The Vocation of Marriage and the ‘Same-Sex Marriage’ Debate

Authored by Dcn. Drake McCalister in Issue #31.3 of The Sower

We see the ways in which both documents of the universal magisterium and the teaching documents from local bishops can underpin our catechesis.

During his lengthy pontificate, Pope John Paul II consistently reaffirmed the perennial Christian teaching on the vocation of marriage. In Familiaris Constortio he proclaimed that ‘the family is the first and vital cell of society’[i] and the Catechism, which he promulgated, states that the ‘vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman’ (CCC 1603).

While the vocation of marriage is clearly defined within Catholic teaching, there exists a pervasive effort to redefine the vocation of marriage as any union between two people, regardless of gender. This debate on so-called ‘same-sex’ marriage is alive and well and shows no signs of diminishing.

The debate began gaining ground during the 20th century and in 2001, the Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage—with all the rights and privileges of traditional marriage. Since then, at least six other countries have followed suit and more are on the way.

The following article will highlight some fundamental principles to help explain why marriage cannot be between two people of the same gender. While the Christian faith is rooted in Divine Revelation, much of this article will focus on understanding marriage within the natural moral order. Grace builds on nature;[ii] therefore, understanding the natural origins of marriage will help Christians defend traditional marriage to both Christians and non-Christians alike. We must take seriously St. Peter’s exhortation to, ‘always be prepared to make a defense…for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence’ (Pet 3:15). It is important that we engage this cultural debate with clarity and charity.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Barbara Morgan—Pursuing Holiness
By Dr. James Pauley
Free What is holiness? In our lead article, Dr. John Cavadini describes holiness as the Second Vatican Council did, as “the perfection of love.” [1] How can we begin to imagine love’s perfection? Considered abstractly, we cannot wrap our minds around it. We need to somehow see it, if we are to understand the aim above every other in the Christian life... Read more
What Is Holiness?
By John C. Cavadini
Surely one of the most beautiful, one of the most enduring, and one of the most sublime teachings of Vatican II is the universal call to holiness in Lumen Gentium, chapter 5. I have never reread this chapter without feeling an increase of my own zeal for answering this call, even as I become more aware, at the same time, of how much I fall short.... Read more
The Way and Witness of a Holy Marriage
By Deacon James Keating
Free The matrimony of two of the baptized…is in real, essential and intrinsic relationship with the mystery of the union of Christ with the church…it participates in its nature…marriage is deeply seated and rooted therefore in the Eucharistic mystery.[1] This spiritual vision of marriage, as articulated by Cardinal Caffara, may appear as novel or even... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now