Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Same-Sex 'Marriage': Responding to a request to explain what's happening.





This is the letter which appeared in Saturday's Telegraph from a thousand & fifty four English clerics :
Sir,
After centuries of persecution Catholics have, in recent times, been able to be members of the professions and participate fully in the life of this country. 
Legislation for same sex marriage, should it be enacted, will have many legal consequences, severely restricting the ability of Catholics to teach the truth about marriage in their schools, charitable institutions or places of worship. 
It is meaningless to argue that Catholics and others may still teach their beliefs about marriage in schools and other arenas if they are also expected to uphold the opposite view at the same time. 
The natural complementarity between a man and a woman leads to marriage, seen as a lifelong partnership. This loving union – because of their physical complementarity - is open to bringing forth and nurturing children. This is what marriage is. That is why marriage is only possible between a man and a woman.  Marriage, and the home, children and family life it generates, is the foundation and basic building block of our society.
 We urge Members of Parliament not to be afraid to reject this legislation now that its consequences are more clear.
The signatories are here 

Now yes I am certain that many priests, with the appalling national communications network and in the aftermath of a busy Christmas period; were either unaware of the document or were unable to sign - but I am not one of those ecstatic at a mere quarter of priests having made a political statement - and yes there are some surprising clerical names within...

[it's not detracting or creating scandal to say a few are publicly renowned/notorious  for being 'gay friendly' to the point of being antagonistic towards Church teaching on sexual issues so their opposition to same-sex marriage provokes further questions I will not discuss here]

I take little pride in the clergy finally making a token gesture...it's ironic that a handful on the list have done more publicly in defence of marriage than the entire 1054 

But this is no declaration of war...this is a recognition that war has been declared against us...and this statement is well over a year too late. This is a savage indictment upon our silent hierarchy [compare with the Bishops north of the border?], our negligent Catholic Communications Network and frankly the ineptitude of the posturing Catholic Voices who have claimed to adopt the mantle of defenders but after publishing a meandering argument-lite document, one of their number producing a pamphlet [which might adequately line the bottom of a hamster cage but it didn't understand marriage let alone defend it] and embarrassing equivocating and misrepresentative [often counterproductively ill-informed] media performances? Little wonder the cause for the defence of marriage is in such a state of disarray.

Archbishop Nichols did not help the cause either with his Christmas 'stunt' of a belligerently confrontational homily [compare it with the incisive intellectual addresses of Bishops Egan & Davies] closely followed by allowing the media to believe the 'expulsion' of homosexuals from Warwick St was connected with it - making the defence of marriage seem like institutionalised homophobia  involving anti-gay pogroms! A cynic or conspiracy theorist might opine this was veering upon sabotage rather than incompetence. I've already stated elsewhere:

"The campaign against the abolition of marriage has been knocked back into the middle of last year and become in the eyes of the many and the media - a flagrantly 'homophobic' issue.
Those who would have been willing to listen to arguments like 'all marriage is being downgraded to civil partnerships' - will now refuse to lend an ear...they don't trust us - they think we hate gay and lesbian people...
It's almost like this response and outcome was planned!!??
All so unnecessary - and all so intrinsically untrue!!
It's almost diabolical!

The nasty suspicious side of my nature is inclined to suspect that 'some people want a war'
[and I don't mean a real potentially winnable war - I mean one filled with sound and fury and expense accounts and lots of TV appearances - signifying nothing....]
Cui bono?
On a completely different subject I note Catholic Voices have neither retracted nor apologised for their heterodox, counterproductive and disenfranchising support of Civil partnerships.. to the extent that its members are still advocating and promoting them in online media as recent as the past few days...
...by their fruits!"





THE ARGUMENT:

The Same-Sex marriage 'debate' is no such thing...nor is it about a redefinition of marriage.

This is a campaign for the abolition of marriage and the enforcement of all presently-married couples to be downgraded to civil partners...

Legally as well as doctrinally marriage doesn't exist until consummation [or sanation at death]
...and homosexuals don't engage in activities which can be legally termed as 'consummating acts' [and realise it would be ludicrous and futile to even attempt to construct a sexual criteria]

Therefore lovemaking has to be removed from the very definition of marriage itself.
Hence - in the name of equality - everyone is going to be forced to be in civil partnerships.

