|Truth of Morals
Since the time of Abraham God has clearly shown His displeasure with any act
contrary to human nature, especially acts of same sex physical relations.
|Lay Catechist Notes on Sodomy/Homosexuality|
|Homosexual tendencies are a lifelong challenge to an individual seeking to do the will of God. But, like heterosexual tendencies, all sexually inclined urges and inclinations must be controlled through discipline, self-sacrifice, self-denial, and above all, the supernatural grace that can only be received from God. Without the grace made available through the Sacraments of the Catholic Church (primarily the Holy Eucharist and Penance), living a life in accord with the will of God is virtually impossible.
That being said, sodomy (homosexual actions of a sexual nature) has always and will always be condemned as a "grave mortal sin" both against nature and God Himself. This had been infallibly taught (meaning it is unchangeable) by the Church since Her inception. Each human being has a free will, and that free will must be used to be in harmony with the will of God.|
|Divine Revelation (Scriptural Proof)|
- 1And the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of the city. And seeing them, he rose up and went to meet them: and worshipped prostrate to the ground, 2And said: I beseech you, my lords, turn in to the house of your servant, and lodge there: wash your feet, and in the morning you shall go on your way. And they said: No, but we will abide in the street. 3He pressed them very much to turn in unto him: and when they were come in to his house, he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread and they ate: 4But before they went to bed, the men of the city beset the house both young and old, all the people together. 5And they called Lot, and said to him: Where are the men that came in to thee at night? bring them out hither that we may know them: 6Lot went out to them, and shut the door after him, and said: 7no not so, I beseech you, my brethren, do not commit this evil. 8I have two daughters who as yet have not known man : I will bring them out to you, and abuse you them as it shall please you, so that you do no evil to these men, because they are come in under the shadow of my roof. 9But they said: Get thee back thither. And again: Thou camest in, said they, as a, stranger, was it to be a judge? therefore we will afflict thee more than them. 0 And they pressed very violently upon Lot: and they were even at the point of breaking open the doors. 10And behold the men put out their hand, and drew in Lot unto them, and shut the door: 11And them that were without, p they struck with blindness from the least to the greatest, so that they could not find the door. 12And they said to Lot: Hast thou here ally of thine? son in law, or sons, or daughters, all that are thine bring them out of this city: 13For we will destroy this place, because their cry is grown loud before the Lord, who hath sent us to destroy them. 14So Lot went out, and spoke to his sons in law that were to have his daughters, and said : Arise : get you out of this place, because the Lord will destroy this city. And he seemed to them to speak as it were in jest. 15And when it was- morning, the angels pressed him, saying: Arise, take thy wife, and the two daughters which thou hast: lest thou also perish in the wickedness of the city. 16And as he lingered, they took his hand, and the hand of his wife, and of his two daughters, because the Lord spared him. 17And they brought him forth, and set him without the city: and there they spoke to him, saying : Save thy life : look not back, neither stay thou in all the country about: but save thyself in the mountain, lest thou be also consumed. 18And Lot said to them: I beseech thee my Lord, 19Because thy servant hath found grace before thee, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewn to me, in saving my life, and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil seize me, and I die : 20There is this city here at hand, to which I may flee, it is a little one, and I shall be saved in it: is it not a little one, and my soul shall live? 21And he said to him: Behold also in this, I have heard thy prayers, not to destroy the city for which thou hast spoken. 22Make haste and be saved there, because I cannot do any thing till thou go in thither. Therefore the name of that city was called Segor. 23The sun was risen upon the earth, and Lot entered into Segor. 24And the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrha brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25And he destroyed these cities, and all the country about, all the inhabitants of the cities, and all things that spring from the earth. 26And his wife looking behind her, was turned into a statue of salt. 27And Abraham got up early in the morning and in the place where he had stood before with the Lord, 28He looked towards Sodom and Gomorrha, and the whole land of that country: and he saw the ashes rise up from the earth as the smoke of a furnace. 29Now when God destroyed the cities of that country, remembering Abraham, he delivered Lot out of the destruction of the cities wherein he had dwelt. (Genesis 19:1-29)
