Skip to comments.U.S. Gay Catholics Say 'No Sex' Doctrine Tough to Follow
Posted on 04/07/2005 6:20:40 AM PDT by Clint N. Suhks
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Peter Novak has practiced Catholicism his whole life, starting as an altar boy and then studying for seven years toward becoming a priest.
Yet in recent months, the 39-year-old gay man, who did not complete his seminary studies, has been thinking about leaving the church because of the legacy of Pope John Paul's stance on homosexuality.
"It's not an easy life to do that, to want to maintain your identity as Catholic and gay," said Novak, who married his partner in San Francisco last year.
"The church came out very much opposed to gay marriage and I would say that was part of it," he said, explaining why he stopped going to Mass regularly more than a year ago. "It has challenged my ability to feel comfortable in the church."
Under Pope John Paul, the Vatican preached that gays should be treated with compassion but made clear it absolutely opposed gay sex and called homosexuality a disorder. The Pope referred to gay marriage as an "ideology of evil."
The Pope "would be very compassionate to the gay person," said Fr. Donald Cozzens, former president-rector of Saint Mary Catholic Seminary in Cleveland. Yet he would "require of them what he feels the Gospel requires of all of God's people, which is if you are not married, you do not have an active sexual life, whether within a committed relationship or not."
Many gay American Catholics ignore such teachings, as do heterosexuals who skirt church rules against birth control.
In areas such as San Francisco's Castro Street, a center of gay life, Catholic churches perform a delicate balancing act.
In front of the Most Holy Redeemer Church two blocks away, a billboard shows well-built male models urging gay men to telephone.
"We provide the teachings of the church with the understanding that people will make their own choices," said Michael Greenwell, a priest from the Carmelite Order.
GAY CATHOLICS AT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
DignityUSA, a group of gay Catholics, conducts its own services, often with former priests. After a 1986 Vatican letter denounced homosexuality as "an objective disorder," U.S. Catholic churches barred group meetings on their property.
So in San Francisco, Dignity meets weekly at a Presbyterian church.
Catholic teachings on homosexuality may not have changed much under John Paul, but his papacy coincided with the gay rights movements, AIDS and priest sex scandals highlighting issues related to homosexual clergymen.
The Pope also strongly opposed gay marriage, discussing it in his last annual address in January and calling it in his last book published in February "a new ideology of evil," which incensed many gays.
"The clock has been turned back during this papacy for gay people," said Jeff Stone, a DignityUSA member in New York.
In San Francisco, Catholics played key roles during last year's marriage of more than 4,000 same sex couples.
Mayor Gavin Newsom, a Catholic, ignited the issue by allowing the weddings until they were barred by the California Supreme Court. Then, just last month, a Catholic judge ruled California's ban on homosexual marriage unconstitutional.
Both traditionalists and reformers seem to agree the Vatican is unlikely to make changes toward gays under the next Pope.
"I don't think the teaching can or will change," said Mark Brumley, president of St. Ignatius Press, the largest U.S. Catholic publisher.
"Thanks to the legacy of John Paul II, we are going to see a much more energetic and persuasive presentation of the truth of that teaching about human sexuality," he said. "I think the next Pope will build on what John Paul II has done."
Yes, good church discipline is sadly lacking. Excommunication is needed very badly for folks such as these who are blatantly flaunting church morals. I happen to believe that not denying Kerry and Kennedy communion since the advocate violating the 6th commandment is atrocious.
The church should have railed against Terri's ruling since the 6th and 7th commandment, Thou shalt not commit Adultery and Thou shalt not commit Murder, were clearly violated upon one of their members.
Our churches and society is week. Some spine and a boot is needed to get back on track. Where is a leader that can do that?
So cross dressing was wrong but female homosexual behavior was acceptable under the law?
Deut 23:17. Sex outside of marriage is forbidden. So the "there shall be no whores and sodomites..." verse seems to cover it. There is another though. I'm sure I've seen it before.
Everyone should read "Goodbye, Good Men." It tells about the homosexual network in the Catholic Church and the various seminaries completely dominated by homosexual facuties.
The conservative seminaries have flourished and the homosexual seminaries are in trouble.
Not really, you either misunderstand or are ignoring the nuances and context of Deut. against the subject of homosexuality. So you think Yahweh just had some fashion issues in ancient Israel? You think there were some cross dressing Marlyn Monroe make-up wearing types that needed to be addressed in the Bible?
