St. Augustine's Seminary of Toronto

Pastoral Work - Homily by Rev. T. Lynch

Friday, July 18th, 2003 Ė ďSame sexĒ Marriage

Transcribed by the National Catholic Broadcasting Council

My friends, you would have to be asleep or dead not to know that in the past few weeks the whole situation regarding marriage in our country has completely and absolutely changed. We are all aware of the fact that the Ontario Supreme Court, along with some other supreme courts in other provinces has struck down the law of the land and declared that homosexuals can be able to enter into marriage and that marriage is to be extended to all people regardless of whether you are a man or a woman or of any combination there of.

Thatís the reality of the situation and the reality has been compounded further, as you probably have heard in the news or read in the paper, because the new law that the Government is proposing has just come out. Itís a very brief law. It says, in effect, that no longer is marriage to be reserved to an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman, but rather an exclusive relationship between two persons, as they say, to the exclusion of all others.

In the worst of hypocrisy that Iíve heard in many, many years the minister responsible, Minister Cauchon says, this law changes nothing. It holds fast to that which has always been known, that two people will make a commitment to each other, and then he went on with the rest of his hypocritical statement.

The reality is, as we all know, here and at home, that it changes everything. Marriage has always been seen throughout history, in every culture and everyplace, as that which is been between a man and woman, preferably for life. And the reason we have had marriage is to be able to bring forth children and to protect those children and to stabilize our society in the face of all of its problems and difficulties.

The reality of this situation is that Canada stands not quite alone, but very close to alone in the world in proclaiming that we no longer need to be able to declare that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The reality of this situation has come about not because of the will of the Canadian people but it has come about because of the will of 9 people of the various supreme courts of our land. Thatís not a reality with which we should be very happy.

As you probably are aware, the Bishops across Canada have asked for their believers, their followers, to be able to contact their Members of Parliament and to be able to express what I am sure all of us believe and that is, that marriage should be reserved to a man and a woman.

Why is that important? Many people in our society would say, well, lets be tolerant. It doesnít affect me anyway. You know, as Elsie Wayne the MP from Saint John N.B. says: ďWell, do whatever you want but be quiet about it.Ē But the reality of the situation is this is far different. The reality of the situation is that this is changing the very bedrock of our society. For whom among us is so naÔve not to think that a married and stable life is truly the bedrock of a stable society?

Is there a person in this Cathedral or a person at home who hasnít felt the effects of broken marriages in their life and in their families if so you must be very, very much a unique person? The reality of the situation is that we ourselves have to be able to make our own voices heard, and how can that be done.

A lot of people are reluctant to be able to phone their member of parliament

Because they say, gee, I belief this, but maybe I shouldnít intrude in public affairs. That is not only wrong, but is a Sin. People who pull back from doing what they should do in public affairs are committing the sin because you are not exercising your proper role in society. Society is composed of people like ourselves, society is composed of believers and non-believers.

Donít fall for the idea that we live in a secular society. We do not live in a secular society. We live in a pluralistic society. Now there are many people that would like to make believers just beyond the fringe of our society, we are not beyond the fringes of society.

Catholics have always believed that we belong right in the centre of our society, right in the centre of the work that is necessary to build up the world that we are called to be able to build. It means that we are to be able to lift up our voices with the many others, of many other denominations and faiths. To be able to say that this is a reality that must be able to be respected and I donít care whether it is hot in this Cathedral, or whether you are at the cottage, or whether you are at home with a fan (I am only envious!)

But, if you are able to see this you are able to be picking up a phone and to phone your Member of Parliament, and I donít care if he or she is on vacation. Let me tell you that if the tens of thousands of people that supposedly hear this broadcast every day are able to do this, then that is the voice that can be able to be heard.

It is true what Edmund Burke said is right. All that is necessary for evil to triumph in this world is for enough good people to do nothing. (I paraphrase.)

But it is exactly true and the reality of the situation is that we too have to lift up our voice. I donít care if your accent isnít the proper accent. No one cares about your educational background or what kind of degree is on your wall, or lack of it. Nobody cares about how old you are. We are people who are, in our own way, building up our society and unless we do build up a society, then donít be surprised if other voices will instead be heard.

Why are we saying this? We are saying this because marriage in and of itself is not an institution which is so strong that it does not need to be protected. As I said earlier, we have all seen how marriage has been under siege in our society. Everyone here has been affected because of that siege. We know as well that once we leave aside that central block of what marriage should be. That it should be between a man and a woman for life, to be able to protect life and bring forth life and to be able to nourish that which is theirs. We know that then the door is entirely open to any other interpretation of marriage.

I tell you here and I tell you now, that logically there is no reason in the world why we should not have polygamy where that instance that three, four, five, or whatever number of people should be able to be married. There is no logical reason from this point on that we should not have it. There is no logical reason that married people in Canada should be able to have any other life to be able to follow through with their vocation if we allow this decision and there is no logical reason that the Parliament of Canada or the Supreme Court should not interfere within our Church as they have interfered now.

Donít think that a few lines in this proposed law is going to be able to defend our right as Catholics to be able to hold fast to what we know is the truth and a sacrament. Scripture has told us what marriage is, tradition has confirmed it, and common sense also tells us.

I say to you that we should follow along with our Bishops to be able to contact our members of Parliament and our member of the Provincial Parliament, the Legislator, the Assemblies. To be able to tell people what we know and believe because this is our call and this is our responsibility

Not later but now.


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