The #1 Reason the Catholic Church Won’t Support Same-Sex Marriage…


It’s quite simple, actually. Oh, you won’t see the reason talked about by folks being grilled by the Piers Morgans of the world. You won’t see the reason being discussed in philosophy papers, or papers expanded into book length dissertations on marriage, where all manner of other good reasons to protect and defend traditional marriage are enumerated, and bolstered with reasonable arguments.

The real reason is simple, and it’s not based on bigotry. It’s based 100% on love. The kind of love that only a mother has for her children.

But the reason isn’t popular, see,  and I daresay you rarely, if ever, hear articulate, solid, well mannered, and well versed, New Evangelizers sharing this particular reason with folks they come into contact with.

So what’s absolutely, positively, the A-1, best reason why the Bride of Christ won’t recognize Same-Sex civil unions as being a good?

Because Hell burns, and for all eternity. That’s why. The Church teaches that engaging in homosexual acts will lead one to eternal damnation.

Of course, the Church also teaches that committing all manner of other sinful acts, without compunction or repentance, leads one right to Hell too. Not much has changed in this regard since John the Baptist went around telling folks to “Repent!”

And the Church, that holy hospital built by Christ Himself to cleanse us, and lead us to the Promised Land, wouldn’t be doing her job properly for her Lord if she didn’t use every ounce of the Magisterial Authority she wields to do everything in her power to prevent souls from being destroyed forever in the Lake of Fire.

You want philosophical answers? Remember what St. Thomas Aquinas said in his Lenten homilies delivered in the final year of his life,

Man needs to know two things: the glory of God and the punishment of Hell. For through being drawn by His glory and terrified by His punishments, men are careful on their own account and refrain from sin.

Easy as that sounds, the Angelic Doctor goes on to remind us,

Got that?

It is also difficult to know about the punishments of Hell, for “no man hath been known to have returned from Hell,” which is said in the person of the wicked. But it cannot be said now, since just as He came down from Heaven in order to teach us heavenly things, so did He come back from Hell in order to teach us about Hell.

And as inconvenient to the zeitgeist (yesterday, today, and tomorrow) this truth may be, nothing is going to change the Churchs’ viewpoint on this. And I don’t just mean the Vatican either. I mean folks in the pews like me.

I joined the Church in order to be saved from the wide road leading straight to the Devils’ playground. I didn’t become Catholic in order to find a comfortable spot where I could get a free pass on all my sinful behaviors, while never having to change. If that was the case, I came to the wrong place, as Cardinal John Henry Newman reminds me.

I thought she was crazy too, until I didn’t.

The Catholic Church holds it better for the sun and moon to drop from heaven, for the earth to fail, and for all the many millions on it to die of starvation in extremest agony, as far as temporal affliction goes, than that one soul, I will not say, should be lost, but should commit one single venial sin, should tell one wilful untruth, or should steal one poor farthing without excuse. —Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua

If the Church’s mission is to save as many souls as possible, make saints out of folks, and bring as many of us to Heaven as she can, then it’s obvious that she isn’t going to condone, or support, behaviors that will guarantee that souls are eternally put to death.  Capice?

That would make absolutely no sense. It would be like your mother telling you to go outside and play on the highway, or get you drunk and then hand you the car keys with a peck on the check and a “go have fun” whispered in your ear.

It would be like giving folks, who have an equal chance for salvation (or not), and instead giving them a greater than equal chance for damnation. That isn’t the kind of calculus you want your soul saving physician to be making, is it? Blaise Pascal would point out that this is like playing with loaded dice that never roll in your favor.

That’s kind of how stuff rolls in the the world, though, what with phony-baloney teachings, and you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours gamesmanship, etc. But that isn’t what the Church is all about.

By the way, this is the same reason (Hell is Hot!) why the Church doesn’t teach that murder is okey-dokey, or stealing, or abortion, wars of conquest, rape, etc., etc., either. Nor does she condone any number of other acts that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has held as dangerous to our souls since the prophets started rebuking the children of Israel, up to when the Apostles were spreading the Good News, way back when the New Exodus was just getting off the ground.

So for folks to kid themselves that the Church would ever “get with the times, ” or up and decide to get on “the right side of history,” they are completely missing the fact that His Story is the one she has been called to share the world over, in a bid to save our very lives.

Thankfully, the Church has the power to take our sins, no matter how heinous they are, or how deep their crimson color, and make them whiter than snow. You supply the repentance and the contrition, and she provides the balm that heals. But the clean and folded laundry comes with a bill attached from Christ Himself that reads, “go and sin no more.”

If sinning is another way of saying “missing the mark,” then thinking that the Church is going to be hunky dory with folks shooting Maggie’s drawers, and missing the broad side of barns over and over again, never once really trying to become more Christ-like, well…that is a pretty ridiculous notion.

It’s as ridiculous as arguing that same-sex unions are bad for society, while keeping mum on the fact that they are damning for the soul. Pope Francis knows better.

