SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (Catholic
Online): On Sunday, June 17, 2012, Priests in Sydney Australia
were asked to read a well written Pastoral Letter from
Archbishop Pell and his auxiliary Bishops entitled "Marriage:
One Man and One Woman in a Covenant of Love and Life" at every
The full letter
can be read here A copy of the text which was placed on a
bookmark distributed to every person who attended Mass, containg
frequently asked questions, can be read here.
The homosexual equivalency activists who want to
redefine the institution of marriage are hard at work in
Australia. Two pieces of legislation have been advanced in an
effort to to bring about a Cultural Revolution. The Bishops
Pastoral letter deserves the full attention of our readers
around the globe. The Catholic faithful of that beautiful Nation
deserve our prayer and solidarity.
The language of the Cultural Revolution has been
adopted by a complicit main stream press. There are very few
news reports using the word marriage for what it is,
ontologically, the lifelong union between one man and one woman
ordered toward love, the conception and rearing of children and
the formation of family, which is the foundation of society
because it is its first vital cell.
Using the distinction between so called
"traditional" Marriage and all other "marriage" is a serious
mistake for anyone defending marriage. It makes it sound like
those who defend true marriage want to turn the clock back and
live in the past. It paints us as opposed to progress, as though
we oppose a new advance in social and cultural evolution which
will lead to greater freedom and cultural sensitivity. Nothing
could be further from the truth!
Those who seek to redefine the word marriage are
the ones who want to turn back progress! They are promoting,
knowingly or unwittingly, a return to a pagan practice. They are
unleashing moral and legal anarchy. They have been joined by
eager collaborators in the Judiciary and elected officials who
believe they are some kind of new "liberators".
In my writing over the years I warned against
ever using the word "marriage" when referring to homosexual
partnerships. This warning did not come from some personal
hostility toward homosexual persons, but out of honesty and
verbal integrity. Homosexual relationships simply cannot
constitute a marriage.
As a lawyer working for
authentic human rights and freedom I learned that in the battle
to change culture, the softening of the language is the most
effective early action before a wholesale assault waged in the
courtrooms, the legislatures and the media. Such language
softens the vigilance of those who are caught unaware of its
ruthless and corrosive effect on the long term struggle.
There is an accelerating effort to make
homosexual partnerships the legal equivalent of marriage in the
positive law and to then use the Police Power of the State to
enforce such a restructuring on the rest of civil society. The
recent letter from the Australian Bishops only confirms that the
movement is global.
When sexual behavior between
two men or two women is viewed as the foundation of some "right"
to marry and those who oppose this equivalency movement are
characterized as being against the "freedom" to marry and "equal
rights", the common good is placed at risk. True marriage is the
preeminent and the most fundamental of all human social
institutions. It is a relationship defined by nature itself and
protected by the natural law that binds all men and women. It
finds its foundation in the order of creation.
Civil institutions do not create marriage nor can
they create a "right" to marry for those who are incapable of
marriage. The institutions of government should, when acting
properly, defend marriage against those who would redefine it.
Government has long regulated marriage for the
common good. For example, the ban on polygamy and age
requirements were enforced in order to ensure that there was a
mature decision at the basis of the Marriage contract.
Heterosexual marriage, procreation, and the nurturing of
children form the foundation for the family. The family forms
the foundation of civil society and is its first vital cell .
To limit marriage to
heterosexual couples is not discriminatory now, nor has it ever
been. Homosexual couples cannot bring into existence what
marriage intends by its very definition. To now "confer" the
benefits that have been conferred in the past only to stable
married couples and families to homosexual paramours is bad
situation we face as Christians is not an unfamiliar one. We
need to see it in the context of Christian history. I do not
care how "scientifically advanced" we think we have become, or
how "modern" the issues purport to be, we humans do not really
change all that much, at least without grace. The struggle we
are engaged in as Christians in contemporary western culture
concerns a clash of worldviews, personal and corporate, and
competing definitions of freedom.
Christians (at least
orthodox, faithful ones) are being presented as unenlightened,
forcing "our view" on others. When the truth is that our
positions on marriage, family, authentic freedom, the dignity of
every human person, and the nature of truth as objective are
what frees people from the bondage of disordered appetites.
These truths are objectively true for all men and women. We were
made for relationship. We were structured for authentic love and
human flourishing within marriage and a society founded upon the
Church was sent into cultures filled with people who also
thought they were "advanced" in light of the arts and sciences
of their day. Yet, these cultures practiced primitive forms of
abortion and even "exposure", a practice of leaving unwanted
children on rocks to be eaten by birds of prey or picked up by
slave traders. To them, freedom was rooted in a notion of power
over others and the right to do as they chose.
