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Can 'true Catholics' support same-sex marriage?
Ex-priest Jim Smith, opponent of Minnesota's ballot to ban same-sex marriages, says these are difficult days to be Catholic.
June 20th, 2012
09:35 AM ET

Can 'true Catholics' support same-sex marriage?

By Chris Welch, CNN

Minneapolis (CNN) - Jim Smith is a former Roman Catholic priest who left his post with the church 10 years ago. He's an ex-priest for several reasons, he says, but one of his main concerns was the church's stance against same-sex marriage and other LGBT issues.

But Smith remains a Catholic - though he says being a Catholic who actively campaigns for legalized same-sex marriages can be difficult these days.

"I'd much rather this wasn't happening," Smith says of the division that the issue has created among Minnesota  Catholics. "But it does provide some real opportunities because it challenges us to talk to each other, Catholics talking to other Catholics."

Minnesota has become the newest epicenter in the same-sex marriage fight. This November, voters will decide whether they want an amendment added to the state's constitution that would ban marriage between members of the same sex.

Smith will be voting "no." And he has helped spearhead efforts in the state to persuade other Catholics to do the same.

A group he helped form,  Catholics for Marriage Equality-Minnesota, aims "to encourage Catholics to consider the profound sacredness of same-gender relationships and to defeat this marriage amendment," Smith says.

Vatican edicts against same-sex marriage often give Catholic same-sex marriage supporters the impression they're in the minority.

Related story: Same-sex marriage by the numbers 

But a recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) suggests 59% of American Catholics support rights allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry. One reason behind that statistic - says PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones - is because U.S. Catholics "overwhelmingly reject the idea that sexual orientation can be changed." A PRRI poll bears that out – with 69% of Catholics nationwide saying a person's sexual orientation cannot be changed.

In the Midwest alone, Catholics are evenly divided on the issue of same-sex marriage -– with 46% in favor, 47% against.

Opinion: GOP support for same-sex marriage growing

Related story: Both sides re-energized for upcoming same-sex marriage fight

Like Jim Smith, Michelle LaFrance is a Catholic who has also taken the bold step against the church in support of marriage equality.

"I remember thinking 'wow, maybe I shouldn't [remain a Catholic],' " LaFrance said. Ultimately they've remained with the Catholic faith, citing its many positive aspects including going to church. It's an important weekly ritual for LaFrance, her husband and their three kids.

"The Catholic Church, despite the media [attention] it typically gets, does a lot of great things, a lot of great social justice," LaFrance said. She noted the church "feeds the poor, houses the homeless, takes care of the abused."

The LaFrance family belongs to the Church of St. Margaret Mary in the Minneapolis suburb of Golden Valley, a congregation which LaFrance describes as fairly progressive. She says the majority of her fellow parishioners agree with her stance on same-sex marriage.

But when LaFrance hears the archdiocese telling people how they should think about it, she can't help but sometimes feel like less of a Catholic.

"I don't think anybody - whatever their religious denomination - whole-heartedly follows every single rule down to the letter."

Related story: U.S. history of same-sex marriage

On the other side of the debate stands Dave Deavel.

Although he agrees with LaFrance to an extent, he says he believes there are certain pillars of the Catholic faith that people should follow. One of those is the church stance that marriage should remain between one man and one woman.

"The whole point of what the church teaches is to form people's consciences," Deavel says.

For Deavel, his wife and their five children, attending church is so important they strive to go multiple times a week.

He's active with Minnesota for Marriage, which supports of the same-sex-marriage ban, and has written various blog posts on the topic for the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

Asked whether he believes a person can be "less of a Catholic" for disagreeing with the church, Deavel says the Vatican "doesn't really have a certain category for 'less of a Catholic.' "

"But they certainly don't represent what the church teaches," he said. "Is it a spiritual problem? I think yes."

Opinion: The secret gay agenda

In a written statement the MCC said groups such as Catholics for Marriage Equality "do not have any right to call their organizations 'Catholic.'"

