The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

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

Authored by Fr. 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 [email protected]

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections— The Eucharistic Congress and the Missionary Year
By Dr. James Pauley
Catholics in the United States have a long history of hosting both national and international Eucharistic congresses. The first of these was in Washington, DC, in 1895, and the last was in Philadelphia in 1976. If your ancestors were Catholic and lived in North America, they may have participated in one of these congresses—in St. Louis (1901), or... Read more
Missionary Worship
By Sr. Jude Andrew Link, OP
There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs in nearly every culture across history: man ritualizes worship. All over the world the similarities are astounding—animal sacrifices, burnt offerings, gifts of grain, the joy of ecstatic praise. It points to a universal sense within man that not only recognizes that there is a God but also knows that... Read more
Ask, Seek, Knock: The Pitfalls and Potential of Catholic Door-to-Door Evangelization
By Joshua Kenny
“He’s just too small,” sobbed a woman we had just met. It was a sunny summer day, and the pastor, transitional deacon, and I were out knocking on doors within our parish boundaries. This woman’s door was within eyesight of the rectory, and it happened to be the first one we had visited. The conversation had started off just as awkwardly as one... Read more


Watch Tutorial Videos

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

Watch Now