Tuesday, September 22, 2015

For Boys Only: The Man Talk

Oh man, how I wish I can attend this gathering on a Friday afternoon, but for those who can I encourage you to be there. Main speaker is Matt Fradd, who is a well-known and in-demand international chastity speaker. For guys only, no ladies allowed. :)


We are inviting you to join us in an ALL-BOYS chastity talk with highly sought-after international speaker and Catholic apologist, Matt Fradd. Find out how true manhood is expressed in becoming who God meant you to be, and discover the FIVE RULES you must BREAK if you want to fulfill your deepest desires and follow God's commands! grin emoticon

This will be held on November 6, 2015 (Friday) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at St. Mary's College Auditorium, #37 Mother Ignacia Avenue, Barangay Paligsahan, Quezon City.

Tickets are now available and are priced at P 300.00 each. Limited seats only, so secure your ticket now by calling/texting us at 0922-827-6662 OR e-mail us at all4life.life4all@gmail.com. You can also send as a direct message on Facebook.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon! 

(Source: Taken from the Youth for Life - Y4L Facebook Page)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Pananalig Reco for the Last, the Least and the Lowly




PANANALIG RECO is offered for our brothers and sisters who have not experienced a recollection. This is a beautiful opportunity for them to experience the love and mercy of God. It will be a whole day event at LAYFORCE and be nourished in mind, body and spirit. Maximum number of participants per batch would be 100 persons.

Please pre-register at the Layforce Office ahead of time. Layforce is located at San Carlos Pastoral Formation Complex, EDSA Guadalupe, Makati City. Contact numbers: 895-8855 local 300-301, 896-0607. E-mail us at slrlayforce_2008@yahoo.com. Admission is FREE!


Saturday Schedules of Pananalig Reco

September 19
Awareness to Evangelize and Educate the Young 
Fr. Richard James Babao, Mr. Julius Babao and Mrs. Tintin Bersola-Babao

October 17
Inner Transformation: Pre-Requisite to Social Transformation
His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and Mr. Arnold Baldemor

November 21
Key for Building a Just Society Amidst the Challenges of Today
Bishop Broderick Pabillo, D.D.

December 12
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Fr. Gerard Reyes

Come and be blessed every third Saturday!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

On The Dignity and Vocation of Homosexual Persons

This has just been out, a month before the upcoming Synod. The local bishops have finally spoken on the topic of homosexuality through a pastoral letter and I urge everyone especially those who identify themselves as members of the LGBT community to reflect deeply on this letter. After reading this, I hope that we come to realize that homosexual persons have dignity and vocation from God, that homosexual attractions and urges do not define who we really are and so discover in the process the basis of our true identity - which is that of a beloved child of God - unique and precious in His eyes so as to die for us on the cross in order to save us from our sinfulness.

A Pastoral Response to the Acceptance of Homosexual Lifestyle And Legalization of Homosexual Unions

The Nature of Marriage in the Divine Plan

THE creation narratives at the beginning of Sacred Scripture reveal that God made human beings in His image and likeness. He created them male and female, equal in dignity but not identical nor interchangeable.

He made one explicitly for the other – “It is not good that the man should be alone” (RSV, Gen. 2:18)1 – equal as persons, not alike but complementary. So that in relating to each other, as male and female, one would complete the other as two halves coming together to be whole.

This complementarity between man and woman, as St. Pope John Paul II has pointed out, is observed and affirmed at the biological, emotional, psychological, and spiritual levels. But it is most manifest primarily in and through the union of two complementary bodies, male and female.

“The body, which through its own masculinity or femininity right from the beginning helps both (man and woman) to find themselves in communion of persons, becomes, in a particular way, the constituent element of their union, when they become husband and wife.”2

Simply put, human beings, created by God as either male or female, are meant to complement each other in a union of the two intended from their creation. And human sexuality, characterized as distinctly masculine or feminine, is ordered by nature towards that union, of one specifically with the other.

Having created man and woman, Scripture continues, God instituted marriage as the form of life in which the complementarity of man and woman would be fulfilled and perfected. “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).

