Catholic Orthodoxy is Not Bigotry: A Response to the Hate-Filled Comments Received by a Catholic Blogger

Over at the very fine Accepting Abundance blog, authored by Stacy Trasancos, a rather remarkable display of hatefulness has erupted in the combox. Now just guess what the issue might be that has generated this storm of protest against a Catholic blogger on a Catholic blog. Sure enough it was the issue of homosexuality.

Stacy blogged on concerns she had over increasing public displays of affection between homosexual couples in her nearby park. Her concerns centered especially on the how such things affected her seven children who, with her, frequent the park.

The post was picked up by a couple “Gay” websites such as “Pink News” and “Queer Magazine” and this resulted in almost 1000 responses to Stacy’s post, many of them extremely vile. To be fair, many of the dissenting remarks were also respectful and to the point. But far too many were so vulgar, hateful and personally attacking of Stacy, her family, the Church, and Christians in general, that even editing the profanities cannot save them from the category of pure hate. In one comment it is wished that Stacy’s children be kidnapped, raped and murdered, and she is called two names that, even using asterisks, I will not publish on this site.

I too have be “treated” to this when I have published on the issue of homosexuality and the Church’s teaching (which accords with Scripture). I also get some extremely hateful replies, laced with personal attacks, when I blog on topics related to atheism, and the interplay between science and faith. Just let topics like these make their way to the wrong site and unbelievable comments pour in that I must either severely edit, or trash altogether. So much for the “tolerance” of many of our interlocutors. And yet it is we who are called hateful, bigoted, phobic and so forth.

What of these charges…that that we are supposedly hateful and bigoted?

It is true that believing Catholics and many people of faith, at least those who hold to a more strictly Biblical view, consider homosexual behavior to be wrong. The same can be said for illicit heterosexual behavior such as fornication, polygamy, and incest. And on account of our disapproval of such things, especially homosexual behavior, we are often called “intolerant,” homophobic, bigoted, hateful, etc).

But what if our objections do not simply emerge from bigotry as some claim but, rather, from a principled biblical stance? What if our objections come from a disciplined and principled reading of Scripture: a text we sincerely believe to be revealed by God, and which cannot be changed by us to suit our needs, a sacred text which clearly and consistently states that homosexual acts are gravely sinful and displeasing to God, a text which also condemn all illicit heterosexual activity.

These biblical principles and the Sacred text are not something we can simply set aside. We venerate the Scripture as the Word of God and we venerate both the Scripture and Sacred Tradition that go back to the Christ and the Apostles and then some seven thousand years of the full Judeo-Christian heritage. A principled reading of this does not simply permit us to start tearing pages from the Sacred text. Now this is principled, not bigoted, heartfelt, not hateful.

Some will argue that the biblical text has some pretty shocking things in it, for example that homosexuals should be killed (e.g. Lev 20). But Catholics do not read Scripture in a crudely mechanistic or piecemeal way, rather we draw our teaching and understanding from the Scripture considered in full and from the principle that the New Testament interprets and fulfills the Old Testament.

For example, some things in the Old Testament are fulfilled and transposed (e.g. Passover becomes Easter). Some things are abrogated (set aside) by later clarifications or by being overruled by Jesus himself (e.g. dietary laws, certain Sabbath regulations, some ceremonial precepts, divorce, and many of the harsh punishments such as stoning). But other things, such as the Ten Commandments and the Moral Law are carried forward without alteration.

Now homosexual acts and illicit heterosexual acts are in this last category. They are clearly and consistently spoken again at every stage of Biblical revelation, from begin to the very end. And even if some of the punishments, (e.g. stoning of adulterers and those guilty of homosexual acts), have been set aside, the teaching remains in force. By way of analogy, it was also said that children who disobeyed their parents could be stoned (Deut 21:18). This penalty has been set aside, but that children should obey their parents is no less taught.

As Catholics we strive to act out of a principled reading of the Sacred Scriptures that is both comprehensive and respectful of the fact that God is its author. Though some may wish to call us hateful, that does not make us so. I am not aware that I hate anyone. But I cannot therefore give blanket approval for everything that everyone does, including myself. Even our opponents in this matter do not do that. That I do not approve of something does not ipso facto make me a hateful, bigoted or phobic.

This does not exclude the fact that there may be some in our world who are in fact bigots, but it is wrong to lump together all who oppose the homosexual agenda into this category. In the end, I cannot and will not over rule Sacred Scripture and God for the sake of pleasing man or being thought politically correct.

The Catholic Church does not hate homosexuals. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says clearly enough

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (CCC 2357-2359)

Now for some, who equate love and tolerance with a full and complete approval of all they do, such a statement will simply be dismissed. In their “all or nothing world,” a failure to approve wholeheartedly equals hate and bigotry. Little can be done to satisfy those such as these, except to point out the extremity of their judgment and the lack of tolerance they themselves exhibit.

As for the Church, we continue to welcome those with a homosexual orientation but must teach in love that, in accord with Scripture, they are called to live chastely, that is, in the celibate state, as in anyone who is unmarried. There are even support groups without Church auspices that provide encouragement such as Courage. It also remains true we cannot support Gay “marriage” for the same principled reasons that Scripture sets forth.

More than this we cannot do. But I will say, I know more than a few lay people with homosexual orientation who have embraced the Church teaching and live it well. They are good and faithful Catholics and many have leadership roles, and are valued members of their parishes. The Catholic Church does not hate homosexuals.

And this leads us finally back to Stacy Trasanco’s blog post. Some will argue that there is no harm in public displays of affection (PDAs) by homosexual couples, and that we should learn to be more tolerant.

Tolerance has its place but it also has its limits. As Catholics we are not wholly intolerant in the sense that we seek to force an end to private behavior we do not consider good. Very few Christians I have ever heard from are asking for the police to enter bedrooms and make arrests. But we ought not be asked to approve of public acts we consider wrong.

Almost every law in this country enshrines some sort of limit to tolerance, so limited tolerance is not unique to Bible-believing Christians. And we will, and must ask that others curb public behaviors we consider to be sinful.

We may lose this battle culturally, and PDAs by homosexual couples may become more common, but it is not hateful for us to enter the discussion and express our displeasure over this and seek to influence others in that discussion.

There are many questionable things that all Americans are willing to overlook if they are done in private. But when they become public, there is a legitimate discussion that must be allowed to take place. And that discussion will need to include not just a lot of talk about what my “rights” are, but also what has historically been the norm in given communities.

Further some respect for the general consensus needs to be considered. Frankly most Americans are currently not happy to see public displays of affection from homosexual couples and the reason for this may be something other than mere bigotry.

When things start going public, public discussions are necessarily going to follow. And personal threats, name calling, curses, generalizations, caricatures, lies, and the presumption of hate and bigotry are not legitimate ways to have this  discussion. Too often those who demand tolerance are the last to show it. Stacy has surely experienced this, as have I and not a few others.

Image Credit: Accepting Abundance

This video shows, in a humorous way how those who hold up tolerance sometimes run afoul of it themselves.

185 Replies to “Catholic Orthodoxy is Not Bigotry: A Response to the Hate-Filled Comments Received by a Catholic Blogger”

  1. I think that unfortunately hate and anger is the way a lot of people – homosexual, heterosexual, Christain or atheist – respond when they’re faced with something they perceive as threatening. I am deeply saddened to see a blogger’s comment box become such a hatefest!

    I like your rebuttal. I would only add this: that even if someone does truly believe the Catholic Church’s stance against homosexuality is bigoted in some way, returning hate for (perceived) hate is never the solution! I think as Catholics the most important lesson to learn is that we have to be careful not to fall into the same temptation.

  2. a great line I love saying is ‘the so called tolerant are always the most intolerant’. Truth always brings out hate it seems

  3. Some things to consider:

    1. I was also annoyed by Stacy’s blog post, because it seemed in very bad light: She complained about the homosexual character of the act, when the very act of public intimacy (what an oxymoron phrase!) should have shocked her. Public sex is just as terrible, though perhaps not as grave, as homosexual activity.

    2. Stacy also made several mistakes, among them the fallacy of generalization, by calling her opponents “atheists”. The commentators were from not all from pro-atheist websites, so not everyone was an atheist, and to paint all commentators as atheists is like painting all Catholic Priests as pedophiles.

    3. Lastly, Stacy could have avoided the whole mess by simply and clearly stating the Church’s teaching on human love, in particular, on the intimacy of sex and on homosexuality and homosexuals. Instead she went on a rant, and rants, because of their angry nature, tend to rile up the worst in others, as well as in oneself.

    1. Well OK Nick it is possible to critique every post written and indicate this or that could have been better presented. As for your points: Intimacy is described in degrees. Hence the hand holding of a heterosexual couple or an arm around the shoulder is usually considered acceptable. Beyond this I think you are correct that PDAs are generally unacceptable. However, in the case of homosexuals even hand holding embraces and dancing are not acceptable since they point to a sexual intimacy that is intrinsically disordered and forbidden by Scripture. As a public act it asks for approval, which I am not willing to give. It ought not be displayed publicly in a way unique from heterosexual PDAs of a mild nature.

      As to point number 2 I am not sure I get this from reading the blog, but agree with the distinctions you set forth.

      As to point number 3 I can assure you that if all she did was quote the Catechism, this would not stop most of her commentators. Let me assure you from personal experience, that no matter how carefully I state the Church teaching and the Biblical tradition I will still get some of the most vile responses, especially if some websites pick up the post and link to it.

      As for your point about the rant: I suppose this is not the best format. But remember her commentary was intended largely for her usual readers. These Internet conversations are an interesting blend of private/public conversation in that it is usually conducted among a group of usual readers, but anyone can over hear. It may be helpful to remember that anyone can overhear but it is also artificial to have every conversation with a lowest possible common denominator. So I don’t know where the balance is, but I must say I like the generally vigorous nature of the blog discussion without the the hate stuff.

      1. Msgr.,
        Hand holding only points to sex in the eyes of a pervert who can’t see gay people with out imagining them having sex.

          1. Being called childish by a “man” who sold his conscience for a free lunch is pretty meaningless.

          2. Seriously Frank?

            Do you really think ANY priest enters ministry for the “free lunch?” You are not only childish, you also happen to be ignorant. If that were the case, seminaries would be bursting at the seams. No, priests enter the ministry because they are called to be martyrs to one degree or another. That’s more than I can say for myself. And God bless them for it!

          3. John H,

            I’m commenting on the worth of the Monsignor’s ministry rather than his motive for it. My brother used to call bad priests sacrament dispensers. Having been banned from so many sacraments by priests merely for an accident of birth (holy orders, marriage, etc) the best I can see in any priest is an empty suit. The worst I can see is a hate propagandist.

  4. Then what is our answer? DO we remain quiet, whispering to each other behind closed doors our disapproval of the sins? Or do we instead choose to witness against the great Mammon of our time, the acceptance of sin as good, with prayer, with fear and trembling, with love of our Lord Jesus Christ?

    I hope we can find that way, that narrow road and follow it.

  5. You make a good argument. Some if these I included in a post of mine, called Gay: not the new Black, on a similar matter at . I am yet to receive hate mail but I guess I need to be ready!
    In times when lies dominate the culture and the rest is filled with subjectivity, the truth stands resolute and this upsets a few people. The truth must be spoken but as you rightly point out, always in love. It would be good if this standard was reciprocated.

    1. Yes at the heart of your comment lies the problem, the post Cartesian approach of the modern world to allow the subjective to trump everything else. Apparently our bodies have nothing to teach us, according to the modern world, reality is dismissed in favor of merely what “I think”

      1. “Merely” what I think?!?!?

        Descartes had the good sense to think, even if he thought wrongly. The post Cartesian approach is “I feel”, which has the advantage to the sentimentalist of being entirely irrefutable.

        1. But we have a debt to reality. Descartes did not speak of feelings but thought. And in his wake there has been a hyper rationalization which often vetoes obvious reality for opinion and rationalizations. Don’t believe everything you think Tom, check out reality too.

    2. Call gay the new Jewish. The Catholic teaching on homosexual orientation as simply an orientation toward evil parallels the Nazi “scientific racism.” What’s next? Will you be injecting my brown eyes with dye to turn them blue? Truly this Pope is our Dr. Mengele.

      1. Stop all the eye color silliness Frank. Eye color is not as significant as sexual practices. As for equating non acceptance of homosexual practices with racism and anti-semitism, I can only say that, living in the African American community, most object strenuously to your claiming of that mantle. Behavior is not the same as skin color or national origin.

  6. >>>I too have be “treated” to this when I have published on the issue of homosexuality and the Church’s teaching (which accords with Scripture). I also get some extremely hateful replies, laced with personal attacks, when I blog on topics related to atheism, and the interplay between science and faith. Just let topics like these make their way to the wrong site and unbelievable comments pour in that I must either severely edit, or trash altogether. So much for the “tolerance” of many of our interlocutors. And yet it is we who are called hateful, bigoted, phobic and so forth.

    Funny how these people then consider themselves to the the ‘rationalal’ ones 😛

  7. The vileness of bloggers today is a sign of the times and I have noticed that it is found regularly when non-sexual topics are discussed as well. Of course the Church and her teachings are not usually attacked when these subjects are discussed. It is very often found in political and social bloggs and is not limited to bloggs but can be found in any type of media or even on the street, even in the classroom. It is a part of the decline in civil discourse. Part of this is due I think to the reinforcement dissident voices found in the public media and in college and university and even in high school classrooms. One often sees it, unfortunately, in broadcasts of from the Senate or Congressional Houses on CNN. Part of this comes from the growing activity and reinforcement of various organizations bent on changing the culture, groups which are well funded. It is not new to our age. One can say it is something which has steadily grown since the ” Age of Enlightenment ” in the seventeenth century. It is a part of life today and we just have to steel ourselves to it. It is an attempt to silence the faithful, to intimidate into silence the voices of reason and faith and this it must not do. I don’t see how it can be changed in the near term. Possibly in the longer term but it will be very long.

  8. Nicely put. Unfortunately I doubt any of the hatemongers will read it. I´m not quite sure when, but at some time during the 20th century someone misread the dictionary and began to define anarchy as a synonym for liberty.

  9. “Gay” websites such as “Pink News” and “Queer Magazine” are, among many other attributes and descriptions, weak and cowardly. Would they take on Islam and the many Muslim organizations that advocate killing homosexuals in conformity with the teachings of the Quran and Mohammed? No, it is much safer for them to vent against and try to bully Catholics and other Christians.

    Msgr Pope, keep telling the truth in all its wonderful and, at times, challenging aspects.

      1. Actually we do, Peter Tatchell, a gay activist in London, has been beaten to the point of being brain damaged for challenging Muslims and Christians about their hatred.

