Participation in Civil Unions

On June 29th, the cowardly Rhode Island State Senate approved a bill allowing civil unions among same-sex couples.  Governor Lincoln D. Chafee put the “gay” marriage issue at the top of his agenda upon his election last November.  This is an issue that has been fought long and hard and the Senate has entered this slippery slope.

Some Catholic politicians who are against “gay” marriage saw it as a compromise to please the crowds.  Yet, we all know that the homosexual activists will not be happy until they completely destroy the sacred covenant of marriage.  They feel that if marriage between two people of the same-sex is approved, it will become acceptable.  In fact, it may become acceptable, but it will never be moral.  We can legalize any immoral behavior, yet they will still remain immoral.  Law does not create morality, law is meant to protect people and society from immoral behavior.

I am really grateful for the outstanding leadership of my Bishop.  Bishop Tobin has been at the forefront throughout this battle and I am sure will continue fighting the “good fight of faith”.

The evil ramifications of this shameful and unjust law have already begun to surface.  Things that would ordinarily not be a problem will begin to surface.  One such issue is the power to officiate at one of these uncivil unions.  All clergy in the State of Rhode Island, in good standing are able to officiate.  In response to this, Bishop Tobin sent out the following Memorandum to the Priests and Deacons of the Diocese of Providence.

The recently approved “Civil Union” legislation in Rhode Island indicates that “officials empowered to certify persons in civil unions” include “every ordained clergy in good standing.” To avoid any potential confusion this new legislation might create for the Catholic community, I wish to emphasize the following:

Although the State of Rhode Island has now approved so-called “civil unions,” Catholic clergy of the Diocese of Providence are not permitted to officiate at, witness, participate in, or accommodate the “certification” of civil unions, or any ceremonies or activities related to that certification.

The civil unions approved by our state are morally objectionable.  They seek to simulate holy matrimony; they serve as an approbation of objectively sinful homosexual relationships; and they  may create confusion and scandal for the faithful.

I know that I can depend on your understanding and cooperation in this very important matter.  I you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your cooperation and for your faithful service to the Church.

With this in mind, maybe every Catholic should consider their own participation or support of these “civil unions”.  Anyone who is truly serious about their Catholic Faith must know that attending or supporting a “a sinful homosexual relationship” are themselves committing scandal and grave sin.  Jesus has some strong words for those who lead others into sin, or support people in their sins.  “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” (Mt 9:42)  I would hope our Catholics take Our Lord’s words to heart!

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About Fr. Jay Finelli

Father Jay Finelli is a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence in the state of Rhode Island. He is a webmaster, podcaster, and blogger. In his free time, Father is an avid Live Steam enthusiast.

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