By Fr. George Welzbacher
July 15, 2007
It isn't often that I find myself seeing eye to eye with former president Bill Clinton, but a statement he made a few months ago gets my vote. When askedf or his views on homosexual "marriage', he allowed as how he had always looked on marriage as "having something to do with having kids.' Unfortunately his linking marriage to "having kids" (presumably with due attention to their proper upbringing) represents a view that for many today has little appeal. Which is why Japan and Europe are speeding blithely down the road to demographic catastrophe, even as Russia is currently recording with every hundred births a hundred and sixty deaths.
The anti-child mentality is deeply entrenched in America, too. Witness more than forty-four million infants slain in the womb since 1973! And though opposition to abortion has been rising significantly in recent years, other indications point to a continuing disinclination among many Americans to have children. Among such indications should be included the results of a recent survey conducted by the highly respected Pew Research Center. When asked in the survey to rank in their order of importance nine distinct elements cited as contributing to a successful marriage, a majority assigned "having children" nearly to the bottom of the list, scoring it as eighth in importance out of the nine. Small wonder, then, that granting homosexual couples both the name and the legal privileges of marriage is finding increasing public support. Such support, after all, is a logical outcome of the contraceptive mindset. When having children is viewed by many as not belonging to the core of what marriage is all about, then the physical inability of same-sex couples to generate children becomes for many a matter of marginal concern, while arguments advancing sentimental togetherness as the real determinant of what constitutes marriage will like as not carry the day. All of which was foretold nearly forty years ago by Pope Paul VI in his encyclical letter Humanae Vitae (1968): on the responsible exercise of the sacred power to generate human life.
Yet for all the admitted prevalence of the contraceptive mindset in today's society, I for one was taken aback by a recent vote in the Massachusetts state legislature, a vote to dismiss a citizens' request (backed by 170,000 certified signatures) for a state-wide referendum on this issue: should Massachusetts maintain its recently authorized practice of granting both the name and the legal benefits of marriage to homosexual couples? What flabbergasted me was not so much the vote itself as the fact that most of the legislators who cast their vote to quash the referendum (and thus to shield homosexual marriagefrom likely repudiation by the electorate) were politicians who identify themselves as Catholic. When Catholics so-called vote in great numbers to support the granting of the name and the privileges of marriage, a holy institution, to a relationship that is condemned in both the Old and New Testaments as intrinsically perverse-see, for example, among other passages, Genesis 18:20 and 19:4-7; 1 Timothy 1:10; and especially Romans 1:26-32, with particular emphasis on the final comment: "Not only do they do [such things] but they approve others' doing so"--well, all things considered, it's hard to beat that as a sign of just how far the rot has eaten away the authentic Catholic Faith in areas of our nation that were once its stronghold. This appalling situation is the work in great measure of that swarming infestation of dissident theologians who, beginning in the 1960's, have enjoyed great celebrity as the media's darlings and have seduced multitudes of America's Catholics into turning a deaf ear to the teaching of Christ's Church, the Church guided by the Holy Spirit in the transmission of Christ's truth forever, in accord with Christ's promise (John: chapters 14, 1 5, and 16, passim), to follow instead a worldly wisdom so easily manipulated by that Master of Deceit who can "give himself out as an angel of light" (II Corinthians 11:14).
A detailed report on what could well be described as the Catholic New England Watershed Vote appeared in the June 28th issue of The Wanderer. The report was written by C. Joseph Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts. I share it with you here, slightly abridged.
* * * * *Why the Massachusetts State House Capitulated
By C. Joseph Doyle
The recent vote of the Massachusetts state legislature to kill a proposed constitutional amendment prohibiting same-gender marriage in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts revealed an unprecedented amount of arm-twisidng, bribery, and intimidation by the legislature's own leadership, by powerful members of the U.S. Congressional delegation...and by prominent figures in national politics....
This political pressure did not occur in a vacuum. It followed nearly a year of intense lobbying by homosexual and left-wing groups who spent well over a million dollars and who were supported by big business, big banking, organized labor, the media, the public education establishment, higher education, and most mainline Protestant and Jewish denominations.
As a result of this organized intimidation, 12 legislators were suborned into changing their vote in the lastfew days before the constitutional convention, where the 200 members of the Massachusetts House and Senate come together in a joint session.
Despite denials by the supporters of same-sex "marriage " that no jobs were offered in return for votes, a corrupt practice under chapter 268 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth, homosexual lobbyist Arline Isaacson, who doubles as legislative agent for the powerful state teachers' union, told The Boston Globe that some legislators were "upping the ante" when it came to bargainingfor their votes.
This vote represents another milestone in the collapse of Catholic political power in Massachusetts, where Catholics are, for the first time in more than 100 years, a minority. When John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960, Catholics were a majority in three states-Massachuetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island-and were a majority in all eight southern New England dioceses and archdioceses.
Today, Catholics are still a majority in Rhode Island but have fallen to just a little over 40% in Connecticut, and depending on how one counts, somewhere between 44% and 46% in Massachusetts.
But it is not just declining Catholic numbers, but rather the wholesale apostasy of the political class from any Catholic loyalty and conviction.
The vote of the legislature, moreover, trashed the signatures of 170,000 citizens and disenfranchised nearly 4 million voters from determining the definition of the bedrock institution of our society-the largest number of signatures collected in a petition drive in state history.
Rejecting the political desires of so many people were the prominent Catholic elite in Massachusetts politics.
Although the legislature remains two-thirds Catholic, 92% of state senators and 67% of Catholic state representatives voted against traditional marriage. Of the members of the Knights of Columbus in the legislature, 74% voted against traditional marriage, as did all members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians serving in the House or Senate.
Of Catholic college and university graduates, 76% voted against traditional marriage, as did the same percentage of Catholic secondary school graduates. Among Boston College grads in the legislature nearly 70% voted against traditional marriage, as did two-thirds of Boston College High grads, and over 80% of Boston College Law grads....