.- âAbysmalâ Catholic apathy must be overcome to oppose those who are âfiercely determinedâ to impose homosexual âmarriage,â Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island Thomas J. Tobin has warned. Reasserting Catholic teaching on sexual morality, he also said that same-sex âmarriageâ will endanger religious freedom.
Writing in his April 23 column in The Rhode Island Catholic, Bishop Tobin spoke of a ârelentlessâ political march towards homosexual marriage, with New England leading the way. âThe supporters of gay marriage in Rhode Island are well-organized and well-funded. Theyâre fiercely determined to impose their politically correct agenda on all the citizens of the state â human history, culture and moral principles not-withstanding. Anyone who opposes them is quickly labeled a bigot,â the bishop observed.
However, he said the typical Rhode Island Catholicâs response was indifferent and cited not wanting to judge people. Tobin also said that Catholics give rationalizations about the decline of Catholic influence.
â[G]ay marriage will affect you and you should be concerned. And thereâs a lot we can do,â the bishop wrote, proceeding to review reasons Catholics oppose same-sex âmarriage.â
Bishop Tobin explained that âhomosexual activity is unnatural and gravely immoral. Itâs offensive to Almighty God. It can never be condoned, under any circumstances. Gay marriage, or civil unions, would mean that our state is in the business of ratifying, approving such immoral activity.â
The movement for same-sex âmarriage,â he added, âseeks to radically redefine the most fundamental institution of the human race, the building block of every society and culture. From the beginning, marriage has been defined as the stable union of man and woman, designed by God to continue the human race through the procreation of children.
âHomosexual relationships are not marriage â never have been, never will be.â
Bishop Tobin introduced what he called the âchampagne principle.â Saying that not every wine has the unique characteristics of champagne, the bishop argued that someone who relabeled a bottle of Chianti and tried to sell it as champagne would be arrested for fraud.
Similarly, those who seek to redefine marriage and âto usurp the title âmarriageâ for their morally bankrupt relationships,â are âcommitting an act of fraud,âhe charged. âItâs insulting to those who have entered the authentic, sacred and time-honored institution of marriage over the years.â
âThe gay culture continues to seep into our popular culture, cleverly claiming credibility,â he said. He charged that President Barack Obamaâs special invitations to homosexual families to participate in the White House Easter Egg Hunt was âjust another not-too-subtle attempt to ignore the objective immorality of the situation and present gay couples as normal and happy as every other couple.â
He closed with a warning about the implications the recognition of same-sex âmarriageâ would have for religious liberty.
âWeâre familiar with other examples of the gay agenda infringing on religious freedom,â he said, noting how Massachusetts required the Catholic Church to place children for adoption with homosexual couples and how some countries have charged Christian preachers of hate crimes for voicing Christian doctrine about homosexual practices.
âProponents of gay marriage say that the Church wonât be forced to witness such marriages. Donât believe it,â he said, warning that the Church may be required to admit homosexual couples as sponsors for baptism, to rent its facilities for homosexual wedding receptions, or to hire employees despite their immoral lifestyles.
âFor simply maintaining its teachings in these and many other possible scenarios, the Church will be accused of bigotry and unlawful discrimination. The threat to our religious freedom is real, and imminent,â he said.
Crediting Rhode Islandâs governor, its Speaker of the House, and its President of the Senate for avoiding homosexual marriage, he said they have been âconsistent and courageousâ in deflecting the âonslaughtâ of homosexual activists.
Bishop Tobin said that if only five or ten percent of Rhode Islandâs Catholic population became involved on this issue âwe could have an enormous impact and help Rhode Island maintain its moral sanity.â
He encouraged Catholics to become aware of political action on the issue, to write letters to the editor, and to encourage their representatives to âdefend marriage and family values.
âAnd you can pray fervently that God will help us in this critical struggle on behalf of morality and common sense,â he added.
If the imposition of homosexual marriage happens in Rhode Island, the bishop concluded, âItâll be our faultâ¦ simply because our abysmal apathy allowed it to happen.â