Marriages will cease to exist.

Civil partnerships will simply be renamed as 'marriage'

So this isn't anything about 'rights for homosexuals' - it's about the removal of the rights of married couples to be married...they must become civil partners and be 'equalised' into conformity.

Simple really...so why aren't  Catholic commentators and 'defenders of marriage' saying this?

Is it too culturally insensitive?

Is that why our media-representatives are misrepresenting the very nature of marriage on news programmes and public debates etc?

Saying the Purpose of Marriage is 'to have and raise children' when that's not the purpose of marriage - the purpose is a loving physical and spiritual union - the aim/end is for that love to overflow into children [hence infertile couples fulfil marriage's purpose but are unable to naturally attain the end  - whereas for homosexual couples fulfilling the purpose is intrinsically impossible - they can't consummate their love!]
...and certainly we can appeal to the benefit of marriage to society and the raising of children - but we are expressly forbidden from using these society improving arguments  as utilitarian justification to say same-sex couples cannot get married.

It's gravely immoral to say the status quo benefits me so irrespective of something's rightness or wrongness - they can't have it! That's anti-abolitionist rhetoric!

We are losing the public fight for marriage - and why?

Because marriage's so-called public defenders don't know what marriage is, don't understand what the Church teaching is [and even if they do they won't use it because this is a 'secular issue',] and as with virtually every other moral issue in the public arena over the past few years - have repeatedly proven they are ill-informed, inexperienced and ultimately bloody useless!

Primarily to Catholics marriages are made in Heaven - and I do not mean the gay nightclub - it is a sacramental institution - a union of souls becoming one flesh where one gives oneself totally to the other and becomes everything for that other - the physical and spiritual love overflows with the Grace of God through His Procreative Will into forming new life - a new unique encapsulated cosmos - the child becoming a new part of this spiritual and physical bond and increasing the love and the experience exponentially....

It's a reflection of natural reality - the telos towards the continuance of the earthly race; an inbuilt social, cultural and psychological entelechy towards that end - for love to overflow into a family and a community and the physical and spiritual links increase commensurately...

Now even if you remove the religious aspects of this paradigm you still arrive at a natural phenomenon - an evolutionary/genetic/endocrinological/neurochemical/psychological coercion towards this bonding and unifying and consolidating and becoming a protective, loving holism of a family.

The natural telos of lovemaking is exactly that - unifying and procreative - biologically, psychologically and for those with a non-positivist/secularist/mechanist perspective - a spiritual entelechy too.

That's the normative way - any way you wish to look at it - that's the inherent design and the ontological ideal.

Now introduce those who are sexually attracted to members of the same sex - why or how or through what process or potential biological/psychological/socio-cultural factors  is irrelevant for this argument - they exist.

Even though they possess an inherent procreative capacity they are unable to enter into the normative paradigm expressed above as they psychologically and spiritually limited from bringing that aspect of themself to fruition by unifying themselves with a member of the opposite sex.
No matter how unifying the intention of their sexual acts - they axiomatically [and for all intents and purposes if one aspires to the ideal scenario - unwillingly] preclude that generative aspect of themselves from their sexual partner.
No matter how crude or insensitive it may seem - the sterile sexual acts of homosexuals is mutual masturbation.
All the evolutionary, biological ,psychological aspects of themselves driven towards a procreative entelechy is automatically denied from them...

Hence there is a scarring - an intrinsic moral disorder within the acts unable to fulfil their designated purpose.
...and those with same-sex attraction possess an inherent 'natural' moral disorder and a social disorder - it's non-normative and non-categorical - it cannot be universalised without extinction.

Now within the infertile and menopausal there remains most of the entelechy except a procreative aspect which can still be personally, socially and externally vindicated and lead to a furtherance of that very entelechy by promotion of the very state or providing that holism to those deprived of it e.g. adoption, communal integration etc. They are married by natural and supernatural standards.

But for those within a same-sex relationship?
The best to which they can aspire is an exclusive loving union of disaffected friendship - the argument that sexual activity by its very incapacity to fulfil the overwhelming desires for fully unifying and being procreative is by its very nature damaging on so many levels and must be considered as intrinsically harmful and intrinsically morally disordered - cannot be merely dismissed with 'it's the optimal expression of physical love' - the limiting unifying nature of it axiomatically accentuates and aggravates and potentially corrupts and jeopardises the love within the relationship.

