Here we offer an “interview” with Pope Benedict XVI that draws on his previous writings on the subject of homosexuality, on giving legal recognition to homosexual unions, and on the duties of Catholic politicians.
1) Your Holiness, thank you for joining us today. You recently referred to the “powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage” in the United States. How should the Catholic Church in America respond to such pressure?
The Church’s conscientious effort to resist this pressure calls for a reasoned defense of marriage as a natural institution consisting of a specific communion of persons, essentially rooted in the complementarity of the sexes and oriented to procreation.
Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage.
Defending the institution of marriage as a social reality is ultimately a question of justice, since it entails safeguarding the good of the entire human community and the rights of parents and children alike.
2) Many try to dismiss this as a matter of religion and say that it should have no place in a modern, pluralistic society. What do you say?
Since this question relates to the natural moral law, the arguments that follow are addressed not only to those who believe in Christ, but to all persons committed to promoting and defending the common good of society.
The Church’s teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world.
No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman.
3) Many people think think of homosexual unions as on par with heterosexual unions–only with the genders changed. What should we make of this view?
There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.
Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts as a serious depravity (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10).
This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.
This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first centuries and is unanimously accepted by Catholic Tradition.