October 8, 1997
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
The Catholic bishops of the U.S.A., more precisely their Committee on Marriage and Family, have just come out with a "Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children", which is a lamentable piece of work. Since this Pastoral Message is liable to make people, already confused, even more confused, let us re-state some Catholic principles, because the question bears directly on Faith and Morals, and on people getting to heaven or falling into hell.
Homosexuality means the misuse between man and man or between woman and woman of those functions and parts of the human body which God designed for use exclusively between a man and a woman within a lawful marriage, for the primary purpose of the reproduction of the human race. The Law of God governing use of the reproductive functions can be broken in a variety of ways even between man and woman, but these sins, e.g. fornication or adultery, are at least natural to the extent that they observe the basic duality of man and woman. On the contrary sins of homosexuality violate even this basic natural structure of the reproductive function, rendering it necessarily and utterly sterile, void of its intrinsic purpose. That is why homosexuality is sometimes called "the sin against nature".
In fact the sin is so unnatural that Mother Church ranks it alongside murder, defrauding the worker of his just wage, and oppression of the widow or orphan, as one of the four sins "crying to Heaven for vengeance". However, God did not wait for the founding of the Catholic Church to instill in men the horror of this sin, but he implanted in the human nature of all of us, unless or until we corrupt it, an instinct of violent repugnance for this particular sin, comparable to our instinctive repugnance for other misuses of our human frame, such as coprophagy.
That is why St. Paul in the famous passage on homosexuality in the first chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, verses 24 to 27, lambastes the Gentiles for practising this sin even though they had no revealed religion, and he does so in terms chosen to re-awaken that natural repugnance, e.g. verse 27: "And, 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".
Therefore to speak of homosexuality as an "alternate life-style" is as perverse as equating the violation of nature with its observance. It is as foully corrupt as to make no difference between recognizing God the author of nature, and defying Him.
Therefore what is "innate", or in-born, in human nature concerning homosexuality is a violent repugnance. Therefore to speak of homosexuality, or even just an inclination to it, as being "innate" in certain human beings, of course to excuse them, is to accuse God at least of contradiction, if not also of planting in men the cause of sin, which is implicit if not explicit blasphemy.
The very most that can be innate in a man of, for instance, homosexuality, is the raw material for his temperament which may be sensitive in one man, rough in another, but whether that sensitivity or roughness is molded into the compassion of a saint or the vice of a homosexual depends on a series of good or evil choices made by each individual. Homosexuality is a vice, or sinful habit, created by nothing other than a series of sinful acts, for each of which the individual was responsible. Homosexuality is a moral problem, which is why, fascinatingly, St. Paul in the same passage derives it from idolatry! (No space to quote, look it up!)
"Oh, but Our Lord had chawity, (unlike thumwun we know who wath tho nathty to Pwintheth Di!). Our Lord loved thinnerth, and faggotth, and tho thould we!!" So runs the objection!
Yes indeed Our Lord loved sinners, but not in their sirs, rather despite their sin, which he hated. When Our Lord protected the unrighteous Mary Magdalene against the righteous Pharisees in a way which can bring tears to our eyes each time we read Luke, Chapter 7, he was protecting not her sin but her repentance. God will, as He has told us in the Gospel, go to almost any lengths to help the sinner who is trying to get out of his sin, but He abominates the sinner who wallows in it, and upon these modern cities that flaunt their perversity in annual homosexual parades, He is preparing such fire and brimstone as may make what fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah look like a fall of dew, because at least those cities never knew the Gospel (cf. Mt. XI, 20-24).
Woe then to the sinner who instead of casting away his sin, hugs it to his bosom, as do a mass of today's homosexuals, and as the Bishops' Pastoral virtually encourages them to do. God's patience is long, but if the sinner insists upon welding his sin to his soul, then one day God's patience runs out, and He hates sinners with sin, crying out to both, "Depart from me, ye accursed, into everlasting fire"(Mt.XXV,41). Therefore real charity, which wishes everlasting salvation to homosexuals, will, with all due prudence, not put a cushion under their sin, but paint it to them in its true colours to help them to get out of it.