- 22Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, because it is an abomination. 23Thou shalt not copulate with any beast, neither shalt thou be defiled with it. A woman shall not lie down to a beast, nor copulate with it: because it is a heinous crime. 24Defile not yourselves with any of these things with which all the nations have been defiled, which I will cast out before you, 25And with which the land is defiled: the abominations of which I will visit, that it may vomit out its inhabitants. 26Keep ye my ordinances and my judgments, and do not any of these abominations: neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you. 27For all these detestable things the inhabitants of the land have done, that; were before you, and have defiled it. 28Beware then, lest in like manner, it vomit you also out, if you do the like things, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. 29Every soul that shall commit any of these abominations, shall perish from the midst of his people. 30Keep my commandments. Do not the things which they have done, that have been before you, and be not defiled therein. I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 18:22-30)
- 24Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. 27And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. (Romans 1:24-27)
- 9Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, 10Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
- 9Knowing this, that the law is not made for the just man, but for the unjust and disobedient, for the ungodly, and for sinners, for the wicked and defiled, for murderers of fathers, and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10For fornicators, for them who defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and whatever other thing is contrary to sound doctrine, 11Which is according to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God, which hath been committed to my trust. (1 Timothy 1:9-11)
|Catechism of the Catholic Church|
- 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, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." 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.
- 2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.
|Ecumenical Council Documents|
- 3rd General Council of the Lateran (1179)
- 11. Clerics in holy orders, who in open concubinage keep their mistresses in their houses, should either cast them out and live continently or be deprived of ecclesiastical office and benefice. Let all who are found guilty of that unnatural vice for which the wrath of God came down upon the sons of disobedience and destroyed the five cities with fire, if they are clerics be expelled from the clergy or confined in monasteries to do penance; if they are laymen they are to incur excommunication and be completely separated from the society of the faithful. If any cleric without clear and necessary cause presumes to frequent convents of nuns, let the bishop keep him away; and if he does not stop, let him be ineligible for an ecclesiastical benefice.
|Church Magisterium Documents|
- Persona Humana (1975) - The Human Person - Paul VI
- "At the present time there are those who, basing themselves on observations in the psychological order, have begun to judge indulgently, and even to excuse completely, homosexual relations between certain people. This they do in opposition to the constant teaching of the Magisterium and to the moral sense of the Christian people.
- A distinction is drawn, and it seems with some reason, between homosexuals whose tendency comes from a false education, from a lack of normal sexual development, from habit, from bad example, or from other similar causes, and is transitory or at least not incurable; andhomosexuals who are definitively such because of some kind of innate instinct or a pathological constitution judged to be incurable.
- In regard to this second category of subjects, some people conclude that their tendency is so natural that it justifies in their case homosexual relations within a sincere communion of life and love analogous to marriage, in so far as such homosexuals feel incapable of enduring a solitary life.
- In the pastoral field, these homosexuals must certainly be treated with understanding and sustained in the hope of overcoming their personal difficulties and their inability to fit into society. Their culpability will be judged with prudence. But no pastoral method can be employed which would give moral justification to these acts on the grounds that they would be consonant with the condition of such people. For according to the objective moral order, homosexual relations are acts which lack an essential and indispensable finality. In Sacred Scripture they are condemned as a serious depravity and even presented as the sad consequence of rejecting God. This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and can in no case be approved of.
- Letter to the Bishops (1986) - - John Paul II
- "1. The issue of homosexuality and the moral evaluation of homosexual acts have increasingly become a matter of public debate, even in Catholic circles. Since this debate often advances arguments and makes assertions inconsistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church, it is quite rightly a cause for concern to all engaged in the pastoral ministry, and this Congregation has judged it to be of sufficiently grave and widespread importance to address to the Bishops of the Catholic Church this Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons."
