The Meaning of “Objectively Disordered”

There is widespread misunderstanding about what the Catholic Church teaches with regard to same-sex attraction. Unfortunately, this misunderstanding—which often construes the teaching as “offensive”—tends to isolate men and women who struggle with their sexual identity. They often feel ostracized at a time in their life when they need love from the people of God. This reception to Church teaching can be avoided by proactively offering a clear explanation of the Church’s teaching concerning homosexuality, and in particular the judgment about the sexual attraction to persons of the same sex.

The Church’s document, The Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, notes that sexual attraction to persons of the same sex is “ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.” The Catechism uses nearly identical language: “Exclusive or predominant sexual attraction towards persons of the same sex … is objectively disordered.”

Chaste men who struggle with same sex attraction have conveyed to me that this choice of words, particularly the technical and precise phrase “objective disorder,” is “offensive,” “hard on the ears” or “disrespectful.” It makes many feel like a diseased outcast. I am sincerely empathetic to this reaction, as I know they face challenges everyday and do so with persistent faith and prayer. I am also sincerely convinced that the negative reaction to the Church’s language is primarily a case of misunderstanding. Therefore, we have an opportunity to bring clarity to others about the Church’s teachings regarding same-sex attraction and use of the term “objective disorder.”

Before clarifying the meaning of the term it should be noted that one reason such language is received as harsh is because we live in a society that no longer sees human nature as universal, intrinsic, and immutable. Rather than recognizing an intelligible telos, or inner aim of man, today it is claimed that our human nature consists of whatever individual feelings come “spontaneously,” are “genuine” or what feels “natural to me.” Most are unfamiliar with natural law and thereby reject the traditional western and Biblical belief that as humans we have a law written upon our hearts, and to abide by that law ensures our flourishing. To flaunt that law does harm. The reaction to Church teaching in the area of homosexuality is, in part, symptomatic of a deeper and fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the human person. The misunderstanding of the Church’s teaching is further complicated by the fact that we live in a sound-bite culture, where nuanced technical terms are underappreciated. Therefore, it is incumbent upon Catholics to explain thoroughly and with sensitivity the eternal truth conveyed by the language of the Church.

So how do we make sense of this phrase, “objective disorder”?

First, we need to be very clear that this phrase does not refer to the person himself. The Church proclaims a deep respect for every person as being made in the “image of God” and this absolutely includes persons who experience same-sex attraction. Such men and women reflect God’s image, share in the same dignity, and are precious in God’s sight. They should never be subject to unjust discrimination, ridicule, or hatred. Such actions are deplorable.

Second, the phrase indicates what is explicitly stated elsewhere, that sexual acts between persons of the same sex are an “intrinsic moral evil” and “intrinsically disordered.” The Church describes such an act as a sin “gravely contrary to chastity” and an offense to natural law and Revelation, especially Scripture.

Third, we can address the inclination itself which is described as “objectively disordered.” This phrase and the whole of Church teaching indicate in the first place that a person experiencing same sex attraction is not necessarily sinning. One need not feel guilty on account of the inclination alone. Instead of being harsh, this is freeing, a relief.

At the same time, the attraction cannot be described as good or neutral because it is ordered toward an act that is, by definition, immoral. Consider a young college male who is sexually attracted to a female classmate. Though this attraction can be directed toward sinful thoughts and actions, his attraction in itself is capable of being and is naturally ordered toward particular goods (i.e., mutual complementarity, marriage, and procreation). His attraction to a female classmate is naturally directed toward his (and society’s) flourishing and his happiness. However, if the same male college student finds himself sexually attracted to a male classmate, such an attraction itself can never be directed toward any particular goods such as mutual complementarity, marriage, and procreation. This attraction, if acted upon, is incapable of leading to his flourishing and happiness.

Grounded in the natural law, the Church notes that while the sexual attraction to the female classmate can be (and is naturally) ordered toward his good, the sexual attraction to his male classmate cannot be ordered toward his good. This is what the Church means when it uses the term, “disorder.”

Concerned with “overly benign” interpretations of her teaching and obliged to seek the good of persons, the Church has described the attraction to persons of the same sex with carefully chosen language that, as it turns out, conveys two statements of love: those who simply experience same-sex attraction need not feel guilty for their attraction and their happiness and flourishing cannot be accomplished by embracing it.

The Church affirms that every human being is “wonderfully made” in God’s image, that moral guilt is not necessarily incurred by one who experiences same-sex attraction, and it offers the roadmap for flourishing through the inner freedom of a life of chastity, genuine friendship and a resolute embrace of holiness.

Editor’s note: The image above was taken at the “La Manif Pour Tours” demonstration for traditional marriage in Paris, May 5, 2013. (Photo credit: AFP Photo / Loic Venance)

Arland K. Nichols

By

Arland K. Nichols is the founding President of the John Paul II Foundation for Life and Family.

  • ForChristAlone

    And after this brief introduction to who man is, it is well to begin a discussion of original sin and the fact that ALL men (and that includes women) are disordered. Concupiscence is what we are all left with. And while we all have to struggle with one thing or another, God who created us has made it possible for us to be restored to the sharing in His divine life which he willed from the very beginning.

    Of course, to understand original sin one must assume creation by God for a particular purpose and how this purpose was defiled by man and its effects. Unfortunately, for many today, there is no God on their radar screen, they don’t assume that they were created for a purpose and that they came into being for no particular reason, are headed nowhere in particular and, after they die, there is nothing more. As a result, they are left to conclude that they came into being arbitrarily and the only rational conclusion is that they should only live for themselves. Some sentiment leads them to think that in the course of life it is nice to be nice to other people, animals and the universe but there no established principle why this must be so.

    The basic problem is that man no longer knows who he is. It will take some doing to find out once more.

    • R. K. Ich

      The end of utilitarian ethics (I play nice to you so I can get something for me) is minimalist ethics: how little can I get away with doing and maintain a sense of safety and comfort. Ontologically driven ethics (what is owed to my neighbor who is intrinsically valuable?) thinks highly of man and serves his good in spite of his blemishes and brokenness.

      The beauty of the doctrine of Original Sin is that it takes seriously man’s dignity; secular humanism drowns man in insignificance and urges him to live down to his basest desires. And we will die for the things we love most. This is the tragedy of the sin of same sex abuse: they esteem broken desires above the weight of their glory as image-bearers of God.

  • elarga

    Very helpful clarification; thank you. In the video “The Third Way” a couple of supposed experts on Church teaching state that the “disordered inclination” of same-sex attraction is identical to a man’s sexual inclination toward a woman. Both are wrong in the same way. Jason Evert is quoted as saying something like that, and it is obviously erroneous, and needs to be corrected.

    • Daniel P

      Can you find the exact quote? I don’t recall him saying that, though he may have said (correctly, I think) that LUST toward women is identical to lust toward men.

      • GG

        Attraction is not lust.

        • Daniel P

          Uhhhh, yes. That’s what I meant. Attraction to the same sex is disordered; attraction to the opposite sex is ordered. But lust toward either is sinful. So there isn’t a relevant distinction I can see between lust toward men or women.

          • GG

            But, the attraction between male and female is not disordered if it is not lust. The attract between the same sex is disordered.

            • Daniel P

              Yes, I agree.

              • elarga

                Let us also observe that it isn’t as if there is a bright red line between what Nicholas calls “a naturally ordered attraction” between a man and a woman that inclines toward procreation, marriage, unity, etc. on the one hand, and one that “is directed toward sinful thoughts and actions,” on the other. It is the latter that puts the normal man in the same sinful situation as the homosexual, and so to avoid that, he needs to convert his inclination toward sinful thoughts into one that is not sinful. I would say that teaching this distinction to your average Joe isn’t going to be easy. Probably the surest way to teach it is to raise the issue of intentions, and ask: are you interested in that woman because you think she might be a worthy wife? If the answer is a definite no, then go to confession.

      • JP

        There was a non-Catholic therapist who once wrote that Males are naturally inclined towards promiscuity, whether they are gay or straight. The attractions towards women is a natural one; while same sex attraction is a something else entirely. However, in both cases men are inclined naturally to have as much sex as possible.