In the past, the conference has issued statements accusing Catholics for Marriage Equality of trying "to confuse Catholics and the public about authentic church teaching" on marriage.

"Catholics for Marriage Equality MN attempts to convince Catholics that they can be in good standing with the church and oppose church teaching about human sexuality and marriage, which centers on the complementarity of the sexes and the mutual self-gift of loving spouses in marital union," said an MCC statement.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis declined CNN's request for an interview, but it agreed with sentiments expressed by the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

Does church doctrine make it impossible for same-sex marriage supporters to be true Catholics?

"There is no judgment intended about an individual's 'Catholicity' or 'Catholic-ness,' " says MCC spokeswoman Jessica Zittlow.

Minnesota's November ballot proposal to ban same-sex marriage isn't an amendment against LGBT individuals, say the MCC and the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese. Instead, they say it should strictly be viewed as an amendment supporting traditional marriage.

For ex-priest Jim Smith, grappling with the issue has been difficult - a personal struggle that extends to the heart of his faith.

The inner conflict between what Smith believes is right and his love for the church has pushed him to consider leaving the Catholic religion altogether.

In the end, Smith vows he will stay. "It's in my bones."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Catholic Church • Christianity • Faith • Minnesota • Politics • Polls • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (2,849 Responses)
  1. vert2013

    Former Catholic here, thought I didn't leave the church strictly because of their LGBT stance. While I'm still a Christian, I have a serious issue with people who blindly follow what their Preist/Pastor/Minister or the Bible says. People should be capable of coming up with their own decisions, not allowing others to do it for them.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Pepsi

      That's exactly what people are doing lately, doing and deciding by themselves, is it any better? You have wars based on lies that goes into killing babies and innocent people. You have corruptions in every governments and corrupted cops everywhere. You now have people accepting being gay is normal. And you still ask for people to decide for themselves?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • sam

      Plenty of corruption in churches too.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Pepsi

      Sam do have a kick over me? Sorry but i'm not gay, go find another one like you.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Pepsi, are you 12? Or just a high-school dropout?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Pepsi

      Tom are you brain short circuited? Don't tell me that you think we're not the ones who made this world like it is today. Unless you are a blind fool, are ya?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, everybody!!! Who has the Idiot Translator Ring this time? Why don't you people put things back where they belong?

      You kids get off my lawn!

      June 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Pepsi

      Thanks for the answer Tom, now is it's really obvious that you have a short circuit up that brain of yours.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  2. Just call me Lucifer

    There is no such thing as a true catholic, or true anything else having to do with religion. Soon the faith-based bigotry
    will be a thing of the past when religion is finally shown for what it is... a holy scam.
    Trust me... I know. I am the devil.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • ajk68

      Interesting...there is a devil but religion is false...hmmm...

      June 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Truthbetold

      The devil is actually part of religion so if there's not religion then you don't exist.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Hugo

      But he must exist because he posted. But then we know the Devil lies...

      June 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Edwin

      But if the devil always lies, then anyone who claims to be the devil can't be the devil... so might be telling the truth... but then he *would* be the devil... arghh!!

      I guess the devil is in the details...

      June 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • snake

      you are a goo goobler!

      June 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Whats puzzling you is the nature of my game.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • snake

      the nature of your game is goobling goo and fudge packin. not to mention spreading dieases like aids.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  3. shinden58

    The Catholic church says gay marriage is wrong but being a pedophile is OK. How can anyone back an organization as screwed up as that? Those that remain need to rise up, and tell church officials to clean up their act before they start demonizing gay marriage.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • ajk68

      Nobody in the Catholic Church says pedophilia is o.k.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • sam

      @ajk68 – no one says it. They just do it, and hide it.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • snake

      wrong pole smoker, the catholic church made a misstake by asking me to deny marriage so it attracted only perveted gays and pedofiles. SO THE PROBLEM IN THE CHURCH IS RELATED TO GAY LIFESTYLE.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  4. n8vtruth

    Your all insane!!!

