"Catholics increasingly are reaching out to the LGBT community…" — UPDATED

A retired Brooklyn auxiliary bishop, Joseph Sullivan, is offering his perspective on how Catholics view gays and lesbians — and suggests it may be evolving.

From the Buffalo News:

One need only flip through some of today’s cable news channels to witness how some of our society’s most sensitive public policy matters are overly simplified in black-and-white terms, in which only the most strident voices seem to get heard. Of those many hotly debated issues, the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community continue to make headlines.

What you would probably be surprised to learn is that Catholics are among those who increasingly are reaching out pastorally to the LGBT community. A recent study released by the Public Religion Research Institute found that a majority of Catholics believe that job discrimination against gay and lesbian people should be outlawed. By almost 2 to 1, Catholics believe that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to adopt children.

The views of Catholics about the LGBT community have been evolving for years. Catholic teachings compel us to work toward the elimination of unjust structures and to treat people with dignity, regardless of their state in life or their beliefs. My own understanding of this community has also evolved over the course of four decades of ministry.

Given that Catholics represent approximately one-quarter of the U. S. population, the changing attitudes of Catholics toward greater degrees of LGBT equality most likely will be a significant influence in the public square. Across the country there are increasing numbers of parishes that welcome LGBT parishioners and their families to active participation in the church. Catholic colleges and universities are in dialogue with their LGBT students, and Catholic retreat houses provide retreats specifically for LGBT Catholics.

Catholics and other religious people who support LGBT rights do so because of their experience of engagement with members of the LGBT community.

Read the rest.

UPDATE: Fr. James Martin provides some interesting context for Bishop Sullivan’s piece.

Comments

  1. Views evolving over the years…? Perhaps more like caving under the relentless campaign to normalize homosexual flagrancy.

  2. The LGBT radicals have been so strident and hateful that I fear allowing formal groups into parishes, which is very recently happening in mine. I worry that they will try to push an agenda that is not Catholic.

  3. momor: Rather be assured that they will do precisely that. One can not advocate the adoption of children by homosexual “couples” and remain within the teachings of the Church. If we really want to work against “structures of sin” and injustices, then we need to oppose that single instance as a flagrant disregard for the human dignity of children and advancing acceptance to a “lifestyle” that if not repented will destroy the souls of those practicing it.

  4. Holly Hansen says:

    Thanks for posting this Deacon Greg. The lack of love on this issue is perplexing. I’m either a Catholic with questions or a questionable Catholic.

  5. Holly, it depends on how you define love and Who is the model. Please don’t confuse love with tolerance of sin. Sometimes it is just the opposite.

  6. A big cliche, but it is true: Love the sinner but hate the sin. There is always inclusion for all in the Church, but for all of us there are two requirements: faith and repentance. The first is to trust in God’s promises and commandments. The second is to come to Christ in repentance, changing our lives to conform to his will. True love requires a response on our part, and that response is to change our lives according to the light given to us in the doctrines of the Church. Love your neighbor as your self, which means we need to love the neighbor enough to want his soul to be saved. We may struggle with our sins but we must never try to make the sin good and transform all around us to fit our sinful behavior. I am a sinner, unloving and hypocritical perhaps, but will never try to get the Church to accept my sin, my hypocrisy and my unloving behavior as normal.

  7. Ryan Ellis says:

    Catholic moral teaching doesn’t “evolve,” and Jadot appointees (or their ilk) don’t speak for the Magisterium.

  8. diakonos09 says:

    I hesitated to write this but justice and charity urge me on. I live, work and minister in a California archdiocese that has perhaps the largest visible and vocal homosexual community in the nation. This has its negative and positive points.

    Negatively, the visible vocal outrageous and even at times blasphemous minority (yes, minority even though the media make them seem the majority) are present and “in your face” often. And our city provides them with kudos and public hurrahs. Sad.

    Positively, this abnormally large gay population allows someone like me to get to know the real men and women as neighbors and coworkers for years. What have I learned? Many things including the fact that the obnoxious gays are the vocal minority while most I have worked with professionally just want to live and let live. Most I know are in stable long-term relationships. The media paints a very different picture, but then the media also paints a false image when it comes to pro-life activists, doesn’t it? A million can congregate for a right-to-life rally and they get little to no media coverage. 100 show up for a anti-life Planned Parenthood rally and our media puts them front and center. Uggh.

