Skip to comments.In defense of Catholic teaching on homosexuality
Posted on 02/12/2008 5:29:53 PM PST by Zender500
In concluding her Jan. 30 column about homosexuality and the Catholic Church ("It's not a mortal sin to work for justice"), Mary Jean Smith writes: "The archbishop and others are wrong on this issue. I am not guilty of mortal sin. It is not a sin to love my daughter and work for justice on her behalf."
Here is what Archbishop John Nienstedt actually said:
"Those who actively encourage or promote homosexual acts or such activity within a homosexual lifestyle formally cooperate in a grave evil and, if they do so knowingly and willingly, are guilty of mortal sin," he wrote. "They have broken communion with the church and are prohibited from receiving Holy Communion until they have had a conversion of heart, expressed sorrow for their action and received sacramental absolution from a priest."
What Smith fails to see (or at least acknowledge) is that we can, we may and we must judge actions. It's not the person who is attracted to the same sex whom the church says is bad. The church, in fact, demands that all persons love and respect all other persons as reflections of God himself. It's the surrender to the impulse to act, sexually, on that attraction. That surrender is what the church judges to be wrong. We must love our children and others, but not the sins they commit. Any form of sexual action between two people of the same sex is inherently wrong. It obviates the purpose for which that faculty is intended, procreation.
The author finds "it strange that any reference to persons of homosexual orientation is always reduced to sexual acts." That's because it's not being attracted to the same sex that is wrong, but homosexual acts. The author's story touches the heart, truly. However, it would be no less touching to hear of a son or daughter who had some other condition. The affliction does not justify taking actions that are inherently wrong. At the same time, we (everyone who responds to Christ's call to love and respect all people) are saddened at the injustice and persecution of people, particularly children, who have same-sex attraction. It is not easy to tell them that they must remain chaste, but as Nienstedt said in a further article:
"As a priest and bishop, I have the responsibility before God and in the name of Jesus Christ to call all men and women to conversion, the first step of which is recognizing sinful activity for what it is. Sometimes that is not a comfortable thing to do, but it is always the compassionate thing to do."
Smith has her facts wrong about priests. Only a very small percentage of Catholic priests, about 4 percent, abused children. And 80 percent to 90 percent of the priestly abuse attacks of minors were committed by priests (males) on post-pubescent males. See the report from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice titled "The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States."
There are good priests, of course, who are afflicted with same-sex attraction, probably some of the most caring and concerned. The vast majority do not give in to the desire for sex with another male, let alone a minor.
Nienstedt, in admonishing those who advocate and condone homosexual activity, either for their children or others, does not act on his authority alone. He is conveying the teaching of the church's magisterium, its teaching authority, as that teaching has existed since the church's inception. We are thankful for him and his insight into and readiness to take on those who, while calling themselves Catholic, misrepresent this important teaching of the church.
Sure? I thought I read that "lust in the heart" is sinful.
I hope the stance is similar for incest and pedophilia, and what about animals.
There needs to be a complete change of heart, and the Holy Spirit is up to the task. Religion won't change a man's heart.
“Sure? I thought I read that “lust in the heart” is sinful.”
I think it depends on how far you take it. Being tempted with anything is not a sin. For example Jesus was tempted by Satan. He rebuked the temptation and was therefor sinless.
Following up on the temptation, such as imagining yourself committing what has tempted you, is a sin.
That's a pretty fine gray line. What sort of temptation is NOT accompanied by the thought of "what if"? And who has so little imagination that they wouldn't ponder something of the choice to do, or not to do, the tempted thing.
It's hard to call it temptation if it's not attractive enough to cause one to have to make a decision.
So I guess I'd cut someone slack for imagining the act, and only denounce them for doing the act. What of starting to do it and then stopping? That too shows weakness but then courage, maybe even requiring more than not starting in the first place. Maybe...
I know 4 percent is a small percentage, but it is still much too large for comfort.
You are correct.
When Jesus was giving His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, he said that if a man looks on a woman with lust he has committed adultery. If we hate somebody we’ve committed murder.
Jeremiah 17:9 says “the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can undersand it?” The desires of our heart are evil. And naturally inclined towards evil.
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The struggle -- they know it's a sin in the eyes of the Catholic Church so they continue to try to get the Church to accept them on their terms. That will NOT happen ever so they may as well go off and join another Church --> like the Episcopalians or the Methodists who both accept homosexuals openly.
I have long suspected that one of the reasons some supposedly Catholic parents are so non-judgmental or even celebratory about their children’s intimate activities is because the parents themselves want a pass on their own sexual incontinences, multiple marriages, contraception and abortion. Rather than risk being branded hypocrites for their faults and having to admit that they were wrong and regret their error, it is easier to pretend that there is no sin.
That's a very different thing. That was an external tempter. The "lust in the heart" kind of temptation is from, shall we say, our inner devil, or original sin; which Jesus did not have. And he specifically said that it wasn't what comes from without, but what is within us, that makes all the trouble. (He was referring to food but one could extrapolate to other things.) Disclaimer: I'm not a theologian. :)
“The video proves the cop committed the action beyond a reasonable doubt. “
IMO it doesn’t really matter as none of us are without sin. The point of the article is that someone condoning sin and making excuses for sin is different than someone who has turned away from the sin and is seeking to be with God.
The former is an example of being apart from God, of setting your personal rules above Gods law. The latter is an example of someone subordinating themselves to Gods law.
Disclaimer, I’m not catholic or a theologian. This issue captures my interest as several protestant denominations have a similar problem and its nice to see someone make a stand.
“Lust in the heart” is not the feeling of attraction, but the inward consent to a sin. “I would do it if I dared,” or “Hmm, wonder if I can get her drunk...” are examples of “lust in the heart.” Merely experiencing the attractiveness of a man or woman is not “lust.”
Whoops, just noticed my cut-n-paste was from another thread. Hopefully you get my meaning.
But the modern psychology, of course contradictory to the Word of God, is to separate being a homosexual from committing homosexual acts. Or, separating being “same-sex oriented” from the acts of sex with someone of the same sex. It is the “orientation” or the lust that leads to the act.
I have seen many reports now of parents defending their children for being “same-sex oriented” somehow, while saying that they would discourage the acts. Such parents are just setting their children up for the entire death style of sodomy.
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