Same-Sex Marriage and the Voice of Nature

 
 
When America’s pro-abortion forces won their great victory of January 1973 — the Roe v. Wade ruling of the United States Supreme Court — they were not surprised to see that religious and moral conservatives were immediately outraged. Similarly, white supremacists were immediately outraged when the Court handed down its Brown v. Board of Education decision of May 1954, declaring that racially segregated schools were unconstitutional. It is only natural that unprogressive persons who are strongly attached to out-of-date views will react with shock when the progressive forces of society (in these two cases, the Supreme Court) authoritatively reject these views and, in effect, tell everybody to move on to a newer and brighter day.
 
But — as the pro-abortion folks noticed — the Brown ruling had served as a powerful educational force. The initial “massive resistance” to racial integration in the South had gradually faded away, and by 1973, 19 years after Brown, diehard segregationists had grown more and more quiet, and many more had grown old and died. Public opinion, even in the South, was increasingly sympathetic to the idea of racial equality. Looking back to 1954, we could see that Brown was a transformational moment in American history — a transformation for the good.
 


Couldn’t something similar be expected in the case of abortion? At first, the moral-religious conservatives (e.g., the Roman Catholic hierarchy) were fit to be tied, and they threatened to add a Human Life Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. But pro-abortion types thought that nothing would come of such reactionary moves, and eventually the voices of opposition to abortion would fade away: Eventually, as in the case of racial segregation, almost everybody will come to agree with the wisdom of the Court. Americans generally will come to see that the right to abortion, like the right to racial equality, is a fundamental human right. That’s not to say that everybody will feel that abortion is morally right for herself. But everybody (well, almost everybody) will feel that the choice to have or not to have an abortion is the choice an individual — not the government — should make.
 
But a funny thing happened on the way to this universal acceptance of abortion: It never happened. Thirty-seven years after Roe, there is still nothing even close to universal acceptance. If anything, the opponents of abortion are more opposed than ever. Unlike the segregationists, they didn’t simply fade away.
 
Why is this? Is it because the prejudices of the pro-lifers are stronger than the prejudices of the old segregationists? Not likely, since it would be hard to have stronger prejudices than the old segregationists had. No, the difference is that the white supremacy position was morally wrong while the pro-life position is morally right, and human beings are capable, at least in the long run, of seeing the difference between right and wrong. The segregation movement is dead, while the pro-life movement is thriving. You could give up being a segregationist when you saw that segregation was wrong, but you can’t give up the pro-life movement for that reason.
 
 
Similar considerations apply to the gay-rights movement and same-sex marriage. Some in the gay-rights movement are looking forward to the day when a liberal Democratic president and a liberal Democratic Senate will have assigned the Supreme Court at least five justices who will be sympathetic to the argument that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right guaranteed by some “penumbra” of the U.S. Constitution. This may be a few years off, however. In the meantime, activists may feel that the “tides of history” are moving their way. As Americans grow more enlightened and hence more tolerant, as the older generation of homophobes dies off and a younger generation takes over, and as old-fashioned forms of Christianity fade in significance, it is inevitable that gay marriage will be legalized across the country. Perhaps this will happen on a state-by-state basis, either through state legislatures or through state supreme courts; or perhaps it will happen because the U.S. Supreme Court will recognize a universal right to the institution. But it hardly matters which path is followed, for same-sex marriage is the “wave of the future.” Like it or not, it’s coming.
 
This optimism on the part of gay-marriage proponents is, I suggest, premature, just as the optimism of the right-to-abortion proponents was premature. The voice of conscience stood in the way of universal acceptance of abortion, and a similar voice will stand in the way of acceptance of gay marriage. This latter voice is perhaps better described as the “voice of nature” than as the voice of conscience. The gay-rights movement and moral liberals generally believe that “prejudice” against homosexuality (homophobia, as they like to call it) is, like racial prejudice, something people learn when growing up; and, like racial prejudice, it can be eradicated by giving people a different kind of growing-up experience. “You have to be taught to hate,” as the old song goes — so don’t teach kids to be homophobic. In fact, teach them the opposite, and when they grow up they will be great supporters of same-sex marriage.
 