  10. There is no relationship whatsoever between being gay and incest, pedophila, etc. This bizarre ‘connection’ is, itself, prima facie evidence of bigotry. And ‘cafeteria’ Catholics who select what portions of the Bible they will obey will ALWAYS wind up being bigots. Go ahead tell us how immoral being gay is, while ignoring Ephesians, chapter 6, v 5 where slaves are told to obey their masters, or the book of Philemon, where Paul returns an escaped slave to his owner! THAT is BIBLICAL. Let’s cut the crap, OK? This nonsense of whining about the “Bible” simply ignores the fact you’re picking and choosing your bigotries. The church says ‘unjust dscrimination’ is wrong. Uh, OK. How about if we deny to Catholics what many Catholics seek to deny gays: access to same sex benefits, health insurance, family visitations, references to being ‘objectively morally disordered’ and other nonsense. This is too clever by half…this bigotry. If you’re going to be a bigot, stand up and be proud! Shout your hatred from the rooftops. Don’t cloying tell us how you’re ‘biblical’ when you’re not, or how much you love gays, when you don’t!

    1. Hey, Catholics have endured worse than that in England, the United States and other Protestant countries. No one is calling y’all the Antichrist and followers of the Antichrist.

    2. You sound like you are really filled with hate for the Church. Therefore, you are the hater… We will pray for you…

    3. @Bob: Wow. Do you have your own TV show? Your own phone hotline? I’m impressed that someone who so clearly can read minds and hearts is not better known in this day and age. I have no hatred of the individual, only of the individual’s behavior. To tell me that they cannot help themselves, that they are genetically predisposed toward it, is to treat those who are same-sex attracted as if they were animals who are unable to control their instincts and curb their impulses and is beyond insulting to any person who struggles with same-sex attraction. It isn’t hateful to expect people to control their behavior, it’s giving them the dignity they deserve as a human being. Of course I expect those who are same-sex attracted to control their behavior and make choices that are not damaging to themselves or others, in the same way that I expect my son or my husband or myself to do so. You may not agree with the Bible’s stance on homosexuality. That is your right. However, don’t presume to tell us how we feel about things, or what is in our hearts and minds.

      1. Don’t presume to call us disordered or to say that anyone who is gay and who expresses affection toward a member of the same sex is sexually active.

      2. Fair enough. Though I would wonder as to your ability to make a judgments about us being hypocritical, self righteous, and bigoted. Not sure how you can know that. As for “Narrow minded” I accept the attestation for Christ spoke of a narrow way that led to salvation (e.g. Matt 7:14) and a wide way that led to condemnation. I am trying to stay on the narrow way, so I appreciate your saying it of us.

    4. Well, Bob you seem a little angry and so I doubt conversation will be fruitful. But for other readers, the “failure” of the scriptures to address slavery as we moderns wish it would needs to be balanced with an understanding that the slavery of the ancient world was different in many respect from the slavery of the “new world” of the 16-19th centuries. Generally in the ancient world slavery was an alternative to prison or death. Slavery was imposed on those who had debts they could not pay, or upon those who had committed certain, non capital crimes, or upon soldiers in war on the losing side. Rather than kill the soldiers outright who were a threat, ancient rulers usually relocated them and enslaved them, either temporarily or permanently. Debtors too could be thrown in jail, but as an alternative they could be enslaved until the debt was rendered, so too for certain crimes. The ancient slave system was not pleasant and surely not perfect, but neither was death or prison. This form of slavery, while not sis free to be sure, is to be distinguished from the slavery of the new world which enslaved people who had no debts, and committed no crimes, and had waged no war. They were enslaved because they were vulnerable and this was intrinsically evil and unjust, unlike ancient slavery that was incidentally so in various circumstances and by excess.

      Further, Scripture’s “silence” on ancient slavery may be for some a deal breaker and discredit “the whole book” as it does for Bob. But this is likely due to other things that predispose him to do so and I doubt that he would apply such purity standards to anything else. American Civil law for example has many gaps in terms of perfect justice. But Bob surely wants to hoist his sail under the civil rights protections etc of American civil law. I doubt that Bob would have us bag the whole system, but that’s because it works for him.

      1. Angry?? Somehow the elites think this is the ultimate insult. Damn RIGHT I’m ANGRY! You homophobes with your linguistic charades mask your hatred in theology then, risibly, accuse someone of being ANGRY? Uh, sorry. I’m really underwhelmed. And sin is sin. Isn’t that what your theology teaches, or are you a moral relativist? That’s the argument you’re making. What was a sin 1000 years ago isn’t today and vice versa. Good luck with THAT argument! What you’ve shown is your theology hates gays but approves of the worst sin in human history….SLAVERY. Yep. You just told us how sin is culturally contingent, and how slavery isn’t really a sin. And what comic book did you get your view of slavery from? I suggest you consult Edward McNall Burns’ history of western civilization. The life of a slave was ‘nasty, brutish and short’. So it’s obvious you’re temporizing to cover the failure…the collapse, really, of your support of SLAVERY and your homophobia. And lastly, American Civil Law NEVER claimed to be Verbum Dei! Holy COW…is this the BEST you can do??

        1. Name calling is counter productive and bespeaks immaturity. The argument was not that slavery wasn’t sinful. It was a regrettable and Paul surely indicates this in Philemon. But, the silence of the Bible in terms of strong condemnation is explained by the different character of it from what you and I and most moderns experience slavery to be.

          Further you do not seem to accept or possibly grasp that some things are intrinsically evil (ex toto genere suo), whereas other things are evil ex genere suo (wrong of its nature but admitting of degree – so for example there are little lies and serious lies). Ancient slavery, as a punishment surely had sinful dimensions, some of which you describe, but it did exist as alternative to graver punishments such as imprisonment, and capital punishment (which also have sinful dimensions and led to brutal short and nasty lives). The slavery of the New World was intrinsically evil since it had not the cause of a punishment, but was inflicted on those who had incurred no guilt by debt, crime or waging war.

          I do not live in your all or nothing world. Distinctions are important. Homosexual acts and illicit heterosexual acts are clearly, and consistently condemned as intrinsically evil and homosexual acts are further described as depraved. And this is at every stage of biblical revelation, Further, Homosexual acts are clearly contrary to natural law, and the consistent Catholic dogmatic and moral tradition extending back 2000 years and even further some 5000 years into the Jewish faith.

          For reasons of his own, the Lord chose not to condemn as intrinsically wrong the system of slavery common in the ancient world, and the Lord does not answer to you and your selective moral outrage.

          But I do answer to him. Clearly as the ignominy of New World slavery set in the Lord led his Church to condemn the slave trade of that time going so far as to excommunicate those who took part in the slave trade and setting aside arguments of those who used biblical texts to justify new world slavery.

          None of this changes the Church’s constant sexual teaching, no matter how hard you wish it would.

          1. Well of course the whole Bible is the word of God and there are surely numerous passage in the OT and NT (Rm 1:17ff, 1 Cor 6:1-9; 1 Tim 1:8-11 inter al) and Christ said to the Apostles, “He who hears you hears me.” But I would certainly not overlook Jesus’ words warning against lust (ἐπιθυμέω) in Matt 5:28 and equating it with adultery. Now unless you read the text in a crudely narrow way (i.e. its ONLY about a man looking at a woman – instead of that being an example of other possibilities), lust is condemned by Jesus and he warns there of the fires of hell. Such a warning would include but hetero and homosexual people. Further, Jesus consigns fornicators to live outside the kingdom of heaven (eg Rev 22:15). Now the Greek word πόρνοι refers to sexual immorality in general sort of way, (we get the word pornography from it), and thus it includes all forms of illicit sexual union: fornication, incest, homosexual acts, and in some cases adultery (although there is a different word usually used for that) and the like. In Matt 19 Jesus also speaks of marriage as a binding matter except in the cases of “porneia” and here he likely had in mind the different types of forbidden unions among the Greeks that were often, by Biblical standards incestuous. Homosexual liaisons were often common in that ancient culture which the early Church fought against. Hence Christ declares unions rooted in porneia not to be marriages at all.

            Now again, for me, none of this analysis is really necessary, since I consider the New Testament as a whole, which is in agreement with the OT on this matter to be unambiguous. Because I hear something from Paul and not the very mouth of Jesus I am not troubled since the Same Holy Spirit is speaking throughout the NT. But if you insist on sticking by the question, here are some words of Jesus to consider.

            Finally my question for you is, (since you insist I demonstrate Jesus himself speaking on the matter), where does Jesus rail against hostility to homosexuality at his time? Where are the verses where he commends the practice of same sex love? Now of course Jesus spoke to many negative attitudes of his day and set aside many norms. So were are the verses where he takes the religious leaders to task for their hatred of homosexuality and their “narrow minded” views of the subject. Jesus praised Samaritans, tax collectors, Gentiles, et al. (all hated groups of his time). Where does he praise homosexuals and indicate what they do is good, and praiseworthy? If I must demonstrate him explicitly condemning homosexual practice, I want you to accept the same burden and show where he explicitly praises it and sets aside earlier biblical teaching on the matter.

        2. Bob,
          Are you so sensitive that you go into an angry rage whenever someone disagrees with your lifestyle? If your whole life is predicated on what others think about you or your ways, then you are condemning yourself to a life of rage.

        3. bob,

          Whatever your intention, I think that your approach is only serving to confirm the insight of the article.

          That being said, not all Catholics are against equal rights being granted to homosexuals. I believe that homosexuality being a sin is by no means an argument to prevent homosexuals from having access to rights, any more than heresy, etc. I think one of the big failures in communication between Catholicism and the postmodern world today is a continual insistence on a natural law definition of marriage. As much insight as I believe natural law has brought throughout the ages and can continue to bring, it is clear that at this point in western history civil marriage is no longer considered in terms of natural law. In this case, I think the more just thing to do is to allow secular affirmation of what civil marriage has become: a pledge between two committed, loving partners. Thus, in this secular context, preventing homosexuals from marrying really does smack of discrimination, even though the Catholic condemnation of homosexual marriage no means necessarily represents “homophobia” in the sense of intentional bigotry (that there is some bigotry, on both sides, I think is beyond question), but is rather, in my opinion, an approach that could use a little nuance. I address this more fully in a blog post I wrote a while ago:

          But I do think you’d get a better response and more amenable dialogue if you used a more civil, less inflammatory tone. You may or may not be right to be angry, but even if you are right to be angry it doesn’t help you or anyone else to let loose with a nasty harangue.

  11. Referring to men and women as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual…, objectifies the human person and is thus demeaning and in direct conflict with God’s Commandment regarding lust and the sin of adultery. A sexual inclination is not a person but rather a desire to engage in a form of sexual intimacy with a person. There are many forms of disordered sexual inclinations, and the refusal to condone or affirm disordered sexual inclinations or disordered sexual relationships because they do not respect the inherent dignity of the human person, is an act of Love. For this reason, The Catholic Church recognizes that men and women with a homosexual inclination, through Love and the proper guidance, “by virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection”. (CCC 2357-2359)

    1. Well said. It is an odd aspect of the modern age how many want to identify themselves in terms of one narrow aspect of themselves and then demand that we all see them in that narrow way.

      1. It’s all about the adjective that goes on the left side of Catholic. I’m thinking Catholic is a description that can stand on it’s own.

  12. There are other fundamental reasons homosexual acts are disordered. One is the underlying trauma and need for same sex bonding. The other is that sexual organs have a certain design and anatomy seems to indcate it is designed for procreation. as homosexuals do nor usually reproduce it would seem genes are not passed on so we have extinction as the outcome. Pleasure or pain are not ends in themselves. Despair, narcism, desire, habit, frustration leading to despair. The cruelty homosexuals show towards others comes from a deep realisation others crticisms are correct , the objectification of others for pleasure and emotional petting is at the heart of the orientation. Criticism is seen as rejection and results in despair. Homosexuality is not wrong because the Bible says. Rather it is based upon a misdirection or precreative urges. It is wrong and so the Bible has prohibitions against homosexuality!

    1. Yes, but perhaps some distinctions are in order in that not every homosexual has every malady you describe. Though I too see many of the traits on common display that you describe and see many of them as underlying the “victimization” mentality that often predominates in homosexual militants.

  13. Hand-holding and dancing by homosexuals: There is a cultural component in this: I taught in a Catholic boys’ college in Nigeria for a couple of years just before their Independence. Boys who were best friends would hold hands, and I MCeed some dances for the whole college, where all the boys were dancing with each other. There were no girls around.

    1. If an action such as hand-holding is discrete, even in the U.S., I don’t know that it would be appropriate for others to go out of their way to make it their business to see exactly what it is they are doing. On the other hand, if they shout, “hey everyone, look at us,” and then proceed to make out at the shopping mall, then there would be grounds to object.

      Dancing, though, is an entirely different matter. Go to any club in the United States and you will see girls dancing with each other. Completely heterosexual girls. They end up dancing together because many guys don’t like to dance, period. It is not a sexual thing, and no one really takes it to be sexual. And then, of course, there is the cultural matter of dancing. For instance, dancing was one of those segregated activities in some societies, including Judaism, where it would have been scandalous for a man to dance with a woman.

      But even though these two examples are not always wrong, those overt “public displays of affection,” same-sex or opposite sex, which amount to an imposition on others, the kind that invades your own privacy right to be left alone, as a matter of common curtesy, if not morality, those should be avoided.

  14. We are to love the sinner and to hate the sin. We can NEVER condone evil (no matter what it is). I didn’t pay attention to these homosexuals (they can never be called gay, as that is a lie) until they destroyed the lives of Anita Bryant and her family with their “loving” attacks on her. These people are very sick and they need the medicine of Jesus, but alas, if they could, they would rape him, before killing him. Let us keep praying the conversion of all us sinners so that, none of us will be sent to hell. +JMJ+

  15. JMJ calls gays ‘sick’. Now THAT is BIGOTRY. Why are they ‘sick’? Well…s/he doesn’t say. Anita Bryant preached hatred and JMJ is offended that people took offense?? Go figure! Look at the hatred s/he pours fourth, talking about gays ‘raping’ Jesus. THAT is hatred. Is there no limit to the hysterical hatred of homophobes?

    1. Well of course its hard to say if she is generalizing to all homosexuals or those who seek to attack and destroy, which seems the main point of her comment. However, while not using the word “sick” the Church does teach that the homosexual orientation is disordered and draws to acts which are contrary to natural law. And while this may be considered by some to be “hate” it is once again rooted, rather, in our concern for the revelation of the body which teaches that the man is not designed for the man and the woman is not designed for the woman. Rather the man is for the woman, the woman for the man. Further an anus is not designed for the purpose to which some direct it and so forth (sorry to be so graphic). As Catholics we are bound to what God reveals in the sacred book and in the natural law of creation, which we also reverence as revelation from God. In this sense, we can and must speak of homosexual acts as intrinsically disordered.

      1. What is ‘contrary to natural law’ about being homosexual. “Natural Law” in Catholic theology has a specific meaning, which is rather circular, so it’s not really an argument to say being gay is against ‘natural law’. And many, many straights practice anal and oral sex as well, so you going to punish them as well? Your argument makes no sense at all. As to Scripture, as I pointed out, Paul approves of slavery, so if you’re going to revert to Scripture, then tell us about your support for slavery.

        1. Oral and anal sex would as against Natural Law would apply to heterosexuals as well. The slave thing is dealt with above where you raised it once before. You can dismiss natural law if you please but you then seem to argue our bodies have nothing to say to us. Your position seems to well describe the post Cartesian retreat into the mind wherein what we think trumps what the real world clearly reveals. Hence the clear testimony of the human body is set aside in favor of opinion and thought.