- "3. Explicit treatment of the problem was given in this Congregation's "Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics" of December 29, 1975 (Persona Humana). That document stressed the duty of trying to understand the homosexual condition and noted that culpability for homosexual acts should only be judged with prudence. At the same time the Congregation took note of the distinction commonly drawn between the homosexual condition or tendency and individual homosexual actions. These were described as deprived of their essential and indispensable finality, as being "intrinsically disordered", and able in no case to be approved of."
- "In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder. Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not."
- "What should be noticed is that, in the presence of such remarkable diversity, there is nevertheless a clear consistency within the Scriptures themselves on the moral issue of homosexual behaviour. The Church's doctrine regarding this issue is thus based, not on isolated phrases for facile theological argument, but on the solid foundation of a constant Biblical testimony. The community of faith today, in unbroken continuity with the Jewish and Christian communities within which the ancient Scriptures were written, continues to be nourished by those same Scriptures and by the Spirit of Truth whose Word they are. It is likewise essential to recognize that the Scriptures are not properly understood when they are interpreted in a way which contradicts the Church's living Tradition. To be correct, the interpretation of Scripture must be in substantial accord with that Tradition."
- "In Genesis 3, we find that this truth about persons being an image of God has been obscured by original sin. There inevitably follows a loss of awareness of the covenantal character of the union these persons had with God and with each other. The human body retains its "spousal significance" but this is now clouded by sin. Thus, in Genesis 19:1-11, the deterioration due to sin continues in the story of the men of Sodom. There can be no doubt of the moral judgement made there against homosexual relations. In Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, in the course of describing the conditions necessary for belonging to the Chosen People, the author excludes from the People of God those who behave in a homosexual fashion."
- "In Romans 1:18-32, still building on the moral traditions of his forebears, but in the new context of the confrontation between Christianity and the pagan society of his day, Paul uses homosexual behaviour as an example of the blindness which has overcome humankind. Instead of the original harmony between Creator and creatures, the acute distortion of idolatry has led to all kinds of moral excess.Paul is at a loss to find a clearer example of this disharmony than homosexual relations. Finally, 1 Tim. 1, in full continuity with the Biblical position, singles out those who spread wrong doctrine and in v. 10 explicitly names as sinners those who engage in homosexual acts."
- "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."
- "Nevertheless, increasing numbers of people today, even within the Church, are bringing enormous pressure to bear on the Church to accept the homosexual condition as though it were not disordered and to condone homosexual activity. Those within the Church who argue in this fashion often have close ties with those with similar views outside it. These latter groups are guided by a vision opposed to the truth about the human person, which is fully disclosed in the mystery of Christ. They reflect, even if not entirely consciously, a materialistic ideology which denies the transcendent nature of the human person as well as the supernatural vocation of every individual."
- "9. The movement within the Church, which takes the form of pressure groups of various names and sizes, attempts to give the impression that it represents all homosexual persons who are Catholics. As a matter of fact, its membership is by and large restricted to those who either ignore the teaching of the Church or seek somehow to undermine it. It brings together under the aegis of Catholicism homosexual persons who have no intention of abandoning their homosexual behaviour. One tactic used is to protest that any and all criticism of or reservations about homosexual people, their activity and lifestyle, are simply diverse forms of unjust discrimination."
- "10. It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law. But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase."
- "12. What, then, are homosexual persons to do who seek to follow the Lord? Fundamentally, they are called to enact the will of God in their life by joining whatever sufferings and difficulties they experience in virtue of their condition to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross. That Cross, for the believer, is a fruitful sacrifice since from that death come life and redemption. While any call to carry the cross or to understand a Christian's suffering in this way will predictably be met with bitter ridicule by some, it should be remembered that this is the way to eternal life for all who follow Christ."
- Considerations Concerning the Response (1992) - - John Paul II
- "1. The letter [Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons of 1986 - see above reference] recalls that the CDF's “Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics” of 1975 “took note of the distinction commonly drawn between the homosexual condition or tendency and individual homosexual actions”; the latter are “intrinsically disordered” and “in no case to be approved of.”
- "2. Since ]n the discussion which followed the publication of the (aforementioned) declaration..., an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral or even good”, the letter goes on to clarify: “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder."
