Monday, February 4, 2013


The president stated last night, Super Bowl Sunday, the following: “My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does, in every institution and walk of life.”

In this declaration, I suspect he also means religious institutions, such as the Christian Church, like Lutherans and Roman Catholics. As you will recall his administration sought to force a Lutheran School to hire back an actively gay person who taught in one of their schools. The Supreme Court, fortunately, sided with the Lutherans not the president.

Well of course people with same sex attractions are in every institution, Catholic and otherwise. In religious institutions whether Christian or otherwise, where there is a prohibition against same sex activity or sexual expression, this could exclude them from some institutional functions, such as ministry, leadership and participation in specific religious organizations and ministries.

Heterosexual fornicators are excluded from some institutional access in the Catholic Church as are adulterers.

When the president says gays and lesbians should have equal access and opportunity in every institution and frames in "ex cathedra" does he mean those who are actively engaged in homosexual activity and publicly so?

The following is an excerpt from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops document, "Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers"

My comment first: Of course families and the Church must be fair and compassionate towards those with same sex attractions, but we must also show love by calling them to God's truth revealed in the Church and we should be able to do this without government interference.

Accepting God's Plan and the Church's Ministry

For the Christian believer, an acceptance of self and of one's homosexual child must take place within the larger context of accepting divinely revealed truth about the dignity and destiny of human persons. It is the Church's responsibility to believe and teach this truth, presenting it as a comprehensive moral vision and applying this vision in particular situations through its pastoral ministries. We present the main points of that moral teaching here.

Every person has an inherent dignity because he or she is created in God's image. A deep respect for the total person leads the Church to hold and teach that sexuality is a gift from God. Being created a male or female person is an essential part of the divine plan, for it is their sexuality—a mysterious blend of spirit and body—that allows human beings to share in God's own creative love and life.

Like all gifts from God, the power and freedom of sexuality can be channeled toward good or evil. Everyone—the homosexual and the heterosexual person—is called to personal maturity and responsibility. With the help of God's grace, everyone is called to practice the virtue of chastity in relationships. Chastity means integrating one's thoughts, feelings, and actions, in the area of human sexuality, in a way that values and respects one's own dignity and that of others. It is "the spiritual power which frees love from selfishness and aggression" (Pontifical Council for the Family, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, 1996, no. 16).

Christ summons all his followers—whether they are married or living a single celibate life—to a higher standard of loving. This includes not only fidelity, forgiveness, hope, perseverance, and sacrifice, but also chastity, which is expressed in modesty and self-control. The chaste life is possible, though not always easy, for it involves a continual effort to turn toward God and away from sin, especially with the strength of the sacraments of penance and eucharist. Indeed God expects everyone to strive for the perfection of love, but to achieve it gradually through stages of moral growth (cf. John Paul II, On the Family, 1981, no. 34). To keep our feet on the path of conversion, God's grace is available to and sufficient for everyone open to receiving it.

Furthermore, as homosexual persons "dedicate their lives to understanding the nature of God's personal call to them, they will be able to celebrate the sacrament of penance more faithfully and receive the Lord's grace so freely offered there in order to convert their lives more fully to his way" (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, 1986, no. 12).

To live and love chastely is to understand that "only within marriage does sexual intercourse fully symbolize the Creator's dual design, as an act of covenant love, with the potential of co-creating new human life" (United States Catholic Conference, Human Sexuality: A Catholic Perspective for Education and Lifelong Learning, 1991, p. 55). This is a fundamental teaching of our Church about sexuality, rooted in the biblical account of man and woman created in the image of God and made for union with one another (Gn 2–3).

Two conclusions follow. First, it is God's plan that sexual intercourse occur only within marriage between a man and a woman. Second, every act of intercourse must be open to the possible creation of human life. Homosexual intercourse cannot fulfill these two conditions. Therefore, the Church teaches that homogenital behavior is objectively immoral, while making the important distinction between this behavior and a homosexual orientation, which is not immoral in itself. It is also important to recognize that neither a homosexual orientation, nor a heterosexual one, leads inevitably to sexual activity. One's total personhood is not reducible to sexual orientation or behavior.

Respect for the God-given dignity of all persons means the recognition of human rights and responsibilities. The teachings of the Church make it clear that the fundamental human rights of homosexual persons must be defended and that all of us must strive to eliminate any forms of injustice, oppression, or violence against them (cf. The Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, 1986, no. 10).

It is not sufficient only to avoid unjust discrimination. Homosexual persons "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2358). They, as is true of every human being, need to be nourished at many different levels simultaneously. This includes friendship, which is a way of loving and is essential to healthy human development. It is one of the richest possible human experiences. Friendship can and does thrive outside of genital sexual involvement.

The Christian community should offer its homosexual sisters and brothers understanding and pastoral care. More than twenty years ago we bishops stated that "Homosexuals . . . should have an active role in the Christian community" (National Conference of Catholic Bishops, To Live in Christ Jesus: A Pastoral Reflection on the Moral Life, 1976, p. 19). What does this mean in practice? It means that all homosexual persons have a right to be welcomed into the community, to hear the word of God, and to receive pastoral care. Homosexual persons living chaste lives should have opportunities to lead and serve the community. However, the Church has the right to deny public roles of service and leadership to persons, whether homosexual or heterosexual, whose public behavior openly violates its teachings.

The Church also recognizes the importance and urgency of ministering to persons with HIV/AIDS. Though HIV/AIDS is an epidemic affecting the whole human race, not just homosexual persons, it has had a devastating effect upon them and has brought great sorrow to many parents, families, and friends.