And as it is ordered or directed to the union of man and woman, human sexuality is also ordered towards the procreation and education of children. It is in and through the conjugal union that God has willed to give man and woman a share in His work of creation: “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28).

In the Creator’s plan we see, therefore, that sexual complementarity and fruitfulness belong to the very nature of marriage. In other words, marriage by its very nature and intention is unitive and procreative.

Marriage is also the form of life best suited for the flourishing of children. As St. Thomas Aquinas explained, human children need, not only nourishment for their bodies, but also education for their souls. This they acquire best, according to St. Thomas, when they have both parents – father and mother, male and female – as their teachers and role models.3

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains: “The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the author of marriage.”4

In sum, the Catholic Church teaches that marriage is the institution established by God for the foundation of the family: “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.”5

In other words, God created human beings as male and female, complementary and specifically for each other, and ordered or directed towards union and procreation that are intended to be fulfilled and perfected in marriage.

The Nature of Homosexuality in the Created Order

Created either male or female, and by their masculine or feminine sexuality thus directed towards union with the other who complements them, men and women are naturally drawn and relate to each other in this order.

There are some men and women, however, often through no fault of their own, who find themselves sexually attracted to individuals of the same sex.6

A comprehensive explanation for same-sex attraction or homosexual tendencies and inclinations remains elusive to this day, but research undertaken within various branches of science and medicine at various levels indicate that male and female homosexuality, though different in character, have both biological and environmental causes.

Sexual attraction towards the same sex is not a sin. But it is, in the light of our understanding of marriage, objectively disordered – in the sense that it is not ordered towards the union of male and female in a relationship of natural complementarity.

Homosexual acts or practices that may arise from such attraction, although they may proceed from and be motivated by genuine affection between two persons of the same sex, are similarly not ordered to the union of the two persons and to the procreation of children.

Because they are not unitive and procreative – the distinct qualities of a complementary union of man and woman in marriage – homosexual acts or practices are “contrary to the natural law”7. Hence, they are, from the perspective of natural law, gravely disordered and considered “sins gravely contrary to chastity”.8

The Catholic Church acknowledges that the number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies could be more than we think and that this inclination “constitutes for most of them, a trial.”9

The Catholic Church looks at her children who have deep seated homosexual attraction with motherly compassion and paternal love, even as she reminds them that in cultures that have lost sight of the richness and diversity of friendships that enhance the human condition, those who struggle with homosexuality are called to witness to the life-giving nature of virtue-based friendships not ordered to sexual acts.

Those who find themselves sexually attracted to others of the same sex are called to develop chaste friendships with both men and women.

The Church certainly recognizes that like all growth in virtue, this challenge is a difficult one that will require a robust supernatural life that is radically open to the grace and mercy of God. Frequent recourse to the sacraments of penance and the Holy Eucharist is a necessary condition for growth in holiness.

The Social Reality of Homosexual Unions

Over the past few years, in an increasing number of countries, including traditionally Catholic countries, homosexual unions have been granted legal recognition equal to that of marriage.

In our understanding of God’s creation of man and woman in complementarity and in His establishment of marriage, however, there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and the family.10 A homosexual union is not and can never be a marriage as properly understood and so-called.

In response to this emerging social reality and for the guidance of the faithful, therefore, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith instructs:

In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.11

Concretely, this means that Catholics cannot participate in any way or even attend religious or legal ceremonies that celebrate and legitimize homosexual unions. Understandably, this will be a particularly heavy cross for families that have been touched by homosexuality. The Church reaches out with compassion to these families whose loved ones have entered into such unions.

