Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes One of the 16 documents composed at the Second Vatican Council, the Council fathers devote an entire section to marriage and the family:
Articles in this section have been chosen to cast light on how the teachings of the Church intersect with the various social, moral, and legal developments in secular society.
CERC will not publish articles which, in the opinion of the editor, expose gays and lesbians to hatred or intolerance. Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe. This is a subject about which I have the good fortune to speak not merely as a scholar or an observer, but as a participant. Nine years ago I was joined in devout sisterhood to another woman, apparently in just such a ceremony as Boswell claims to elucidate in his book.
The ceremony took place during a journey to some of the Syrian Christian communities of Turkey and the Middle East, and the other member of this same-sex union was my colleague Professor Susan Ashbrook Harvey of Brown University. During the course of our travels we paid a visit to St.
There our host, Archbishop Dionysius Behnam Jajaweh, remarked that since we had survived the rigors of Syria and Eastern Turkey in amicable good humor, we two women must be good friends indeed. Intrigued, we agreed, and on a Sunday in late June ofwe followed the bishop and a monk through the Old City to a side chapel in the Holy Sepulchre where, according to the Syrian Orthodox, lies the actual tomb of Jesus.
After the liturgy, the bishop had us join our right hands together and he wrapped them in a portion of his garment. He pronounced a series of prayers over us, told us that we were united as sisters, and admonished us not to quarrel.
Ours was a sisterhood stronger than blood, confirmed in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, he said, and since it was a spiritual union, it would last beyond the grave. Our friendship has indeed endured and flourished beyond the accidental association of two scholars sharing an interest in the Syriac-speaking Christianity of late antiquity.
The blessing of the Syrian Orthodox Church was a precious instance of our participation in the life of an ancient and noble Christian tradition.
Although neither of us took the trouble to investigate the subject, each privately assumed that the ritual of that summer was some Christian descendant of an adoption ceremony used by the early church to solemnify a state that of friendship which comes highly recommended in the Christian tradition "Henceforth I call you not servants.
If this were all that Professor Boswell were claiming to have "discovered," neither I nor anyone else would be likely to dispute his findings. It seems reasonable to assume that ceremonies like the one Susan Ashbrook Harvey and I went through continue to take place in those eastern churches that preserve the rite of adoption adelphopoiesis for friends.
In fact, scholars of the liturgy have known for years of these rituals.
But any such modest claim is not what Boswell has in mind. This startling claim is certainly far from the reality of the ceremony in which we participated nine years ago. Is it perhaps just as far from the real meaning of such ceremonies in the distant past? According to his publisher, Boswell "irrefutably demonstrates that same-sex relationships have been sanctioned and even idealized in Western societies for over two thousand years.
The texts on which he leans for his assertions will be examined below. First, it is highly implausible that homosexual unions either in antiquity or in the Middle Ages would have been blessed by a religion that promoted ascetic devotion to the kingdom of God rather than that condition which contemporary Americans understand as the healthy expression of erotic drives.
In that sense the book is, as Boswell himself admits, counterintuitive in its very premise. Furthermore, early Byzantine law codes contain extremely harsh punishments for homosexual intercourse. Despite its facade of scholarship, the book is studded with unwarranted a priori assumptions, with arguments from silence, and with dubious, or in some cases outrageously false, translations of critical terms.
It will, for instance, come as news to Orthodox patriarch and Byzantinist alike that "the Theodosian Code  had made the upper reaches of the Roman state a Roman Catholic theocracy"; and Severus of Antioch d.
While Boswell clearly aspires to influence the current American debate about such issues as the nature of marriage and the rights of homosexuals, his tendentiousness in the use of evidence is depressingly old-fashioned.
Those writers, responding to certain pressing ideological needs of their own day, created a history to serve the purpose of their employers, whether the patrons of the Evangelische Kirche or Roman prelates.
Like them, Professor Boswell has set out to create a usable past. For Christians, antiquity means the founding centuries of the Church, when apostolic teaching was preserved and elaborated and a body of thought assembled.
Traditionalists, for whom it is imperative that Roman Catholic priests be unmarried and celibate, "prove," by invoking the evidence against itself, that early Christian priests who were married never in fact made love to their wives or sired children after their ordinations.
In the present superheated climate of ideological warfare it has been tempting to abandon the painstaking search for the true reconstruction of the past. Proponents of intellectual movements like cultural criticism or of political movements like multiculturalism have claimed flatly that there is no possibility, respectively, of securing a historical narrative of events as they happened eigentlich, or of arriving at a consensus view.
If "texts" do not exist independently of their readers, no one true interpretation can be said to exist.Read what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about this topic (#).
Read the Letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, One is a new exegesis of Sacred Scripture which claims variously that Scripture has nothing to say on the subject of homosexuality, or that it somehow tacitly approves of it, or that all of its moral injunctions are so culture-bound that they are no.
Marriage is a practice common to all cultures in all ages. It is, therefore, a natural institution, something common to all mankind.
At its most basic level, marriage is a union between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation and mutual support, or love. Catholics and same-sex marriage. A civil marriage is not recognized by the Catholic Church as a marriage, while a Church marriage has the force of civil law when registered with the.
However, to receive this gift, we must reject sin, including homosexual behavior—that is, acts intended to arouse or stimulate a sexual response regarding a person of the same sex. The Catholic Church teaches that such acts are always violations of . Those who disagree must therefore try to understand Catholic beliefs because the Catholic intransigence on the subject of same-sex “marriage” is not so much about homosexuality, but about the very foundation and core of the Catholic faith.