Without condoning self-destructive behavior or denying personal responsibility, we reject the idea that HIV/AIDS is a direct punishment from God. Furthermore

Persons with AIDS are not distant, unfamiliar people, the objects of our mingled pity and aversion. We must keep them present to our consciousness as individuals and a community, and embrace them with unconditional love. . . . Compassion—love—toward persons infected with HIV is the only authentic Gospel response. (National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Called to Compassion and Responsibility: A Response to the HIV/AIDS Crisis, 1989)

Nothing in the Bible or in Catholic teaching can be used to justify prejudicial or discriminatory attitudes and behaviors.2 We reiterate here what we said in an earlier statement:

We call on all Christians and citizens of good will to confront their own fears about homosexuality and to curb the humor and discrimination that offend homosexual persons. We understand that having a homosexual orientation brings with it enough anxiety, pain and issues related to self-acceptance without society bringing additional prejudicial treatment. (Human Sexuality: A Catholic Perspective for Education and Lifelong Learning, 1991, p. 55)


ytc said...

Don't worry, America's birthrate is dead, we slaughter our babies and contracept them away. Our country will die some day, sooner rather than later, and the Catholic Church will be there in the rubble to clean up all the cluster of feces left over, like She has many times before. America is not world police, the Catholic Church is, and Obammy cannot stop Her.

Gene said...

This is so tiring. You would think that homosexuals were ninety percent of the population from all the attention they get. But, then, that is what a lot of their behavior is...attention seeking behavior.

Supertradmum said...

Thanks for being brave. Tomorrow is Defence of Marriage Rosary Day here in England.

All say a rosary at Noon, GMT Tuesday

Where politics fail, we have recourse to Mary, Our Mother.

Rood Screen said...

If they would just keep discussion of their disordered desires between themselves and God, a counselor and a confessor, then no one would discriminate against them, because no one would know.
Even those who choose a life of sodomy just need to keep it quiet and no one will bother them about it.
I'm something of a pre-'70's era Anglophile, but I don't fly a damned Union Jack in the front yard of the rectory and then get upset when people complain!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Precisely what the president high priest in chief is promoting is Boy Scouts openingly dating boy having sex and scout masters bringing their same sex spouses to camp meets and other scouting events.
If people didn't flaunt this not many would be overly concerned about their participation.

John Nolan said...

The Catholic Herald (UK) has reported that new and stricter guidelines regarding Catholic schools have been published. Mgr Marcus Stock, General Secretary of the English and Welsh Bishops' Conference and acting Director of the Catholic Education Service, has made it clear that members of governing bodies and senior teachers must conform to Catholic standards in their private lives. This would exclude those who maintain "a partnership of intimacy with another person outside a form of marriage approved by the Church" or "being a member of, or giving support to, an organization with aims contrary to the teaching of the Church".

Since most of the funding for Catholic Schools comes from general taxation (including teachers' salaries), the National Secular Society is up in arms over this, is writing to the relevant government minister and says it will assist any teacher dismissed on account of his or her lifestyle.

For twelve years the CES was run by the left-wing Oona Stannard who seemed to have little idea what the 'C' in the title stood for. Her departure a year ago was all the more welcome for being long overdue. Straws in the wind, perhaps, but taken together with some recent excellent episcopal appointments (and there are sees still vacant) there is cause for optimism.

Gene said...

I also take issue with the ridiculous euphemism "same sex attraction." I like being around Fr., Anon 5, Marc, Templar, my best male friends. I find their personalities and intelligence attractive. That does not mean that I want to play "pink train in the tummy tunnel" with them...

L. Ron Hubble said...

I too reject the idea that AIDS is a punishment from God. It's just natural selection at work.

Unknown said...

The Church teaches that homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. [...] Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." 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)

Continuing on, the Church teaches that the number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. (CCC #2358)

And finally, the Church says that homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (CCC #2359)

There are a couple of key points that Obama either distorts or ignores. First, discrimination. Not all discrimination is bad. He just thinks it is. If discrimination is just, it is a good thing. And just discrimination against a homosexual is a good thing...just as it is against a heterosexual.

Second, under no circumstances can it be tolerated. You will never hear me tolerate an evil action. The homosexual action is evil. It is deliberately NOT ordered to God. Therefore it cannot be condoned.

Third, we should be willing to help the homosexual person through disinterested friendship. We must help them overcome the trial they are faced with, just as we should help anyone overcome a trial with which they are faced.

Finally, the homosexual person must realize that it is not the person we are intolerant of, is. the. action. The key concepts that Obama misses are these, right thinking regarding justice. Right thinking regarding tolerance. Right thinking regarding charity. And finally, right thinking regarding discrimination. When one turns his back on the truth, he is left to his own devices. Protestantism turned it's back on the truth. Islam turned it's back on the truth. What was and is left is simply this, error. Mr. Obama is wrong.

We don't think ill of the homosexual person, but until such time as the homosexual person has overcome the trial to which he has embattled himself, he cannot be free. And if he is Catholic, he must not focus on anything else. That is his cross. The Church does not condemn him for being homosexual, but the Church will condemn him for his actions.

We should add to our prayers, every day that that blight of the homosexual action is obliterated from society and that all God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Free from the homosexual action. Dr. King was right in this one instance. Even when he didn't mean it that way.

John Nolan said...

Scoutmasters have long been the butt of innuendoes regarding their sexual proclivities. But what are we now to make of Tom Lehrer's advice to the Boy Scouts of America?

"If you're looking for adventure of a new and diffeent kind,
And you come across a Girl Scout who is similarly inclined;
Don't be nervous, don't be flustered, don't be scared -

Bill said...

It is a scandal, to be sure, that our entire society is being reshaped by a vocal minority who, according to the U.S> Census bureau, comprise something approaching 1% of the adult population.