        This reminds me of the culture of the Roman Empire. During its peak, Roman Culture was a highly masculine culture, where male dominance was considered one of the high virtues. The homosexuality and bi-sexuality of Rome tended to resemble what our prison culture is today – violent, aggressive, and dominating. Sodomy amongst many of the elite in Rome was considered superior to sexual intercourse, as the female virtues were for the weak. Child bearing was a necessity in that it allowed for the continuation of the family’s name. Men who lost fights and other contests had to submit to sodomy as a sign of their loss. In Rome itself, young males were often used as prostitutes; it was so bad, that the Emperor ruled that any man caught abusing a minor would immediately be put to death. For many decades, Roman enlisted soldiers were prohibited from marrying in order to build up a “male bonding” that guaranteed to bring out the best fighters. We should also note that Roman society also allowed infanticide, matricide, slavery, unspeakable torture, and crucifixions. Centuries later, some historians believed the worst thing to happen to Roman society was to incorporate Greek philosophy and culture, and later its turn to Christianity. Both of these changes essentially undermined those martial “virtues” that helped establish Rome as the greatest empire Europe had ever known.

        Sometimes I think theologians spend too much time intellectualizing sin. Using history as I guide, I tend to believe homosexuality is more in-culturated. Both ancient Rome and Greece had long histories of homosexuality and bisexuality. This stopped almost immediately with the spread of Christianity (one Oxford historian noted that this change occurred within 3-4 generations or 100 years). Yes, there are plenty of childhood traumas and abuses that can push a child towards homosexuality. But, the more this choice is tolerated the more it will grow.

        Whether one calls homosexuality disordered or something else, like fornication or adultery, it is a Sin.

    • GG

      If what you state here is actually what was said then it would be absurd. God ordained the attraction between male and female. He did not ordain homosexual inclination.

  • GG

    A good essay. A big problem is that many actually do grasp what the Church intends with the words She uses. They willfully ignore that so they can claim offense and slander the Church. Plus if they accept the truth of what She intends it means they must stop doing what they are doing. Just see the propagandists who will flock to the comment boxes here to prove my point.

  • Fred

    I think an important dimension in all this is that this is the same response we have to all sinful behavior that offends God, be it adultery, pedophilia, or whatever. The difference of course is that we don’t have a militant adultery group right now who is fighting to be accepted as a civil right while screaming in our face and who now has the strong arm of the government to enforce. Unfortunately in a society that marginalizes Christ and who believes that truth can be whatever they believe it to be rationalizing things to be OK as long as there is no perception of harming another this is where it leads. High decibel rhetoric isn’t going to change anybody’s mind either and the only way forward is to be stalwart, bold, clear and compassionate in spreading the good news and the truth.

    • It might shock you to learn that we are a secular society. Perhaps you also find it shocking to learn that the Church’s teachings do not coincide with the findings of medical science about the continuum that is sexual orientation.

      But stick with it. Tell gay children that they are disordered and that their only option is to be alone and celibate. And this is based on what? The writings of ambitious priests who lack social science erudition?

      And oh those nasty, militant homosexuals. How dare they want civil equality, due process and equal protection when they are “disordered.”

      • GG

        Thanks for proving my point.

      • cestusdei

        David, continuum? So when society decides that pedophilia is normal you won’t mind?

      • Martha

        I think what you’re missing, David, is that only Truth has rights. Our secular world is very confused, and doesn’t abide by Truths anymore, but whims and pleasures. It’s decadent and diseased. Prostitution is legal in some places, but it’s not moral. So is mass murder of babies.

        Maybe I could say it like this, echoing Fred’s statement above… just because a group of people wants to do something doesn’t make it moral, justifiable, or okay. Some things must be fought; people are arsonists, pedophiles, kleptomaniacs. What about their rights? What about their happiness? Where do you draw the line? It’s easy! With Truth. Absolute, immutable Truth. That is, moral law. The Church guides us in this. And, by the way, not through the writings of ‘ambitious priests,’ but God Himself.

        I understand if you can’t accept the argument based on God’s laws, as you could very well be an atheist, but you certainly should be able to understand it on the plane of a ‘slippery slope’ mentality. Follow it through to its logical conclusion.

        • ForChristAlone

          Logic is hard to come by when it comes to lust.

          • DE-173

            Which is why your Dad warned you about thinking with the wrong head or some similar injunction.

      • Steve Frank

        Sorry David but psychology is not a true science. It’s “findings” are subjective, faddish and quite conditioned by groupthink. Some who are really willing to stretch the definition of science may call it a “soft science” but soft science does not carry the same weight of certainty as the hard sciences. For anyone to argue that the two statements 1) “homosexuality is perfectly normal” and 2) “E=MC2” as if they are two equally certain findings of “science” is preposterous.

        • Well, at least your offering is better than the notion that the American Psychiatric Association is just being politically correct. Your argument is equally absurd but more entertaining.

          There is considerable (what you would call) hard science concerning sexual orientation. Take, for example the male sibling effect or the results of twin studies. You cannot simply dismiss all this stuff because it does not conform to Church dogma.

          • GG

            There is no science proving homosexual desire is normal. That is not the domain of science.

            • Watosh

              What does normal mean. For example when I was a kid there was another kid that was born with six fingers. He was born that way, but what is the “normal” number of fingers? One could not say having six fingers was “normal.” Now it is well established that men, for the most part, are attracted to women, and women are attracted to men. further there is good biological reason for this. Reproduction is essential for a species to survive. Reproduction, itself, therefore represents a “normal” biological behavior. One may argue, as one can argue that the Earth was populated by inhabitants of another planet, that the attraction felt by some men for other men is inborn, It is possible perhaps, but it is not normal. We don’t need psychological studies to tell us that this behavior is normal, when that defies the meaning of what is termed “normal.” There are a lot of behaviors that can be called “abnormal.” The language should not be misused.

              • GG

                I think we agree. My point is that science is only useful when we are grounded in proper philosophy. There are homosexual advocates who have said that having six fingers is “normal” for that person. I reply that is not not normal for that person or for any person. And yes, normal can be used in differing ways.

              • centipede

                So this is the corner into which you’ve pushed yourself, that everything’s nothing and nothing abnormal. This is the extent to which you must go to justify your arguments.

                • centipede

                  My comment was not to you, Watosh, but to those who take the opposing view.

                  • Watosh

                    Okay, I am relieved.

          • Dick Prudlo

            Those are some significant facts, David. You certainly have convinced us. Nothing like examples to get to the truth of a matter. How about this one: 99% of psychiatrist’s believe that homosexuality is a disorder, circa 1972. Now, speaking of PC tell us the facts that led to a left turn?

            • A mountain of peer reviewed, published research. Long before the DSM was changed most psychiatrists knew that sexual orientation could not be changed through therapy.

              • Steph

                ” most psychiatrists knew that sexual orientation could not be changed through therapy.”

                And yet it often changes on its own within the course of someone’s life. Hmmmm.

                Your appeal to the continuum flies in the face of the LGBT community’s own vociferous claims for the last decade that orientation is genetically determined. Such claims, I suspect, will become less dogmatic once certain political and cultural goals have been met, and once these goals are no longer threatened by either the mounting evidence that sexual identity is influenced by both genetics and environment, or our own refusal to remember that “science” has yet to convincingly bridge that pesky “is-ought” divide except through poorly disguised appeals to authority.

                • Daniel P

                  Steph,

                  It’s perfectly consistent for something to be capable of changing on its own, without being capable of changing through effort. I can’t change the weather, but the weather changes.

                  • Steph

                    “I can’t change the weather, but the weather changes.”

                    I don’t know, that souds an aweful lot like climate change denialism. Are you saying we CAN’T change the weather through the effects of legislation?

                    Ok, that was flippant and I apologize. You bring up a good point, and I don’t disagree. The point is, though, that change does occur, and whether that change occurs through an entirely biological process or through effort (and by this I assume you mean psychological counseling) is becoming increasingly irrelevant the more we advance in our ability to understand and artificially manipulate these processes. Which is why the important distinctions between what we know, what we can do, and what we ought to do should at the very least be acknolwegded.

                    For example, I have read arguments claiming that advances in science have allowed our society to overcome some of the biological inequalities experienced by those in the LGBT community, specifically the inability of two same-sex partners to naturally procreate. Such advances artificially alter the reproductive process for the purpose of a higher moral good.