Disguising or misrepresenting one's gender is a homosexual act in order to attract the opposite sex/gender, you ask your Rabbi if he thinks behaving like the opposite sex in Moses' day isn't specifically for homosexual attraction.
Unless of course you just want to believe the liberal spin for the day, that's your ignorance.
The instructions on sexual morality are specifically directed towards men, not towards women. The only sexual admonition with regards to women is the commandment that prohibits adultery. The word "homosexuality" appears nowhere.
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination.
There's the injunction against male homosexuality only. There is nowhere an equivalent injunction against female homosexuality. It is clear from the reading of the passage that these are male-specific instructions, a list of women relations that are sexually prohibited.
Moses just didn't like the way lipstick looked on men...it was a big problem back then.
I provide no support for female homosexuality, nor do I intend to. I think there is a reason why the males are addressed and not the females. That reason is that female homosexuality is essentially physically harmless, while male homosexuality is both directly damaging to the body as well as being extremely dangerous in terms of disease. It's not that female homosexuality is right; it's that male homosexuality is particularly bad. That's the distinction I am pointing out in this exercise.
To address the cross-dressing issue: In the context of a society where the roles of men and women differ to a great degree, as it was among the people of Israel, there are far more motivations than attracting a member of the same sex, to wear the clothes of the opposite gender. A woman might do so to gain a different privilege restricted only to men; the reasons why a man might do so are easily imagined, as well. Without other scriptural support I do not believe it is correct to read it as an injunction against female homosexuality; in the context of Lev. 18:22, the absence of an explicit female equivalent, or anything approaching such a statement, indicates strongly against such an interpretation.
You have to be very carefull doing that though. You have to avoid the church and membership from becomming Navatians, (heritics) And falling out of grace themselves. Even effort to show the member the error and get him to repent has to be taken, and failing that, yes then they can be excommunicated, but the door has to be left open to come back and repent.
"Whores" and "harlots" are women who have sex for money. So prostitution is forbidden. That is not the same thing as female homosexuality. "Sodomites" again refers to men only, reinforcing that homosexuality is particularly forbidden to males.
I believe it was considered too trivial to be worth addressing. I can find no law against it... can you?
So if there is no injunction against female homosexuality under the law is it OK to be a lesbian in the eyes of God?
Before you answer remember that under the law, committing adultery under the law was punishable by stoning.
Do you really think that lesbianism was acceptable behavior in ancient Israel?
We need another Reformation to shake down and clean up the West, a little "spring cleaning."
I'm not making any judgement as to its acceptability in ancient Israel. What I am doing is pointing out that it was not mentioned, whereas male homosexuality is mentioned, multiple times. And I also think there is a good reason why male homosexuality is singled out, because it is uniquely dangerous not only to the individuals involved but also to the community.
There's no AIDS crisis among lesbians. Coincidence?
I don't know, I'm with Clinton on this one. You have to read beyond the written word and put the picture in your mind. Don't forget, pentagrams were how things were written at the time. A woman dressed as a man would mean a woman taking the mans role in the relationship between two women.
Not only is that totally out of the context and nuance of Deut. 22 and its sexual and homosexual prohibitions, it's silly to think the reverse...ie cross dressing men were trying to gain privilege restricted only to women.
When women were property back then and restricted to the most menial of liberties, your logic falls on its face.
Ignore what you want, pick and choose what to believe...ignorance is bliss I suppose.
And for women, whoredom is forbidden, the only sex allowed is in marriage, with a man. Plenty is said about the womans role, making it quite clear what the boundries are.
I don't object to the speculation that that passage refers to female homosexuality. However, there is a large difference in certainty between that interpretation and the explicit words used by God to repeatedly condemn male homosexuality.
Understanding the context, the situation that existed prior to these laws being given to Israel, was instead of male and female, sexuality was played out in terms of the penetrator and the penetrated (regardless of sex or relationship). The Bible was the first to put limits on the penetrators beyond what other men could forbid by force. With female homosexuality there is no penetrator, and thus it is was likely even considered to be sex at all in that era. I speculate it was probably exceedingly rare, and where it did occur it was considered to be more akin to masturbation than to sexual intercourse.
The membership increases by over 300 million in 25+ years Reuters is focusing on this degenerate. "Values" gap indeed.
Dueteronomy 22 does not concern itself with sexual prohibitions - it is about dealing fairly with others. If you appreciate context, then you must admit my argument is strengthened by consideration thereof.
