It preaches the lofty universal truth of the equality of all human beings as children of one God and Father. But, on the ground the Roman Catholic Church practices a veritable caste system where some are “more equal” than others.
At top caste are bishops and priests. They are the most privileged, the most knowledgeable of Church laws and doctrines. They are the ruling elite of the Church.
Way down below is the caste of the laity which has two sub-castes. First are heterosexual men who can marry the women they love or become priests. Second below are heterosexual women who can also marry the men they love but are not equal enough to be allowed into the priesthood.
At dead bottom is the lowest caste to which the Catholic Church just relegated LGBTQQs when it forbade their same-sex unions from being blessed because, of all the ungodly reasons, “it is a sin.”
How can love in marriage between LGBTQQs be so sinful that the Church cannot bless it? Many marriages fail between heterosexual men and women that were blessed by the Church on the presumption that the partners were marrying each other out of love. Why can’t the Catholic Church presume the same love between two human persons in a same-sex union? Aren’t LGBTQQs human enough to be capable of true love?
If, as the Church has always judged, being an LGBTQQ is the sin, isn’t sin defined by orthodox Catholic theology as the knowing and willful violation of God’s law? What law of God do LGBTQQs violate? They did not choose to be gay. Nature endowed them with ambiguous physical attributes that confuse and force them to decide which way to go sexually. Where’s the violation there?
Four years ago, I blessed the same-sex union of my niece Herbie to Shannon. Both come from devout Filipino and Irish Catholic families. Shannon had a cousin-priest, a Jesuit, who when requested refused to officiate at her wedding lest he incur the bishop’s ire. Herbie had me, his mom’s elder brother and an ordained Catholic priest. Of course, I readily agreed to bless his union with Shannon.
The State of California gave me the license to officiate at their wedding. Thus, the union was legal. But it was also sacramental because strangely enough the Church never bothered to dispense me from my priesthood. Besides, and this not too many Catholics know, orthodox Catholic theology holds that bride and groom are the ministers of the sacrament of marriage, the priest being only an official witness for state and/or Church.
My conscience was clear. I was happy to bless the love I knew (and did not just presume) motivated Herbie to wed Shannon and vise-versa. Yes, LGBTQQs are capable of true love; no way can this be a sin. Denying it is the sin.