Note: this article is part of a series I am publishing in the parish bulletin at Blessed Sacrament.
If you recall, in 2011 I offered a series of articles on Marriage as ordained by God. The occasion that elicited them was when Governor Cuomo redefined marriage in New York State to include same sex couples. That series, if you recall, noted how the push for so-called gay marriage was only the most recent attack on Marriage, an attack coming from a society under the dominion of the dictatorship of relativism. Although it is only a few years later, the advances made by the secular forces continue to grow and the definition of Marriage, which is the fabric of our existence, has been further eroded.
As you know, on Friday, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States of America handed down a decision that has implications in this conversation. For the record, the Supreme Court does not make laws, although their decisions are meant to interpret existing laws or uphold particular aspects of the constitution. That being so, decisions rendered by the Supreme Court can and do have an impact on the laws that govern our country. The decision they rendered on June 26 redefined Marriage to include the so-called “same sex marriage” as legal in every state. In the days since this ruling, there have been a long list of claims made by all sides, most of them being drawn from emotion and passion, and not reason. For the record, this latest ruling changed nothing in New York State.
Despite the direction taken by our country, the Catholic Church has stood, and will continue to stand, in opposition to any redefinition of Marriage that does not respect the institution created by God. As I noted in 2011, Marriage is not a malleable reality that can be adapted to situations based on the whim of human beings. Instead, it is the one reality created by God before the Fall of Adam and Eve. It is also a reality through which God reveals Himself, and His relationship with us. In fact, St. Paul expressly presents the relationship of Christ and the Church in marital terms. It is more than a simple analogy in his presentation, as it is an ontological construct that underlies the fabric of existence. God, as the Creator of all things, is the architect of this construct. Thus, the Truth of what Marriage is cannot be reduced or changed by the whim of human law. Our responsibility, particularly as Catholics, is to ensure humanity adapts itself, and its laws, to the reality as established by God.
To be clear, when I state that the Church opposes the redefinition of Marriage, that means every Catholic must join together and pray that the definition of Marriage be respected. To say you are a Baptized member of the Church and yet disagree with this core revelation of God is hypocritical. It is deeply distressing to read that more than 60% of Catholics have no problem with redefining Marriage, and give their support to the actions being taken by our government today. The reason for this trend is that the understanding of Marriage by Catholics continues to decline, predominantly due to the widespread social engineering on this issue. As Catholics, we know that the proper understanding of Marriage includes three “goods”, Proles (procreation), Fides (faithfulness), and Sacramentum (the Sacrament).
In order to manipulate the correct understanding of Marriage, even among Catholics, the social engineers have sought to change the appreciation of these goods. This change can be demonstrated changes in practice and opinion. For instance, the percentage of young Catholics cohabiting and choosing not to marry is on the rise (contra Sacramentum). Support for cohabitation among Catholics continues to rise as 80% of Catholics believe there is nothing wrong with it. There have also been a growing number of Catholics who have no problem with divorce, as again more than 80% of Catholics state that there is nothing wrong with people getting divorced (contra Fides). Finally, behind this whole trend is the rampant use of artificial means of birth control. In this regard, 98% of Catholics do not believe using contraception is sinful or has any deleterious effects on sexual relationships (contra Proles).
In these present reflections, I do not intend to delve deeply into these specific attacks on Marriage, or attempt a detailed explanation of each. Suffice it to say that all of these issues contribute to the larger picture and, particularly as Catholics, we must always uphold the reality of Marriage as instituted by God. To go against it in any of these ways is a serious offense against God and His Church. That being said, next week I will respond to the most popular claim being made by the secular world – that in the ruling rendered by the supreme court, love wins. Nothing could be further from the Truth.