This is the main reason why the Catholic Church will never allow same sex weddings: because we believe that marriage is a sacrament and we can’t change the content of the sacrament. A marriage is between one man and one woman for life and we can’t change it any more than we can say the grass is purple or the sky is green. We can’t change the content of the sacrament because that’s the way things are. We can’t change the content of marriage any more than we can say baptism is now putting ashes on your head instead of water.
If we don’t allow same sex weddings we don’t allow polygamy or remarriage after divorce for the same reason. We can’t change the sacrament. The sacrament is a given. It’s an ontological reality. Saying we can change marriage is as impossible as saying that water is no longer a molecule with two atoms of hydrogen united with one of oxygen.
This doesn’t mean that we hate gay people. It doesn’t mean that we are racist and bigots. We can even grant that homosexual people show love to one another. We can admit that they may establish a civil union or live together. They may do as they please. They can even call what they do “marriage” if they wish, but that doesn’t make it marriage and it certainly doesn’t make it a Catholic sacrament.
We will also never ordain women as priests for the same reason. Ordination is a sacrament. Jesus established the sacrament by ordaining men, and just like he established the sacrament of baptism with water and we can’t use ashes, so he established the priesthood with men and so we can’t use women.
We might not understand it. We might think it’s dumb. We might think it’s unfair. We might think it’s crazy. But we simply don’t have the power to change it.
It doesn’t mean we hate women or that we think women are inferior. It doesn’t mean that we think women can’t do a lot of the things priests do. It simply means that the sacrament of ordination is not open to women because it’s not given to us in that way. Can women be good Protestant ministers? Sure. But they can’t be Catholic priests. Can women fulfill many functions in the church? Sure. But they can’t be priests. Should the church be less clerical and have more lay men and lay women in positions of leadership? I think so. But that doesn’t mean women should be priests.
Does being against gay marriage and women’s ordination mean that Catholics are all meanies and hopelessly out of date bigots? It might come across that way, but such an attitude would be just as silly as saying that we are nasty potato chip and coke haters because we refuse to use coke and chips for Mass instead of bread and wine.
I realize that this explanation will probably only infuriate some people, but this is the way things are and we can’t change the facts even if we want to.