          1. Msgr.,
            Natural law can never be said to be based on what the world reveals because it is not open to reinterpretation when nature falsifies it. Catholic natural law is an intellectual sham. It is utterly incompatible with the careful scientific observation of nature, which admits that claims must be subject to observation.

    2. Bob — gays ARE sick.

      And guess what — so are heterosexuals.

      We are ALL sick. We are all in need of a physician.

      Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but to heal the sinners. And we are all sinners. Gays are not immune from sickness.

      1. To be sure, those who do not suffer from homosexual orientation disorder usually suffer from something else, we are all broken. However heterosexuality is not intrinsically disordered. Nor is the intimate affection between a man and his wife objectively evil.

  16. I saw how rudely she was treated and thought it is a shame that she had to take such uncalled for abuse.
    Any tiem a Catholic stands up for Truth they are attacted with a vengence. Why are we not allowed to take a stance according to our moral code? I fear it will only get worse.

      1. Because the “world” can’t handle the TRUTH. It is like fingernails on a chalk board to those with hardened hearts.

  17. I said to a woman that I have no problem with what homosexuals do in private, but they shouldn’t push “tolerance” on the rest of us–and she accused me of being a pedophile.

    1. Yes, this is part of the agenda, to discredit the Church for the sins of a few. Never mind that most priests, bishops and lay people had nothing to do with this – pedophila (actually an improper term in most instances) is just the anti-democratic label meant to shut down discussion.

  18. Some years ago, and elderly, very sweet, very dear, and very liberal, jewish lady invited me and a girl I was at the time dating to dinner with her family. A few days later when speaking with her, the subject came up, (because it had been on the news) of homosexual “marriage”. Her argumentation was simply “they are just like anyone else”. I countered: “If at dinner the other night, Kim and I started to hold hands, or become tender, or even kissed, at the table, or later when we retired to the sitting room, you would have become weepy eyed because you have been hoping for a while that we finally get our act together and tie-the-not. Now, if two people who suffer from homosexual orientation disorder (she hated when I used that phrase) were there, in front of your grandkids, and engaged in the exact same behavior, you would have found a moment to speak to them and tell them to knock it the hell off wouldn’t you?” She knew full well I was right, and I pressed on. “Because there is a part of you that simply knows it is wrong, knows that in fact it isn’t ‘the same’. As loving and as utterly and completely un-judgmental as you are, and even though you count many of those who suffer from homosexual orientation disorder as close friends, you are intrinsically repulsed by their conduct.” She knew there was nothing for it, and asked to change the topic.

    Now, as for the post above that comments about not using the term “gay”, you are correct, however even the term “homosexual” is in fact a modern invention.

    On a humorous note, back when the USCCB issued the “pastoral” letter “Always Our Children” (and please no one forget that almost all of these “letters” are the work of some tiny committee and almost never, if ever, represent the views of many, even the majority, of bishops) a group of seminarians from the NAC answered with “Always Our Bishops”. It can be found online.

    1. Actually, I knew a Jewish woman whose Jewish mother told her in the 1950’s that it was a pity that her teacher couldn’t introduce the man he loved to mother and daughter.

      Tell me, did you try to convince your hostess to have her eye color corrected so that her eyes could be blue like Jesus’s?

        1. As my Logic professor in Rome once quipped, “It is often all but impossible to use logic and reason to move some people away from a position that they did not use logic and reason to arrive at in the first place.”

          1. Fr. Maximillian,
            I have a doctorate in mathematics and I’ve been on the faculty at the best universities in the world in my discipline. Many logicians and philosophers have been homosexual. One of them, Alan Turing, is considered the father of computer science and is responsible for the mathematical theories that allow you to spew your knee jerk bigotry and half baked propaganda against all gays and lesbians.

            I arrived at my position by rejecting the proposition that everything has a SINGLE purpose. In the absence of the possibility of sexual expression, same sex and opposite sex orientation create bonds and a willingness to self-sacrifice for the benefit of another. This ability is essential to the meaning of my life. Being a part of a church that undermines it is destructive.

          2. Nobody ever said that a person who is attracted to members of their sex is worth nothing more than their sexuality. As a computer scientist, I know that Alan Turing did great things for computer science. However, even someone who is brilliant is not perfect. This argument is fallacious–you are appealing to inappropriate authority. Alan Turing was a brilliant mathematician, logician, and computer scientist; this does not mean he was an expert on the morality of homosexuality.

            Not everything having a single purpose doesn’t imply that all things have multiple purposes, or that the set of moral purposes is infinite or morally relativistic (you CAN use a gun to kill an innocent person, and you can use medical devices to kill a person in the womb; these are possible but not moral). It also doesn’t imply that some things don’t have a principle purpose.

          3. Kim,
            I wasn’t appealing to Alan Turing as a moral authority. I was responding to a condescending quip by an I’ll educated hate monger in a roman collar alleging my motivates are illogical. My mention of Alan Turing was to illustrate that gays are not unfamiliar with logic.

            Turing’s great mistake was to assume that others were logical or at least proportionate in their responses; he didn’t expect that he would be chemically castrated and driven to suicide merely for having sex. It was an atrocity to do this to one of the men most responsible for the defeat of Nazism.

  19. I think part of the vitriol comes from the belief that one should be able to do whatever one wants, without regard for others’ sensibilities. [Those with such beliefs often believe also that their own sensibilities should never be offended…go fig.]

    Even an activity acceptable to most people is not necessarily appropriate at all times and in all places. When I breastfed my daughter I didn’t plop down and whip it out wherever we happened to be when she howled. I tried to find a private or at least out-of-the-way location, and made sure to cover up. To walk around with the attitude that people uncomfortable with breastfeeding should Just Get Over It would have been selfish.

  20. Thanks for this insightful, honest, and sensitive post. Good job!

    There might be one addition to your points: that the Church’s teaching on sexuality is not merely sectarian or religious. It’s also known by natural law, present to all humans in virtue of our human nature (though certainly much of it can get buried over by habitual errors in conscience, immoderate appetites, etc.). This is important since it’s the basis for the fact that the Church (or, rather, God through the Church) is not imposing moral directives that are merely slapped on the top of human nautre as an extrinsic addition, as it were (and I know you were not saying anything like this Msgr. Charles); rather, the moral law of God which is divinely revealed is in complete harmony with the natural moral law, revealed law heals the natural, elevates it, and perfects it.

    Anyway, great post. Thanks.
    – Mike

  21. If Leviticus calls for practising homosexuals to be executed but that part was not specifically set aside by Jesus as were the dietary laws how can that punishment have been abrogated?
    I am not here calling for practising homosexuals to be executed merely searching for clarity.
    I’ve heard many people say that stoning of practising homosexuals was done away with when Christ said to the adulterous woman’s prosecutors “let him without sin throw the first stone”
    But, when Jesus said that he was specifically talking to the adulterous woman’s would-be executioners, not to homosexuals and others who were/are intrinsically disordered.
    Additionally whilst adultery is a sin it it not a sin against the natural law…it is not intrinsically disordered as is sodomy.
    (As an aside I think that aspect had a lot to to do with Stacy Trasancos’s article about homosexual PDA getting on her nerves as it sure does mine.)
    So to suggest that Christ’s abrogation of stoning for adultery did the same for sodomy is, to me, incongruous.
    So I am left with a puzzlement and all help will be gratefully considered.

    1. I think in a case like this we can presume the practice of stoning for such things largely fell away rather than point to some specific text that abrogates it. Given the interaction of Jesus with the woman (in John 8) we can also presume that there were still some at that time who thought an adulterer, as she was, could be so executed, but the context suggests that there were different schools of thought. At any rate, the Jewish nation had not really existed since the Babylonian captivity (587 BC) and Jews could not legally execute. When such things did happen they were more rare and of a vigilante/mob nature. All of these are factors in the falling away of the practice among the Jews to the greater extent. But as you point out, though Jesus does not official speak to abrogate the penalty, his actions would make it hard for any in the Christian community to advocate stoning thereafter and the Church did not make recourse to such penalties in sexual matters of this nature, and other things such as disrespect for parents. We cannot really expect aspect of the 5000 year history covered by the Bible to be spelled out in detail.

      1. No, the Catholic church continued sentencing homosexuals to sexual mutilation, stoning, and burning at the stake well into the seventeenth century even in the New World.

        Yet, gays are the hateful ones.

  22. I have always dealt with immodest dress, behavior and inappropriate PDA’s, heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise, with my children the same way… When they notice them and comment, I explain the Church teachings–our belief set. Then I explain that while the actions of the people involved may be irresponsible, inappropriate, and/or immoral, that our civil law allows them to act in this way. Our expectations for them are made clear, as well as the fact we each have control over our own actions but not those of others. As a result of the freedoms we enjoy in this nation, we often end up in the position of having to live with the fact that we sometimes witness offensive behavior from others around us. I hope in the process I am also slowly but surely getting across to them the great personal responsibility that comes along with the liberties we enjoy in America and the importance of striving to always be a good example of living the Gospel in public. Interestingly, the children seem to understand intrinsically from a very early age that these sorts of public acts are inappropriate and not something they should be seeing. They naturally want to turn away from them and often want an explanation of them. Because of this, I have had little difficulty in turning such bothersome displays into a faith, life, and responsibility lesson.

    I find it far more difficult to deal with the fact that when we attend mass, many arrive in clothes that look like they better belong in a local nightclub or on the beach. It is disconcerting that while I am trying to teach my girls to dress respectfully and modestly, that our bodies are sacred and private and deserving of such respect, to arrive for worship and find some one third or more of the women dressed in a way that absolutely demands inappropriate attention. I am not talking about casual clothing mind you, though I think shorts and flip flops go a bit too far, but low cut blouses, strapless dresses, short skirts, clothing so tight nothing is left to the imagination, and even undergarments hanging out in full view. How are we to combat the immorality they are exposed to out in the world if it is firmly rooted right there in our own Catholic parish?

      1. Many moons ago, I directed a children’s choir for 4-year olds through 2nd-graders. One late-spring morning, we were lined up at the back of the nave, waiting for the processional hymn to begin.

        Child 1: Miss Cindy, there’s a lady WITHOUT ANY CLOTHES.
        Other Children: *GASP*
        Me: (looking where she was pointing) I think she’s wearing a dress…you just can’t see the back of it from here.
        Child 2: If there isn’t enough to see from here, how does it stay up?
        Child 3: I think it’s too cold to have a naked back.

        FInally the music started, and as they passed the woman’s pew, the children made sure to look at the woman to make sure that she really DID have clothes on.

        After the service, while they were hanging up their choir robes:

        Child 1: I think she should have had more dress on.
        Other Children: Yes. It was TOO LITTLE.

  23. Bob:
    Lets try to dispationately look at the facts. At the end of the day homosexuality is a disorder because the primary purpose of sex is to reproduce. Thats true if you are an atheist or a fundamentalist Christian. For example an animal species that engaged in exclusively homosexual relations would soon be extinct. If there as a gene that was responsible fo this, then we would say it would be maladaptive as from an evolutionary point of view it clearly is. ( such a gene if wide spread would render a species extinct) Thus it seems self evident that homosexuality is an intrinsic disorder, the inlincation is not a sin however.

    What the Church teaches is sinful is sexual relations outside of marriage. This is consistent with natural law ( the part of morality we can know by reason alone, and is consistent with the Bible. More on natrual law in a momement . It does no good to yell about the bible “justifying slavery” or stoning people who commit adultery because most Christians and virtually all Catholics interpret the Bible as Msgr Pope points out, as a global whole and in the context of the entire teaching of the Church. There is a basic thrust of scripture taken as a whole that suggests human beings have infinite dignity and worth, and all are equal in Gods sight. This message which runs through the Bible and culminates in Christs death for all, essentially “trumps” if you like isolated aspects of the Bible that reflect cultural attitudes of the time, such as the “givenness” of something like slavery, which is why ultimately the Church tried to humanize slavery ( Admonishing a master to treat a runaway slave like a brother, see Paul’s letter to Philemon.) and finally rejected it completely. One does not read the Bible in an objective way and get the message that slavery is ok. You are taking an approach that someone who has a primae facie case agaisnt the Bible would take. This is not the approach someone who wanted to see objectively whether there was anything to the scriptures as a source of wisdom would take. Sexual relations outside of marriage however are declared sinful throughout the whole Bible, there is no competing story line. In fact as the story line is one that elevates Marriage as a special union ( Christ outlaws divorce), so if anything it basically strengthened the unique status of marriage, as does Christ when he condemns not just lustful behavior but lustful desires.

    Catholics do not rely only on Scipture however, there is a reasoned argument that sex by its nature has a certain purpose and meaning we can discern through the use of our reason. By its nature its purpose is to solidify and express married love ( not married sentiment or emotional bonding, but love. There is a big difference. If you ahve been married a while you ( those of us beyond say the 10th wedding anniversary know what I mean…..), but sometimes you need to love your spouse when you are not “feeling” at that much “emotional bonding” and to reproduce. It is not primarily for its physical pleasure. The arguement for this can be subtle, and space does not allow for a detailed exposition. Suffice it to say if sex were primarily for pleasure it could easily be become manipulative ( I could without guilt convince someone to agree to sex solely to use them for my pleasure, I would not in principle even have to worry about their pleasure if it was not a permanent relationship.) Catholicism would hold that its always wrong to “use” people. (even if they consent to the use)

    Now you do not have to agree to this. In fact even for those of us given to homosexual tendencies this teaching can be a tough road to hoe. Even for those who are married this can be a challenge. Afterall heterosexual go through long stretches without a marriage partner and thus are in essence called to forgoe sex ( people are at stages single, married but for a variety of reasons may not be able to induldge, and sometimes even widowed or divorced.) So the teaching can be just as burdensome to heterosexuals as homosexuals. One can of course reject it. Then the issue will be between that person and God. Still there is nothing “bigoted” about it. Bigotry implies some sort of animosity toward someone who thinks homosexual acts are “ok” . I do not think there is any animosity. I personally have no more emotional animosity toward this then someone who thought the moon was made of swiss cheese. They are simply just wrong, they believe a falsehood in my view, but I bear no ill will because of this. I doubt any Catholics due. Certainly the Church as a whole doesn’t.

    In truth probably the hot button issue of the day ( gay marriage) if less of a problem to those of us who for a variety of reasons think disregarding of the Church’s teaching regarding sex has been a cultural disaster than easy acceptance of divorce and premarital sex. If I could push a button and convince the 98% of people who are heterosexuals to accept the Church’s teaching on sexuality and concede the 2% of gay individuals will not.. well then I would think this a solution to many of the countries most pressing cultural problems. No one has any interest in harrassing gay people. In fact by and large I think most of us would choose to not discuss other peoples sexual proclivities. If you dont bring it up I for sure will not. The reason some of us would oppose “Gay marriage” is because to accept it would imply certain things about heterosexual relationships that are culturally disastorous. Probably the only reason that people are even discussing gay marriage as a plausible idea is that many of these distorted ideas about the nature of heterosexual sex ( that its mostly about recreation or emotional attachment or some combination) have been accepted. To accept gay marriage means to accept these ideas that have brought us to a point where in the inner city 80% of kids are born to a family without a father. Of course this is not directly related to gay marriage, it is rather related to a philospophy about the nature and purpose of sex that gay marriage ratifies, and it is the philospophy that is the larger problem . Again there used to be a gay couple in my neighborhood, I used to help shovel their sidewalk when there was a heavy snow storm, no bigotry or animosity of any kind. I just think that to the extent they engage in sex its a sin, ( at least objectively), to which I say , may God have mercy on us all, and that to legally sanction the sexual relationship as a marriage is a mistake. it is a culmination of mistakes we have been making as a society and some of us feel it must be opposed. Sorry if you think its “bigoted” but whether you think its bigoted or not will not cause me to loose any sleep.

