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Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George: Same-sex marriage ‘violates natural law’

Sunday, December 30, 2012

With Illinois state lawmakers poised to consider a marriage equality bill in the lame duck session that begins Wednesday, Catholic bishops and other advocates of “traditional” are taking a new approach: same-sex marriage simply violates natural law.

“Marriage comes to us from nature,” said Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George, in a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune.

Cardinal Francis George

“That’s based on the complementarity of the two sexes in such a way that the love of a man and a woman joined in a marital union is open to life, and that’s how families are created and society goes along. … It’s not in our doctrine. It’s not a matter of faith. It’s a matter of reason and understanding the way nature operates,” he said.

But marriage equality advocates say the Church’s renewed effort to highlight natural law is a clever but disingenuous appeal to the masses.

“On sexual ethics, nature is neutral,” said Bernard Schlager, executive director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif. “We’re moral beings. We may look to nature for some aspects of how we are in our lives, but we answer to a higher standard. Sexual behavior is an expression of human love.”

Chief sponsors of the bill, Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) said they are close to securing enough support to bring the marriage bill up for vote, but won’t do so unless they are confident it will pass the current General Assembly.

George acknowledges that there is some “inevitability” to the bill’s introduction, but said he’s dismayed that natural law largely has been left out of the public debate.

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74 more reader comments:

  1. so does your baby raping

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:16pm
  2. I was born gay. That is NATURAL. Were you born ignorant?

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:17pm
  3. time to get rid of this guy from Chciago, maybe he should start paying property tax on his mansion. what a fuck head

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:18pm
  4. The natural law is love! How man has corrupted that into many interpretations is what is immoral.

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:18pm
  5. Heterosexuality and homosexuality are natural ways of expressing oneself…It is common in numerous mammalian species…WTF

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:18pm
  6. but it is socially acceptable for priests to violate little boys, it gets swept under the rug and many continue to work. Such a hypocritical double standard!

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:18pm
  7. so is it natural for priests to molest little kids too

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:19pm
  8. so the dude got the pope’s memo, the church is free to be haters and we have every right to disagree…

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:19pm
  9. isn’t that against nature’s law!!!

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:19pm
  10. A priest sticking his penis in an alter boys mouth and making him swallow in secrecy violates natural law too!…. just sayin’!

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:20pm
  11. but moelsting children is ok

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:21pm
  12. Sad tribal religious beliefs

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:23pm
  13. let him choke on a crucifix

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:23pm
  14. What is natural law anyway…..according to the Catholics. Priests and nuns living a life of celibacy, now that is unnatural!!

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:25pm
  15. And yet we see it in every creature on earth.

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:25pm
  16. This is why people are leaving the Catholic church in large numbers. Change or fade away. The choice is theirs.

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:26pm
  17. And rapng children doesn’t?

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:30pm
  18. + + +
    -> Cardinalus in kondomus veritas
    -> ;-)

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:38pm
  19. dont forget… be nice to the gay Catholics (like myself) who still are in support of the Church (though not necessarily for this topic)

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:39pm
  20. Marriage actually violates natural law. How many species actually don’t have a monogamous relationship? The very programming in most, if not all species is to procreate with as many other females as they can which promotes variations in the species, encouraging evolution to better adapt to the environment they live in. Homosexuality is observed in many different species as well. So really, your bullshit religious fantasy of “high morals” through marriage is exactly that, fantasy, just like that BS book of yours.

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:39pm
  21. just list them as a hate group / terrorist organization…. they have killed millions over the centuries that did not agree with their dogma. How is that different then al qaida killing people for not believing their dogma?

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:40pm
  22. What is this “law?” I would guess church coverups of crimes that actually hurt innocent people are to be overlooked. And I am referring to the history of this church. Not just the modern crimes. Crimes against humanity for over a thousand and a half years. The moral leg of this religion was hacked off many moons ago.

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:41pm
  23. These hypocrites are pathetic.

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:43pm
  24. I applaud the gay Catholics that are trying to bridge the gap between religion and common sense. I don’t get it but I applaud it nonetheless. Every little bit helps. As a former catholic, articles like this one remind me why I was unable to continue following the faith. I really pray that this changes one day but I think Christianity as a whole may be too stuck in the past for any significant change.

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:44pm
  25. Take a hike, Francis George!

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:47pm
  26. Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:57pm
  27. If homosexuality “violates” natural law, WHY does it occur in nature as well as humans. If anything is “unnatural,” it’s humans! Please, Cardinal, explain WHY homosexuality occurs and then maybe I’ll listen to your unrealistic (insane) statement…

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:00pm
  28. The catholic church violates natural law.

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:01pm
  29. technicaly speaking religion violates natural law in the sence that it cannot be neither proved nor backed up by any facts what so ever, so mr cardinal if your going to get into matters that deal with natural law and science maybe its time for us to get involved with your religion

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:05pm
  30. I was just watching Amisted on TCM and the argument was made by Christians that enslaving human beings was natural law too. Murdering Jews was considered “natural” law by Christians. This fucked up Jesus freaks think Pope Nazinger is infallible. He needs to shove his “Natural Law of Genocidal Bible” down his tyrannical theocRAT ChristoFascist throat & choke to death on his JesusFreak koolaid – I HAVE HAD IT WITH THESE FUCKING CHRISTOFASCISTS
    2013 THE YEAR OF THE Queer Spring REVOLUTION TO END CHRISTOFASCIST TERRORISM ONCE AND FOR ALL

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:11pm
  31. Oh fuck him!