    My point is that we need to avoid gross generalizations here as we do in other populations. We need to realize that unconditional love and social acceptance of them as persons does not mean accepting their sexuality as alternatively “normal”. We also need to stop assuming every homosexual is active and everyone who is kindly towards them is a traitor to the faith. Do “staunch Catholics” who seem to condemn gays left and right in this and other blogs realize that personal judgment belongs to God who alone sees the heart and that rash human judgment is a sin just like homosexual activity? One can indeed “love the sinner and hate the sin” without making the sinner seem like a leper.

    A deacon in ministry in such an archdiocese as ours one must ask himself: how can I serve the Gospel in regards to these persons? How can I image Christ the Servant to them? Often this must be simply a ministry of presence and attitude as a sort of pre-evangelization. Trust me brothers, it is not an easy task because one gets flack from both sides. Can anyone honestly look Christ in the eyes and say that these people do not deserve our love, our respect for their humanity and their right and need to hear the Gospel?

  9. justamouse says:

    thank you Diakonos09. I’m a new revert, and have a gay couple two houses down. I adore them, they are lovely people and I’ve been worried about my new religious views affecting our relationship. They are despised by so many other churches, I don’t want to be another representative of that experience.

  10. Diakonos09 said: “that the obnoxious gays are the vocal minority.”

    I offer a correction – this is true for all humanity if you ask me. Just look at the uncharitable nature of the comment thread.

    God have mercy, God made us all, loves each and one of us equally, God delights in God’s creation. Even when we are hateful towards one another.

    God does not love anyone more because they are pious, follow every rule and then lord it over others.

    I do object to the well-intended love the sinner and hate the sin idea. Hate nothing – love all and transform lives by living the Gospel. Diakonos09 – it sounds like that is exactly what you are doing, so keep at it with love, mercy and grace.

  11. Hate is a word used in the bible to indicate rejection and strong disapproval (as Jesus commands us to hate our father, and mother, etc., in order to follow him).

    Love does not include acting in opposition to God’s will and to the Church doctrine. It does not include acceptance of behavior that is seriously disordered and gravely sinful.

    The Gospel message includes “repent and believe”. And as Paul states “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. Transformation includes renouncing our sinful behavior.

    Homosexuals can be great Catholics, but they as all of us, must renounce sin and convert. Love is granted to all, but not to all is granted participation in the Kingdom of God. Acceptance of active homosexuality in the form of sexual relationship and so called “marriage” and unions, goes against the spirit of love. To truly love is to oppose the sinful behavior.

  12. I just re-read the article and I note that nothing in it indicates if part of the acceptance involves an acceptance of couples or not. It only refers to individuals and their family.

    That’s the unknown that I fear – what the purpose of the support group will be. If it is to offer the support of community to help the LGBT members try to live a chaste life then I am all for it. If the purpose is to encourage the community to support “couples” openly attending Mass and Communion instead of seeing it as scandal, then I am against it.

  13. Irish Spectre says:

    …ho hum, just another in a big crowd of bishops who either don’t really believe in Church teaching, and/or whose priority is on acceptance by polite society so much so that he’s willing to add to Catholics’ and others’ confusion in order to make himself look hip.

    Perhaps the good bishop would be surpried to learn that it was years ago when a Catholic saint, Mother Teresa, opened the world’s first AIDS hospice. In her radical charity and love, she chose to see Jesus in the distressing disguise of AIDS patients; one can only wonder how many souls she saved in the process. The bishop’s tacit accommodation of disordered sex is not so charitable.

  14. pagansister says:

    That is one of the best news items I’ve heard from the RC community in a very, very long time. Love is what it is, no matter what combination of consenting adults they may be. Discrimination and condemnation of those couples has always been wrong—no matter who does it—the secular community or religious communities. Good news indeed. I do wonder however, if the Church will stop telling them that their sexual lives is still “sinful”? Loving relations between adults is never wrong, IMO.

  15. Dev Thakur says:

    If you are a Catholic and you want to respect the right to “gay marriage” or the morality of homosexual sex you are showing a lack of love towards people who have homosexual inclinations.

    You are saying “my need to be modern, my need to be liked, my need to not be criticized, my need to feel comfortable, my need not to be inconvenienced, my desire not to challenge you” are all more important than your eternal soul.

    If you really love people in the self-identified “LGBT community,” then don’t you think they deserve the full Gospel too? Not a baby Gospel, or a modified one, but the whole thing: abandon everything, even yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Him!

  16. “Loving relationships between adults are never wrong” So how about adultery, cheating, multiple partners, aids carrying adults, etc. Are these all OK because there is a feeling of love?