In countries where homosexual unions have not been legalized – a vast majority of countries worldwide, including the Philippines – Catholics are called to give witness to the whole moral truth about human sexuality, which is contradicted “both by approval of homosexual acts and the unjust discrimination against homosexual persons.”12

Moreover, Catholics are called to resist all attempts to normalize homosexual behavior and homosexual unions in their culture.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also recommends the following actions that may be effective in societies that may begin to manifest an inclination to legalize homosexual unions:

• Unmasking the way in which such tolerance [of homosexual unions] might be exploited or used in the service of ideology;
• Stating clearly the immoral nature of these unions;
• Reminding the government of the need to contain the phenomenon within certain limits so as to safeguard public morality and, above all, to avoid exposing young people to erroneous ideas about sexuality and marriage that would deprive them of their necessary defenses and contribute to the spread of the phenomenon.13

Catholics are called to oppose all gravely unjust laws that contravene both divine law and natural law – including all laws that legalize homosexual unions – because these unjust laws pervert and undermine the common good.

They are at the same time called, perhaps even more so in societies that legally recognize homosexual unions, to be charitable to every single homosexual person they know.

In particular, families with members who struggle with homosexuality are called to love them unconditionally, thereby outlasting all their other same-sex loves. This love, however, must be a love in truth that avoids praising, consenting to, or defending the so-called “homosexual lifestyle.”

Finally, given their unique vocation, Catholic politicians are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions in a particularly vigorous way. When legislation in favor of this recognition is first proposed, the Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. “To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.” 14

And, in countries where legislation in favor of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic lawmaker must try to obtain at least the partial repeal of the unjust law when its total abrogation is not possible at the moment.15

Arguments Against the Legalization of Homosexual Unions

Marriage is a social institution that has been granted privileges and benefits by the state because it is an institution of the natural law that contributes to the common good in a way that no other relationship can, i.e., the procreation and education of children.

Marriage binds a man and a woman together for life so that the offspring of their union would have the experience and benefit of the complementary male and female presence in their total development.

Homosexual unions, on the other hand, do not have the basic biological and anthropological elements of marriage and family. They are not able to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the human race16, and thus it would be an injustice to grant them legal recognition along with the same benefits and privileges accorded to marriage.

Neither can this injustice be mitigated by allowing homosexual couples to either adopt children or use artificial reproductive technologies to engender them. Such actions would intentionally deprive these children of the experience of fatherhood or of motherhood that they would need to develop and flourish, not only as human persons, but as persons living in a gendered society where socialization involves the learning of gendered social norms.

This too would be a grave injustice, especially in light of the principle, “recognized by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case.”17

It would likewise be unjust if homosexual unions were granted privileges and benefits identical to those of marriages because this act would redefine marriage, making it “an institution devoid of essential reference to factors [that are necessarily] linked to heterosexuality; for example, procreation and raising children.”18

Responding to Arguments for the Legalization of Homosexual Unions

In any debate that runs current to a proposal to legalize homosexual unions, four major arguments have been and will continue to be advanced.

The following enumeration and discussion is presented for the understanding and enlightenment of Catholics seeking appropriate responses to such arguments.

1. To deny homosexual unions the legal status of marriage is to unjustly discriminate against homosexual persons who simply wish to express their love and commitment to their same-sex partners as heterosexual spouses do.

The Catholic response: Distinguishing between persons or refusing social recognition or benefits to specific individuals or groups of individuals is immoral only when it is contrary to justice. Marriage is more than just the mutual affirmation one’s love and commitment to a beloved. This is why the state regulates and licenses marriage in a way that it does not regulate other types of friendship, which to some degree, all involve the mutual affirmation of love and commitment between and among friends – because only marriage can naturally and directly contribute children and a stable environment for the raising of those children, to the common good.

Denying homosexual unions the social and legal status of marriage simply affirms that these unions, as well as other non-marital unions similar to them, are not equivalent to marriage because they cannot give society what marriages can give. This is not opposed to justice. On the contrary, justice demands it.19

2. Homosexual unions should be legally recognized because individuals, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual, should have the right to do whatever they want to, if doing so does not hurt or impinge upon the freedom of others.

The Catholic response: As the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith explains, it is one thing for individual persons to freely engage in their private activities, and another very different thing for them to demand that the state sanction these activities, especially when they would harm the common good.

