Sunday, August 11, 2013

Homosexuality and the modern Catholic

The news world is still buzzing about Pope Francis' comments about gay priests.  In answer the typical spins and distortions filtered through the news media, many bloggers of varying capability have attempted to put it all in perspective, and point out that Pope Francis really didn't say anything different.  OK.  Still working it out.  Let's face it, if the world of the Internet has shown us nothing else, it's shown how easy it is to spin and twist words.  It looks to me that Pope Francis was saying what the Church, at least in recent years has said:
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward 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,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 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.2358 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.2359 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.
Fine.  I think the issue is far more complex than we admit, than gay rights advocates want to acknowledge, or that most are willing to say.  But know this, if the Church ever comes to a point where it begins treating people with same sex attraction differently than those with any other temptation to sin, then the battle is already lost.  Because at that point, it's simply taking the latest and trying to spin it based on 2000 years of teaching, rather than taking 2000 years of teaching and seizing the debate and taking the initiative to frame the issue on Apostolic teaching.

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