  17. pagansister,

    i don’t have to wonder if God will say that their sexual lives are still ” sinful ”. God is the same yesterday , today and tomorrow. His word never changes and HE says it nicely thru PAUL in ROMANS 1 : 18-32. , especially in verse 22 where people claiming to be wise in their own eyes are actually fools and simpletons. IMO , you are approving and applauding these ” sinful ” practices.

  18. naturgesetz says:

    In 1986 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a

    Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons.
    It’s available at the Vatican website.
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html

    And the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops published “Always Our Children” to guide the parents of homosexuals.
    http://www.usccb.org/laity/always.shtml

    I think both are “must reading” for anyone who wants to have an opinion about how the Church should deal with homosexuals.

  19. naturgesetz says:

    Here are some excerpts from “Always Our Children.”

    “God does not love someone any less simply because he or she is homosexual. God’s love is always and everywhere offered to those who are open to receiving it. …

    To our homosexual brothers and sisters we offer a concluding word. … Though at times you may feel discouraged, hurt, or angry, do not walk away from your families, from the Christian community, from all those who love you. In you God’s love is revealed. You are always our children.” — “Always Our Children”, passim.

    I tried to give more, but the stupid website thinks it’s “sp*mmy” if I do. he above is my third attempt to get what our bishops say past the patheos censors. Maybe they’ll let me put other quotes up later.

  20. naturgesetz says:

    The bishops also say, “Welcome homosexual persons into the faith community, and seek out those on the margins. Avoid stereotyping and condemning.” There’s a lot more, but the insane filter won’t let me post it. Read the letter. You’ll see that it does not deny the moral teaching of the Church even while it calls on us to be as open to homosexuals as to those who sin in any way.

    Rudy made the point that he sins. So do all of us. The Church does not kick us out until we stop sinning. IMO it would be unchristian of us either to assume that all homosexuals engage in sexual activity or to insist that they, unlike the rest of us, are unwelcome until they stop sinning.

  21. naturgesetz says:

    And now here’s a little bit of what the CDF says.
    The characteristic concern and good will exhibited by many clergy and religious in their pastoral care for homosexual persons is admirable, and, we hope, will not diminish. Such devoted ministers should have the confidence that they are faithfully following the will of the Lord by encouraging the homosexual person to lead a chaste life and by affirming that person’s God-given dignity and worth.
    In a particular way, we would ask the Bishops to support, with the means at their disposal, the development of appropriate forms of pastoral care for homosexual persons.

  22. pagansister says:

    Rudy: I really don’t have to explain my sentence, but since you managed to assume I feel adultry is OK plus all those EXCEPTIONS you decided to bring up—No, of course i don’t feel the things you brought up are fine. My statement was in relation to consenting adults who are committed to each other. That would be homosexual adults as well as heterosexual adults IMO.

    Jireh: I approve of committed, consenting adults doing what they wish to express their love for each other. If that is sinful, so be it. Some is perhaps sexual, some is not.

  23. Pagansister: I did not assume it was OK for you, but you made a sweeping statement. But if you make difference between consenting adults who are not married to each other, it is not logical. Either we have complete freedom or we don’t. And if we don’t that means that there are limits to what we can do as adults, or humans in general.

    As for “so be it” well, Milton said it better : “Non serviam”.

    I do not assume anything about you personally, you may be the most moral person in the world. But sweeping statements for that nature are not logical or reasonable.

    Peace.

  24. “2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures.

    I

  25. 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

  26. Pagansister — I agree wholeheartedly with you.

  27. pagansister says:

    Rudy, yes it was a sweeping statement, in my mind the things you mentioned were not included as OK, like I said above, but didn’t write it obviously.

    To many religions, sexual relations before marriage is wrong, including the RCC. However, many couples, including many Catholic ones do not subscribe to that. I’ve known several Catholic couples who married in the Church but were living together before they married—one couple had their 2 year old daughter in the wedding. They married in one of the largest Cathoic churches in the city—so obviously the priest wasn’t having a problem with the obvious—kid before marriage. Right or wrong in the eyes of the Church, some priests will marry those couples. I also know of a priest who wouldn’t marry a Catholic couple because they had been living together—so they just left the church and married in another one, not Catholic. Life goes on—-and there will be co-habitation still and marriage still—the message of the Church probably won’t change but then I doubt if couples will either.

