4.24 Why is the Church against 'same-sex marriage'?
Some people feel more attracted to members of their own sex than to the opposite sex. In itself, this is not a sin. For Catholics, marriage is a bond between a man and a woman. A 'homosexual marriage' cannot be fruitful in the same way as a marriage between a man and a woman, who share their love in their sexual relationship, from which children can be born naturally.
At the same time we should not judge other people harshly. There is a big difference between who and how people are, and what they do. It is a very important Christian command to treat everyone with respect and sensitivity.
What are the principal sins against chastity?
Grave sins against chastity differ according to their object: adultery, masturbation, fornication, pornography, prostitution, rape, and homosexual acts. These sins are expressions of the vice of lust. These kinds of acts committed against the physical and moral integrity of minors become even more grave. [CCCC 492]
What about people who feel they are homosexual?
The Church believes that, in the order of creation, man and woman are designed to need each other’s complementary traits and to enter into a mutual relationship so as to give life to children. That is why homosexual practices cannot be approved by the Church. Christians owe all persons respect and love, however, regardless of their sexual orientation, because all people are respected and loved by God.
There is no man on earth who is not descended from a union of a mother and a father. Therefore it is a painful experience for many homosexually oriented people that they do not feel erotically attracted to the opposite sex and necessarily miss out on the physical fruitfulness of the union between man and woman according to human nature and the divine order of creation. Nevertheless, God often leads souls to himself along unusual paths: a lack, a loss, or a wound—if accepted and affirmed—can become a springboard for throwing oneself into the arms of God: the God who brings good out of everything and whose greatness can be discovered in redemption even more than in creation. [Youcat 65]
What is the Church’s judgment on homosexuality?
God created man as male and female and destined them for each other in a bodily way as well. The Church accepts without reservation those who experience homosexual feelings. They (persons who experience homosexual feelings) should not be unjustly discriminated against because of that. At the same time, the Church declares that all homosexual relations in any form are contrary to the order of creation. [Youcat 415]
“As for proposals to place unions between homosexual persons on the same level as marriage, there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”. It is unacceptable “that local Churches should be subjected to pressure in this matter and that international bodies should make financial aid to poor countries dependent on the introduction of laws to establish ‘marriage’ between persons of the same sex. [Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitiae, n. 251]