This would be the case if homosexual unions were legally recognized.20

Rightly respecting individual autonomy does not mean that society has to do everything that an autonomous individual demands that it do.

3. Homosexual unions should be legally recognized because they are occasions for virtue, and as such, are good for society. There are many instances where same-sex couples have clearly grown in virtue, for example, the virtues of patience, forgiveness, and generosity, in and through their efforts to build a life together.

The Catholic response: It may be true that homosexual unions, in certain cases, may be occasions for the growth of imperfect natural virtue. However, this alone would not be a reason for granting them the legal status of marriage, because they still do not and cannot contribute to the common good in the same way that marriages do.

Moreover, the Catholic Church has the obligation to remind same-sex couples that natural virtue is insufficient for salvation and for the eternal beatitude to which everyone is called. Only the supernatural virtues are salvific.

4. Marriage as a social institution has evolved and changed numerous times over the course of human history to accommodate the needs of a particular society and culture. Thus, marriage should evolve once more to accommodate our contemporary notions of human sexuality that recognize the fluidity not only of gender identities but also of sexual orientations.

The Catholic response: The truth about marriage, i.e., that it is a social institution ordered towards the life-long union of a man and a woman and the procreation and education of their children, is attainable by human reason.

However, given fallen human nature, especially given the interior disarray of our carnal desires that obscures our intellect, it is a truth that is often hard to grasp, and only after a long time, and with the admixture of many errors.

Not surprisingly, therefore, there has been and will continue to be throughout history, much confusion about the nature of marriage. Nonetheless, error is not a reason to abandon truth.

A Pastoral Response to the Legalization of Homosexual Unions

In societies that have legalized homosexual unions and in societies that are inclined to grant homosexual unions legal status, the Catholic Church is called, like her Lord did in his own time, to preach the good and saving news of marriage, by turning once again to God’s plan “in the beginning,” especially as it has been taught in the papal magisterium of Pope St. John Paul II in his Theology of the Body.

To the Catholic people and to other Christian believers, the Catholic Church is called to renew her efforts to catechize the faithful about the true nature of creation and marriage. This is especially urgent for our young people who may be led into error and doubt by those social movements that want to normalize homosexuality and to legalize homosexual unions.

For the Filipino people, we the Catholic bishops will be publishing a short catechism that specifically responds in simple language to the most common questions and objections raised by critics of the Church’s teaching on marriage and homosexual unions. Notably, however, we also acknowledge that the confusion surrounding the true nature of marriage cannot be driven out of the culture without the penance, prayer, and fasting of God’s holy people (cf. Mk. 9:29).

To families with members who struggle with homosexuality and who are tempted to ostracize their sons and daughters, the Catholic Church is called to preach mercy as her Lord did, without forgetting that the mercy of Jesus is always accompanied by his challenge to the woman caught in adultery that “from now on, do not sin again” (Jn. 8:11).

For the Filipino people, we the Catholic bishops consider addressing the familial shame that is experienced by Filipino families touched by homosexuality. It is a shame that needs to be redeemed in Christ through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God.

Finally, and most importantly, to homosexual individuals who are tempted either to pride or to despair, the Catholic Church is called to preach the power of grace through prayer and Holy Communion, and the mercy of Jesus Christ through the sacrament of penance.

It is Jesus Christ, and he alone, who can heal every broken human heart that yearns for unconditional love and authentic friendship. It is Jesus Christ, and he alone, who faithfully accompanies the homosexual person from grace unto glory.