                    But the problem is, the opposite argument could also be made. A person who believes that same-sex attraction is a sin could possibly make the argument that genetics and epigenetics is advancing to a place where we are finally able to artificially eliminate any biological foundation we may find for same-sex attraction. After all, we use “science” to artificially alter things we can’t change through effort all the time for a higher good. I am NOT making this argument myself, but rather trying to expound on my original point, that an anthropomorphized “science” doesn’t tell us a damn thing about right and wrong, but is instead an appeal to authority that can, and has been, used to justify some pretty aweful stuff.

                    • Daniel P

                      I agree that science can’t tell us what is right or wrong. I thought you were making a point about orientation change.

                • DE-173

                  “Your appeal to the continuum flies in the face of the LGBT community’s own vociferous claims for the last decade that orientation is genetically determined.”

                  In the absence of fact or reason, substitute ferocity.

              • JP

                There’s that word again – peer review. Also known as Group Think.

                • Either you do not understand the process or you simply seek a means of trivializing research that reaches conclusions that you do not like.

                  Referees are selected based upon their expertise in a given field. Their task is to ensure that research is done according to the highest scientific standards. At the more prestigious scholarly journals (including AMA-Psychiatry and the American Journal of Psychiatry) reviewers do not know who authored the research they are reviewing and authors do not know the identity of the reviewers.

                  I happen to have acute PTSD for which I am treated on a regular basis by both a psychiatrist and psychologist. Both are published. One is a referee (or reviewer). Both have explained the extreme difficulties of the process.

                  • GG

                    And if they are honest they would reveal to you the real politics involved.

                  • fredx2

                    Politics can be extremely difficult.

                  • DE-173

                    “I happen to have acute PTSD”
                    There’s that comorbidity again.

                • GG

                  Peer review is an infallible concept to many today.

                  • DE-173

                    And an echo chamber to others.

              • Dick Prudlo

                My peer’s think you and your peers are bunk. Peer review brings more and more nonsense then what even you can conceive. Macro evolution is brought too mind, black holes, global warming or cooling, heliocentrism, and a barge load of crap.

              • DE-173

                A durable inclination is not immutable does not equal license to act.

            • ForChristAlone

              It just so happens that one of those at the highest eschelons of the APA in the early 70’s and who was instrumental in getting this diagnosis removed was a homosexual psychiatrist from NYC living with another man. So much for science

              • mitch64

                And the majority of psychiatrists who labeled it as a diagnosis before that time were straight. So much for science.

                • GG

                  Yes, they grasped reality.

                  • mitch64

                    Because they held up an archaic opinion not based on anything other then “tradition?” and society’s bias at that point in time? What studies did they base that on? How many “gay” people were out at that time and living in the main stream (for that matter how many people would admit to being gay at all so they could be involved in a study?) Im interested as you seem to know a great deal about this.

                • DE-173

                  They also diagnosed schizophrenia, kleptomania and pyromania. Few if any had those afflictions, so I guess the entire DSM is out.

                  No way I should have accepted the diagnosis of epilepsy as a teenager, when my neurologist never had a seizure.

              • DE-173

                Imagine that. Sounds like a certain judge who vacated the law in California.

          • Steve Frank

            Sorry I just to forgot to mention that. Political correctness was indeed a factor in psychology’s change of heart about homosexuality. As a political movement, gay rights is normally traced back to the Stonewall riots of 1969. Thereafter gays began to strongly lobby the APA to remove homosexuality from it’s list of mental disorders. Four years later, the APA complied. I suppose you’re going to tell us that was a mere coincidence that the APA changed it’s mind shortly after gay rights became a political force to be reckoned with? If that’s the case, please point to the big medical discovery of the early 1970s that would cause “medical science” to do a complete 180 regarding it’s stance on homosexuality.

            I’m not sure what you referring to when it comes to male sibling effects, but I know studies have been done on identical twins. I believe one study found that a homosexual twin had a corresponding homosexual twin only 30% of the time. Which proves that homosexuality is NOT genetically determined. 30% is certainly a higher number that we’d expect if only 3-5% of population is homosexual. But if 70% of homosexual identical twins have a heterosexual twin, then it’s clear than sexual orientation is NOT genetically determined the same way as something like eye color. At most, the 30% (if accurate) could be an indicator that genetics may cause one person to be somewhat more prone to develop a homosexual orientation than another, but some other environmental trigger must come into play. In any case, even if sexual orientation was 100% genetic, that still tells us nothing about whether it is good or harmful. What if they discover a “pedophile” gene? Does that suddenly make pedophelia a good thing?

            When it comes to medical science, the only thing HARD medical science can tell us about homosexuals (at least the males) is that it’s most popular sex act is the most bacteria-exposing, disease-prone sexual act that a human can possibly engage in. Now that is a true finding of medical science that demonstrates that homosexuality is NOT healthy.

            • Daniel P

              The male sibling effect does have some pretty hard science behind it. It’s about epigenetics (post conception stuff), not genetics. Also, I’m not sure where you get the idea that anal sex is the most popular sex act among gay men. I don’t think it is.

              • Steve Frank

                Dan,

                It doesn’t take much poking around on the Internet to find that this study like every other study done on the cause of homosexuality has it’s proponents as well as it’s critics. One side claims “pretty hard science”, and the other side accuses the study of bad sampling or misinterpretation. I’m afraid it’s impossible to get an objective study on homosexuality today in time. Given the political climate, it’s such a polarizing issue right now it seems almost everyone has an axe to grind on the matter. Everyone is going to accept the studies that tell them what they want to hear, and dismiss any studies or criticisms they don’t like as unscientific. The simple FACT is that today in time there is no absolute incontrovertable evidence that homosexuality is inborn. There are lots of theories and lots of studies that claim to provide clues, but they are not universally accepted as fact. Claiming that homosexuality might not be inborn is NOT the scientific equivalent of stating the earth might not be round. The latter is demonstrably false, while the jury is still out on the former.

                • Daniel P

                  Oh, I didn’t mean to say that homosexuality is inborn. I do think that certain characteristics are either inborn or acquired in utero, and these characteristics make the development of homosexuality more likely. I also think that abuse or childhood sexual activity with male peers makes adult homosexuality more likely.

                  In the end, homosexual attraction is a trait, or a symptom. Like any symptom, it can have various causes. Imagine someone claiming that there was one single cause that explains a runny nose!

          • JP

            Shrinks are psychologists that are licensed to prescribe drugs. Most of their “studies” are in fact nothing more than statistical analysis used to justify whatever social pathology they are pushing. Nothing scientific about their work.

          • GaudeteMan

            “A New Zealand birth cohort study, which has followed 1,007 individuals since birth, Fergusson et al, found that, at age 21, the 28 classified as gay, lesbian or bisexual were significantly more likely to have had mental health problems than the 979 classed as heterosexual. The following is an excerpt from a chart included in the report:”

            GLB VS HETERO

            Suicidal Ideation 67.9% vs 29.0%
            Suicide Attempt 32.1% vs 7.1%
            Major depression 71.4% vs 38.2%
            Generalized anxiety Disorder 28.5% vs 12.5%
            Conduct disorder 32.1% vs 11.0%
            Nicotine dependence 64.3% vs 26.7%
            Other substance abuse/dependence 60.7% vs 44.3%
            Multiple disorders 78.6% vs 38.2%

            In other words at age 21 the GLB (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual) portion of the cohort has significantly more problems in every category.

            • mitch64

              With remarks of which I find on this website and people who still think the way a lot of characters on here think, is there any wonder why?

          • Sumergocogito

            Twin studies? Less than 50% of identical twins end up being homosexual. If genetics, or specifically ” a gene” was responsible for sexual orientation the number would have to be 100% . Even homosexuals know that.

            • Timmy

              What a ridiculous comment. If being an identical twin of a homosexual gives you a higher chance of being gay than the general incidence of homosexuality then that proves genetics are playing a role here. Even crazy Christians know that.

          • centipede

            Contrary to your position, twin studies show that sexual orientation is not genetic.

            • You are correct in the world of conforming-science-to-scripture-and-other-ancient-texts.

              In identical twins, if one twin is gay, the odds are 50% that the other twin is gay.