    As to same gender couples wanting to marry—why not? Many of those couples stay together longer than many heterosexual couples—even Catholic. Just because they can’t fulfill the makeing kids requirement(from the RCC) is no reason to not allow it, IMO—-but that is indeed just my opinion and most certainly not the RCC’s . However there are many churches who do find no problem with allowing committed same gender couples to marry. It should be an equal right, just like the civil rights movement was for blacks and those of color. Of course churches are not required to marry same gender couples, nor should they have to.

    If I understand correctly, science is finding that homosexuality is the way you’re born—not a “choice” as some would like to claim. Many still think that is impossible—and using the Bible as their reasoning—just plain wrong. Obviously not having been there—I expect there was homosexuality before the Bible was even thought of. It’s part of life. At one point, beating your child was fine, according to the Bible, and wearing clothes of mixed fabrics was wrong (or something like that), eating shellfish was wrong, eating pork was wrong (yes OT rules), but things do not have to be the same just because it is written in those pages (with many translations over many years).

    Tradition will work for some, and for some it won’t. Tradition is not always something to continue.

  28. Rudy, if you are trying to reason with Pagan (or Frank) I would suggest you stop wasting your precious time. She likes to be a flame thrower and incite trouble while spouting absurd opinions always contrary to any moral or natural law. The comments in #14 above are too dumb to even warrant a comment.

  29. pagansister says:

    Thanks, Frank.

    Rudy, I have a question. Since the Catholic church is reaching out to the LGBT community—is that acceptance contingent on whether they decide to NOT show their love for each other physically or not? Since the Church thinks physical love is wrong for same gender couples, I’d wonder IF I was a lesbian (and I’m not) I might wonder whether I’d have to give up “loving ” my partner just to be accepted in the Church. A question. If the answer was “be celibate” I’d head to an a church that accepted all of me.

  30. pagansister says:

    Incorrect, RomCath. No flames here. Only offering my opinion. Have a great evening. :o)

  31. pagansister,
    Let’s assume that homosexuals are born that way (I personally think some are born that way or become so in early childhood and others make choices). Being born a certain way does not excuse one from following God’s laws even if it is hard to go against nature. That is the nature of the human condition and original sin. We all have crosses to bear in our life and they come in all shapes and sizes.

    Many alcoholics and drug addicts are probably born with the genetic switch that gets flipped to full-on addict the first time they get high. There craving never goes away and they live a life-long struggle. Others work up to it. That in no way makes getting high an acceptable way to live just because it’s really, really hard not to get high. If you know about addiction you know that the drive to consume the favored substance can be every bit as powerful as the sex drive. Some things are never going to be right no matter how hard it is to avoid it.

  32. Pagansister:

    I don’t pretend to know all the answers. I just know that Catholic doctrine, tradition and morality, in light of what Christ himself declared, make sex between people of the same sex a mortal sin, a serious disorder and unacceptable in any instance. You can show love without having to perform a sexual act.

    The problem is not the Church accepting you, the problem is you accepting the Church. Or rather is not Jesus rejecting you, is you rejecting Jesus. (And here the “you” is generic not personal of course).

    Peace.

  33. The Catholic Church once had blacks sit in the rear of the church. The practice changed with the advent of Civil Rights.

    The Catholic Church justified slavery in the USA. The opinion changed after the Civil War.

    The Catholic Church condemned and publically damned persons who declared the sun, not the Earth, was the center of the known universe. The opinion changed when the science could no longer be ignored.

    I may not live long enough to see it, but the Church views on homosexuals will also change eventually. The shame is that in the meantime many good and loving people will feel the hurt of discrimination.

  34. Homosexuality can not be compared to race. It is an objective disorder and contradicts nature itself. It is not a shame to see the Church stand up for what it believes in any way.

    As for discrimination, any homosexual can come and seat right up in the front pew. Homosexuals are even priests. There is no discrimination, what there is is a failure to be transformed in repentance and love, yes love, love of Christ, strong enough to change your own disordered inclinations.

  35. Rudy –

    – hence our differences. I think race and sexual preferance ARE comparable — both are inherent at birth. The “objective disorder” argument will eventually change resulting in acceptance of all people born such.

    By the way, did I catch a hint that you assumed I am homosexual (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)? I have been married 41 years, three children, six grandchildren.

    As the years pass, I more and more accept people as they are. I’ll let God judge — after all, he created them, all of them, in His image. I can’t accept He will condemn those who love or condemn their actions of love. You may condemn, the Church may condemn, but not God, and surely not me.

