Moral Issues


Canons and Culture: The Church Should Say No to the Homosexual Agenda

by Pete Vere


I was just about to send off my January column to the Wanderer when an email arrived. It came from a brother knight who also happens to be a loyal Wanderer reader. Like most members of our local Knights of Columbus council, this brother knight is a staunch defender of the family. So I decided to read his email before sending off the column. In retrospect, reading his email first was either divine providence or a mistake.

The email referred to a frightening story that was breaking in the Canadian press. A Knights of Columbus council out in British Columbia, which is Canada’s westernmost province and the third most populous, accidentally rented their hall to a lesbian couple who wished to marry. Somehow the knights discovered why the hall was being rented, immediately returned the deposit, and cancelled the rental agreement. This is how one would expect any Catholic organization to behave.

Yet this upset the lesbian couple. Their response? Haul the KofC council before one of Canada’s infamous human rights tribunals where nobody expects the fraternal organization to win, and where most of the judges were appointed by the province’s former socialist government. As recent decisions from similar provincial human rights tribunals show, the judges have long since jettisoned any pretence of judicial objectivity. In Canada’s politically correct pecking order, proponents of homosexual perversion outrank even radical anti-American Islamic jihadists. Just ask the Toronto Muslim community what happens when one protests one’s children being subjected to public school propaganda promoting sodomite marriage.

Thus I found the Knights of Columbus incident sobering. I had written my January column in support of a recent press release by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. The press release concerned two children being admitted to a Catholic parochial school despite living with "parents" who are both homosexual men. While orthodox Catholics agree that homosexual acts are sinful and that allowing homosexual couples to adopt children is morally reprehensible, the situation under discussion was not as black-and-white. Many faithful Catholics disagree over whether to deny Catholic children a Catholic education because of the sin of their parents.

As Catholic League president William Donohue argues: "There is a moral principle, expressed in Judeo-Christian thought, that the innocent should not be punished for the transgressions of the guilty [...] On a prudential level, it makes no sense to single out kids for retribution whose parents are gay. What should be done about kids who were born out-of-wedlock? What about those kids who have a father or a mother who is the town philanderer? Should we expel kids whose parents are cohabiting? Or are known adulterers?

"There is no fundamental tension between opposing gay marriage as a matter of public policy and accepting the children of gay parents in a Catholic school [...] priests have often been asked by morally delinquent parents to baptize their children, and in most instances the priests have rightfully obliged. Now just as the priest is in no way condoning the moral delinquency of the parents, school officials [...] are in no way condoning the lifestyle of the gay parents. And in both cases, the spiritual well-being of the kids is, or should be, the paramount concern."

I cannot condemn Mr. Donohue for his prudential opinion. As recently as last month I shared it. All things being equal, like their adult counterparts, Catholic children enjoy the right to the sacraments as well as the right to a Catholic education. The Code of Canon Law clearly recognizes this right in canon 213.

Nevertheless, no right is absolute. As canon 223 explains, the Church obliges one to exercise one’s individual rights with due regard for the common good. If one threatens the common good of one’s fellow Catholics, which is precisely the modus operandi of the homosexual movement, the legitimate ecclesiastical authority may lawfully limit the exercise of one’s canonical rights. The Church must preserve the good common to all of Christ’s faithful, and where it has broken down the Church must work even more diligently to restore it. This may require limiting the rights of the individual.

Because of the common good, I no longer believe that children under the civil guardianship of two homosexuals ought to be allowed into Catholic schools. At least here in Canada, the homosexual lobby has abused our charity by using the judiciary to impose its agenda upon our institutions. When upholding the Catholic faith, venerable Catholic institutions are now subject to civil prosecution whereas those who administer them potentially face criminal prosecution.

For example, Mark Hall was a homosexual student at a Catholic high-school. He successfully sued his Catholic high-school for discrimination after the school prohibited him from bringing his boyfriend to the prom. The situation with the Knights of Columbus hall is another example. And I need not mention Bishop Henry, whose tax-exempt status was threatened by the government after the Bishop of Calgary warned Canada’s top politicians not to approach the altar for Holy Communion who support abortion and homosexual "marriage".

The paramount concern should be the spiritual well-being of all children under our care, and never the rights of just one. Given the homosexual movement’s relentless attack against the Church, given its use of a sympathetic civil judiciary to undermine the Catholic faith in Catholic institutions, it has become impossible to accommodate homosexuals without condoning it. Thus Catholics must draw a hard line. We must do so to protect the good common to all our children.

Pete Vere
The Catholic Legate
October 30, 2005

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This issue originally appeared in a February, 2005 issue of The Wanderer