This is more than a little–weird for me?:o I recently fell in love with a woman. We are both Catholic. Met doing charity work! Neither of us ever considered ourselves gay or bi or anything, but we both care very deeply for the other. We’re both being chaste, and truthfully the fact that we have such a strong relationship without sex I believe just affirms how much we authentically care for the other.
Let me just clarify. I was that jerk who would crack gay jokes, not thinking that someone in the room could be gay. I thought gay people couldn’t possibly actually love each other, it had to be lust. i.e. bullet train to Hell sorta thing.
…so this has been really humbling. Thanks be to God for that, I am obviously quite the sinner.
Not surprisingly I’ve been having doubts about the church’s teaching on homosexuality. I’ve watched Theology of the Body, read Encyclicals, of course read the Bible etc. It’s been a several months.
I’m looking for a document/bible verse/anything really that shows that we are ordered exclusively towards heterosexuality. Something that shows that even an act intending to be unitive between a loving monogamous homosexual couple is disordered and wrong.**
If someone wants to use Romans 1:26-27 please explain
Why Paul uses the same Greek word for nature in 1 Corinthians 11:13-16
Why that particular passage is about homosexuality and not a pagan ritual orgy.
Many thanks in advance for any and all assistance and mercy!
There is nothing stronger than scriptures or teachings of the church. They are the word of God.
God also made people lazy, or faithless, or prone to addiction, or particularly violent, or any number of personality flaws that lead to sin. But there is nothing you can be born with that gives you a free pass to sin. We ALL must pick up our cross.
God expects us to try. He also knows what a struggle it is and has compassion; remember the saying “God will never tempt you more than you can handle”. We all have different levels of strength in faith, and we are given the burden to lift accordingly. If you have been given a particularly heavy burden, you will be gifted with the strength you need to carry it.
I say all this speaking as someone who has also has same sex attractions… I know what it means to care so deeply for someone you cannot pursue intimacy with. But they are all merely the struggles of the earthly life, and I know that God will always grant the strength it takes for me to push on and keep following His will.
Well first of all, love and lust are not the same thing, as you even demarcate in this post! Of course you can love a woman; you can love her as much or even more than anyone else on Earth. The problem is, of course, lust and sexual activity. Which brings up your question of why sexual acts (I’m assuming this is what you mean by “act intending to be unitive?”) between two members of the same sex are disordered. Well, the short answer is that sex is only meant to be a combination of unitive and procreative elements in a marriage. A person need not be fertile, but the act must be ordered in a fertile manner. This is why contraception is immoral; this is why gay sex is immoral; this is why the permanently impotent cannot validly marry if the impotence precedes the wedding.
If you are looking for Church documentation, I will direct you to a few sources. First, the Catechism:
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.
Secondly, the papal letter approved by Pope St. John Paul II:
To chose someone of the same sex for one’s sexual activity is to annul the rich symbolism and meaning, not to mention the goals, of the Creator’s sexual design. Homosexual activity is not a complementary union, able to transmit life; and so it thwarts the call to a life of that form of self-giving which the Gospel says is the essence of Christian living. This does not mean that homosexual persons are not often generous and giving of themselves; but when they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent.
I think Cardinal Ratzinger was overly harsh with some of his terminology (personally I think “self-indulgent” was a ridiculous insertion), but the theology is correct in the encyclical.
It is not a fact that God created a person homosexual. To have a feeling to do something doesn’t define a persons ontologicaly. That is not the core of their being. If I- let’s say for the sake of argument- have anger issues and feel thast I need to kill Mary Poppins and any other person that annoys me, and then decide I will act on it, will that prove that God created me a serial killer. No, I think not.
Homosexuality flies in the face of reason and the natural law which are standards of truth which even intelligent atheists would be able to comfortably accept as being authoratative.
You seem to be speaking of ‘sisterly love’ rather that lesbian/sexual intimacy. The first is fine but there is a great danger that it slides into the second.
If you say it is chaste & there are no erotic feelings/actions then I guess no one would object. Indeed many hetero marriages (after child-bearing years) are like this since one or other partner finds the physical act of sex rather distasteful. Humans are a very mixed, confused bunch.
PAUSE. The permanently impotent cannot validly marry if the impotence precedes the wedding?! Can you give me a link or reference?! I never knew that!