From the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, August 28, 2015

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines

1 Catechism of the Catholic Church, §1605.
2 Pope John Paul II, “Marriage, One and Indissoluble in the First Chapters of Genesis,” General Audience, November 21, 1979, Vatican City.
3 St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles III-II.122.8.
4 Vatican II, Gaudium et spes, 48 §1. (cf. CCC, §1603)
5 Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1055 § 1; cf. Gaudium et spes, 48 § 1.
6 In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2014 that 1.6% of the U.S. population identify themselves as gay, lesbian, and that 0.7% consider themselves bisexual. For details, see Ward et al., “Sexual Orientation and Health Among U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2013,” National Health Statistics Reports Number 77, July 15, 2014.
7 Catechism of the Catholic Church, §2357.
8 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, June 3, 2003,” §4.
9 Catechism of the Catholic Church, §2358.
10 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, June 3, 2003,” §4.
11 Ibid, §5.
12 Ibid.
13 Ibid.
14 Ibid., §10.
15 Ibid.
16 Ibid., §7.
17 Ibid.
18 Ibid., §8.
19 Ibid.
20 Ibid.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Courage Participates in Congress on Family

On July 25, Courage was invited to participate in the Congress on Family organized by the Marriage Encounter Foundation of the Philippines (MEFP). The MEFP is a national umbrella organization of family and life ministries. They organized this congress to gather the reflections and views of the laity on the key points from the Final Relatio for the upcoming Synod on the Family in Vatican in October.

One of the seven points of reflection is “Pastoral Attention Towards Persons with Homosexual Tendencies”. This was the section our Spiritual Director, Fr. Daniel Healy, was invited to speak on. His talk started on a reflection on the Woman Caught in Adultery from the Gospel according to John. It reflects on how Jesus treats sinfulness and sin. Jesus’ words are: “Is there no one left to condemn you?”“No one, sir” she answered. “Well then,” Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go, and sin no more.” (Jn 8: 10-11) These inspired words are to be our guide in providing pastoral attention towards person with homosexual tendencies.

From this, Fr. Daniel further expounded on the topic and clarified three basic aspects of the homosexual tendency: person, inclination, and acts. On person, the Christian believes that every human being is born in the image and likeness of God, homosexual persons included, and they are therefore to be loved. On inclination, the Church does not consider this as sinful in itself but it predisposes a person toward what is not truly good for him or her. The term used by the Church is “objective disorder” as it is a burden, a weakness, a share in the cross of Christ. What one must do on this is to have the discipline and to grow in chastity and other virtues. On homosexual acts, the Church has always been consistent on this: “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered…under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC: 2357). Since it is intrinsically disordered or in other words, a sin, this is where the Church makes judgment on. As Jesus told the woman caught in adultery…”Go, and sin no more.” No sin is permissible and so the pastoral care for this is to lead persons who have committed homosexual acts to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

After Fr. Daniel, one of the Courage brothers gave his testimony on his struggles and redemption. Several questions and suggestions were then mentioned by the audience including a massive education program, setting up help desks at a parish level, and formation of married couples on parenting since our Courage brother has testified that the homosexual tendency has its roots in the family.

The genuine concern that the participants showed after the talk are the seeds that God has planted in everyone’s hearts. We can just hope that God will continue to finish the work He has started. It was truly a grace from God for Courage to have participated in this very important pre-meeting on the Synod on the Family and to speak about pastoral attention for persons with homosexual tendencies. This is God’s work after all and we are mere instruments. Praise be to God!

Joseph Anthony of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Invited to Courageous Love

Courage International is proud to announce the release of "Invited to Courageous Love", a five-part series on the Catholic Church and Homosexuality. These videos present a unique perspective on the lives of Catholics who experience same-sex attractions and the peace and joy they have found by embracing the Gospel call to charity and fellowship.

Each 30-minute episode will include testimony from Courage members and interviews with professionals in the fields of pastoral care, philosophy and theology, and the medical and social sciences. Topics include:

1. "The Good News About Chaste Love" --- Courage members tell their stories about living with same-sex attraction, hearing and embracing God's call to chastity, and finding a spiritual home in the Catholic Church.

2. "Sex and Sexuality in the Divine Design" --- Theologians and philosophers discuss the plan for sex and sexuality that is visible in the way human beings are created, and is revealed in the Sacred Scripture and in the teachings of the Church.

3. "Insights from the Medical and Social Sciences" --- Experts in psychology, medicine and pastoral care examine important questions about the origins of same-sex attraction, and the emotional and physical health issues often faced by people in homosexual relationships.