              In fraternal twins (which share less genetic material) the odds drop to 25%.

              Those are roughly ten times and five times the incidence of homosexuality than in the general public. Fraternal twins and identical twins do, of course, share identical mitochondrial DNA. The difference in identical twins is presumed to be differences in the sub-genome. Then, of course, there is birth order which seems to play a significant part in sexual orientation. This is best demonstrated by the male sibling effect which remains the best predictor of sexual orientation that we know of.

              The most important thing is that sexual orientation is neither an acquired taste nor a bad habit. It is something that humans have no control over. Any gay many from my generation can tell you, with absolute certainty, that they did not want to be gay, let alone “choose” to be gay. And the overwhelming majority of people aren’t designed to be celibate.

      • Paul

        Give medical science half a chance and soon it will find ways to justify pedophilia, incest, sex with animals , necrophilia etc … Heck, after they are also other forms of sexuality, love, sexual preference, sexual attraction or sexual orientation right ? Get real !

        • Gotta love that slippery slope! Darn that elitist liberal medical establishment. We’re on our way to bestialitists rights. Of course.

          • ForChristAlone

            and the response to the implied the question is….

            • I have more questions than answers. I don’t know.

              • maineman

                I think, David, that you think you have more answers than you really do. I am a psychologist with 30 years of experience, a specialist in psychodiagnosis, most of whose training and professional experience predates my very recent entry into the faith that most of us here practice.

                First of all, you profess much too much faith in the scientific literature of the social sciences. While I would not go so far as to agree that psychology is not a science, I am absolutely clear about the fact that it has been hijacked by the secular-humanist movement and is preoccupied with the eradication of opposing belief systems, Christianity in particular. I just spent the morning exposing as complete bunk a recent, peer reviewed study that appeared in a major journal and which purports to demonstrate that Christian children are less grounded in reality than secular children. That it was pseudo-science and predicated on confirmation bias seems to have escaped the authors and the reviewers.

                Sometimes, it is easiest to see the forest and not get lost in the trees by taking a step back and avoiding myopia. We have known for thousands of year that homosexuality is largely environmentally determined because we have the history of Sparta, and we know that it was much more prevalent in ancient cultures than in the civilization we called Christendom.

                As for the mitigation of same-sex attraction through treatment, there is a long, documented history of success, keeping in mind that the success of most psychotherapy hovers around 30% to begin with. I suggest that you find a video of former APA director Nick Cummings lamenting the fact that the psychological community has been refusing for years to acknowledge what most of us know, which is that sexual proclivities are sometimes helped by treatment. To be sure, many psychological and behavioral problems do not necessarily have to go away for us to make peace with them.

                I can’t be that sympathetic, incidentally, to the complaints of using the term disordered. The treatment program that beats the pants off any other, AA, uses that approach as a foundation.

          • JP

            http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hidden-motives/201012/is-incest-wrong

            The author didn’t come out and say it, but he endorses incest between consenting adults who use some form of birth control. He believes that society must create taboos to “protect the children”. Otherwise, there is really nothing wrong with it as long as the partners are adults and give consent.

            • It’s important to note that this is a poiemic in contrast to being peer reviewed research that is published in a scholarly journal. He asks a good question that has nothing to do with how we treat gay people, particularly gay children and their parents.

              • fredx2

                I suppose the first thing one might do to gay children is accurately explain the church’s teaching,and not run around screaming to them that “The church says you are objectively disordered”. Because that is not what the Church teaches. Maybe if they knew that the church loved them as they are, and only wants to discuss how they express those feelings, that might help them.

                • DE-173

                  Acts are disordered, people are not.

          • DE-173

            To bad somebody didn’t consider the low friction incline in Germany about eighty years ago….

      • GG

        Did you even read the essay?

        • Yes. I have also read Ratzinger’s underlying document in full (the letter to the bishops). It’s worth noting that he makes no pretense at having the erudition to draw such conclusions. Rather, as the Prefect of CDF, he is codifying Church doctrine.

          My point is simply to separate science from religion. Religious doctrine should be subjected to critical thinking and challenge. Were some parent with a gay child to believe this stuff literally both the parent and the child could be irreparably damaged.

          • ForChristAlone

            Do you think it is possible to discipline one’s passions? I am just asking if you think it’s possible, that’s all.

            • “Discipline?” I think that it is possible for someone to remain celibate. I do not think that you can discipline a gay man to have passions for women.

              • ForChristAlone

                I never even mentioned this idea. I simply want to know whether you think that man has the ability to control his sexual behavior.

              • DE-173

                But apparently women don’t have the immutable sexual “orientation” men do.

                Meredith Baxter, Kelly McGillis, Anne Heche…

          • GG

            What? The article points out, specifically, that the attraction is disordered, not the person. It refers to a philosophical concept. You bring in the medical issues to obfuscate things.

            If you want to evaluate medical issues you first need a proper grounding in philosophy. If you are immersed in relativism, utilitarianism, and nihilism then any evaluation of “studies” is worthless.

          • fredx2

            Religious doctrine is subject to considerable critical thinking and challenge. The fact is, that the church quite often gets things right when the “science” community gets it wrong. Faddish science is not science.

          • Major914

            I see that you make up handily for any real of perceived lack of pretense elsewhere.

            Irreperable damage is what practicing homosexuals attempt to bring on themselves, and on those they seduce or othewise corrupt. What part of inherently disordered do you continue failing to understand?

            Inasmuch as God is Creator, there is nothing that can be seperated from true religion–not ‘science’, not ethics, not psychology, not economics,…and certainly not sexual behavior.

          • DE-173

            My point is simply to separate science from religion.
            Welcome to the Jurassic Park.

            • Objectivetruth

              Soon, the urban myths posts concerning Galileo and the Church will soon be coming…

              Wait for it…..waaaaait for it…….

          • Objectivetruth

            See below, a (incomplete) list of devout lay and cleric Catholic scientists. All of them justified science through their faith, and their faith through science. Quite an impressive list:

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Catholic_scientists

          • cestusdei

            Science cannot answer all questions. It can show you how to make a bomb, but not why or when to use it. The damage comes when someone has a problem and we pretend it isn’t a problem.

      • CadaveraVeroInnumero

        Paul replied to you: “Give medical science half a chance and soon it will find ways to justify
        pedophilia, incest, sex with animals , necrophilia etc … Heck, after
        they are also other forms of sexuality, love, sexual preference, sexual
        attraction or sexual orientation right ? Get real !”

        I’ve followed this debate for years. (And, I’ve had my share of struggled.) But, you fellows, NEVER answer Paul’s question when it is put to you. That particular question (yes, put out there with some alarm) is not disingenuous, a distraction to wander down a rhetorical byway. It is laid sincerely at your feet. Answer it.

        Dear David, what IS the hard line of demarcation between homosexuality and the other disorders such as pederasty, incest, necrophilia, and tomorrow’s media obsession, BDS&M? How is homosexuality a privileged sector on that (scientifically not conformed) sexual continuum you ground your ethics upon.

        Until you offer a reasoned response to the over questions, your comments participate in the disorder.

        • Homosexuality is considered to be a normal expression of human sexuality. The legal consent of both parties is required for sex. There is no legal consent in pederasty. I’m not into BDS&M. Actually I find it repellent but, for consenting adults, whatever floats their boat. Some states do allow incest, to the extent that first cousins can marry.

          My thoughts on the “continuum” are here: http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/2014/08/some-thoughts-about-sexual-orientation.html . I do not presume to have a monopoly on wisdom.

          My only real in this subject – at this venue – is how “you” propose to deal with gay children and their parents.

          • JP

            Most of the gays I met were abused as children by adults.

            • Rubbish. There is a slightly higher abuse rate but you are confusing correlation with causation. I know many more gays than you do I suspect. None, including me, were abused as children.

              The abuse-sexual orientation canard is a reverse engineered concept to support so-called reparative therapy.

              • Daniel P

                David, how do you define abuse? Can one child abuse another child sexually?

              • DE-173

                Slightly. We call that a weasel word.

              • JP

                There is a strong gay sub-culture in Manhattan that preys on minors.

