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John wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Why has the Church changed its teaching on homosexual behavior?

I was born in 1955 and throughout high school went to Catholic schools. When I was a child the Church operated with the first universal Catechism: the Catechism of the Council of Trent.

Homosexuality was such a foreign concept it was not mentioned. These are the statements in this Catechism that I believe let someone conclude the Church professed that homosexual behavior is just degenerate behavior:

Neither fornicators nor adulterers, nor the effeminate nor sodomites shall possess the kingdom of God.

The Decalogue: the Sixth Commandment - Other Sins Against Chastity Are Forbidden

The first is studiously to avoid idleness; for, according to Ezechiel, it was by yielding to the enervating influence of idleness that the Sodomites plunged into the most shameful crime of criminal lust.

The Decalogue: the Sixth Commandment - Avoidance Of Idleness

The Sacred Scriptures abound with examples of the divine vengeance, such as the destruction of Sodom and of the neighboring cities.

The Decalogue: the Sixth Commandment - Impurity Severely Punished

I believe that the Church has accepted a false premise that people who engage in homosexual behavior are fundamentally different than others. Today, the Church operates with the second universal Catechism, the "new" Catechism of the Catholic Church.

There are statements in this Catechism that I believe let someone conclude the Church professes that people who engage in homosexual behavior are fundamentally different than others:

experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex

Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. CCC 2357

men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible.
CCC 2358

These persons are called to fulfill God's will. CCC 2358

Homosexual persons are called to chastity. CCC 2359

This is the message I believe the Lord wants the Church to accept:

Homosexual behavior is just degenerate behavior. Homosexuality is a myth created to make people feel OK about just this variation of degenerate behavior.

The Church has become corrupt in this regard. The Catechism, paragraphs 2357-2359 need to be redone. The Church must come out of the murky middle and draw a bright line. You cannot tell people that they are fundamentally different than everyone else.

The Church's lack of a moral stance in this matter is disgraceful. This no doubt contributes to the perverse view that society is developing concerning what marriage is.

Let us pray for divine wisdom and God's Will to be done.

Thanks,

John

  { Why has the Church changed its teaching on homosexual behavior? }

Mike replied:

Dear John,

You said:
Why has the Church changed its teaching on homosexual behavior?

It hasn't. The biggest misperceptions people have on this topic is that the Pope and the Church hate homosexual people.

The Church and the Pope truly love and care for homosexual people; but they love them too much to keep them in a lifestyle that goes against their natural calling. The sexual complementarily of the two sex's is obvious. I can think of at least two documents from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, in the Vatican, that address the pastoral needs of those with a same sex attraction:

You said:
This is the message I believe the Lord wants the Church to accept:

Homosexual behavior is just degenerate behavior. Homosexuality is a myth created to make people feel OK about just this variation of degenerate behavior.

The Church has become corrupt in this regard. The Catechism, paragraphs 2357-2359 need to be redone.

Homosexuality is a myth? Then I guess you would say the Bible has to be redone as well:

The Guilt of Humankind

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; 21 for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. 29 They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.

Romans 1:18-32

And if you want to re-write the Catechism, you obviously don't trust that the Holy Spirit is guiding the Church. If this Church wasn't divinely guided, it would have been destroyed years ago.

By the way, although I did not reference it, the web site you used to quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church has no creditability among practicing Catholics. Look at their write up on Catholic Culture:

You said:
You cannot tell people that they are fundamentally different than everyone else.

No one is saying homosexual people are fundamentally different. Their nature is made in the image and likeness of God himself. We have to distinguish between a homosexual person and their acts; acts that, if encouraged, can that lead to a lifestyle change.

As practicing Catholic Christians, we love the sinner, but hate the sin.

Just my two cents,

Mike

Eric replied:

Dear John —

It's unclear to me — even if it were true, which I am not saying — why saying that homosexuals "are fundamentally different from us" is "corrupt" or "muddy" or whatever. The Catechism of the Council of Trent is silent on this topic. I'm mystified as to why this is relevant and why you seem so exercised over it.