4. "Homosexuality and the Family" --- Parents, spouses and loved ones of people who experience same-sex attractions talk about the challenge of balancing healthy family relationships, concern for their children, and the demands of the life of Faith.

5. "Providing Authentic Pastoral Care" --- Bishops and priests speak from experience about accompanying men and women with same-sex attraction along the way of holiness, and helping them to find their vocations in the Church and in service to others.

"Invited to Courageous Love" will be released as a 5-DVD set, complete with a Study Guide for individuals or groups, on September 1, 2015.

It is sure to become an important resource for dioceses, parishes, schools and anyone wishing to know more about the teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality, and the lives of people who are faithfully living them out.

Source:  Courage International

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Healing the Child Within

Forwarded invitation by Bro. Alfie of Living Waters Philippines. For inquiries, kindly contact him at 0917-8922257. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Courage Orientation Seminar

The poster above says it all. If you are struggling with same-sex attractions and searching for answers you have come to the right place. Contact Bro. Edwin at (0916) 313-7249 or e-mail him at edwin.courageous@gmail.com for more info. This event will be on August 15, 2015, Saturday, coinciding with the Feast of our Lady's Assumption.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I Disagree But It's Not Hate

I encourage everyone to fight and stand up for the culture of life. We cannot afford to just sit and watch; we need to get involved. To start, you can like the following Facebook pages to receive up-to-date news feeds on pro-life issues including same-sex marriage.

1. Filipinos for Life

2. No to Gay 'Marriage'

3. No to Same-Sex 'Marriage' in the Philippines

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sodomy - A Sin that Cries to Heaven

I once heard a certain pastor of a gay church here in the Philippines said on a national TV debate that often quoted argument that Sodom and Gomorrah were punished because of the sin of inhospitality. Seriously? Fire and brimstone punishment for being inhospitable? Sodomy is so grave that it is one of the sins that cries to heaven. It is a sin against nature and an abomination in the eyes of God. Persist in this sin and you will be lost forever. Repentance is the only way out and like Lot and his daughters never ever look back.

And the Lord said: The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is multiplied, and their sin is become exceedingly grievous. I will go down and see whether they have done according to the cry that is come to me: or whether it be not so, that I may know. – Gen. 18:20-21

The “Sin of Sodom” is described as “carnal sin against nature, which is a voluntary shedding of the seed of nature, out of the due use of marriage, or lust with a different sex.”1 Given modernity’s substitution of God and Nature with the will of the individual as an autonomous moral universe, sodomy – more specifically active homosexuality, not orientation – has become part of the new post-Christian norm. Neither Divine Law nor Natural Law form an external guide for the modern man; thus, the only boundary of autonomous individual is the autonomy of another. The boundary for what is and is not moral appears to be consent. Consequently, moral dialogue has been flattened to mere platitudes, e.g., this isn’t hurting anyone, it’s my body and my choice, love is love. Many often comment on the modern West’s apparent lack of morality, but few comment on the fact the West has lost the vocabulary to even discuss on morality.2

A few distinctions. First, the issue of same-sex marriage is not a religious issue, it is a rational and philosophical one. Considerations of marriage as a natural institution, the moral import of natural law, and the harmony between unity and procreation in sex are all within the purview of the natural virtues and reason; however, as geology and astronomy may both tell us the Earth is round, so too can the two sciences of theology and philosophy tell us the same thing.3 For example, no one holds that the commandment thou shall not murder was unknown before God revealed it on Mt. Sinai. It was revelation confirming reason, a demonstration of the greater truth that grace perfects nature.

The discussion for this list is less about same-sex marriage and more about a proper interpretation of Scripture. It is a conversation about those who do see Sacred Scripture as a moral authority, but attempt to harmonize their modernist views on sexuality with the Holy Bible. Typically, this leads to “new” interpretations of Scriptures on homosexuality. These interpretations are often weak and out of context, but since they serve the end that people want people follow them. A tenuous intellectual argument will always serve as long as it achieves the end people desire, especially if that end is wrapped in autonomy and sexual gratification.

