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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: 

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Remarks attributed to Pope Francis (and, not denied by the Vatican) in support of homosexual civil unions have caused grave scandal to the faithful.

Please SIGN this urgent petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify these heterodox and scandalous remarks on homosexual civil unions, and which will be delivered both to the Vatican and to the Papal Nuncio of the United States (the Pope's official representative in the U.S.).

As the last guarantor of the Faith, the Pope should clarify and rectify these remarks, which go against the perennial teaching of the Church, even including the teaching of his living predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

"What we have to create is a law of civil coexistence [meaning civil union law, for homosexuals]...," Pope Francis is reported to have remarked, in what is arguably his clearest statement of public support for a practice morally prohibited by official Catholic Church teaching.

In fact, the Church has been crystal clear in Her opposition to homosexual unions.

Just in 2003, Pope Saint John Paul II approved a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, titled 'Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons' and written by Cardinal Ratzinger (now, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), which concludes with the following:

"The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."

It could not be more clear: the Church is calling people to repentance, not to be left to indulge in grave sin.

Since becoming public, several senior prelates as well as other notable Catholic figures have voiced their opposition to these remarks attributed to the Pontiff.

Cardinal Raymond Burke stated: "It is a source of deepest sadness and pressing pastoral concern that the private opinions reported with so much emphasis by the press and attributed to Pope Francis do not correspond to the constant teaching of the Church, as it is expressed in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition."

Cardinal Gerhard Müller commented: "Where there is tension between the plain and obvious Word of God and the infallible interpretation on the one hand, and private expressions of opinion even by the highest church authorities on the other, the principle always applies: in dubio pro DEO [When in doubt, be in favor of God]."

And, Catholic theologian and apologist Scott Hahn, without directly quoting Pope Francis, shared on Facebook the 'Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,' published by the CDF in 1986, with the statement: "Holy Father, respectfully and humbly, I beg to differ... if that is indeed what you said. In any case, please clarify and rectify your statement, especially in view of the official teaching of our Lord through the magisterium of His Church."

But, the silence from the Vatican has been deafening, with no clarification forthcoming.

We must, therefore, ask the Pope for clarification in this serious matter.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify remarks attributed to him in support of homosexual civil unions.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'Cdl. Burke: Pope’s homosexual civil union remarks ‘contrary’ to Scripture, Tradition' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/cardinal-burke-on-popes-homosexual-civil-union-remarks-contrary-to-the-teaching-of-sacred-scripture-and-sacred-tradition

'Cardinal says Catholics ‘can and should’ disagree with Pope’s ‘opinion’ on gay civil unions' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/cdl.mueller-popes-words-on-gay-civil-unions-purely-private-expression-of-opinion-which-every-catholic-can-and-should-freely-contradict

'Archbishop Vigano, Bishops Tobin and Strickland respond to Pope’s approval of homosexual civil unions' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/archbishop-vigano-and-bishops-tobin-strickland-respond-to-popes-approval-of-homosexual-civil-unions

'Pope’s comments on gay civil unions cause shockwaves around the world' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/deepest-sadness-cardinal-burke-condemns-pope-franciss-remarks-supporting-civil-unions

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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.

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