...and to this couple their relationship must be afforded social recognition and in the interests of social justice all legal rights reflecting their relationship should be implemented and upheld - joint property, rights of inheritance, power of attorney, hospital visitation etc.

So this same-sex partnership must be afforded specific rights.
The Church cannot condone and strongly advises against - for the couple's own sake- any sexual activity [but this does not preclude chaste emotional and exclusive physical intimacy to complement and compliment the "disaffected friendship']


Now the government - instead of merely altering all the legal aspects individually - chose to encapsulate all these legal rights into a Civil Partnership act which for all intents and purposes designates the same-sex couple as having the same legal status  as those who are married [yes I know - it is not called marriage - and it does not directly relate to those within a sexual relationship - but nevertheless the legislation has introduced a separate entity which possesses a congruency in statutory rights as marriage]

So where marriage's normative natural [and legislative supernatural] status is compromised by its existence.
For those in [most] religious bodies it scandalises the very nature of marriage's supernatural union of souls and the resultant spiritual family holism.

Therefore the Catholic Church...

[despite what you might hear from obscurantist renegades like His Grace Archbishop Nichols [whom don't forget was forced by the Vatican to clarify his position] or the posturing Catholic Voices]

...strongly opposes Civil partnerships by their very emulative nature. It does not oppose most of the natural social justice provisions within it - it opposes its encapsulation as a single entity which bastardises and scandalises the intrinsic nature of marriage. A same-sex relationship - however loving and unifying - IS BY VERY DEFINITION - not marriage.
To provide all the rights under a 'marriage-like' umbrella statute is erroneous and defiantly denigrates the normative aeons-formulated categorically-exclusively heterosexual nature of marriage.

...The Church cannot merely dismiss the awkwardness and accept the Civil Partnership provisions with the equivocation that it's a legal arrangement and not a recognition of a sexual 'consummated' partnership...

[How +Vin & the Catholic Voices team thought they could get away with that argument is beyond me - same-sex partners DO NOT ENGAGE in what the Church calls lovemaking - haven't they read the criteria of casti connubii & humanae vitae?
Compound that with the physical manifestation of the legislation - it is performed AS A MARRIAGE by its participants - and thus compromises the normative natural nature of Marriage and scandalises the Catholic sacramental supernatural nature of marriage]

Hence the 2003 CDF Directive where we have a 'duty to oppose' same-sex unions and the proscriptive 'strongly oppose' of CBCEW representative Bishop Hines's deposition to the CP consultation - apply!

So when during the Papal Visit [and repeated in Sep 2010] Archbishop Nichols declared 'we did not oppose Civil Partnerships'... [and as reported in the Nov 2011 Tablet http://www.thetablet.co.uk/pdf/5348 ]



...His Grace was guilty of amnesia and [inadvertent?] misrepresentation of Church teaching - as he has been during recent months [hence the intervention of the Vatican in December - forcing him to clarify his position (which didn't really clarify anything - and those who denounced the Archbishop's position as directly contrary to the CDF directives and the 2003 Bishops' Conference position as ...and get this..."MISCHIEVOUS"!!!! ) http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2011/12/05/last-week-i-asked-archbishop-nichols-to-clarify-his-views-on-civil-unions-this-led-the-cna-to-ask-him-too-he-spoke-but-did-we-get-an-answer/ ]

But here's the irony - when Andrew Brown reiterated the CV/+Vin's position [and its contrast with the Catholic Church elsewhere in the UK] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/22/catholic-church-reject-uk-christians-persecuted

Suddenly The CBCEW issues a 'Clarification' http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/Home/News-Releases/Clarification-on-Civil-Partnerships where it states:

Following a Guardian report today, 23 February 2012, it is important to clarify the position taken by the Bishops' Conference in 2003 in response to the Government Consultation on "Civil partnership – A framework for the legal recognition of same–sex couples”. Civil Partnerships are now part of the framework of British law. The current debate is about the specific nature of the institution of marriage and its distinctive place in the fabric of society.
23. We believe the government’s proposals to create civil partnerships for same sex couples would not promote the common good, and we therefore strongly oppose them. They would in the long term serve to undermine marriage and the family for the reasons set out in paragraphs 9-12 above. They are not needed to defend fundamental human rights or remedy significant injustices for same-sex couples, as these have either already been substantially addressed or can largely be addressed by the couple entering into contractual arrangements privately. Moreover, the government’s proposals do nothing to tackle what is in fact a very much bigger issue, namely the lack of rights enjoyed by cohabiting heterosexual couples and their children, many of whom wrongly believe they are protected by ‘common law marriage.’ The government needs to publicise their lack of rights, and strongly advocate the obvious solution, which is marriage.

