On "Chastity and homosexuality": "Catechism of the Catholic Church"

The following is from the "Chastity and homosexuality" section of the Catechism of the Roman 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,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.

The word "respect" is left too vague. I do not expect to be respected or esteemed when doing wrong but rather rebuked out of love of truth (God). That is not to say that one is to be violated to the greatest extent or any extent during any such rebuke. Of course, any rebuke should be measured. As Christians, we are not to resort to violence. Jesus taught us to avoid violence — that it is better to lose this fleshly life than fall to return evil for evil. If that were not the case, his closest and earliest followers would have taken up the sword to defend their families and themselves. Furthermore, Jesus would not have turned the other cheek and gone to the cross for our edification and salvation to atone for us, etc.

This is where that difficult verse comes in:

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26 KJV)

Does the following watered down the point:

Hateth not (ou misei). An old and very strong verb miseoÌ„, to hate, detest. The orientals use strong language where cooler spirits would speak of preference or indifference. But even so Jesus does not here mean that one must hate his father or mother of necessity or as such, for Mat_15:4 proves the opposite. It is only where the element of choice comes in (cf. Mat_6:24) as it sometimes does, when father or mother opposes Christ. Then one must not hesitate. The language here is more sharply put than in Mat_10:37. The ou here coalesces with the verb misei in this conditional clause of the first class determined as fulfilled. It is the language of exaggerated contrast, it is true, but it must not be watered down till the point is gone. — Archibald Thomas Robertson

I suggest that it does. The reason I say that is because in the depths of one's deepest state of repentance for one sins and in simultaneously looking about at the great sin of the world, "hate" as it is even commonly used today is not an inappropriate term.

This does not in any way attempt to negate the following: "For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death." (Matthew 15:4 KJV)

The issue, the misunderstanding, concerns the notion of absolutes. What is pure goodness and pure love, and can anything less truly be other than hated even in the current common usage? However, if one hates what is less than perfect, does that necessarily mean that one is devoid of love for anything not perfect or is cursing it, judging it, condemning it, and demanding a sentence of punishment for it rather than enlightenment of the one who is in error (that is, short of pain and suffering being inflicted for the error, ignorance, etc.)? I say it does not, for God has shown love for imperfect people.

Love and hate, while being absolutes, are on a spectrum, and there are love-hate relationships where one both loves and hates aspects of the same individual and even one's self.

"Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained." That is no longer the case. Parts of it remain to be seen, but most of it has now been explained.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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