Art. 54 has a very important point to make:
“There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”
This is a citation of a very good CDF document written under the guidance of the Prefect, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. The message is absolutely clear: There is no resemblance at all between marriage and sodomite unions. The indissolubility of marriage is good because the union of man and woman ordered to procreation is good. If there were a band of ruffians who vowed to be united “indissolubly,” their indissolubility would not be good but evil, as their band’s very unity is evil. Sure, there are abstractly “good elements” in the band, in that they have a code of conduct, look out for each other, feed themselves, etc. But their end is evil and the end defines the union. Similarly, if sodomy is evil, then a vow to bond two men precisely as committed to this act is itself evil. If the bond is evil, so is its indissolubility. It follows with inexorable precision from Catholic teaching that so-called homosexual marriage is an evil thing; hence, it bears no analogy to true marriage. The CDF continues:
Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts “close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
The document goes on to declare “the immoral nature of these unions” (art. 5), calling them simply “evil”.
I cannot recommend highly enough this CDF document. It is an important antidote to the Synod on the Family. For sake of edification, I must cite it here at length.
Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts “as a serious depravity… (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10). This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” (art. 4).
Although the inclination itself, qua not a product of freely chosen acts (of commission or omission), is not a sin, since only free acts are sins, nevertheless, this inclination to what is intrinsically evil is therefore a “disordered” inclination. Not sin but a disordered inclination. The acts are sin, but not the inclination, qua not free.
What do we mean by “disordered”? Aren’t those men who lust after women also disordered? Isn’t their inclination also a “disorder”?
We can speak loosely or technically. Loosely, any sin is a disorder, and any inclination to sin is a disorder. But when we speak technically, only those inclinations are “disordered” (technical sense) whose object abstractly considered is evil. Since a man having sex with a woman is not an evil object, the inclination to desire such is not disordered. (It is, to be sure, concupiscent and thus wayward since the woman of which we speak is not his wife, but the tendency is not technically dis-ordered. It is wayward because this is not the right woman, or the desire is not measured; etc. These are real problems, to act on which would be to sin. Yet, the very object [a man's desire for sex-with-woman] is – abstractly considered – not evil.) But in the case of same-sex attraction, the object is always evil. A woman is a proper object for a man’s sexual desire. Hence, that a man is inclined sexually towards a woman is not a disorder but an order. However, a virtuous man will have this inclination only habitually. That is, it will not be stirred up within him upon seeing any woman go by. It will be excited only when he sees his wife, or if he happens to be caught off guard by some attractive woman suddenly put into his presence. But then virtue will set to work to moderate the desire; he will change his thoughts to Mozart or the Rangers. (If he doesn’t, then his “concupiscence” can turn to sin, if he fails to do what he can and should.) But the homosexual inclination has an object that is in all cases evil. It is never the case that – even abstractly considered – a man can licitly engage sexually another man. Hence, the very inclination to this object is disordered, even if it is not sinful when no free act (of commission or omission) occasions it. Thus “disordered” means that the very object of the inclination is per se evil: Sex with someone of the same sex. Similarly, the inclination to malign others’ characters would be a “disorder,” for in all cases to will such destruction of reputation is evil.
When it comes to civil unions of gay couples, the CDF states very firmly that such unions are an evil on society. If society is so far gone from the natural order that it finds it cannot but tolerate such unions, the following directives apply:
Moral conscience requires that, in every occasion, Christians give witness to the whole moral truth, which is contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons. Therefore, discreet and prudent actions can be effective; these might involve: unmasking the way in which such tolerance 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. (art. 5).
These directives apply simply for the “toleration” of homosexual unions, say, in one’s neighborhood. The case is more serious if a society legislates in favor of such unions. It is even worse if it legislates “equality” between such unions and real marriage:
Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil.
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 (art. 5)
What the CDF is saying inexorably implies is that the US Supreme Court Decision of June 26 is Null and Void in the Eyes of God!
And it is Null and Void not only before the bar of faith but before the bar of right reason.
Therefore, anyone who rightly thinks concerning this issue is free to treat it as though it does not exist, for it has no force of law. The only “force” it has is that of a band of thieves and brigands with weapons and penal sanctions that can extort behavior out of those who cannot bear the load. (See Augustine, City of God.)
What will we Christians do with regard to this null and void law? Will we bear the load? Will we capitulate? Will we truly love our neighbor? Will we truly have mercy on the poor? Will we go after the several sheep that are wandering towards the cliff and conversing with wolves? That is, will we share with them the full truth of the Gospel? That sodomite acts destroy the human heart, twist one’s ability to befriend and relate, enmesh one in disorder, fail to be fruitful, thus fail to pronounce hope to a fallen world, and thus are evil and sound the soul’s marriage to death? This on the one hand. And on the other hand, a message that cannot be understood unless this former message is thoroughly understood: That Jesus shed his blood so that each of us might be freed from our enslavement to sin, repent, and receive his forgiving grace, imbibe his living Spirit, and journey in peace to the Heavenly Homeland?