    June 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  5. Truthbetold

    I look at it this way... there are basically two camps in the christian religion. One that takes the bible literally and believes in absolutely everything it says; and the other group who believes in its essential tenants but doesn't take the bible literally. If you belong to the first group then there is no way you support anything about the gay lifestyle. If you are in the second camp, then it becomes possible to make exceptions.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • LookAndSEE

      Remember your name "Truth-be-told" . Does truth matter?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Potion4

      Exactly and I think that the line in the sand is being drawn so choose which side your on. Think of it this way, if I come to your house and you require me to take my shoes off at the door but I dont and track mud in your house. Lets also say that everyone is requested to eat their food at the table but I eat in the living room and waste food all over the floor. Can I claim to have a relationship with you if I violate all that you stand for when it comes to your house? No. The same applies here, if we come to the Lord we have to come correct, not on our terms; geez he's the creator, he knows everthing about us, our hurts our pain our doubts and even those who hurt us. People WAKE UP STOP SNORING!!!

      June 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  6. Potion4

    Huge Question: Why are LGBT seeking the catholic church/Christian Churches approval? The reason why in my opinion is there looking for acceptance and the church can't accept it (if they follow the bible/word of God). If you want to be who you claim you are then do your THANG so stop looking to the church. God loves everyone, he gave his son for us all but the reality is we have to accept his plan for salvation; we cant take bit of the word here and a litte there and say "God is love". Its deception, God is also a God of judgement and that is the reality.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • McCave

      Wow! so well said!

      June 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • billybob snaketail

      Gave his son??
      How many fathers and mothers gave THEIR sons and daughters in religious wars in afghanistan or iraq??

      June 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • JJ

      You just hit it. They want to be told their sin is not sin. If they want their religion to morph then just do away with your religious affiliation because relativism is insanity.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Hugo

      Read the article. It has to do with voting. I'm confident there exist gay people in Minnesota who are interested in the outcome of the vote. They aren't necessarily seeking the church's approval. But they do want to influence votes in their favor. That's the point (as I understand it).

      June 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • John

      Why does the Catholic mass always ask for more money, second collections abound, social dictims abound, but rarely does love and forgiveness seem to abound anymore. We must protect ourselves from the Obama administration's stance on medical practices like birth control, we must advocate political positions, but still be tax exempt as an a-political organization. We must follow the teachings of Rome regardless of the laws of the land.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  7. McCave

    It's a lie that someone cannot change and it is cruel and hateful to tell them they cannot change.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Hugo

      There are things you can change and things you can't change.

      Can you change that someone with type I diabetes doesn't have living beta cells? Can you change that person's immune system so that it won't attack beta cells? There's a "slam dunk" Nobel Prize for you in medicine if you can.

      I'd love it if you can prove me wrong.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • John

      Hugo, as a Type I diabetic I would love to prove you wrong 🙂

      June 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  8. snake

    i am a man married to a women i have a 3 yr old son. to gays together are different but it can be equal in the eyes of the law! this fight is about a WORD. it's called marriage. marriage does not relate to gays. find another word and there will be no problems because most average people want everyone treated fairly. treat us fairly and compromise?

    June 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Please

      separate but not equal is not equal, sir.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Marriage is the union between two people, nothing more...it is not specific to hetero couples and by taking away the right of gay couples to use a simple word, you take away some of their freedom.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • sam

      Not sure I'd consider you a man.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "marriage does not relate to gays. find another word and there will be no problems "

      Wow you really don't understand history do you. They tried separate but equal with African Americans and it didn't work. Duh!

      June 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Pepsi

      I agree snake, they should be calling it the union of two poop hole.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "I agree snake, they should be calling it the union of two poop hole."