On the Interpretation of Hospitality Violations

Those who argue that Sodom and Gomorrah should be understood outside any homosexual context often submit that the divine judgment of those cities was due to violations of Ancient Near East hospitality laws. In The Sin of Sodom & Gomorrah is not about Hospitality, the good Msgr. Pope offers a strong rebuttal. In part:

First there is a text from Ezekiel:

Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did abominable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. (Ezekiel 16:49-50)

Now this is the text used most often by those who deny any homosexual context in the sin of Sodom. And, to be fair, it does add a dimension to the outcry God hears. There are clearly additional sins at work in the outcry: pride, excess or greed, and indifference to the poor and needy. But there are also mentioned here unspecified “abominations.” The Hebrew word is תּוֹעֵבָ֖ה (tō·w·‘ê·ḇāh) which refers to any number of things God considers especially detestable, such as worshiping idols, immolating children, wrongful marriage and also homosexual acts. For example, Leviticus 18:22 uses the word in this context: Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination.4

But of itself, this text from Ezekiel does remind us that widespread homosexuality is not the only sin of Sodom. And while the abomination mentioned here may not be specified exactly, there is another Scriptural text that does specify things more clearly for us. It is from the Letter of Jude:

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings. (Jude 7-8)

And thus it is specified that the central sin of Sodom involved “sexual immorality (ἐκπορνεύσασαι) and perversion (ἀπελθοῦσαι ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἑτέρας – literally having departed to strange or different flesh).” And this would comport with the description of widespread homosexual practice in Sodom wherein the practitioners of this sin are described in Genesis 19 as including, “all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old.”

Hence we see that, while we should avoid seeing the sin of Sodom as only widespread homosexual acts (for what city has only one sin?), we cannot avoid that the Scriptures do teach that homosexual acts are central to the sins of Sodom which cry to heaven for vengeance, and for which God saw fit to bring a fiery end.

Genesis 19 speaks plainly of the sin, Ezekiel 16 broadens the description but retains the word “abomination,” and Jude 7 clearly attests to sexual perversion as being the central sin with which Sodom and Gomorrah were connected.

One of the takeaways from the good monsignor’s commentary is that sexual perversion is not the only sin of which Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty. Many allow themselves to be confused by arguments that attempt to replace the primary sin (sexual perversion in a homosexual context) with the secondary sins.5 And while the discussion here is not necessarily why homosexuality is a sin that cries to heaven, it should serve to clarify that it is impossible to read the Sodom and Gomorrah narrative outside a homosexual context.

[Source: www.stpeterslist.com]


1Douay Catholic Catechism of 1649, Q. 928 – Thank you to Taylor Marshal for posting this excerpt on his blog. Marshall makes the point that America has failed “four for four” on these sins that cry out to heaven.

2. Moral Vocabulary: When he was Archbishop of Denver, His Excellency Chaput gave a talk that incorporated the problem of the lost moral vocabulary. Repentance & Renewal, 2010.

3. Theology as a Science: For an introduction to understanding Sacred Doctrine as the Queen of the Sciences and how she orders those sciences, see Queen of the Sciences and Queen of the Sciences II.

4. SPL Note on Leviticus & Homosexuality: When Lev. 18:22 is cited as an undeniable condemnation of homosexuality in Scripture, it is often met with certain sophist rebuttals, e.g., Leviticus also outlaws shaving, tattoos, and eating pork. First note that these statements are an assertion, not an argument. The underlying argument that is needed on both sides is how one decides what is still valid law and what is not. In short, as Catholics we know that the OT is perfected in the NT and the NT is foreshadowed in the OT; thus, we see in Scripture Christ’s intent to perfect the law, not abolish it. Certain laws, however, demand a change in order to be perfected. For example, the OT law of circumcision was perfected in the Sacrament of Baptism. The Levitical laws on purity are a subject we see both St. Peter and St. Paul address. Homosexuality, on the other hand, was restated as a sin by St. Paul. In reverse, one could always ask those who use this argument against Leviticus what their hermeneutic for understanding the OT and NT is. It will, inevitably, be their own autonomous will. For more see Catholic Answers on the subject. 

