and women-irrespective of their particular inclination or tendency-homosexual persons are not excused from the Scriptural and natural laws of chastity.

It would be perverse for a person with a homosexual inclination to be absolved from the law of chastity and a person with a normal sexual inclination to remain bound.  Every human being-regardless of inclination-must abide by the same divine and natural law.  The only moral use of the sexual faculty is within monogamous marriage, between a man and a woman.

As the Pope recently reiterated to the American Bishops on March 9, 2012: "The Church's conscientious effort to resist this pressure calls for a reasoned defense of marriage as a natural institution consisting of a specific communion of persons, essentially rooted in the complementarity of the sexes and oriented to procreation.  Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage. Defending the institution of marriage as a social reality is ultimately a question of justice, since it entails safeguarding the good of the entire human community and the rights of parents and children alike."

Earlier, on January 9, 2012, in an address to the Diplomatic Corps, Pope Benedict XVI reiterated the traditional Christian teaching that marriage and the family are not based upon social convention, but are part of human dignity and fundamental to humanity's future.  Those policies which serve to impugn or detract from the family based upon the marriage of man and woman "threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself."

The Episcopal liturgical rite "Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant," which blesses same-sex unions, is a travesty.  It is the bad fruit of a long-term dissipation arising from the loss of the salt of the Gospel. 

A same-sex union is to marriage what a Black Mass is to the Mass. 

So what has the Episcopal Church wrought?  A Black Witness and a Black Blessing. Something to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.


Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He is married with three children.  He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum.  You can contact Andrew 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.

Public school students banned from performing at the Christmas Festival to save school from legal case Watch

Image of


Two unnamed families filed complaints with an atheist organization regarding the public schools' student participation in a longtime tradition. While the choral festival has been there for years, authorities decided to ban a number of public schools in Portland from ... continue reading

Irving officials received threatening emails following their treatment of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed Watch

Image of Ahmed Mohamed


Following the incident of police handcuffing a 14-year-old teen for bringing a homemade clock project to school, many are still infuriated and have resorted to sending Irving officials threatening messages. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Blaze reported that ... continue reading

Authorities confident El Nino will dump lots of rain in California -- soon Watch

Image of In fact, there is an over 60 percent possibility that Southern California will have a wet winter, and an over 40 percent possibility that San Francisco will have a wet winter.


In the State of California, people look up into cloudless skies and sweat in 90 degrees weather or higher -- in October. Never fear, meteorologists say, this winter's El Nino promises to be a BIG ONE. Bill Patzert, climatologist for NASA's Jet Propulsion ... continue reading

What it was like to fly Pope Francis around America: American Airlines crew speaks out Watch

Image of The Pope blessed the crew, their families, and the plane during his tour.


Pope Francis' American Airlines flight crew has opened up about the spiritual experience, claiming the papal meeting was "like seeing God." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pilot George Griffin, his co-pilots and 15 cabin crew members were picked from a pool of ... continue reading

New ISIS video features a 'cub of the caliphate' directly threaten US President Barack Obama Watch

Image of A young ISIS member delivers a threat to US President Barack Obama (YouTube).


A young ISIS jihadi was featured in an ISIS video dressed in army fatigues and holding a rocket launcher as he  delivered a threat to US President Barack Obama. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A young boy who looks to be no more than 10-years-old was recorded ... continue reading

Did Clinton hide the discovery of the Khobar Towers bombers? Watch

Image of Former US President Bill Clinton (Brothersoft)


In order to reestablish diplomatic ties with Tehran, former U.S. President Bill Clinton hid the discovery of Iran's involvement of the Khobar Towers bombing which killed 19 U.S. servicemen in 1996. The allegations are not new, but in a recent report, heavy evidence ... continue reading

Terrorists can easily enter the U.S. through Texas/Mexico border Watch

Image of


Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steve McCraw, warned the U.S. was vulnerable in terms of infiltration through the country's southern border. McCraw reported some people coming from countries flagged to have "terrorism presence."  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

STUDY: Arabic, Urdu the fastest growing secondary languages in the United States Watch

Image of The most recent census study shows that the fastest-growing foreign languages are languages spoken by immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.


The Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey reports that between 2010 and 2014, there was a 29 percent increase in Arabic spoken in the United States. There is also a 23 percent increase in Urdu, and a nine percent jump in Persian, the language spoken in ... continue reading

California mother punched in the face by police files lawsuit Watch

Image of The police officer allegedly pulled over Cindy Hahn moments later on an alleged seat belt violation and arrested Hahn as her children watched.


The one sure thing about cell phone technology is that authority figures will not be able to slip easily from the law. A 40-year-old mother is suing the city of Carlsbad, California after being physically assaulted by police officers in July of 2013. It was all ... continue reading

Cargo ship missing after sailing into Hurricane Joaquin Watch

Image of Katie and Keith Griffin (Facebook).


El Faro, a cargo ship, was caught in Hurricane Joaquin, leaving several American crew members missing. Worried friends and family of the missing staff members continue to hope for survivors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The US Coast Guard announced that they ... 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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 1:16-25
16 For I see no reason to be ashamed of the gospel; ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:37-41
37 He had just finished speaking when a Pharisee ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 13th, 2015 Image

St. Edward the Confessor
October 13: Edward the Confessor was the son of King Ethelred III and his ... Read More