Deacon Greg: The Church Teaches That Sex Belongs in Marriage

Deacon Greg: The Church Teaches That Sex Belongs in Marriage December 30, 2013
My hero, Deacon Greg

Whenever I describe my colleagues here at the Patheos Catholic Portal to friends, I usually end by saying, “I don’t know what I’m doing with them.”

Patheos’ Catholic bloggers are — present company excepted — awesomely talented writers with scholarly and literary credentials coming out their ears. They are also people of deep faith with a nuanced knowledge of the Church.

My descriptions of this group always include a star-struck recitation of Deacon Greg Kandra’s resume as a journalist. I usually quote what I think is one of his best lines: I used to work for Katie Couric, now I work for God.

It was great fun to watch the Catholic News Service video below in which Deacon Greg explains Church teaching on sexuality, specifically as it pertains to homosexual sexuality. As usual, he nails it.

Here’s Deacon Greg, video star:


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40 responses to “Deacon Greg: The Church Teaches That Sex Belongs in Marriage”

  1. It is not enough to say that you accept gays but they must be chaste. Why must they be chaste? Why can’t they marry and have sex like straight couples? This Church policy is wrong.

  2. Wow, moderated comments? Probably never going to posting here again, I have no respect for those who would censor critics. But I would love to be pleasantly surprised. Just how afraid can you be of a contrary opinion if you’re in possession of the One True faith, right?

    Your move.

  3. I’m going to let this through, since you are new here. Being a jerk is not really a good start to joining our discussions on this blog.

    You are welcome to state your viewpoint. However, church-bashing and Christian bashing will probably get you deleted, as will attacking any of the other people here. You can disagree with the Church, lots of people here do. But you’ll have to learn to express yourself without spite and malice while you do it.

    We have friendly discussions on Public Catholic that ramble around to lots of topics and let people have their say without fear of being mocked, reviled, attacked or belittled. I’ll delete anything that I think would harm that kind of collegial atmosphere.

    I’m going to delete your second comment for the above reasons.

    Read the blog guidelines and decide for yourself if you can live within them. If not, adieu.

  4. “Why must they be chaste?”

    Because homosexual acts, in and of themselves, are dangerous to the people participating in them, and it is possible to live without them.

    “Why can’t they marry and have sex like straight couples?”

    Because they are biologically incapable of having “sex like straight couples”- they don’t have the equipment.

  5. Because homosexual acts, in and of themselves, are dangerous to the people participating in them, and it is possible to live without them.

    Citation please. Homosexual acts, in and of themselves, are no more dangerous than heterosexual acts.

  6. Deacon Greg is doing what he believes is true and that is the Catholic Churches views on homosexuals and marriage. How is that contrary? I would expect nothing less from him.

  7. The fact of the matter is that Deacon Kandra is reiterating unchanging Church teaching, and he’s doing it charitably. The strident and UNcharitable remarks by those who don’t believe what the Church teaches is telling. And if one doesn’t believe in the basic tenets of a faith community, one owes it to oneself to a) educate themselves and sincerely explore the possibility that they are mistaken OR b) find a religion they DO believe in. And the second option is becoming easier and easier to do as more “churches” become the lackeys of a secular and expedient society.

  8. I understand the thinking behind ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’. I love my daughter dearly, but I hate the times when she backchats, or when she doesn’t clean up after herself.

    The thing is, homosexuality is different. It’s not just something you do (the specific sexual act). It’s how you think, who you love, what you are. You cannot separate the sin from the sinner, because the ‘sin’ is part of the ‘sinner’s’ identity. You can say you love them as people, but you are denying an essential part of who they are.

  9. The Church does not teach that being a homosexual is a sin. It also does not teach that being tempted to homosexual acts is sinful. It is only the act itself that is sinful.

  10. Basically, the Catholic Church opposes non-reproductive sex. Period. Unless it changes this position, it will oppose abortion, contraception, homosexuality and masturbation. There can be no mutually acceptable resolution to this dispute. Public sentiment will tend more and more away from the Church’s position. People who become disillusioned with sex will become Catholic and people who become disillusioned with Catholicism will leave or just ignore their religion. It will probably all even out in the end.

  11. “Because homosexual acts, in and of themselves, are dangerous to the people participating in them, and it is possible to live without them.”

    So your answer is “because I’m ignorant”. Interesting.

  12. Mike put it indelicately, but basically, he considers supporting basic civil rights for homosexuals while reserving extended privileges for heterosexuals to be bigoted.

  13. Hahahaha- You meant “While charity is for everyone, I meant CHASTITY is for everyone!”

    I’m sure Bill S wouldn’t even consider cheating on his spouse, even though according to him that is no longer a sin.

  14. I think if you run a blog, you have the right to do pretty much whatever you want with it, including editing comments. If posters don’t like that, then can post elsewhere, or start their own blog and apply their own rules (but most people won’t, running a blog is much harder work than just posting on other people’s). There are other bloggers here on Patheos (and in other blogging forums), from various philosophies/ faith channels that are quite explicit about the fact that it is ‘their house, their rules’ no matter how arbitrary or capricious those rules are. I see nothing wrong with that.

