The first page of the Bible, in Genesis 1:27, teaches us that God created human beings as "male and female"; that is, man and woman, not homosexual and lesbian. In this same sacred book, the Word of God also speaks to us of the marital union between man and woman "as one flesh" (Gn 2:24) and "open to life" (Gn 1:28). Homosexuality cannot fulfill any of these values inherent in human sexuality, as God created heterosexual union and procreation. In the light of this teaching on man and woman, there are 43 other biblical passages which, directly or indirectly condemn homosexual practices as a grave sin, among which the following stand out: Gn 19:1-29; 13:13; Lv 18:22; 20:13 and Rom 1:26-28.
The Catholic Church, reflecting on the word of God and with the aid of right reason under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has always taught that the homosexual act is an objectively grave sin. The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declared in 1975: "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."1
However, the Church distinguishes between the objective evil of homosexual activity and the subjective responsibility of those who practice it. In the same declaration of '75 we are told that: "This judgement 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."2 This does not mean that those persons who practice these acts are always subjectively excusable, but that at times, ignorance, abuse by others, strong environmental influences, etc., can lead them to commit acts that are not totally free acts. Nonetheless, such acts are gravely evil in themselves, because they offend God and go against the authentic good of the human person.
The Church also distinguishes between the homosexual inclination and homosexual activity, teaching us that the first is not a sin in itself, although it leads to acts which are. Commenting on the 1975 declaration, the Congregation, in 1986, in a letter to the Bishops about the pastoral care of homosexuals, declared the following:
"...the Congregation took note of the distinction commonly drawn between the homosexual condition or tendency and individual homosexual actions....In the discussion which followed the publication of this Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going as 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 order toward an intrinsic moral evil and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective moral disorder."3
The Church, following the example and teaching of Christ himself, makes a third distinction: that of condemning the sin, but treating the sinner with mercy. This is why the Declaration of '75 stated: "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."4 Nevertheless, such pastoral care should not generate an acceptance of homosexual activity as something unreproachable. Because of this, the letter of '86 clarified: "Therefore special concern and pastoral care should be directed at 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."5
In its pastoral care of homosexual persons, the Church offers help and hope for a cure. Father John Harvey, with more than 30 years of experiencein ministering to these people, points out that heterosexual conversion, or at least a happy life of chastity, is possible for homosexuals and lesbians. Furthermore, the Daughters of St. Paul published Father Harvey's brochure in the U.S. entitled A Spiritual Plan To Reorient the Homosexual Lifestyle. Father Harvey heads an organization called Courage, precisely to help these persons to live the teachings of God and the Church with joy.6 Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a psychologist, also offers therapeutic assistance for these persons. He calls his program "reparative therapy", and has written a book on this subject.7
In conjunction with this attitude of condemnation for homosexual activity, but of love and understanding towards homosexual persons; the teaching of the Church also condemns all types of violence or aggression towards these persons: "It is deplorable that homosexuals 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."8
On July 23, 1992, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a series of considerations on legislative proposals in several states in the U.S. and in other countries, that would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of "sexual orientation". That is, that homosexuals be granted certain "rights", such as rental agreements for homes to homosexual couples, adopting children, the right to be hired as school teachers for any age group, etc. Regarding these points, the Church teaches that: "Homosexual persons, as human persons, have the same rights as all persons, including the right of not being treated in a manner which offends their personal dignity. Among other rights, all persons have the right to work, to housing, etc. Nevertheless these rights are not absolute. They can be legitimately limited for objectively disordered external conduct....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....`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 and evokes moral concern."9
These are very important considerations, because as the document of the Congregation points out: "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....This is all the more deleterious since there is no right to homosexuality which therefore should not form the basis for judicial claims....In addition, there is a danger that legislation which would make homosexuality a basis for certain entitlements could actually encourage a person with a homosexual orientation to declare his homosexuality or even to seek a partner in order to exploit the provisions of the law."10 As already pointed out by Dr. Melvin Anchell (noted author and psychiatrist), almost two decades ago: "The sexual perverts find it easy to corrupt the youth, radical liberals and their vanguard of sympathizers...They are determined to preserve their recent newfound acceptance. They interpret the privileges granted them as a mandate to convert society to their lifestyle. With regard to perversion, normally scrupulous persons are accused of repressiveness. Whomever censures this perversion is considered an ultraconservative victorian or a victim of the Judeo-Christian ethic."11
Moreover, there is the danger that, upon legalizing sodomy and the homosexual lifestyle, it logically follows, that other aberrations will also be legitimized, such as pedophilia, sadomasochism, etc. Once a sexual deviation is accepted as normal, other perversions also become justifiable. This conclusion also follows from the same demands of the militant homosexuals, who want any type of sexual activity to be accepted. In fact, 37% of promiscuous homosexuals practice sadomasochism. Also, the homosexual movement has accepted the presence of sadomasochist and pedophile groups, such as NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association in their march on Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. In addition, in their newspapers they advertise salons where sadomasochism is practiced and they subtly or not so subtly justify sexual relations with children.12 At a national conference of homosexuals and lesbians in Washington D.C., in 1990, a seminar was presented by the Leather Institute, a sadomasochistic organization.13 In the video The Gay Agenda, produced by the Christian organization, The Report; Dr. Nicolosi tells us that "today there are gay counseling programs in the schools all over the country. In California, they are known as Project 10. In reality, many of these are pro-homosexual programs, where the following could happen: Your 15 year old son goes to see his school counselor, who is definitely a homosexual, and he says: 'look, I have these thoughts, these sensations, this behavior...'; and the counselor responds: good, welcome to the homosexual community, you are one of us.'"14
It is crucial that we realize that homosexual or lesbian behavior is no longer in the closet. Homosexual and lesbian groups are promoting their ideology and their activities among children and teens, this is their main attempt at survival as a social group. It is our very children who are in danger, because homosexuality often begins with the seduction of a child or adolescent by an adult homosexual. "Every perverted adult is the product of premature sexual stimulus in his childhood, be it through actual rape or an excessive exposure as an observer of sexual activities."15 It depends upon us to take seriously the attack against the family and against our children and that we face it responsibly.