But I’m not so sure. I strongly suspect (and, of course, I will be accused of homophobia for harboring this politically incorrect suspicion) that there is a voice of nature telling us that homosexual conduct is unnatural and that same-sex marriage is perhaps doubly so. It may be that moral liberals, because of their growing-up experiences, have been able to ignore this voice of nature in themselves, but it is still speaking to most people. Many of us are embarrassed by this voice, since society today tells us that there is no such thing, or that what we mistake for conscience or the voice of nature is nothing more than homophobia.
 
But if there is such a voice of nature — and I think there is — then the proponents of gay marriage had better not count their wave-of-the-future chickens.
 

By

David R. Carlin Jr. is a politician and sociologist who served as a Democratic majority leader of the Rhode Island Senate. His books include "Can a Catholic Be a Democrat?: How the Party I Loved Became the Enemy of My Religion" and "The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America." Carlin is a current professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island at Newport.

  • Pammie

    Hmmmm.. I’m not so sure forced school intergration worked too well , at least in the southern state I have lived in for quite a while. The schools that were forceably intergrated are for the most part almost exclusively now black. As the focus became fixed on quotas and the decline in the quality of education ensued, most parents left the system completely and looked for other options for their children. Of course the government is still paying millions to bus black children to schools out of their neighborhoods to other majority-black schools in other neighborhoods for some reason known only to God and Bureaucracy. Attempts at social engineering by the federal government, whether racially or socially motivated, can have very strange and unintended consequences. No doubt the government’s attempts to force the gay agenda into legal and public acceptance will do likewise in unforseen ways.

  • Austin

    Liberals have tended to utilize Federal Courts to enact programs, policies, etc which would not be approved by a Legislature, which is elected by the citizens. This is a type of “judicial tyranny.” You have had things like Roe vs. Wade forced on the people by the Supreme Court, and forced busing forced on the people of Boston by Federal Judge Garrity.

    This “legislation from the bench” has tended not to work. Citizens feel that judges are usurping the perogatives of the elected legislatures and the result is resentment and resistence.

    The gay marrige agenda, if enacted by court decisions will also be met with resistence by the people, as they don’t want it and will not like having it forced on them.

    I read that a lot of gays are getting around the lack of a gay marriage law anyway, via wills and power of attorney, which has to a degree given them what they want anyway.

  • Rich

    I wonder if there were a number of people who thought they heard this “voice of nature” when they perceived people of color in some way less than whites…you know, those who were blessed to hear that “voice.”

    I feel that Jesus, were he here, would most likely be found among those our society has deemed unacceptable today. I bet many would call him a lover of prisoners, pedophiles and homosexuals, as he might minister to them, making so many others uncomfortable as he did so.

    I have no doubt that he would somehow be figuratively crucified by the upstanding “guardians of the faith” once again.

    I know there will come the argument that just because Jesus is ministering to outcasts, it doesnt mean he approves of their behavior. I know, and agree. Still, there were outcasts he ministered to that were eventually given greater rights in society. Women, for example, were not treated with dignity, nor given rights in society, and yet Jesus treated them as equals. He did not go out and champion a cause for women’s rights, he simply loved. It would take millenia for women to even begin to enjoy the rights they have in this day and age, and there is still a lot of work to be done on that front in a number of places around the world.

    In the case of homosexuality, because there are so many, and so many stories that are earnest and similar in their pain and experience, I have come to the conclusion in my own mind that there will someday be a time when the Church realizes her current position needs to change.

    I am not an outspoken advocate of this, especially not in my classroom, as I do teach what the church teaches. But, I still believe in my heart, that at some point, the church will develop a deeper sense of our complex anthropology, and adopt a more nuanced and pastoral view of this sadly polarizing issue.

