Updated: Nov 2, 2022
Council of Bishops
Ecumenical Catholic Communion
483 E Lockwood Ave. Ste. 3
St. Louis, MO 63119
March 16, 2021
As bishops of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, we were distressed by the statement coming from the Vatican yesterday that same-sex unions are “sin.” (https://apnews.com/article/vatican-decree-same-sex-unions-cannot-bless-sin-077944750c975313ad253328e4cf7443.) The Roman Catholic Church thus continues to ban the blessing of same-sex unions. Our position is different.
The foundation of Catholic faith is the reality of the incarnation. By this we mean that the love of God is present in all creation. We measure love by the fruit of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, mercy, faithfulness, and self-control. The moral issue of loving couples is whether or not love is present in this partnership for the whole of life that we call marriage.
As Ecumenical Catholics we affirm that the matrimonial covenant, by which two consenting adults establish between themselves a partnership for the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and is raised by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament. The essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility. Marriage is more than sex and children. It is partnership that enables a couple to go through life together, supporting one another through the good times and the bad, sharing life together.
Marriage that is grounded in unselfish love, that encourages each partner to become the best version of themselves, and that is never exploitative, is not only blessed but is a blessing to our world. The Ecumenical Catholic Communion joyfully and wholeheartedly welcomes LGBTQI2+ individuals and couples into this wonderful way to be Catholic. We bless unions, we witness marriages, and we encourage couples to live out the ideals of love, faithfulness, and commitment. We seek to strengthen their union by the grace of sacramental marriage.
Acts 10:1-48, the story of Peter and Cornelius, tells us two things that are apropos to this topic. Leviticus had said that eating shellfish and lying with someone of the same sex, among many other things, were abominations. (See 11:9-12 and 18:22.) The Acts of the Apostles shows us other possibilities. One, sometimes what we learned was “an abomination” is in fact not an abomination to the Living God at all (see verse 15). And two, when we have human encounters with, and experiences of, real people, they are often very different from our abstract preconceived ideas about them. (See verse 40-45.) God does not just walk with us in our abstract thoughts but right here on the earth where history is happening. For these reasons we are able to say what we have said above.
We feel for all of our sisters and brothers who were hurt by messages like the one we are addressing today. We pray especially for our sisters and brothers in the Reformed Catholic Church of Poland, with whom we are in full communion, who are currently being persecuted by their government for supporting same sex marriages. May the Spirit of Peace and Justice accompany their faithful stand!
Sincerely in Christ,
Bishop Raphael Adams
Bishop Francis Krebs
Bishop Denise Donato
Bishop Armando Leyva
Bishop Katherine Keough