I voted in the poll. I am a new Catholic and I learned that SSA is NOT a sin, but a term something like ‘disorded appetite’ was used to describe how that attraction is not something to be acted upon. Hence homosexual activities are condemned as sinful, but so are any sexual activities outside of marriage. I think I learned this from reading at the Catholic Education Resource Center online.
Prior to becoming Catholic, I did not know whether or not homosexuality or homosexual activities were sinful, though I knew many groups within society found them to be problematic. I think the Catholic teaching is very clear and easy to understand, but I have seen that some people here at CAF have clung to the notion that even finding oneself attracted to someone of the same sex is sinful in and of itself, though it goes against Church teachings.
I posted this poll not to find out what Church teaching is (as a theology major I already know that), but to find out what the average person on CAF thought Church teaching is.
Like Mommamaree, I have found many Catholics on CAF who think that having SSA, regardless of whether or not you are celibate, is a sin. As someone who is interested in this for personal reasons (I’m a Catholic who is a virgin, and I have SSA) I wanted to know if the average person is like this, or if this was just a small minority who merely seemed to be a high % of people on CAF.
As far as I know, the Church teaches that a homosexual act, just like any sex outside of marriage is a Grave Act. For it to be mortal sin it has been said that some homosexual acts would vary in culpabilty according to each individual.
Bob, I can understand why you might believe that most Catholics don’t understand the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. However, a poll here at CAF, especially in the Moral Theology forum, isn’t going to give you a very representative sample of most Catholics.
Homosexuality is discussed, over and over, here at CAF. The exact position of the Church is commonly spelled out, with Catechism citations if necessary, in such threads. As a result, CAF members are probably better informed about this topic than most Catholics.
I think there’s a disparity in education with regards to this teaching. Or so it seems.
I was taught, in high school, and I remember it specifically: the CC forbids homosexual activity, but recognizes homosexual orientation. From what I understand, they regard homosexual activity as sinful as heterosexual activity outside of marriage, and for the same reasons.
The confusion comes in with regards to the direction the Church gives regarding treatment of homosexuals, and I see it every day. Some people think that you are supposed to shun them (not give them jobs, not let them teach in schools, not let them be tenents on your property). I’ve always been taught to hate the sin but love the sinner: If you shun the person, you eliminate any possibility that you can bring them back to the Church and live by Church guidelines. By shunning them, you give them the ammunition to say who judgemental Catholics are, rather than showing them by your living example that God loves us all, and that it pains him when we sin. You can tell someone that you don’t approve of their actions while telling them that you care about them.
You are asking two entirely different questions.
Homosexual acts. You don’t have to go far to find what the Catholic Church teaches about these. The Catechism of the Catholic Church deal specificially with homosexual acts, saying that homosexual are never to be accepted.
Same sex attraction. There is no sin in this. We are all tempted to sin. If an alcoholic is tempted to get drunk before driving home and does not, there no sin. Simply being attracted to sinful behavior is no sin; acting on this attaction is sinfujl.
There are some resources you can use for your student paper. One is the group called Courage, a group of people with SSA who as Catholics live chaste lives. I haven’t checked but perhaps there is information onthem on the web.
You could also perform a search on Catholic Answers, using the search screen at the top of the webpage here to see previous threads on homosexuality–though admittedly these discussions were sometimes wild, descending to name calling, often featuring one post after another by gay people who hate the Church for its teaching on their acts.
Actually lack of perfection is not the same as sin. Physical disability is not a lack of perfection. And, now that I think of it, I cannot run three minute mile. This is a lack of perfection too. And it does not follow that because SSA is a psychological disorder, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, SSA is sinful.
“Furthermore, my daughter, we have certain natural inclinations, which are not strictly speaking either mortal or venial sins, but rather imperfections; and the acts in which they take shape, failings and deficiencies.” St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Book I, Chapter XXIV.
While it is certainly desirable to be perfect, it is assuredly no sin not to be.
Not exactly. The Church wants us to have an approach towards those with a same sex attraction is very much like the approach we’ve all learned to have towards someone who is an alcoholic. You absolutely love the sinner, but hate the sin.
But it is NOT loving the sinner to enable him or to place others in harm’s way. A recovering alcoholic can be a very good teacher. Want your kids taught by an alcoholic NOT on the wagon? An alcoholic who has been dry for years can eventually be trusted to adopt children. NEVER an alcoholic still drinking. See the difference? Can you fire your janitor for alcoholism if he has never missed work or shown up drunk? No, that would be an injustice. You don’t ‘hate’ out of control alcoholics, but you need to prevent their problem from harming others sometimes.
The same sorts of things go for homosexuality. I don’t support allowing gay couples to adopt, I don’t want a gay activist being my kids teacher and I’m not going to go to celebrate the ‘wedding’ of gay relatives or coworkers. But someone who recognizes their gay inclination as disordered and something that cannot be acted upon is a different matter. That person can totally be a teacher, can adopt, etc.
Nobody encourages an alcoholic to “be who he is.” Nobody smiles politely when told stories of his drunkenness. Nobody anymore feels an obligation to pretend they don’t know about the drinking. We’ve learned as a culture how to denigrate alcoholism without denigrating the PERSON that suffers from it. Nobody chains a drunk to the back of a pickup truck and drags him to death. Nobody waits outside bars and beats up drunk people (except perhaps to mug them). There is no hatred for alcoholics.
We need to cultivate that same attitude towards homosexuality. It’s just a little bit harder because there are no ‘drunks rights’ activist groups…