  • georgie-ann

    in my life, i am neither mean nor condescending to gays, blacks, young people with no moral compass, etc., except for an overt cause of basic rude or transgressional behavior that anyone, anywhere, could be “called on,”…

    but, i also have no compunction about overtly supporting viewpoints, legislation, etc., that reflect the moral and “natural” positions discussed in this article,…

    to “feel sorry” for the dysfunctional to such an extent that one would bend all the God-given fundamental principles of Life & Spirit, to help them enjoy their “earthly life” better, is a HUGE HUGE HUGE very major MISTAKE!!!!….WHY DO WE MAKE IT???

    as soon as you blur the lines, you are now spewing mass confusion into the atmosphere,…i really do not think this pleases God,…btw, “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33)

    …and another Biblical “confusion” reference: (Jeremiah 20:11):

    “But the LORD is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper. Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten,”

    it is possible to walk kindly with all (as i think Rich is suggesting: “this is what Jesus would do”), but to still hold on the basic Life defining principles that God has made clear to us,…

    why would you want to even try to distort God’s Word for mere “human reasonings” and “mis-placed sympathies?”,…this type of thinking causes much more harm than good,…

    concerning God’s Word: (Hebrews 4:12):

    “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

    not something to “mess with” for any reason,…

  • Avignon Days

    Rich
    I disagree and believe by legitimizing gay marriage, one further encourages a hurtful illusion to those involved that this is a good and that it is not hurting them. My cousin is lesbian and has a longer relationship than many marriages but I pray for the two of them weekly. Their longevity is not the ultimate test nor is the “voice” of nature simply because the ordinary magisterium has been incorrect on determining that voice as even ccc #2298 admits on torture. That “voice” of natural law led Aquinas to condemn any interest whatsoever on a loan since Aristotle had declared that it was against the nature of money to be fecund.
    The ultimate test is what did God say about it and He gave us even as Catholics a Book and Romans chapter one in that book is crystal clear: it is “against nature” and wrong.
    And the chapter goes to the trouble of speaking of both genders as to its wrongness. That is the rare case of Scripture explicitly telling us what natural law is on an issue by using the term “nature” and the concept of natural law from the surrounding culture since it was a concept that permeates the Stoic writers…who were often wrong on natural law also since some like Seneca believed in infanticide and child killing by the father of the family.

    Yes….you are correct that the concept of natural law can be abused….but in this case, Romans one, which is ultimately from God not from Paul, explicitly tells us the natural law on this issue for both genders and to go against it is to endure hurt beneath all else.

  • James Pawlak
  • georgie-ann

    Romans 1: (n.b. 24-27)

    “16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written,

  • DCH

    No one as identified a single material harm that has come to anyone has a result of same sex couples being married (in MA for example) for the last few years. (The lawyers in the Prop 8 case could NOT provide one when pressed by the judge.) The legal stipulation is that your damages must demonstrably outweigh the demonstrable damage to the couples that do arise from them being denied the same rights you already have. (Equal taxation, benefits, estate law, etc).

    Generationally this is much less of an issue to people under 30 who have grown up around openly gay adults in society. Give this 20 more years and the ballot initative approcah will be useless for for limiting rights of others. For example to most of my son’s friends this is a non-issue, gay people are just another grouping and are nithing to worry about. They have high tolerance for racial and ethnic differences as well I’ve noticed.

    As for this:
    “I read that a lot of gays are getting around the lack of a gay marriage law anyway, via wills and power of attorney, which has to a degree given them what they want anyway.”

    No way is that realistic. Provide an actual example in the form of a couple able to fully replicate the advantages of marriage with a contrct.
    Is anyone presently married willing to give up the rights granted by legal marraige and enter into a “power of attorney” relationship and try that with out the IRS?
    I think not.

  • Austin

    DCH, I did not say that Power of Attorney or Wills convey the same benefits as marriage, but in cases of inheritance, medical decisions, etc, it does convey some of the things that the gays want, albeit not to the same degree as marriage. Perhaps to some people, half a loaf is better than none.

  • Christine

    As you may have read from other posts, I grew up and currently live in the liberal state of California around many people who identify as gay. I also grew up around people with many different ethnicities and backgrounds.

    I have been to many weddings of different faiths and people of different races and I have found all of them wonderful.

    I once was invited to a gay “commitment ceremony”, and being that I knew the two women because they are my neighbors and good people (they are now separated).

    My husband and I went to the ceremony, and I thought I could attend and support them as individuals and not support the “act”. I was dead wrong. I squirmed through the ceremony and I had this dreadful feeling that I had done something wrong. I never felt that way at any other wedding I have every attended, regardless of my views regarding their religion or background.

