The Church In Rhode Island

A nasty piece of divisiveness from Bishop Tobin, after civil marriage equality became law:

At this moment of cultural change, it is important to affirm the teaching of the Church, based on God’s word, that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2357) and always sinful. And because “same-sex marriages” are clearly contrary to God’s plan for the human family, and therefore objectively sinful, Catholics should examine their consciences very carefully before deciding whether or not to endorse same-sex relationships or attend same-sex ceremonies, realizing that to do so might harm their relationship with God and cause significant scandal to others.

This is putting a wedge between Catholic family members and their gay brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. It also fails to address any of the questions raised by the marriage equality debate: in particular, what should civil society do with respect to a critical mass of gay citizens? The Church’s answer is: nothing. All they have is calling our orientation “intrinsically disordered” and our families “clearly contrary to God’s plan” in a way they would never use with respect to, say, civilly divorced Catholics or those using contraception. They frame it with this perspective:

As I have emphasized consistently in the past, the Catholic Church has respect, love and pastoral concern for our brothers and sisters who have same-sex attraction. I sincerely pray for God’s blessings upon them, that they will enjoy much health, happiness and peace.

But they are allowed no happiness routinely granted as central to heterosexuals: a loving, stable relationship and home. Take the right to a stable home away, and you do not bring health, happiness and peace. You bring sickness, depression and pain. And the reason some in the hierarchy still do not see this is because they cannot yet see gay people as human beings, with dignity. And that is what is “intrinsically disordered” from a Christian point of view.