Is homosexuality a sin even if you do not perfom the act?

I am a bit confused about the Catholic position on homomosexuality. Does the Church define the term homosexual differently than the term gay or lesbian? Isn’t homosexualty a sin whether you commit the sexual act (or engage in a relationship) or not because you are still thinking about doing the act. Meaning you have still done it in your heart. Homosexuality then would be a sin according to the Bible/Christian tradition.

Dear blue,

“Gay” is a term that those with homosexual inclinations prefer to be called. “Lesbian” is a term that women with homosexual inclinations prefer to be called. Homosexual inclinations are those by which people desire to have sexual relations with members of their own sex.

How could homosexuality, in itself, be a sin? Sins are acts that are contrary to what God expects of us. An inclination is not an act.

Thinking, in itself, is not a sin. For anyone, regardless of sexual inclination, to recognize someone else as sexually attractive is not a sin. On the other hand, to deliberately allow oneself to be temped by particular thoughts, sexual or otherwise, can be an occasion of sin or it can actually be sinful in itself.

Scripture condemns homosexual activity—not the inclination itself.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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