According to the guidance, Catholic chaplains cannot be forced to witness or bless a same-sex marriage ceremony or take part in marriage counseling retreats that serve LGBT couples. According to Broglio, chaplains are also barred from taking part in a funeral for a Catholic if doing so “would give the impression that the church approves of same sex ‘marital’ relationships.”
The Rainbow Sash Movement noted that Broglio advises that “‘A priest who is asked to counsel non-Catholic parties in a same-gendered relationship will direct them to a chaplain who is able to assist,’ the announcement read. ‘Catholic parties will, of course, be encouraged by the priest to strive to live by the teaching of the Gospel. Participation in retirements, changes of command, and promotion ceremonies is possible, as long as the priest is not required to acknowledge or approve of a ‘spouse’ of the same gender.’”
The new rules also set out advise to Catholic military commanders on how to comply with the new situation in the US Military without violating their beliefs. Broglio cited the National Catholic Bioethics Center. According to the statement “This is also contingent on the commander making known his/her objection to being required to … participate, as well as on attempting through legal channels to continue to accomplish changes in policy consistent with the historic understanding of marriage and family as based on natural moral law.”
The new rules are in response to the military’s repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the recent decision by the US Supreme Court striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Currently, there are 234 Catholic chaplains actively serving in the military and roughly 275,000 Catholic military personnel.
Broglio said that the new policies on LGBT rights in the military “makes it necessary to reiterate with clarity the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding homosexuality.” He also claimed that same-sex couples make up less than half of one percent of the couples in the armed forces and that “such a small group cannot be allowed to mandate policy for all.”
Of course, Broglio has absolutely no proof of that. There are also more non-Catholics than Catholics serving in the military, so the morality by numbers argument is rather absurd.
Broglio went on to claim that “A clear disservice is rendered if the truth of the Gospel is confused by the actions of those ordained to disseminate that truth.”
Recently, Pope Francis stated that “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: When God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”
The Executive Director of the Rainbow Sash Movement, Joe Murray, said “Perhaps Broglio should be listening more to Pope Francis when it comes to the Gospels promotion of love. Will he so arrogantly claim his judgement seat when it comes to giving a LGBT soldiers the last rites on the battle field. Separate but equal does not work.”