Catholics And Marriage Equality

There has always been a strong sense of social justice in the catholic tradition- especially in the minds of the people in the pews. The great advocates of social reform and justice more often come from the laity and monks and nuns- persons more in touch arguably, with the gospel and real life in general. Mother Theresa, Dorothy Day, Francis of Assisi, all railed against the marginalization of human beings- creating real social change in the world. Bishop Oscar Romero and Pope John XXIII were the exception more than the rule.

So, it was with a lot of hope that I read this:

Last month, the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit group, reported that 74 percent of American Catholics surveyed supported the rights of same-sex couples to marry or form civil unions (43 percent and 31 percent, respectively). The telephone survey asked more than 3,000 adults to choose among three options: whether gay couples should be allowed to marry, should be allowed to form civil unions or should receive no legal recognition. By comparison, 16 percent of white evangelical Christians approved of same-sex marriages; 24 percent approved of civil unions. Among the general public, those rates climb to 37 and 27 percent, respectively — still lower than among Catholics.

Catholics have always had a great sense of the social justice elements of issues- a strong sense of the suffering of humanity, I believe. They take the mandate of service very literally- the Sermon on the Mount and the Corporal Works of Mercy were always stressed in my own religious upbringing.

Evangelical Christians are more likely to struggle with fundamentalism on this and other issues, citing (often unclear or inconsistent) scripture passages, and tending to ignore social science or scientific evidence in favor of the bible.

I do know one thing: Last week, at my mother’s Catholic funeral, I introduced my partner to everyone I knew and grew up with in that little church and we were received with nothing but warmth.

Nothing but.

If only the leadership would get it- and all those gay clergy (and bishops!) would share their experience- we might have a shot at addressing reality….

No matter- the people in the pews have always been ahead of the curve. It’ll happen eventually.

2 comments on “Catholics And Marriage Equality

  1. gg says:

    It was said to be a Jesuit plot when it was stated that Martin Luther was constipated (hated his father) and spent a long time in the toilet; it was there that seeds of Reformation germinated. See: “Life Against Death” – Norman O Brown, Random House.

    “Love without attachment is light” wrote Mr Brown and God said it’s not good for man to be alone, and it may have occured to the laity that gay Catholics ought to have the right of union with each other. After all, Limbo bit the dust, you won’t go to hell for eating meat on Friday, and God doesn’t speak Latin any more – there are exceptions for the cognoscenti elite I suppose. Society has not disintegrated where gay marriage is allowed; pedophile clergy have done more damage. Look at Ireland.

    The twit Archbishop of Denver and the noted bigot Cardinal Raymond (“the lady doth protest too much”) Burke seem more concerned about power and authority than the “ubi caritas et amor ibi deus est” aspect of their Christianity. But what does the laity know? How about reality for starters? The only constant is God is love. How anyone can state that they know what God is thinking is beyond me and seems blasphemous.

    Oh well, I guess that French writer was right when he said it’s not a good idea to know what’s going on in God’s Kitchen. And you all know what Lord Acton said about power and I’ll leave it at that. Time to go out to rake and hurl curses at the woodchucks who think I have a salad bar just for them.



  2. Great post! I found this really interesting and hopeful, and more than a little surprising. Do you know if there was any divide between American Catholic of European descent and those from Latin America? Because if Latino Catholics follow the same trend, it could spell especially good news.


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