      That would include straight couples to or are you really that dumb.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Pepsi

      Ok YeahRight, let call it the union of two poop hole lovers then.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • sam

      @Pepsi – you're more obsessed with gay sex than most gay people. Care to share?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Pepsi

      Sam we all know by now that you are in fact gay, so don't try to put you nasty behavior on others will ya.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why should anyone have to settle for a different 'word'. We don't settle for separate but equal in this country, didn't you hear?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • REM

      Separate but equal...how has that worked in the past?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • sam

      Pepsi, be careful. I can touch you through the internet and get the gay all over you.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Pepsi

      Sam try that and you will end up being a smaller minority than you are at this time.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Tom

      Problem is, there are so many laws at so many levels that refer to "marriage" that it would be impossible to do this. The only civil solution is to create civil unions that are required for ALL couples to get benefits on local, state and federal level. Everyone has to get civil unioned if they want these benefits. Then couples can go to any church that will have them for a religious ceremony.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Pepsi

      Now wait a minute, i have a problem with this. Gay people don't believe in God and now they're asking to get married by the church, what is this? Are they just hypocrites and jealous of straight people or what?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You friggin' moron. Will you go back to your mommy and ask her why she didn't give you a brain?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Pepsi

      Now calm down Tom or you will need to replace a blown fuse up your brain.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  9. Billy

    Both sides take this marriage issue way too far. Yes there should be equal rights for all couples but marriage is founded on some of the worst principles ever. Think about it. Marriage was not and has not been about love, it was originally made so that men could take literal ownership of a woman and her property, it was used as a means of treaty between nations and serves no real purpose now other than to convey lawful rights which could be better distributed by way of civil union or domestic partnership.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • John

      Unfortunately tousands of laws would have to be re-written to provide equality as the verbage used for many of them is "married" and not "co-habitating" or "civil union"

      June 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Billy

      That's not true at all, dissolve current laws, not really that hard, and create new ones that stipulate future relationship statuses while working out what to do with current marriages, yes that would be somewhat difficult but in the end worth.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • John

      Billy, how long would it take to update all of the laws on survivorship across the country, medical proxy, legal proxy, inheritance, protection of the spouse in legal procedings, social security, medicare, etc. There are a myriad of laws out there that specify married and some of the civil union friends I know are treated in the legal system as second level citizens because they are not "married" because their job took them to another state.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Billy

      Wow, you are not thinking this through at all, or maybe too much. I guess I have to say it simpler somehow. Okay, void the current laws, respect current marriages, make new laws concerning relationships as defined by law while allowing churches and other religious organizations to determine who they want to marry. This really is not as hard as you making it out to be.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  10. Pepsi

    Since when humans have two functions for the back hole? As far as i'm concern that hole only has one function.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • sam

      Cradling your head?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • billybob snaketail

      The other function is a repository for religious propaganda.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Pepsi

      Sure does, like i said that back hole as an exit function only as far as i know.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Scott

      My wife loves it when I do it to her back there

      June 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • blam0h1@gmail.com

      I'm sure one or two priests would disagree with you. Just one or two.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Pepsi

      I'm not worrying about the priest but i'm really worried about those Atheist who thinks that the back hole multifunction purpose is really normal.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • sam

      You just haven't found your prostate yet.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Pepsi: You're an idiot. Over 1500 species have been found to have ho.mo.se.xual tendencies within. Your opinion is one of bigotry and hate and quite obviously a lack of education on the topic of se.xuality.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Sam usually I find your contributions of absolutely no benefit but I have to admit, that one made me laugh.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Pepsi

      What a bunch of brain dead people. If you see a horse that walk like a duck you would find it strange and not normal, and then when you see a chicken that acts and growl like a tiger you would also say it's not normal, but then again when you see a man that acts and walk like a woman you call it normal. And you say religious people are strange?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • sam

      So you have great confusion about gender roles and you're obsessed with anal sex. We're really gettting somewhere. Unfortunately, we're going to have to start charging you by the hour if this therapy is to continue.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Pepsi

