By Karen Quiner
“Please answer me this: Why don’t Catholics condemn divorce (especially no-fault divorce) the same as same-sex marriage? Jesus never spoke of homosexuality (and even Paul’s stand can be debated). Jesus spoke out several times against divorce – he saw it as adultery.”
This is a very interesting question that I have been meaning to address for awhile.
The Catholic belief is that Marriage is a Sacrament when entered into thru the church. It is a sacred union that is for life and cannot be dissolved unless there are very grave reasons such as abuse, or serial unfaithfulness.
Some marriages are never entered into as a sacrament, and the Catholic Church would not call these valid marriages. To be married in the church, a couple has to go through pre- marriage prep. This lays out what they are doing and the sacramental nature of marriage.
When a Catholic gets an annulment, it is my understanding that the church says it wasn’t a valid sacramental marriage in the first place. It may be that the couple didn’t enter into it with a full understanding of what they were doing.
Catholic teaching states that the sexual act is sacred. Sex, although pleasurable, is primarily about things other than pleasure. It reflects our relationship with God. Sex in its proper context is a way to give totally of oneself in love. Sex, in its fullest and most joyous form happens when my focus is on giving myself to my spouse, and not in receiving or taking. This reflects God’s love for us and Christ’s love for his Church.
It is also a way that we are able to share in the act of creating life with God, which is a huge and awesome privilege. That is why we believe sex should not be separated from procreation.
I am going to direct you to a thorough article on the Catholic view and teaching on homosexuality. It is very good and said better than I can say it. I would urge you to read it: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/homosexuality
Now, in answer to your original question: if divorce is sinful (and it very often is), why do we spend so much time focusing on gay marriage and not on divorce?
I think there are several reasons.
Catholics, like all people on the face of the earth, are weak and fallen people, and do sin. When that happens, we don’t want to condemn or cut them out of the church, but to love them and try to restore them in forgiveness back into the arms of the community.
We would have the same attitude towards someone involved in a homosexual union, or any sin for that matter. We are called to love the sinner (all of us fit in this category) but to hate the sin.
The very fabric of this country is in danger of being changed right now because of gay marriage. Marriage has not only sacred and religious ramifications, but there are practical and important secular reasons to protect traditional marriage.
Marriage, in its traditional form, has been about protecting the woman and child. Men are not wired for commitment like women are, and biologically, they want to have sex with lots of women. Marriage, in its legal form, attempts to protect the family.
Common sense, will tell anyone who is honest that children are best raised in a family with one man and one woman who are married to each other. Statistical data confirms this.
They need the security of knowing that the parents will both be there for them.
There are unique lessons to be learned from a father (man) and a mother (a woman). How is it even possible to argue that there won’t be some serious gender confusion with children raised in a gay marriage?
This is not to say that there aren’t some really wonderful gay parents. I was touched by the Des Moines Register article a few weeks ago about the gay man who is raising several children who had tremendous challenges. That guy gets the Christian concept of selfless, God-like love.
Gay marriage is being talked about more than divorce right now, because once it becomes law of the land, I fear there will be no turning back.
There are religious and sacred ramifications, but also serious practical and secular ramifications that could change the fabric of society, just as no-fault divorce did. Unfortunately, no-fault divorce is now the law of the land and there is probably no turning back.
If the family disintegrates, this country falls.
Sin is sin.
All of it hurts us as individuals but because we are all connected in mysterious and practical ways, it hurts us all. Divorce is often a sin, but gay marriage is the issue of the day because laws protecting traditional marriage are being threatened.
Do I hate gay people or divorced people if I speak out against gay marriage or divorce? Of course not. That is a charge that is made by people who don’t have anything rational to add to the discussion. I am a sinner just like everyone else and am grateful for a loving and forgiving God.