The New Homophiles vs. St. Aelred on Spiritual Friendship

“Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.…”

When Humphrey Bogart’s character Rick closes the classic film Casablanca with these memorable words, there is no mistaking what he means. Rick and Louie anticipate a mutually respectful—and beneficial—relationship, arising from their past shared experiences and based upon continuing common interests.

Perhaps that’s enough to make their friendship “beautiful”—but what makes a friendship spiritual?

Rewind the clock back beyond World-War-II Morocco to a twelfth-century Cistercian abbey of Rievaulx in North Yorkshire, England, and you’ll find an answer. Here you’ll encounter the slightly famous St. Aelred, now known to some as the “gay abbot of Rievaulx” and author of a notable work titled Spiritual Friendship.

Wait—“gay abbot of Rievaulx”? Based on what evidence?

Well, no direct evidence at all, actually. But a few academics insist on theorizing that St. Aelred had same-sex attraction, thus causing some “gay-friendly” organizations to refer to him as their patron saint.

Enter those whom Crisis readers will recognize as the “New Homophiles”—they, too, are partial to St. Aelred over at the duly-named blog site “Spiritual Friendship” (with the Twitter handle “AelredsFriends”). The New Homophiles embrace and promote an interpretation of St. Aelred’s writings that favors the experience of “spiritual friendship” among those with same-sex attraction. But, there are problems with their interpretation. Chief among the errors of the New Homophiles’ views on St. Aelred’s writings are:

1) The New Homophiles deliberately make room for “same-sex eros” in their interpretation of St. Aelred’s “spiritual friendship.”

2) The New Homophiles seem willing to accept exclusive “chaste, gay couplehood” under the rubric of St. Aelred’s “spiritual friendship.”

3) The New Homophiles advocate for vowed friendships as compatible with St. Aelred’s “spiritual friendship.”

Let’s take a look at these three areas in comparison to what St. Aelred himself asserts in Spiritual Friendship. But first, let’s add just a bit more context on his twelfth-century work.

Correctly Framing St. Aelred’s Perspective
What ought a reader of St. Aelred’s works keep in mind when reading them? He’s the head of a twelfth-century Cistercian monastery and is writing for an audience of monks for their spiritual benefit. Thus, you can take Spiritual Friendship out of the monastery, but you really can’t take the monastery out of Spiritual Friendship. If you do, you lose the context of everything Aelred is trying to communicate.

Also, one of the keys to understanding Spiritual Friendship is seeing how St. Aelred’s work is itself about love of neighbor in a way that is intrinsically linked to the monastic approach to the “way of Christian perfection” and love of God that forms the heart of monastic life and spirituality. Moving through the purgative, illuminative, and unitive “ways” toward the fullness of Christian perfection and intimate union with God in this life also forms the foundation of St. Aelred’s understanding of genuine (spiritual) friendship, its testing and forming, and its “consummation” which can only be realized among the “perfect” (those who achieve abiding spiritual progress toward that deep union with God).

Just as authentic Christian spiritual perfection regarding union with God transcends the temporal by giving the “perfect” a foretaste of the eternal Beatific Vision, so too spiritual friendship is only genuine if it remains true as both a present and eternal reality for those united in this friendship. Such a perfected and consummated friendship in this life is indeed rare, and it’s only achievable by the “good,” St. Aelred says—those “who within the limits of our mortal life live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world.” Progress toward the consummation of spiritual friendship is possible for the “good” who are also willing to devotedly pursue Christian perfection.

The Key to Understanding “Eros”: It’s About Time
So, can “same-sex eros,” as claimed by some of the New Homophiles, enter into St. Aelred’s notion of “spiritual friendship,” so long as same-sex sex acts are avoided?

Unequivocally, no.

The Catholic Church’s understanding of authentic eros is that it requires complementarity and reciprocity. The love that is “eros” is a yearning or desire to receive another whose self-gift “completes” (rather than “repeats”) our own self-gift. It’s a longing for complementary communion. St. Aelred, in contrast, makes it very clear that it is vitally important for “spiritual friends” to be found among those with deep similarities: “Above all, choose one who does not differ too much from your character or conflict with your disposition.”

But, wouldn’t that mean, then, that same-sex attraction might favor the formation of “spiritual friendship,” since obviously same-sex “eros” is about sameness, right?

No, because the “sameness” is what contradicts a properly ordered eros. It’s the problem, not the solution. Furthermore, there remains one more key dimension of eros that stands in stark contrast to St. Aelred’s formula for “spiritual friendship”—eros is “temporal” love, not eternal love.

Let that sink in—eros requires the passage of time for its fulfillment. It is a love that arises from a longing for a communion that has yet to be consummated. Once the love-longing is fulfilled, it is no longer eros-love but is agape-love. The mark of the union of “spiritual friendship” is that, once entered into, it becomes a never-ceasing reality that lasts beyond death and into eternal life. It is, as St. Aelred says, an expression of the “Sabbath rest” of true love rooted in the yoke of Jesus Christ (cf. Mt. 11:28).

Even the authentic eros of conjugal love is a temporal reality that stops on this side of heaven. The eros of husband and wife causes the couple to desire consummated communion in time, as a sign and foretaste not of their own everlasting marital unity but of each of the spouse’s desire for eternal union with God. “Till death do us part.” Their eros-love completes its purpose in time, not in eternity.

In fact, that’s the whole point of St. Aelred’s concept of spiritual friendship—it’s about “agapeic” (agape, not eros) communion that both arises from the reality of our love relationship with God and points us toward the complete and eternal realization of our union with God. It’s only through such a union with the Divine that we can experience an endless “spiritual friendship” that begins in time but lasts forever. Thus, eros has literally nothing to do with St. Aelred’s project—further, keep in mind that the framework he’s creating is for the good of his monks. He’s not writing a treatise on how conjugal love relates to spiritual friendship because his monks have already embraced the reality (celibacy for the sake of the kingdom) that the marital sign is pointing toward.

Spiritual Friendship Is Non-Exclusive
This eternal perspective on genuine and spiritual friendship also has nothing to do with forming “exclusive” relationships with other persons; the New Homophile acceptance of “chaste, gay couples” is clearly excluded from what St. Aelred says. “Friendship is that virtue, therefore, through which by a covenant of sweetest love our very spirits are united, and from many are made one,” he writes. The union that is “spiritual friendship” must yield to the heavenly union of “spiritual friends” that comprises the entire Mystical Body of Christ. The only exclusive I/thou reality in heaven is between God and me in the Beatific Vision. Spiritual friendship is about the all, not the “couple”:

If one were present …whom you loved as yourself and by whom you would not hesitate to be equally loved, would not everything that previously seemed bitter turn sweet and delicious? … Isn’t it true that the more friends you possessed of that kind the happier you would consider yourself? … This is that great and wonderful happiness we await. … The true and eternal friendship that begins here is perfected there. Here it belongs to the few, for few are good, but there it belongs to all, for there all are good. (Spiritual Friendship, Book Three, 78-80)

What “Spiritual Friendship” is Not
So, what about the “vowed friendships,” solemnized by publicly professed vows culminating in the Eucharist, for same-sex “friends”? The New Homophiles are proposing that two people with SSA should be able to publicly vow lifelong commitment to one another, within their Church communities.

St. Aelred’s writing doesn’t support this notion, for two main reasons. First, we’ve just noted that “exclusivity” is not a feature of spiritual friendship. Second, as mentioned above regarding the temporal vows of marriage, spiritual friendship has to do with a union, in Christ, that is endless rather than earthly. Making a vow of friendship is superfluous to the meaning St. Aelred actually gives to spiritual friendship, which is already by nature an everlasting bond, if authentic. Plus, it would be presumptuous for two persons to try to make and extend such a vow to apply to eternity (what if both of you don’t end up in heaven?). No, spiritual friendship is not about nuptial or family bonds—nor would it seem possible that St. Aelred would have viewed exclusive friendship vows as being in any way compatible with the vows the monks themselves take in order to form the broader monastic community.

In conclusion, St. Aelred deserves to have the rubric of “spiritual friendship” returned to him, unaltered. If you want to be “spiritual friends” with someone, whether you have same-sex attraction or not won’t make a difference. Just do what St. Aelred did: set aside everything that is carnal or worldly; seek spiritual progress toward Christian perfection and intimate union with the Divine; and prayerfully choose, test, and accept those others who have done similarly, with whom you can experience the spiritual heights of “love of neighbor” both in this life and the next.

Then, and only then, will you really have the beginning of a beautiful—and spiritual—friendship.

Deacon Jim Russell

By

Deacon Jim Russell serves the Archdiocese of St. Louis and writes on topics of marriage, family, and sexuality from a Catholic perspective.

  • lifeknight

    Excellent, Deacon. Thank you for explaining one of the arguments promoted within the Church by many with SSA. Keep writing!

  • Scheveningen

    As usual the gays wish to corrupt something that is very beautiful: ‘spiritual friendship’ according to the teaching of St Aelred.

  • Rather than attacking “the gays” as the post below does, we need to understand the reason why this is incorrect theology and move on from there. I happen to have SSA but I am a Catholic Christian man, no more or less, and this article says it well. I too am disturbed by this trend among Catholics with the same background as me, but I do understand the loneliness and fears which motivate such thinking. We need to do both, that is we need to show kindness and truth, and this piece does so. The CCC calls it “disinterested” (not uninterested but as the article points out non-exclusive and based on Christ) friendship. We all need it. Great writing.

    • St JD George

      I agree with you, and I try to approach each situation mercifully in the spirit of love the sinner, hate the sin, we are all created in God’s image. Having said that, and to your point about being “disturbed” (I might be inclined to use a stronger word), being merciful should not be equated with cowardly and ignore facing realities. I for one do not see the recent up tempo in attacks on Christ’s church to accept SSM as normal and healthy as a singular event. I view it more as a chess game and just one move advancing towards check. The end game for the dark knight is much more epic than most people care to imagine. It’s high time we shake off the dust from our comfortable cloaks and defend Christ’s church and mission as he would want us to.
      I have had acquaintances with SSA as well and I know most of them feel marginalized. They aren’t served bringing them to Christ treating them like lepers banished to a remote cave. Perhaps that is a special calling for a person such as yourself to help others overcome and understand Christ’s love for them, and nurture their’s for him.

      • Jacqueleen

        In the secular view, I do not go around stating my sexual orientation one way or the other, not in public or in private. Nobody I know does this. Therefore, if a person with SSA is keeping this under his/her hat so to speak, people would accept him for who he/she is. However, when the gay person blatantly brags about his affiliations and is amorously kissing his partner in public and arrogantly displaying his acted upon temptation….that is when the person of God objects to the unashamed advertising his/her sinful behavior. A gay may not think it is sinful but the majority of us are offended by this abnormal behavior that is not acceptable in the eyes of God. Does it matter to anyone in authority that God is offended and his followers are offended to the tune of billions of Christians??????

        • St JD George

          See my re-post from Austin talking about Bobby Jindal. Franklin Graham and a few others have been pretty vocal too. Truthfully though, there should be a loud chorus of voices led by the USCCB that is deafening. Will it be as quiet when the first bills are passed demanding that this new “un-civil right” be forcibly recognized by all churches? Some laugh and scoff at the idea – I don’t.