Here are the quotes from the Catechism that seem to peeve you in this regard:

"experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex" CCC 2357

This should be self-evident. No one would have degenerate sex with someone of the same sex unless they were attracted to them. St. Paul speaks of this in Romans 1:27:

27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:27)

I don't mean to be offensive, but I think anyone who would say that homosexuals aren't attracted to members of their own sex would be out of their mind.

You are also, I think, confusing (or willfully refusing to make the distinction between) the behavior and the inclination. There are people who have never committed a homosexual act, and so cannot be, in your terms, "degenerate", but experience a strong sexual attraction to members of the same sex, even an unwanted desire that defies all their attempts to avoid and reject it. Such people deserve our compassion and understanding, and this is the message of the Catechism.

"Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained." CCC 2357

  • What is your issue here — that it's called a psychological problem, rather than a strictly moral one?

Many moral problems have psychological components. That doesn't make them not a moral problem.

"men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible." CCC 2358

Again we're back to the first one — if you deny that there are people who are attracted to members of their own sex, I'm afraid you are either ignorant or in denial.

  • Have you ever spoken to a homosexual about their condition?

"These persons are called to fulfill God's will." CCC 2358

All of us are called to fulfill God's will.

  • What is your issue with this?

"Homosexual persons are called to chastity." CCC 2359

All of us are called to chastity.

  • What is your issue with this?

I think you need to listen to the stories of people with same-sex attraction and need to learn to understand them better.

  • Would you condemn someone who never committed a homosexual act?
  • Would you condemn someone who repented of past homosexual acts and now lived chastely but was still plagued by a strong attraction to members of the same sex?

Think of Jesus and the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:2-11) and the story of the tax collector and the Pharisee. (Luke 18:9-14)

Eric

John replied:

Eric and Mike,

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

Eric said:
It's unclear to me — even if it were true, which I am not saying — why saying that homosexuals "are fundamentally different from us" is "corrupt" or "muddy" or whatever. The Catechism of the Council of Trent is silent on this topic. I'm mystified as to why this is relevant and why you seem so exercised over it.

What I find corrupt is the acceptance of the false premise that people who engage in “homosexual behavior” are fundamentally different than others. I believe that this has undermined our Church's moral authority.

I think it is clear that the first universal Catechism treats “homosexual behavior” as just degenerate behavior which I believe is a correct position. I also think that it is clear that the second universal Catechism, in accepting this false premise, that people who engage in “homosexual behavior” are fundamentally different than others, and correctly maintaining that “homosexual behavior” is sinful, causes confusion.

I think that since the Church has changed its teaching, the normalization of “homosexual behavior” is well under way. Whether it is the indoctrination programs that are rampant in schools or degenerate marriage in some States as well as in some “churches”.

If I lived in a vacuum perhaps I would be silly, but I don't think that anyone can argue with the fact that “homosexual behavior” in the world today is well on the way to normalization.

  • Doesn't the Church have an obligation to the Lord to act in a much more vigorous way to combat this evil and not be ambiguous?

You said:
Here are the quotes from the Catechism that seem to peeve you in this regard:

I only include these quotes to highlight the difference in the two Catechisms. As to the rest of your last reply: I don't condemn anyone; that is not my responsibility.

  • Do you believe that "homosexuals" are a fundamentally different class of person?

I do not. I believe that we are all born with original sin and face temptation.

I believe that the Church has made an error and should correct itself. Teaching that people who engage in “homosexual behavior” are fundamentally different than others is corrupt and can only lead to no good.

John

Eric replied:

Hi, John —

  • I'm still not clear on what you mean by "fundamentally different"?
  • Why you think the Catechism is teaching this, and
  • Why it's important/relevant?

