Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Regarding Homosexuality

1) HOMOSEXUALITY: The Church can never change its position on the immorality of homosexual behavior and therefore will never apologize. Homosexual behavior is a moral issue, and the Church is infallible when it speaks authoritatively on matters of faith and morals.

2) Homosexuality has been condemned in the Scripture, by constant tradition and by the Church hierarchy and constitutes the regular teaching of the Church’s Magisterium:

A) Scripture: Scripture condemns homosexuality in no uncertain terms several places. Those who attack the Church’s position on this matter are taking issue with Scripture itself.

Romans 1:24-27: “That is why God left them to their filthy enjoyments and the practices with which they dishonor their own bodies since they have given up Divine truth for a lie and have worshipped and served creatures instead of the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen! That is why God has abandoned them to degrading passions; why their women have turned from natural intercourse to unnatural practices and why their menfolk have given up natural intercourse to be consumed with passion for each other, men doing shameless things with men and getting an appropriate reward for their perversion"

1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” Here, homosexuality is listed along with many other behaviors always accepted as sins (thievery, adultery, etc.); if the Church is “wrong” on homosexuality, is it also wrong on these sins? Note that it says homosexuals will not “inherit the kingdom of God”, meaning homosexual behavior is mortally sinful.

Jude 1:7: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

B) Tradition: Homosexual behavior has constantly been condemned by the Fathers and the Saints; there does not exist a single saint, doctor or father of the Church who condones it. A few examples:

St. Cyprian of Carthage: “Oh, if placed on that lofty watchtower, you could gaze into the secret places—if you could open the closed doors of sleeping chambers and recall their dark recesses to the perception of sight—you would behold things done by immodest persons which no chaste eye could look upon; you would see what even to see is a crime; you would see what people embruted with the madness of vice deny that they have done, and yet hasten to do—men with frenzied lusts rushing upon men, doing things which afford no gratification even to those who do them" (Letter 1:9 [AD 253]).

Eusebius of Caesarea: "[H]aving forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men, God adds: ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for in all these things the nations were defiled, which I will drive out before you. And the land was polluted, and I have recompensed [their] iniquity upon it, and the land is grieved with them that dwell upon it’ [Lev. 18:24–25]" (Proof of the Gospel 4:10 [A.D. 319]).

St. John Chrysostom: Here one of the most eminent of the Greek doctors explains that even if homosexuality is accepted in society, it is still a grave sin, something pertinent today: “And sundry other books of the philosophers one may see full of this disease. But we do not therefore say that the thing was made lawful, but that they who received this law were pitiable, and objects for many tears. For these are treated in the same way as women that play the whore. Or rather their plight is more miserable. For in the case of the one the intercourse, even if lawless, is yet according to nature; but this is contrary both to law and nature. For even if there were no hell, and no punishment had been threatened, this would be worse than any punishment" (Homilies on Romans, 4 [AD 391])

St. Augustine: “"T]hose shameful acts against nature, such as were committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished. If all nations were to do such things, they would be held guilty of the same crime by the law of God, which has not made men so that they should use one another in this way" (Confessions 3:8:15 [A.D. 400]). Notice that Augustine says homosexual acts are to be detested “everywhere and always,” indicating that he understood the Scriptural prohibitions to be universal and not just bound to one culture or time.

C. Magisterium: The Church’s Magisterium has spoken out on this very clearly as well, following in the footsteps of Scripture and Tradition.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says of homosexual acts: “They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC 2357). Since Pope John Paul II said the Catechism was the “sure norm for teaching the faith” we must regard this as the teaching of the ordinary Magisterium and give it our full assent (Apostolic Letter LAETAMUR MAGNOPERE, 1997)

The Magisterium has also condemned homosexual acts in the 1979 document Persona Humana put out by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In section VIII homosexuality is treated and merits being cited in full, which can be taken as the modern stance of the Church on homosexuality:

At the present time there are those who, basing themselves on observations in the psychological order, have begun to judge indulgently, and even to excuse completely, homosexual relations between certain people. This they do in opposition to the constant teaching of the Magisterium and to the moral sense of the Christian people.

A distinction is drawn, and it seems with some reason, between homosexuals whose tendency comes from a false education, from a lack of normal sexual development, from habit, from bad example, or from other similar causes, and is transitory or at least not incurable; and homosexuals who are definitively such because of some kind of innate instinct or a pathological constitution judged to be incurable.

In regard to this second category of subjects, some people conclude that their tendency is so natural that it justifies in their case homosexual relations within a sincere communion of life and love analogous to marriage, in so far as such homosexuals feel incapable of enduring a solitary life.

In the pastoral field, these homosexuals must certainly be treated with understanding and sustained in the hope of overcoming their personal difficulties and their inability to fit into society. Their culpability will be judged with prudence. But no pastoral method can be employed which would give moral justification to these acts on the grounds that they would be consonant with the condition of such people. For according to the objective moral order, homosexual relations are acts which lack an essential and indispensable finality. In Sacred Scripture they are condemned as a serious depravity and even presented as the sad consequence of rejecting God. This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and can in no case be approved of (Persona Humana 8).

D) Conclusion: It is evident that the Church’s condemnation of homosexual activities is not a modern position but something the Church has always taught and believed in every capacity. Therefore, it is part of her depoit of faith and by that fact irreformable and unchangeable. This means (a) that this position will never be changed (b) the Church will never apologize for it and (c) those Catholics who deny the Church’s teaching on this matter endanger their souls by adopting heresy. To say that the Church should change or is wrong is to deny the unchanging nature of the Church’s moral teachings. As Persona Humana says, “In moral matters man cannot make value judgments according to his personal whim” (Persona Humana 3).

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