          • Jacqueleen

            The thrust by the Democratic/Communist party is in sync with the LGBT Community. The bottom line is that all three branches of the government are out to destroy the Catholic Church to replace it with the one world religion being researched by Tony Blair of the UK. The church will be in trouble when the lawsuits are filed left and right from the Gays, the Polygamists and those into Bestiality…We know that the gates of hell shall not prevail over the church that Jesus gave us, but in the meantime, it will look like Satan is winning the battle…as Jesus warned us! Come, Lord Jesus, come. Obviously, I am not laughing or scoffing at the idea, but rather am praying the famous weapon, the Rosary!

    • SnowSong

      We need to love them all the way to Christ. God love you for loving them and not judging them on the surface of who they are.

    • Neil

      lol! You’re pathetic but entertaining.

    • Gillemar

      Good for you Richard! We need more sensible people like you. You’re right, SSA isn’t a sin, it’s a cross God asks some people to bear — everybody has their own special temptations — and it can be the battle that makes a person holy. It’s what we do about it that’s important. We need to offer people supportive friendship in fighting their battles, whatever those may be, just as we need friends to help us fight our own. Bear ye one another’s burdens.

  • Keith Cameron

    Gays have already put me off Rainbows, do they really need to ruin the saints too?

    • St JD George

      Reminds me of no. 44 … able to twist things to suit their purposes and agenda, facts be damned.

  • Mark

    You can knock down any straw man you set up, Deacon.

    Once again you invoke your great contradiction: “same sex attraction is definitely Eros but it’s bad Eros because it’s missing several things essential to Eros.”

    Then what lets you identify it as something that is even supposed to be commensurate with (opposite sex) Eros? Especially if we assume nothing genital is going on.

    This is, again, the “Why call a cookie ‘essentially defective bread’ instead of just a category of its own?” problem.

    While some in the SF crowd may have used the term “Eros” at times by analogy or by way of concession to modern constructs, in reality I think they would actually be *much less* inclined than you to read the experiences, psychological dispositions and patterns etc, that modern culture constructs as Gay…as equivalent to what you mean by Eros (something uniquely marital, by definition for you) in any essential sense.

    It is you who are buying into the modern construct of “sexual orientation” in an essentialist way and assuming that there really is this reified drive called heterosexuality which encompasses all dispositions involving the opposite-sex in an organic unity (ordered towards marriage presumably)…and that a similar or analogous set of emotional experiences surrounding the same sex must thus be “homosexuality” and must this be identified in some perverse logical consistency as being necessarily (dis)ordered towards (some impossible attempt at) the the dark “equal opposite” of its Straight counterpart.

    However, it is acceptance of this vision of “sexual orientation” and homosexuality’s conceptual relationship to heterosexuality…which eventually led to the acceptance of gay sex and gay marriage in homosexuality on the understanding that it was the “same thing” (Eros, I guess) as heterosexuality just with the sex of one of the participants flipped.

    By viewing this whole thing through the lens of that conceptual paradigm (even if you maintain the morally concerned rather than affirming stance towards it), you are unwittingly promoting that notion of conceptual equivalency.

    There are places in which the analogy between same sex love and opposite sex love may be non-problematic, and there are other places where it is VERY problematic (sex and marriage).

    Your position seems to be an extreme assertion. Not only are you asserting something like “No, no analogy whatsoever at all is permissible, even to accidental aspects of heterosexual interaction” based on no particular Church doctrine in that regard, but even go so far at to imply that “Not only is partially accommodating the modern social construct of analogy wrong, but the very fact that an analogy is possible means even the underlying matter which is being analogized must be condemned.”

    It’s one thing to say cookies shouldn’t ever be called something like “sweet-bread” to avoid confusion (still probably unnecessary as long as they don’t use that analogy to argue they should be valid matter for Mass). It’s another to say the very fact an (allegedly confusing) analogy is possible means that cookies themselves must be categorically rejected as essentially defective bread (which, you will note, is an idea that only makes sense by conceding the commensurability to bread on some level).

    • Jim Russell

      Hi, Mark–thanks for the comment. Though I confess I think it’s unnecessarily complicated. The papal magisterium has made it quite clear how we are to understand “eros” *and* how we are to define “sexuality” as being ordered toward the conjugal love of a man and a woman.

      Are you disagreeing with me and suggesting instead that St. Aelred *would* find experiences of same-sex sexual attraction *compatible* with spiritual friendship?

      • Mark

        Well, Jim, what I’m saying is that it’s you, not the SF crowd, who are identifying the gay/SSA phenomenon as being categorically essentially comparable with “Eros” as you intend it. *You* are the one identifying it as a (defective) instance of “a sexuality,” you are the one insisting on understanding it as something like the bizarro-world mirror counterpart of “heterosexuality.”

        It’s like…apples and oranges, or let’s say apples and pears.

        There are three positions in this argument right now:

        1) the liberal revisionists of the sexual revolution are saying that Straight is a red apple, but that Gay is just a “brown apple,” and that, thus, they are essentially equivalent, the essence or species is the same, the differences are accidental, and you can do anything with a “brown apple” you can do with a red apple, even make “apple cider” and market it as such. The flavors may be a bit different, but it’s all the same.

        2) the “New Homophiles” would actually say…no, it’s not an apple at all, it’s a pear. Now, people are free to place taxonomic labels at whatever level of broadness language decides, so the semantics aren’t so important. And indeed you can make many similar recipes substituting pear for apple. But, you can’t make apple cider. There are accidental similarities, but there are also essential differences that must be maintained.

        3) you and yours, paradoxically, *concede* the position of the liberals and say “Yes, we are definitely dealing with an apple,” for no other reason but because they have established the framing that way, taking them at their word, but then go on to add something like, “But it’s brown because it’s rotten and therefore you can’t make *anything* out of it other than compost.”

        This position actually betrays a strange acceptance of the underlying liberal paradigm of commensurability between “sexual orientations,” albeit in the service of blunt condemnation.

        It is the SF crowd doing the work of separating the wheat from the tares. Willing to speak according to the modern paradigm of orientation so that people understand, but really deconstructing it from the inside by showing in what places that analogy may be non-problematic versus where the analogy breaks down.

        • Jim Russell

          ….and….this is a post about St. Aelred’s Spiritual Friendship. So I ask: Are you disagreeing with me and suggesting instead that St. Aelred *would* find experiences of same-sex sexual attraction *compatible* with spiritual friendship?

          • Mark

            You’re begging the question here, Deacon, because you are already including this loaded phrase/concept “same sex sexual attraction” in your question!

            What I would be willing to say is that much of the gay phenomenon, much of the emotion currently in our culture being constructed as “a sexual orientation” of “attraction” towards the same sex, is actually just describing many of the same experiences and impulses that, throughout history, have been behind totally non-controversial relationships, yes including Aelred’s.

            The difference is in the social constructs, the “lens” of cultural context in which experiences are interpreted into a narrative.

            Obviously, Aelred had little notion of analogizing love involving the same sex to marital love. For one, because the construct of opposite-sex “romantic love” itself was only just emerging in the (usually adulterous) chivalric tradition. Two, because the notion of organizing emotional experiences of love or attraction by the sex (male/female) of the object is a 19th-century construct; if there was no notion of heterosexual orientation, there was no notion of homosexual either.

            Still, would he have been utterly opposed to any analogy as long as it did not stray into impossible territory? It’s hard to say. I think he understood that same-sex love could, like David and Jonathan, be compared in intensity and in accidental elements to love for a woman, and that exactly because of the mystical realities which, as you say, were symbolized by temporal marriage, such symbolization could be “poetically applied” (though not literally) to other relationships (a bishop loving his church, a soul loving Christ, etc).

            • redfish

              “What I would be willing to say is that much of the gay phenomenon, much of the emotion currently in our culture being constructed as ‘a sexual orientation’ of ‘attraction’ towards the same sex, is actually just describing many of the same experiences and impulses that, throughout history, have been behind totally non-controversial relationships, yes including Aelred’s.”

              So are you saying Aelred experienced physical arousal in his relationships, or are you saying that what people are describing today as ‘sexual orientation’ isn’t largely physical arousal, but non-physical emotional affinity?

              • Mark

                Closer to the latter, redfish (and thank you for taking the time to actually engage what I’m saying!)

                I’m certainly saying that when people say they’re Gay, they’re describing something a lot broader than “what sort of stimuli arouse me physically.” Impotent men or amputees below the waist can still be Gay.

                I’d also suggest that even physical arousal is often the result of more complicated emotions, that identifying “arousal” is itself often an act of interpretation (moreso for women, but even for men too; to be blunt, not everything we think of as arousal leads to tumnescence, and not all erections are interpreted as related to sexual desire or stimuli).

                But the main point is that the experiences that go into the current construct of sexual orientation cannot be reduced to a simple question of physical arousal.

                And that even physical arousal and it’s causes involve a large degree of subjective interpretive work done through the scripts that culture offers us.

                See: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misattribution_of_arousal

                (I’ll add, though, I’m not sure “misattribution” is the right word when it comes to subjective experiences where the notion of cause is not such an objective thing.)

                • redfish

                  Yea, I think people often make sexual orientation or sexual attraction larger than physical arousal, but I think that’s where we need to start talking about sexuality, personally, if we’re speaking from an honest perspective. Everything else can exist without being sexual. You could be attracted to someone or love them in a non-sexual way. Neither attraction or love is really special to sexuality.

                  I also think its non-biological (mostly), so I’d say there are emotions behind it, but I’d say, at least the most common experience of sexual attraction that straight boys and girls have growing up and going through puberty isn’t so complicated as to deal with any type of longings of friendship. Its basically an emotional reaction to physical differences, at a time when the two sexes are physically changing. To the degree that culture is involved, its that adds to sense of separation of the sexes through social separation.

                  So what’s happening in same-sex attraction? A lot of gay authors say its the similar thing, and make it primarily about physical arousal. Others describe it really differently, as kind of a nebulous attraction that’s about a spiritual connection. Its really hard to have a conversation about it because people are assuming everyone is talking about the same thing.

                  • Mark

                    “Yea, I think people often make sexual orientation or sexual attraction larger than physical arousal, but I think that’s where we need to start talking about sexuality, personally, if we’re speaking from an honest perspective. Everything else can exist without being sexual. You could be attracted to someone or love them in a non-sexual way. Neither attraction or love is really special to sexuality.”

                    Well, and this is why, as you say, semantic clarification is important.

                    You say “everything else can exist without being sexual” if there is not physical arousal etc.

                    But this seems to be using a very modern usage of the word “sexual” or “sex” as something like “referring to sex acts, to genital stimulation.”

                    When traditionally (and more coherently) “sexual” means “referring to the category of sex, of male and female, of maleness and femaleness.”

                    Everything else might exist without physical arousal…but does that mean it isn’t “sexual” if one notices a pattern whereby certain emotions seem to occur predominantly or exclusively towards members of this or that sex?

                    This is what the modern construct of sexual orientation tries to capture. Is it terribly useful? Maybe not, but it’s the schema by which the culture we live in organizes a lot of psychological data.

                    The ancients might find it silly because, after all, there are lots of emotions that are pretty sex-specific. The hero worship or respect a man feels for a sports star is an emotion that is sex specific and colored by connotations about masculinity etc, and the love people have for motherly figures is also sex-dependent. Does it really make sense to organize all this under a schema whereby, read through Freud, it (albeit through a series of complicated filters) funnels everyone into one of two scripts (straight and gay) that ultimately both take opposite-sex mating (and usually a pretty promiscuous variety) as their model?

                    But at the same time, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with most of the underlying and morally neutral feelings themselves, nor in the recognition that “read according to the modern lens, however inadequate it may be, I would be sorted into this category construct instead of that.”