      Sam it's really obvious that you are gay, don't get irritated, all you need to do is get out of the closet, no wait!!!! Stay in there and you'd make this world a better place to live.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • sam

      Stop hitting on me, Pepsi. I prefer Coke.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Pepsi

      I know you like Coke, specially up your nose lol.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Aardvark

      Really? Really? That's your argument? So I suppose a mouth is only for eating and drinking.....your husband must be miserable.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  11. Believer in Jesus

    What gets me most about the Catholic Church is that they profess that it's all about Jesus' LOVE, but the church definitely excludes so many people, and very deliberately, I might add. Plus they have no qualms about pointing the finger of retribution against those that may believe in Christ but not necessarily in the Church's teachings, BUT they do nothing to take care of their own house. Priests as Pedophiles? Ah, we'll cover that up – but will be more than happy to excommunicate an openly gay person OR refuse to allow a person who has remarried to receive communion. Ridiculous. I just told my 2 teenage kids that they will not be going through Confirmation. I can't possibly uphold this church in my eyes or theirs as one worthy of worshiping in.
    Sign me – outta here.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • disinterested

      You obviously don't understand what Confirmation is. It is up to your children to decide to get confirmed as it is their acceptance of the Church. You making that decision for them really defeats the purpose.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      First confirmation happens around the age of 7 or 8...no child is mature enough at that age to make that sort of decision, not without having been taught it from their parents. People should let their children choose, not force it down their throats.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Believer in Jesus

      I have clearly stated to my kids that they can choose to do what they want. However, since they don't have a driver's license, and there is much that is required of me, including attending mass, classes, etc. etc. I cannot possibly bring myself to darken the steps of this organization, I have told them I cannot be a hypocrite and do these things. I specifically told them I could not hold this organization up as one to believe in and follow, it rings too false, and they know it. And, for our local church, confirmation happens when the children are 14 years old, when they are in 9th grade. I have told them we will switch to a UCC church where EVERYONE is welcome.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • REM

      Ummm...no. First communion happens at 7 or 8. Confirmation happens as a teen.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Believer in Jesus

      If you read the post I have been talking about confirmation ONLY, both my kids have gone through their first communion – and that happened at age 8-9 years.

      June 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  12. billybob snaketail

    Spending your whole life running around in circles in fear of some sky boogieman, and basing your conduct on a 2000 yr.old book is the definition of insanity.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Jeff

      When you are face to face with God, you'll know just how 'crazy' we were. At that point it will, of course, be too late. I would ask you to try and speak to a Christian...don't get hung up with religion or what you read on these blogs. Go talk to someone and get the story.

      Mock as you like, but God loves you!

      June 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • QS

      I can't help but feel sorry for people like Jeff....not sure what it is, can't put my finger on it – could just be that they only seem to be concerned about being vindicated in their unproven belief, as though they live their entire lives hoping that someday they'll simply get to say "I told ya so"!

      More and more religious people continue to convince me to stay as far away from their beliefs as I can possibly get.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Hugo

      Basing which conduct? Do you have a problem with "love your neighbor?" If so, why? If not, why did you object to it (with your blanket objection)?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Potion4

      Snap Snap but what do you believe and are you willing to bet it all on your opinion.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • jimbo

      @Jeff His love is unrequited !

      June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • LookAndSEE

      God is somebody to be a friend of, not to be afraid of.
      I have to give you credit with giving the age of the Bible, some Old Testament is C 1500BC.
      The New Testament was written C 55-90 AD.
      To be able to predict the future from 200 years ago!
      Look how frequent earth quakes are now,there is absolutely NO stability in this world.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • sam

      It's not god...it's called plate tectonics. Please read a book that's not the bible.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Hadenuffyet

      QS...Love your neighbor as yourself.. yup don't want no part of that..

      June 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  13. Tim hayes

    I am a catholic and wrestle with this, the important thing for me is the statistics that 59% of AMERICAN catholics, catholics are universal and have one teaching we cannot seperate ourselves from chruch doctrine and scripture, because of america. Christ must be the center, his bride the Catholic church and we the faithful.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Jeff

      ...His bride is the church...not the Catholic church...

