Irish Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone is calling for the Church to use the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Dublin to celebrate homosexual partnerships and distort the authentic meaning of family.
By Deacon Frederick Bartels
5 March 2018
Writing for LifeSiteNews, Lisa Bourne reported that Katherine Zappone, the Irish Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, wants the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Dublin to “not be used as a platform for remarks which exclude, isolate or hurt any family,” and insists that “the event organized by the Catholic Church will not be used as a platform” for comments deemed derogatory toward so-called LGBTI families.
“LGBTI families, like all families, should be celebrated and not excluded – that’s the message that should be coming not just from the World Meeting of Families, but from all who believe in justice, equality and fairness,” Zappone said.
Dara Kelly of IrishCentral writes: “Zappone, 62, is openly gay and is now Ireland’s first openly lesbian minister. A high profile campaigner for same sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland last year, she has been appointed the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs by Kenny.”
“Born in the United States, in Washington state,” she continues, “Zappone was educated at Boston College (PhD), The Catholic University of America (MA) and University College Dublin (MBA) Zappone met her Irish partner Ann Louise Gilligan, a former nun, at Boston College in 1981 and the couple moved to Ireland 28 years ago. They have been a couple for 35 years.”
What Is A Family?
Verbal engineering and euphemisms have long been employed as common tools by homosexual activists in order to make homosexual behavior appear innocuous, normal and widely accepted. And they’ve proven very effective against the unwary and the morally indifferent, especially in combination with homosexual media propaganda. An example is found in referring to homosexual partners as a “family”—after all, why would any compassionate, fair-minded person ever be in favor of excluding or harming families? Families are not only an integral element of the landscape of society but are its foundational cell. If people can be moved to perceive that the Church is speaking against families when it speaks against homosexual behavior, then the Church is painted to look harshly unfair, judgmental, and exclusivist.
By labeling homosexual couples as “families,” people who oppose these homosexual partnerships are made to look like unloving, anti-family bigots.
But is it accurate to call a homosexual couple in a same-sex union a “family”?
Nope. It’s a distortion. It’s an intentional, calculated step away from reality with the aim in mind of swaying public opinion to accept what is immoral, disordered, out of sync with the natural law, and opposed to God’s plan for human sexuality and children. It’s a linguistic slight-of-hand designed for but one purpose: to disguise evil as something good.
Recall that disguising evil as something good was the method the devil used against Eve in the Edenic Paradise in order to tempt her to disobey God’s plan and severely exceed the boundaries of human freedom (see Genesis 3). What was the result? Tragedy. Death entered the world, sanctifying grace was lost, man’s relationship with God and with others, including his own interior harmony, was damaged. Human nature itself was wounded. The devil’s tactics remain unchanged.
The definition of family has always been—at least until it has come under attack with the recent advent of homosexual dogmatists—historically straightforward and common sense. For instance, The New Oxford American Dictionary in its first definition of family, notes that it is “a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.” Parents are defined as “a father or a mother.” Even in the secular world, a family is traditionally defined as a married father and a mother with children who live together and/or form a relational unit. That’s the reality of what a family is. Granted, things are often less than ideal when death, divorce, and remarriage are considered, but these issues do not negate the reality of what a family really is.
Fatherhood and motherhood are essential human components of the formation of families. Homosexual couples cannot bring about the reality of a family because they cannot procreate: It is impossible for two men to engage in sex and fulfill the reality of fatherhood because it is biologically impossible for them to transmit new human life through sexual union—in fact, authentic sexual union is an impossibility due to insurmountable biological incompatibilities. It’s no different with two homosexual women.
Quoting from Vatican II’s Gaudium et Spes (48) and Apostolicam Actuositatem (11), the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church teaches that the “family, in fact, is born of the intimate communion of life and love founded on the marriage between one man and one woman. It possesses its own specific and original social dimension, in that it is the principal place of interpersonal relationships, the first and vital cell of society” (211).
At best, LGBTI “families” are actually partnerships with adopted and/or technologically conceived children. They’re not families in the proper sense of the term.