                    • redfish

                      Well, even if we used that definition of “sexual”, we would still have a lot of other words to use, whether it be “lust”, which did always refer to physical desire, or “romantic interest”, which can mean a lot of things but is understood to center around physical experiences like kissing or the lead to those things.

                      In day-to-day conversation, its what people mean by sexual and they don’t make it more complicated than that. Perhaps its a result of modern culture, but I think it has as much to do with a resistance to giving negative connotations to sexuality as anything else. People want to avoid negative terms for desire like “lust” (or “carnal” or whatever else you want to term it), and they don’t use “romantic” because they want to talk about physical reality that they think romance centers around. People want to make the association sex = love, and love = sex.

                      I mean, the influence of psychology there was two-fold. The reason being “homosexual” was looked at as abnormal and unhealthy by many early psychologists was because being “heterosexual” was strongly defined as normal and healthy. It was a specific reaction to some of the “social purity” views that existed in the Victorian era that focused on negative aspects of sexuality, and promoted the link between sex and procreation. Psychologists would say, those negative things don’t come from sexuality, which was 100% healthy, itself but other things besides sexuality, like neuroses. So, some time later, the objection to homosexuality is dropped, and it becomes wholesome and healthy just like heterosexuality.

                      But it is a problem that we can’t separate love and lust anymore, and there are a lot of consequences of that, that you can go into. Whatever vocabulary we use, there has to be a way to separate the two. The problem I see with using a broader definition of sexual is it continues to confuse the two together.

                    • Mark

                      Yes I think much of what you say is true.

                      The fact remains that the modern scripts remain pervasive, they can’t be ignored even if we can reject their implications.

                      And lots of people simply do notice as a pattern that their strongest or most frequent or most meaningful emotions are related to one sex rather than the other even when the emotions in question are not anything so straightforward as “genital arousal and desire to have sex with.”

                    • redfish

                      Are you familiar with the terms homosocial and heterosocial? what are your thoughts about that?

                    • Mark

                      I think trying to use “homosocial” is rather obfuscating as the “homo” (same) in homosocial is still referring to same SEX sociality.

                      Homosocial elides something like “homosexosocial” because it is sex-specific. The “same” in question isn’t same-age-sociality or same-race-sociality.

                      No, it refers to same sex sociality.

                      Likewise, the “sex” in “homosexuality” is referring to sex as in male/female, not sex acts, so it’s unclear why these words are even thought to describe different things. They don’t, really.

                      Heterosexual men experience many feelings towards their bros that are probably in-themselves identical to feelings gay men construct into a broad pattern of “attraction”…and it’s merely the *context* in terms of how they are related to identity and circuited into other feelings that makes them “gay” in one case and not in another.

            • GG

              And you believe that?

    • St JD George

      And it’s quite another to say gay sex shouldn’t ever be called something like sodomy, or against natural law, or ‘essentially defective Eros’ to avoid confusion.

  • A most interesting exploration of St Aelred’s thinking, which for me nicely complemented St Francis de Sales’ invaluable teachings on friendship in his Introduction to the Devout Life.

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    Do something 1) incapable of being eroticized 2) Undramatic and not self centered. 3) Light-hearted and suitable to your nature. I’m thinking of the 19th century priest ravaged by severe depression who was asked by his spiritual director what he loved most when a boy. He was fascinated all his life by ants. Encouraged by his order and he went on to be a famed ant specialist and writer. This is what he could do and God asks no more. I guess what I’m trying to say is ants, yes, “spiritual boyfriends’, no.

  • Jdonnell

    Tell it to Cardinal Newman, whose friend–probably a homosexually based one, though not likely to have become physical–was buried alongside him. Ambrose St. John is an ex. of an “exclusive” friendship. Now, a prurient Vatican official (a Crisis fan) has had Newman moved.

    • Seamrog

      What is the point of this comment?

      Are you suggesting the Church teaching the Deacon presented here is wrong, or are you just posting presumptive comments about a deceased soul to be pithy?

      • Jdonnell

        Re the matter of “exclusive.”

        • cestusdei

          Many have “best” friends, but that doesn’t mean it is sexual. I think of the relationship between Jack and Stephen in the Patrick O’Brien novels. Homosexuality has destroyed much of our understanding of male friendship.

          • Jdonnell

            I completely agree. Both hetero- and homosexuals can have friends without having a sexual relationship. Some people want to find a homosexual relationship in any male friendship, which is nonsense. I think even as far back as Nisus and Euryalus.

            • cestusdei

              My point was that you are doing exactly that to Blessed John Newman.

    • Veritas

      You’ve been “a Crisis fan” of late, I see.

      Did you have Newman moved?

      • Jdonnell

        You make a false inference. I’m a reader, not a fan.

    • GG

      Oh yea today everyone is “gay”. A childish and narcissistic view of reality.

    • fredx2

      Making things up about dead people is not nice. Stick with facts, and don’t try to manipulate them for your own uses.

      • Jdonnell

        You are in need of the facts. What I said is factual–and takes nothing away from Newman, whom I deeply admire. Despite his sexual orientation, there is no reason to think that he was anything but celibate.

        • cestusdei

          No reason to think the relationship was sexual either.

          • Seamrog

            Nor any reason to speculate on his orientation – whatever that is.

            A man, by virtue of his creation, is ordered towards a woman – period.

            So speculate on the sexual attractions of any person, much less a Saint of our Church is in my opinion, low class.

            • Jdonnell

              You make no sense. Your second sentence defies the fact that some people have a different orientation, just as some people are dyslexic.

              • Seamrog

                The root of ‘orientation’ is ‘order.’

                A man is physically, socially and biologically ordered towards a woman. If you doubt this, take a gander between your legs and you can get the basic concept here.

                A man who is emotionally or physically attracted to another man is still ‘ordered’ towards a woman, in spite of the disorder of his desires and attractions.

                Your understanding and use of ‘orientation’ makes no sense.

                Semantics are important – or at least they used to be important.

                • Jdonnell

                  You are playing with dated language and seem unable to understand that whatever their genitals some people are oriented sexually toward those of their sex. I cannot fathom how this might feel, but I can understand and sympathize with those who are so ordered–to use your term. Their bodies may be physically ordered one way, while their psyches are ordered differently. Since you seem able only to accept what is physically evident, you may be unable to grasp anything but what is between your legs.

                  • Seamrog

                    More pith…what a surprise.

                    “Dated language” tells your story.

                    I don’t think there is anyone who reads and participates here that cannot sympathize and have compassion for people suffering from same-sex attraction (which is NOT to be confused, mistaken for, or re-named in ‘modern language’ orientation) – myself included.

                    What I have no tolerance for, however are those who want to subvert Church teaching for their personal, sexual whims, or those who want to destroy what is left of our society.

                    Profaning the name of Saint of the Church and twisting tradition to promote your agenda is out of line.

                    And thank you for your insult.

                    • Jdonnell

                      You have cited no twisting or profaning in my comments, but go on unfounded suspicions. Your response is not responsive, just hot air. Zip it.

                  • GG

                    What you describe is some form of psychiatric pathology.

          • Jdonnell

            Not in any physical sense, certainly, as I emphasized.

            • cestusdei

              Or in any sense as you don’t know Newman’s mind.

              • Jdonnell

                We do know quite a good deal of Newman’s mind, thank to his prolific writing career. His recent biographers are less diffident than past ones and present considerable evidence, however circumstantial, that indicate a homosexual proclivity. Again, I want to repeat, there is not the slightest evidence that Newman ever acted on it. Whatever his orientation, his majestic, well-ordered mind make him one of the great intellectual guides in history. (Last summer, I finally got around to reading the “Grammar of Assent” and had all my previous admiration renewed and accentuated.)

                • cestusdei

                  So where does Newman say he is a homosexual? It seems that many want to convict everyone of being homosexual…Lincoln etc. That says more about them then their targets.

                  • Jdonnell

                    Did I say that N. said he was homosexual? No. Neither did Henry James, though the evidence is convincing. Newman’s recent biographers show convincing circumstantial evidence for such an orientation. And, they do so not to attack him, nor to act as apologists for it. They admire Newman, as everyone should, whatever his orientation. We have to remember that homosexuals do not choose what they are any more than heterosexuals.

                    • cestusdei

                      So you say there is convincing evidence but that you are not saying he was a homosexual even though that is what you said? Can you be a bit more confused? How about you just admit that you can’t say that he was homosexual or better yet suffered from same sex attraction. No one can.

                    • Jdonnell

                      Try using a little logic to clear up your confusion. Convincing evidence leads to a conclusion–in this case about N’s sexuality. Try getting in touch with some of the evidence if you are so interested as to keep flitting around the reply button; read a recent bio.

                    • GG

                      Yea, because revisionist propaganda is so authentic.

                    • cestusdei

                      Perhaps you could try reading the catechism to clear up your confusion.

                    • Jdonnell

                      Your false logic about Newman and homosexuality that you expressed in your last comment shows that you are the one who is confused. This current comment of yours is off the topic; last time I looked (?), the Catechism had nothing to say about Newman.

                    • cestusdei

                      The logic is simple. There is NO evidence that Newman was a homosexual. You dishonor him.

                    • Jdonnell

                      Try reading the recent bio. information before you make your ignorance-based claims. That he was most likely (a celibate) homosexual does not make him any less admirable. You seem to illustrate the concept of “willful ignorance.”

                    • cestusdei

                      No, I stand for the concept that if something is not proven then it is not proven. If you know for a fact that he was homosexual then provide the evidence. Otherwise stop attacking a Blessed.

                    • Jdonnell

                      No, you don’t stand for such a thing. You presumably have faith, which is beyond proof. There are also degrees of certainty and of proofs. The circumstantial evidence for N’s sexuality is enough to be convincing. You haven’t wanted to consult such proofs as do exist, so you are being willfully ignorant on the matter. Now, go take some hot milk.

                    • cestusdei

                      I am not convinced. Why does that bother you so much? Why do you need him to be a homosexual so much? So often today homosexuals insist that everyone is homosexual. Methinks you doth protest too much.

                    • Jdonnell

                      Being unable to counter my replies to your continuing badgering, you now resort to the ad hominem. I have shown in my earlier comments just how fallacious your logic is–kept up here by implication in your false inference in your comment about “homosexuals,” which is based on my reference to only one person and can’t be logically used in your comment about “everyone.”
                      You are the one–not me–who has obsessively kept on about Newman. I had used him as an example in my first comment on this article; you chose to begin and keep pursuing the matter. Your comment about protesting too much should thus apply to you, since you have kept on and on and I have simply been polite enough to respond. I should have been less polite.

                    • cestusdei

                      Ad hominem is what you are doing to Blessed Newman. It is not polite to make unproven allegations. Perhaps you should be MORE polite.

                    • Jdonnell

                      You show new ignorance here–that is in addition to all your earlier false logic and false inferences. You don’t know what ad hominem means, as your use of it here shows. You use it when instead of responding to the substance of what I say, you turn your attention to me and attack me instead of what I say. You obviously are unfamiliar with the current state of biographical knowledge about Newman or you would be less inclined to keep on insistently repeating ignorant and empty words. I have not pursued this discussion about N’s sexuality; you have. I have replied (in vain) to correct your ignorant remarks. This is my last response to your incessant nuisance.

                    • cestusdei

                      I repeat, there is no proof that Blessed Newman was a homosexual. You seem determined to drag him thru the mud. If you don’t want to continue the conversation…then just stop.

