Clarity in Catholic Tradition on the Morality of Homosexual Acts

Clarity in Catholic Tradition on the Morality of Homosexual Acts November 7, 2019
Crucifix
Crucifix (CC0 Josh Applegate on Unsplash)

Some people might be confused about church teaching on the morality of homosexual acts. We need charity towards persons with such tendencies but we also need to note that certain behaviors are immoral.

The National Catholic Register published this piece where I go over the Catholic teaching on homosexuality from tradition:

Recently, a citation from Walter Wink has been quoted with approval by two well-known Catholic priests, Franciscan Father Richard Rohr and Jesuit Father James Martin. This is problematic as this quotation argues that homosexual behavior is morally acceptable, that the Bible is wrong, and that the Church should no longer call it immoral. We need to love people who struggle with these temptations and even those involved in these actions, but we cannot deny the moral teaching of 2,000 years of Christianity.

Here is the quote that Father Rohr posted on his blog and Father Martin then posted on social media:

Where the Bible mentions [same-sex sexual] behavior at all, it clearly condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether the biblical judgment is correct. The Bible sanctioned slavery as well and nowhere attacked it as unjust… Fifty years from now people will look back in wonder that the churches could be so obtuse and so resistant to the new thing the Holy Spirit was doing among us regarding [sexuality].

The analysis of slavery is very tenuous for various reasons. However, as Catholics we have both Scripture and Tradition. If Scripture might be unclear, Tradition helps us interpret it. Both of them condemn homosexuality. Others have shown this from Scripture, so I’d like to point this out from magisterial statements to show Church teaching on the immorality of homosexual relations is unchangeable.

Despite the clear condemnation of homosexual actions below, the Church has always been clear to distinguish actions and persons, teaching us to love all person, whatever their temptations or actions. We all have tendencies toward sin. Different people are more or less tempted to different sins. God judges us by how we deal with temptation, not by which temptation we had.

You can read the rest over on the Register, which is mainly citations from the magisterium.

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