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."
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.
So your issue is with physical ramifications, not spiritual ones. That would make a difference.
"The Catholic Church's rules on premarital sex applies to everyone not just gays. I wish they would quite acting like the rules only apply to THEM. All single men and women have the same rules in the eyes of the Church."
Yes it does apply to all premarital sex. The Church is also firm on birth control, abortion, adultery, and even divorce in most cases. Catholic and practicing homosexual are two words who don't belong in the same sentence. If you are gay, and not repentant, you are not a practicing Catholic! That's all there is to it.
I am noting that the physical ramifications are so significant that they merit special mention in the Bible. I won't disagree that there are spiritual ramifications to female homosexuality, but they are more akin to alcoholism than to male homosexuality.
This is demonstrably not true. The odds of a man getting HIV from an infected woman are something on the order of 500-1 per encounter. The odds of a man getting it from an infected man are closer to 3-1. The odds of a woman getting it from an infected man are about 50-1.
AiDS may have began with homosexuals, but no longer is it the only way to get it.
I never said it was the only way to get AIDS. However, there is no "better" way to spread it than through male homosexuality, not by several orders of magnitude.
If God is all-powerful, he could have made a disease that ONLY affected people who engaged in the behavior proscribed by 'law.' AIDS does not discriminate, it is easier for women to get than for men in normal male-female intercourse, but all that means is that a bisexual or drug using man can get it.
Secondly, the majority of the world's AIDS cases are heterosexuals. I guess Ryan White got what was coming to him, eh?
People like you are sick. God comes up with AIDS but let's His Chosen People be sent to death camps, let's Communism slaughter millions---but a man shoves his penis in another man's orifice and THATS what he'll get involved with!
Truly moronic and immoral.
We need to enforce the sodomy laws that are still on the books. To the extent that we need tougher legislation, then we can and should introduce some good proposals with real teeth in them. I don't care whether a "sacred" or "secular/civil" ruler is in command as an agent of enforcement, but we need to execute justice and enforce the laws. It is high time to make sure that our Civilization is on the correct path. A major enemy that has arisen in the West is liberal Political Correctness, its varying forms, and any progress it has made in the Twentieth Century. If "PC" can be swept aside, legally, then we're "good to go" to put Civilization back on a solid foundation. Right now, there are definite cracks in the very foundation of our Great Civilization, and it is in need of some major repairs.
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil" (Romans 13:1-4).
This is an interesting sermon I dug up. I personally tend to favor tougher government in some cases, and more freedom and and burden on individual responsibility in other cases. For example, I am firmly convinced that we are in a Just War against OBL, AQ, etc al. and the Government must "bear the sord" of wrath to bring justice to that situation. Same deal with other abominations. Interesting read, regardless:
There are all kinds of Mosaic Laws, some of them absurd. I'd even go so far as to say that the commandment "do not seethe the calf in it's mother's milk" is LITERAL and doesn't mean don't eat meat and cheese.
When I went to Hebrew school, I think there were 613 commandments. Some are ridiculous(like going into a store without intending on at least POTENTIALLY buying something.)
Like with any religion, people have chosen to obey or disobey different aspects as time has marched on. If they were the "law" before, Jesus would not have overturned the whole stoning thing. But then I've read that by the time Jesus was around, people were no longer stoned on anything resembling a regular basis.
If you look at the transmission statistics, you'll see that HIV does in fact discriminate, and quite heavily. The risk of infection for monogamous couples is effectively zero. Furthermore even if there are more HIV infections among heterosexuals than among homosexuals, one has to factor in that a full half of infections are among male homosexuals - less than a percent of the overall population, which gives them an infection rate of about 100 times that of a heterosexual. Doesn't that qualify as discrimination?
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