    After the party, my husband, who is not religious at all, told me that he felt the same way – uncomfortable and wrong in participating. It took us both several weeks to put words to what happened to us on that day. It truly came down to an inner voice telling us that what we witnessed was wrong and we, by merely attending this function, were approving it.

    I am no R.C. or Ryan Haber, I wish I could commit my words in writing a succinctly as they, but I was not given that gift. I do know, without a doubt, however, what I felt, and it was an inner voice. A voice that would be heard. I chose to heed the voice. I don’t think that I am alone or that my experience was unique. It is something that people don’t want to talk about – but here it is… I confessed my sins, and I expect someone like Mr. Tony Adams to crucify me. Hopefully R.C. or Ryan Haber will help me out with my defense.

  • Mark

    “I feel that Jesus, were he here, would most likely be found among those our society has deemed unacceptable today.” – Rich

    I agree, Rich. I believe that Jesus would be found among people like Jonathon Lopez.

    From Onenewsnow 3/9/2010:

    A Christian student in the Los Angeles Community College District is carrying his free-speech case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Jonathan Lopez had an assignment in a public speaking class and was required to give an informative speech on any topic. Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney David Hacker tells OneNewsNow that Lopez chose to speak about his Christian beliefs. “And during that speech, when he mentioned that marriage is between a man and a woman according to his Christian beliefs, the professor called him this horrible name, refused to let him finish the assignment, and told other students in the class, ‘If you’re offended, you can leave,’” Hacker explains.

    When no students left, the professor dismissed the class. Hacker adds that Lopez is an “A” student — “but the problem is he never got a grade on that informative speech, and in fact, the professor wrote on his evaluation form, ‘Ask God what your grade is.’”

  • DCH

    “Perhaps to some people, half a loaf is better than none.”

    So why should a small minority settle for ’1/2 a loaf’ when it comes to equailty under civil law?

    This is why they are pressing their case so strongly and will ultimately prevail, if not in this decade, within the next.
    On what basis can they be denied a basic civil equality?

    My 16 year old and his immediate cohort don’t seem to get took worked up about this issue and don’t get what the big deal is. Its like my generation and civil rights – it passed when i was child. Now voting to limit the rights of a racial minority is beyond immagination.

  • georgie-ann

    following God through His Church, His Word, His Spirit, is nothing like following the sentiments of a “youth culture,”…in fact, it is quite often the direct opposite,…”foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child” (Proverbs),…not a good measuring stick,…

  • Martial Artist

    Who, under our present Tax Laws has “equal taxation?” Our so-called “progressive” income tax is not equal at all. We have alternated irregularly between having a “marriage penalty” and a “single penalty” for decades. No one can use the Tax Laws of the United States as an argument for equal treatment, and they won’t ever be able to unless something along the lines of a “flat rate tax” or the “fair tax” is adopted over the system that grew up from the first U.S. income tax in the early 20th century.

    Secondarily, such things as government benefits, estate law and hospital visitation should never have been tied to marital status in the first place. If you disagree, kindly explain on what basis you think that: (a) government should have any say over what is done with my estate in the presence of a will or living trust, (b) to which benefits you are referring the treatment of which you believe government should have any say in, and (c) why government should be able to require hospitals to only permit in to visit me, when I am hospitalized, those with whom I have a marital relationship.

    All of these things are intrusions into the private life of the person, and not a subject for government limitation, when they can easily be specified beforehand by the person whom government is allegedly protecting.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  • Rich

    Hmmmm.. I’m not so sure forced school intergration worked too well , at least in the southern state I have lived in for quite a while. The schools that were forceably intergrated are for the most part almost exclusively now black. As the focus became fixed on quotas and the decline in the quality of education ensued, most parents left the system completely and looked for other options for their children. Of course the government is still paying millions to bus black children to schools out of their neighborhoods to other majority-black schools in other neighborhoods for some reason known only to God and Bureaucracy. Attempts at social engineering by the federal government, whether racially or socially motivated, can have very strange and unintended consequences. No doubt the government’s attempts to force the gay agenda into legal and public acceptance will do likewise in unforseen ways.

    Wow Pammie.. I feel your christian love!

