Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Unequally Yoked and Protecting Innocence

     Of all the things one deals with in a second marriage, not much thought is given to what happens when the children spend time at a church that has a different, dare I say wrong, worldview on things.  Yet, this is one of the great stressors that comes out of a civil divorce and annulment of a Protestant and Catholic.

     In the Encyclical Quemadmodum, Pope Pius XII wrote:  "In the light of such words and sentiments, Venerable Brethren, you see with what love, diligence and care the Church looks after infants and children following the lead of her Founder.  While she exercises all possible care to see that they be provided with food, shelter and clothing for their bodies, she does not ignore or neglect their souls which - born, so to speak, from the breath of God - seem to portray the radiant beauty of Heaven.  Her first care and endeavor is, then, to preserve their innocence from stain and provide for their eternal salvation. Quemadmodum, Section 9.

     This unequal yoke came up a few months ago when one of Jennie's girls came home and asked, "Why does the Catholic Church hate gay people?"  "After all, they can't help it that God made them that way". "Love is love and they should be able to marry the person they love".   It was not a difficult thing to figure out where these questions and statement came from.  The Ecclesial community they attend 1/2 the year is rupturing over same-sex marriage, same-sex attraction and ministry.

     The teaching of the Catholic Church on same sex marriage and same sex attraction is clear. From the Catechism of The Catholic Church there are several points to reference.

  • 2357 - Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex.  It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures.  Its psychological genes remains largely unexplained.
  • 2358 - The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible.  This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes from most of them a trial.  They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.
  • 2360 - Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman.  In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion.
  • 2363 - The spouses' union achieves the twofold meaning of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life.  These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple's spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage.

     While questions asked above are bound to come up, how can one of the parents not see the teaching of their ecclesial community, the almost militant insistence on accepting of something that is morally objectionable is not a violation of the duty to preserve their children innocence from stain and provide for their eternal salvation?

     So, what is a Catholic parent to do when faced with this burden?  Here are some general discussion points to consider:

  • Once it has become evident that the child is hearing something that is a violation of their innocence, lay out the teaching of the church.
  • People with same-sex tendencies are to be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity.
  • Teach that respect, compassion and sensitivity do not mean acceptance of the behavior.  
  • Teach that the church is a hospital for sinners.  And like any hospital, you do not get to dictate the terms of your treatment plan.  
  • When faced with someone saying that "God made them this way",  teach your children that God did not make man to sin.  It was the disobedience of man that brought sin, and death into the world.  
  • Teach your children basic logic.  For example, if the false argument is put forth that God made same sex attracted couples the way they are and thus must be accepted without any questions, have the children ask "Did God make serial killers the way they are?"  If so, we must accept them without question.  Simple logic causes that question to fall flat.
  • Teach the faith to them all the time.  Be living examples of it and do not be afraid to give a defense for the hope that is in you.  
  • Finally, realize that this false dichotomy the children are exposed to in the non catholic community is what they are exposed to in the world.  Realize that this is a good training ground for them to learn how to understand their Catholic faith and how to defend it when faced with morally objectionable material.

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