Blog Template Theology of the Body: Homosexuality: The Official Position

Monday, May 14, 2007

Homosexuality: The Official Position

Over the weekend, NPR did a two-hour special on the evolution of definitions of homosexuality as "pathology" in American psychiatric circles. The stories were fascinating and sad. I was inspired to renew this old post, below.

"Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction towards persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity (Genesis 19:1-29, Romans 1:24-27, I Corinthians 6:10, I Timothy 1:10), tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

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, and by the support of friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection."

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357-2359.

(This author's most long-winded musings to date- occasioned by the film Brokeback Mountain-are available here)