For all those hoping that the genuine love Pope Francis shows to homosexuals means he would endorse redefining marriage, they got their answer at his General Audience at St. Peter’s Square on April 2. During this address, the religious leader reiterated the Church’s commitment to the integration of the complementary sexes in the sacrament of marriage.
The Pope began by quoting Genesis, the first book of the Bible:
“[A]t the culmination of the creation account it says: ‘God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.... Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh’ (Gen 1:27; 2:24).”
In case that wasn’t clear enough, the Pope emphasized that each marriage is composed of both a man and a woman: “The image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman; not only the man, not only the woman, but both of them together.”
In other words, there is no such thing as a “male marriage” or a “female marriage.” Each marriage is gender-integrated.
Why this insistent push for gender inclusiveness in marriage? Because both sexes together reflect God. You can hear the Holy Father’s enthusiasm as he explains: “This is the image of God: love, God’s covenant with us is represented in that covenant between man and woman. And this is very beautiful!”
Pope Francis continued:
“When a man and woman celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony, God as it were “is mirrored” in them; he impresses in them his own features and the indelible character of his love. Marriage is the icon of God’s love for us.”
Holy matrimony is wholly integrated
In contrast, same sex marriage does not reflect God’s diversity and procreative love. Instead, a male marriage is more like a man reflecting his own image, not God’s. It is missing the feminine genius of woman. It is not wholly matrimony. A male “marriage” is incomplete and cannot achieve the life-giving “one flesh” union of a husband and wife.
“And this is precisely the mystery of Matrimony: God makes of the two spouses one single life. The Bible uses a powerful expression and says ‘one flesh’, so intimate is the union between man and woman in marriage.”
Freedom of religion versus freedom to redefine
Many same sex marriage advocates believe marriage is not religious. Therefore businessmen and women have no right to decline serving at a male marriage or a female marriage. They claim it is irrelevant for bakers, photographers, and florists to plead freedom of religion.
Perhaps redefiners don’t see their marriages as a reflection of God’s relationship, but Christians do. The Pope refers to St. Paul’s description to clearly point out that marriage is indeed a religious experience. In fact, it reveals Christ’s relationship with all of us.
“[A] great mystery is reflected in Christian spouses: the relationship established by Christ with the Church, a nuptial relationship (cf. Eph 5:21-33). The Church is the bride of Christ. This is their relationship. This means that Matrimony responds to a specific vocation and must be considered as a consecration (cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 48: Familiaris Consortio, n. 56).”
Same sex marriage activists certainly are free to ignore these Christian beliefs in their own lives, but they do not have the right to impose their beliefs about marriage on others, including butchers, or bakers, or candlestick-makers.
If “Love is Love,” why not mother’s love?
Many people support same sex marriage out of love for their gay friends and relatives. The “Love is Love” crowd. However, in their zeal to prove their love for gays, are they overlooking the fact that male marriage discriminates against wives and mothers? It intentionally deprives children of their mother’s love because she’s female. In short, same sex marriage is sexist.
We can love our gay brothers and sisters without endorsing sex discrimination in marriage. And without distorting holy matrimony to a half-of-humanity.
God’s complete and faithful love for us is revealed in Christ, the Bridegroom and his beloved bride, the Church.
"The two will become one flesh. This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the Church.” (CCC 796)
Or as Pope Francis explained, marriage “leads us to the heart of God’s design, which is a plan for a Covenant with his people, with us all, a plan for communion.”
True marriage does not exclude wives and mothers. True marriage does not fine bakers and photographers for honoring God in marriage. True marriage does not lie to gays.