    1. Many are probably familiar with the study that those who support “the homosexual lifestyle” like to quote, where they detail “homosexual activity” in many different species – literally thousands of them. This study was performed by a well-known and respected scientist, whose methods are above reproach.

      What these people universally FAIL to mention is that the study, while confirming “occasional” homosexual “activity” in many species, notes that – with only two exceptions – the study found NO evidence of an ongoing preference to the same sex over the opposite sex (“homosexual orientation”).

      Those exceptions? Human beings, and male sheep held in captivity (those in the wild displayed no such inclinations).

      Food for thought.

  24. “What if our objections come from a disciplined and principled reading of Scripture: a text we sincerely believe to be revealed by God, and which cannot be changed by us to suit our needs…”

    What about the sections of the Bible which state that a man can sell his daughter into slavery, or that slavery in and of itself is permitted and acceptable? These things were perfectly all right in the time that the Bible was written (written and interpreted, if you recall, by MEN, who are fallible), but we all know that it is morally wrong today. If the Bible cannot be changed to suit your needs, then why is slavery not still in practice? Or are we just choosing to ignore the bits we don’t like? Keep in mind, your holy book also prohibits eating shellfish and wearing polyester blends.

    Plus, the part about homosexuality being a sin in the Bible is out of the Old Testament (Leviticus 18:22 if I recall correctly), which as I understand it, Christianity doesn’t adhere to as a law. So why be a stickler about that ONE passage when you don’t even give a passing glance at the rest of Leviticus and its ridiculous rules?


    1. I think I deal with that in the article. Some things in the OT were set aside by later legislation as God led his people deeper into charity and justice (hence selling one’s daughter falls away). But other things are consistently taught as wrong (eg homosexual acts, fornication, adultery, stealing, blasphemy etc…) at every stage of Biblical revelation. Hence distinctions are necessary. Catholics do not read scripture in a crudely mechanistic way.

      1. Msgr. Pope,
        I am in awe of the patience and fortitude you display in holy perseverance, To read your always cogent words, and to see how you respond to comments, is a true catechesis in itself. Thank you and God bless you!

        As to what soupy says, I think that St. Paul in Romans 1, and St. Jude in his epistle, make it abundantly clear that the prohibitions against homosexual acts are fully in effect under the New Covenant. Many mental gymnastics must be engaged in to imply or assert that the New Testament doesn’t say what it clearly does.

  25. I must say that I am offended by all public displays of “affection” both heterosexual and homosexual. I really don’t want to be out in public seeing people slobbering all over each other, grabbing various body parts, making doe eyes at each other, etc. And I also can’t stand the level of nakedness that has become fashionable for men and women.

    It’s not that I’m a prude or that I begrudge affection others have for one another. It’s that I believe the gestures should be veiled from public eyes. Loving relationships are sacred and deeply personal. Public display of lust reduces man to his lowest common denominator and teaches children that we are mere sex objects to one another. It contributes to the “use others and satisfy whatever I want wherever I want” mentality of society today. Would Anna and Zachary have acted like this? Mary and Joseph? The couple at the wedding feast of Cana?

    Moreover, this behavior undermines the whole idea of true friendship which is fundamental to any real love.

  26. My understanding of Old Testament law in the New Testament is that the New Covenant abolished (but did not necessarily condemn) the specific Old Testament judicial penalties for specific crimes. Still, “in principle,” the actions themselves are not less sinful than they were then. It also seems that same-sex activity is graver than other sexual sins, but that doesn’t give us an absolute moral imperative to punish it severely in civil law (through death or life imprisonment, etc.). It also seems that tradition does not have a universal position, since, e.g., at some times in the Medieval and Renaissance Periods same-sex activity was punished by fines and at other times by the death penalty.

    I think that making private consensual sexual acts illegal would be unproductive now (and likely won’t happen anytime soon), and would bring up a bunch of issues like selective enforcement. I still think, though, that we shouldn’t judge or condemn a penalty just because it seems harsh to us.

  27. Thank you so much Msgr. Charles Pope! You were an inspiration the day after this happened. Tito Edwards emailed me an article you wrote about evangelizing and how sometimes it would not be so easy. That one post is actually not the stuff I usually write about; I was frustrated.

    To the commenter who mentioned generalizing about atheists, let me explain how this happened briefly. I had zero expectation that someone from “the web’s largest atheist forum” (reddit) was paying any attention to me at all. My stats suddenly shot up, over 60,000 in the first day (over 300,000 now) when those comments were left, so they were predominantly from atheists. The “LGBT” community started a few days later. I’m a Catholic “mommy blogger” and I wrote that to a consistent small audience, also writing that I’m not always sure when to say something and when to stay silent to keep the peace. I was genuinely frustrated because sometimes being silent and tolerant feels like painting the porch when the house is burning down. When you convert to Catholicism and learn of such wonderful truths, the coarsening of society is disturbingly evident and impossible to ignore.

  28. “Gay rights” is an enormous issue for the Church. It is so enormous because it casts the Church in the light of hatred. We are supposed to be known by our love. The culture has successfully re-oriented the norm such that any hint of opposition of “gay rights” (note that there is no one definition of gay rights) is equivalent to hatred. This trend will continue to worsen and I fear will lead to the loss of many good-hearted people who will see (in their minds) an anti-gospel message coming from the Church. I find that the rhetoric is so polarized that “arguing” this is a losing cause for a couple of reasons:

    1) The current culture defines the very idea that homosexual activity is a sin as hateful and stops its ears up.
    2) Since I do not experience same sex attraction, my words seem rather empty. I think the only people who might get a hearing are those who experience SSA.

    My personal goal is to hopefully make the person understand that the Church is acting out of love. I might say something like the following:

    “For the moment, let us assume that God does indeed want us to promote gay rights including gay marriage. If that is the case, clearly the Church is wrong. However, I argue that it is an error borne of misguided love not hatred. The Church believes that homosexual activity (not inclination) leads one away from God andtherefore, the Church has a duty to clearly speak out so as to bring people closer to God. So please do not impute hatred as the motivation. That is not to say that there are not hate-filled people (including priests and pastors) using the position of the Church to act out hate-filled attitudes. Rather, I am saying that they are the loud exceptions.”

    Similarly, we must not impute hatred upon the motives of the gay community and the secular world. Again, there are those extremists who simply hate the Church, but there are a lot of good-hearted people who really believe that promoting the gay agenda is living out the gospel.

    If two people with opposing viewpoints can agree on the good will of each side in this issue, then, and only then can you proceed to a rational discussion.

  29. Missing from the comments above is recognition of the fact that our opponents of the Catholic positiion object (a) on our position and (b) the philosophical foundation of our position. Many in the gay rights movement (which, lest we ignore it, includes many Catholics) do not accept the Bible as the definitive source of our principled objection; and, even if they did, would retort that public policy affecting all should not be based on the beliefs of some. This is a persuasive argument. I have yet to read a Catholic response that overcomes it.

    Bear in mind as well that we Catholics are seemingly unable to come up with convincing negative effects of the policies/practices to which we object. Ok, abortion – it’s clear cut, people die. But gay marraige, gay adoption? Can we state definitively – that is, not based on assumptions – what the negative effects are?

    1. I agree. We live in a secular liberal democracy; there is a sense in which both Catholicism and even natural law no longer have currency as valid bases for argument. While we may lament this situation and take steps to correct it, possibly by reinvigorating a real engagement with postmodernity, it really is the case that, from a secular point of view, denying homosexuals the right to marriage is a form of bigotry. We can write all we want and talk all we want (and we should), but we will likely see little effect until we come up with what I call “a new synthesis” to augment the old “medieval synthesis.”

      Part of that new synthesis might just include the recognition that it is acceptable for things considered sins by our faith to not be condemned by a secular government.

      1. Scotty,
        I do not disagree that most moderns have rejected Natural Law. However, I wonder on what basis any conversation can be had.

        I think your last point is and has been understood. I am not asking, in this case, for homosexuality to be illegal and I am not even in favor of arrests being made for PDAs. However, I do object to marriage laws being changed since, in this case that ARE being changed. I am resigned to fact that we will likely lose this cultural battle in the long run and that so called gay “marriage” is likely to spread. All that said, I still think, until you’ve developed your new synthesis, Natural Law is the only way we can have any conversation at all. The body is revelation and the design of our bodies does not confirm “gay” sex.

  30. The Koran is Scripture and the basis of Muslim terrorism. So if that is how you are going to argue this, then you (we!) are no different, and the gay critique is correct.

    It must be argued from a moral law standpoint, supported by Scripture if you want. But moral law is notoriously vague, and imprecise. But what about the CAUSES of homosexual identification? The argument you make AGAINST homosexuality must also try to explain why homosexual acts, like other illicit sexual acts, are wrong, what the cause of them might be, and explain what is right, and why it is right, and how to overcome homosexual inclinations…..and “the Bible told me so” isn’t going to cut it. Having a full blown, long-term, priest sex abuse crisis concurrent to the homosexualist debate just about undercuts anything you can say anyway, and nearly eviscerates any evangelization attempts. I don’t think the abuse crisis can be blamed on homosexual priests either – the facts don’t support that claim.

    What is needed is THE GOOD EXAMPLE of faithful Catholic family life. Yet, we don’t have a single pair of married saints. Marriage is the sacrament of general salvation, and it is woefully ignored by the clergy.

    1. Big problem with your first statement…one IS divinely inspired (the Bible); the other is NOT (the koran), TRUE adherants to each doctrine WILL be very different.

  31. Somewhere in the bible it says paraphrasing that “black will be called white and good will be called evil and evil will be called good”. We are living in those times. it is time to fast and pray.

  32. To Msgr. Pope:
    Thank you for your reply but without wanting to be rude I find it unconvincing especially as another priest I was talking to on the matter told me that right up to Medievil times and later practising homosexuals were tortured and very often executed.
    Is that true to your knowledge?
    If it is how much did the Church have to do with it because I don’t think secular authority had replaced Church authority yet in matters of government.
    Also whilst stoning might have fallen away as a method of execution for Jews and Christians, execution by other methods for hienous crimes is acceptable to Jews and Christians.
    If anything I would say Jesus’s “let him without sin throw the first stone” wasn’t abrogating execution for just adultery but abrogating the death penalty, period.
    But then that thought contradicts the CCC 2267 which permits the death penalty so that can’t be.
    To Karl:
    How did you come to that understanding…please inform what books and/or Church teachings specifically support your position so I can read them. Thanks.
    To Stacy Trasancos:
    When the call came out on New Advent to go to your combox to provide support for your cause, so to speak, did you get that support and did it make a dent in all the rubbish that was written? How are you coping? Has there been any negative impact on your kids?

    1. Well it is worth remembering that the Church is so big and so old that there are bound to be variances in practice from place to place and time to time. However the general contours are what I think I have set forth. The death penalty is not intrinsically evil for it is a punishment but over time its use has become more and more limited and the Church’s current stance is that it be used almost never.

  33. “2) Since I do not experience same sex attraction, my words seem rather empty. I think the only people who might get a hearing are those who experience SSA.”

    I think we really need to get away from this idea, that if you are not gay your words are “empty” again to reiterate While I do not experience SSA either, ( only a small percent of the population does) The personal challenge of chastity is not less difficult for not having SSA. It is just as much a challenge if you have opposite sex attraction. Every single one of us is called to chastity, in the sense that we all must go through long stretches of time were we can not express our selves sexually. I was married at 33… So there were just about 20 years when I was in essentially the same boat as a gay person. Lots of people are in a similar boat. people have spouses who are ill, people are widowed, some people never get married etc etc etc.. The commandments are the commandments. The exist for a reason. It is likely a cross to be gay, but we all have had to endure various crosses, some more than others. Part of the problem is that the focus is on gay versus straight. The real issue is sex inside of marriage versus all the other forms of sexual sin. Everyone has temptations in this area.

    1. mdepie says that you do not have to experience same sex attraction to comment on it. I agree, we can comment to our hearts content. What I am saying is that people with opposing views will pay far more attention to someone who does experience it. We are trying to save souls so we need to consider our audience and how we can best help them.

      Can anyone provide some good internet resources where folks are working through this issue? The Courage website would be one resource. Others?

      Also, mdepie suggests that SSA is not a special problem. I agree with the premise, but I think that this is an enormous issue because (as I said in my post) the culture makes the Church out to be hate-filled. We must change that perception without compromising truth.

  34. I find this very confusing…
    I recall the original post by Stacy Tarancos, and that I did not understand her use of the term “sodomy” with the description “mild homosexual PDA’s”. Sodomy has a pretty specific definition. I’m not going to spell it out, but my understanding is that it is one of two very specific acts… it would not include kissing or anything which could be called “mild”.
    I’m Catholic and I beleive and try very hard to practice all that the church teaches, particularly in this regard, since I’m also gay. I’ve kissed a guy before, (no it wasn’t in public, and yes, I confessed it.) but I’ve never comitted sodomy.
    I found her comments confusing, inaccurate (as described above.) and uncharitable. I found the reaction much worse, but I don’t have very high expectations of gay activists or atheists, while I do expect much from anyone who puts their name out there as representing the Church. While I don’t think Stacy is hateful, I do think a lot of her defenders are. The comments by “fellow Catholics” really scandalized me for a couple of weeks and led me to seriously question my belonging. I found sanity by remembering what I’ve told people who were scandalized by the clergy abuse scandal overthe last few years, that is, “Why would you let any other person ruin your relationship with Christ and His Church?” But I have really been shaken by the nastiness I’ve seen on the Catholic side. (Like I said, the activists and atheists are far worse, but everything is at stake for them, while for us, what is at stake is satisfying our Lord’s thirst for souls, not satisying our own indignation.) I can only speak for myself, but growing up, I heard all sorts of hateful things from parents, family, and friends, all of whom were very Catholic. (Genuinely hateful, like that gay people should all be killed, or friends who joked that if they found out one of us was gay they’d have to kill themselves… ) I was bullied for my perceived homosexuality in Catholic junior high and high school. For that reason, I didn’t come out for a long time, until very recently, and fully an adult, and even then, it was just to my parents, who were, in fact, very kind about it, understanding that I am celibate and comitted to following the teachings of the Church. (So the nasty comment mocking the Bishop’s Letter “Always our Children” really hit home. Thanks for that little ray of sunshine, Father!) I can attest to you, though, that the gay people I know, all of them faithful to the teachings of the Church, are really scandalized by the hateful things Catholic and otherwise Christian people say, but also by the outrage, disgust, stridency, and moralism so many of their fellow Catholics regularly display. When it comes to “proving” the Church is not hateful, you give the tiny quote from the Catechism, but when it comes time to dish out the castigation, it is elaborate, detailed, and defensive. The Church can simply propose the Truth with real charity and gentleness, and when we are rebuffed, we can then “rejoice and be glad.” Instead we mount great defenses, complain about the viciousness of those souls Christ seems to have called us to win for Him, and make grim predictions about when our rights will be taken away by “those” people. To me, Catholics are beginning to sound more like gay activists. The identity of “victim” is an easy identity to take on one’s self, and I fear we Catholics will make ourselves as ridiculous, if not as spiteful as “victim” gay activists. Giving witness to Christ is about winning souls for Him, not about scoring Evangelization Points or showing our indignation for sinners. If we receive hatred for giving an honest and loving proclamation to the Truths of our faith, first of all about Jesus Christ,and then about the way to follow Him, then we can rejoice and be at peace. These seeds will come to fruition. But if we just blast moral indignation, or worse, defend a few truly indefensible aspects of Western Masculine culture, which can be truly “homophobic” then we are a joke, and we deserve to be tossed out with the worst deviations of “Christendom.” I’ll be praying for all involved, but I’m beginning to think both sides are really scary.

