Phillip Clark
March 20th
, 2012
Intro to Journalism
Professor Caplan
Pope Condemns the Spread of Same-Sex Marriage in U.S....
moral evil. In the institutional eyes of the church, human sexuality should only be expressed in
the context of a marriage...
Emily Tetalman, a Catholic social worker from Virginia, believes that the church’s attitude
toward sex is based partially ...
Pope Hard News Article
of 4

Pope Hard News Article

Published on: Mar 4, 2016

Transcripts - Pope Hard News Article

  • 1. Phillip Clark March 20th , 2012 Intro to Journalism Professor Caplan Pope Condemns the Spread of Same-Sex Marriage in U.S. The Baltimore Sun By Phillip Clark Vatican City, March 9 – Pope Benedict XVI has refuted efforts in the United States to legalize same-sex marriage. The state of Maryland has just recently become the eighth to officially recognize gay relationships. As Roman Catholic bishops from the American Midwest made a scheduled trip to Rome to meet with the pope, Benedict touched on the subject during the course of prepared remarks with the prelates as reported by Reuters, “Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage…Marriage and the traditional family must be defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature.” The pontiff highlighted that, “powerful political and cultural currents” were seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage. The Catholic Church opposes the move to extend the legal designation of marriage to persons of the same-sex on the basis that children deserve to be raised in a home where a mother and father are present. Although it does not consider a homosexual orientation to be sinful in and of itself, according to church teaching, acting upon attractions toward the same-sex constitutes a
  • 2. moral evil. In the institutional eyes of the church, human sexuality should only be expressed in the context of a marriage between a man and a woman – for the sole purpose of procreation. Even as the Vatican’s stance remains adamantly opposed to the legalization of same-sex marriage, the situation on the ground, amongst Catholics in the pews, is much more nuanced. Mike Guiliano, a lifelong Catholic from Ohio, and the aspiring manager of a non-profit organization, asserted that even the concept of the papacy is somewhat debatable, “If we are going to have a papacy… it should be more of a background figurehead than a social commentator.If the pope wants to live as Christ did, he should be apolitical. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but since people assume he speaks on behalf of the Church he should stay out of political matters.” However, not all Catholics share this view. Some cannot bring themselves to condone homosexual behavior because of its explicit condemnation in Judeo-Christian scriptures. Jolanta Warenda, an English major at Towson University and a Catholic, does not think it has been definitively proven whether any sexual orientations other than heterosexuality are immoral. “If I can see it as a mental illness then how come all other people can marry with different psychological disorders or if they're missing a leg or whatever?” Yet, she concludes, “But as far as my belief in my religion, and no proof of whether or not homosexuality is psychologically a problem or natural, I’m against same sex marriage, and I agree with the pope.” Despite this diversity of opinion, statistics are clearly on the side of same-sex marriage proponents. According to a March 18th ABC News/Washington Post poll, sixty-eight percent of American Catholics support the legalization of marriage between persons of the same-sex. Such a high volume of support on this matter within Catholicism is unique, particularly when compared to other Christian denominations throughout the United States. The phenomenon of the Catholic laity agreeing to disagree with the hierarchical leaders of their church is nothing new. This trend was most recently made prominent when a row arose between the Obama administration and the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops over a revision of guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the coverage of contraception by religious institutions. While the Vatican, and the Catholic bishops of the United States, considers the use of contraception to be sinful, a substantive majority of married, Catholic couples make frequent use of birth control and see no conflict with their faith.
  • 3. Emily Tetalman, a Catholic social worker from Virginia, believes that the church’s attitude toward sex is based partially on a literal interpretation of the Bible as well as having a sense of squeamishness about openly discussing the topic, “Upon closer examination of the Bible, we discover different meanings to the particular sections of the Bible referring to homosexuality. I also believe the Catholic Church is still uncomfortable about having sex solely as a means to express union.” Ultimately, future discoveries on this issue in the world of science may be the only catalyst that would ever convince the institutional leaders of the Catholic Church to change course on their approach to the subject. Alexandria Reinhart, a PhD student of molecular biology at the University of Baltimore and a Catholic states, “Although most of the clergy would disagree with me and state that marriage is solely between a man and a woman, they forget that the purpose of this marriage is to procreate. .. If the Church is worried about the sanctity of marriage and the home due to homosexual marriage, I have five words for you: Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears. These two heterosexual women flouted the sanctity of marriage with marriages that lasted seventy- five days and seventy-five hours, respectively. Approximately fifty-percent of American marriages end in divorce, but I hear of many gay couples who have been together for twenty plus years. Ironic, no? As for family, I see no difference in a mom and a dad, two moms, two dads, a mom or a dad, grandparents raising grandchildren or relatives raising them – as long as the child has a stable unit at home that loves him/her and promotes hard work and respect for others, the child will do well in life.” As time passes, the approach of the institutional Catholic Church on the issue of the morality of homosexuality, and the legitimacy of homosexual relationships continues to become more and more hardline. However, the common wisdom among the faithful may tell a different story. Convention cannot prove at this point how these two differing trends could ever intersect, yet, stranger events have occurred throughout history. Reinhart notes, “The Church evolved recently to include more people in the Mass in the forms of Vatican II, where the priest now faces the parishioners and the parishioners now participate in the Mass as well as allowing women to serve on the altar and as Eucharistic ministers. However, this evolution moves slower than Moses through the desert. The Church still has progress to make to fully include all of its members, and must remember the initial meaning of Christ’s teachings when making decisions concerning the rights of others.”

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