  • Pammie

    Don’t understand your comment. I’m describing a situation I have observed in my area of the country and which is provable statistically. The point being that government actions and programs oftentimes have unintended consequences. Or did they intend to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to end segregation to wind up with… segregated schools? Segregated schools that don’t perform as well as they did before the lawyers all got rich from your tax dollars. Instead of concerning yourself with what’s in my heart, please tell me what you think was so wise and insightful about the government’s plan, since it failed in it primary objective?

  • Paul

    I wonder what is the result is,by using the same comparison/analysis of Mr. Carlin, when the same comparison is applied to the current situation with divorce/annulment. Obviously,since divorce has no current vocal noise and has thus passed by, we are left to conclude that divorce is a positive result for society, per Mr. Carlin’s type of analysis.
    I think this is full of holes! I think we are all on the path for a look at Jesus carrying our inconsistencies. Maybe we need to learn where hypocrisy is within ourselves first.

    Paul
    A 64 year and year old Catholic

  • Paul
  • Jeannine

    No one as identified a single material harm that has come to anyone has a result of same sex couples being married (in MA for example) for the last few years. (The lawyers in the Prop 8 case could NOT provide one when pressed by the judge.) The legal stipulation is that your damages must demonstrably outweigh the demonstrable damage to the couples that do arise from them being denied the same rights you already have. (Equal taxation, benefits, estate law, etc).

    So, what harm could come to society as “a result of same sex couples being married”?

    Here’s one that is a direct result of the Massachusetts version.

    A recent court case in Virginia gave full custody of a seven-year-old child to her (biological) mother’s former lesbian “marriage” partner, who had not been with the mother or child since the child was a year old, on the basis that this partner was presumptively the child’s father, as in a heterosexual marriage. Imagine yourself as the bewildered child who was to be taken away from her mother and given to a stranger who had no biological connection whatsoever. The mother is now a fugitive with the child, and I for one cannot blame her.

    Moreover, children are not the mere pawns of their parents. Children have the right to be conceived in an act of love between two persons, a man and a woman, and to be received as a gift. They also have the right to know their father and mother. Who wants to know that he or she has been conceived in a Petri dish? The truth is that children of artificial insemination, for example, are often angry and disappointed that they cannot have a relationship with their father and that their mother deliberately deprived them of that relationship.

    All policies and procedures that are contrary to human dignity have harmful consequences. The coming years will undoubtedly reveal them, to our sorrow.

  • Kevin J Jones

    Few people get fired for opposing abortion, but people are already getting fired for opposing same-sex “marriage” or for saying something a homosexual or his friends finds offensive.

    The trouble is that public racism was stamped out by massive government action, and gay rights advocates can get that machinery to work for them. Morally conservative businesses will be further harassed by lawsuits and blocked from government contracts.

    Even Hollywood movies and TV shows have tended to see abortion as a bad thing never to be considered by good characters. But that’s not the same with gay issues.

  • DCH

    The case in VA involved the issue of one state SELECTIVELY ignoring the custody decisions of another states family courts. The VA Supreme Court was simply upholding the laws of VA that do not allow that. The battle legally belonged in in vermont not VA.

    The woman lst because the court ruled that only one state can have the right to decide the custody of any given child, and in this case Vermont had that right with respect to the child in question and had already ruled. This is neccessary to prevent child custody cases being dragged from state to state until a favorable ruling is obtained. Its a basic principle that the states honor the decision and jurisdiction of other states.

    The fact that it involved a lesbian civil union was NOT material to the decision of the VA court, it could have been any child custody case that had been dragged across state lines.

  • Glenn M. Ricketts

    I’m somewhat puzzled by Rich’s post, since he seems to be saying that Christian “love” requires adherence to specific positions on a range of contentious contemporary political and social issues where there can be legitimate disagreement. I don’t find it terribly helpful to lump women’s rights, race relations and gay marriage together under the same umbrella as though there were no significant differences among them. Of course Our Lord loved – and would love – gays, outcasts, etc., just as He loved the woman about to be stoned for adultery. But I think it’s useful to recall His parting remark to her: Go and SIN no more.

    Glenn M. Ricketts

  • Barbara

    I wonder if there were a number of people who thought they heard this “voice of nature” when they perceived people of color in some way less than whites…you know, those who were blessed to hear that “voice.”

