Why the Catholics of Ireland voted for Gay Marriage

Most Catholic Christians have lost their sense of sin. Many Catholics attend Mass and receive Communion. Very few Catholics go to Confession at all. Most Catholics do not consider any acts to be necessarily sinful. For they have not formed their consciences in accord with Catholic teaching.

Most Catholics have utterly rejected the teaching of the Church on sexual ethics. They have adopted instead the secular view on sexuality. Any sexual acts accepted by sinful secular society are accepted by most Catholics. They have chosen modern culture as their teacher on sexual issues, not the Church.

Most Catholics do not acknowledge or confess their own sexual sins: contraception, abortifacient contraception, sex outside of marriage, masturbation, pornography, homosexual acts, and unnatural sexual acts within marriage have all become acceptable to them. The fact that so many Catholics use contraception is a grave sin itself, but also an indication that these same Catholics are committing grave sexual sins.

Gay marriage is wrong because it is not a true type of marriage; it is neither a natural marriage, nor the Sacrament of Marriage. The Bishops of Ireland and the U.S. and other regions of the world have been clear on this point.

However, the Bishops of Ireland, in the campaign against the marriage referendum, should have emphasized the Church’s teaching on sexual ethics. Unnatural sexual acts are intrinsically evil and always gravely immoral. Approval for same-sex marriage implies approval for gravely immoral sexual acts. Homosexual sexual acts, with or without a legal marriage, are gravely immoral.

Why didn’t the Bishops of Ireland teach their flocks that unnatural sexual acts are gravely immoral? Perhaps they realize that the vast majority of Catholics in Ireland and in the world are guilty of various grave sexual sins themselves. Many Catholic married couples commit the grave sin of unnatural sexual acts within marriage. These acts do not become moral by being done by a man and woman who are married to each other. Many single Catholics commit various sexual acts; they no longer strive to remain pure until marriage. And pornography has become widely accepted in secular society and among Catholics.

The Bishops of Ireland should have opposed the legalization of gay marriage by teaching definitively on sexual ethics, requiring Catholics to go to Confession regularly, denying Communion to anyone who commits grave sexual sins without repentance and confession, and teaching that unnatural sexual acts are always gravely immoral. The Bishops of Ireland should have issued a sentence of automatic excommunication against any Catholic who votes for gay marriage. And they should have been very clear in their teaching that voting to legalize same-sex marriage is a grave sin. And all the Bishops of the world should do the same.

The Catholics of Ireland voted for same-sex marriage because:
* they have lost their sense of sin
* they no longer go to Confession
* they do not accept Catholic teaching on sexual ethics
* they have accepted sinful secular society as their teacher
* they commit many grave sexual sins themselves
* they do not believe that unnatural sexual acts are gravely immoral
* their Bishops did not speak out against the above errors

The Bishops of the United States are making a similar mistake. They speak of the same-sex marriage issue as if it were only a matter of the correct definition of marriage. But in truth, it is a matter of sexual ethics and voting ethics.

It is a grave sin to vote for the legalization of same-sex marriage. For a Catholic, such a vote expresses a gravely immoral rejection of Catholic teaching on sexuality and marriage. For a Catholic, such a vote expresses a gravely immoral rejection of Roman Catholic sexual ethics. For a Catholic, such a vote is contrary to the common good, as understood and taught by the Catholic Church. All Catholics have a moral obligation to refrain from any vote that is gravely immoral, and to strive to do as much good for society and as little harm as possible when voting.

The teaching of the ordinary and universal Magisterium is that marriage is founded on the sexual and affective complementarity of man and women, and is primarily for the purpose of procreation. The Magisterium also teaches that all sexual acts outside of marriage are gravely immoral, and that each and every marital sexual act must be both unitive and procreative. Formal legal approval for same-sex marriage implies the approval by society of gravely immoral sexual acts.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you, especially books on ethics.

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5 Responses to Why the Catholics of Ireland voted for Gay Marriage

  1. Invisible Mikey says:

    I looked over your CV, and your work is impressive, but I don’t think you understand political-social change movements to the same degree. If someone among your own friends and family has endured discrimination, you’ll see it as a social justice issue, and church dogma won’t begin to be able to convince you otherwise.

    The Irish are historically very sensitive to oppression, having been enslaved, raided and ruled by outsiders many times before. Celtic Christianity trod a unique path from the very first, guarding a level of independence from Rome. When you consider that combined with the many abuses in current memory perpetrated and covered up by the church, it’s not as hard to understand how it diminished the church’s influence as moral authority. I think part of it was a “reap what you’ve sown” result in the vote.

    Then there’s the young. They don’t see sexual orientation as a moral issue, only a difference between individuals. That can’t be reversed by a better argument. They don’t care about it, and if you press the issue, they will (as they have in recent decades) walk away from church attendance entirely. That’s why young people, including the majority of those still identifying as Catholic, voted as they did.

    • Ron Conte says:

      They also do not see any consensual sexual acts as a moral issue. And that is a grave problem. These young person simply are not Catholic Christians. They are secular persons with a Catholic cultural background. We cannot change Church teaching in order to obtain the attendance of persons who are not true Catholics.

    • Invisible Mikey says:

      Whether or not to change church teaching wasn’t the question under discussion in the headline, so I guess that question remains under study.

  2. jbbt9 says:

    As an Irish Catholic I regretfully have to admit that your assessment of the state of the Irish Catholic church is accurate.
    Probably most of the people who voted for gay marriage equality this week would still label themselves Catholic.
    I was so saddened, though not surprised, I have had to apologize to God on our nations behalf and ask for mercy and the reconversion of Ireland.
    Indeed, some major Rosary Crusades for that same intention have been taking place here this past few years.
    The vote result is a further sign of the imminent tribulation. A step closer to the bottom.
    Keep up your good work.
    You are one of the few reliable lights remaining to be seen. God bless.

  3. deshaw says:

    Same sex marriage is impossible for Catholics. We are dealing with not only the question of homosexuality but also of the Catholic sacraments. Sacraments are the core of the Catholic faith and are not up for “debate,” “vote,” or “change.” I believe sacraments are referred to as the Sacrament Economy which encompasses the teaching of the church i.e. beliefs, behaviors, history, anthropology, political and economic theory, sexuality, cosmology and ecology. As Catholics, we believe the primary way God works is through His church and through the sacraments. These 7 sacraments are vital for Catholics, the salvation for our souls, thus being our “tools” to complete our mission on earth. People can vote to change marriage and make it “equal” to all and the government of the United States can proliferate their garbage all they want but saying a circle is square doesn’t make it so. A circle is round and will remain for the truly remnant faithful as such. The truth must be spoken by followers of the Catholic faith. Thank you for doing so, Ron.

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