“Ask a Priest: May I Support a Charity That Hires Same-Sex Spouses?”

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Q: Would I be making a compromise of my faith by continuing to support a child in the Third World through an organization whose policy includes hiring people in same-sex “marriages”? – R.P.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: It is good to see that you are trying the help the poor in the developing world. That is a sign of your faith in action.

Your question touches on the notion of material cooperation with evil.

It is virtually impossible to avoid such cooperation in our day. Part of the taxes you pay might be going to support a police force that is helping to protect a neighborhood that happens to have an abortion clinic. Are you giving material support to that clinic? In a very limited sense, yes. But it wouldn’t be sinful so long as your intention is not to support the clinic; rather, you likely are just trying to be a good citizen by paying your share of taxes for the common good.

As to your specific question: You would have to ask yourself, what is your intention in donating to that group? To help needy children? Or to support same-sex “marriage”? My guess is that you just want to help the children.

This leads to the next question: Are your contributions to the group making that much difference in enabling them to support same-sex “marriage”? In other words, is your support making an impact in favor of same-sex unions? Or another concern could be, is your support of this group giving scandal to anyone who favors only traditional marriage?

This might be a complex matter, depending on other factors. Perhaps this group is extremely efficient in helping the children. But maybe it is also pushing a pro-homosexual agenda in the developing world. These are issues you might want to research.

Your question, therefore, doesn’t lend itself to an easy answer (at least from what I glean from your e-mail).

Perhaps a counter-question could help you. Have you considered shifting your contributions to, say, a Catholic organization that you know would support traditional marriage? There are likely a few Catholic groups out there you could trust. And it might be an easy way to avoid the issue of material cooperation with dicey policies.

For more reading on material cooperation with evil, see the National Catholic Bioethics Center piece here.

I hope this helps. God bless.

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