Anyways, thank you for your response! I feel very silly for studying for months and not thinking to check the references in the Catechism. I’ve actually, coincidentally, spent a lot of time studying the scripture those references cite…which leads to another can of worms…
But for now I was wondering if you would elaborate on the origins of the following concept:
“sex is only meant to be a combination of unitive and procreative elements in a marriage”
For something so essential to our humanity, is there anywhere that Jesus says that? Specifically that sex has to be procreative?
You are looking for a specific Bible verse that shows that we are ordered exclusively towards hetro-sexuality and not homo-sexuality nor bestiality?
1 The LORD said to Moses:
2 Speak to the Israelites and tell them: I, the LORD, am your God.*
3 You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you once lived, nor shall you do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you; do not conform to their customs.a
4 My decrees you shall carry out, and my statutes you shall take care to follow. I, the LORD, am your God.
5 Keep, then, my statutes and decrees, for the person who carries them out will find life* through them. I am the LORD.**(“http://www.usccb.org/bible/leviticus/18#03018005-b”)
22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman;o such a thing is an abomination.
23 You shall not have sexual relations with an animal, defiling yourself with it; nor shall a woman set herself in front of an animal to mate with it; that is perverse.p
24 Do not defile yourselves by any of these things, because by them the nations whom I am driving out of your way have defiled themselves.
25 And so the land has become defiled, and I have punished it for its wickedness, and the land has vomited out its inhabitants.q
Are you saying by this question that if Jeus did not speak in the Gospels on a partuiclar moral point, then there’s no basis for it? (Just curious- I realize you may not be saying that.)
Jesus did say:
“Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Whether people like it or not, you are right. Sure, some people “decide” to be gay or homosexual, or bi-sexual, but I do believe that the vast majority are born that way. There are simply too many physiological differences that can be described to suggest this. Some people may have both male and female sexual organs, or partial development of one gender identifying organs, while the other is more dominant, then there is the effect of birth control pills, gene hopping, other chemical exposures and just plain anomalies we know nothing about.
And as for loving another person: I have a girl friend I have known since we were 13 years old. We are now in our 50’s. We are both single and as Church oriented as anyone can be. There is no homosexual aspect in our friendship, but I love her as if she were my own sister. Love is love.
First of all, I wish I could give you a hug. What you are facing is scary and life-altering but know that God is with you through all of it. You are every bit a child of God as ever and your humility and obedience shines through.
I wish I had some concrete advice. The only real “official” Catholic understanding of homosexuality is the passage you quoted from the catechism. It doesn’t leave much leeway and can feel disheartening. The Church’s position on homosexuality is derived from both the Old Testament and the letters of Saint Paul. Both sources can be interpreted a million different ways. The Episcopal Church reads those passages very differently than the Catholic Church.
Whichever reading is valid is something you must decide for yourself. Pray constantly. It is okay to change your mind— I do on a daily basis.
Most importantly, do not let anyone tell you that the love you have for this woman is not valid. Even if you end up believing that to act on these feelings physically would be a sin, that does not negate the very real connection you share. It’s clear you are not motivated by lust or perversity and do not let anyone, Catholic or not, claim that you are. God does not love you in spite of your homosexual feelings. He loves you entirely and He is guiding you.
To be born with a predisposition towards same-sex attraction is a possibility I do not deny, but the church teaches that having such a disposition is indeed a cross to bear and people who have same-sex attraction should be treated with compassion, love, and understanding.
However, to act on the same-sex attraction, is indeed contrary to God Will and it is a sin. Divine Revelation reveals this truth to us, and this is what the church holds as Truth and will always hold it to be the truth.
“Love is to desire and will in a consitent manner the highest and best thing for the sake of the beloved.”
John Paul II
(that is the quote as best I remember it, citation would be need)
I have to say that this was extremely powerful to me. Keep up the good work please :). Too many people treat gay people like clinic cases, when all of us are actually human beings with real feelings and real love.
Homosexual behavior is intrinsically disordered and goes against natural law (CDF). By natural law I interpret that to mean a deviation from the roots of reproduction and God’s ultimate familial relationship. God creates everything good and in unity with nature.
Man and Women through Marriage become one flesh and share in the likeness of the trinity. Homosexuals should be mindful of a life of chastity and through their self mastery come closer to God in a more personal and direct way.
It is important to know that anyone feeling these tendencies should consult a priest, family, and friends asking for help during this difficult time.