The mainstream media sincerely believes the Catholic church has a problem with homosexuality. A view shared by a great many people. They are mistaken. The truth is that the Catholic church has no problem with homosexuality and never has had. For evidence turn to the Catechism (a book containing the official teaching of the church) which has long specified that people of same sex attraction deserve the utmost dignity, love and respect. Here is the quote:
“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.
Holding this to be true, for centuries the church has been welcoming of gay people; at it’s altars, in it’s confessionals and even in its seminaries. It is hardly a secret that the clergy has a disproportionate number of homosexual men! The truth then is quite different to what the media implies. Gay people, so long as they are willing to live by the teaching of the church, have always been led in love to Jesus Christ. As Pope Francis said, “if a person seeks God and has good will…who am I to judge?”
Why then is the Church currently clashing with culture concerning homosexuality? What has changed? The answer is found in how homosexuality is promoted in the modern world. With that infamous notion of “pride”. Ah… here is the problem! Pride has ever been the cardinal sin according to church teaching. So the issue isn’t the “gay” part of the slogan but the “pride”
How could Christians embrace pride as a virtue? It would be like asking us to embrace sloth or greed. No wonder the church is at loggerheads with the world. Put bluntly the Church cannot embrace hedonistic demand stemming from the logical conclusion of a sexual revolution- be they in regard to gay or straight sex.
When we understand this we see why any suggestion that the church “gets with the programme” is frankly just rude or naive. Christianity cannot be expected to change any of its historic teaching simply to embrace man’s demands. Any change can only come with clear reference to God, morality, scripture and tradition. We are, after all, a people who believe in divine revelation. And, as everyone knows (if being honest about it) such teaching consistently refuses to separate sex from its intended biological purpose.
The problem for the church becomes clear. And we realise that the scale of the problem is huge by simply googling ‘gay pride parade’. Thousands of images pop up and all reflect a clear celebration of sex with no questions asked. People cavort about in next to nothing- sometimes in nothing!- and there is an obvious delight in the perverse and the exotic. Putting it bluntly; this leaves no space in which a Christian can join the celebration. For no space is given for celebration of genuine virtue. Lust is obviously present but not the upholding of chastity or self control. Where is an acceptance of the need for prudence or purity on these parades? And if no space is given, even to the possibility that some sexual practices might be sinful, then what role could the church possibly have?
And that fact has nothing whatsoever to do with the homosexual aspect. That cannot be emphasised enough. It is the hedonistic pride that is the problem. Were straight sex promoted in this way it too would be anathema to the church. Just consider the picture below- what a picture it paints of the effect of such parades on innocence. Its a million miles from what many Christian homosexuals I happen to know believe. That sex is sacred and cannot be divorced from its procreative purpose within marriage and the family.
Understand then that the church really does not struggle with homosexuality. It has been around a long time and quite understands the issue and the challenges it presents. Nor does the church say to anything unique to such people. It only says what it also says to unmarried straight people- that chastity and purity are goals worth striving for in accordance with God’s will.
But that will not do for proud paraders of pride! They DEMAND to be accepted on their terms. That is as a people entitled to do whatever they please with their bodies, regardless of what scripture or tradition might say. And this shrill demand is surely a prime example of what pride ever does; it refuses space for God out of desire for self rule. A position necessitating a no from mother church.
Not because she hates gays but because she hates pride, knowing no good comes from it. Indeed it is because the church LOVES homosexual people that she says a NO to demands for living by the aims of the sexual revolution.
In the Gospels a rich young ruler comes to Jesus and asks what he must do to inherit the kingdom of God. Reading his heart, and seeing an enslavement to greed, Jesus asks him to give up his wealth. The rich young ruler discovers this is the one thing he is not willing to do – he leaves dejected. Today many come to Jesus and are also challenged. Can they surrender not money but sex? A sacrifice certainly but not without the reward of sanctification.
It is not being gay that is the sticking point people…IT IS THE PRIDE and the refusal to live by the sexual standard of the Church in all ages as opposed to that being created by the world.