Reacting to passage of pro-gay military legislation in the Congress, the Catholic Archbishop for the Military Services says repeal of the Pentagon’s homosexual exclusion policy would sanction “immoral activity” and “jeopardize morale, good morals, unit cohesion and every other factor that weakens the [military] mission.”
In a late-breaking development that could imperil the ultimate passage of legislation to open the military to open and active homosexuals, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the chief shepherd of Catholics in the United States Armed Forces, has issued a powerful statement saying that the Bible demands disapproval of homosexuality and that “Under no circumstances can they [homosexual acts] be approved.”
Appointed as Archbishop of the Military Services on November 19, 2007, by Pope Benedict XVI, Broglio is in charge of certifying Roman Catholic chaplains to the United States government.
Refusing to beat around the bush in regard to the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality, Broglio says in his statement that, “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law.”
Broglio’s June 1 statement has been ignored by the pro-homosexual media, which want to create the public perception of overwhelming public support for the presence of homosexuals in the military. But his statement, issued just a few days ago, is starting to get the attention of Catholic news organizations and bloggers.
The authoritative statement not only has the potential to stop repeal of the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” (DADT) in its tracks, but it puts Catholic politicians such as Rep. Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania on notice that they are promoting an immoral policy that jeopardizes their standing in the Catholic Church.
Murphy, the main sponsor in the House of the repeal legislation, has claimed that, as an Iraq war veteran, he knew gays who have served the military and that they should be able to do so openly.
But Broglio, issuing his statement in response to chaplains and commanding officers expressing “concerns about the effects of a change,” makes it clear that a vote for repeal violates church teaching and would put Catholic chaplains and troops in a situation in which their own rights to religious freedom would be violated.
The implication is that Catholic chaplains who remain true to the Bible and church teaching could be forced out of the services or silenced if DADT is repealed.
In this regard, Broglio is raising an issue that was highlighted in a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates from more than 40 retired military chaplains. Their letter asserts that DADT repeal would not only threaten the religious liberty of chaplains but service members as well.
We saw how the pro-gay policy would be exercised in practice when Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, an ordained minister and a Marine Corps veteran, was disinvited to a military prayer breakfast because of his opposition to homosexuals in the military.
Perkins asked, “If I was blacklisted merely for supporting existing law, what will happen to those who oppose the new, politically correct law?”
Despite what may be required under repeal of DADT, in terms of discrimination against Christians and the banishment of Biblical notions of morality, Broglio warns political authorities that “unions between individuals of the same gender resembling marriage will not be accepted or blessed by Catholic chaplains” and that “no restrictions or limitations on the teaching of Catholic morality can be accepted.”
He adds, “First Amendment rights regarding the free exercise of religion must be respected.”
The statement sets up a potential confrontation, if DADT repeal is ultimately adopted, with the 285 Roman Catholic priests serving the active-duty military service.
Broglio is extremely concerned about the impact on the troops themselves and raises concern in his statement about disruptions to military order and readiness if open and active homosexuals are forced into the ranks. He accuses members of Congress voting for repeal of putting the demands of a special interest group, the gay lobby, above the well-being and security of our soldiers.
“The effect of a repeal of the current legislation has the potential of being enormous and overwhelming,” he says, adding that “Sacrificing the moral beliefs of individuals or their living conditions to respond to merely political considerations is neither just nor prudent especially for the armed forces at a time of war.”
Those “political considerations” were an obvious factor when the House voted 234-to-194 on May 27 to repeal DADT. Only five Republicans, including libertarian Rep. Ron Paul, voted for gays in the military. In a flip-flop, Paul had previously been in favor of the ban on open and active homosexuals. He said calls from gay constituents had changed his mind.
In addition to sanctioning discrimination against Christian chaplains and soldiers, repeal of DADT would give special rights to homosexual, bisexual, and even “transgendered” military personnel. Indeed, there is a “Transgender American Veterans Association” in existence that is devoted to “educating the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense on issues regarding fair and equal treatment of transgender and transsexual individuals.”
Under repeal of DADT, transgendered soldiers could demand access to therapy, hormone treatment and sexual reassignment surgery.
Although some news organizations have suggested that repeal of DADT is a done deal, the repeal legislation has passed the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee but must still be acted upon by the full Senate. A vote there faces a possible filibuster, while the House bill with the repeal amendment still faces various difficulties in eventually being enacted into law.
Broglio’s powerful statement, if it is given the publicity it deserves, has the potential to turn the debate in favor of supporters of the current policy.