Tragic, yet true, the Church and society continue to suffer the infiltration of those opposed to the King of Heaven and Earth. Unless they repent they risk paying a heavy price both on earth and within the eternal fires of hell without chance of heaven… The Sixth Commandment includes:
Fr. Steve Niskanen, CMF, Pastor San Gabriel Mission
Known as the “Protect Marriage Act”, this Proposition would amend California law to stipulate that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Proponents of Proposition 8, including the California Bishops’ Conference, argue that the California Supreme Court’s decision extending the definition of marriage to include same-sex partnerships devalues marriage and does not insure the well-being of children: “We need to recall that marriage mirrors God’s relationship with us-and that marriage completes, enriches, and perpetuates humanity. When men and women consummate their marriage they offer themselves to God as co-creators of a new human being. Any other pairing-while possibly offering security and companionship to the individuals involved-is not marriage. We must support traditional marriage as the source of our civilization, the foundation for a society that can be a home to all human beings, and the reflection of our relationship with God” (California Bishops’ Statement).
I deeply respect and submit to the authority of our bishops and the force of traditional Catholic teaching limiting sexual relations to the love and life-giving commitment of heterosexual marriage. But I cannot in conscience unequivocally support Proposition 8 because I cannot in my heart of hearts say with certainty, at this time, that God would not call His gay and lesbian children into a faithful and life-long covenant with one another. Some members of our families and of our parish family are gay and lesbian. Studies estimate that between 5-10% of the human race, across cultures, has a predominantly same-sex orientation. I believe that we as a Church need to learn from their stories of rejection and alienation, of faith, hope, and love, so as to better discern with them God’s will for their and our lives. My belief is that gay persons, as gay, are good, and part of God’s diverse creation. Their expression of love, though different from the majority, does, I believe, participate in both the weakness and selfishness of sin and the generosity and kindness of God’s love. They, like all of us, are called to chastity; that is, sexual self-control and loving respect of the other in conformity with one’s calling in life. In the pastoral statement, Always our Children, the US Bishops’ Committee on Marriage and Family concludes with a consoling word to our gay brothers and sisters, “Though at time you may feel discouraged, hurt, or angry, do not walk away from your families, from the Christian community, from all those who love you. In you God’s love is revealed. You are always our children.”
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Steve Niskanen, CMF, Pastor