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:18pm
  32. TAX THE CHURCHES!

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:22pm
  33. he basically paraphrased Hitler in a speech to the Reichstag

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:23pm
  34. Hatred towards other beings is a violation of nature. If they don’t like it (which they don’t have to) then they should butt out of it. With all of the things they have going on within their church and those who serve it, they really should keep to trying to get their own affair in order. SMH

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:23pm
  35. Its so funny that churches wants to be in control of everybody. everyone has that right to be WHOM ever they damn well please and when is people going to understand leave each other alone and let everyone have there own peace.

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:24pm
  36. You know what else is NOT in your precious bible??? The Pope!!!

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:26pm
  37. It is natural however since over 1600 species have shown gay tendencies in some of their activities.

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:30pm
  38. Says the masterminds of the Inquisition, one of the greatest insults to the human body. Can I get a ‘fuck you’!

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:30pm
  39. and screwing altarboys doesn’t? HYOCRITES…

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:31pm
  40. Hey Cardinal…. Compassion goes against the natural laws of man… so shall we simply give in to violence & hatred, or follow the example of Christ?

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:37pm
  41. And yet the Church wonders why it continues to descend ever more quickly into irrelevance. Divorce, mentioned as being an abomination in the Bible 500-fold more frequently ? A-OK, just cough up some dough and we’ll give you an annulment. How can they preach about the sanctity of marriage when 55+% of those who marry don’t honor the sanctity of it and divorce ? Much easier to pick on gay folks, I guess.

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:38pm
  42. - No religion can be allowed to dictate or restrict civil law on its own recognizance. He can dislike it all he likes, and Catholics can take it or leave it (or get the guts to defund and depose these arrogant “princes of the Church” already), but he has no right to exert that discriminatory influence on the laws of this nation.

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:43pm
  43. and what the hell does voluntary celibacy do for natural law?

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:44pm
  44. Shouldn’t they be ranting about priests who can’t keep it in their robes. People in glass cathedrals need to keep their own cathedral clean.

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 11:00pm
  45. It’s against ‘natural law’ for priests to pump their loads into boy holes…. hypocrisy!

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 11:17pm
  46. what an idiot. Natural law insists there is a large spectrum of people who can not be defined by his idea of gender

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 11:23pm
  47. He wouldn’t know natural law if it hit him in the skirts!

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 11:52pm
  48. ANOTHER DESPICABLE HATE MONGERING MORON joins the Parade of HATE and BIGOTRY sweeping the Country through RELIGIOUS DOGMA based on FICTION…..

    Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 11:54pm
  49. Meanwhile priest still rapes and fumble little boys… Allegedly.

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 12:12am
  50. The hiearchy of an institution that presided over and enabled an international network of pedophile dens dares speak about anyone violating natural law!

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 1:43am
  51. did he say that when the altar boys were sucking pedophile preist penises?? and the catholic church went broke trying to pay out all the lawsuits to adults who were survivors of pedophiles…what hypocrisy im gay and i never judge anyone for what thay want to do or feel as long as nobody gets hurt and u keep ur faith in god we dont need organized religion to tell us diddly squat!!!! the catholic church used to kill people and starve them to death and still collected money from poor people when they had nothing in ireland and other countries that had war and famine what nerve and audacity does the catholic church have?…. i mean really?…this damn church has balls… its not up to this church to judge anyone nevermind the gay community look at urselves first..

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 2:23am
  52. so many people out there to judge us -.- everyone should be able to be themselves without having to fight for it.

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 2:56am
  53. Says the man with the largest group of underground hidden pedophiles in the world.

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 6:20am
  54. okay, first, marriage is NOT a natural thing; lifelong pairing, maybe, but not marriage. marriage is a rite in which one bonds two souls, it is a cerimony.

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 6:34am
  55. so goes my old church swirling down the black hole of oblivion with hateful & ignorant comments in the year 2013

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 6:47am
  56. and so is hiding child molesters

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 7:48am
  57. And this is why Catholic clergy are celibate ?

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 8:04am
  58. And you violate my sight, begone rat face.

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 9:32am
  59. Yeah, yeah, blah, blah….

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 9:32am
  60. …of course pedophilia is OK.

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 9:34am
  61. what’s the natural law??!!… law of straight people

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 9:34am
  62. The devil is a lie . . .

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 9:35am
  63. Here we go again.

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 9:38am
  64. Like dude who the hell are you? Go molest someone cause that’s what you bastards are good at and leave us be

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 9:38am
  65. Cardinal Francis George in bed with his altar boy: stroke my horse.

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 9:39am
  66. Like molesting young boys IS natural? Go to Hell creep!!!!

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 9:40am
  67. Didn’t know nature made laws against love asshole

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 9:54am
  68. Many priests violate natural Law!

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 9:56am
  69. Ask Him…,How many Catholics and Churches killed and beheaded people in the Name of Christ and Church ? Because they said they were doing God’s work !

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 10:04am
  70. There’s nothing natural about ” celibate ” men in gowns attacking, raping and molesting children & then forgiving the predators and blaming the children.

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 10:05am
  71. Sorry Cardinal….we couldn’t disagree more. Love is sacred, even between two same gender loving people.

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 10:32am
  72. Hey Cardinal… Compassion goes against the natural laws of man… so shall we simply give in to hostility & violence, or follow the example of Jesus and be merciful?

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 10:48am
  73. God violates natural laws, yet they don’t seem to have a problem with him..

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 11:16am
  74. So do you.

    Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 2:14pm