Catholic bishops from around the world have gathered. The result is guaranteed to disappoint at least one group of people: the progressives. Just for the record: the Synod underway in Rome will be not be redefining the Church’s dogmatic teachings on marriage.
The Church’s dogmatic teachings on marriage consist of eternal truths. The Church’s teaching on the sanctity of marriage comes from God Himself. The Church could never and would never change such a fundamental belief.
That is because the Church has absolutely no authority to redefine marriage.
THE 3 PROBLEMS WITH TRYING TO REDEFINE CHURCH DOGMA ON MARRIAGE
The problem progressives run into in calling for the definition of marriage to be changed remains simple. What they are calling for would be impossible to do.
Can’t get more problematic than that.
The law governing our human existence maintains a hierarchal structure. Divine law tops the chart. The Natural Law comes under that. Any other authority over man must subject itself to those above it, lest it not be legitimate authority.
For one, God revealed the definition of marriage, when He created it.
Genesis 2:21-24 reads as follows:
“So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh;
and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.
Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’
Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Notice, God made them Adam and Eve. Not Adam and Steve.
Thus, anyone wanting to redefine Church dogma on marriage remains opposed to God’s will. That remains a difficult position to maintain. It also puts such a person in spiritual jeopardy.
Second, God reveals the purpose of marriage through the Natural Law. Thus, no one needs to be a theologian to discern the proper structure of marriage.
We can look at the complementarity of the male and female bodies to see they belong together. Each gender comes equipped with reproductive organs that can generate new life, when used in union with the other.
The norm is for each of us to be attracted to the opposite gender. Someone lacking this attractive, by definition, remains disordered.
We have an innate desire to care for and protect children, especially our own. We are social creatures, desiring to live in community.
Experience has proven children thrive best when raised by a mother and a father. They learn empathy and warmth from their mother, and discipline and strength from their father.
Add all this up, and other observations from the human experience, and we see what human nature is trying to tell us. Namely, that “traditional,” “natural” marriage works best.
Third, progressives run into the existence dogma of the Catholic Church.
The definition of a dogma is a revealed truth that can never be changed and must be believed by the faithful to be saved.
Thus, by definition a dogma cannot be changed. Period.
The definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman has been taught by the Catholic Church for the entire duration of its existence. Something so important as this cannot be changed, like a discipline—such as clergy celibacy—can be.
Rather, the definition of marriage is a truth revealed by God Himself and present in the Natural Law. The Church serves mankind by pointing this out and defending it against naysayers. The Church has no authority to usurp God or the Natural Law to rewrite what it means to be human.
We would do well as a Church to not put up with those calling for change. Anyone wishing to redefine Church dogma on marriage clearly has lost touch with reality.
Mankind cannot change God’s mind on what He created marriage to be. Mankind can try to move beyond its own human nature, but that will not end well. And mankind ought not oppose the historic teaching of Christ’s Church here on earth.
No matter how you slice it, the Church dogma on marriage will never change.
Please add your two cents about the upcoming Synod.
What do you make of those calling for the bishops to redefine Church dogma on marriage?
I invite you to leave a comment below!