                    • cestusdei

                      It is not polite at all to lie about a Blessed.

                    • cestusdei

                      It is not proven. It is just wishful thinking on your part.

          • Mark

            It’s clear enough that Newman would never have dreamt of interpreting his emotions as meaning he desired sex acts or marriage in the strict sense with another man.

            That framework of interpretation simply didn’t exist, or was only just emerging and would not have been accessible to orthodox churchmen.

            The question is whether those same emotions which he experienced are the same or similar to what our current cultural paradigm is (wrongly, at least when taken to the extreme conclusion of gay sex and marriage) interpreting as “homosexual orientation” the twin of heterosexual.

            It’s clear Newman was not a Gay man. In his own time there was no such thing, and he would not have identified with the precursors.

            When people explore figures in the past through these lenses, it’s more about looking for similarities in human experience and re-sourcing other possible understandings which we have now lost.

            It’s about asking “would this reading have suggested itself if he were alive today and had access to our modern world of images and narratives” but also “why didn’t those narratives make sense or seem obvious back then?”

            This is especially important when the modern construction implies morally problematic and untenable outcomes.

  • athanasius777

    Homosexual orientation is a disorder. Cystic Fibrosis is a disorder. People with disorders should be welcomed, not ostracized by the Church. People with disorders should admit their condition is a disorder, not promote their condition as an alternative lifestyle.

    If young people could somehow take measures to contract Cystic Fibrosis, and those afflicted with it promoted it as a positive good, the Church would be obliged to point out that CF is not a positive good, but a disorder, while still welcoming those afflicted with CF to be part of the Christian community. That would get complicated. Joyfully receiving those afflicted with CF into the community as they should, would appear to many young people as an affirmation that having CF is a positive good. leading them to take measures to contract it. In this hypothetical situation, the confusion could be avoided if some of those afflicted with CF weren’t loudly proclaiming it was a positive good rather than a disorder. The fact that contemporary culture accepts the disorder of homosexuality as a positive good complicates things for the Christian community.

    I applaud the “New Homophiles” for their commitment to chastity and orthodoxy. They have every right to be joyfully accepted by the Christian community. The reluctance of many to openly accept them only exists because they fear doing so would send the wrong message to young people who might be thinking of experimenting with what the world says is a perfectly acceptable alternative lifestyle — and what the world means when they say that is sinful, same-sex fornication. This fear would be alleviated greatly if the “New Homophiles” were just as clear about homosexuality being a disorder as they are about their orthodoxy and commitment to chastity.

    • cestusdei

      Homosexuality is a moral disorder, that makes a difference.

      • athanasius777

        Homosexual fornication, like heterosexual fornication, is immoral. Homosexual orientation is unnatural; it is a disorder, but in itself is not immoral any more than having a heterosexual orientation is immoral. One’s behavior, not one’s condition, is what can be moral or immoral.

        • Mark

          Sigh. You’re already assuming in this comment that “orientation” is a real thing, that it really describes some essential trait, that it is a natural way of conceptually organizing dispositions (and to judge them based on that organizational scheme).

          To concede this is already to have conceded the philosophical ground to the liberal revisionists…

          • Jim Russell

            Nonsensical–“orientation” is a mere collection of data *about* a real thing–the disordered inclination we call same-sex attraction….this is soooo simple, Mark. There is an ordered sexual inclination, and then there are many *disordered* sexual inclinations. See? Simple.

            • Mark

              No here’s the problem.

              You seem to be taking perfectly orthodox Catholic ideas about the natural sexual inclination (and all the ways concupiscence can misdirect desire) and mapping that faculty onto the modern construct of “sexual orientation” as if they’re the same thing.

              But they’re not. The natural faculty is much narrower than the sexual orientation concept, for one. The natural faculty would be called something like “the mating urge” and it’s disordered perversions are called “lust.” It is in the end an act-based construction.

              You are instead invoking the gender-based sexual orientation construct and wind up with a concept something like “the natural faculty is called heterosexuality and it’s disorder is called homosexuality,” even though those are very broad and very historically contingent ways of thinking about how we experience our sexuality.

              • GG

                Opposite sex attraction is natural and ordained by God.

                • Mark

                  Attraction is a very broad and nebulous term/concept.

                  If by attraction you mean all the dispositions that currently go into the Orientation framework, I beg to differ, as these things only began to be grouped together and essentialized as an organic unity in the 19th-century…and God was not Creating new Nature so late in history!

                  • GG

                    It may be broad but not nebulous. The desire between ale and female is fundamental to humankind and to revelation.

                    • Mark

                      The desire to mate, yes.

                      But the sexual orientation concept appropriates to itself all sorts of emotions and dynamics whose connection to mating is very remote or entirely artificial.

                    • GG

                      You can not reduce that to mating alone.

              • athanasius777

                What is the overall point you are making? How is “the philosophical ground” being conceded “to the liberal revisionists…”? Do you believe God had a plan for human sexuality and that the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church reflects that? Do you consider yourself a Catholic?

                • Mark

                  Yes and I believe that plan involves men having children with women, that this is what sexual arousal and the genital organs are for.

                  What I think is insupportable is the leap from here that “God created heterosexuality” when that paradigm is less than 200 years old and doesn’t just refer to sex acts and desires for those acts, but a very broad Freudian narrative that organizing psychological life through the overarching lens of sex (male or female).

                  God made Adam and Eve. He didn’t make Adam and his high school prom date Amber.

                  • athanasius777

                    God created heterosexuality and that “paradigm” was there from the beginning, when “God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth …” The increase and multiply part of that command required heterosexuality. Humanity being both male and female is essential to its being made in the image of God.

                    I agree that the Freudian sexualization of everything is bogus, but that really doesn’t have anything to do with the question of the rightful place of chaste, orthodox, homosexual Christians in the Church, and what they do themselves to make it more difficult for them to be accepted by the Christian community, which is, when some of them attempt to present what is clearly a disorder as a positive good. God can and does bring good from that disorder, but it is still a disorder:

                    And Jesus passing by, saw a man, who was blind from his birth: And his disciples asked him: Rabbi, who hath sinned, this man, or his parents, that he should be born blind? Jesus answered: Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.— John 9:1-3

                    God can and will make His works manifest in Christian homosexuals, but that doesn’t mean homosexuality isn’t a disorder any more than being born blind isn’t a disorder.

                    • Mark

                      Certainly the inclination to gay sex acts specifically is a list and thus objectively disordered.

                      However, if you believe the gay phenomenon (or for that matter, the straight) is reducible to this, you are mistaken.

                  • GG

                    Such confusion. The prom date is not contrary to God’s plan. The new Homophile ideology is contrary.

                    • Mark

                      A “prom date” of either sex is not part of God’s plan nor against God’s plan either way, because the Prom isn’t an institution designed or established by God for any cosmic purpose.

            • GG

              It is very simple. Thank you for another terrific essay. You kicked a hornet’s nest. The defenders of confusion and ideology will swarm soon.

        • cestusdei

          It is an “objective moral disorder’ according to Catholic teaching.

          • athanasius777

            From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

            Chastity and homosexuality

            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, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

            2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

            2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

            • cestusdei

              That’s what I said.

  • DeaconEdPeitler

    To say that a saint of the Catholic Church would condone mortal sin (which a homosexual lifestyle is for Catholics) is to say that he is no saint at all. Please refrain from perverting our Church and those She recognizes as having led exemplary lives (which active homosexuals do not).

    • St JD George

      I don’t think he was Deacon, I think he was trying to say that others who were sympathetic were trying to make some hay based on speculation but out of nothing.

      • Augustus

        Perhaps the deacon was referring to the New Homophiles rather than the author. Although I would guess that even the New Homophiles are not saying that the saint countenanced homosexual acts.

        • BCSWowbagger

          Indeed, the whole *point* of the group Crisis has termed the “New Homophiles” is to figure out how to be gay *and celibate* in a Christian manner.

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    Mark, below, was, as you said, Deacon, “unnecessarily complicated”, but it does illustrate the utter of language. Between the Old/New Homophiles and us

    It shows in how quickly Mark introduced the word “essentialist (essentialism0”. That word – which is a very powerful one with a glorious, civilization-marking history behind it – identifies our great fault. To them it summarizes the story of the Fall.

    The foe is not gays and same-sex attractors but Queer Theory, itself, with its aggressive, spiteful, vengeful platoons (now) nicely positioned in universities, Hollywood, media, the pblishing industry, state organs of all sorts, White House & congressional staffs, NGOs & foundations of all kinds and stripes. These are the folks now in control of the language in which the topic of homosexuality (bi/tran/poly/BDSM/pedophilia) is (can, even legally) be discussed. They are in charge of the perimeters of the conversation; so much so they will next (soon) demand – through the Trojan Hose of universal/totalitarian “human rights” – the “lawful/administrative” duty to control the *language* within communities and institutions which have, so far, resisted them. Namely the Catholic Church – they have already won great swaths of victory among evangelicals.

    The language divide that has now been dug between them and us is so wide and deep, frankly, I do not know how it can now be bridge – even for evangelism sake. Long used phrases such as “hate the sin but love the sinner” no longer communicate; they ring hollow in the echo of the bottomless dug pit. They no longer speak because such words and phrases are irredeemably tainted with the Original Sin of essentialism.

    But, it is essenitalism (this great gift of Hebrews, Greeks & Latins) which must be defended, even bloodily die for on the battlefields. In fact, is the essentialism – this most authoritative of all notions – which is our most powerful weapon (and the most sturdy of bridges across fathomless chasms). The very notion of essentialism participates in Creation as little else does – excepting out flesh & sex. We should put down our shame of it, dust off its bloody nose – and our neglect of it – and weld it.

    The opposition knows how powerful (and authoritative) a weaponized notion such as essentialism can be; we know it by how much they despise and fear it. Spend three days reading nothing but Queer Theory literature. You will see.

    Yes, love gays who knock on the door; embrace them, befriend them with a sure-hand of welcome. But, be under no illusion, this is war, and more than just a language one. Ask anyone who dared to apostate from their ranks.

    [Composed sitting on my favorite stool at the Black Cat Bar (Montgomery Street, S.F). Think I’ll print this and post it in the restroom down the hall. Keep pasting it whenever it gets pulled down – at least until the end of October! Do it later. An old gay wheezer just wonder in – name’s Jack – looking to drown his decades aged memories when the Black Cat once hopped lively with stray sailors. It’s all that’s left now, drown-dead thoughts. Got an extra coin today, think I’ll buy him his favored bourbon.]

    [Now, as always, from the BANKRUPT Diocese of Stockton, the Mother Lode]

    • Mark

      Gay essentialism IS the problem. I don’t know how you read it, but the idea that there is a determinate species of person called “the homosexual” who has is own nature is the liberal position, and there’s nothing glorious nor coherent about it.

      Yet by judging the gay phenomenon through the lens of this paradigm, you are unwittingly conceding that paradigm. You are unwittingly accepting that this phenomenon being called gay really is “the same type of thing” as the marital realm, and thus able to be judged by that standard.

      But the analogy must be rejected. Whatever the gay phenomenon represents, it does not represent some sort of “dark equivalent” of opposite-sex marital love, tending essentially towards unrealizable attempts at mimicking it in essential ways (sex, marriage) with the same sex.

      There is no such thing as a “dark telos” except specified by human intentionality. Deacon Jim’s position, however, seems to be that sexual orientation really exists and that being gay really represents some sort of intrinsic tendency of inclination towards sin, that it’s a reality that has a fixed (but depraved) telos.

