Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Parent Society Column on Pope Benedict XVI Faces the Evolving Nature of Family

Pope Benedict XVI and the Transforming, Reforming American Family

In the Pope’s annual Christmas address on December 21, 2012, along with his peace address during the week of Dec. 10, 2012, he targeted one group of people for criticism: same-sex parents.
In his annual peace message, Pope Benedict XVI said “gay marriage, like abortion and euthanasia, is a threat to world peace.” This is because the Catholic Church holds that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered,” though it stresses that LGBTQ people should be treated with compassion and dignity.
Same-sex marriage goes beyond questions of homosexuality, threatening what the Catholic Church considers to be the bedrock of society: a family based on a man, a woman, and their children. In his Christmas address, the Pope pressed his opposition to those of us who are LGBTQ by describing us as people who manipulate our God-given identities to suit our sexual choices — and destroying the very “essence of the human creature” in the process. To quote: “People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being … they deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves … the manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s (sic) fundamental choice where he himself is concerned.”
While I appreciate the Pope’s vision of one way of being a family — a mom, a dad, and children, a.k.a., a traditional family — I know I live in a world in which that way of being a “family” is but one of many ways of being a “family.”
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