            • mitch64

              That is your personal experience, and goes a long way towards explaining your bias. However, “most,” gay people have not been abused by adults. A lot of straight people have been abused by adults, and they still are straight and your point is????

          • ForChristAlone

            You write: “Homosexuality is considered to be a normal expression of human sexuality.”

            How are we to understand your interest in a website that is a “Voice for Faithful Catholic Laity”?

            • mitch64

              Because a great deal of us “faithful,” Catholics have different views then the “group,” here. I found this site as I thought it was a bit conservative but an open discussion on issues within the Church. Then I saw some of the far, far, far right wing posts which no one opposed and that is why I check it out.

              • Steph

                Your appeal to the rational individual as the arbiter of right and wrong through the mechanism of consent is a lot closer to many on the present day far, far, far right wing than most of those who post here.

              • Objectivetruth

                See below, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Is this an example of the “far, far, far right wing” type of postings you refer to? As Catholics, is not the Catechism the “go to” reference for the teachings of the Church? Or what “far, far, far right wing” postings do you refer to, because all I see on this site is faithful Catholics that agree and follow this:

                “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. (2333)”

              • DE-173

                You have a curious definition of faithful. Multiple posts using the term “far, far, far right wing” tells us what you are faithful to-and it’s political, not religious.

              • ForChristAlone

                Get lost with this “far right wing” BS. None of us here buys it. And by the way, you are not “faithful” if you are not fully with the mind of the Church. When someone enters the Church they are asked to profess “all that the Catholic Church teaches and believes.” (As in ALL).

            • DE-173

              He’s not interested. He’s compelled to confront the voices of doubt that linger in his conscience.

              It’s not like he’s ever taken interest any other topic here other than homosexuality.

          • Objectivetruth

            “My only real interest in this subject – at this venue – is how “you” propose to deal with gay children and their parents.”

            With great love and charity, giving them the Truths of Jesus Christ.

            • With great love and charity, giving them the Truths of Jesus Christ.

              So if your son, at say 18, said that he was gay, you would tell him that he was disordered? Demand that he commit himself to celibacy for life? Reparative therapy? Send him to a priest – maybe an exorcism? What would you do?

              • Objectivetruth

                For starters:

                http://couragerc.org

                Which is how with great love and charity for my son, I would be giving him the love and Truths of Jesus Christ.

                Check out Courage’s website, David. I think you would find great benefit for yourself.

              • Objectivetruth

                And you yourself, David, probably don’t need a full exorcism, but below find some “Prayers of Deliverance” that you might personally find beneficial:

                http://www.scripturecatholic.com/dprayers.pdf

              • Objectivetruth

                “Demand that he commit himself to celibacy for life?”

                Ohhh….yes. I’d much prefer to have my son’s rectal tissue ripped to shreds by another man’s erected penis with a high risk of catching HIV/AIDs. What a much better option for my dear pride and joy!

              • DE-173

                Oh no celibacy. The horror!

          • CadaveraVeroInnumero

            Regarding your REAL interest (which I assume also includes “gay parenting”), I propose reading a few back articles by that intrepid commentator on all things gay, Robert Oscar Lopez: http://www.americanthinker.com/robert_oscar_lopez/

        • mitch64

          Those are good questions in context of marriage,and ones being raised in the current hearings in Chicago. Well, not going as maybe OT as you and others on this site have brought us as examples, but they are talking about, “when do you draw the line, when three people get married, four people get married,” etc. I don’t have the answer to that one. The answer to “your” questions is very simple the line is drawn with consent…animals and dead people obviously can’t agree to a sexual encounter. Pederasty, easy, if the child is a minor he does not have the maturity level to agree to a relationship, period. Not to mention that an older adult can have a level of control and power over the younger person. Its not a meeting of equals. BDSM…as far as I know, people into this may enter into a marriage or a relationship where it is legal, so why do you bring this up?

      • Fred

        Is settled medical science on the same ground as settled global warming science? Sorry, I couldn’t resist making that concrete connection of certainty for grins. At the risk of sounding demeaning, psychiatry’s biggest contribution to society seems to be categorizing behavior and medicating – they know nothing about the true origins of innate human behavior. I know a lot of people feel helped and I’m being overly simplistic so spare the treatise in defense. Study enough pedophilias long enough and you’ll eventually conclude “well, that’s just who they are too” followed by the enabling and cowardly “who am I to judge – live and let live”. Secular society is a euphemism for emptiness by the way, a failure in personal spiritual development that there’s isn’t a drug for. Life isn’t empty though, and eventually everyone comes to terms with the finite limits of their worldly being – temporal, spatial and material – and the infinite capacity of God’s love. I wish you the best in your life journey David, and I pray that one day too you will come to find peace in God’s love for you, and you in him. Don’t be an empty vessel.

      • DE-173

        And once again, the trolls have arrived.
        You’ll note a certain monomaniacal obsession.

        • Objectivetruth

          It’s amazing…

          Just this past week there were articles on Crisis concerning Pope Benedict, suicide, church architecture. And no postings from the gay agenda crowd. But put one article out defending and explaining Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality (and yes, on a Catholic website) and…..boy oh boy……here they come……

          • Gal

            They are paid to be here, that’s why.

            • DE-173

              The only question is by Soros, Steyer or Buffett?

      • Objectivetruth

        Define for me “secular society.” An atheistic society that denies any divine creator? A society that denies any intrinsic moral code? A humanly inherent moral code that says murder, stealing and sodomy are just plain wrong for their own sake?

        • Well, for starters – for a law to be constitutional it must have a secular purpose. In point of fact, Catholics support gay rights like marriage equality in greater percentage than the general population.

          There really is a separation of church and state in this country. I would argue that the Free Exercise clause is conditioned on the Establishment Clause.

          But, again, what really interests me is the effect of Church doctrine on gay children and their parents.

          • Objectivetruth

            “Well, for starters – for a law to be constitutional it must have a secular purpose. In point of fact, Catholics support gay rights like marriage equality in greater percentage than the general population.”

            Hogwash.

            You just pull things out of thin air, don’t you? And whether 1% or 100% of Catholics support “gay” rights, what does that have to do with the actual doctrinal teaching of the Catholic Church that homosexuality is disordered, and homosexual acts such as sodomy are immoral? The opinions of poorly catechized Catholics has no effect on or changes the actual Truths of the Catholic Church.

          • DE-173

            The Free Exercise clause is dead.

          • DE-173

            What really interests you is homosexuality. It’s apparently a compulsion that causes you to sit and wait for any mention of it on this site, so you can scribble your graffiti.

            And yet it’s futile. Most of us don’t give a rat’s posterior about prevailing social whim, but yet you are dedicated to futility or at least attention.

          • Objectivetruth

            But, again, what really interests me is the effect of Church doctrine on gay children and their parents.”

            Thanks for asking the question, David. Here’s the answer.

            The effect of Church doctrine on these groups is an opportunity finally for freedom for them from the slavery they have to sin. By discovering Jesus Christ’s teachings in His Catholic Church, “gay” children and their parents will finally be released from the horrible bondage of homosexual sin. Church doctrine for them is finally they have a chance at true peace and joy, found only in Jesus Christ.

      • Sumergocogito

        Evolution chose heterosexual relation as the only means of sustaining life in our species. This is natural, ordered and secular in content independent of any philosophical and theological stance. Pleasure alone is not the only aspect that defines any sexual relationship fully and without exception.

      • Desert Sun Art

        Did you read the article? A person is NOT disordered- their attractions may be. We all have disordered attractions, desires and feelings, I believe. Whether it be toward food, persons of the same sex, alcohol, drugs, anything that diverts our attention from God instead of toward God is disordered.

      • Akira88

        Children having a sexual crisis is not scientifically based. If it were, every girl who was a tomboy would never have had any children and so few of us would have been born.

        Children are impressionable, they are not gay. They learn what they see around them, what they hear around them, so by the time they go to kindergarten they have certain ideas. Schools are pressured to teach the gay agenda — childhood is a time of make believe and development. For many years it was taught that a youngster didn’t identify with his/her sex until teen years or later. The DMSII has been lassoed by the liberal agenda that it no longer recognizes homosexuality as a disorder. While you may think this an egalitarian promotion it gets in the way of those who want to break free from it’s clutches.

