On June 12, 2017, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, issued a Decree “Regarding Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.” The Decree reaffirmed Catholic teaching that a marital union is only possible “between one man and one woman.” The Decree included the following directives:
No member of the clergy or representative of the Diocese should assist or participate in a same-sex marriage;
No Church property should be used to host same-sex marriage ceremonies or receptions;
Persons in a same-sex marriage should not present themselves for Holy Communion, nor should they be admitted to Holy Communion;
Those in a same-sex marriage can be restored to communion with the Church through the Sacrament of Reconciliation;
In danger of death, a person living in a same-sex marriage may receive Holy Communion “if he or she expresses repentance for his or her sins.”
If bishops ban members of same-sex marriages from receiving a Catholic funeral, they also have to be consistent. They must also ban divorced and remarried Catholics who have not received annulments, women who has or man who fathers a child out of wedlock, members of straight couples who are living together before marriage, and anyone using birth control. For those are all against church teaching as well. Moreover, they must ban anyone who does not care for the poor, or care for the environment, and anyone who supports torture, for those are church teachings too. More basically, they must ban people who are not loving, not forgiving and not merciful, for these represent the teachings of Jesus, the most fundamental of all church teachings. To focus only on LGBT people, without a similar focus on the moral and sexual behavior of straight people is, in the words of the Catechism, a “sign of unjust discrimination” (2358).
Interviewer: How can one respond to persons citing Leviticus and Corinthians texts condemning homosexuality?”
Martin: All these Bible passages that people throw at you; I think really need to be understood in their historical context. I mean Leviticus and Deuteronomy and even the stuff from the New Testament where Paul talks about it once or twice, has to be understood in their historical context…certainly in Old Testament times, they didn’t understand the phenomena of homosexuality and bisexuality as we do today.
“In his long ministry, his three year public ministry, Jesus says nothing about the topic.”
“I want to say for the record, I don’t think the media made too much of this [the 2014 Synod interim report]; this was in fact a change…this was a big change: ‘welcome,’ ‘partners,’ ‘precious love…’”
“…of course doctrine develops, obviously we can change our teaching on these things.”
“So when people say: ‘How can you be gay and Catholic?’ You tell them: ‘This is my experience – I was born this way…’”