Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu issued a pastoral letter to his faithful regarding a possible special legislative session that would legalize same-sex “marriage” in the state of Hawaii.
House Democrats in Hawaii, who have majorities in both the House and the Senate, are pushing for the legalization of “marriage” between homosexuals. Governor Neil Abercrombie, is expected to call for special session to vote on the issue since the legislature does not have the two-thirds majority to call for one.
Bishop Silva clarified that the Church’s stance on marriage between one man and one woman should not be perceived as “unjust discrimination”.
“People with same-sex attraction are a part of our community, even our Catholic community, and they deserve dignity and respect. Unjust discrimination against them is not acceptable. However, not all discrimination – that is, making distinctions – is unjust,” he said.
Explaining that distinctions such as between adults and minors, parents and children, or professors and students, are discriminations, that is, equal in dignity but not equal in roles, Bishop Silva said that to make a distinction between homosexual “marriage” and heterosexual marriage is not unjust discrimination.
“If same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land, its implications will go far beyond the relationship of this or that couple. There will be long term and definitive changes in our entire culture,” he said.
“Our youth, whose sexual identity is formed over time, will be forced to decide prematurely if they are heterosexual or homosexual, thus curtailing normal sexual maturation, with all its stumblings and challenges.”
The Hawaiian bishop stated that the passing of a law legalizing same-sex marriage would set a precedent for others who wish to define “marriage” in their own terms. “Once we give in to the false notion that same-sex couples have a right to marry, how can we reasonably deny the same “right” to anyone who chooses to enter a “marriage” with a close relative, a minor (with consent)?” he asked.
The Forbidden Fruit
Bishop Silva appealed to the faithful to not be led astray or deceived by the language used by politicians in favor of same-sex “marriage”.
Their language, he said, “is meant to convince us that this is a civil rights issue and that anyone who does not agree is bigoted. Do not be led astray with such language, and do not allow yourself to be bullied by it.”
The American prelate compared the words of same-sex “marriage” proponents to that of the promises of the serpent from the book of Genesis.
“Remember, Adam and Eve themselves fell for the serpent’s manipulative promise that they would be like gods, knowing good from evil, if they just ate the fruit God had forbidden them to eat,” he said.
“The fruit might have been tasty at the moment, but it ultimately brought us all into a very sorry state.”
A Call to Action
Bishop Silva stated that legislators against the measure had told him that those opposing the legislation have largely remained silent during debates because they only hear from constituents on one-side of the issue. “Your legislators need to hear from you now!,” the Bishops exclaimed.
The Bishop of Honolulu said that while it was important to thank their legislators for the difficult work that they do, it was important that those who call must be clear in voicing their opposition to the measure. “It is said that some have already made up their minds, and that may be so. But minds and hearts can be changed with the influence of constituents,” he said.
Concluding his letter, Bishop Silva invited the faithful of Hawaii to offer one Rosary every day for the next several weeks so that “the power of prayer will shape the discussions and deliberations about this critical issue.”
“If possible, pray at all hours, walking around the block that surrounds the State Capitol (without forming an assembly that would need a permit), so that just as God tumbled down the walls of Jericho, he will be able to do so through the prayers AND ACTION of his beloved people.”
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On ZENIT’s web page:
For the full text of Bishop Silva’s pastoral letter, go to: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/honolulu-bishop-s-letter-on-church-s-understanding-of-marriage