“The Catholic Church,” wrote G. K. Chesterton, “is the one thing that saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.
That is so true. Whatever the latest fad or fashion, no matter how silly, how transitory, or how malicious, the Roman Catholic Church transcends it—a divine institution founded by Christ and the Apostles. It rescues us from being children of our age, captive to the latest degrading trends and whims. To borrow from the late William F. Buckley Jr., it stands athwart history yelling “stop!”
I was reminded of that yet again over Christmas, when I heard Pope Benedict’s annual message. In that Christmas message, the pope referred to same-sex marriage as “unnatural.”
How inspiring that was. Consider: America’s progressives, beaming with confidence in the reelection of Barack Obama, are pushing full force for gay marriage. It’s a giant, relentless rush. It is truly all the rage in Hollywood, on college campuses, at the New York Times, and at the Obama White House. If you think homosexuality isn’t the new normal, well, then, you’re not normal—you are a cruel pariah.
But stop! Calmly stepping into the fray, with no fanfare, is the bishop of Rome: Pope Benedict XVI. “Pope Benedict denounces gay marriage,” stated the headline in the New York Daily News.
Well, not exactly, it’s not that he denounced gay marriage. He’s simply not for gay marriage. He said, boldly and unequivocally, that such an arrangement destroys the “essence of the human creature.” Given that a person’s gender identity is God-given and unchangeable, gay marriage, said Benedict, is a “manipulation of nature,” a “freedom to create oneself,” which stands in denial of God “the Maker.” Such “radically different types of unions,” said Benedict, “actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society.” Such “truths,” said the pope, “are inscribed in human nature itself.”
In response, liberals/progressives went ballistic. Gee, what’s wrong with the Pope? Doesn’t he watch TV? Doesn’t he listen to Obama?
So-called “LGBT activists” staged a protest at St. Peter’s Square, and a coalition of liberal Catholic groups called Equally Blessed denounced Benedict’s view as “rigid and outmoded.” The Huffington Post complained that Benedict, in an address to “the Vatican bureaucracy,” had taken “anti-gay marriage to [a] new level.”
In truth, Pope Benedict merely wants to keep marriage at the level where it has always been: between a man and a woman. That’s perfectly natural.
For Catholic Exchange dot com and Ave Maria Radio, I’m Paul Kengor.