      But that’s simply a creature that doesn’t exist in Catholic theology.

      • Jim Russell

        Mark–to be honest, I think you need to re-read my work in this area. You don’t quite have enough of a handle on my “position,” it seems.

        • Mark

          You’ve made it clear enough, Deacon, that you believe “same sex attraction” is disordered. Not merely a problematic construction/interpretation OF the experiences being organized under that header, but rather speak as if the problematic interpretation is the only one possible, or the natural one, and thus problematize the phenomenon itself.

          We’d have no argument if we were both just deconstructing an invalid extension of analogy or a construct of false equivalency.

          • Jim Russell

            Mark–the *Church* believes same-sex attraction is disordered, not just me….

            • Mark

              As far as I know, the Church has never endorsed the orientation framework.

              The Church has said that homosexual sex acts are intrinsically disordered, and that the inclination *to those acts* is therefore objectively disordered (ie, has a disordered object.)

              It is you who are insisting on reading the gay phenomenon as ultimately “about” an inclination to gay sex.

              And then you wonder why someone like Eve Tushnet says your approach makes chastity harder!

              Here you come across a group of people saying “in spite of what modern pop culture might suggest, what its images and narratives might tempt with, I choose not to interpret my feelings as some sort of tendency to disordered acts.

              And then here you come along, claiming to speak for the Church, telling them “nope, that *is* what your feelings mean, it’s the only possible and natural interpretation, there is nothing redeemable you must just accept that you are afflicted with a depravity.”

              In other words, it’s an absurd situation of people telling you “my experiences do not necessarily mean ‘I want gay sex,’ that’s not what I interpret it as being ordered towards” and you (the alleged spokesman of chastity) come along and telling them “No, if you’re gay it means you DO want that and ARE ultimately inclined to that, or at least it is inseparably bootstrapped to and tainting everything, in spite of your attempts at other interpretation.”

              What an odd position for a spokesman for chastity to insist on.

              • Jim Russell

                Mark–how many “sexualities” are there–just one or more than one?

                • Mark

                  I’m not the one who believes there are “sexualities” at all Deacon.

                  I believe there is a general instinct to mate that is clearly fundamentally to humans as sexually reproducing creatures.

                  And then I believe there are billions of unique individual personal experiences, in hundreds of unique cultural frameworks across history, whereby everyone and every community in history has navigated the experience of being a sexed body in a world of sexed bodies.

                  • Jim Russell

                    Good–so you accept that there is only one reality defined as “sexuality”–and that it is ordered toward the conjugal love of a man and a woman?

                    • Mark

                      Well I don’t think the *labels* are set by God, Deacon. There is at least one semantic field we can describe by the word “sexuality” that is limited to that, yes (though I’d be more inclined to call that “the sex drive” or something like that.)

                      But there are broader senses of “sexuality” which are epiphenomena not necessarily ordered towards anything because they’re not a faculty or natural unity, but a cultural construct.

                      I certainly don’t believe there is anything that can remotely be called dogma regarding some idea that “our most meaningful emotional experiences must revolve around the opposite sex in the abstract rather than members of the same sex.”

                    • Jim Russell

                      Yep–looks like we’re done here! Good luck with that! Meanwhile, there are some great Catholic resources that could help you properly understand the Catholic view of sexuality. Let me know if you want some leads….

                    • Mark

                      I take it the good Deacon disagrees!

                    • St JD George

                      Actually Mark, I think you are in lonely company here. However hopeful we may be for you, most of us here find you profoundly bemusing. Rest assured, you have plenty of company outside the church. Take the good Deacon up on the leads he offered to you and go educate yourself, then come back.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      He is not alone. I find Mark’s reasoning to be solid. Deacon Russell I find wanting if not novel Ambiguous.

                      But then again I was unimpressed by Deacon Russell’s weird claim “Divine Eros” was anything other then a metaphorical concept. But that was another argument.

                    • Jim Russell

                      Your argument on “Divine Eros” is with Pope Benedict, not with me. You could send him a letter and ask for clarification if you don’t believe me (or the folks at the Spiritual Friendship blog site, for this is one point of *agreement* that should not be overlooked. They, too, understand and accept the reality of the Divine Eros that Benedict speaks of in “Deus Caritas Est.”)….

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Pope Benedict never says Divine Eros is literal and not metaphorical. Those are the brute facts I read the letter you recommended several times and could not find anything to support your novelty.

                      You are reading your own errors into his writings and ignoring Tradition.

                      We went over this & as before you got nothing. Benedict does associate Eros with marriage but calls the marriage imagery between God and his Israel “metaphorical”. So the only natural interpretation is Eros is a metaphor for Divine love which is in essence Agape.

                      >You could send him a letter and ask for clarification if you don’t believe me..

                      I doubt Benedict would take the time to answer me with thousands in the front of the line. Besides I don’t need too. If Divine Eros is literal then what is it? It can’t be a divine relation since they refer to the Persons of the Trinity so it must be an Divine Attribute. Well I’ve never seen Eros in any list of divine attributes. Divine Love in essence is charity. Since it is not owed.

                      God may only love himself by necessity. You should know this as a Deacon.

                      Eros is strong desire in human beings & clearly it is being used as a metaphor for the strength of God’s Love. Not literal desire.

                      >(or the folks at the Spiritual Friendship blog site, for this is one point of *agreement* that should not be overlooked. They, too, understand and accept the reality of the Divine Eros that Benedict speaks of in “Deus Caritas Est.”

                      “reality of Divine Eros”? That is ambiguous. Benedict was an Augustinian & Augustine was a Christian Platonist of sorts. Plato would say what exists in reality exists in the One in some way.
                      But that is not the same thing as saying Eros is literal.

                    • santiago

                      “God may only love himself by necessity. You should know this as a Deacon.”

                      God does not have any necessity at all, he is free from need, this is 5th grade stuff. God Loves himself because of Trinity, this is 12th grade stuff.
                      On the rest you are spot on, I believe. Haven’t really all of your posts yet, but making a mistake like the ones above in a discussion like this is not the way to go.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      >God does not have any necessity at all, he is free from need, this is 5th grade stuff.

                      Rather HE has no necessity toward HIS creatures. His acts toward us are purely gratuitous. But as Aquinas said God must love Himself by necessity. See Summa Contra Gentiles book One.

                      > God Loves himself because of Trinity, this is 12th grade stuff.

                      The Trinity is known by divine revelation not natural theology & it shows us how God loves Himself or how Divine love operates in the Godhead.

                      >On the rest you are spot on, I believe. Haven’t really all of your posts yet, but making a mistake like the ones above in a discussion like this is not the way to go.

                      I don’t think I made a mistake here rather I am following Aquinas strictly.

                    • santiago

                      Thoma Aquinas has very large holes. He confused some concepts. He may love himself because of his Divine Nature but God can do whatever he wants, he is without limits, constraints or needs. He may even choose to deny his own nature if he wishes to, we knows he does not because God does not change, but not because he can’t change but because he chooses to because he knows perfection, he knows nothing better. God does reveal himself to us by divine revelation, but we can not understand Divine Revelation without natural Theology, which can not be put against each other, since one is a product of God’s creation and the other of God himself. Our own limits and experience can serve us as a point of reference, of what is and what is not. By feeling hungry we might know what freedom from hunger is, by having time we might know what infinite is by being created we might know what eternity is. We might not be able to experience them or fully realise what it is but it surely gives us a good starting point to know God and with Divine Revelation the inexplicable becomes understandable even if it can not be explained.
                      Following Aquinas strictly is not always a good idea, specially with modern understanding of Theology and many new revelations since then. Our understanding of Theology has evolved since Thomas in great part thanks to him, and it will continue to evolve.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      >Thoma Aquinas has very large holes. He confused some concepts.

                      He got the Immaculate Conception wrong(till one of my clan corrected him) but the whole of western theology rests on his shoulders by the recognition of God’s One True Church on Earth.

                      >He may love himself because of his Divine Nature but God can do whatever he wants, he is without limits, constraints or needs.

                      That sounds like the errors of Descartes. God cannot do the logically impossible. God can do anything, but the logically impossible doesn’t describe anything. It describes nothing, thus giving new meaning to the phrase “There is nothing God cannot do”.

                      > He may even choose to deny his own nature if he wishes to, we knows he does not because God does not change, but not because he can’t change but because he chooses to because he knows perfection, he knows nothing better.

                      Yeh definitely Descartes…. God isn’t a being who knows perfection. God is Substantive Being Itself and there is no real distinction between His existence and essence thus God is His Attributes. Thus God doesn’t have perfection, God is Perfection Itself. Thus being Perfection Itself how could He yearn for imperfection and still be perfect? Thus it is logically impossible for Perfection Itself who is also Divine Will to yearn to be anything less than that and still be perfection.. God can’t change because change is passive potency becoming actual. God contains no passive potency. God is Pure Act thus God is the unchanged changer.

                      >Following Aquinas strictly is not always a good idea, specially with modern understanding of Theology and many new revelations since then. Our understanding of Theology has evolved since Thomas in great part thanks to him, and it will continue to evolve.

                      Doctrine develops but Aquinas is not irrelevant. Indeed all the Theological problems and questions that arose with Post Enlightenment so called theology can be solved by a return to the Classics. From the Problem of Evil to a host of theological issues.

                      Classic Theism rules.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      I find your reasoning solid.

                    • GG

                      Because you both are deceived. Stick with the Church.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      By your Protestant nonsense the Old Liturgy is against the Church.

                      “O Happy Fall”.

                      You have nothing to say to me heretic.

                    • GG

                      Gay ideology is not the happy fall. Stop the propaganda.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      No idiot the Fall is not “happy” in the essential sense but in the accidental sense. In so much as it is part of the Goodness of God to allow evil so as to bring good out of it. Thus Gayness is a gift in the same sense as the SF people said over and over.

                      I explained this and being a dullard your only response is to stick your fingers in your ears & shout “Propaganda”!

                      Learn some Traditional theology you Calvinist wannbe!!!!!

                    • GG

                      Look up the Courage Apostolate. They can help you. Your ideology is blinding you. The homophiles are deluded.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      I had the pleasure of speaking to the founder on behalf of another Catholic once.

                      Courage actually has historically been about holiness not so called conversion therapy.
                      I believe it is their motto. Christianity is not about becoming heterosexual but about being holy.
                      My wife had the pleasure of giving a talk to a Courage on a book she wrote on chastity.
                      You demonic Jansenist ideology that says they must become straight to be acceptable to God is sick and evil and a walking talking flouting of the Council of Trent.
                      No they must follow the moral law by grace, Conversion therapy is not bad if it can be done but it is not the goal.
                      Holiness is. I am surprised Deacon Jim lets you believe that heterodox nonsense while for some reason feels the need to correct constantly precieved mistakes make by the SF crowd.
                      Strange……

                    • GG

                      You are spitting in the wind. Courage will help you.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      I don’t need their help as I am not gay and I am married
                      to a lovely woman.

                      You need help in learning orthodox traditional Catholic theology.

                      Because this latent Calvinist nonsense you channel is getting old…

                    • GG

                      You obviously have a serious problem. See a priest and a psychiatrist. You are deeply confused and angry.

                    • James of clan Scott

                      GG=Pot=calling kettle black.

                    • santiago

                      Also in exalting what the greatness of God truly is. I am happy for my tendency to sin because God shows his greatness by way of his mercy.