But what does our American Bishops' Committee on Marriage and Family do? They dangerously down-grade the sin and dangerously up-grade the sinner, putting in effect a cushion beneath the sin.
As for the sin, they do still - to their credit - say that homosexual activity is intrinsically wrong. However, in at least two ways they diminish the wrongness. Firstly, they suggest homosexuality can be innate when they quote a Newchurch document from Rome to the effect that some homosexuals are "definitely such because of some kind of innate instinct", and when they say that "Generally, homosexual orientation is experienced as a given, not as something freely chosen", because "a common opinion of experts is that there are multiple factors - genetic, hormonal, psychological - that may give rise to homosexuality". Of course whatever is innate is not sinful.
Secondly, they make a true but in this respect dangerous distinction between the habit ("orientation") of homosexuality and the act ("activity"), saying there is nothing wrong with the orientation as long as it does not turn into activity. True, only the act and not the habit is a sin, but since when did habits (especially in this domain) not incline to acts? There may be even much virtue in resisting a bad habit, but am I helped to resist it by being told the habit is not bad? If the orientation is not so bad, why should the activity be so bad?
As for up-grading the sinner, watch how close the Committee come to saying that God loves the sinner with his sin (which is blasphemy). I quote: "... God loves every person as a unique individual. Sexual indentity helps to define the unique persons we are. One component of our sexual indentity is sexual orientation ….Human beings see the appearance, but the Lord looks into the heart (I Sam XVI,7)." How is this quotation to be interpreted other than as saying that God loves the homosexual in and with his orientation to homosexuality?
And if God loves the sinner with his sins how must men love him! From start to finish the Pastoral Message drips with honeyed words to prescribe how we must behave towards homosexuals. Let me reconstruct the general idea: (my own words in the quotation marks)
"With supportive love we must accept the homosexual persons challenged by the hurtful humour and offensive discrimination directed against their kind. We must reach out with honesty and commitment to help in the overcoming of their painful tensions. We must not be exclusive or judgmental but by significant communication as caring persons we must enable them to take a fresh and healing look at their dignity as human persons so they can learn to cope with their feelings. Sensitive to their authentic needs, and unconditionally supportive of their tender self-awareness, we must reach out and embrace them in intimate community" - oops! - it's dangerous to get in the honeyed groove!
And this stuff goes on for eight pages uninterruptedly! What other purpose or effect can such words have than to dismantle the individual's and society's instinctive defence mechanism against a sin stinking to high Heaven that wrecks them both? And all this in the name of the Catholic Church??
Such a false love blurring sin and sinner has nothing to do with Catholicism! As St. Paul traced homosexuality back to idolatry, i. e. the breaking of the First Commandment, so the true remedy of the sin is for those practising it to return to the true worship and love of the true God. But what chance do they have of being led back to it by churchmen who virtually promote such corruption as in this Pastoral Message? Almost none.
"Pray", said Padre Pio, who died in 1968, "there is nothing else left". But prayer, said the Cure of Ars, "is the powerlessness of the All-powerful, the all-powerfulness of the powerless".
November will be the month to enlist the prayerful aid of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. A card is enclosed for you to return if you wish by November 1st to the Seminary, where it will go on the altar once a month for a sung Requiem Mass for all souls inscribed. But please send any stipends for Masses separately from the cards.
And please be supportive and compassionate towards the sensitive feelings of the Seminary's cash-box, presently hurt by a painful sense of rejection and emptiness, always in need of fulfillment! So do let yourselves be challenged to nurture it and fill it full with a healing flow of greenbacks, and it will not stop thanking you for your co-operation.
Dear readers, forgive me, the Bishops' Committee's language is getting to me! On the contrary, may the Lord God sustain every one of us in the real religion!
Most sincerely yours in the month of the Holy Rosary,