Marriage is not a 'Catholic thing' - Catholic Courier

Marriage is not a ‘Catholic thing’

Those who seek to redefine marriage as anything other than the union of one man and one woman must, by the very long existence of the institution, be held to a high standard of proof rationale to make their case. 

There is, instead, manipulation of language.

Their theme is inevitably of same-sex marriage and "a strategy of incremental erosion of marriage."

A newspaper columnist recently illustrated this.

The attorney general of Washington State, in announcing his candidacy for governor, said that he is against same-sex marriage.

"(Marriage) has to do with families," he said. "It has to do with reproduction of children. It has to do with stability of society," said Rob McKenna.

Right, three for three. Nothing new here.

It rubbed Danny Westneat, a columnist for The Seattle Times, the wrong way. Westneat called the position "discriminatory and divorced from reality."

"Society and science have already recast marriage and remade the family," he wrote.

Right. And how’s that working out for you?

The reality that Westneat sees is the status quo.

Noting that married households are now the minority in Washington State, he says, "meaning there is no marriage at the core of the majority of our families anymore."

Westneat is not alone in misunderstanding the intrinsic nature of marriage, seeing it as some sort of legal construct, no more than a state license approval of sexual relations.

It’s not a "Catholic thing." It is no more possible to redefine marriage as to redefine water as something other than its elemental constituents.

"Strategies of language are crucial here," said the head of the U.S. bishops’ effort for promotion and defense of marriage. "What we see happening in the marriage debate with terms such as ‘equality’ is similar to the manipulation of language found in the pro-abortion rhetoric of ‘choice,’" said Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of Oakland, Calif.

The columnist sees the candidate’s view as divorced from reality. That reality is far from perfect, one in much need of rehabilitation.

"Our culture is one that often forgets the sacred gift of the child," said Bishop Cordileone, and "fails to recognize the vital importance of a mother and a father together for the life and upbringing of that child."

Bishop Cordileone’s committee provides a very good analogy: "The word ‘marriage’ isn’t simply a label that can be attached to different types of relationships. Instead, ‘marriage’ reflects a deep reality — the reality of the unique, fruitful, lifelong union that is only possible between a man and a woman.

"Just as oxygen and hydrogen are essential to water, sexual difference is essential to marriage. The attempt to ‘redefine’ marriage to include two persons of the same sex denies the reality of what marriage is. It is as impossible as trying to ‘redefine’ water to include oxygen and nitrogen."

The columnist urged the candidate to change his position.

"It would get you into the 21st century when it comes to family," he advised.

What flash of brilliance has occurred early in the 21st century to overcome a millennia of an institution?

Kent, now retired, was editor of archdiocesan newspapers in Omaha and Seattle.

Tags: Catholic Marriage
Copyright © 2024 Rochester Catholic Press Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Linking is encouraged, but republishing or redistributing, including by framing or similar means, without the publisher's prior written permission is prohibited.

Choose from news (Monday), leisure (Thursday) or worship (Saturday) — or get all three!


No, Thanks


Catholic Courier Newsletters