                    • GG

                      We do not over emphasize the tendency and make it a type of god in and of itself.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      >We do not over emphasize the tendency and make it a type of god in and of itself.

                      What Saint said that nonsense? What Pope? You just made up that novelty off the top of your head. Take about “New Theology” GG style.

                      It is part of the Goodness of God in that he allows evil as to bring good out of it.

                      now obviously that doesn’t mean you can willfully do evil so that good may come of it but you can be grateful to God allowing evils to test us.

                    • santiago

                      Of course not we exalt God by: Recognising that tendency because that is how God shows his true Glory, through reconciliation and making us, his weak creatures, in to perfect beings through his grace, so that we can attain salvation through him and by him, not our merit.

                    • Jim Russell

                      Actually it’s “felix culpa”–“o happy *fault*”–not “o happy fall” (at least it is in the Exsultet)…..

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Thanks but sometimes my keyboard sticks and it changes nothing.

                      The full phrase is “”O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!”

                    • santiago

                      At least James of Clan Scott is sticking with the Church more than you.

                    • GG

                      Only if we use your false standard.

                    • santiago

                      According to your limited understanding and knowledge. You might find ourself one day realising how wrong you really are.

                    • GG

                      There is no rational argument with your opponents. They have a set goal in mind and want a new theology to support that goal.

                    • GG

                      That ain’t Catholic, or reasonable.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Says the heretic who rejects the words of the Old Liturgy.

                    • GG

                      Try making sense.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Shouting “Propaganda” when you have no intelligent reasoned Theological response is “sense” to you?

                      That figures.

                    • santiago

                      James send me a message. Really we should contact each other, we might have great discussions.

                    • santiago

                      He has made more sense than you.

                • GG

                  If you read Mark’s reply to me about how he defines being “gay” you will see if closely mimics the New Homophile ideology. It is about obfuscation, being inchoate, and misdirection. The idea seems to be to claim one is faithful to Church teaching by redefining Church teaching into a minimalist distillation of one or two particular acts. This then allows them to create a new “theology” that gives them the license view reality in a way that contradicts nature and revelation.

                  No one honest will buy it for one minute.

                  • Jim Russell

                    Right you are–Mark seems to think that if he portrays the Catholic view as being aligned with the permissively “liberal” view of the gay agenda, we will simply recoil into accepting the incoherent alternative he is offering. Not. going. to. happen. Thanks for the comment!

                    • GG

                      I had to read his posts twice to figure out his convoluted point. His words are why I am so troubled by folks like Tushnet and Selmys. The professional type Catholics are pushing this novel idea as if it were consistent with Catholic teaching.

                      The ideology places moral theology and philosophy into a tiny compartment that only sees specific acts as the issue. A manifestation of this thinking is often used when Catholics, clergy or lay, drumbeat that only homosexual acts and not the desire are wrong. They never elaborate further. This allows many to think being “gay” is some natural phenomenon and as harmless as eye color. This leads to confusion. We need to emphasis the entire truth.

                    • Mark

                      Desires for the sex acts are disordered, certainly.

                      But you seem to be implying that there are all sorts of other experiences the Church reserves to the opposite-sex, when really these things are morally neutral and shouldn’t even be viewed as part of sexuality strictly speaking except that modern constructs have decided to interpret them through the lens of gendered categories.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Is it the Catholic view or your view? Also you seem to go out of your way to read errors into the SF views they couldn’t possibly be advocating.

                      Then there is that nonsense of Divine Eros being literal and not metaphorical which you advocate which is a walking talking contradiction against the teachings of Traditional Theology.

                    • Mark

                      I’d hardly say a view that believes gay sex is immoral and gay marriage impossible…is “aligned with liberal permisivism.”

                      You seem interested in promoting a sort of 1950s psycho-social normativity.

                      But the Church isn’t interested in that, she’s interested in holiness.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Thank YOU!!!!!

                  • James of Clan Scott

                    The moral dogma of the Church & natural law forbids erotic acts between persons of the same gender. As the moral law forbids autoerotic acts, adultery and fornication and un-natural relations with animals.

                    That is all you need to avoid with the power of Divine Grace.

                    You are an idiot shooting people who should be your allies against the anti-Catholic gay agenda.

                    I called you a Protestant heretic. Well you are in fact worst then that.

                    • GG

                      Save the drama. The persecution complex is part of the syndrome. You error, greatly, by minimizing the truth. The Church speaks not only about acts but about objective disorders. Homosexual attraction is not ordered toward the good. Period.

                      Homosexual desire is not part of the order of grace. It was not ordained by our Lord.

                      Stop the propaganda.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Nobody said “homosexual desire” is part of the order of grace.

                      Being a disingenuous liar is against the faith.

                    • GG

                      Thanks for the calumny.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Where did I day “homosexual desire” is part of the order of Grace?

                      Nowhere except your paranoid imagination.

                    • Mark

                      GG, the most straightforward reading of the Catechism is that the “object” referred to in calling certain “inclinations” as “objectively disordered” is the instrinsically disordered object of gay sex acts referred to in the previous sentence. An inclination is TO something, and the inclination being referred to is homosexual sex acts. That object is intrinsically disordered and so the inclination having that as its object is objectively disordered even when, if involuntary, it can’t be called culpable.

                      However, the modern construct of sexual orientation is not reducible to an inclination to sex acts. The Deposit of Faith has no notion of sexual orientation in this broader sense of “emanating penumbras” because those were only approportiated to it gradually and in fina current form only in the 19th and 20th centuries.

                      If you do even a little research on the history of it, you’ll see that much of what you imagine as natural organic parts of (Herero)sexuality have, in fact, only been added to the social or psychological script of sexuality in the last century or two.

                  • Mark

                    I don’t see why it’s up to non-gays to define “what being gay means.”

                    It is very damaging to tell people who say “I’m gay, but that isn’t reducible to meaning I’m inclined to homosexual sins of lust” and then to them “yes it does mean that and if you say you are gay then you mean are so inclined even if you don’t think so or don’t intend that!!!”

              • Jim Russell

                It would be odd if that *were* my position. As I say above, you apparently either have no idea what my position is or you choose to misrepresent it. I’ve *never* said the only “feelings” associated with SSA are “feelings” about sex acts. That’s your unique contribution to “my” position.

          • Veritas

            Your logic escapes me. But seriously, I’m trying.

            • GG

              Because it is not logic but ideology.

      • GG

        The desires are didordered.

        • Mark

          Being gay is not reducible to any particular determinate desire, GG. There is no single “gay desire.”

          Only gay essentialism comes close to imagining such a thing.

          • GG

            What is being gay?

            • Mark

              It’s a modern way of describing a pattern of emotional experiences according to which the most intense or frequent are occasioned by the same rather than the opposite sex, I suppose. In itself it doesn’t say that this has to be interpreted as trying to treat persons of the same sex as mating partners, though the revisionist sexual revolution script would have it be so.

              • GG

                If you are trying to say that “gay” is a modern political ideology then I agree.

                That is not the same as saying some persons suffer from same sex attraction. Whether we call it an orientation or homosexual or some other term we are saying that the person desires the same sex in a way not ordered toward the good.

                • Mark

                  Well, you’re the one insisting it is “in a way not ordered towards the good.”

                  And if you’re talking about a desire to engage in sex acts with…then I agree with you.

                  It’s when you start extending it to the “emanations from penumbras” which make up the much broader “sexual orientation” construct that I get skeptical.

                  • GG

                    You are trying to redefine nature. You wrongly distill Catholic truth down to a couple of perverse acts while ignoring the natural order of man.

              • GG

                Yea, that is disordered on many levels.

                You are trying very hard to obfuscate and minimize the significance of this desire.

                • Mark

                  How? Or by what standard?

            • St JD George

              Listening to Mark it sounds like an out of body experience, probably enhanced by drugs and detached from any worldly reality … or asexual aliens from another planet who reproduce in laboratories.

              • Veritas

                Thanks for clearing that up. I’m having to read his posts multiple time to see if he’s creating some kind of new way of looking at things.

                • GG

                  The prism he uses is the Homophile prism. Deny the obvious, claim Church teaching is only about particular acts, and confuse.

              • Mark

                I don’t know where you make the leap from “not reducible to genital desires” to “disembodied and angelic”…

              • GG

                LSD

              • James of Clan Scott

                We get it you hate gay people including chaste faithful Catholic gay people.

                You and your Calvinist wannabe buddy GG deserve each other.

                • St JD George

                  If you read and comprehend my posts you would understand that I hate nobody. What I don’t like are unnatural acts against God including the promotion of sodomy and SSM. I believe in sin and the redemptive power of forgiveness through reconciliation though.

                  • James of Clan Scott

                    That is what I believe and the SF believe.

                    So what is your freakin problem?

                    • St JD George

                      SF, is that short for Satan’s Followers? Enlighten me. The only problem I have is that too few people in the world have a relationship with their creator who loves them. What you have come to rationalize is that poison is good for you – spit it out, and share in the bread of life. You will feel much better, I promise you.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      No it’s short for Spiritual Friendship & it shows you hate gays even to the point of hating those who follow the gospel.

                      It seems Deacon Jim is your Pope & not Francis or the Tradition of the Church.

                    • St JD George

                      Actually, both Deacon Jim and Pope Francis uphold the sacrament of marriage as the union between a man and a woman before God. Though I haven’t heard them say it, I feel pretty comfortable saying that they don’t condone sodomy either, or other acts of sexual perversion.
                      The only one who expresses themselves with hateful language here is you Jim, read your words. Acknowledging that some are bound to sin by Satan is not hateful, it’s merely observant. I do not have hate in my heart, I have hope for all to develop a relationship with Christ. And for those that struggle with SSA, I applaud them who can live a chaste life.

                    • Mark

                      But for Deacon Jim and company, avoiding lust and acts of lust is *not enough*…that’s the problem here.

                    • St JD George

                      Read Acts, yesterday’s liturgy. It’s about a man who lived a life alone that traveled from Ethiopia to Jerusalem and was overcome with the Holy Spirit. It’s relevant.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      AMEN!!!!!!!!!!

                      Sins of the Pharisees whom Jesus explicitly called Children of the Devil.

                      Not cool…….

                    • santiago

                      Bro, I really want to contact you, it seems that very few people have your capacity to understand Theology or reasoning for that matter, they say they are all about logic but basic concepts escapes them. They rather repeat what they’ve heard from their classes imparted by ignorance. I’ve really been looking for someone to dwell with in dense and profound topics but can’t seem to find any.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      You should hang out at Edward Feser’s blog. I sometime make the scene there under another name.

                    • santiago

                      Thanks for the tip.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      >Actually, both Deacon Jim and Pope Francis uphold the sacrament of marriage as the union between a man and a woman before God.

                      So do I….& the SF crowd.

                      > Though I haven’t heard them say it, I feel pretty comfortable saying that they don’t condone sodomy either, or other acts of sexual perversion.

                      Neither do I & that goes for the SF crowd.

                      >The only one who expresses themselves with hateful language here is you Jim, read your words.

                      I have have & have you read yours?

                      >Acknowledging that some are bound to sin by Satan is not hateful, it’s merely observant.

                      Some of those people are bound to sins of the Pharisees whom Jesus called explicitly the children of the Devil.

                      >I do not have hate in my heart, I have hope for all to develop a relationship with Christ. And for those that struggle with SSA, I applaud them who can live a chaste life.

                      I would like to believe you but calling the SF people Satan’s Friends doesn’t fill me with confidence.