      June 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Discovery channel

      And they do it doggy style.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Hugo

      What edict of the Vatican commands you to deny the right (by force of secular law) of two same gender non-Catholic adult citizens of the United States to marry? Can you identify it for me?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  14. empty drum

    To be a practising Catholic means you believe that the pope teaches in matters of faith, morals and dogma infallibly... This was declared final in the first Vatican council. If you don't believe this but are Catholic then you are a Catholic in error or more bluntly, you are a heretic. It is as simple as that. The church, in exercising her authority to teach infallibly has told us that marriage is only between a man and a woman... Again, it is as simple as that. If you don't believe this then you are a Catholic in error, or more bluntly put, you are a heretic.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Then push to have 60% of the membership of the American catholic church excommunicated. Better yet, excommunicate 98.5% of them for using birth control. See if the pope is in favor of that.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Tom

      That's great - for YOUR CHURCH. This is about CIVIL marriage. Catholics can continue to deny the marriage sacrament to any couple.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • bkisia

      you can do all you want and say all you want... You can try to be 'hurtful' in what you say ... The Catholic church will not change, has been around long before America was around and will be around long after with the same teaching. If you have some mysterious way of confirming your theory, i guess you must be God. Secondly i stated if you believe ... Not do ... Believe (an English word) otherwise, then you are a heretic ... Simple.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • jimbo

      By heretic, do you mean a rational person?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • John

      Empty Drum does that mean as a heretic I should be burned at the stake? That was the crime in early Catholic dogma. Tell me how does the vote of a bunch of old men make one old man infallible?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • sam

      Ooh, heretic bonfire? I'll bring the marshmallows!

      June 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  15. independentlyowned

    The Catholic clergy is just so out of the loop. Which I guess is what happens any time you have a group made up solely of old, white men. Like calling nuns "radical feminists" for wanting to promote ideas that Jesus taught, such as helping the poor and loving thy neighbor, instead of concentrating their efforts on condemning things Jesus never, ever talked about, like gay marriage and abortion. Denying others rights does NOT help anyone, but feeding the poor is exactly What Jesus Would Do.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      they need a newer testament to catch them up to the times and to correct god again

      June 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • bkisia

      we have been out of the loop longer than America has existed... But guess what ... We're still here and will be long after America is gone so deal with that.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      No one in the clergy called even one nun a radical feminist. The nuns were called out for being influenced by a radical feminist agenda. A slight distinction but a critical one.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  16. Mike

    Catholics must serve the Pope. If they don't follow his teachings then they aren't good Catholics and can be excommunicated.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • billybob snaketail

      It's the Poop who should get tossed in the rubbish.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Edwin

      Mike: being a Catholic is much more than simply following a blind dogma without thinking. As creatures capable of both morality and intelligence, it is part of our religious duty to deeply question when the church is wrong.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Jerry

      The Catholic Church does not belong to the Pope or the Vatican. It belongs to the people who call themselves Catholics.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • jimbo

      Edwin, you have confused the Catholic Church with a democracy. One allows dissent, the other does not.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  17. inHISsvc

    To follow your logic sir, incest would be just a sin, as would murder and just a cursory "Sorry Father" away from heaven. Scripture dictates that we TURN FROM SIN as we accept Christ as our Savior from it. We no longer purpose in our hearts to break HIS laws but sometimes stumble. We do not write laws supporting it as acceptable or customary, nor, do we marry it...binding ourselves legally to its practise! It is AGAINST GOD and HIS plan FOR mankind. Our liberty from the consequences of our sin is only found in Christ's death on our behalf. In scripture Paul writes "May it NEVER be!" having said, "Shall we use our freedom from the consequence of sin and the law as liberty to indulge in it?" I am confident that for the real Christian that does not support backing a law that is "just sin" , Sir!! You make Christ's death no big deal. Wow, try that one before GOD.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Hugo

      inHISsvc, who are you addressing with "sir?" I'm confused. (Who are you talking to?)