John the Baptist approves of this message


The Vatican: Considerations on Homosexual Unions.

Monsignor Charles Pope: What does the Catholic Church offer to the Homosexual Person?

The Compendium: Love and the formation of a community of persons.

Facebook page of note: We Defend Traditional Marriage – and We’re Gay.

Elizabeth Scalia: The Intrinsic Disoder of Me.

Marc Barnes: The Difficulty With Engaging Gay Marriage

Terry Nelson:The Catholic Church’s ‘acceptance’ of gay people…

Taylor Marshall, Homosexuality: Does the New Testament Condemn It?

Deacon Greg Kandra: Clarity on an important news item.

Mark Shea: Knowing the Words, But Not the Tune.

Monsignor Charles Pope: Supreme Mistake-A Response to the Supreme Court Decisions on Same-Sex Unions.

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  • jp

    There is no such thing as gay marriage. Same sex unions is nothing new. They were wrong then, they are wrong now because God is always right: Holy Matrimony is a Sacrament bestowed upon one man and one woman as the beginning of the family in the domestic church.

  • James

    And Cardinal Dolan wonders why gay people think that the Catholic Church doesn’t like them…

    • JoFro

      Cardinal Dolan could have answered that ABC hack by making it clear that the Church will always love the Sinner but it will never ever love the Sin.

      But the good Cardinal decided to play the game on the turf of the Militant Homosexualist by trying to hand out an olive branch – stupid decision, one he will regret!

  • Peter
  • Rosemary

    It isn’t a marriage. A commitment ceremony — fine. But God ordained marriage as being between 1 man and 1 woman. PERIOD. It isn’t that we “don’t like” homosexuals. It’s the “love the sinner, hate the sin” mentality.

  • Kim

    So if the Catholic Church is all about protecting members from Hell, why then does she not mention too often CCC 2370 and her characterization of contraception as “intrinsically evil”. If homosexual unions, which are deliberately closed to new life, can’t be considered a marriage, then why does she not also emphasize that the deliberate use of contraception completely undermines the nature of marriage as well? Perhaps the leaders are too afraid of contributions drying up?

    • Frank Weathers

      She does emphasize this in her teachings, and the HHS Mandate fight reflects this fact. On the contrary, why hasn’t her shepherds/pastors/priests discussed these teachings during their homilies, etc.? Good question!

      • Bill S

        Do you want the real answer to why some people have no fear of Hell. Here it is. Wait for it……

        Because there is no such place as Hell. No Heaven. No Hell. No Purgatory.

        These are just enticements and threats to control our behavior. And they have worked for thousands of years. But must we keep on believing them? Really?

    • Ray

      You clearly don’t follow the Church. I can tell you that it has been discussed with fervor at my parish. I am a cradle Catholic who use to think contraception was good. I don’t anymore and that has come from exploring and fundamentally understanding why the church is opposed to it.

      You also miss a broader point: sexual activity is limited to marriage for everyone. That teaching will never change. And marriage, as defined by Christ, is between a man and a woman.

  • Liz

    A friend told me that love between adults that includes sex, regardless of sexual orientation, is not a sin. And making the commitment to be married is a grace and not deviant behavior. What would you say to this?

    • Frank Weathers

      All of the updates to the original post should be helpful in this regard. But I’d also say what Terry Nelson says in his post in the updates,

      Pay no attention to me, and little attention to the new online gay-Catholic apologists, or their Savonarola counterparts. As I always say, don’t go to strangers, but solid Catholic priests whom you can trust.

      The claim is often made that the Catholic Church has “nothing to offer” Gay persons, homosexuals or the slightly wider group often called the LGBT community.

      Of course this claim has a kind of rhetorical flourish built in since it would appear that, in order to have “something to offer” we would have to meet a rather specific list of demands, wherein we essentially set aside biblical, theological and natural law teaching, and embrace homosexual activity as natural, normal, and even virtuous.

      This we cannot do. And thus, many of our modern critics engage in kind of all-or-nothing approach which demands 100% approval, or by definition we have “nothing to offer.”

      Note he points folks to Monsignor Pope’s post that is also in the updates above.

      “What does the Church offer Gay People?”

      To begin, the Church offers Gay people what she offers anyone else: the truth of God’s Word authoritatively interpreted, the Sacraments of Salvation, a vision for life, and the witness and support of the communal life, a communion with those now living as well as with the ancients whose voice and witness we still revere. We also offer respect rooted in truth.

      The Church can say nothing other than what she has heard from the Lord. And thus we teach:

      Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (Catechism # 2357) – Please read the entire post here.

