Has the DSM really been changed to make pedophilia a “sexual orientation”?

Has the DSM really been changed to make pedophilia a “sexual orientation”? October 30, 2013

It would appear not, according to Greg Popcak.  For which, I am grateful.

The distinction the DSM appears to make is between those who feel the temptation and those who act on it.  As Catholics, we need to be aware such a distinction ourselves since the mere fact of a disordered desire does not mean a sin has been committed.  At the same time, of course, those who struggle with such temptations should be helped, prayed for–and kept from temptation whenever possible.  I mention this because at least one site that I saw discussing this distinction of the DSM was full of people calling for the indiscriminate castration of anybody struggling with this particular form of concupiscence.

Our culture, having lost the capacity to talk about temptation, sin and mercy, still has to deal with the reality of these things.  Typically what we do is make excuses for sin until we strain reason past the breaking point, then we select certain sins that are “unforgiveable” (to show we are deeply moral people) and visit merciless judgment on those who are so much as tempted by them. (A website I saw discussing the DSM had lots of combox comments calling for the castration and murder of anybody so much as tempted by pedophilia.) The selected forms of unforgivable concupiscence and sin can vary from one subculture to the next, but the point is that they are “unforgivable”.  Meanwhile, the Catholic tradition presents us, right from that start, with a Savior for whom there is literally no sin in the world that cannot be forgiven–except of course the sins of those who wilfully and finally refuse the gift of forgiveness (which is what “blaspheming the Holy Spirit” really means).  He very deliberately associates himself with just about everybody that first century Jewish culture greeted with, “Ewwwww!” whether they were ritually defiled (lepers) or morally defiled (tax collectors and prostitutes).  His point (good news for us) is that there is nobody beyond the reach of God’s grace.  His point (bad news for our dreams of comfiness) is that people with the most disgusting sins and temptations can never be written off as “unforgivable”.

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