      June 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      if incest is a sin, who did Adam and eves kids reproduce with? or Moses and his family? do you not pay attention to your creepy beliefs?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Edwin

      I think, inHISsvc, that you misunderstand. It is a disagreement, not with God, but with the church's interpretation of God's edicts. If a priest/minister/etc. tells you that God requires us all to drink a can of motor oil, would you do it?

      If the answer is no, then you understand the dilemna: the church is telling these people something they know - deep down - is wrong. It has happened before (remember Galileo?) and will undoubtedly happen again. Shouldn't a true devotee seek to help reshape the church rather than abandon it or blindly follow it?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • J

      A cursory "Sorry Father" would not really be an authentic sorry now would it? As if God is fooled by what people say.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • inHISsvc

      The Sir I was addressing was "The REV". Tee hee, I am a novice at posting anything and thought my comment would appear beneath his.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  18. Geoffrey Hamilton

    I'll be a true christian first, you can keep the "true Catholic" moniker. I mean seriously, cause Christ was such a judging/condemning historical figure...

    June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Dan

      And rich, like the pope

      June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  19. snake

    JUST DON'T CALL IT A MARRIAGE AND THERE WILL BE NO PROBLEMS

    June 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • independentlyowned

      We tried that whole "separate but equal" thing before and look how that turned out. The whole point is that if it's not called marriage, it's NOT treating everyone equally.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Hugo

      OK, Snake. Go take care of it. How long do you think it'll take for you to get the other states to pass a law where it's not called marriage? Is a year enough time for you?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Edwin

      Independentlyowned: I was going to say the same thing myself, about drinking fountains and all. 'Separate but equal' is not equal.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • snake

      WRONG, you can have the same equal protection of the law but your primary purpose is to destroy moral values, the church, and family. call it a gay union and i will support it with all the rights of a married man and woman. cal it a marriage and i will forever reject it.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Hugo

      snake, the problem here is that you aren't personally aren't ALL of the 50 state legislatures. In short, you are not the king but you are writing as if you are. Why is that?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • sam stone

      snake: that would violate the 14th amendment

      June 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • sam stone

      the primary purposed is destroy moral values? where do you get this nonsense?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • sam

      'Destroy moral values'? Are you for real?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • snake

      so hugo? you want to change the definition of the word marriage after how many centuries? how do you become king all of the sudden?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • reason 12

      snake:

      Ever heard of something called Free Speech?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • snake

      reason12, i believe in free speech, but that doesn't give you the right to holler "FIRE" in a crowed theater does it?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • sam

      Easier to argue with a box of rocks.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • reason 12

      Snake

      Yelling "FIRE" in a crowded theater is harmful thus illegal.

      Calling my Gay friend's marriage whatever I want is harmless and fully legal.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • snake

      wrong, when you call two gays joined as a marriage, THAT IS FIGHTING WORDS. so forget it SO LETS FIGHT PERVERT! THERE IS MORE OF US THAN YOU.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • sam

      Fighting words? Where are you stuck, the 50's? You best get on home and confess to the little woman you've been street brawling with the perverts.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  20. Michael

    In the lastdays they will marrie and be given up to marraige! I tell you the days are short in number so do not cry are weep you have been given the truth and like many before you ,you only seek fleashy and worldly things.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      zzzzZZZZZzzzzz

      Someone wake me when the crazy goes away.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      I really wish the Rapture would hurry up and get here so we wouldn't have to deal with you nutters any more.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Hugo

      Michael, how is your speech about the end-of-times relevant to **forcibly** denying people the ability to enter into a same gender marriage contract?

      (Forcibly as in by force of law.)

      Doesn't God want people to have free choice? If so, what's with interfering with said free choice in others?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • shinden58

      We can see you forgot to take your meds this morning. Please get back on your meds ASAP.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.