Part of our primary responsibility in this battle is to pray for homosexual persons. In reality our battle is not against them, but against the forces of evil of the "Prince of Darkness", who seeks to destroy us (Ephesians 6:10-13). The battle is against the sin and ideology that these groups promote. It is about a spiritual battle which, for Catholics, requires much prayer and sacrifice, above all, the Eucharist, the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and praying the Holy Rosary. All of us Christians should unite in prayer for the conversion and salvation of homosexuals and of our nation, and act to stop this evil from continuing to spread.
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (Chronicles II 7:14)
Adolfo CastaÒeda was assistant professor of Moral Theology at the St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida. At the present time he is working with Human Life International's Hispanic Division, Vida Humana Internacional in Miami, as Director of Educational Programs. He has been on the faculty and has organized several international conferences f or HLI-VHI and is also director of research for its Miami office.
(This is a section of a dossier which was published in Spanish in September of 1993 and it was translated into English in February, 1994.)
1. Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Declaration: "Persona Humana" On Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics, December 29, 1975, number 8.
3. CDF, "Letter to the Catholic Bishops On the Pastoral Care of Homosexuals," October 1, 1986, number 3.
4. "Persona Humana", 8.
5. CDF, "Letter to the Catholic Bishops On the Pastoral Care of Homosexuals," October 1, 1986, number 3.
6. Harvey, 76, 119-174. Please see, (by the same author) A Spiritual Plan to Redirect One's Life. For Today's Homosexual (Boston: St. Paul Books & Media, 1991).
7. Vida Humana Internacional (305-662-1497) has available on audiocassette, the talk given by this doctor at Human Life International's 12th World Conference on Love, Life and the Family, held in Houston, Texas, April 14-18, 1993.
8. CDF, "Letter to the Bishops...", 10.
9. CDF, "Responding to Legislative Proposals on Discrimination Against Homosexuals," July 23, 1992, 10-12.
10. Ibid, 13 and 14.
11. Dr. Melvin Anchell, Madurez sexual y salud integral, (Sexual Maturity and Integral Health) (Mexico, D.F.: Editorial Diana, 1976), 292.
12. Randy Alcorn, "What NBC Left Out (re: Gay Rights)," Eternal Perspective (October/November 1992).
13. Brochure: "The 12th National, 3rd International Lesbian & Gay Health Conference and 8th National AIDS Forum", July 18-22, 1990 at The Washington Hilton and Towers, Washington, D.C. Sponsored by The National Lesbian and Gay Health Foundation and The George Washington University Medical Center."
14. Excerpt from video: "The Gay Agenda."
15. Anchell, 251.
Where to find help:
National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH)
16542 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 416
Encino, CA 91436, U.S.A.
Phone: (818) 789-4440
Courage National Chapter
c/o Fr. John Harvey
St. Michael's Rectory
424 W. 34th Street
New York City, New York 10001 U.S.A.
For those seeking to leave the homosexual lifestyle, contact:
P.O. Box 2121
San Rafael, CA 94912
1- On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, printed by Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul's Ave., Boston, MA 02130.
2- "What You Need to Know About AIDS" - What Is It? How does it affect you, your family, and your friends? What Can You Do About It? Published by Servant Publications, P.O. Box 8617 Ann Arbor, Michigan 48107. Distributed by Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul's Ave., Boston, MA 02130.
3- A Spiritual Plan to Redirect One's Life, by John F. Harvey, O.S.F.S., S.T.D. Printed by Daughters of St. Paul. (Also available in Spanish.)
4- Homosexuality - Why "Sexual Orientation" should not be protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms published by Life Ethics Centre 215 Victoria St., Suite 506 Toronto, Ontario M5B1T9.
5- Homosexuality and the Natural Law, by Harry V. Jaffa, published by The Claremont Institute, 4650 Arrow Hwy., Suite D-6 Montclair, CA 91763.
6- The Reparative Therapy of the Male Homosexual, by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a Roman Catholic psychologist. Regeneration Books, P.O. Box 9830, Baltimore, MD. 21289-9830, Tel. (410) 661-0284.
7- Shadow in the Land, by William Dannemeyer. Ignatius Press, 2515 Mc Allister St. San Francisco, CA 94118. Tel. (415) 387-2324.
8- The Homosexual Person, by John F. Harvey, O.S.F.S. Ignatius Press.
9- Homosexuality and the Natural Law, by Harry V. Jaffa. The Claremont Institute, 4650 Arrow Highway, Suite D-6, Montclair, CA 91763. Tel. (714) 621-6825.
10- "The Truth in Love: A Pastoral Response to Homosexuality", a Pastoral letter by Bishop Thomas V. Daily. Diocese of Brooklyn, Chancery Office, P.O. Box C., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11202. Tel. (718) 638-5500 Fax (718) 638-5552.
11- "Perpetuating Homosexual Myths: Keeping Homosexuals Locked Out of Hope". A Collection of Facts, Personal Stories and Articles about Homosexuality. The Public Education Committee on Children and Youth, P.O. Box 33082, Seattle, WA 98133-9982.
12- Healing Homosexuality: Case Stories on Reparative Therapy, by Joseph
Nicolosi, PhD. Regeneration Books, P.O. Box 9830, Baltimore, MD 21284, U.S.A.