But there is Breast cancer....
I simply don't think they considered female homosexuality to be sex at all. There is no evidence to support the view that they share our modern conception of it; that there are many obvious places to mention it, and they are not mentioned, but the male version is specifically mentioned, supports this conclusion.
Sounds like something God would allow then...
Breast cancer strikes married women as well, and also unmarried non-homosexual women. It doesn't, to my knowledge, prefer homosexual women over others. Compare this to AIDS which infects homosexual men at something like 100 times the rate it affects normal men. Moreover, we haven't yet figured out what triggers breast cancer, so drawing any conclusion based on a small difference is dubious; whereas the means of transmission of HIV and the factors that facilitate it are well known and unmistakably attributable to sodomites.
I'm not implying that there is any virtue to female homosexuality. There are many evil acts that are not specifically forbidden. I am saying is that it is of virtually no importance, and the language of the Bible reflects that.
What does 'thou shall not enjoy the fruit of thine own body' mean then?
Yes, I agree, but it has to be real repentance. IE. no more talk about abortion, being gy, or supporting euthanasia. The trouble here is people often talk the talk but do not walk the walk. Please, let's not have a revolving door here.
Ping to self.
Let me ask you this then...
If God were to give the law today, would female homosexuality be forbidden?
Whould not, "thou shall not lie with thy neigbors wife apply equally to the female reader? The places where man in general are used, or "you"?
Thou means you the reader. So how could a woman reader have a lesbian relationship? Is the daughter of the neighbor not forbidden to lie with out of wedlock?
Its all about seeking both society's and the Vatican's imprimatur of their sins.
Agreed. I don't know why anyone would not be sincere though, God isn't fooled, and knows what's in the heart. Jesus would have allowed Judas to repent. If the sinner can't admit the sin, then they will never come back through the door.
What....you didn't like my OT joke?
I don't know what Deuteronomy you're reading but it's about misrepresenting virginity,adultery, rape and incest...usually with the result of a good stoning.
Instead of ignoring the fact transsexualism is the same pathology of homosexuality, why don't you ask your Rabbi if Deut 22:5 isn't about sexual context.
Or just remain closed eyed to it, I don't really care anymore.
The example jesus gave was that he used overwhelming love and kindness along with forgiveness to showman the error of his ways, and to bring people to salvation. He saved more souls that way. The heritic drives away and divides people, and often condems his own.
I'm pretty sure any Rabbi I might ask would see it the same way, my view of the Bible is rather orthodox.
Okay. so tell me. When you say 'bible,' which writings are you refering to?
"fruit of thine own body" = one's own children, that's pretty straightforward.
Gays can't "go forth and multiply".
Lying with one's "neighbor's wife" would be adultery - this is specifically prohibited to both genders. However, there is no way to read the instructions in Leviticus 18 as being anything other than instructions to men specifically, as it is mostly a list of women whom a man is not to take. As this and repetitions thereof are the core of OT sexual morality, it seems perfectly clear to me that it is concerned almost entirely with restraining male sexual activity. A simple understanding of the nature of male sexuality can tell us why this is - because it is the male alone whose natural sexual instincts bid him to be a predator, and thus the male sexuality alone is important to address with these instructions.
Ah, okay. I know there are some Jewish writings not in our Old Testament, so I was curious.
We could get into a whole debate about why you don't believe the New Testament based on the prophesies of the Old Testament, but we'll reserve that for another thread. :)
Anyway, since you believe that the OT does not forbid lesbianism, does that mean lesbianism is okay from a Jewish standpoint? I thought Jews looked at that as an overall principle and believed that what the OT says about homosexuality applied to both male and female.
I was quoting another poster.
I'm not going to venture whether lesbianism is "okay" or not. I don't think it is; I think it mostly harmless, yet wasteful and trivial, but I can't point to a scripturally certain reference to back that up. With men, there simply cannot be any mistake about it.
I am making this point to emphasize that male homosexuality is a serious physical danger to the participants and the community in which they live, something that cannot be said of females. When we deal with the LGBT crowd it is essential that we keep in mind our interest and the reasons why. We should not let ourselves be distracted with the issue of lesbianism because that issue is completely unimportant when compared with the clear and present danger of male homosexuals. Women and men are different in important ways, and in sexuality especially; we should not fall victim to the unspoken-but-generally-accepted feminist rule of having to have equivalent rules for the two sexes.
The point is not to have their own religion. The point is to define deviancy downward.