- "10. Sexual orientation” does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnic background, etc. in respect to non-discrimination. Unlike these, homosexual orientation is an objective disorder (cf. Letter, no. 3) and evokes moral concern.
- "11. There are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account, for example, in the placement of children for adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or athletic coaches, and in military recruitment.
- "13. Including “homosexual orientation” among the considerations on the basis of which it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead to regarding homosexuality as a positive source of human rights, for example, in respect to so-called affirmative action or preferential treatment in hiring practices. This is all the more deleterious since there is no right to homo-sexuality (cf. no. 10) which therefore should not form the basis for judicial claims. The passage from the recognition of homosexuality as a factor on which basis it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead, if not automatically, to the legislative protection and promotion of homosexuality. A person's homosexuality would be invoked in opposition to alleged discrimination, and thus the exercise of rights would be defended precisely via the affirmation of the homosexual condition instead of in terms of a violation of basic human rights.
- Considerations Regarding Proposals (2003) - - John Paul II
- "The present Considerations do not contain new doctrinal elements; they seek rather to reiterate the essential points on this question and provide arguments drawn from reason which could be used by Bishops in preparing more specific interventions, appropriate to the different situations throughout the world, aimed at protecting and promoting the dignity of marriage, the foundation of the family, and the stability of society, of which this institution is a constitutive element. The present Considerations are also intended to give direction to Catholic politicians by indicating the approaches to proposed legislation in this area which would be consistent with Christian conscience. Since this question relates to the natural moral law, the arguments that follow are addressed not only to those who believe in Christ, but to all persons committed to promoting and defending the common good of society."
- "2. The Church's teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world. Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose. No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives."
- "3. The natural truth about marriage was confirmed by the Revelation contained in the biblical accounts of creation, an expression also of the original human wisdom, in which the voice of nature itself is heard. There are three fundamental elements of the Creator's plan for marriage, as narrated in the Book of Genesis. In the first place, man, the image of God, was created “male and female” (Gen 1:27). Men and women are equal as persons and complementary as male and female. Sexuality is something that pertains to the physical-biological realm and has also been raised to a new level – the personal level – where nature and spirit are united. Marriage is instituted by the Creator as a form of life in which a communion of persons is realized involving the use of the sexual faculty. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife and they become one flesh” (Gen 2:24). Third, God has willed to give the union of man and woman a special participation in his work of creation. Thus, he blessed the man and the woman with the words “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28). Therefore, in the Creator's plan, sexual complementarity and fruitfulness belong to the very nature of marriage."
- "The scope of the civil law is certainly more limited than that of the moral law, but civil law cannot contradict right reason without losing its binding force on conscience. Every humanly-created law is legitimate insofar as it is consistent with the natural moral law, recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the inalienable rights of every person. Laws in favour of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex. Given the values at stake in this question, the State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good."
- "It might be asked how a law can be contrary to the common good if it does not impose any particular kind of behaviour, but simply gives legal recognition to a de facto reality which does not seem to cause injustice to anyone. In this area, one needs first to reflect on the difference between homosexual behaviour as a private phenomenon and the same behaviour as a relationship in society, foreseen and approved by the law, to the point where it becomes one of the institutions in the legal structure. This second phenomenon is not only more serious, but also assumes a more wide-reaching and profound influence, and would result in changes to the entire organization of society, contrary to the common good. Civil laws are structuring principles of man's life in society, for good or for ill. They “play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behaviour”. Lifestyles and the underlying presuppositions these express not only externally shape the life of society, but also tend to modify the younger generation's perception and evaluation of forms of behaviour. Legal recognition of homosexual unions would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage."
- "8. Society owes its continued survival to the family, founded on marriage. The inevitable consequence of legal recognition of homosexual unions would be the redefinition of marriage, which would become, in its legal status, an institution devoid of essential reference to factors linked to heterosexuality; for example, procreation and raising children. If, from the legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible form of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave detriment to the common good. By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts arbitrarily and in contradiction with its duties."