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Explaining the Church’s view of homosexuality with tact and charity – UPDATED September 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Society.

I think this is much better than anything I’ve managed to write on the subject, although I would add that I think there are other conditions that can demand a similar level of sacrifice:

We had a bit of a discussion regarding Church doctrine on homosexuality at our Biblical Basis for the Eucharist class last night.  It’s good to see a number of Catholics understanding and accepting the Church’s doctrine on homosexuality.

UPDATE: Thinking about Voris’ exposition again, I think he is going a bit too far on making the “victim” aspect of a homosexual inclination a bit too great.  There are probably more heterosexuals leading chaste lives……because they never found the right spouse, or feel called to be celibate, or are widowed, etc……..than homosexuals in the world.  They may feel just as much unable to exercise their sexuality as any homosexual might, and may feel that same sense of totality.  So, I don’t know that those with a homosexual orientation should be elevated to too great a level of victim soul status, unless they truly are engaging in enormous spriritual efforts to offer their gift of sexuality up to God as a special sacrifice for the atonement of the sins of the world.  Which, by the way, we are all called to do as our Faith and station in life permit. 

I still think Voris presents the Church’s doctrine in a very clear light, and with a great deal of charity for those with a homosexual orientation.  But, there is a tendency in our society to elevate certain groups of individuals to special status, and perhaps Voris fell into that mode of thinking a bit too much.


1. FrDarryl - September 27, 2010

I have to say I find the tone incredibly patronising.

I wish we as a society had better grammar and syntax discussing sexualuity. I found the following article by Stephen Bates (who is by no means a magisterially compliant Catholic) in the Guardian (of all places) interesting. I didn’t like if so much because it protects Bl. Newman’s reputation but because it shows the bleakness of Anglo-American culture (one suspects it’s not quite the same on the continent) when men try to communicate intimacy between themselves:

Frank Turner, a professor at Yale and … Newman biographer … raised the question of whether Newman was a homosexual, though concluding there is no evidence that he was. In an era when men wrote fulsomely to each other, Newman’s letters can cloy to modern audiences who assume all relationships must be physical. He surrounded himself with a sometimes camp high church culture and could be rancorous and censorious when friends got married. Most famously, he insisted on being buried beside his friend Ambrose St John: “I was his first and last … from the very first he loved me with an intensity … which was unaccountable.”

That sounds to me like healthy same-sex attraction. It’s easy to libidinise everything, to presume that genital sexuality is paramount in intimate relationships. But surely affective sexuality is the most fulfilling and ‘realising’ (to borrow a notion from Newman) given the sacred normative priority of celibacy in the Church’s ‘taxonomy of merit’ in human relations.

Here is an excellent treatment of the subject which shaped my understanding immensely when it was published:


tantamergo - September 27, 2010

I didn’t think it patronising…..because of the victim aspect? I’ll re-watch it, but I didn’t pick up on that.

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