        Homosexuals do have due process –the law doesn’t see people through the eyes of sexual orientation. What one does in their bedroom is between the person and God. Don’t tell me society needs to embrace it because it is against the law of God – not against the law of man.

        I wish you well.

  • franthie

    Arland K. Nichols’ article is clear, comprehensive, and just right in explaining the specific problem with the words ‘objectively disordered’. Perhaps this term doesn’t sound like such a seriously psychological malfunctioning in other languages? Might we substitute,, say,’misdirected’ for ‘disordered’, or . . ? Any ideas?

    • GG

      The object desired is not oriented toward the good. No matter how it is said it will be rejected. The problem is not the wording.

      • franthie

        As is the misappropriation of goods the same as stealing.

        • GG

          Yes, but my point is that it is not mistaken by the propagandists who fuel the fire. See the posts in this very thread.

          The lazy are one group. They indict themselves by their failure to learn what they ought to learn. The more powerful group are those who know well the Church does not call people disordered, yet they spew that out anyway.

          • franthie

            I agree with all you say. It’s just that the juxtaposition of these two ponderous words doesn’t invite any effort to understand them — they will sound to many like some serious medical condition. Our Faith, as we know, is for everyone, and some effort to clarify this teaching without losing any of the meaning — if at all possible — would be well worthwhile..

    • Daniel P

      The problem with “disordered” is that it is almost exclusively a psychological term. But the Church does not proclaim truths about psychology. (For all we know, “normal” psychology is fallen and spiritually unhealthy).

      The point is not to change the term because it causes offense. Truth often causes offense. But I do think we might be able to do better than “disordered”, in terms of accuracy. I don’t have any better alternatives at the moment, though. “Misdirected” implies that people choose their attractions, which is (at least most of the time) false.

      • Guest_august

        People don’t choose their sinful attractions; Satan does that for them

    • HigherCalling

      “Order” is the key word in the entire argument. The essential feature of Catholic thought is the ability to put things in their proper order. Getting things out of their proper order is different in degree from a malfunction or a misdirection. An idea that is out of order becomes lost, not in the sense that it is not found where it should be found, but in the more radical sense that it is ultimately not to be found anywhere. Thus the push to accept disordered sexuality prohibits the inclusion of ‘ordered sexuality’ from the discussion. Soon ordered sexuality will be lost entirely, not to be found anywhere in the discussion of human sexuality. Disorder is doubly sinister because it not only scrambles the natural ordering of things, it eclipses what should be primary and banishes it to oblivion. Thus the truth, which is primary, is banished in every disorder, because for the disorder to persist, truth must be ignored, dismissed or rejected. For abortion to be accepted, a hundred truths must be banished. For same-sex behavior and the redefinition of marriage to be accepted, a hundred truths must be removed. Order demands truth. Disorder rejects truth. Only if human life is ordered to certain natural ends (formal and final causes) do we have reference to grasp an objective standard of goodness, rightness, and truth. There can be no satisfying explanation of almost anything that doesn’t make reference to the natural order.

      • ForChristAlone

        It presumes that in the world God created there is a “right order” to it, as in “God brought order out of chaos.” In case we haven’t noticed, the chaos or “disorder” is now with us because of original sin. Man, through sin, introduced disorder into what God had ordered. Through the natural law and revelation we come to know how God had rightly ordered the universe. One can say that Jesus Christ became man in order to re-establish the right order. He is the new Adam.

  • Steph

    Don’t mean to nitpick, but it’s “Manif Pour Tous”, not “Tours”, as in “March for All”.

  • elarga

    I have a nit to pick too. It’s not “flaunt that law” but should be “flout that law.” Crisis needs a copyeditor.

    • ForChristAlone

      Actually, I thought so too but before commenting, I looked at Miriam Webster and flaunt can take the meaning as used by the author. Flout works too, though.

      • elarga

        Merriam-Webster’s. “If you use it, however, you should be aware that many people will consider it a mistake.” That would include me.

        • Major914

          Along with you, I am loth to loathe flouting the use of the word ‘flaunt’ to mean ‘flout the law’.

  • Ruth Rocker

    I does not matter how eloquently the Church’s position is explained. There is a large segment of society, both homosexual and normal, that choose to take offense to ANYTHING that even vaguely sounds like it will curb their behavior. These people will persist in glorying in the sin they pursue regardless of anything said to them, more’s the pity.

    • Guest_august

      right on! It was prophesied in Revelation 13 v 16-18.
      And it is happening right in our time.

  • Tony

    Do homosexuals not understand that we sometimes actually read what they say when they are not talking to us directly?

  • clintoncps

    Great article! It makes a critical point that is often overlooked in an effort to seem non-judgemental, and that is the fact that not only are homosexual acts sinful, but the impulses themselves proceed from a spirit of evil that is the Catechism describes as “disordered”. So, while one can be tempted by homosexual impulses, the source behind those impulsed is a spirit of wickedness. Homosexual impulses do not proceed from God; they proceed from our fallen nature twisted by the devil’s influence. Therefore, identifying with a homosexualized persona — refusing to let go of that self-image, as if it were something God “gifted” you with, is not compatible with the Christian life of seeking to be holy as God is holy.

    Until more commentators stop conflating the homosexual impulses experienced by some people with the true identity and nature of the persons themselves, we will never be able to reject the false premise that homosexuality is an immutable characteristic of humanity, rather than a symptom of our estrangement from God — our fallen nature.

  • thebigdog

    Progressives have long attempted, since the 60s in particular, to change the definition of sin from “that which offends God” to “that which makes one feel guilty” Since narcissists are often incapable of feeling guilty, it is impossible, according to the “enlightened” for them to ever sin. Among many others, homosexuals are narcissists.

    • Connie Boyd

      So all homosexuals are narcissists? Sez who?

      Do you think you know better than others the mind of God, for example what offends him? How do you know? Sounds kinda narcissistic to me.

      • thebigdog

        The Church started by Jesus Christ tells us what sin is and this is in NO way about me… liberals seem to have great difficulty with that concept.

      • GG

        How can you not see the obvious?

  • hombre111

    Not very convincing. “Telos” is a concept out of Greek philosophy, built on the conceit that one can know and completely express the mind of and will of God. But if God creates someone with a built in attraction for the same sex, he is either the author of a cruel trick or made some kind of blunder. I still do not understand all this concern about gays and their relationships, which receives its monthly space in Crisis. Homosexuals present a danger to marriage? Heterosexuals have managed to turn marriage into a fractured, disease-ridden nightmare. They are a danger to society? Nothing compared to American individualism and materialism.

    • Scott W.

      Sexual perversion and individualism and materialism go hand in hand. It is right to concentrate on homosex because there are no Thieves’ Pride parades, or courts of law recognizing people’s “alternative property-rights orientation”, and even if a heterosexual is getting a no-fault divorce or using evil contraceptives, they won’t get fired from their jobs, or run out of the country like people who try to stand up for traditional marriage are.

    • Guest_august

      To fully understand the human nature and sexuality, there are few Christian writers more eloquent than St. Augustine. For a Catholic to say God created him to have inclination to same-sex acts means he does not understand the nature of lust and the sex act.
      popeleo13.com/pope/2014/08/12/category-archive-message-board-95-st-augustine-on-sex/
      http://popeleo13.com/pope/2014/08/13/category-archive-message-board-95-st-augustine-on-sex-2/

    • ForChristAlone

      “I still do not understand all this concern about gays and their relationships, which receives its monthly space in Crisis. ”

      A sane person would simply not keep coming back to a site where he repeatedly is subjected to writings that he finds objectionable.

      BTW, God doesn’t “create” homosexuality. he permits disorders of the human condition out of respect for man’s will as expressed in the original sin.

    • bonaventure

      Your comparison of homosexual “marriage” to heterosexual failures is very telling. But it’s understandable, since you have nothing else to compare it to.

      P.S.: God does not create a person with sexual attraction to the same sex. God creates everyone with sexual attraction to the opposite sex –> that’s what sexuality is all about. Then we corrupt it in many different ways, hence it is called “perversion.”