                    • St JD George

                      Be honest and admit that SF is a unique place, and has a reputation. That by no means is meant to cast all in a wide net and all the Godly people who live in the Bay area. I was on assignment there for the better part of a year just a few years ago, and worshiped at Our Lady of Peace and Shrine in San Jose while I was there. Sadly, being a white, tall, male I was quite in the minority but none the less felt welcome. I mean sadly because the make up of the church only reflected one segment of the community though the community was plenty diverse. I spent a lot of time in SF checking out the sites, and GGB aside there are things going on there that aren’t going on too many other places.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Idiot! I am talking about the Spiritual Friendship people not San Fracking cisco!

                      OY!!!!!!!!! Bloody Sassanachs!!!

                    • St JD George

                      Idiot, recognized universally as the language of hate.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Guilty as charged I hate willful stupidity!!!

                    • St JD George

                      Glad you came to accept what we all knew in your first post here. Now, go and pray and purge your heart of hate and you’ll feel liberated. Go to the Shrine in SJ if you can. There’s a big statue there waiting for you with open arms.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Thank you.

                      Maybe you should follow your own advice?

                    • St JD George

                      The Shrine is too far away from where I live now to go there and pray.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Well it’s not near me m’laddo!

                    • St JD George

                      Sorry, I presumed “friends” to be in the context of geographical bonding, not from afar. Although, SJ is pretty far from SF … even though it’s where they moved Candlestick to.

                    • santiago

                      Hahahahahaha SF

                    • GG

                      His problem is that you defend what ought not be defended.

                • GG

                  Only “gays” and other propagandists misuse the word hate. All is hate to those who are deceived.

                  • James of Clan Scott

                    So the Church is “gay” when it tells us to…hate the sin?

                    You are not winning me over Calvin boy.

                    • GG

                      More obfuscation from the New Homophiles. The use of the term hate today by gays and propagandists is not how the Church uses the term. Stop the propaganda.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      I showed how the “New Homophiles” use the term “homosexuality is a gift” from their own words & from an article printed on this very website.

                      Did you respond intelligently? No you just show “propaganda” & I am suppose to be impressed by a dullard like you?

                      You are no different then the liberal gay who shouts “Homophobe” whenever he looses an argument to me (which is often) .

                      You are a Protestant Nutter GG not a Catholic.

                    • GG

                      I just refuse to accept your propaganda. Stick with the faith, not confused people.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Rather you are not a rational person guided by rational facts or truth. You clearly do not confess the Catholic Faith.

                      I explained what they meant & I cited their own words and I cited the teaching of the Church.

                      You are the lying sack of neo-Calvinist clap trap who insists on disbelieving them at their word.

                      You are worst than a heretic. You are a liar.

                • santiago

                  They probably believe that illness and physical pain can’t be a way to achieve holiness either. They definitely do not know what is to bear Cross or be crucified with Christ.

                  • James of Clan Scott

                    For them you must make yourself “straight” by your own efforts and threw counseling then you will be worthy enough to receive grace….

                    To be serious for a moment.

                    Geez I am not against reorientation therapy so called if it works for the person. But it’s not the goal holiness is the goal.

            • santiago

              Please define it for me so that I know we are speaking the same language. The definition of being gay for me would be to have exclusive sexual and emotional (in a couples way) attraction to a person of the same sex, bisexuals and gays are different. I must confess that I am more bisexual than heterosexual, like 90 percent heterosexual and 10 percent homosexual. I would never consider having a relationship with another man or kissing another man which I find repulsive, but doing certain sexual acts are desirable, is just that I love women to much, I love they’re complexity, emotional overdrive, looks, genitals, smell, lips everything. there is nothing better than giving oral sex to a woman. Which of my desires make me a sinner? I am celibate by the way, I do fall in to self gratification once in while though. It is just that I haven’t found a woman that truly understands what marriage is. What does that make me? A person’s nature or twisted nature can not be a sin in itself, it may be disordered but not a sinful nature that is just wrong or mean, all men and women have the same basic fallen condition, a desire is just that and there are worst desires than gay love, way worst like two adults copulating outside of marriage intending to get rid or abandon any probable product that may come out of that sexual act, that is way more evil and culpable.

          • Gregory

            Disagreed. There is 1 “gay” desire, both female and male- to gratify oneself through physical machinations to achieve satisfaction. For the female, to achieve this through another female. For the male, to achieve this through another male. Contrary to natural design and order, therefore disordered and unnatural. I understand acting on my own disordered desires to be offense (sin) to the maker of all things, visible and invisible (God). As God has revealed to man. Trust.
            Excuse me please for using Mark’s post as a forum, but I must vent briefly. I have a sibling that is a rump ranger (or gay as they say) and “christian”, who had no qualms referring to me in my disordered desires as a whoremonger drug addict and also suggested a tubal ligation for my daughters disordered desires. Disordered love, I suppose.

            • Mark

              It is reprehensible, spiritually, to try to convince people that they want a sin when they don’t.

              If you tell gay people that this inevitably mean they want gay sex, you are responsible if they wind up believing you.

              • GG

                Defending confusion is not from God. Logic and reason are quite clear on this topic you obfuscate.

                • Mark

                  What I say is only confusing because you have already blindly accepted the modern understanding of “sexual orientation” and assumed it is coextensive with the “sexuality” or “sexual inclinations” the Church finds morally relevant and can’t see past the year 1900 to make the distinction.

                  • GG

                    You deny the obvious to sneak in your strange and new ideology.

                    • Mark

                      What is obvious?

                    • GG

                      That homosexual attraction is disordered. Period.

                    • santiago

                      You should read the Catechisms over and over and over, and after you’ve read it 3 times do it at least once more.

                    • GG

                      I have and much, much more. You should read it as you are terribly confused about moral theology and reason.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      This coming from the guy who answers complex theological discussions by ranting “Propaganda”.

                      It called Classic Scholastic Theology Mr. Modernist.

              • santiago

                I believe both of you are stating the same thing using different wording. Gregory did not write that people with a disordered desire want to sin or that the desire is sin, acting on those disordered desires is what typifies as sin, essentially he is saying the same thing that you are saying. I might want to add that the tendency to act on such disordered desires is not intrinsic to a determined person, but to man at least since the fall of Adam and Eve. Some call it human weakness, but we all have the same condition regardless of any desire that may arise being disordered or not, except on a state of Grace, “gay desire” as Gregory called it is one of many desires that take us to sin due to our fallen condition, in my opinion, there are graver sins than acting on “gay desires” or any other sexual conduct, I would say that it is worst for two heterosexual creatures (man and woman) to copulate with out any accountability of the results that may arise such as an unwanted pregnancy, that is more evil than two guys pounding each other until they have no more ass left, that would be an even greater abuse of ones sexuality.

          • GG

            You offer us a mere word salad. The desire of one man for another man as if there were male and female is contrary to nature.

          • LarryCicero

            Enough of the verbal gymnastics. Paul explains things in Romans 1:18-32. God’s truth is plain to see. The USCCB sums it up like this “Instead of curbing people’s evil interests, God abandoned them to self indulgence, thereby removing the facade of apparent conformity to the divine will.”

            • Mark

              Paul is certainly describing something. Heterosexuality and homosexuality under the modern sexual orientation framework…I know for sure he is not. Freud was born after Paul, not before.

              • Jim Russell

                And none of this has to do with Freud. Just read your catechism, Mark.

                • Mark

                  Well, but Freud is the one whose ideas created the notion of a totalizing and pervasive “heterosexual” nor nativity which you are now claiming is simply the “natural order of sexuality created by God.”

                  But it’s not true. What is fundamentally natural is much narrower than you say. Much of what you apparently see as an essential part of the experience of sexuality (for straights; or as fundamentally perverted for gays) are really morally neutral things annexed to the core mating drive very late in history.

                  • GG

                    No, that is your weird ideology you concoct so as to normalize homosexual attraction. Not gonna work.

                    • Mark

                      I’m not concerned about the category “normal.”

                      I am concerned about holiness and virtue, certainly.

                      Christianity is not about being “normal.”

                    • GG

                      Normalcy is not contrary to the faith but is consistent with reason. You attempt to seaparate the two.

              • GG

                Freud as nothing to do with it.

              • LarryCicero

                Freud is not the word of God. Is he your idol?

                Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.(19) For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. (20) Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result they have no excuse;(21) for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened.(22) While claiming to be wise, they became fools(23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or birds or of four legged animals or of snakes.(24) Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies.(25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (26) Therefore God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, (27)and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.(28) And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their UNDISCERNING MIND to do what is improper. (29) They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery and spite. They are gossips(30) and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents. (31) They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.(32) Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but GIVE APPROVAL to those who practice them.

                I encourage you to put away Freud and contemplate on Paul.

          • GG

            What is being gay exactly?

      • Veritas

        “Gay essentialism?”

        • Mark

          Gay essentialism is the liberal belief that there is a species of person called “gay” who by that very fact is ordered towards gay sex acts, or is made for members of his same sex in the way most people are made for the other sex.

          This is clear revisionist nonsense. And yet the conservative Catholic “gay orientation is bad” position largely rests on conceding this understanding of what being Gay means and then lazily adding “but this state of things is clearly disordered.”

          But the point is it accepts the idea that to be gay is to have a psychological disposition that usually exists towards the opposite sex merely turned towards the same (but otherwise “equal and opposite”).

          But the fact is that outside the rather much narrower mating drive itself, what experiences are annexed to that drive by cultural extension…change throughout history and from culture to culture. Our modern “heterosexuality” (and thus “homosexuality”) is particularly broad in how many accidental and in-themselves morally neutral things it tries to bootstrap in an artificial unity with the sex drive more strictly defined.

          Again: God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and that girl he notices at the coffee shop sometimes.

          Or to use another example: God invented marriage, He didn’t invent any particular model of dating or courtship.

          • James of Clan Scott

            Ironically Ruse and Deacon Russell seem to accuse the SF of holding an idea of “gayness” being an essentialist quality in human beings (as we understand essence in Thomism and Classic Theology).

            • Mark

              Which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

              The SF crowd is, by and large, very much “social constructionist” when it comes to the nature of (the construct of) “sexual orientation.”

              So, yes, there is this irony of the Crisis crowd actually being allied with the liberal revisionists when it comes to agree on an essentialist understanding of “what sexual orientation means.”

              From what I can tell, Deacon Russell believes that not just the desire to copulate, but everything from domestic partnership down to infatuation…is all part of some essential organic unity in heterosexuality, created by God and tending towards marriage, and that any experiences similar to these elements that involve the same sex are therefore, on their face, wrong.

              Of course, the fact is that things like “romantic love” and all that are, themselves, late constructs in history, and evolved in contexts that originally didn’t involve marriage (romantic love was originally adulterous by nature, and its script came to apply to intense same-sex friendships before it became widely expected in a spouse).

              But that doesn’t seem to matter to them. They are so locked into the modern Freudian understanding of even their own sexuality that the experiences that make up homosexuality can only be possibly be seen as the “evil twin” of a (false, artificial, completely historically constructed and contingent) gestalt they think of as essential natural (hetero)sexuality.

              • Jim Russell

                Your approach, Mark, is soooooo obviously not Catholic…in God’s plan, sexuality is ordered toward the conjugal love of man and woman….

                • James of Clan Scott

                  With all due respect Deacon your the guy who thinks Divine Eros is literal and not clearly a metaphor & by his confused use of language threatens the doctrines of the divine immutability and divine simplicity.

                  So physician heal thyself.