    1. I think the confusion comes in regard to an older biblical term for homosexuals which in several places is “sodomites” Hence sodomy is used as a short hand by some to refer to homosexuality in general. I do not use the term, neither does the catechism. You are right, that in modern times sodomy refers to a range of sexual activities sometimes also done by heterosexuals. Hence the term is both confusing and comes across as degrading. I do not baptize everything said by Stacy or every way she says it and would not use the term sodomy or sodomites to refer to homosexuals in general.

      As for sounding like victims, it is necessary to rebuke hateful and false labels because they stick in the public mind. I am not a homophobe, a bigot or a hater and do not like be equated with same. Such people do exist but it is not the motivation for my stance. I think the Catechism’s statement scopes out the middle ground you seek.

      1. Imagine 1000 years into the future, a new version of Monsignor Pope’s commentary on slavery:

        “Now, it is regrettable that the Bible didn’t condemn homophobia as strongly as we would like, and there are some ambiguous statements about the gay lifestyle, but you need to understand, homosexuality was very different in the times Paul was writing than it is now. It wasn’t nearly as loving as it now is, and often involved the participation of unwilling youths and children. People need to understand that there were degrees of sins like homophobia.”

        This is what I predict. In 500 to 1000 years, the Catholic Church will accept the gay lifestyle as normative, if possibly somewhat spiritually inferior to the married or celibate life.

        1. except that the best predictor of the future is the past and for well over 5000 years the Judeo-Christian Scriptures and teaching have consistently reported God’s judgement on this sin. So dream on Paul, but since the Church cannot err in faith an morals (which is what your position entails) and the Scriptures cannot be changed, Deus locutus, causa finita.

          1. Not always.

            Call it an intuition. But of course, we could make safe bets because neither of us will be alive to find out who will win.

            I would bet you (or anyone) $20 that the Catholics won’t change their minds on this issue in my lifetime. I think the change will be very slow and gradual, and in the end the Catholics will say that there was no change at all in the infallible teachings on morals; just a refinement of sound doctrine.

            But such speculations are very safe to make. Who is going to prove me wrong in 500 or 1000 years? I’ll be dead!

        2. It wasn’t nearly as loving as it now is

          But Paul, it isn’t about love. Love isn’t the issue. Two men loving each other is not wrong. In fact, it is what they are called to do.

          For example, I love my father. I love my brothers. I could even say that there is one guy friend whom I love.

          But I don’t want to have sex with any of them.

          1. I think that, for the Catholic Church, this issue isn’t about love. And that’s part of the problem.

          2. Respectfully, Paul, I think you missed Bender’s point. And don’t say that I missed yours, I didn’t… the problem with it is it equates “love” with the manner in which one wants to reach sexual climax and whom they want to reach it with. That’s not love.

    2. Your entire argumentation, for lack of a better word, fails for as a man who has admitted he suffers from homosexual orientation disorder, it is also necessary to acknowledge that it seems to be part of the intrinsic disposition of the disorder to believe that it your ontological existence, the “this is who I am” false assumption.

      As soon as you say “I am a gay man” who have already gone light years in the wrong direction. No one “IS” whatever disorder they suffer from.

      The reason this is important is because when this truth is accepted, one realizes there is no such thing as “gay rights”, that is, special rights for this who habitually and intrinsically experience sexual and romantic desire for other men and boys. In other words, 2-4% of people suffer from homosexual orientation disorder, but homosexuals are not “a people”.

      To address your concern about some of the perceived vitriol coming from devout Catholics, I can tell you for certain that much of it is coming from the attack from pro-homosexual militants on children and the family. The attack on marriage, the teaching of homosexual sexual depravity to school children, (at taxpayer expense no less), the marches though the cities and capitals in front of children and decent citizens of half naked men, men in dresses, men on leashes (I myself have seen this in Washington DC alone, also in Rome) etc, has angered and shocked people many. It seems that these militant homosexuals will not stop until all innocence, and everything good and decent is utterly destroyed.

      1. Your entire argumentation, for lack of a better word, fails for as a man who has admitted he suffers from homosexual orientation disorder, it is also necessary to acknowledge that it seems to be part of the intrinsic disposition of the disorder to believe that it your ontological existence, the “this is who I am” false assumption.

        As soon as you say “I am a gay man” you have already gone light years in the wrong direction. No one “IS” whatever disorder they suffer from.

        The reason this is important is because when this truth is accepted, one realizes there is no such thing as “gay rights”, that is, special rights for this who habitually and intrinsically experience sexual and romantic desire for other men and boys. In other words, 2-4% of people suffer from homosexual orientation disorder, but homosexuals are not “a people”.

        To address your concern about some of the perceived vitriol coming from devout Catholics, I can tell you for certain that much of it is coming from the attack from pro-homosexual militants on children and the family. The attack on marriage, the teaching of homosexual sexual depravity to school children, (at taxpayer expense no less), the marches though the cities and capitals in front of children and decent citizens of half naked men, men in dresses, men on leashes (I myself have seen this in Washington DC alone, also in Rome) etc, has angered and shocked people many. It seems that these militant homosexuals will not stop until all innocence, and everything good and decent is utterly destroyed.

        1. Dear Fr. Maximillian,
          It’s not “who” but it’s part of “what”. As I think I more or less clarified in my other replies, aside from noticing with horror that this is going on inside you (the attractions) which make you different from other boys, they label you for other mannerisms which I guess we seem to mostly display, stereotypical or not, and you are excluded from play, sports, most friendships, and you get bullied too. It’s pretty convincing. Correctly ordered heterosexual identity is constitutive and normally pervasive in the personality and the very being of a normal man. (He becomes who he truly is by fruitful union with his wife) That’s an identity and more. I agree wholeheartedly with the church’s ban on persons with deep-seated homosexual inclinations being permitted to become priests, but there is a sting to the implication that we’re not really men. I don’t think it is meant that way, but that is how it comes across. Homosexuals may not be a “people,” but there is a kind of genuine common experience among them, and some of that experience is deliberate exclusion from the world of “normal” people. You also use the term “Homosexual Orientation Disorder,” which sort of sounds like the church’s formation of the matter in moral terms, but also sort of sounds like some sort of Psychological term. There’s too much confusion among Psychologists on this matter for me to take any of them seriously at this time, either those who say it’s all normal, or those who promote Reparative Therapy and similar treatments. You use Homosexual Orientation Disorder to describe what I experience, whereas I, probably more wrongly, use gay as an adjective,(but not really as an ontological category, and clearly not to describe my chosen lifestyle.) but when Bl. Mother Theresa opened the AIDS Hospice in New York there was a Press Conference and the reporters kept asking her questions about “homosexuals” and “gays”, and she implored the reporters not to refer to them this way, but instead she wished for them to be referred to as “Friends of Jesus.” Having worked in one of her AIDS hospices, I know very well that she was not referring only to those who had repented of sin, but to all of us, because a lot of those guys were pretty bitter and messed up and angry at the Church. Her way works. I remember working at the Sister’s hospice for AIDS patients and how sweet (and humorous) it was to watch two burly gay men afflicted with AIDS listening to the tiny smiling sister explain the Church’s teaching on sexuality with her heavy Indian accent. They rolled their eyes a bit, but they listened and they eventually smiled and they ate the dinner the sisters lovingly served them after the catechism class. Their lives changed because they were loved first.
          Back to reparative therapies, they may work for some, but there seems to be a lot of mistrust of them even from really Catholic gay people. I’m ambivalent on the subject, and I know I can’t afford it anyway, besides, one must at some point embrace the cross in their lives, although it’s not easy to figure out which things are just temporary and which are for life. I never wanted to be gay. I prayed a lot about it, said novenas when I was a teen, tried very hard to beleive I was cured each time I went to Communion and even called a healing nun over the phone to ask her to heal me when I was 16. I read some books on the subject and got pretty worked up about it, but in the end, nothing I was doing worked, and I found peace in simply accepting that this was the cross in my life, and that I must bear it well, that is, chastely.
          As for the reason for the outrage among Catholics, I’m sure you’re right, but as I said, I don’t expect much from atheists and gay activists, and I don’t go to them for guidance or for good example. But I expect everything from the Catholic Church and my fellow members. Look at the 2nd option for the 2nd Reading from the Office of Readings from last Saturday describing the death of St. Cyprian and the way the church acted. Wow! I want to die like that! At very least I want to be yelling with the crowd, “We should also be killed with him!” Even before that, look at Cyprian’s response to the calumnies levelled against him and the church. He feels no need to defend the name of the Church against such labels as “sacrilegious”, or “vicious conspiracy”, and these labels did nothing to hinder the growth of the Church, because all the people could very well see the love which Christians bore for their fellow men. That love conquered all, and that witness worked, in spite of all sorts of lies, and pagan wickedness, and oppression. Now, though, Christendom is over and we live in a pagan world again which very well may end up persecuting us. Instead of longing for a return to simpler, more faithful times (our own version of “immanentizing the eschaton”) why not give the joyful witness our Fathers did? We will then win souls for Christ, and besides, it’s not about this world anyway.
          Also, the distancing of yourself and apparent belittling of the Bishop’s document in your ealrier post really isn’t needed. God has entrusted you with the priesthood, but has not so far seen fit to call you to be a bishop. It is their job to safeguard the deposit of faith in Communion with the Holy Father and govern the church, not primarily yours and vastly much less mine. Belittling their document or repeating stories or facts that diminish its authority or usefulness sets you up as an equal or greater authority, and that just doesn’t seem right. For me, seeing that document helped me to trust that in spite of the danger of loss, which I felt acutely, I could reach out and try to trust my parents to be honest with them and forgive the hurtful things from the past. Knowing that they love me just the same after all these years is a really indescribable joy. I’m going to be working through it with my spiritual director for months probably, because there are some other dangers involved, and I do feel a little out of control (not sexually) for having been so reckless. But I am very happy about it.

          1. Firstly, thank you for taking the time and effort to try to better explain your situation and personal experience in this and several other of your posts.

            Now, starting with the end of your above post, true, I am not a bishop, but I know more than a few, and count a couple as good friends, thus I can tell you, as i already stated, many of these “pastoral letters” are in fact often only the work of tiny, obscure committees who issue these documents in the name of the USCCB without many, and often most, Bishops having the slightest idea what is in them. That simply is a fact.

            It is also the role of all the faithful (if the actions of many of the Saints were correct) to take the leadership of the Church to task if they speak or act in a manner that warrants criticism, even public criticism. The way far too many Bishops in the U.S. and other countries acted with gross incompetence and even arguably criminal negligence regarding the abuse and rape of tens of thousands of children by priests under their supervision being probably the most unfortunate example.

            The ‘mockument’ “Always Our Bishops” was a way for some clever and more than a little funny seminarians to roll their collective eyes at a letter that had much to warrant doing just that.

            To the matter at hand, the writer Truman Capote once stated that for as long as he could remember he was always sexually and romantically attracted to young boys. What to make, and do with that? There is no reason to think someone would make something like that up. Did that mean he was less than a man? The answer to that question is, well, maybe. He did not act like a man, nor did he want the things a man wants. There are many quite obvious and well documented characteristics of homosexual orientation disorder. These are not universals, but pretty close. Among others are: effeminacy (men are not effeminate) emotional and psycho-sexual arrested development and fragility, narcissism, exhibitionism, and promiscuity. Some 5% of those with homosexual orientation disorder have stated they have had over 1000 sexual “partners”, 10% over 500, 15% over 300 and over 50% at least 100. These were the numbers presented to us in university by professor who, well, let’s just say he didn’t really see anything to terribly wrong in any of that. In any case, the point being that children indulge, men sacrifice and deny themselves. Yes, indulgence is also a problem for the general society. Perpetual adolescence is widespread. However among the homosexual “community” it is virtually pandemic.

            Your advice to give the joyful witness our Fathers did is certainly sound, the problem is the daily reading of, and witnessing, the spat straight out of the lowest pit of Hell attack on the innocence of children by the homosexual lobby. It is actually a vice to not get angry at the things that one should get angry about. Even our Lord got angry more than once.


          2. Fr. Maximilian,
            You are quick to dismiss certain pastoral letters as seemingly irrelevant because they are “only the work of tiny, obscure committees” and not representative of all of the bishops (cafeteria Catholicism?), but you seem to want to lump all homosexuals into one “community” which is in some apparent unified conspiracy to corrupt children. Your statistics are admittedly anecdotal, and your claim of certain knowledge seems awfully defensive. Eye-rolling seminarians are not likely to win converts, as the scoffing prevents any dialogue or understanding of the lived experience of people, many of whom are suffering. They will however make themselves feel better and more secure while they circle the wagons.In fact, in my own experience, the most “eye-rolling” seminarians were also the ones most excited about the exceptional laciness of their surplices and the exquisite embridery in their silk fiddleback vestments, which some might categorize among your “well documented characteristics” above. You can see that genralizing is dangerous. The Good News is not that homosexuality is disordered–it has to do with Resurrection and Redemption. There are a lot of angry Catholics. Who’s anger is more righteous?

          3. Fr. Maximillian, you remind me of a judge who ran the political life of the Louisiana parish that I grew up in. His name was Judge Leander Perez. You might remember him as one of the few American politicians excommunicated during the twentieth century. He was fond of denouncing “the filthy little negroes who don’t know the meaning of the word ‘legitimacy.'” Like you he was fond of blaming those living with persecution and its effects for their condition. Like you he had a passionate conviction for protecting children from bad influences (or at least white children just as you protect only heterosexual minors). He went as far as having my older brother’s Catholic grade school fire bombed before it was to open as an integrated school. I am thankful that you, so far, constrain your passion to blogging.

            As long as same sex relationships are actively persecuted at the behest of Christians like yourself, many will be furtive and unstable. While gay people can still lose their employment, their relationships to their families, etc, they will be tempted to seek sex as a means of affirmation.