      • hombre111

        The whole notion of homosexuals living out a civil marriage in the open is so new, it will take a while to see whether it succeeds or fails. I have known homosexuals all of my life as a priest. Most of them tell me they were dealing with feelings they tried to deny, push away, bury for most of their lives. Some tried to solve things by marrying someone of the opposite sex–to no avail. Others attempted suicide. Only admitting their homosexuality broke the tension.

        I have known several homosexual couples over many years. They have remained faithful to each other, like heterosexual couples, through thick and thin. One couple just celebrated their 4oth..

        These are the kind of real life experiences that cause me to disagree with the disordered condition bit.

        • bonaventure

          A sexual pervert could remain “faithful” to another sexual pervert (or an object of sexual perversion), without taking anything away the sexual perversion in question. More likely, this kind of “faithfulness” is a sign of spiritual, moral, psychological, and emotional weakness.

        • GG

          Right out of the gay lobby handbook. The propaganda never stops.

          • hombre111

            I don’t pay any attention to a gay lobby. I simply react to the testimony of the lives of real men and women I know and love. The propaganda seems to come from the other side, from people who follow a rigid ideology that does not grant personhood to flesh and blood human beings, and their struggles to live with dignity.

            • america111

              You pay attention to those who buy the gay lobby lies. A little study on your part with professional psychologists working with this disorder 9NARTH) would make you serve them better… and the closeness to God’s truths.

    • sayingyes

      From what I’ve seen/read, homosexual orientation is a product of both environment and genetics – not that God created a “gay gene” (nothing God creates is not perfect). But we’ve seen that certain genetic makeups can dispose the person one way or another – making it easier or harder for the person to act in any given way. Further, we’ve seen that genes, like all other physical matter, can be adversely acted upon (mutated) by other things. God’s permissive will allows for such things, but He also provides the grace to deal with what life hands us and, most significantly, He both sees (judges) objectively and is merciful with regard to our ultimate culpability in regard to our actions. (My reference to His mercy is not to recommend the sin of presumption of it in regard to any specific act(s).)

    • america111

      “I still do not understand all this concern about gays and their relationships, Homosexuals present a danger to marriage? ”
      1. If the homosexual activists would not use the force of the government to endanger the religious liberty of Christians, because they disagree with us we wouldn’t talk about them. Where have you been?
      2. Redefining Marriage to accommodate homosexuals, changes the whole definition of Marriage; it makes Marriage only as a sexual love relationship. Marriage was recognized by the government not because the state was interested on the love life of 2 people, but because the institution of Marriage was for the whole purpose to procreate the future citizens AND to offer a healthy environment of a father and a mother for that child.

      • hombre111

        Getting bored with this subject. Homosexuals had to use the government because heterosexuals had used the force of government against them for time beyond memory. Where have you been? You know, living in the closet, homosexuality a crime, jail time, even execution, unable to pass on property, visit their loved one in the hospital, and etc..

        If marriage is all about having children, then people who can’t procreate should not be allowed to marry. Marriage between old people is immoral and should be illegal.

        Interesting. In Genesis, A man clings to his wife and the two are in the image of God. THEN, he blesses them, as he did all the animals, and says increase and multiply.

        • america111

          1. Just a few years back, everyone lived and let live… that is right

          2. True. Sodomy was illegal as pedophilia is until judges decided it wasn’t. But in the last 20 years was not prosecuted. You are reliving ancient times.

          3. Unable to pass property – They always were able with a lawyer, moreover we can pass a law saying 2 PEOPLE (not only homosexuals) can do that. it doesn’t have anything to do with re-defining Marriage.

          4. Whether a couple can have or not children, does not erase the complementarity basic in the relationship.

          Genesis says: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;” male and female” he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it…
          Getting bored with lack of education.

  • The_Monk

    Have thought the video, “Desire of the Everlasting Hills”, enlightening without condemning….

  • sayingyes

    We are all disordered – concupiscence from original sin. Consequently we are all morally required to seek grace to overcome our various experiences of disorder (and grow in virtue). However, the disorder of same sex attraction pertains to an often immutable sexual orientation, the moral response to which (presuming reparative therapy is not successful) requires remaining unmarried and refraining from sex. Some of the indignation towards understanding ssa as a “disorder” may come from mistakenly understanding the term to be a condemnation of the homosexual’s value as a person, but much of the indignation comes from this hard fact concerning the only possible moral response to it. I can’t think of another disorder for which the required moral response is very similar. Even though I believe every cross is ultimately a blessing when accepted with grace, I am sympathetic to my homosexual brothers and sisters’ difficulty in accepting this cross. I do believe peace, fulfillment, and intimacy are achievable even in such a life of assigned celibacy, but I can only imagine what grace and courage it requires to decide to seek this in the first place. Especially in a culture which is so hostile to this concept.

    • sayingyes

      [Where I wrote “much of the indignation comes from this hard fact concerning the only possible moral response to it,” I should have included:] In other words, this indignation is not based on any valid objection to the term’s correctness but rather on fear – fear of acknowledging its correctness because of the morally logical and very hard conclusion that follows (necessary celibacy and abstinence) which suggests loneliness and isolation (cf. DavidHart). And the other fear motivating the indignation is fear of another perhaps even harder loneliness – a loneliness that comes of feeling unable to let oneself be known to others with regard to a matter that relates so closely to one’s core – for fear of being judged. Even with our culture’s becoming so “pro-gay,” and despite the heterosexual Christian’s sincere acceptance and lack of judgment, this is still a real threat for a person afflicted with ssa to face.

    • bonaventure

      “We are all disordered,” yes, but some are more than others.

      • sayingyes

        Yes. But, while an objective “ranking” of sins is to some degree possible, that is not dispositive regarding any individual’s overall virtue – as in “lack of disorder” – relative to anyone else. That is knowable only by God. In the eyes of God, one person’s committing a murder, considering all the circumstances of his soul at the time (which only God can entirely know), could be a less disordered act than another person’s malicious detraction of his neighbor.

        • bonaventure

          Situational ethics = one reason why we are in the moral conundrum that we are in today.

          • sayingyes

            No. My comment was not supporting situational ethics. In fact it recognized the existence of objective moral evil in human acts; also that they can be ranked (venial, mortal, and degrees among them). Situational ethics would hold that sometimes the acts themselves (e.g. abortion, contraception, etc.), because of the situation, are not sinful. My comment rather is to recognize that in every act there is the subjective element of the person’s interior disposition. Whereas the act – such as homosexual sex – is always an objective moral evil, the person’s subjective responsibility for his sinful act is perfectly known only to God. The Catechism recognizes this, for instance, in its three-part definition of mortal sin as including whether or not the person realizes the seriousness of the sin and also the presence or absence of his intent with regard to the act – these two factors deal with the subjective, whereas the third deals with the objective. We can judge the objective evil of another’s act(s), but not the state of his soul as a matter of his “disorder.”

            • bonaventure

              So when are homosexual acts acceptable? After all, if the person’s subjective responsibility can be reduced to zero given different circumstances, when is a sin no longer a sin? I mean, you certainly don’t expect a homosexual sinner to confess his sin, if you claim that his responsibility in partaking in such sin could be reduced to zero…

              • sayingyes

                Homosexual
                acts are never acceptable; they are always objectively sinful. But
                the degree to which a person who commits a homosexual act is in God’s
                eyes held accountable – the subjective aspect – may be entirely,
                partially, or not at all, but we are not privy to this knowledge.
                Even with regard to ourselves. If I committed what is objectively a
                sin, I should go to confession, regardless of whether I think there
                were mitigating circumstances with regard to my knowledge, intent,
                etc. Whether and to what extent there is mitigation, only God knows.

                • Major914

                  “… whether I think there were mitigating circumstances…”

                  I would go even further. It seems impossible for oneself, most of all, to open the door to any consideration of allegedly mitigating circumstances associated with sin–in the very first place as well as the last.

                  • sayingyes

                    Yes. Talk about vested interest in excusing oneself. . . We are so good at self-deception. And I’m so much quicker to exonerate myself than my neighbor. . . Just heard Fr. Larry Richards’ talk in which he said, if we confess a sin, don’t follow up with the “reason” you had for doing it…. Just own it.

                • bonaventure

                  If “only God knows” why even talk about it in moral theology?