  • Knower

    Yeah, but WHY does any seriously disordered free human act — or omission — tend toward the unhappiness of hell? According to Catholic tradition, it’s BECAUSE it’s intrinsically and seriously harmful to self or neighbor: not the other way around. Thus Thomas Aquinas in his *Summa Contra Gentiles* wrote flatly — sorry, I don’t know the exact reference — that “we don’t offend God except by what we cause [whether by act or by omission] which is against our own good” — i.e., against my own or my neighbor’s true good and happiness.
    And the philosopher Jacques Maritain writes (in Ch. 2, section 6 of his book *Moral Philosophy*) that “it is … because in the first place [a human action] has in itself a positive moral VALUE, that it is in consequence of such a nature as to lead us toward our final END.” By contrast, it’s because an intrinsically harmful human action has in the first place a NEGATIVE moral value, that it’s consequently of such a nature as to lead us away from the happiness of our God-intended final end, and toward the unhappy abyss of hell.

  • tacitus

    I’ll start taking what the Catholic Church says about marriage seriously once they stop helping serial philanderers like Newt Gingrich make their decades-long marriages (two of them, one with issue, in his case) disappear in a puff of smoke.

    The Catholic Church, destroying the institution of marriage, one marriage at a time.

    • Frank Weathers

      And yet, She is given the power to bind and to loose, and to do so with mercy that surpasses justice. Webster Bull takes a crack at this concept in his series of meditations on Roman Guardini’s book The Lord.

    • James

      The question with annulment is not whether someone deserves to be remarried, but whether the previous marriages were valid.

      1. Newt’s first wife was his geometry teacher. She was the 1960s version of “Teachers Gone Wild.” If that happened today, she would be arrested for statutory rape.

      2. Newt’s second wife was an “upgrade” for political reasons.

      Basically Newt screwed up his first two marriages so badly, they didn’t count in the eyes of the Church.

  • Knower

    Mr. Weathers writes above of “an equal chance for salvation (or not)”, and of “a greater than equal chance for damnation”, and refers to Blaise Pascal, who as a mathematician was into statistical “probability theory”.
    But once it’s understood that God, the “Hound of Heaven”, earnestly desires each human to be saved, and that no one frustrates this divine desire except by his own final and utterly freely chosen obstinacy in sin, — once this is understood, it’s simply absurd to think in terms of anyone having a greater “chance” or a lesser “chance” of salvation. Self-evidently, free choice is simply not in the least a matter of statistical probability or “chance”. For when it comes to utterly free option, all statistical calculation goes out the window.
    What, then, does motivate a person to avoid homosex, or to warn others against homosex — even though God wants to forgive if only a person really resolves to rectify his behavior? Well, as it’s been well said, “God forgives; but nature does not.” Any action intrinisally disordered is sinful BECAUSE it’s harmful: harmful psychologically to the doer himself and often to others, right here on earth. And if we love someone, we want to warn him against harmful behavior, right?

  • Richard Mounts

    Wow! I jjust came to this site through a link to it from another Patheos blog and my first reaction to some of what I’ve read is “wow.”

    Ok, Tacitus and James, I doubt either of you know enough of the details of Newt Gingrich’s marriages to know if, why, or under what conditions the Church granted a Decree of Nullity regarding such marriages. In fact, if it didn’t, then any subsequent “marriage” would be invalid on it’s face (as far as the Church is concerned). Further, the decision of the Church to grant such a decree isn’t about the quality of the marriage after the vows are made. The Church considers the validity of the the parties’ ability to enter into the marriage. It isn’t “Catholic divorce.” A DoN isn’t granted because the couple “grew apart” or someone cheated or whatever went on after the marriage that isn’t related to the initial validity of the marriage. There are scads of books about divorce and nullity. Read any one of them.

    Bill S, you are free to believe whatever you wish about heaven, hell, or purgatory. You are free to be wrong about anything you like. In fact, you’ll find lots of Protestant ministers and maybe some Catholic and Protestant priests, too, who will agree with you. I wouldn’t trust them, but you’re free to. I suspect that you don’t beleive the Bible, or certainly most parts of it, too. If you believe any of it, though, you know that many people mentioned in it talk about heaven and hell quite a bit. And there are rational philosophical arguments for those places and purgatory too that you might find pursuasive. Thomas Aquinas comes to mind, but there are many other, less challenging writers. Just ask your local librarian, or even a Catholic priest. He won’t make you sign anything, promise anything, or even force you to answer any questions you don’t want to answer.

    May God bless and keep all who have read this column and especially those who have contributed comments.

  • Bill S


    I also came here from another Patheos blog. To me, the truth is quite simple and evident. What separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom is our proportionally larger brains. Otherwise, we are very much like our dog or cat. We know what happens to our pets when they die. Their brains stop working and they cease to exist. But we think that we humans have a soul that lives on after death. No. It’s only because of our larger brain that we are able to imagine this. When that brain shuts down, we cease to exist just like our pets. A larger brain doesn’t get us anywhere once it stops working.

    • Frank Weathers

      There is the well, and there are the shallows. I prefer the former.

      • Bill S

        Thank you for the Chesterton quote. I just realized that it was a link. Dah.

        When it comes to knowing myself, no one is wiser than me. They may be more knowledgable but not wiser. The one thing I am positive about myself is that everything I know, think, feel and am resides in my brain. When it stops working, that will be the end of me. I wish more people could just accept that fact about themselves. It is true wisdom.