DAGUPAN City, Pangasinan, Aug. 31, 2015 – Echoing the teaching that same-sex unions cannot be called marriage in the truest sense of the word, a Filipino prelate has underscored the duty of each Catholic to resist attempts to make homosexual acts “culturally normal” by standing up for true human sexuality.
.“In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty,” says Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas in a recent statement.
‘Gravely unjust laws’
He goes on to remind Catholics to refrain from cooperating in the enactment or application of what he considers “gravely unjust laws.”
According to him, this means Catholics must not take part in nor attend religious or legal ceremonies celebrating and legitimizing homosexual unions.
“Understandably, this will be a particularly heavy cross for families that have been touched by homosexuality. The Church reaches out with compassion to these families whose loved ones have entered into such unions,” he laments.
In the Aug. 28, document, the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) stresses the need for Catholics to “give witness to the whole moral truth about human sexuality,” especially in countries where homosexual unions still lack legal status.
Villegas points out this is contradicted “both by approval of homosexual acts and the unjust discrimination against homosexual persons.”
Granting that many countries have legalized these, the prelate remains firm in his stand that there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and the family.
Never a marriage
“A homosexual union is not and can never be a marriage as properly understood and so-called.
While he admits sexual attraction towards the same sex is in itself not a sin, Villegas explains what the Church opposes are homosexual acts given these deny the union of male and female in a relationship of natural complementarity.
Neither unitive nor procreative
“Homosexual acts or practices that may arise from such attraction, although they may proceed from and be motivated by genuine affection between two persons of the same sex, are similarly not ordered to the union of the two persons and to the procreation of children,” he says.
“Because they are not unitive and procreative – the distinct qualities of a complementary union of man and woman in marriage – homosexual acts or practices are ‘contrary to the natural law.’ Hence, they are, from the perspective of natural law, gravely disordered and considered “sins gravely contrary to chastity,” he adds. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)