Since the Supreme Court’s unwise decision in Lawrence v. Texas, the topic of homosexuality has been in the face of every American as they sit to read their morning newspaper over a cup of coffee. The most pressing issue has been the controversial idea of homosexual marriages.
Immediately after the decision in Lawrence, conservatives decried the Court’s decision to add to its list of responsibilities the job of injecting itself into the moral, cultural debates of American society. Justice Scalia wrote in his dissent that “the Court has taken sides in the culture war, departing from its role of assuring, as neutral observer, that the democratic rules of engagement are observed.”
The greatest concern for those adamantly opposed the decision was the idea that the approval of homosexual marriage was next. Now the Massachusetts Supreme Court is due any day to render its opinion regarding the legalization of same-sex marriage.
So when the Vatican, in response to the cultural uproar over the divisive issue, released a statement last Thursday outlining, again, the Catholic Church’s stance in opposition to homosexuality and, more specifically, homosexual marriage, it made big news. Here is the conclusion of that statement:
“The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.”
This ought to be big news. In a time when the Catholic Church has gone through terrific turmoil, it is heartening to see that their leadership is still willing to stand its ground in the current culture war, especially on issues the faithful consider most important.
Both those opposed to or in favor of homosexual marriage ought to read the Vatican’s statement: when an organization as large and influential as the Catholic Church takes such a firm stance and outlines that stance so clearly, everyone should take notice.
And everyone should read it.