            Some of us are fortunate as I was to meet a heterosexual friend who wasn’t nurtured on anti-gay hatred which is the mother’s milk of traditional Catholicism. One who simply cares for us and wants the best for us. Some have our lives transformed by this and can forever reject the emptiness of promiscuous sex in favor of selfless love.

            Compared to this, your church has nothing to teach us.

          4. Dear Fr. Maximilian,
            Thanks for your response! I had heard there were criticisms levelled against the document before, but when I actually read it with all those caveats at the beginning, I wasn’t clear why it was being criticized, but as I have said before, I’m kind of an airhead and I don’t always understand things correctly or at least the way they are intended.
            What you say about the Faithful needing to give witness to the hierarchy is certainly true, however; there is an awful lot of criticism directed at them these days, and it is not easy always to tell who is correct. I figure siding with the bishops is usually safe since that seems to be the path of obedience.
            As for Truman Capote and the question of “manhood”, I am not sure that setting up such an argument would be useful for a Catholic. I don’t think the document pertaining to non-admission was actually trying to do that, because it would seem that to do so implies a “third-sex” theory for homosexuality which does not seem to me to fit with Christian Anthropology. My understanding would be that from a Catholic point of view, to say that a homosexual man is “less than a man” would be risky to our Catholic understanding of what it means to be human, that is, created in the image and likeness of God. Among the reasons my Spiritual Director told me not to just “come out” in general is that such a manifestation implies that homosexuality is constitutive, which, he said, it isn’t. He said that God created us male and female, and that I’m a man, 🙂 in spite of all my insecurities about it. I know you do not beleive that homosexual persons are children of a lesser god, so to speak, and your original objection to the use of the term “gay man,” shows this. (although I would never mean “gay man” in the sense of ontologically other than men in general.) While it is true that sin disfigures the soul and makes us less like God and less like our true selves, we are still God’s creation, constituted male and female. As for Transgendered persons, some of whom endure very unusual chromosonal differences, there is, I beleive, somewhere in the mind of God, a true identity and personhood. I do not know how it is revealed, though, or what the best way to understand such things is. One of my confessors once told me that, “We are a mystery even to ourselves.” And he was not referring to homosexual persons but to the human experience in general. Sometimes our own humanity is mysterious and that is something to take to the Divine Model through Whom and for Whom all things were created and continue in being.

        2. “Stacy’s faith is Catholicism as something akin to racism. Many of us are born homosexual rather than heterosexual, but we choose to live chaste lives. We do not, however, renounce our capability love as somehow less than an ideal anymore than we renounce our skin color if it isn’t fair or our eye color if it isn’t blue or our hair color if it isn’t blond. For the Church to do so, as it does, is to start down an all-too-dangerous path that is utterly familiar to Her. It leads to the destruction of human dignity and the damnation of those who believe it”

          Back off. You damned priests are the child rapists.

          1. Frank, I have never raped anyone and have been faithful to my celibate commitment as have most priests I know. Further, something is not racist or akin to it just because you say so. You are not being asked to renounce anything, just live celibately. Pronouncing damnation upon others is also not yours to do.

          2. i apologize for the cheap shot about priests being child rapists.

            I lost control. I was raised in an environment in which the lie that gays are more likely to molest children was drummed into me day after day from an early age. Discovering my same-sex orientation at the age of 12 (no experience required) meant that I worried I would become one of those people. I even let it affect my career choice because it made me afraid to teach at a university for fear that I would be tempted to have an affair with a student.

            One day when I taught a review as a teaching assistant, a very handsome student said that I looked at him as though I disliked him. The truth was that he was a kind, charming student who was easily the best in his class. I had made a habit of avoiding looking at him, and became annoyed with myself when I was unable to do so.

            I was mortified at the thought I had hurt his feelings. On the last day of class, I took him aside and told him that he was the best student in the class and I that I admired him and that there was no good fortune I would begrudge him.

            Since then, I’ve realized that the avoidance taught to me by my Catholic upbringing is harmful to others and that it limits the good I might do for them. If the Church damns me, so be it.

          3. Dear Frank,
            I know what you mean about looking. I used to have a similar problem, and still do if I’m not conscious of what I’m doing. Not only to avoid outing myself, but more to avoid any possibility of a more tempting situation, I’d be very stoic and gruff and “manly” in my way of speaking if I was with a guy I found attractive. I would get this stern “business” look. (My “Poker Face”;-)) I thought about it and this is what I figured out. A lot of my reason was shame that I’m this scrawny nerdy “kid” (I look really young and sometimes feel I get treated accordingly, but I’m not as bothered by that anymore.) and maybe this good looking fellow will dislike me if he sees me as I see myself. If the guy was too attractive, I couldn’t even manage the business look, so I’d look at the ground and if I had to talk I’d find something to be busy with. Because of my wierd lack of “gaydar”, I would also put on this sternness if such a guy was being really friendly, moreso after the unpleasantness at the end of my time in the Seminary. Before that I did feel tainted and a degree of self-loathing, and would therefore deliberately avoid any guy I thought was a very good person, particularly if he was good looking, for fear of contaminating him with even the pessimism or cynicism of my conversation. Even a year ago, a friend of mine told me that other people who see me at work consider me stern and forbidding and fear to approach me because of the look on my face, which I guess I wear a lot. I had no idea! (There are many men where I work and many of them are attractive.) I guess it is a common thing or perceived as a more or less common thing for gay men because later, the same friend told me that other people at work do take it as evidence that I’m gay. Which confuses me, since I always thought being cheerful and silly would look gay, as in “Gay as a tree full of parrots.”
            Anyway, the Church didn’t do that to me. A lot of it was based on things my parents had taught me or the shame they and others had instilled in me, as well as my own sense of being different and bad, but the Church didn’t really say those things to me, which is the main reason I hung onto her for dear life. The K-mart business suit clad nuns of the 1980’s were very clear in their teaching that “Jesus loves you, no matter what.” And I knew that you could only sin if you meant to do it (full consent of the will) and that I had not chosen to be gay. So the bizarre combination of my parents stern, angry version of the faith which included some good things also(they’re better now), and the Sisters unconditionally loving Jesus meant I had to figure things out on my own to some extent. With the help of several good confessors / Spiritual Directors, and prayer, I think I’ve got it right, or close to right.
            As for what I try to do now when I deal with attractive guys, I try to smile, look them in the eye, and treat them in as friendly a way as I would anyone else. I also try to use humor to keep me laughing and therefore not focused on my shame. When it works out, I have noticed that I don’t feel as much temptation to think about the guy in a bad way because I sort of see him differently. If I am tempted, I say a prayer for the guy, that God make him the man He wants Him to be.

      2. The right to name someone has always implied an assumption of ownership. You need to learn your place, priest.

        As for gays not being a “people;” neither are Catholics. Religion is necessarily a choice and should, by your own argument, not be protected to the extent that race is.

          1. Fr. Maximillian wrote “but homosexuals are not ‘A [emphasis mine] people’. ” Learn to read.

          2. Dear Frank,
            You seem angry, and I understand that. I like the name Bl. Mother Theresa gave us, that is, “Friends of Jesus”. Since I worked with her sisters and came to know the love they displayed for everyone, I’m glad to let her name me. I don’t know if you are Catholic or Christian, but maybe take some time to pray about that name. When I do, it helps me to calm down and act like a “Friend of Jesus” Who is meek and humble of heart. I will be praying for you to have His peace and to share it with all you speak or write with.

  35. To Nicky:
    What is about self confessed same sex attracted men like you, Catholic or not, that you have to tell the world you are intrinsically disordered and tell us normal folks we ought to be far more compassionate and understanding because you didn’t bring this on yourself and all the other reasons, blah blah blah, that homosexuals give to gain sympathy?
    Every one of us has our own cross to bear and believe me many of these crosses are far worse than being same sex attracted and having to remain chaste as per Catholic teaching.
    How much different are your desires from those of a heterosexual sex addict?
    I would venture to say they are both intense at times but like any desires they have to be suppressed when they are sinful.
    Not easy, I’m sure, but Christ did say we wouldn’t be tempted with more than we could endure or words to that effect.
    So if I may I would offer you some advice.
    accept the cross you have been given and go to Courage or some such group for help.
    Lastly, if you have to tell the world you are same sex attracted but at the same time want me to sympathize, no, empathize with you, then start proclaiming as loudly as you can and everywhere you go and in every comment you write that, notwithstanding your same sex attraction, it is a disorder, that homosexuals can remain chaste, that marriage is between one man and one woman only and that in a family children need a mom and a dad, not two moms or two dads or any other such rubbish.
    To paraphrase Kipling….”when you do that you’ll be a man my son”….and I’ll support you to the hilt.

    1. “Lastly, if you have to tell the world you are same sex attracted but at the same time want me to sympathize, no, empathize with you, then start proclaiming as loudly as you can and everywhere you go and in every comment you write that, notwithstanding your same sex attraction, it is a disorder…”

      Why not just make him wear a pink triangle and have your Jewish friends wear a yellow star?

      After all, Catholics invented this idea in the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. If the swastika fits, wear it.

  36. At its core, the gay lifestyle stands on the act of sodomy. Is the act of sodomy, against what the “order” of nature (or the natural law) intended for the sexual act? If it is, it is then “disordered.”

    I believe we need to set the table for the discussion with the natural law which is at the core of the very essence of all humans, Christians, atheists…..all of us. What is the true purpose and intent of the sexual act? Why such sexual complimentariness between men and women, and not men and men? Did the proper order of nature intend the sexual act to only be between male and female, as the eyeball is ordered toward sight, the hand and its fingers towards touch and grasping. Nature did not intend the eye to pick an apple off of a tree, anymore than a hand can refract light from the sun. If then, the order of nature is disturbed, possibly are we pushing against our own nature or essence?

    Scripture and the teaching of Christ then fullfills and makes divine the natural law, especially in the sexual act between a man and woman. But quoting scripture on homosexuality falls on deaf ears in the gay community. Anyone in sin rationalizes and justifies their gravely sinful behaviour, and sin by its own definition is a rejection and turning from Christ.

    Start with why in nature (and the author of nature, a supreme being, God) ordered and intended for the sexual act. Then with great joy and love show how our love of Christ makes everything new, from the sexual act, celibacy, our selfless works, a glorification to God our Father.

    1. Dear Still Confused,
      Thanks for your reply! Sorry to be nit-picky, but it is kind of important to use the term “intrinsically disordered” as an adjective to describe sexual acts and attractions, not people. I didn’t get the sense that you meant it worngly, but gay activists tend to dish that up to Catholics a lot, and if we used the terms correctly, we would have an easier time responding to them. Also, for me it’s not about gaining sympathy. I want souls for Christ, and I know what doesn’t work by knowing myslef and others in the same boat, and I know what does work by working with the Missionaries of Charity in one of their hospices for persons with AIDS. I feel confident you have no doubt of their orthodoxy or motives, and I can attest that their way, which is honest, faithful, yet gentle and loving. (loving in a way that proves itself through care.) It works.
      Also, I don’t think I said the cross of homosexuality has anything to do with celibacy or the annoyance of having a strong but disordered sex drive. It doesn’t, at least for me. Being celibate is a real gift and freedom, and for whatever reason, I’ve never seen that as a burden. the sex drive, although disordered, is under pretty good control, and at it’s best, that work of self-mastery has helped me to feel more manly than usual, to be honest. The cross of homosexuality is the “difference” we feel, partially because we know ourselves, but much moreso becasue of the things that were told us or put upon us by parents, families, and friends. That is exactly the reason that I was so driven to tell my parents. I had never beleived that they would love me if they really knew me, because of the things they had said when I was a boy not realizing that I was gay. (hateful things, not the teaching of the Church) It is tremendously helpful to finally know that they do actually love me. There’s a reason it became important recently, but that would reveal too much, and I don’t have the permission of my spiritual director to really out myself.
      As for Courage, I helped plan for and get the current group going in my diocese, and tried to stick with it for several months, and although it was wonderful to see the group grow and to see it’s members’ transformation, it wasn’t really addressing where I was at, and for various reasons I became associated with the authority of the chaplain and felt really constricted in my ability to just be a member and take part in the group. there were some other problems too, but I don’t want to bash Courage at all. Like I said, it has been truly edifying to see the guys really change and grow in holiness.
      Your last comment would probably put off a straight guy, but to me there are few things more endearing than being sort of patronized by someone who is straight. (I don’t want to assume, but you sound straight to me. ) I want to “be myself”, but I can’t “tell the world” I’m gay, so to speak. My Spiritual Director was very firm in forbidding that. But within the context of friendships, I am able to give witness to the Truth and it has helped others in the same boat. Obedience gives me great peace, so I will have to become a man that way instead. I hope I can count on your prayers, even if you can’t “support me to the hilt.” You can certainly count on mine.

      I don’t know. Understanding Natural Law does require a certain amount of philosophical erudition, and in today’s very broken intellectual world, it almost requires a “Catholic Mind” to even see it. While it may be fine for use in crafting law to protect the sanctity of marriage, as proposed in the CDF document, I find it hard to imagine any individual gay person coming to chastity by philosophical argument or reflection. (But i may be projecting my own stupidity onto the rest of the gay community, for which i apologize if it is the case.) Even if they did, all you’d have is a celibate gay pagan philosopher, (like a gay Leibniz, or something;-)) Moral pagandom may have some natural virtue, but I think we want souls for Jesus more than just good behavior. Besides, the gay activists I’ve heard always start in with gay animal stories and the defense that they experience the attraction as “natural” therefore it must be so. The logic involved seems so illogical to me that it defies argument. But, as Pascal said, “the heart has it’s reason, ” The only way I’ve seen things work out, and the reason they work out well for me is that I really beleive Jesus loves me, and I’m in love with Him. Arguing against the sexual drives of any modern person is almost ridiculous because almost no one rules their passions by the use of reason. But out of love for the other, and specifically love for Christ, it is much easier to just obey without trying to justify one way or the other. That’s why I said above that the “cross” of celibacy is so much the easier, at least for me, than the real cross of homosexuality.
      I don’t really know though, honestly. My experience is pretty limited, and if you’ve had better experience in helping people grow in self-mastery and come to Christ by the method you describe, then by all means, please continue! I have a lot of opinions, but I misinterpret and misunderstand much more than I get right. (I’m truly an airhead, and have very little trust in my own judgement.)

    2. Masturbation and oral sex is also opposed to Natural Law. Biology explains quite clearly what sexual organs are for and how to use them in a way in which they actually work to do what they are naturally made to do. Using them in any other way is directly opposed to nature; basic science tells us so.