5. Further Commentary on the Hospitality View: In addition to Msgr. Pope’s article, Catholic Answers addresses it in their treatment of homosexuality in general and Fr. Longenecker comments on it in his article The Sin of SodomIn related studies, the good Msgr. Pope has written about the wrath of God and several other articles on homosexuality (Biblical Teaching on Homosexuality, the “Lost Generation of the Church,” and a Pastor’s Attempt to Teaching the Bible on Homosexuality). Catholicism holds that the laws of the State are drawn from the laws of nature, and the laws of nature are distinct from the divine laws in Scripture. To understanding the relationship of laws and the context in which Catholicism advocates for the legal defense of natural marriage, see Think like a Catholic – 7 Questions on the Four Laws. A collection of Catholic documents on sexuality and the pastoral care of homosexually oriented person is found at 5 Catholic Documents on Family, Sex, and Homosexuality. Those who still question the traditional interpretation of the Church on homosexuality may reference Early Church: 12 Quotes on Homosexuality & Other Sexual Sins

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Gospel of the Family Today: 2nd MEFP National Congress

Venue: Century Park Hotel
Date: July 25, 2015
Time: 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Theme "The Gospel of the Family Today"

Congress Objectives:

  • Formulation of motions for theXIV Ordinary General Assembly (Synod of Bishops) to take place from October 4 to 25, 2015 in the Vatican
  • To provide a venue for common study and reflection on various pastoral considerations affecting families in the Philippines today
  • Consensus building on common marital and family enrichment programs that can be shared by faith-based organizations

Topics and Speakers:


Proclaiming the Gospel of the Family Today in Various Contexts

Speaker: H.E. The Most Reverend Socrates Villegas
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
President, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines


Pastoral Care for Couples Civilly Married or Living Together

Speaker: Rev. Fr. Dominador G. Guzman, Jr., SSP
Provincial Vicar, Philippine-Macau Mission of the Society of St. Paul

Caring for Wounded Families (Separated, Divorced and not Remarried, Divorced and Remarried, Single-Parent Families)

Speaker: Rev. Fr. Rex M. Mananzan, S. J.
Canon Lawyer
Professor, Loyola School of Theology

Pastoral Attention Towards Persons with Homosexual Tendencies

Speaker: Rev. Fr. Daniel Healy
Spiritual Director, Courage Philippines

The Transmission of Life and the Challenge of the Declining Birthrate

Speaker: Ms. Mitos Rivera
Executive Director, Institute for Reproductive Health-Philippines


Guiding Engaged Couples in Their Preparation for Marriage

Speaker: Rev. Fr. Benito B. Tuazon
President, Radio Veritas Philippines
Executive Director, Caritas Manila

Accompanying Married Couples in the Initial Years of Marriage

Speaker: Rev. Fr. Ruben M. Tanseco, S.J.
Founder, Marriage Encounter Foundation of the Philippines, Inc.

Upbringing and the Role of the Family in Evangelization

Speaker: Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual
National Spiritual Director, MEFP
Parish Priest, St. Anthony of Padua, Singalong, Manila


Congress Methodologist: Rev. Fr. Dominador G. Guzman, SSP
Plenary Moderator: Rev. Fr. Edwin E. Mercado
Each Breakout Group will have:

Resource Speaker (30 minutes)
Couple Sharer (15 minutes)
Facilitator (45 minutes for Open Forum)
(Note: 1.5 hours per Workshop)


P2,600 per person, inclusive of Congress Kit, snacks, lunch, dinner, and Fellowship

50% discount for MEFP members
20% discount for non-MEFP members Special fee arrangement for a limited number of qualified delegates

MEFP and other faith-based organizations members
Concerned NGOs and cause-oriented groups
Heads of Family and Life Ministries of the different dioceses in the Philippines

Visit their website to register at www.mefp.info.