  36. Deacon John M. Bresnahan says:

    It is sad how many people have been brainwashed by the overwhelmingly pro-homosexualist media–especially the entertainment media. The media, of course, is the creature of those “on stage,” “in the spotlight,” those who are performers.
    In the early Church, with much wisdom, Christians were warned about the immoral affect stage and theater could have on one’s ethics, values and soul.
    Now we let Hollywood , Broadway, and the Networks rule our morals , control our thinking, and set America’s moral tone on a steep downward spiral.
    It makes the early Christians look quite prophetic

  37. RomCath, I don’t think Pagansister has acted as a flame-thrower in this discussion, not at all. She is presenting an alternate viewpoint, true, but she is doing so in an entirely civil manner. No snideness or anger in her remarks, none that I can detect anyway.

    I happen to agree with much (if not all) of what Pagansister has posted on this thread. But even if I didn’t, I think I could respect the civility with which she’s participated in the discussion. Likewise, I respect the civility of those who express viewpoints on this blog with which I strongly disagree. I can reject the argument but still appreciate the decency of someone who makes his or her case without rancor and without resorting to nasty stereotypes. Plenty of folks here (most, actually) argue in a reasonable, considerate manner. Pagansister is one of those folks. May God bless her. She (like every other person here) is loved by God in a most dear way.

  38. pagansister says:

    Will try again. Apparently my post was considered “spammy”?

    So here goes:

    Steve (#37): Am not sure what I have done to deserve your kind words, but they are appreciated.

    Rudy (#32): I certainly know that you don’t have all the answers (and I certainly don’t either) but I thought I’d toss the question out anyway. I do know that you believe and follow the doctrines of the RCC. I respect that even as I disagree with some of it. Yes, you can show love without the sexual side of it, but that sexual side is also an important expression of love.

  39. Frank: No, I did not think you are homosexual. If you were that would represent no problem at all for me personally or as a Catholic. Actually none of my comments is directed to any one personally here or elsewhere.

    As for condemnation, most of us do our own condemnation our selves. You are right, God does not condemn, we pass the sentence ourselves when we reject his love and his will. Did I condemn you or anyone else, no. I do reject and object to the active and open flaunting of God’s commandments and the Church teaching and still think that active homosexuality is disordered and wrong.

    I am 50, married for 30 years with three children. And I was a flaming liberal in my reckless and sinful youth. I believe now that Dietrich Bonhoffer was right, there is cheap grace and then there is real grace. Cheap grace requires no sacrifice. Real grace requires lots of humility.

    Peace be with you, sincerely.

  40. Pagan sister: I actually like you (well, somewhat as this electronic and impersonal media permits). I’ve been reading your comments here for several months now. I also happen to like Roman Catholic with whom I agree doctrinally.

    I know you are sincere in your comments and you want the good for all. But, I can’t agree with most of what you say and seemingly believe. I think you have the decency and actual courage to not call your self a Roman Catholic. Thank you for that.

    Truly wishing you Good and Peace in the spirit of Saint Francis which is the Spirit of Christ.

  41. pagansister says:

    I’ve tried posting a couple more posts in the last 1/2 hour and have gotten the Spammy message which destroys the post!! This too may not be read!

    Try #4:

    Rudy #40: I too enjoy the give and take of this media & yes what I write I believe. I certainly know on this particular blog I will find much disagreement. However I learn here, adding to what I learned in my RC school teaching days. You carry on a civil discussion and show respect for those who post here. I attempt to behave myself too. Hope you are having a good evening. ( I also hope you get to read this! Am hitting the Submit space)

  42. pagansister says:

    momor #31: I have tried 4 times to respond to your post. One more time; Of course I change my response a little each time–the first rejected one was the best! :o)

    Guess my question to you would be since I expect you believe that God created everyone, why would he create a group of people that he would hand the burden of being condemned for loving a person of the same gender? That makes no sense to me. I don’t imagine you have an answer for that, but that thought has crossed my mind more than once. Homosexuality, IMO, is not a choice. Heterosexuality is not a choice. Folks are born who they are.

    Addiction has the possibility of being handled—most certainly not easy, but there is help for those that want to attempt to stop.

