Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 6, 2015 Column Father De Celles

Liberty and Marriage. This weekend we rightly celebrate the gift of liberty as we celebrate the 239th anniversary of our nation’s Declaration of Independence from the tyrannical rule of King George III. But at the same time we rightly mourn the abuse of liberty and the tyrannical usurpation of power by the U.S. Supreme Court in its ruling on Friday, June 26, that there is a constitutional right to “same sex marriage.”

The decision was based on a 5 to 4 vote, so that just one man, one unelected judge appointed for life and acting more like a tyrannical king than an American judge, made the final decision that enabled the court to ignore democratically decided laws of the various states, and (as Chief Justice Roberts wrote in dissent), “to remake society according to its ownnew insight” … order[ing] the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia….”

Is the Supreme Court so wise that we should abdicate our freedom to it? This is the same court that once said that black Americans weren’t human beings, Japanese Americans could be imprisoned without trial, separate but equal schools for blacks was okay, and women had a right to kill their unborn babies.

So I ask: What does it matter what the Supreme Court says? Or what public opinion polls, the media or Hollywood says?

On the other hand, does it NOT matter that almost all human beings for thousands of years thought marriage was obviously only between a man and a woman. Or that the Church has always infallibly taught the same thing? Or that Pope Francis has repeatedly reaffirmed this teaching?

Does it NOT matter that the Holy Spirit tells us in 1 Corinthians 6: “Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals ….none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.” (The Greek refers to homosexual acts, not the inclination.) Or that Jesus defined marriage, in Matthew 19: “he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall…be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” Or that Jesus went on to acknowledge that it is impossible for some people to get married: “For some …because they were born that way; others were made that way by men…”

Does it NOT matter that your father and mother, and every generation of your ancestors, vehemently thought that homosexual acts were wrong? Or that for all of human history human society has been built on the fundamental building block of the marriage of a man and a woman? Or that there is no proof that a same sex marriage can fill that role?

Does it NOT matter that the marriage of a male and female unites the two halves of the human race, and provides children with a constant loving example on how to respect and love both men and women —and same sex relationships simply can’t? Or that the bodies of males and females are made to naturally fit and complete each other, and to join together in the sexual act to create a new human life? Or that the bodies of two males do not fit at all, and join together in a way that is literally physically harmful and unhealthy to their bodies.

Does it NOT matter that saying, “but they love each other” is not enough to demand marriage? If a married man falls in love with another woman is that enough to say he can marry the other woman? If a brother and sister love each other, should they be allowed to marry? If a man loves 5 women, and they love him, can they all get married?

Now, some may say all this makes me a hater and a bigot. But are all those people who rejected same sex marriage throughout history hateful bigots? How about all the Catholic saints you love, were they hateful bigots? Or Pope Francis, or the Holy Spirit, or Jesus? Were your parents and grandparents hateful bigots?

I don’t hate anyone. How is it hate if I think that something is bad for you, and for all of us, and that you shouldn’t do it? How is it hate if I think that male-female marriage is so important to society that it shouldn’t be tinkered with?

Even so, get ready. For those who follow Christ and his Church, or who believe in a natural law so evidently displayed in male and female bodies, things are about to get very bad. We will all be called bigots and haters. We will be forced to do things we fundamentally oppose. We will be abused and discriminated against. They will try to deny you a tax deduction for what you give to the Church, and to fine or imprison priests for what they preach or for refusing to officiate at same sex weddings.

But this persecution will not come just from the government and strangers. It will very soon come from our own friends, and even our own siblings and our children. And we will come to understand what Christ meant when He said: “Do not think I have come to bring peace… I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother,… He who loves …son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me….”

But we must love Him above all things, and never betray Him. Because what is at stake is not simply the survival of western culture, or the family as an institution, or even your personal family. What’s at stake is our immortal souls and the souls of our children. Remember what Jesus tells us about sexual sin: “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Now, Jesus doesn’t want you to pluck out your eye, but He does want us to stop sexual sins lest we “be thrown into hell.”

Jesus tells us this because He loves us. And if family members and friends really love each other, they will tell each other the truth about the sinfulness of same sex marriage. You cannot love someone and do nothing to stop them from burning in hell.

But if you love them, act like it. Be patient, kind, and compassionate. Remember to love the person, not the situation or the sin. But never confuse mercy with deceit or compromise: be clear on what is right and wrong, and never directly cooperate with this evil.

And never give up hope. Because Jesus Christ is our hope. He has conquered sin and death, and He has vanquished the devil. So let us entrust our nation, our Church, our families and ourselves to His mercy. For what is impossible for man is not impossible for God. All things are possible for God. God bless America.


Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles