Pope Hard News Article
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Pope Hard News Article
Intro to Journalism
Pope Condemns the Spread of Same-Sex Marriage in U.S.
The Baltimore Sun
By Phillip Clark
Vatican City, March 9 – Pope Benedict XVI has refuted
efforts in the United States to legalize same-sex marriage. The state of Maryland has just
recently become the eighth to officially recognize gay relationships.
As Roman Catholic bishops from the American Midwest made a scheduled trip to Rome to
meet with the pope, Benedict touched on the subject during the course of prepared remarks
with the prelates as reported by Reuters, “Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant
to the definition of marriage…Marriage and the traditional family must be defended from every
possible misrepresentation of their true nature.”
The pontiff highlighted that, “powerful political and cultural currents” were seeking to alter the
legal definition of marriage.
The Catholic Church opposes the move to extend the legal designation of marriage to persons of
the same-sex on the basis that children deserve to be raised in a home where a mother and
father are present. Although it does not consider a homosexual orientation to be sinful in and of
itself, according to church teaching, acting upon attractions toward the same-sex constitutes a
moral evil. In the institutional eyes of the church, human sexuality should only be expressed in
the context of a marriage between a man and a woman – for the sole purpose of procreation.
Even as the Vatican’s stance remains adamantly opposed to the legalization of same-sex
marriage, the situation on the ground, amongst Catholics in the pews, is much more nuanced.
Mike Guiliano, a lifelong Catholic from Ohio, and the aspiring manager of a non-profit
organization, asserted that even the concept of the papacy is somewhat debatable, “If we are
going to have a papacy… it should be more of a background figurehead than a social
commentator.If the pope wants to live as Christ did, he should be apolitical. Everyone is
entitled to their own opinion, but since people assume he speaks on behalf of the Church he
should stay out of political matters.”
However, not all Catholics share this view. Some cannot bring themselves to condone
homosexual behavior because of its explicit condemnation in Judeo-Christian scriptures.
Jolanta Warenda, an English major at Towson University and a Catholic, does not think it has
been definitively proven whether any sexual orientations other than heterosexuality are
“If I can see it as a mental illness then how come all other people can marry with different
psychological disorders or if they're missing a leg or whatever?” Yet, she concludes, “But as far
as my belief in my religion, and no proof of whether or not homosexuality is psychologically a
problem or natural, I’m against same sex marriage, and I agree with the pope.”
Despite this diversity of opinion, statistics are clearly on the side of same-sex marriage
proponents. According to a March 18th ABC News/Washington Post poll, sixty-eight percent of
American Catholics support the legalization of marriage between persons of the same-sex. Such
a high volume of support on this matter within Catholicism is unique, particularly when
compared to other Christian denominations throughout the United States.
The phenomenon of the Catholic laity agreeing to disagree with the hierarchical leaders of their
church is nothing new. This trend was most recently made prominent when a row arose
between the Obama administration and the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops over a revision
of guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the coverage of
contraception by religious institutions.
While the Vatican, and the Catholic bishops of the United States, considers the use of
contraception to be sinful, a substantive majority of married, Catholic couples make frequent
use of birth control and see no conflict with their faith.
Emily Tetalman, a Catholic social worker from Virginia, believes that the church’s attitude
toward sex is based partially on a literal interpretation of the Bible as well as having a sense of
squeamishness about openly discussing the topic, “Upon closer examination of the Bible, we
discover different meanings to the particular sections of the Bible referring to homosexuality. I
also believe the Catholic Church is still uncomfortable about having sex solely as a means to
Ultimately, future discoveries on this issue in the world of science may be the only catalyst that
would ever convince the institutional leaders of the Catholic Church to change course on their
approach to the subject.
Alexandria Reinhart, a PhD student of molecular biology at the University of Baltimore and a
Catholic states, “Although most of the clergy would disagree with me and state that marriage is
solely between a man and a woman, they forget that the purpose of this marriage is to
procreate. .. If the Church is worried about the sanctity of marriage and the home due to
homosexual marriage, I have five words for you: Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears. These
two heterosexual women flouted the sanctity of marriage with marriages that lasted seventy-
five days and seventy-five hours, respectively.
Approximately fifty-percent of American marriages end in divorce, but I hear of many gay
couples who have been together for twenty plus years. Ironic, no? As for family, I see no
difference in a mom and a dad, two moms, two dads, a mom or a dad, grandparents raising
grandchildren or relatives raising them – as long as the child has a stable unit at home that loves
him/her and promotes hard work and respect for others, the child will do well in life.”
As time passes, the approach of the institutional Catholic Church on the issue of the morality of
homosexuality, and the legitimacy of homosexual relationships continues to become more and
more hardline. However, the common wisdom among the faithful may tell a different story.
Convention cannot prove at this point how these two differing trends could ever intersect, yet,
stranger events have occurred throughout history.
Reinhart notes, “The Church evolved recently to include more people in the Mass in the forms
of Vatican II, where the priest now faces the parishioners and the parishioners now participate
in the Mass as well as allowing women to serve on the altar and as Eucharistic ministers.
However, this evolution moves slower than Moses through the desert. The Church still has
progress to make to fully include all of its members, and must remember the initial meaning of
Christ’s teachings when making decisions concerning the rights of others.”