Q — That God created human sexuality for marriage and marriage only is a beautiful image and teaching.  However, doesn’t this conflict with the fact that sexuality is found all over nature and that while some species are monogamous, others are not and in many (over 1,500 species) we can find homosexual behavior? How do we reconcile what we observed through God’s creation with this fundamental moral teaching of the Church?

A — A fundamental distinction is made between “laws of nature” and the “natural law.” Laws of nature (in physics, chemistry, biology) come about through careful observation and analysis.

The natural moral law adds a further dimension, that of self-reflection. In other words, what is moral is not simply based on observation of nature but also on the human process of knowing — from experience through understanding to judgment. It is at this level that fundamental distinctions are made in respect of human sexuality vis-à-vis animal sexuality. While they are obviously and necessarily related, they are not identical.

The capacity for self-reflection and the capacity for self-gift to another — not just “knowing” but also “knowing that we know” — makes human actions different.

Add to this, then, the teaching of the Church based on Scripture-in-tradition, as well as on the human capacity for self-reflection, and we may begin to see the bases of the Church’s position on the matter.