On the one hand, it's not like people with same-sex attraction are a third sex, or a different species. They are, male and female, fallen human beings like every other. On the other hand, someone with same sex attraction is obviously, by that fact, different in an important way from people with opposite sex attraction. Regardless of whether they are or not, the Catechism calls them to chastity, that is to say, forbids them to act on their same-sex attractions. That much is clear. It seems to me this is the only important part.

You said:
I believe that this has undermined Our Church's moral authority.

But I don't see why.

You said:

  • Do you believe that "homosexuals" are a fundamentally different class of person?

I do not. I believe that we are all born with original sin and face temptation.

I can certainly agree with that, but I'm still somewhat at a loss to understand why you think the Catechism implies they are a fundamentally different class of person.

  • Is your concern that if we allow the idea that homosexuality is in-born that somehow this undermines the idea that homosexual behavior is wrong?

Even if it were true, I don't think it does. There is some genetic basis for alcoholism, but it doesn't mean that drunkenness is "OK" for these people.

  • What about sociopaths?
  • Are they "born that way"?
  • What difference does it make?
    What they do is still wrong, although we don't know their culpability.

The problem with basing the morality of an act on the origins of it, either:

  • in the way I think you are trying to make it, or
  • in the opposite sense (i.e. it is "OK" to do these things because they are in-born)

is that the question of origins is ultimately a scientific one, not a theological one and you don't want morality to be based on scientific study.

I think you may be afraid that if we admit that homosexuality is deeply rooted, it either:

  • makes homosexual behavior morally OK, or
  • makes it harder to argue it is morally wrong.

but the morality doesn't depend on the genesis. It's always going to be wrong, and if we sit there afraid that science is going to undermine our point instead of arguing in such a way that is independent of science, we risk basing our whole argument on the soundness of our science, which is not a good position to be in; consider the Church and Galileo.

To say that it is "corrupt" to believe that same-sex attraction is in some way deeply rooted is to concede the point of our enemies, namely, that if same-sex attraction is genetic, that it must be OK. Therefore, the Catechism, wisely I think, side-steps the issue of origin while acknowledging that there are people of good will with same-sex attraction and firmly maintaining that homosexual behavior is wrong.

You said:
I think that since the Church has changed its teaching, the normalization of “homosexual behavior” is well under way.

I don't understand what you mean by that. The Church then and now teaches that homosexual behavior is wrong. The Catechism of the Council of Trent expressed it in rather colorful, merciless language, but the teaching has not changed. What the new Catechism is trying to do is:

  • reach out to people with same-sex attraction
  • have compassion on how they feel, and
  • draw them mercifully, through understanding, to conversion and obedience.

Today's homosexuals will not respond to the language of the Catechism of the Council of Trent. They will use its language as a pretext for concluding that the Church hates them and wants nothing to do with them, hence they will remain unconverted. What you are mistaking for
"new teaching" is not really a teaching, but an explanation and elucidation intended to bring homosexuals to conversion.

You said:

  • Doesn't the Church have an obligation to the Lord to act in a much more vigorous way to combat this evil and not be ambiguous?
  • Couldn't one argue the same thing about Jesus and the woman caught in adultery?

Interestingly, when Jesus spoke harshly, it was not to sexual sinners, but to the people who treated sinners badly and wanted nothing to do with them. He made it clear that sexual sin was wrong, "Go, and sin no more", (John 8:11), but he didn't launch vitriol and invective toward them that some in the Church have.

Eric

John replied:

Eric —

You said:

  • I'm still not clear on what you mean by "fundamentally different"?

That some people are incapable of being attracted to people of the opposite sex.
I don't believe this.

You said:

  • Why you think the Catechism is teaching this?


  • If the Catechism says “Homosexual persons are called to chastity” isn't this an acceptance of the false premise of “Homosexuality”?

Also look at the links Mike provided from EWTN. They are written with the acceptance that “Homosexuality” is a reality. I don't see how one can argue that the Church hasn't accepted this false premise.