  43. Diakonos09 says:

    Ok I give up. SEVEN attempts to post and getting rejected as spam. Maybe its the holy Spirit telling me to shut up? :)

  44. pagansister says:

    #36 Deacon JMB: Personally I don’t consider myself “brainwashed” as a reason for having no problem with those that love a person of the same gender. I know 2 same gender couples—women—and in my association with them find them to be just like any other married couple. They aren’t “weird” or strange or odd—just 2 couples who work, play, eat, sleep and love like any other married couple. They are happy and that’s all anyone can wish for in this life. Even before meeting my friends, I saw no problem with homosexuality.

  45. “Guess my question to you would be since I expect you believe that God created everyone, why would he create a group of people that he would hand the burden of being condemned for loving a person of the same gender?”

    pagansister.
    Why is anyone born less than perfect? Why do bad things happen to good people? It is the result of original sin. Death and disease and disorder and evil entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned. It is our fallen human condition. We all have some cross we have to carry, but we also have access to grace to help us carry it.

    Sometimes people who have the heaviest burdens are those who come closest to God in their brokenness and humility and utter poverty of spirit. Depending on how one chooses to look at their burden, it’s not always such a bad thing. I could argue that those who have the heaviest cross to carry may be those who have it so good they don’t realize how much they NEED God. You know the saying about it being easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

    I think homosexuality is a disorder, an abnormal sexuality. I don’t think it is simply a less frequent form of sexuality but still in the normal range – a God-designed variation if you will. Therefore, I don’t believe that God makes people homosexual per se. I think it is a disorder that exists because we live in an imperfect world and we have imperfect minds and bodies. There are lots of things far worse than ssa that people have to live with, IMO.

    People can live with their ssa the same way an alcoholic lives with their addiction – by abstaining one day at a time with the help of God.

  46. Reaching out is great, loving the sinner is great, acknowledging the sin is important, preaching against the sin is necessary. If anyone thinks the Catholic Church is considering accepting gay marriage, you’re jumping to the wrong conclusion.

  47. Diakonos09 says:

    Regarding the viewpoint of disorder and unnaturality of function (i.e., biological theology of the body). It is taught that a disorder is an abnormality in standard human living. Biological theology has a foundation that we can know the “rightness” of bodilly function by examining the part or system and its use as God intended. In such light homosexuality “loses” on both accounts. Now consider a person who is born without (or who loses through misfortune) both arms and learns instead to use his feet and legs as if they were arms with hands (feeding, writing, etc). He is in a disordered condition because his body is missing normal parts (we call this disorder disability of course). His learned actions are unnatural for God did not create legs and feet to function as arms and hands. He has adapted best he could to his lot in life. How do we treat this person? How do we respond to his adaptation in disability? Something to think about in light of the present debate.

  48. diakonos09,
    interesting point you raise. Where I see the difference is the end to which the disabled person uses the adaptation. Using the feet to feed or dress oneself or perform work is a natural and necessary end and not sinful according to God’s law. Using the sex organs and sexual drive in a way they were not designed to be used is not a natural or necessary end and is sinful according to God’s law. No one has ever died because they couldn’t have sex. Not being able to feed yourself however….

  49. diakonos09 says:

    I find it very interesting – and revealing – that most readers cannot seem to separate the orientation from the activity. Added to this is the fact that the Catechism and the teachings of the Church DO separate the orientation from the action. Yet when one reads these posts the impression is given that there is a mass inability to think according to the mind of the Church, even by those who hold themselves up as warriors of Church teaching. There is no doubt how Jesus would treat homosexual person since we have his example in the Gospels: Jesus eats and socializes with “sinners”. If I was to follow the impression given by most posts here I would have to tell Jesus that he is very confused and needs to stop giving scandal and stop acting aganist Scriptural teaching by his actions of speaking with, eating with, and socializing with sinners. Oh wait….someone DID tell Jesus that…

  50. diakonos09,
    I don’t know if you are responding to my thoughts or not in # 49, but if you are you have misunderstood me. IMO, SSA is a disorder of normal sexuality (causation unknown) but in itself is not sinful anymore than any other biological disorder. People with SSA are worthy of love, support, etc. It is the homosexual activity that is sinful. I don’t think anyone on this thread has said or even implied otherwise.

    What has been implied is that if a person is born with ssa then God would not deny them the ability to live out the sexuality they were “given”. That is not what the Church teaches and that is the message I have been addressing.

    It’s possible I have misunderstood you as well. If so, please let me know.

  51. pagansister says:

    Deacon Kandra: Do you have anything to do with the Spam message? I’ve tried 4 times to respond to momor today alone. Last night I was shot down several times. This article so far is the only one that won’t let me respond—-Help?

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