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Vatican and ACNA Slam the Door on Homosexual Marriage

Vatican and ACNA Slam the Door on Homosexual Marriage

By David W. Virtue, DD
March 17, 2021

There will be no recognition of homosexual unions or marriage by the Roman Catholic Church. It is non-negotiable. The Anglican Church in North America recently said the same thing. Scripture is clear, no sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman in marriage.

Pope Francis has been under considerable pressure from homosexual activists, in and out of the Church, to give the green light to homosexual marriage. The statement released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to queries on this issue is the most decisive rejection of those efforts ever written. That document can be found here: https://virtueonline.org/roman-catholic-church-nixes-same-sex-blessings

The Church's top doctrinal office said, "it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex." It further noted that "since blessings on persons are in relationship with the sacraments, the blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit."

The statement made it clear that this "does not preclude the blessings given to individual persons with homosexual inclinations, who manifest the will to live in fidelity to the revealed plans of God as proposed by Church teaching." It is homosexual unions that are the problem, not homosexuals.

Speaking of homosexuality, Vatican officials said it cannot "approve and encourage a choice and a way of life" that is "objectively disordered." God, they declared, "does not and cannot bless sin." In short, "the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex."

"The Vatican left nothing on the table. The door has been slammed shut on the homosexual agenda," said Catholic League president Bill Donohue.

God's Plan Remains Clear

The responsum declares it illicit to bless any partnership -- even stable relationships that involve sexual activity -- outside the indissoluble sacrament of marriage in which sexual union is open to procreation, Vatican columnist Jules Gomes wrote for Church Militant.

Even though same-sex relationships may have positive elements "which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated," these "positive elements exist in a union not ordered to the Creator's plan" and hence cannot justify an ecclesial blessing, the document notes.

But since "there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family," it cannot be licit to bestow a blessing imitating "the nuptial blessing invoked on the man and woman united in the sacrament of matrimony."

The CDF insists that its ruling, approved by Pope Francis, "is not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination" but rather because "God loves every person and the Church does the same" it rejects "all unjust discrimination." https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/vatican-blocks-blessings-for-same-sex-couples

Recently, the ACNA College of Bishops published a similar statement titled Sexuality and Identity: A Pastoral Statement from the College of Bishops. It sought to address at least three pressing questions:
• What should our biblical and pastoral response be to those within our Church who self-identify as Christians with same-sex attraction?
• What is the biblical vision for transformation with regard to same-sex attraction?
• What is the most helpful language to employ in describing the reality of same-sex attraction?

They concluded that the usage of "Christians who experience same-sex attraction" was the preferred language to stifle confusion. Their statement was neither judgmental on the one hand, nor did it compromise the Scriptures' clear prohibition against homosexual behavior, found primarily in the teachings of St. Paul on the other.

The College of Bishops argued that we cannot be guided by our sexual identity, and invited Anglicans, "to discern these matters within their own diocesan communities and ministries." ACNA bishops were called on to provide pastoral guidance to local churches, without repudiating the clear teaching of Scripture. This they did. Diocesan bishops were given latitude on its implementation within their own dioceses.

The ACNA bishops said they were committed to biblical sexuality and that they were wrestling with the problem of same sex attraction in the congregations. (David, I think this clarifies it. The way you had phrased it made it sound as if the ACNA bishops themselves had the problem.)

It is ironic that the Catholic statement comes hard on the heels of the ACNA statement on homosexual practice. This confirms that orthodoxy in faith and morals can be shared by two prominent churches who may differ on other doctrinal matters, but share a common understanding on human sexual behavior.

Even as the Church of England moves closer to the Episcopal Church on homosexuality, the RCC and ACNA are moving closer in the opposite direction.

Will this be a wakeup call to Archbishop Justin Welby? Unlikely, it would seem. Welby has committed himself to pushing his Church to full inclusion, ably abetted by the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell. Both of those men recently blasted the primate of Nigeria for his intemperate language condemning the ACNA College of Bishops' statement repudiating homosexual activity.

Might it be possible that Nigeria's primate will offer an olive branch to Archbishop Foley Beach in light of the confirmatory Catholic statement. One could hardly blame Archbishop Beach if he is doing a victory lap.

Of course, the RCC decision only isolates it further from The Episcopal Church and 40 years of ecumenical dialogue by an official joint commission known as the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. The ARCIC is the most farcical waste of money, time and faux talk of unity invented. For years it has been stuck on the ordination of women, and now with this declarative statement on homosexuality, it will go absolutely nowhere.

It is not surprising now that the RCC has publicly declared that homosexuality is "objectively disordered" and those who have inclinations must remain celibate and homosexual marriage is off the table. The decision has met with public opprobrium and vilification. Homosexual luminaries like CNN reporter Don Lemon, Elton John and various news outlets have condemned the Church's stand.

Truth is its own best defense, and both churches' refusal to compromise will get the world's condemnation. But those churches follow a Man who went to a cross for truth and willingly died for it. "For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live," writes St. Paul.


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