You said:

  • and, Why it's important/relevant?
I believe this is important and relevant. I believe that when the Lord created man and woman He created the family, the most basic unit of society. I believe that Satan is using this false premise to attack the family.

You said:
On the one hand, it's not like people with same-sex attraction are a third sex, or a different species. They are, male and female, fallen human beings like every other. On the other hand, someone with same sex attraction is obviously, by that fact, different in an important way from people with opposite sex attraction.

Again this accepts the false premise.

You said:
Regardless of whether they are or not, the Catechism calls them to chastity, that is to say, forbids them to act on their same-sex attractions. That much is clear. It seems to me this is the only important part.

You say believing this "undermines our Church's moral authority", but I don't see why.

If the Church accepts the false premise, I believe it undermines our Churches moral authority.
I believe it is inevitable that the Church will accept that “homosexual behavior” is acceptable. Other “churches” have already done this. I believe that after a few generations of normalized “homosexual behavior” an now marriage in the secular world, the Church will not be able to resist. I believe the Church has an obligation to the Lord to reset the discussion by rejecting this false premise.

You said:
You ask,

"Do you believe that "Homosexuals" are a fundamentally different class of person?
I do not. I believe that we are all born with original sin and face temptation."

I can certainly agree with that, but I'm still somewhat at a loss to understand why you think the Catechism implies they are a fundamentally different class of person.

  • Is your concern that if we allow the idea that homosexuality is in-born that somehow this undermines the idea that homosexual behavior is wrong?

Even if it were true, I don't think it does; there is some genetic basis for alcoholism, but it doesn't mean that drunkenness is "OK" for these people.

  • What about sociopaths?
  • Are they "born that way"?
  • What difference does it make?
    What they do is still wrong, although we don't know their culpability.

You see the problem with basing the morality of an act on the origins of it, either:

  • in the way I think you are trying to make it, or
  • in the opposite sense (i.e. it is "OK" to do these things because they are in-born)

is that the question of origins is ultimately a scientific one, not a theological one and you don't want morality to be based on scientific study.

I think what may be the issue you have is that you're afraid that if we admit that homosexuality is deeply rooted, it either:

  • makes homosexual behavior morally OK, or
  • makes it harder to argue it is morally wrong.

but the morality doesn't depend on the genesis. It's always going to be wrong, and if we sit there afraid that science is going to undermine our point instead of arguing in such a way that is independent of science, we risk basing our whole argument on the soundness of our science, which is not a good position to be in; consider the Church and Galileo. To say that it is "corrupt" to believe that same-sex attraction is in some way deeply rooted is to concede the point of our enemies, namely, that if same-sex attraction is genetic, that it must be OK. Therefore, the Catechism, wisely I think, side-steps the issue of origin while acknowledging that there are people of good will with same-sex attraction and firmly maintaining that homosexual behavior is wrong.

See the problem with basing the morality of an act on the origins of it, either in the way I think you are trying to make it or in the opposite sense (i.e. it is "OK" to do these things because they are in-born), is that the question of origins is ultimately a scientific one, not a theological one. And you don't want morality to be based on scientific study. I think what may be the issue you have is that you're afraid that if we admit that homosexuality is deeply rooted, that either that makes homosexual behavior morally OK, or makes it harder to argue it is morally wrong. But the morality doesn't depend on the genesis. It's always going to be wrong, and if we sit there afraid that science is going to undermine our point instead of arguing in such a way that is independent of science, we risk basing our whole argument on the soundness of our science, which is not a good position to be in (consider the church and Galileo). To say that it is "corrupt" to believe that same-sex attraction is in some way deeply rooted is to concede the point of our enemies, namely, that if same-sex attraction is genetic, that it must be OK. Therefore, the Catechism, wisely I think, side-steps the issue of origin while acknowledging that there are people of good will with same-sex attraction and firmly maintaining that homosexual behavior is wrong.

I believe that people by nature rationalize and justify their behavior. I know I do. I believe it is wrong for the Church to separate people into groups. This makes it easier for one to justify their behavior.