Ancient Christian manuscripts such as the Didache
(the Teaching of the Twelve) the accounts of Justin Martyr and
other early sources reveal cultures not unlike the one in which
we live today, cultures of "use" where people were treated as
property - cultures of excess where "freedom" was perceived as a
power over others and unrestrained license masqueraded as
liberty, where homosexual sexual practices were prevalent.
Our contemporary age is increasingly pagan. Many
of the "gods" and goddesses" of the old pagan regimes faced by
the early Christians promoted lives of selfish excess,
homosexual practices, and hedonism masquerading as freedom. The
myths concerning them had them acting in much the same way. The
myths have been reintroduced today, only the tributes and
statues are different.
The contemporary re-emergence of paganism is not the path to
authentic human freedom and flourishing but to misery. The
Christian understanding of marriage and family is not some
outdated notion of a past era but the framework for a future of
true freedom. We are living in a new missionary age.
The early Christians did not present a "negative"
message. They proclaimed the freedom found in Jesus Christ to
all who would listen and demonstrated it in their compelling
witness of life. They lived in monogamous marriages, raised
their children to be faithful Christians and good citizens, and
went into the world of their age, offering a new way to live.
This "way" (which is what they first called the early Church)
presented a very different worldview than the one the pagans
Christians spoke and lived a different way in the midst of that
pagan culture. As a result, they sometimes stirred up hostility.
Some of them were martyred in the red martyrdom of shed blood.
Countless more joined the train of what use to be called "white
martyrdom", by living lives of sacrificial witness and service
in the culture, working hard and staying faithful to the end of
a long life spent in missionary toil.
Slowly, not only were small numbers of "pagans"
converted and baptized, but eventually their leaders and entire
Nations followed suit. Resultantly, the Christian worldview
began to influence the social order. The "clash of freedoms"
continued, but the climate changed significantly.
It was the Christian faith and the practice that
began to win the hearts of men and women. The cultures once
enshrined to pagan practices, such as plural marriage,
homosexuality, exposure and abortion began to change
dramatically and this dynamic continued for centuries.
It was Christianity that taught such novel
concepts as the dignity of every person and their equality
before the One God. The Christians proclaimed the dignity of
women, the dignity of chaste marriage and the sanctity of the
family. It was Christianity that introduced the understanding of
freedom not simply as a freedom from, but as a freedom for
living responsibly and with integrity.
The Christians insisted that freedom must be
exercised with reference to a moral code, a law higher than the
emperor, or the shifting sands of public opinion. It was the
Christians who understood that choice, rightly exercised, meant
always choosing what was right and that the freedom to exercise
that choice brought with it an obligation and concern for the
presented a coherent and compelling answer to the existential
questions that plagued the ancients, such as why we existed and
how we got here. What was the purpose of life? Questions like
how evil came into the world and why we could not always make
right choices? What force seemed to move us toward evil and how
we could be set free from its power?
Christian philosophy began to flourish and the
arts also flourished under the Christian worldview. Philosophies
of government and economic theory began to be influenced by
these principles derived from a Christian worldview. Now, we are
called to transform our own American and Western culture from
within once again.
must be faithful citizens, run for office, and never give up our
struggles in the courtroom, the classroom, or the marketplace of
commerce, all for the common good. Our social and cultural
mission is not an option. It lies at the heart of what it means
to be "leaven", "light", "salt" and the "soul of the world" as
the early Christians taught.
However, we need to realize that the task we face
is first, at root, a spiritual struggle that will first be won
in prayer, stepped into a new Christian missionary movement by
the compelling witness of a vibrant, orthodox, faithful
Christianity that is culturally engaging, relevant and
compelling to the new pagans of our age.
True marriage and family have
been inscribed by the Divine Architect into the order of the
universe. They are God's idea and not our own. Marriage is the
first vital cell of society and creates the first society
wherein children are to be raised so that they can fully develop
have a right to a mother and a father. Yes, there are broken
homes and single parent homes and we must always provide a
compassionate social framework for those families. True marriage
and family are the social foundation and glue of any truly just
society. They are now under an assault.
We need to rededicate
ourselves to living like Christians in our families, at our
workplaces and in our neighborhoods. We need, as the early
Church understood so well, to be a visible, palpable reflection
of the truth about marriage and family. True marriage and family
is the way of the future not the past and we commend Archbishop
Pell and his brothers for saying so with clarity and courage.