Pope Francis: An Equal Opportunity Marriage Denier

John-Henry Westen Co-Founder, LifeSiteNews.com
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For the past 18 months, politicians, pundits, and others have cited Pope Francis as reason for those who believe in traditional marriage to abandon their principles. According to them, the latest heir to St. Peter has changed the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage when he asked in 2013, “A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will — well, who am I to judge him?”

Yet, just weeks ago, Pope Francis used language more in line with his predecessor to describe the modern world’s threats to marriage. According to the pope, the family is threatened “by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life.”

Francis also compared efforts to push acceptance of same-sex relationships on nations to Hitler Youth indoctrination, and insisted that two men, despite the fact that they love each other, should not be able to get married to each other.

So what’s the deal? Is the newest pontiff schizophrenic? Is he torn between his personal beliefs and those of the Church?

Or is he merely upholding 2,000 years of equal opportunity denial in order to promote God’s intentions for the fulfillment of proper sexuality and marriage?

Consider, for example, what Pope Francis said on January 19 of this year. Speaking with reporters, he told heterosexual Catholic couples that they should not wed if they are not open to having children. “It’s true that openness to life is a condition for the sacrament of matrimony,” he said. “A man cannot give the sacrament to the woman, and the woman cannot give it to him, if they are not in accord on this point of openness to life.”

Moreover, the pope noted that a marriage celebrated with the intention of not being open to life is illegitimate. “If it can be proved that he or she married with the intention of not being Catholic (on this point) then the matrimony is null,” he said.

For the Pope, and for the Catholic Church as an institution, marriage is not all about emotional love or sexual attraction. Instead, it is primarily about one thing: bearing and rearing children. And as the Pope said a couple of months ago, “children have the right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother.”

At this point everyone knows Pope Francis is no hater of gays and lesbians; just last week he publicly embraced a transgender person in the Vatican. He’s the same guy who kissed the feet of AIDS patients and who is daring to offend some in his own Church to show care and concern for those feeling like they’re on the outs.

But it’s precisely because of Francis’ (and the Church’s!) care and concern for all persons regardless of their sexual attractions that the Church’s stance on marriage remains unchangeable. Sexuality is designed for procreation, something that is impossible outside of a heterosexual union. This is the same reason for the Church’s opposition to contraception, which makes the act of sexual intercourse about the couple’s desires, and nothing more.

This care and concern for all is also why the Church stands behind sexual abstinence until marriage. It is common sense — backed by numerous studies — that points to two one man and one woman coming together and “becom[ing] one flesh” as the best way for children to be raised. The broken families too common in North America and Europe are clear evidence of what happens when God’s judgment is replaced with human judgment.

Again, the Catholic Church says no to sex between two men for the same reasons that it says no to sex between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman: They do not jive with God’s perfect plan for humanity to thrive, grow, and become ever more perfect.

God willing, Pope Francis is shining a new light on the Church’s stance on matters of sexuality, demonstrating that it’s all about love for all people to bring about what’s best for all of us both in this world and the next. And hopefully we’ll finally learn to listen to our Creator’s loving concerns for us.