You said:
You say,"I think that since the Church has changed its teaching the normalization of “homosexual behavior” is well under way." I don't understand what you mean by that.

Again school indoctrination and “same sex” marriage.

You said:
The Church then and now teaches that homosexual behavior is wrong. The Catechism of the Council of Trent expressed it in rather colorful, merciless language, but the teaching has not changed. What the new Catechism is trying to do is:

  • reach out to people with same-sex attraction
  • have compassion on how they feel, and
  • draw them mercifully, through understanding, to conversion and obedience.

Today's homosexuals will not respond to the language of the Catechism of the Council of Trent. They will use its language as a pretext for concluding that the Church hates them and wants nothing to do with them, hence they will remain unconverted. What you are mistaking for "new teaching" is not really a teaching, but an explanation and elucidation intended to bring homosexuals to conversion.

Again grouping people is wrong.

You said:
You say, "Doesn't the church have an obligation to the Lord to act in a much more vigorous way to combat this evil and not be ambiguous?"

  • Couldn't one argue the same thing about Jesus and the woman caught in adultery?

Interestingly, when Jesus spoke harshly, it was not to sexual sinners, but to the people who treated sinners badly and wanted nothing to do with them. He made it clear that sexual sin was wrong, "Go, and sin no more", (John 8:11), but he didn't launch vitriol and invective toward them that some in the Church have.

I have no quarrel with individuals. I believe that the Lord has given us the gift of free will and we will face the judgment of the Lord. Jesus didn't tell the woman that she was different than others. He invited her to repentance, the decision was hers.

I believe that the Church has made an error and should correct itself. Teaching that people who engage in “homosexual behavior” are fundamentally different than others is corrupt and can only lead to no good.

John

Mary Ann replied:

John —

It is true that to say "homosexual persons" can imply that persons are either homosexual or heterosexual but the purpose is to focus on the personhood of the person with same sex attraction. Some are saying that the Vatican's language should be altered to say

"persons with same sex attraction disorder".

In either case, the fact is that the disorder is very deep seated, and is felt by the person to be constitutive. I agree with you that we all have disorders and crosses and we are all called to bear them and resist sin. While many in the Church hold heretical positions on homosexuality, it is not true to say that the Church's teaching has changed: she is simply acknowledging the condition, and calling to chastity. In older times, it was considered not a condition, but a vice.

Mary Ann

John replied:

Hi, Mary Ann —

You said:
It is true that to say "homosexual persons" can imply that persons are either homosexual or heterosexual but the purpose is to focus on the personhood of the person with same sex attraction.

This I believe this is in line with the "tolerance" trap. I believe the Church is the Body of Christ.
I don't believe Christ ever said one person is fundamentally different than another to explain sinful behavior. I still believe the Church has changed its teaching on “homosexual behavior” and accepts the false premise that people who engage in “homosexual behavior” are fundamentally different than others.

I do not believe that the Church taught anything other than that “homosexual behavior” is just degenerate behavior before the 1960's, which I believe is the correct position.

You said:
Some are saying that the Vatican's language should be altered to say

"persons with same sex attraction disorder".

I believe it is wrong to look at this with the rubric of disorder. I believe the correct lens is morality. I believe God is not provable by design. I believe God wants us to come to him through faith. A provable God and faith are not possible. If God is not provable then it is reasonable to come to the conclusion that there is no God. My belief is rooted in faith and the faith of my fathers as well as the Church. If one concludes there is no God then why is one person's morality better than another's and who is to say “homosexual behavior” is wrong. Since I believe in God
I believe God determines morality. At my father's funeral the Priest said, “If there is no God then life is a cruel joke”. I believe this to be true.

You said:
In either case, the fact is that the disorder is very deep seated, and is felt by the person to be constitutive.

Again this accepts the false premise.

You said:
I agree with you that we all have disorders and crosses and we are all called to bear them and resist sin. While many in the Church hold heretical positions on homosexuality, it is not true to say that the Church's teaching has changed: she is simply acknowledging the condition, and calling to chastity. In older times, it was considered not a condition, but a vice.