WHAT IS GOING ON?!!!


+Vin says "we did not oppose Civil Partnerships"
Catholic Voices Co-ordinator Austen Ivereigh informs members of the CV team that the CDF directive ordering a duty to oppose same-sex unions DOES NOT APPLY to Civil Partnerships and that Dr Oddie was 'exploiting the ambiguity'
Catholic Voices barrage the blogs and twitter with defence of this position to the extent that Greg Daly [The Thirsty Gargoyle] makes a ludicrous, farcical, sophist, fallacy-laden & ultimately utterly specious defence of Archbishop Nichols's position that a same-sex union is not the same as a same-sex union because the sexual aspect is not presumptive [ignoring that same-sex mutual masturbation is NOT doctrinally considered as lovemaking and cannot be applied]  http://www.catholicvoices.org.uk/monitor-blog/2011/12/archbishop-nicholss-position-civil-partnerships-consistent-church-teaching

...and NOW we have the CBCEW 'clarifying' that they DO actually oppose Civil Partnerships and always have done since 2003...

So where does that leave Archbishop Nichols & Catholic Voices?!!!

So far we have had nothing but silence from them - EXCEPT in repeated affirmation of this position while attempting to maintain that they support Bishop Hines's 2003 deposition - we arrive at a cognitive dissonance of "I support the strong opposition to Civil Partnerships but I also support Civil Partnerships"
 But there has been no retraction or 'positive re-re-re-framing'


Nevertheless Civil Partnerships exist [and the Church [despite our own hierarchy's obfuscation, wishful thinking and ultimately downright mendacity - even after a clarification which does confrm to the CDF] opposes them just as it opposes a vast array of other legislation]

It has a legal equivalence with marriage in every way except one - where it can be performed.

Now here's the crux of what's going on.
When the legislation for Civil Partnerships was being proposed - GLBT activists and campaigners declared all they sought was recognition and a resolution of all the social injustices and deprivations the law in its then state had against homosexuals - that it DID NOT WANT it to be considered as marriage - as...

...now get this...

"Marriage is a redundant socio-cultural paradigm which offends all those who belong to a "post-nuclear family" relationship"

 [ironically you'll hear similar arguments from so-called Christian lobby-group Ekklesia who oppose any legal/financial bias towards the marital status]

In other words - the GLBT community recognised marriage for what it was - a timeless socio-cultural and religious construct which did not reflect the nature of their relationships. They did not want to be referred to as participants in marriage given its ideological and religious 'baggage'


So what changed?
Why all of a sudden do the Gay Activists demand 'Justice' & 'Equality' and an 'end to homophobic oppression' which can all be resolved by the legal designation of 'Same- Sex Marriage"?

Why are they being duplicitously deceptive - they have Gay marriage in all-but-name - so why do they want the name?

In 2001 GLBT Activist Ben Summerskill declared EXACTLY what the intention was behind it...

Simply to force every institution which performs civil marriage to perform same-sex marriage - any body which did not or could not [i.e. all the homophobic enemies of equality] must be legally forced to perform them or be excluded.

In other words - this is about punishing the 'inherently homophobic' aspects of religion
and legally ensuring they are not allowed to continue to provide 'institutionally homophobic' marriages.
If a Church, Mosque or Temple thinks it is going to get away with perfoming Civil marriages within their religious ceremonies and deny same-sex couples from the privilege?
They are very much mistaken - they are homophobic and should not be allowed to continue to affront GLBT dignity by being part of the legal system

So what is this all about?

Ultimately the removal of all religious bodies who cannot perform same-sex ceremonies from also participating in the civil marriage process.