Should Homosexual Partnerships Be Celebrated?
LGBTI activists insist their partnerships should be celebrated. They demand they be trumpeted as something “good.” Should they be? Not if you care about what is true and what is in accord with the reality of God’s design and the natural moral law. Not if you are concerned about children’s rights, the common good, and the future of humanity. Not if you desire to live in a rightly ordered way and promote that same order in society for the good and justice of all.
Ah, you who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Ah, you who are wise in your own eyes, and shrewd in your own sight! (Isaiah 5:2–21)
Homosexual partnerships and sex-acts cannot be condoned, approved or celebrated because they are intrinsically disordered, out-of-phase with the natural law and the fabric of reality God has created. As the Word of God puts it, they are an abomination: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Lev 18:22).
Does the Church exclude and unjustly discriminate against homosexual persons?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:
Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They 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. (2357)
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. (2358; emphasis added)
Homosexual persons are called to chastity, as is every person. No one is excluded from the moral requirement to practice sexual rectitude:
Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (2359)
Does the Church have a right to voice her concern and denounce immoral sexual behavior?
The Church has both a right and an obligation to articulate what is true for the good of all because her mission is the salvation of humankind in Jesus Christ, which requires the proclamation of the saving gospel message. The Church brings to the social table what no other institution does: Christ and the fullness of the divinely revealed truth of God.
The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church states:
The Church has the right to be a teacher for mankind, a teacher of the truth of faith: the truth not only of dogmas but also of the morals whose source lies in human nature itself and in the Gospel. The word of the Gospel, in fact, is not only to be heard but is also to be observed and put into practice (cf. Mt 7:24; Lk 6:46-47; Jn14:21,23-24; Jas 1:22). Consistency in behaviour shows what one truly believes and is not limited only to things strictly church-related or spiritual but involves men and women in the entirety of their life experience and in the context of all their responsibilities. However worldly these responsibilities may be, their subject remains man, that is, the human being whom God calls, by means of the Church, to participate in his gift of salvation.
Men and women must respond to the gift of salvation not with a partial, abstract or merely verbal acceptance, but with the whole of their lives — in every relationship that defines life — so as not to neglect anything, leaving it in a profane and worldly realm where it is irrelevant or foreign to salvation. For this reason the Church’s social doctrine is not a privilege for her, nor a digression, a convenience or interference: it is her right to proclaim the Gospel in the context of society, to make the liberating word of the Gospel resound in the complex worlds of production, labour, business, finance, trade, politics, law, culture, social communications, where men and women live. (70)
The Church is concerned with protecting and promoting human dignity, marriage and family, the common good, and the transcendent dimension of the human person who is created in the Imago Dei and destined for eternal communion with the Tripersonal God. The Church insists on living in accord with what is really true, for in that life of harmony of faith and morals is found the life of virtuous excellence, and the fullness of human life is attained through faith in Christ. The social doctrine of the Church is ordered toward fostering an authentic healing and elevating of human society. It is directed at the good and happiness of all.
Celebrating homosexual partnerships, sex-acts and counterfeit notions of family are opposed to these goods and lead not to the vitality and promotion of the common good but to its destruction. Such practices are contrary to the dignity of the human person and harmful to the social order.
We must never allow disordered social arrangements to be touted as authentic family relationships.
Some insist that when the Church articulates what is true, she stands in opposition to human rights and human happiness. That is a false claim. As Pope Benedict noted in Caritas in Veritate, charity in truth is necessary for the authentic development of the human person. Withholding what is true is detrimental to the person. The virtue of charity or Christian love is always concerned with the true benefit of the other. Man needs to know what is true in order to understand how to really live and thrive in context with the plan of God and in communion with others in society.
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Photo Attribution: By Katherine Zappone [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons. Modified for Joy In Truth.
Deacon Frederick Bartels is a member of the Catholic clergy who serves the Church in the diocese of Pueblo. He holds an MA in Theology and Educational Ministry and is a Catholic educator, public speaker, and evangelist who strives to infuse culture with the saving principles of the gospel.