Updated: Mar 18, 2021
The news from the Vatican this week concerning same sex marriage should come as no surprise to us. This has been the Church’s teaching for its entire history. I’m not sure why it’s been such a breaking headline. While this news seems hateful and judgmental to some, it is the exact opposite to those who profess it.
I think it really just comes down to this- we disagree on how best to love people. To love someone is to will the good of the other. Those who are opposed to this teaching believe that good to be deciding truth for themselves. Those who agree with it believe that good to be God's truth.
In a society that has moved so far away from Catholic teachings, we might question why the Church has held so concretely to these teachings. Or how those who follow it can put their faith in a church that is so broken?
The Church is clearly not without fault. It is made up of sinful human beings, as every other religious institution is. Luckily, we don’t worship the human beings in our church. We worship the God who instituted our church.
Asking the Catholic Church to change its teachings to conform to society is like asking Jesus himself to change his mind. Because the Catholic Church is Jesus. It is the church He himself began. NO other church or religious organization can say that.
These are hard conversations to have. Because on whichever side of the fence you stand, there is someone standing opposite from you. And our hearts long for unity. No one wants to see another person suffer or feel like their happiness has been forgotten. But the truth is that suffering is the universal call for all Christians. What the church is asking of gay people is no different than what it’s asking of straight people -chastity according to our stages of life and taking up our crosses daily.
“If God sends you many sufferings it is a sign that he has great plans for you. And certainly wants to make you a saint.” St Ignarious of Loyola
If you are told that your belief of what it means to truly love someone is offensive, don’t change how you love them. “We must not mind insulting men, if by respecting them offends God.” But at the same time, if you meet someone you disagree with, with anything other than love, YOU are in the wrong. You are reflecting Christ to them. Christ welcomed and loved the people he disagreed with. I hope you choose to do the same.
We no longer have the luxury of being on the fence about this. If our peers do not know where we stand on this, do you think God will know when we meet him face to face?
Just know that if you decide to stand on the church‘s side of the fence you are not hateful, ignorant or insensitive. And if you decide to stand on the other side of the fence, you are not less than and you are not forgotten. Our sins are different, but we are all sinners. Luckily His mercies are new every morning.
To those across the fence,
Because I believe that our hearts are happiest in His will, that is what I want for you.
Your feelings are valid. Your choice is valid.
My beliefs do not in any way discount your beliefs.
I still respect you as a human being.
I still love you as a friend.
But I love you too much to compromise on this.