Now make no mistake: Same-sex marriage will come.
Some religions will comply with the intensifying pressure to perform the ceremonies...

...meanwhile our Catholic hierarchy will handwring, bewail their lot, attempt to make dodgy deals with the encumbent government over exemptions and appeal to religious conscience rights etc.
...and it will all come to nothing - they'll be kicked out of the civil marriage process and there will be a legal enforcement of dual ceremonies; the religious ceremonies will need civil confirmation & recognition with separate vows/public declarations.

So why doesn't the Church do here what it has done in numerous countries elsewhere? e.g. India, Canada, Russia etc

Why doesn't the Church pro-actively appeal to the Vatican to remove itself completely from the Civil process and revoke the statutory provisions; throwing them back in the government's face?

Why doesn't it now - before being dragged kicking and screaming - act conscientiously and remove itself from the sullied process?

Answers?
Well why give away a right you possess and still have an opportunity to cling to - maybe even for a decade or so?

If we're out of the process we lose our [illusionary?] bargaining chip and if we lose this fight we might get compensated by the government with something else we want?

Ohhhhh! We would be seen as 'institutionally homophobic' !!! [the LAST thing our hierarchy wants]

...and to quote our illustrious Archbishop Nichols "Who knows what's down the road?"

Maybe when this Pope dies we'll have new Vatican 'Policy'?
 [notice no deference to timeless magisterial teaching here]

A new Pope might be more 'pastorally sensitive/gay-friendly' and submit to social cultural developments and permit the blessing of 'disaffected chaste same-sex commitments' in Churches - a sort of marriage-lite? And we might be able to wing it and stay within the state system and placate all the gay pressure groups?

{and let's be honest here - they're already happening in secret or in public among professional establishment same-sex Catholic couples while our hierarchy turns a blind-eye - it's happening!!! The more it's done the sooner it will become more 'acceptable' ]


There's also financial considerations - who is going to pay for both a Church and a Civil ceremony? It could mean less money in our coffers if we can't provide an all-inclusive service

....but there is also one final argument as to why we shouldn't take the moral high ground and remove ourselves from the Civil marriage process...

MAYBE IT'S WRONG!!!??
Maybe being ousted by bully-boy browbeating and exiled from the civil process by those who wish to change the definition of marriage and rewrite history for their own selfish ends - is to be cowardly - and to abrogate our duties and responsibilities to our traditions and ancestors and every member of society of all faiths and none - if this is unjust - maybe compliance is the last thing we should do? Maybe we're here to take a stand and fight it all the way - the same way we are supposed to fight against any injustice and oppose every tyranny [even when it arrogantly wields the false banner of 'equality'] ?



Or in this world is it too much to ask the Church to ever do the right thing?

oh...and finally ; before I'm accused of being 'mischievous' - maybe any Catholic who wishes to respond might wish to refer first to http://www.vatican.va/roman_cu...



Will Archbishop Nichols retract his previous statements?
Will Catholic Voices retract and  remove its statements on the issue and reverse its contra-Catholic position?
Will homosexual activists admit that they already have gay marriage - and the only reason they want legal recognition of the term 'marriage' is to enforce 'equality' on those who refuse to acknowledge such unions to the extent of expulsion from the process i.e. casting religious institutions into exile?
 

I do not think so....Meanwhile our pastoral responsibilities to homosexuals...


and the very future of marriage itself lie in shreds unless we take a real stand...


And the real consequences of this legislation?
The courts filled with sacked teachers, prosecuted clerics, Catholic employers and employees across vast swathes of the public and private services charged with breaking codes of practice and conduct regarding 'equality in the workplace' ? 
The nightmare awaits!

1 comment:

galgani89 said...

What a diatribe! After all that rather lengthy and pathetic post on the definition of marriage, we have just discovered that you are not married at all! Good Catholic that you are, living in sin! Sort of lost the moral high ground there pal.
Nobody will ever take anything you say again seriously.
Worse, what about all the people you have insulted on your blog, twitter etc over the years? How are you going to make that right?
Hope you are not receiving communion pal, in the hand, standing, kneeling or otherwise.
Just think how stupid those sanctimonious twits on the Guild look now, they used to follow your every word, they must be pig sick.
Your fall has been a long time coming, Yes, there most definatly is a God!