Again I still believe that the Church has changed its teaching on “homosexual behavior”.

I think it is clear that the first universal Catechism treats “homosexual behavior” as just degenerate behavior which I believe is a correct position. I also think that it is clear that the second universal Catechism, in accepting this false premise, that people who engage in “homosexual behavior” are fundamentally different than others, and correctly maintaining that “homosexual behavior” is sinful, causes confusion.

I believe that the Church has made an error and should correct itself. Teaching that people who engage in “homosexual behavior” are fundamentally different than others is corrupt and can only lead to no good.

John

Paul replied:

You said:
I believe it is wrong to look at this with the rubric of disorder.

John,

Thank for sharing your take on this. Let me comment on your quote above to maybe shed some light. When it comes to sin, you must distinguish moral evil from personal guilt. The first is the objective, the second is the subjective component.

In order to be guilty of sin one must freely and knowingly choose the wrong committed; sin is an act of the will (a free and informed choice, a decision), not an emotion or desire.

  • If a person has great temptations to steal every time he walks into a store — but never does — is he a thief?
  • Is he guilty of any sin?

No, even though you might rightly say he has disordered desires to steal things. There are many conditions people may find themselves in, which strongly tempt them beyond the normal temptation and are special crosses for them to overcome.

Some conditions relate to the psychological or mental, others the emotional, and others a physiological dependence such a alcoholism. Again, the condition or state of having strong disordered temptations is not a personal sin, in itself, when not chosen, unless it is freely acted upon. The same can be said about persons that find themselves having attractions or desires for those of the same sex. It is an affliction that must be governed according to the objectively true and the good, which first and foremost, means never committing the unnatural acts these disordered attractions desire.

The fact that these disordered attractions are present in some through no fault of their own, makes it a condition or a disorientation. These two terms do not in any way connote a "normalness" or a justification to act upon the temptations they elicit. Homosexual acts are grave evils, and if committed with sufficient knowledge and full consent of the will, they are mortal sins.

The Church has not changed her teaching on this essential doctrine.

Peace,

Paul

Mary Ann replied:

John —

The Church has not changed. She still considers homosexual behavior to be wrongdoing, degenerate, perverse behavior.

What she is saying is that the inclination to that behavior can be very strong in some persons, because of developmental influences.

Mary Ann

John replied:

Hi, Paul —

You said:
Thank for sharing your take on this. Let me comment on your quote above to maybe shed some light. When it comes to sin, you must distinguish moral evil from personal guilt. The first is the objective, the second is the subjective component.

In order to be guilty of sin one must freely and knowingly choose the wrong committed; sin is an act of the will (a free and informed choice, a decision), not an emotion or desire.

And here is a case where I believe the Church has fallen into the "tolerance" trap and is doing a disservice to the Lord by promulgating the false premise that people who engage in “homosexual behavior” are fundamentally different than others. This I believe can cause confusion as to whether the behavior is really wrong even though the Church still correctly treats the behavior as sinful.

I believe the Lord is many wonderful things nuanced is not one of them. The Church must emulate the Lord and be clear in its teaching.

Again I have no quarrel with individuals. I believe that the Lord has given us the gift of freewill and we will face the judgment of the Lord. I believe that the Church has made an error and should correct itself. Teaching that people who engage in “homosexual behavior” are fundamentally different than others is corrupt and can only lead to no good.

You said:

  • If a person has great temptations to steal every time he walks into a store — but never does — is he a thief?
  • Is he guilty of any sin?

No, even though you might rightly say he has disordered desires to steal things. There are many conditions people may find themselves in, which strongly tempt them beyond the normal temptation and are special crosses for them to overcome.