                  • sayingyes

                    In fact it’s moral theology that tells us what is knowable to man and what is knowable to God alone. Its study would involve things such as the nature of grace, the faculty of intellect, the poles of presumption and despair, etc Moral theology can’t give us some litmus-test-like formula that we can apply to determine whether I’m less disordered than you, or Joe is holier than Mack. It can tell me what I should be striving for in the interest of the holiness I’m required to seek and, in the same interest, what I’d better avoid doing (like stealing, detraction, homosexual acts, etc.).

                    • bonaventure

                      Only “avoid doing”? What if someone engages in such acts and does not recognize them as sinful because of some circumstances or others?

                      Your answers bring us back to situational ethics each time, however much you may try to clothe it with the language of Christian morality.

                      Christian morality — or in this case moral theology — looks upon human acts through the lens of faith and reason to lead us towards our ultimate goal: to be united with God, which is impossible without repentance, not just “avoiding doing” something for the sake of striving to be holy.

                    • sayingyes

                      I did not write “only avoid doing.” I wrote we should strive for holiness (“united with God” as you say). Yes we should repent of what we have done that is objective moral evil – and avoid doing it again (and repent again and go to confession if we fall again). It is Catholic moral theology (cf. both the Catechism and Thomas Aquinas), through the lens of faith and reason, not situational ethics, which recognizes the distinction between the objective nature of sin and the subjective nature of a person’s culpability in committing it. Otherwise the Church would be teach that an insane person who killed an innocent human being, believing him to be an attacking wolf, committed a mortal sin and is liable to hell. Objectively he committed moral evil. Subjectively he is not culpable for it.

                    • bonaventure

                      There is a world of difference between an insane person who is not responsible for his acts, and a person who willfully and knowingly chooses homosexual behavior. Your comparison is inaccurate.

                      Can I ask why so many otherwise orthodox Christians keep defending homosexuality, knowing full well how much this abomination costs the family, the society, and ultimately the Church?

                    • sayingyes

                      Precisely! : There IS a world of difference between an insane person who is not responsible for his acts, and a person who willfully and knowingly chooses homosexual behavior (n.b. “willfully and knowingly”). The former commits objective moral evil but is not subjectively culpable. The latter commits commits objective moral evil and is subjectively culpable. Homosexual acts are abominations and cost the family, the society, and ultimately the Church greatly. All sinners – whether their sin is homosexual acts or thievery, deserve both our remonstration and our love (“love your enemies and pray for them”) – and our recognition that we too are sinners. Failure in this love carries an even greater cost than sodomy.

        • GG

          He was not referring to subjective culpability. He was referring to the objective nature of the sin.

          • sayingyes

            I wrote
            “We are all disordered.”” If by his comment, “Some are more
            disordered than others,” Bonaventure meant that “some sins”
            are more disordered than others, I’ve clearly agreed. If he meant
            “some people” are more disordered than other people, I also agree
            with this, with the caveat that, whereas in the first case (“some
            sins more disordered”), we are able to identify which are more
            disordered than others, in the second case ( “some people are more
            disordered”), only God can make a final assessment regarding the
            degree or the comparison of the disorder of any person’s soul. We
            cannot, simply on the basis of the objective category of certain sins
            committed by an individual, make a judgment regarding the relative
            disorder of his soul. “Because you committed Sin X, you are more
            disordered than I, who have not committed that particular sin.”
            The nature of the disorder of our soul, as well as the nature of the
            virtuousness of our soul, has to do with more than overt acts (“He
            who has looked lustfully has already committed adultery….”).
            Ultimately, it has to do with our present disposition towards God,
            however He has been revealed to us. And only He knows perfectly what
            that disposition is.

  • Veritas

    I do not see how this clears much up. Seems to be rearranging the words in different order to say the same thing. It is intrinsically disordered to the act of mutual self giving towards the possible means of creating life in an act of selfless love. it cannot result in this end as cannot the employment of contraception. Therefore neither are ordered to Gods purpose, and so not truly complete Love. At the root then is not the creation of life, but the self focused act of enjoyment. This places in peril, the partner to the possibility of exploitation for self gain. That is immoral.
    This may seem so inconvenient to the world, but I certainly don’t care to see my loved ones used for another’s selfish pleasure, so maybe we can agree that chastity may have a beneficial effect on the hearts of those who would dare not put someone they claim to love on the receiving end of their sexual exploitation ( no matter how slight or in denial we all might be, even in our marriages)

    • Veritas

      We might all react defensively to the charge of exploitation of another, we can but pray on this and examine our consciences.

  • Akira88

    Seems that much of the following conversation is about science and psychology not really addressing the article’s point: softening the Church’s language about the homosexual disorder.

    We all have some disorder of some kind be it physical, mental or spiritual. These are crosses. Not a one gets through life without one, many have several. Some crosses are self inflicted others are not. What do we do with them? We carry them. The Church provides the Sacraments that keep us close to Christ. Keeping close to Christ helps us to carry our crosses.

    This quest for “social justice” is out of Communist speak. Christ did not die on the Cross for “social justice”. He died on the Cross to show us the way to heaven. Just like Our Lady said to St., Bernadette “I do not promise to make you happy in this life but in the
    next.” She asked for sacrifices then as Our Lady of Fatima asked for sacrifices from the children.

    We offer up our crosses – that is the way to salvation. Unite our sufferings with those of Our Lord’s and those hands will bring us to heaven. We have the choice to cooperate or not. Should we fall, we come back again with humility – with the humility that says I can only do this with your help, Lord.

    With the soft speak threaded through the article it seems Bishops and many in the Church give a mixed message. Our Lord doesn’t give mixed messages. He speaks with clarity. It is the Bishops and priests who have been silent so as not to offend. People have been given over to their own devices without clear teaching for the past 40/50 yrs. We have turned into an arrogant generation demanding inordinate desires to rule because there has been silence from the pulpit.

  • nanc

    How is a homosexual relationship not ordered towards a ‘particular good’ if the essence of the relationship is mutual love ? The fallback we always hear is natural law, which should not be confused with laws of nature. Natural law– what is written on man’s heart is from the natural law tradition shaped by Thomas Aquinas (conscience of Catholic Church). A singular perspective without physiological breadth or new knowledge. Reality holds that 95% of all known species on earth have a minority population (measurable) that engages in homosexual activity (often exclusively). In humans, such a reality has been documented since we started keeping documents. The only thing here that is objectively disordered is insistence by the church that people wanting to do nothing more than love, are imperiled morally. Jesus’ second greatest command is not to love and procreate or to love and comply with the church. It was to love thy neighbor as thyself.

  • Dan Madigan

    Without getting into the polemics and name-calling that characterizes these discussion boards, let me ask a question that has long puzzled me. Is heterosexual desire inherently directed towards faithful monogamy and childbearing? Perhaps it can eventually be brought to such a direction, but it takes a lot of convincing, controlling, and moral exhortation to make it so. Any honest assessment of heterosexual desire would note that it too drives or attracts people to what the Church considers intrinsic moral evils: adultery, fornication, auto-eroticism. It is clear that during the period of the very same scriptures to which people appeal in order to condemn homosexuals heterosexual desire was not at all presumed to be ordered to faithful monogamy. The terms of the discussion are skewed because we present heterosexual desire as ordered only to the good, and homosexual desire as only to the bad. No natural law argument can stand on such disregard of the facts of nature.

  • BTBAM

    Could you PLEASE explain to me why
    homosexual relationship canNOT be directed to mutual complementarity?
    Or which reason there is why it should NOT make you happy?! Love is
    love, and wonderful – no matter if between man and woman, two men or
    two women! And stop talking about “general laws of nature”
    that everyone has to obey or whatever – it’s just your fear of
    difference and diversity and your stupid attitude that lurks behind
    your oh-so-comforting words: “God loves everyone”, “every
    person is precious” and so on and so forth. But in the same
    sentence you will mention how contemptible homosexual is – not the
    person, but the matter ITSELF – “Oh, how nice! They don’t hate
    me, only the thing that defines and determines my whole life! Hooray!
    Now I feel much better!” Let’s be honest: no one can determine
    one’s sexuality and you shouldn’t try to change it or to feel sorry
    for it. Don’t content yourself as you’re not contemptible as a
    person, only your sexuality being an “objective disorder” –
    be proud of what you are and don’t give a shit if you love someone.

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