  15. So you continue to say, Theodore. However, I found it pleasurable and a wonderful way to show love between my husband and myself. Continually trying to have child isn’t the ONLY reason for making whoopie!

  16. And nor does the Church say it is. Sexual companionship between husband and wife is perfectly legitimate, even where no issue is possible. What is wrong is making it impossible where it is possible.

  17. “while reserving extended privileges for heterosexuals”

    Yes. That is unfair. I see his point.

  18. Ken,

    What I mean is disillusioned with sex for its own sake. I could see people, say, with a sex addiction, or in a bad sexual relationship, or into prostitution becoming what you might call “disillusioned”. I didn’t mean someone in a solid partnership just getting bored with it.

  19. Ted and I converse on his website continuously. He is actually quite entertaining. I sometimes wonder what would happen to him if you ever became one of his readers. It’s a scary thought.

  20. That, to me, is the sticky point, Fabio—one is not allowed in the Church’s view to prevent (by artificial means) the possibility of conception. The Church points out the unity of a couple being expressed by the sexual union, BUT also says you should allow yourself to become pregnant even if you don’t want another child or even want a child to begin with. IOW, I guess, sex for pleasure isn’t OK without allowing for a pregnancy.

  21. You won’t get that from Bill. Such statements are ones of morality, and morality doesn’t exist for Bill.

    Edit- answering Bill’s question below because it hasn’t made it out of moderation and may not, but the essence of it is important.

    The special thing about Catholic morality for me, the one sentence that brought me back out of atheism and Buddhism, the one thing that makes Catholicism absolutely unique among all the world’s religions, can be found explicitly in the first two sections of the English translation of the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate.

    Hints of it can be found before, it’s the reason St Irenaeus used the greek word Katholikos to describe his flock ~1900 years ago, it may even be explicitly written out elsewhere in more ancient languages, but the whole idea of following Truth even when it leads us to paradoxes, even when it leads us to messy solutions, is *extremely* important, and exists in no other system of thought that human beings have come up with. Even science excludes some forms of empirical data, but Catholicism does not.

  22. I’m close enough to 70 to certainly not want to be a Sarah either! In fact after 30 was fine with no more kids—had had my 2.

  23. “I’m still waiting for a clear statement of what interest the community has in marriage of any kind and how same-sex couples fit into that interest.”

    That is a meaningless question. People have the right to marry and that right is not contingent on the marriage serving anyone else’s interests. Our government can take away what we think are rights if those rights conflict with public interests. Those against gay marriage think that is the case, that gays’ rights to marry conflict with public interests such as maintaining the definition of marriage so that traditional marriage is not impacted. The people or lawmakers of 13 states haven’t seen this as enough of a problem. Nor has the Supreme Court.

  24. I just don’t see anything so special about Catholic morality. It’s not everything it is cracked up to be. We all have our own relativistic morals that seem to work in most situations.

  25. This also brings up another central issue: Do you exist for your own personal pursuits or do you live for God? “had had my 2” is demonstrative of a mentality that says, “More is inconvenient for ME.”

    It shows a me, myself and I mentality. We don’t exist for me, myself, and I. I personally don’t want more than the 4 kids I have, but it isn’t up to me. If God wants me to have more then it is His will, not mine, that is to be done. If I wish to space out my kids for economic reasons, there is NFP, which is as effective as any pill, yet leaves His will open as a possibility.

  26. In its “Decree on Priestly Training” the Second Vatican Council declares that celibacy is “a precious gift” and that future priests “are to be warned of the dangers that threaten their chastity especially in present-day society.” The Council further states in the Decree on the “Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life” that “candidates should neither present themselves for nor be admitted to the vow of chastity, unless they have been previously tested sufficiently and have been shown to possess the required psychological and emotional maturity,” because their aspirations impinge upon “the deepest inclinations of human nature” If the Church views indefectible continence as so formidable for prospective priests and nuns, gay women and men might
    well ask why it is mandated for their lives in such wholesale fashion.

  27. In its “Decree on Priestly Training” the Second Vatican Council declares that celibacy is “a precious gift” and that future priests “are to be warned of the dangers that threaten their chastity especially in present-day society.” The Council further states in “Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life” “candidates should neither present themselves for nor be admitted to the vow of chastity, unless they have been previously tested sufficiently and have been shown to possess the required psychological and emotional maturity,” because their aspirations impinge on “the deepest inclinations of human nature.” If the Church views indefectible
    continence as so formidable for priests and nuns, gay women and men might well ask why it is mandated for their lives in such wholesale fashion. It’s as though Rome thinks it is the least they can do for being a deviation, wounded, broken, “objectively disordered.”

  28. Wrong-o! Check the statistic on the rise of mouth cancers. Just today the BBC had a story about mouth cancers now being the sixth most common cancer in Britain, The journalist went on to say that the rise is due to increasing rates of human papilloma virus…. and then shut up. Of course, it would never have done to say that HPV is connected with the sexual organs and spreads through oral-vaginal sex.