    I feel that Jesus, were he here, would most likely be found among those our society has deemed unacceptable today. I bet many would call him a lover of prisoners, pedophiles and homosexuals, as he might minister to them, making so many others uncomfortable as he did so.

    I know there will come the argument that just because Jesus is ministering to outcasts, it doesnt mean he approves of their behavior. I know, and agree. Still, there were outcasts he ministered to that were eventually given greater rights in society. Women, for example, were not treated with dignity, nor given rights in society, and yet Jesus treated them as equals. He did not go out and champion a cause for women’s rights, he simply loved. It would take millenia for women to even begin to enjoy the rights they have in this day and age, and there is still a lot of work to be done on that front in a number of places around the world.

    Hi Rich
    I think you bring up a very good point. The “nature” argument has previously been trotted out as a defense of racial injustices from slavery to segregation. Closer to home it has been historically used as a way to argue against any expansion of women

  • KJJ

    Barbara, abuse of appeals to nature does not abolish the use of appeals to nature.

    St. Paul himself appeals to nature in condemning “unnatural relations.” And homosexual advocates claim their desires and actions are natural and don’t merit condemnation.

    “Nature” has several different meanings, so what is necessary is a recovery of the older, moral meaning.

    We see a hint of the range of meaning when King Hamlet calls on his son to avenge his “foul and most unnatural murder.” It is unnatural in several senses, but one of them is that brothers by nature should love each other fraternally rather than kill each other.

    In this sense, nature isn’t purely descriptive but has an ideal direction and a moral authority.

    Rejecting all appeals to nature is just another form of self-censorship, and sometimes even a form of anti-intellectualism.

  • JMC

    Radical feminists are arrogant to the point of obnoxiousness that being a “stay-at-home mom” is degrading, rather than the fulfillment of one woman’s particular calling. Gay activists are the same way about their agenda. I’ve met a few, and they don’t understand how I can uphold their civil rights, but draw the line at “marriage.” Civil rights, in general, are related to purely secular matters, but when you start talking about “marriage,” you’re talking about sacrilege. Considering that the homosexual act is a mortal sin to start with, the thought of actually condoning it is shudder-inducing.

    The courts want opponents of gay “marriage” to show them where the harm is. Unfortunately, spiritual harm can’t be proven, not in the way a secular court wants proof.

    In terms of being accepted as human beings by society, in terms of having the same civil rights as the rest of us, the gay activists are right. They should be allowed to make a living in whatever way they are called; their sin does not affect their ability to learn or do a job. But you cannot in good conscience support offering them Sacraments of the Living—that is, the sacraments that one must be in the state of grace to receive worthily. Matrimony and Holy Orders are two of those sacraments. And that “inner voice” tells me that receiving the Sacrament of Matrimony with the full intent of continuing to practice a sinful act is far, far worse than simply receiving that sacrament in a state of mortal sin.

  • Leo

    Behavior can either enhance or detract from the inherent dignity of the human person. All of us have been created in God’s image and have equal dignity, whether male, female, or of any particular race. The example that Jesus gave women greater standing is irrelevant. He did so because of their nature, and not because of any disordered behavior. We have a fallen nature and we are all subject to concupiscence.

    Any rational person should be able to see that male and female bodies are designed to be complementary. It is simply not natural for two males or two females to lie with each other. This does not mean that people do not have compulsions towards aberrant behavior. And by the way, the Catholic organization Courage has helped thousands to be healed of this disorder and many of them now have successful families. Is it more loving to promote their sinful behavior or to help them be healed?

    However, Jesus goes further. He does not even accept two unmarried people having relations either. These relations may not be unnatural, but they are nonetheless wrong. In fact, through the Church, He expects even all marital acts to be open to both love and the transmission of life.

    You see, it is misguided reasoning to think that Christ will change His teaching because one sees no problem with it. Marriage is a Sacrament given by God and cannot be valid without the proper elements of a man and woman who are free to marry. By the same token, if even a priest consecrated a pickle, it would not become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. It would remain a pickle.

    It is also important to note that both the Church and Scripture are inerrant when teaching on Faith and Morals and so will never change. That should be deeply comforting to all of us.

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