Some conditions relate to the psychological or mental, others the emotional, and others a physiological dependence such a alcoholism. Again, the condition or state of having strong disordered temptations is not a personal sin, in itself, when not chosen, unless it is freely acted upon. The same can be said about persons that find themselves having attractions or desires for those of the same sex. It is an affliction that must be governed according to the objectively true and the good, which first and foremost, means never committing the unnatural acts these disordered attractions desire.

The fact that these disordered attractions are present in some through no fault of their own, makes it a condition or a disorientation.

I don't believe the Church teaches that the thief or thieves want to be is fundamentally different than others.

You said:
These two terms do not in any way connote a "normalness" or a justification to act upon the temptations they elicit.

I believe that “homosexual behavior” is essentially normalized in the secular world today which is perfectly reasonable in a world without God. I believe the Church, with this nuanced position over the last half century, has been failing in one of its charters to give people an unchangeable rock to cling to. Of course, I believe the Church will correct itself when it realizes its error.

You said:
Homosexual acts are grave evils, and if committed with sufficient knowledge and full consent of the will, they are mortal sins.

The Church has not changed her teaching on this essential doctrine.

Again, I believe the Church is correctly teaching “homosexual behavior” is sinful.

The problem is the new teaching that people who engage in “homosexual behavior” are fundamentally different than others. I believe this is clearly shown in:

  • the new Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • the links from EWTN provide by Mike, and
  • a brochure I have seen put out by the Church discussing “homosexual behavior” and your teenage child.

I can't count the homilies I have heard from this point of view and direct conversations with priests who believe the Church hasn't gone far enough and should accept “homosexual behavior” as OK.

If you can show me any place where the Church has taught that people who engage in “homosexual behavior” are fundamentally different than others, before 1960, that would be helpful.

John

Paul replied:

Hi, John —

You said:
If you can show me any place where the Church has taught that people who engage in “homosexual behavior” are fundamentally different.

John, this premise above, which your entire argument seems to be based on, is a falsehood.

The Church has never said nor believed that people that have these disordered attractions are fundamentally different, nor have I ever said or inferred it.

Paul

John replied:

Hi, Paul —

You said:
John, this premise above, which your entire argument seems to be based on, is a falsehood.

The Church has never said nor believed that people that have these disordered attractions are fundamentally different, nor have I ever said or inferred it.

  • We can agree to disagree but why is my premise a falsehood?

Doesn't the new Catechism of the Catholic Church separate some people into a different category:

“Homosexual persons are called to chastity.”

  • Don't the links from Church documents provided by Mike come from the perspective of the false premise that people who engage in “homosexual behavior” are fundamentally different than others?

Here are some quotes:

“understand the homosexual condition”

“At the same time the Congregation took note of the distinction commonly drawn between the homosexual condition.”

I could go on but this is not inferring, this in what the Church is saying. I believe the Church has made an error and should correct itself.

I hope you would agree that “homosexual behavior” is essentially normalized in the secular world today. I believe this is in no small part due to the Church's error. I believe if the Church doesn't correct its error, the priests I have talked to, who want “homosexual behavior” to be normalized in the Church, will likely have their way as has already happened in other “churches”. Maybe not tomorrow, but not far in the distance future.

Again I believe it is wrong to look at this with the rubric of disorder. I believe the correct lens is morality.

  • If one concludes there is no God then, why is one person's morality better than another's, and
  • Who is to say “homosexual behavior” is wrong?

Since I believe in God, I believe God determines morality.

John

Paul replied:

John,

The answer to your questions is "no". The word "condition" has nothing to do with being fundamentally different than anyone else. We all have conditions and generally, being in the state of original sin is a condition we all share. I think you may be taking the word too seriously or adding to it a stronger connotation than there is.

For example, anemia could be called a condition. While I prefer the phrase people who are continuously tired, others would simply say "Tired persons". Regardless, they're not fundamentally different than anyone.

Likewise, while I prefer that people use the term, "People with same-sex attractions" others call them homosexual persons. I know what they mean, and do think it causes a little confusion, but
I don't see it as denoting any fundamental difference.

Paul

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