Again I am faced with a Catholic friend who is encouraging others to support gay marriage. Specifically, this friend is encouraging others to boycott Chick-Fil-A because the company sponsors organizations that promote traditional marriage. Apparently, in the past Chick-Fil-A has supported Focus on the Family. There are a lot of things I dislike about Focus on the Family, but since I’m Catholic, Dobson’s stance on traditional marriage isn’t one of them. More recently, Chick-Fil-A has sponsored a different group that promotes traditional marriage and traditional values.
I recognize that many non-religious people will not stand for traditional values, and will support the move toward government recognition of homosexual partnerships as marriage. I expect non-religious people to have a different outlook than I do. We’re coming from different places. We’re aiming at different targets. Of course we’re going to disagree about how things ought to be done, and even about what those things are that ought to be done. Though I think they are mistaken, I don’t respect them less for it.
What I don’t understand is how people can claim to be Catholic while rejecting core teachings of the Catholic Church. The Church’s teaching on homosexuality isn’t a new thing. It’s been the same teaching for 2000 years. Homosexual acts are sinful. They are not to be condoned, accepted, or encouraged in any way. Every Catholic who has been confirmed, which is every adult Catholic, has taken a vow before God and before the Church to accept the Church’s teaching, regardless of his own ability to understand it or accurately represent it. It’s one thing to say, “I don’t understand why my Church teaches that this is a sin, but She does, so I believe it is a sin.” It’s another thing entirely to say, “I don’t understand why my Church teaches that this is a sin – that’s so messed up! Stupid celibate hypocritical old men in Rome! I’ll do what I want. Of course I’m still part of this Church! Why would anyone think otherwise?!”
Thumbing one’s nose at the magisterium of the Catholic Church is a Protestant thing to do. It’s understandable for a Protestant to say, “I don’t care what the pope says!” Of course the Protestant doesn’t care what the pope says! His very self-identity as a Christian hangs on his unwillingness to bend his own will and intellect to what the pope says. But it’s hypocritical, and disingenuous to refuse to consider what the pope says, and claim to be Catholic. If you don’t care what the pope and bishops teach, then don’t tell me you’re a faithful Catholic!
One more thing, even more important than the lie you live is the way you lie when you receive Our Lord in the Eucharist. When you refuse to submit yourself to the Church’s teaching, you profane the Blessed Sacrament every time you receive it. You cheapen the richest thing on earth – Jesus’ body, blood, soul, and divinity made present to us – with your lie every time you present yourself for Communion. Your lips say “Amen” I believe this is Jesus, that He is God in the flesh, that he instituted this Church to teach us, and I believe everything that Church teaches. Your life says you don’t believe all this. Just stop. Stop going to communion until you can honestly say you accept every Church teaching. You don’t have to understand the teachings – just accept them. But you must accept them, or your communion is a lie that will send you to Hell, guilty of nothing less than profaning Our Lord’s body.