      1. Joseph,
        You’re right, and it seems very clear to someone with a Catholic Mind, but sometimes it seems to me that the intellectual world, both of high philosophy (if it can be called high anymore), as well as what would otherwise be the “common sense” of our cultural world are really fractured. It is very hard to locate common intellectual grounds with others these days. Fancier folks than I would call it the “Postmodern Condition,” that either there is no longer any “Metanarrative” or at least no one wnats to admit there is one for fear of the demands it may place on them, or, honestly out of fear that such a Metanarrative will give birth to totalitarianism in some way. A lot of the post-war thinkers described this fear, and I think it is often genuine. Buying into Natural Law is demanding, even though to someone with a Catholic Mind it hardly seems possible to think otherwise. Believe me, though, it is. Basic Science and Reason tell us all sorts of things, and from the popular view of things, they seem to change weekly. Like how one week this food is good for you, and the next it’s going to kill you. Genuine Catholic Natural Law theory isn’t absolutely tied down to current science, nor should it be as that would usurp its autonomy and authority. (I.e. Natural Law Theory is an aspect of that great Mother of all the sciences, Philosophy, it is not the handmaid of any science, though it serves them as a kind of conscience.) Anyway, my point is, Natural Law even correctly attended by the sciences is not exactly the warm father, the compassionate friend, the self-sacrificing savior that Jesus is. I feel like I can do anything if He asks me to, but it would be very hard to convince myself in a moment of real temptation that I ought not to sin because to do so is opposed to the correct order and not reasonable. Maybe Immanuel Kant defeated temptations in such a manner, but I’m weak-minded and weak-willed. The same would go for discussing these matters with a non-beleiver. I’ve been amazed in my life how little we sometimes have in common, and how hurtful it can be to assume much of anything. If anyone can bridge these gaps, it’s Jesus, because then I can offer them both my friendship and that of the “Irreplaceable Friend”. (Pope Paul VI called Him that. It was in a part of one of the books they put out before the Jubilee.)
        Again, as I said before to Bob, if this has helped you to reach others then by all means go for it. It is entirely possible I misread things and have a skewed understanding of the way normal people or much of anyone else thinks. I’ve had plenty of evidence of this in my life, so please just take what I say with a grain of salt.

  37. You know what i am sick of Nicky, seeing rainbow flags hanging inside parishes where the statue of Our Lady once stood. I am tired of effeminate ***** priests acting cute, and making the mass about them, I am tired of the entire gay subculture that has infected the Church like a virus. I pray for God’s wrath daily

  38. Nicky,
    “Your last comment would probably put off a straight guy, but to me there are few things more endearing than being sort of patronized by someone who is straight. (I don’t want to assume, but you sound straight to me. ) ”

    First off, I am not straight as you put it, I am a normal heterosexual male.
    Second: so kissing a guy isn’t being intrinsically disordered?
    Being turned on by other men even if you don’t act on it is not being disordered?
    I’m not patronizing you I’m telling you how to earn respect and support nothwithstanding your disorder and far from putting a heterosexual man off (unless you hit on him and make it known) you will win him over, especially a Catholic heterosexual man. Have you even tried to do what I suggest or are you scared of being attacked as a betrayer by other rabid agenda-driven homosexuals who just want sodomy “normalized?”
    Incidentally I didn’t ask for your prayers so exactly who is being patronizing?
    Ah, well, you carry on with your life as you see fit and, really, you don’t have to keep telling everyone you’re a homosexual….those around you will know soon enough.
    To Stacy Trasancos:
    I went online this morning and lo and behold if AOL’s first wecome page (which comes up automatically) didn’t have a sizable photo of two men kissing each other. I can tell you I was repulsed and called my wife to have a look and she was equally disgusted. Athough AOL has now changed the pic is it this kind of in-your-face, we’ll do as we please where we please, whether you are offended or not even if your children are present (or maybe they do it because one has children present) by hardline homosexuals and their supporters that caused you to write your comment?

    1. Dear Still Confused,
      Well I guess I confused you even more! Yes, it’s semantics, but it is kind of important. Kissing a guy is disordered, but it is the action itself not the person doing it that is disordered. You might want to look at parts of the very recent article by Bishop James Conley from Denver: It’s a somewhat important distinction, and like I originally said, no it wasn’t in public, and yes, I confessed it, although at the time I didn’t really understand why, I just felt ashamed.
      I guess patronizing was the wrong word, what I meant was that you seemed to be expressing your concerned opinion that if I did what you were asking you’d consider me a man and be supportive. For a “normal heterosexual man” to tell me that anything I did would make me a man is something thrilling for me, since most of the time my experience was that I was unconditionally barred from such an assesment. If you said something simlar to another normal heterosexual man, he’d probably be indignant because he doesn’t care what you think, he’s a man whether you think so or not. Does that make more sense? I did not mean to offend you by saying I’d pray for you, but I will whether you like it or not. As to following your suggestion, I’d be more afraid of less than normal Catholic heterosexual men flipping out in disgust that I’m not one of them. That may not be entirely realistic, but the experiences I’ve had with what good Catholic people say to me assuming I’m also a normal heterosexual man have been really alarming and disheartening and scandalous. I guess I’m somewhat “heterophobic”. Finally, I doubt most anyone other than those who already know will ever know. My Spiritual Director gave me very specific guidelines on the matter, and, as I said, I’m not supposed to publically out myself. (and no, posting here doesn’t reveal anything to anyone.) Over the years I did my best to stifle whatever they made fun of me for. How I walked, talked, used my hands, preferred to dress, or what I got excited about in front of friends is almost all masked. (none of these things are sexual, but they are more or less correct sterotypes that I guess I unwittingly displayed when I was younger.) I’ve experimented with undoing some of that repression, but I don’t know if it’s worth it anymore. I’ve become the person I am now, and it is what it is. I’ll grow by obeying the Church and my Spiritual Director.

    2. Still confused… yes you are. I have no idea what you are writing about. It sounds like it should be offensive, but I think one requirement for offensive writing is that the writing make sense. So you’re probably safe.

  39. (Msgr. Pope, if what I write below is imprudent or could cause scandal then please don’t post it. I’ve edited it, but I don’t trust my own judgement completely. This is really getting painful. Maybe I should leave it alone, but something tells me these things happened for a reason…)
    Dear Canisius,
    Please don’t pray for God’s wrath. Pray for God’s healing and mercy. While I live in a wonderful place, that is almost entirely orthodox thanks to the very hard and loving labor of my bishop, who really fixed everything, it wasn’t always so. I’ve seen some bad things and had to learn to forgive. I hope you can respect at least this part of what I’m trying to say…
    Anyway, because of the things my family and friends had said over the years, I really did beleive that the only person who could both know me and love me was Jesus so having always clung to His Church, I worked in a parish when I was 16, wherein I was amorously pursued by the pastor to my complete terror. He forcibly kissed me on the lips a couple of times, which freaked me out. I told my parents who told the diocese and I got over this with some ease, and still desiring to be closer to Jesus, I thought I should become a priest. Several years before the Vatican document disallowing men with deep-seated homosexual attractions from entering the priesthood, and also several years before I had finally accepted that, unfortunately, this was not just a phase, I entered the Seminary. I know now that my reasons then weren’t quite correct, but I did not enter because I liked dressing up, as some conservatives believe us gay people do, nor to hide behind a respectable office, but because, as I said, Jesus loved me, and he was the only one I knew loved me, so nothing could be closer to Him than to offer in His person the supremely manly sacrifice of the Eucharist to the Eternal Father, as well as to be able to forgive sin. (In Catholic High School I was very clear about my desire to be a priest, for which I was ridiculed and bullied almost as much as for being perceived as gay, yet still my peers came to me with their problems and sins and I did my best to steer them in the right direction, most often to the chaplain for confession, or to a Catholic Pregnancy Center, or just to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.) My Seminary, though was pretty heterodox, and I got into all sorts of trouble for my support of the Truths of the faith. I have always been very airheaded, and naive, and gullible, and unlike any other gay person I know, I have almost no ability to tell if other people are gay, even when they give some amount of evidence, so it was partly my own stupidity that led to what then happened. After I had turned 21, I got sexually assaulted and manipulated (He threatened to commit suicide if I told on him) by the very conservative priest who had been my friend and Spiritual Director for almost all the time I had been in the Seminary. After all that, I was a complete emotional mess. I had broken contact with him, promising not to tell on him for fear he would kill himself. I fell apart though and finally told my superiors once I learned the Spiritual Director was taking a friend of mine out drinking, who was similar in age. Depressed badly and somewhat suicidal I went home, and then things got a lot worse, both with the Diocese and my family. For a couple of years the drama continued, but then a new bishop came and he really reached out to me, helped me and made sure I was doing ok. My old Spiritual Director was sent away for counseling, and in the end he became a really great priest, and I was able to forgive him, thanks to my bishop.
    Beyond that the story would have to reveal details which could embarass or compromise those I have forgiven or those whom I utterly trust and admire. You should also know that I help in the parish I live in to plan the liturgies, and insofar as I’ve been able, I’ve been the one pushing for greater adherence to the rubrics, greater use of the church’s huge wealth of traditional music, more latin, and for the use of the Extraordinary Form. If you knew me as an adult only, though, you’d probably never know I’m gay. The point is, please don’t pray for wrath on anyone. We all need mercy. Lots of it. Forgive. Forgive everyone. God helped me to, and he will help you to.

    1. Thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry this happened to you. God bless you. Forgiveness is a necessity. Difficult, but the more you do it, the better you get, especially when you stay close to the Lord. Thank you for pointing this out. We all suffer from temptation and sin. There are many different kinds, and they don’t all visit every person.

  40. “… is it this kind of in-your-face, we’ll do as we please where we please, whether you are offended or not even if your children are present (or maybe they do it because one has children present) by hardline homosexuals and their supporters that caused you to write your comment?”

    Yes. It was a warning of sorts. When “gay marriage” become legal, the lifestyle is shoved “in-your-face” everywhere you look. And they dare you to say something, even in the presence of children.

    Complacency is not hatred.

    1. Stacy, you’d better worry about explaining your own past to your children. You were pregnant each of the three times you were married and you abused cocaine and alcohol and stripped for men.

      Only someone who is insane would believe that you would provide a better environment than ANY gay couple.

      Learn some humility.

      1. Well Frank, it’s also help to learn to make some distinctions, like past vs present, repentant vs. unrepentant. It’s also helpful to learn not to use absolute terms such as “ANY”

    2. My wife, children, and I have been forcibly exposed to deliberate in-your-face homosexual PDAs at a really beautiful park we like to take our children to. And I live in the South, so it seems it’s pretty universal. These couples saw us walking nearby, motioned to each other, then began sticking their tongues down each other’s throats and feeling each other up. Then, almost like clockwork, they paused to look at us and my two young boys to smile, laugh, and mock us. We couldn’t believe it.

      1. I don’t believe it, either. Because it’s so unlikely. I assume you mean lesbians, since you mention “feeling each other up” (that’s a lovely chaste turn of phrase, isn’t it…?). That they would then turn and laugh and mock a family makes no sense whatsoever.

        It’s dishonest nonsense like this that shames the Church, shames God.

        Shame on you, Joseph. Shame on you.

  41. Rom 1:27 and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due.
    Rom 1:28 And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
    Rom 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    Rom 1:30 backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    Rom 1:31 without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful:
    Rom 1:32 who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practise such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also consent with them that practise them.

  42. This really is so simple. Stacy is apparently inside the Catholic/Christian tent and accepts the whole bag of tricks, including a divinely revealed, or is it divinely inspired, scripture. I’m not inside that tent. Believe what you want, Stacy, but please don’t expect a secular democracy to privilege your beliefs over my freedom. And I accept that our democracy does allow Stacy to express her opinions, however benighted they may be. Living in a democracy is not without it’s inconveniences and annoyances for both Stacy and myself. The days of theocracy are, hopefully, long gone.

  43. Stacy’s faith is Catholicism as something akin to racism. Many of us are born homosexual rather than heterosexual, but we choose to live chaste lives. We do not, however, renounce our capability love as somehow less than an ideal anymore than we renounce our skin color if it isn’t fair or our eye color if it isn’t blue or our hair color if it isn’t blond. For the Church to do so, as it does, is to start down an all-too-dangerous path that is utterly familiar to Her. It leads to the destruction of human dignity and the damnation of those who believe it.

  44. The overwhelming majority of people still consider the deliberate choice of men to engage in acts of sodomy with other men as depraved and disgusting as it sounds, and in no way believe that it in any way makes of anyone who chooses to engage in the conduct “a people” or a minority. Stating this obvious fact is no more “persecution” or hatred than it is persecution or hatred to state the wrongness of any other sexual perversion. Again, it seems to be part of the pathology of the disorder that those who suffer from it also suffer from emotionally and psycho-sexually arrested development. And of course that is not pleasant to hear. If truth did not cause pain the crucifixion would never have happened. Thus it is very much like when an adult tells a child no, the child does not then go off to consider the reason or logic for the “no”, but instead lashes out in an emotional outburst. To again quote a very wise Logic professor, it often seems all but impossible to use logic and reason to move people away from a position that they did not use logic and reason to arrive at in the first place.

    As for the comment that “eye rolling seminarians are not likely to win converts”, is that statement intended to be taken seriously? The statement actually seems to mock itself. Although it is not nearly as utterly nonsensical as the claim that “persecution by the Church” is the reason those who suffer from homosexual orientation disorder make the choice to engage in sodomy with literally hundreds of “partners.”

    Actually one paper on reparative therapy stated the reason for such promiscuity was a sort of vampire like attempt to find in other men the manhood that they themselves know they are lacking. A sort of self-attempted reparative therapy that can never be successful since every act is a grave evil, thus every act destroys grace by defiling the body. In any case someone who suffers from homosexual orientation disorder must not only reject the emptiness of promiscuous sex, but the grave evil of homosexual sex. If your friend has in any way lead you to the belief that it is not wrong to engage in sexual depravity as long as it is not promiscuous, he has only lead you away from Truth.

    1. Dear Fr. Maximilian,
      May I humbly suggest that you consider what I wrote above to “Bob” and then to “Joseph”, regarding the use of Natural Law Theory in such discussions. I would suspect that if I’m thinking about that correctly, or at least with some insight, then this would also probably apply to using Psychology in such a discussion, being merely a science inferior to Natural Law Theory and also seemingly much more (too much more) flexible, since there are even among those who conduct “Reparative Therapy” several different theories. (I realize that they are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but it does seem sort of odd.) Anyway, what I’m getting at is, if as your Logic Professor said, “it often seems all but impossible to use logic and reason to move people away from a position that they did not use logic and reason to arrive at in the first place.”, and I think it is your goal and mission to move them, then perhaps a different approach would serve everyone involved much better. Nature (Fallen as it is) sometimes serves up all sorts of awful, raw painful things, but Jesus brings peace and healing with His Truth. After we have become His friend and He has strengthened us and conformed us more and more to himself and shown us that there is nothing to fear, then He brings us into sharing His sacrifice (the Cross). He meets souls where they’re at, as I hope you do when you’re in the confessional box(instead of in the combox;-)) It’s in that context of friendship with a person that we can introduce them to Jesus and give faithful witness to His whole Truth and Love, including the way He expects us to live. I know you know this, but there is a person behind every angry gay post on here and on Stacy’s blog and elsewhere. I can’t speak for all of them, nor can I presume to know the minds, hearts, or history of all of them, but for myself it usually comes back to the question of love. Do those I am in dialogue with love me? Can they love me? If they knew I was gay, would everything I say be discounted? That may seem childish, presumptuous, selfish, and needy, but that’s where I’m at. Jesus meets me there and that makes it much easier to avoid sinning and to start to reach out to others.

