The Pope Backs Gay Marriage

Dec 23 2012 @ 6:33pm

BENEDICTHANDS2JoeKlamar:AFP:Getty

Or am I missing something?

…The question of the family is not just about a particular social construct, but about man himself—about what he is and what it takes to be authentically human. The challenges involved are manifold. First of all there is the question of the human capacity to make a commitment or to avoid commitment. Can one bind oneself for a lifetime? Does this correspond to man’s nature? Does it not contradict his freedom and the scope of his self-realization? Does man become himself by living for himself alone and only entering into relationships with others when he can break them off again at any time? Is lifelong commitment antithetical to freedom? Is commitment also worth suffering for?

Man’s refusal to make any commitment—which is becoming increasingly widespread as a result of a false understanding of freedom and self-realization as well as the desire to escape suffering—means that man remains closed in on himself and keeps his “I” ultimately for himself, without really rising above it. Yet only in self-giving does man find himself, and only by opening himself to the other, to others, to children, to the family, only by letting himself be changed through suffering, does he discover the breadth of his humanity.

Gay people stand ready for that commitment – which does indeed mean suffering at times and sacrifice for the other, and all that an unending freely chosen responsibility to another human being requires. The question is not whether we are willing or capable. We are and we have been for centuries. The question is why the Pope cannot see us as human beings.

(Photo: Joe Klamar/Getty)