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Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Following Pope Francis’s pronouncement in a just-premiered documentary seemingly supporting the legalization of same-sex civil unions, a U.S. archbishop has added his support in order to “reverence the dignity of those in same-sex relationships.”

Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of Saint Paul and Minneapolis noted in a recent statement that the Pope believes civil unions are “a kind of middle way that would allow persons of the same sex in long-term relationships to have legal benefits without a civil redefinition of marriage itself.” 

Perhaps most troubling is Archbishop Hebda’s assertion that “we are called to find ways of extending a true sense of family to those who find themselves on the margins.”  

A “true sense of family” will always be elusive to homosexual couples because non-complementary romantic and sexual relationships are at best a dim reflection of the love between man and woman, requiring extraordinary medical interventions to attempt to imitate nature’s very ample provision for creating children.

Children created via surrogacy or obtained via adoption for those relationships will never experience a “true sense of family” because they are denied either their father or mother. 

The consequences for these children are often devastating, as shown by the children’s rights organization, Them Before Us, which offers countless stories of the silent pain endured by the children of these relationships.   

By supporting same-sex civil unions, Pope Francis, Archbishop Hebda, and others condemn these children to unhappy lives of deprivation. 

To suggest that homosexual relationships can attain a “true sense of family” is to offer false hope to homosexuals seeking to find joy and peace in this world, denying them the experience of the fullness of all that the Gospel promises.  

The Pope and other prelates and priests should know this, but they choose to look the other way.  

They join the world in trading the universal understanding of conjugal marriage for one based solely on romantic interests. Like Esau in the book of Genesis, they are thoughtlessly trading a rich inheritance for nothing more than a bowl of soup, failing to recognize the staggering consequences of their impulsive, misdirected empathy. 

Our generation’s leading prelates are trading the Church’s heritage of complementarity for a future of state-enforced genderlessness, while undermining children’s rightful understanding of their own personhood.

They align themselves with popular culture, espousing the notion that heteronormativity is harmful to those with same-sex attraction. 

Many who experience same-sex attraction disagree with them. I am one of them. 

In seeking conjugal, complementary marriage rather than anti-conjugal, anti-complementary relationships as many of us have, we have sought nothing more than to fit in with the entire universe, to be part of the wonderful ecosystem of humanity and all of nature.

Non-conjugal, non-complementary sexual relationships are a synthetic lifestyle, at odds with nature and the entire cosmos. Not only do we seek marriage in the only true sense of the word, we are dedicated to its solemnity and the sanctity of our marriage vows.

Averting hearts and minds from the power and beauty of marriage — the real thing

By publicly supporting same-sex civil unions, Pope Francis and other clergy send a dangerous message to homosexuals that there is only one choice for them, that man-woman marriage is unattainable, that they are acting against their nature for desiring it, and that pursuing it will be dangerous for them, their spouses, and their children.

The opposite is true. The man-woman definition of marriage is not an insult; it is an ensign, beckoning to anyone — regardless of sexual orientation — that the union of a man and a woman is of unique significance in light of its procreative power and complementary capacity.

The man-woman definition of marriage — conjugal, complementary marriage — is an ensign not because it is just a good idea, or the best among many. It is a bright ensign because it is the truth, undeniably displayed in nature and in each of our physical beings. 

We are made male and female, as complements to each other. And when male and female come together, they unite as one flesh. When two males or two females attempt to join together sexually, they remain two males or two females. To base marriage solely on romantic or sexual interests requires averting our minds from easily discernible truth.

Full text of Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda’s statement: 

Pope Francis’ remarks giving qualified support to civil unions of same-sex couples are not his first as pope. While affirming Church teaching that marriage can only be between one man and one woman (2019 Interview), he, along with others who defend traditional marriage, has shown openness to civil unions as a kind of middle way that would allow persons of the same sex in long-term relationships to have legal benefits without a civil redefinition of marriage itself. While Church teaching on marriage is clear and irreformable, the conversation must continue about the best ways to reverence the dignity of those in same-sex relationships so that they are not subject to any unjust discrimination (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2358). The Pope seems to be emphasizing that we are called to find ways of extending a true sense of family to those who find themselves on the margins, so that they might experience the security of belonging and the joy of encountering the life-changing mercy of Jesus Christ.

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Doug Mainwaring is a journalist for LifeSiteNews, an author, and a marriage, family and children's rights activist.  He has testified before the United States Congress and state legislative bodies, originated and co-authored amicus briefs for the United States Supreme Court, and has been a guest on numerous TV and radio programs.  Doug and his family live in the Washington, DC suburbs.