      1. Again, thanks for taking the time to help other understand how you approach this difficult issue for you. As for using a different approach other than logic, reason, Natural Law, and psychology, the answer is, yes, certainly, when one feels that those tools in the toolbox are the wrong ones in a certain particular case. However not when they are exactly the tools called for. In the same way that “meeting people were they are” is only sound advice when it is the prudent course to take, sometimes it is actually counter-productive. The struggle many priests have is to know what approach should be used in any particular case. My approach is to use them all, and struggle to instead find the ratio that would best serve that particular person. One is not doing anyone any favors to not point out the illogic of a person’s position, the psychological harm they are doing to themselves through certain choices they are making, and how their belief attacks the principles of Natural Law which makes them and all of us less safe and destroys liberty. If all terms are subjective, such as marriage, then the term person is subjective and the road is now paved to dismember children in the womb, or gas them and throw them ovens. In this regard the homosexual agenda and lobby is intrinsically akin to fascism. The “reality is whatever we say it is and we will use the power and coercion of the State to force it on society” mentality.

        As for the deliberate coordinated attack on innocent children, there can be only one tenable response, anger. For the case can certainly be made that the greatest evil a person can commit is to attempt to destroy a child’s innocence and though an active choice of the will, lead that child into great evil, into that which God himself calls an “abomination.”
        To return to that paper on reparative therapy, I once spoke to the author about some of his ideas, theories, and conclusions, and found what he had to say quite interesting. To paraphrase: “Look, we are all, all of us, created by God, and born, heterosexual. Some heterosexuals experience strong sexual desire for their own likeness, a form of sexual narcissism, and some of these people make the choice to act on those desires, while other’s do not. In other words, some make the choice to live out their heterosexuality through the homosexual lifestyle. No one really knows why 2-4% of heterosexuals experience such predominate sexual attraction for their mirror image. Worse still is that when someone puts forth a theory, it seems to only be applicable to one gender, and falls apart when applied to the other. The pathology and cause of same sex attraction seem to be quite different for men as for women.”

        The point of mentioning this is to, again, point out the fact that you are not “gay”. You are person created in the image and likeness of God for the purpose of spending eternity with him in joy, who unfortunately suffers from same-sex attraction. Full stop. I would also quite honestly and sincerely recommend that you stop going by the name “Nicky” and go with “Nick”. As we grow up, many of the things of childhood no longer interest us, but at other times it takes an act of the will to put the things of our childhood behind us. Let me put it this way, if one were to talk for one year pretending to have a British accent, they would find that after a year, when they stopped, that the way they pronounced many of their words had now changed somewhat, perhaps a few even substantially. Ask Christ for the grace and strength to put behind the things that an adult man should leave behind. After the mid-morning Sunday Mass, when I am wishing everyone a beautiful and blessed Sunday and trying to get as many handshakes in as I can, one person (I think he is about 23 or so) comes over towards the end and just flops a limp palm in my hand and sort of stands there as if posing with a girlish grin. That, all of that, was a deliberate choice. He acts that way in order to deliberately communicate effeminacy and God knows what else, and it’s pretty appalling. There was a post on this very blog not too long ago about how Christ was not this soft delicate sweet butterfly that many like to pretend he was. “Jesus loves me just the way I am.” Well, actually, no, he doesn’t. Hence the reason for his suffering and death for you. He doesn’t like the way you are BECAUSE he loves you. So, please, men respect and listen to other men when they in fact behave like men, whatever their cross is. One of the best ways to be the man we want to be, are called to be, is to simply begin, with God’s help, acting like it.
        God bless.

        1. Dear Fr. Maximilian,
          Thanks for your reply and your concern. Outside of this combox, the first I have ever written in, I have never used the actual diminutive/affectionate form to refer to myself. No one (Not my mother or father) uses that form of address to me except one person; my bishop. Coming from him it has always been sweet and affirming, especially since he did so much for me and really took care of me. No offense to anyone here, but I was terrified putting in my first few posts, and I used the diminutive as a way to comfort myself with the knowledge that my bishop loves me even if I got slapped around here, which I didn’t.
          In general, my demeanor is very masculine, deliberately so, to make up for my scrawny appearance. Like I mentioned above, though, I recently learned that some people at work perceive this “gravitas” (Which, I guess, must look really ridiculous on a scrawny, nerdy, twink like me!) as the very sign that I’m gay. I guess I need to warm up a bit and turn my frown upside down. I really am happier than I’ve ever been in my life, so I guess it would be good to share that. Thank you for your concern, though, and your willingness to type more than a blurb. I apologize if I’ve written too much. Chattiness is also one of the (often true)stereotypes!

    2. The statements about seminarians was indeed meant to be taken seriously, as we are all called to try to win over converts to Christianity by the witness of our lives (the New Evangelization). The statement does not mock itself, but you have made a good attempt to mock it rather than address the content of it–this seems to be the goal of the “eye rolling approach”. Merely repeating a statement in an omniscient tone and then dismissing anyone who has a different insight as “nonsensical” and “illogical” is only going to close off hearts and minds and discussions. It shouldn’t be a power play or about winning here…

      1. I assure you that if that particular statement contained any content that could even remotely be take seriously, I would have address it. There are probably volumes of letters and statements by bishops, and these often tiny, obscure, questionably Catholic committees, that have even made the collective eyes in the Vatican offices role. That is however irrelevant. And no one was “dismissed” because they had “a different insight”. A particular line, in a particular post, was questioned because it does not seem to anything other than an emotional reactionary quip by someone taking either it, himself, or both, much too seriously.

        1. Your appeal to a logic which is immune from “emotional reactionary quips” is idealistic. Your commentary about your feelings regarding the 23 year old man who attended mass were very telling about how much of your testimony is emotional (just like the rest of us) and not merely “logical”. It’s not hard to judge another’s actions, character, or even soul based on our own preferences (about the ideal of manhood or anything else), but Christ seems to have tried to invite us past this tendency lest we fall into hypocrisy. To say that homosexual activity is contrary to Natural Law is one thing (although still maybe worthy of dialogue), but to imply that “Jesus doesn’t like” the way some people are because you disapprove of the way they smile or the firmness of a handshake seems over the line and more than a little emotionally reactionary.

          1. In no particular order..
            No, it’s not “worthy of dialogue” or “open for debate” or “in need of revision” or any other banal trite absurd statement regarding the fact that men sodomizing each other is contrary to, and a violation of, Natural Law. To pretend otherwise is to admit one is more than a little unhinged from reality and reason.

            My “commentary” about my reaction to how a particular person limp wrists a handshake, every time, tells one thing, and one thing only, which is my reaction as to how a particular person limp wrists a handshake every time. If you need to pretend that it has more meaning than that, I am not surprised. It seems, quite sadly and tragically, that pretending about a lot of things is necessary for you. Perhaps even habitual at this point.

            I am not “appealing to logic which is immune from emotional reactionary quips”, simply stating the obvious fact that it is. So is math and many other things. But no one should ever be surprised that those who suffer from deep psycho-sexual disorders react emotionally and irrationally to argumentation founded on logic and reason. This fact is the very reason those tools are often not helpful in a debate.

            Interesting to learn that you have no great difficulty in judging another’s soul. I can only say I am quite glad that I have not been given the burden of so powerful a gift.

            As for your last statement:
            “to imply that Jesus doesn’t like” the way some people are because you disapprove of the way they smile or the firmness of a handshake seems over the line and more than a little emotionally reactionary.”

            No where did I imply that, and I think you full well know that. Dishonesty is not an adult debating tool. I have already posted that it is in fact wrong to not have the proper emotional responses to certain things. Our Lord displayed anger on more than one occasion. If a man behaves or dresses like a woman, to not be disgusted or experience revulsion at what is disgusting and revolting is simply wrong. And no where in what I just wrote can you or anyone claim that that means that the person should not be treated as a child of God. But children often learn certain conduct is wrong, inappropriate, even revolting, only by the proper responses, emotional or otherwise, from adults.
            Emotions too are a gift from God, and to not be disgusted by that which is disgusting, is a betrayal of that gift.

          2. With all due respect, I don’t think my interpretation of your words was unreasonable:
            “After the mid-morning Sunday Mass, when I am wishing everyone a beautiful and blessed Sunday and trying to get as many handshakes in as I can, one person (I think he is about 23 or so) comes over towards the end and just flops a limp palm in my hand and sort of stands there as if posing with a girlish grin. That, all of that, was a deliberate choice. He acts that way in order to deliberately communicate effeminacy and God knows what else, and it’s pretty appalling. There was a post on this very blog not too long ago about how Christ was not this soft delicate sweet butterfly that many like to pretend he was. “Jesus loves me just the way I am.” Well, actually, no, he doesn’t. Hence the reason for his suffering and death for you. He doesn’t like the way you are BECAUSE he loves you.”
            1. Your claim to know WHY he shakes hands a certain way and smiles in a certain way (“He acts that way in order to…”) and then to conclude it can only be a deliberate attempt to be effeminate, which you admit causes disgust and revulsion in you, implies you have some deep insight into the dark sinfulness of his soul–based on a handshake and a smile.
            2. Your judgment about what kind of manly behaviors Jesus “likes” immediately followed your story about the young man at Church. That’s more than implying it.
            It’s a shame to reduce morality, and even Christianity in general, to a mere “genital” reality, or something governed only by our sense of revulsion and disgust. Surely the Gospel gives us a firmer foundation than that.
            3. Life isn’t math.

          3. Perhaps I can understand how not “There was a post..” begin its own paragraph, led to your misinterpretation. In any case, how we choose to conduct ourselves, and present ourselves, are just that, choices. This in fact is why the Church teaching that homosexual sodomy, adultery, fornication, rape, etc, are wrong, evil, and sinful, is not to “reduce morality”, but instead simply morality.

            Neither math nor logic are governed or influenced by emotions. If the fact that God has communicated through His Holy Church that the thought of men committing acts of sodomy, on each other or whatever else crosses their mind, is intrinsically disordered, and the act itself a grave evil, is a truth that you are using your emotions to deny and to even hide behind them, then not only have you abused the gift of emotions, but also of reason by subordinating it to those disordered passions.

            One of the reasons this fight is so important, is that it is finally becoming clear to many in the Church who have had their heads in the sand on this issue far too long that Satan was always going to use the homosexual lobby and agenda to unleash the full vileness of Hell on children.

          4. I agree that Satan is at work in the world, but not merely in graphically imagined acts of sodomy. I think often Satan is at work in much more in insidious ways like leading us towards attitudes of judgment of others rather than love, and certainty rather than trust in God. It certainly doesn’t mean we can’t make objective judgments about morality, but the danger of hypocrisy is always right around the corner.

  45. Thank you for your writing and your ministry. It’s difficult to disapprove of homosexual activity in a world of moral relativism. “Bigotry” is such an overused word, and it’s hard when people hate you when they incorrectly think that you hate them. May the truth prevail. God bless you.

  46. For Fr. Maximillian and Nick;

    I want to thank you both for the incredible “conversation”…you have both comported yourselves honorably, and I have been greatly edified by the back-and-forth. My prayers for you both…and my gratitude for the wisdom shown in your writings. Fr. Max–your parishoners are a blessed lot indeed; and Nick–you gave me wonderful insight on living with a cross and aligning one’s life to The Church’s compass….true North. God bless you both indeed.

  47. My problem with the original post is that it came across as ignorant and judgmental. This was one woman imagining something that wasn’t even overtly expressed, and then ranting that it was just so unfair, boo-hoo, that she had to live in a world where everyone and everything didn’t jibe with her personal worldview.

    Well, everything didn’t exactly jibe with Christ’s worldview when He was here on earth, did it? I don’t recall any whiny rants on His part when they beat and crucified him.

    There is a deeply ugly and cruel sort of sinfulness behind that post.

    I am not defending the response she received just as I don’t defend the same sort of violent, vitriolic responses I’ve seen Catholics write on atheist and GLBT blogs. But I can’t pretend I didn’t find the original post repulsive in itself.

    And if you’re going to post that kind of thing publicly, then you get what that kind of thing deserves filling up your comboxes. Sorry, but there’s such a thing as personal responsibility and if you write ignorant, judgmental posts about strangers and go on to opine that the world would be a better place for you personally without “those people”, then you pretty much ought to expect hate mail.

  48. Cminca – your posts are being rejected due to name calling and the presumption of hateful, bigoted or evil motives by you of your interlocutors. Your attitude is neither appreciated or permitted on this blog. The purpose of a moderator is to moderate comments and screen out comments that either contain personal offenses or stray too far from the point of the post. You will note that in this particular comment you use the word “coward” but many of your post have used words and concepts far worse. As for “erasing anything and anyone who disagrees”, a scan of these comments will show that is not so. This is not your blog and ADW is not required to provide a venue for your error and harsh rhetoric. As for your complaint about scripture, it was addressed and adequately answered. That you disagree is understood, but proof texting scripture or using it sling arrows back and forth is not the purpose either of scripture or this blog. It is due to your many problematic comments that could not be posted that your posts are being blocked out of the queue.

    For the record there are also others, who, though supportive of Catholic teaching, have been block from commenting further on this issue due to their use of hateful and inappropriate language or of using Scripture in a way not in conformity with the Catholic understanding.

    As a blog, we encourage vigorous discussion, but there are modes that must be respected, hence the purpose of moderation

  49. What did Jesus say about homosexuality? Answer: NOTHING! “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”. Lets raise our minds above mortal judgement and start being Christian.

    1. You artificially divide up God’s word. It is all God’s word and the New Testament Apostles had a lot to say on the matter. Jesus said to his Apostles, “He who hears you hears me.”

  50. Even with heterosexual couples (even if married), a quick smooch in public is okay, hand holding in public is okay. Anything beyond that in public is not.

  51. The BIG lie be perpetrated is that there is NO right or wrong AT ALL.(The anything goes ~ what is right in front of my face~ no rules mentality). Christian/Catholic right and wrong are hidden behind the disguised argument of the dangerously ~ over generalized “judgmental” label. And the really BIG scare is that slowly people have been sold into believing that gov’t rules ~ right and wrong, regulations etc…are just fine and for our own good and the good of the baby whales and whatever but somehow Catholic teaching is restrictive?! Please. We are SO gov’t over~regulated we cannot even move and corruption,economic stagnation & mediocrity is now the result. People are NOT becoming more free and hitting their potential by rejecting Christ’s teaching and religion rather people are trading one set of direction in life, rules & leader(s) (the right one & true way) for the wrong or false one(s). Amazing so many people do not see.

  52. What did Jesus say about human sexuality? He said this:
    Mark 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
    So Christ believes in creation, and teaches us that the divine sexual and emotional union of marriage is instituted because we are created male and female. When a marriage is consumated, the two become one flesh. And becoming one flesh is something a pair of homosexual men or women cannot do, because between them they lack the complementary equipment necessary for the act. They are trying to solve the puzzle with only half the pieces. Very sad. And even sadder that they can use governments to force their false beliefs into the public square and even into the classroom.

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