SEATTLE, June 22, 2011 ( – Supporters of gay “marriage” fail to understand both the purpose of sex and the nature of human beings, said one Catholic bishop last week.


Bishop Robert Vasa, formerly of Baker, Oregon and now coadjutor bishop of Santa Rosa, California, spoke with on the topic at the U.S. bishops’ conference in Seattle. Asked to comment on the fight for same-sex “marriage,” Vasa indicated that the mainstream emphasis on equality and civil rights completely misses the point of the debate.

The real controversy, said Vasa, revolves around “a proper philosophical understanding of the nature of the human person, and the nature of sexual interaction between persons of the opposite sex.” It also stems from a general “failure to recognize and understand that sexual love is not about self-gratification and pleasure,” but about “entering into a relationship with another person which is by its nature capable of being fruitful.”

“In some ways homosexual relationships try to imitate [the marital relationship between a man and a woman], but that’s all it is: an imitation,” he said. “Some semblance of union which can never be fruitful or productive cannot really be an expression of love, it can only be an expression of self-gratification.”

While supporters “may not recognize this,” said Vasa, calling homosexual relationships by the name of marriage amounts to a “corruption” of an institution reserved for a union that is “faithful, permanent, and child-oriented.”

“Marriage is unique, it has its own internal dynamism and internal definition, and you cannot change the nature of a homosexual relationship by calling it ‘marriage,’” he said. “It is still not marriage, because marriage has its own identity, and we can’t take unto ourselves in this generation.”