                  • GG

                    Homosexual attraction is not normal. There is help though.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Sin is not normal and that is why we have grace.

                      Holiness is the goal that is refraining from violating the moral and natural law by Grace.

                      You go from Jansenism to pelagianism.

                    • GG

                      Simply mis-characterizing my posts does not change the truth. Homosexual attraction is not normal.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      I’m mis-characterizing YOUR posts!

                      HA!

                    • GG

                      Homosexual desire is not ordered correctly.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      In other news water is wet….

                    • Mark

                      “Homosexual attraction” is not a monolith.

                      It’s a variety of things bootstrapped together in a modern artificial construct of “sexual orientation.”

                      That some of the ideas or experiences there may be morally problematic does not “spoil the whole bunch.”

                    • GG

                      You are deceiving yourself.

                    • Mark

                      About what? It is bizarre to me that a bunch of conservatives are defending the liberal “dogma of sexual orientation” as if it represents some real naturally or essentially unified gestalt.

                    • GG

                      You are confusing things as usual. The bizarre formless theology you and your pal try foisting on us here goes nowhere. No one except you two and the NH buy it. It is not Catholic.

                    • Mark

                      It is, again, bizarre to me that you think the Church has some sort of “theology of sexual orientation” or has defined “what gay is.” In reality, the deposit of faith has no notion of these cultural constructs one way or the other.

                    • GG

                      It is not social constructs at issue. It is your propaganda.

                • Mark

                  “Sexuality” is a word, Deacon. Words have many senses.

                  Certainly there is a strict sense in which what you say is true.

                  Then there’s a broader sense in which “sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.”

                  So there is “a more general sense.”

                  I’m not denying that maleness and femaleness only exist in the first place because of conjugality. I’m not denying there is a core essential natural experience which is supposed to be ordered towards the conjugal procreative union (and whose distortion is called Lust).

                  What I am saying is that all sorts of things that you seem to see as in some sort of organic unity or gestalt with this core reality…are in fact only bootstrapped to it by social and historical contingency, have only been annexed to the scripts of sexuality and read through the lens of sex, accidentally and very late in history.

                  The SF crowd is all about recognizing this and trying to resource older ways of understanding where they were no so bootstrapped, while also taking into account the fact that we can’t escape being at least “haunted” by the currently active constructs and narratives since they are pushed out there in the media (and even by you!) pervasively.

                  So even if we know that reading through the lens of sex is unnecessary for some of these things, you can’t escape noticing at least how the modern paradigm “would” read them.

                • GG

                  Your opponents deny just that. They spin and duck and misdirect and obfuscate.

              • GG

                All rubbish. Your attempt to redefine reality and revelation is not gonna work here. Save it for your pals the Homophiles.

                Your scheme is faulty on so many levels. You attempt to redefine heterosexual normality into simply some mating instinct while making all else a social construct is typical of the gay left. Doing so allows you to equalize both hetero and homo desires as equal, but there are not.

                • Mark

                  The opposite is true actually. It is the leftists who embrace a “sexual orientation” essentialism which would say that this vast range of behaviors and experiences, even very remote from mating or sex acts, are natural inclinations people are born with and therefore we can’t make any moral judgments even about marriage and sex acts.

                  The Catholic position is actually that the morally relevant sphere is actually much less totalizing and amenable to control by virtue.

                  The Church cares that you’re not a drunkard or alcoholic. It doesn’t care whether you like beer or wine (even though that determines how you WOULD be tempted to get drunk IF you ever were).

                  • GG

                    Same sex attraction is not ordered correctly.

                    • Mark

                      “Same sex attraction” is not a single thing except by a construction which groups a variety of things together.

                    • GG

                      And that makes sense to you?

                    • Mark

                      It makes a lot more sense of the historical data than what you propose, certainly.

                    • GG

                      What historical data? Same sex attraction is always contrary to nature.

      • CadaveraVeroInnumero

        Dear Mark,

        Let’s just say I was once a Satanist. The .language used to install the dominance of Queer Theory is familiar. It devolves from that used by Satanism/Lucuferianism/Settism to describe the cosmology of sexuality and the human person. It is insidious and deceitful.

        The notion that there “is no such thing as dark tells” – along with the concept of a sexual continuum – is unadulterated Satanic doctrine. The notion that sex is primarily pure energy, a vehicle for “stateless” spirituality – to be moulded and channelled at will – is pulled from the most basic of satanic catechism. It is at the heart of the Satanist “redemption” myth.

        I am surprised at the ease in which it is now being folded into mainstream Catholicism. That is why I found Eve Tushut’s little bok on being gay and Catholic such a frightful read. Most mainstreamers incorporate the language without knowing the worldview trapdoor which nourishes it.

        Meditate on the life – and programmatic mission – of A Crowley. You will see.

        Aleister Crowley hovers and squirm above and through all your phrasing , as it does throughout the mountainous pile of Queer literature – no matter how mainstream and academic it seeks to present itself.

        Queer Theory has gained great ground (congratulations!) even within the Church. It must be identified and exposed. Then exorcised. Maybe that will be done this October at the Family Synod in Rome!

        • Veritas

          I knew you would clear this up. Thanks!

        • Mark

          Except in this case it is Deacon Jim who is accepting gay essentialism and “sexual orientation” (and disorientation)…not me.

    • St JD George

      I remember driving past Black Cat years ago checking out the sites criss crossing the town. Had the impression that was dangerous territory to trespass in, though as you say maybe it’s heyday has come and passed, moved up to the Castro. I’ll still never get the image out of my head getting off Hwy 101 and seeing a crowd of nude men (in tall black boots) at the street corner waiting to cross at the light and headed to who knows what festival. I knew I wasn’t in Kansas any more and the house had landed in a strange land.

    • Pat Denzer

      JMJ I think you left out one essential item. Homosexuals infiltrated and physically attacked APA members at a 1970 Convention in San Francisco and forced removal of Homosexual from the DSM II by the APA. From the beginnings of psychiatry in the nineteenth century, Homosexuality was considered a disease, for which psychiatrists sought a cure. This is when they achieved their Freedom and to spread like wildfire across America. From the CCC para. 2357-2359 Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,(Gen 19:1-29; Rom1:24-27;1 Cor 6:10;1 Tim 1:10) tradition has always declared that “homosexual act are intrinsically disordered.”(Persona humana 8) They are contrary to natural law… UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CAN THEY TO BE APPROVED. 2358 …THEY MUST BE ACCEPTED WITH RESPECT, COMPASSION, AND SENSITIVITY. EVERY SIGN OF UNJUST DISCRIMINATION IN THEIR REGARD SHOULD BE AVOIDED. 2359 Homosexual persons are called to Chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. SO HOMOSEXUALS ARE STILL MENTALLY ILL even though they forced the APA to remove THEMSELVES from the DSM II. That opened the door to its aggressive, spiteful, vengeful platoons (now) nicely positioned in universities, Hollywood, media, the publishing industry, state organs of all sorts, White House & congressional staffs, NGOs & foundations of all kinds and stripes. These are the folks now in control of the language in which the topic of homosexuality (bi/tran/poly/BDSM/pedophilia) is (can, even legally) be discussed. They are in charge of the perimeters of the conversation; so much so they will next (soon) demand – through the Trojan Hose of universal/totalitarian “human rights” – the “lawful/administrative” duty to control the *language* within communities and institutions which have, so far, resisted them. Namely the Catholic Church – they have already won great swaths of victory among evangelicals.
      YOU CAN READ RONALD BAYERS HOMOSEXUALITY AND AMERICAN PSYCHICATRY THE POLITICS OF DIAGNOSIS. ITS ALL THERE. GOD BLESS

  • Greg Cook

    In his book on love, Catholic philosopher Joseph Pieper provides an excellent framework for properly understanding eros in light of Catholic (and especially Thomistic) teaching.

  • ColdStanding

    You can not serve two masters. There are only two masters: The Holy and Undivided Trinity or the fallen angel Lucifer. The one, Jesus Christ, the Son of God has come for His lost sheep, ie the souls of men of good will so that they may be saved by mortifying the flesh to the life of the soul so that, at Final Judgement, the holy soul will be reunited with the now sanctified flesh for all eternity. His mocker, him who was from the beginning a liar and murderer, Satan, rules over the flesh which he putrefies to the death of the soul so that, at the final judgement, when soul is reunited with the flesh, the soul is eternally damned to hell.

    Therefore, one simply has to choose a master. Jesus Christ is crystal clear on this. There is no having it both ways. You can not “tweak” the dogma (def: teaching) so that you can mix error with truth. Nor can you “tweak” the Catholic mode of speech to accommodate modern man’s ears.

    Any error of of understanding that leads to favoring the flesh to the detriment of the soul must be opposed.* Occasions of sin must be avoided. Sins of the understanding are the most sever of sins. Adultery, or any other sin, committed in the heart, is still adultery.

    One may substitute any number of sins for adultery and get the sentence means the same.

    The world, covered in the darkness of sin, may not understand what it is that our Holy Mother the Church is proposing to our reason, but we who claim to be Her faithful sons and daughters had better.

    Fallen Catholics occupy the lower regions of hell.

    *Once the declared truth is assented to, the method of overcoming the damage of sin and sinful dispositions is relatively easy to follow.

  • Pat Denzer

    JMJ Homosexuality is a Mental Illness. From the beginnings of Psychiatry in the Nineteenth Century, Homosexuality was considered a disease, for which Psychiatrists sought a cure. Couple this with Sacred Scripture(Grave Depravity) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church(intrinsically disordered), everything falls into place. All the Child Sex Abuse, Public Nudity, Sex Change Operations, the Bullying, the attacks on the APA, Christianity, etc.

  • Albrecht

    And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
    For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of.
    But all things that are reproved, are made manifest by the light; for all that is made manifest is light. Wherefore he saith: Rise thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead: and Christ shall enlighten thee.

    – Eph. 5:11-14

  • St JD George

    I guess there is a Catholic voice out there that’s unafraid …

    by AUSTIN RUSE 23 Apr 2015

    Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a Roman Catholic who has fast become the most outspoken Republican prospective presidential candidate standing up for traditional values, penned an op-ed in The New York Times on Thursday that slammed large corporations for caving to pressure from LGBT advocates and abandoning support for the rights of religious Americans. Jindal wrote:

    In Indiana and Arkansas, large corporations recently joined left-wing activists to bully elected officials into backing away from strong protections for religious liberty. It was disappointing to see conservative leaders so hastilyretreat on legislation that would simply allow for an individual or business to claim a right to free exercise of religion in a court of law.

    Our country was founded on the principle of religious liberty, enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Why shouldn’t an individual or business have the right to cite, in a court proceeding, religious liberty as a reason for not participating in a same-sex marriage ceremony that violates a sincerely held religious belief? That is what Indiana and Arkansas sought to do. That political leaders in both states quickly cowered amid the shrieks of big business and the radical left should alarm us all.

    Then Jindal threw down the gauntlet:

    As the fight for religious liberty moves to Louisiana, I have a clear message for any corporation that contemplates bullying our state: Save your breath.

    In 2010, Louisiana adopted a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which prohibits government from unduly burdening a person’s exercise of religion. However, given the changing positions of politicians, judges and the public in favor of same-sex marriage, along with the potential for discrimination against Christian individuals and businesses that comes with these shifts, I plan in this legislative session to fight for passage of the Marriage and Conscience Act.

    …Some corporations have already contacted me and asked me to oppose this law. I am certain that other companies, under pressure from radical liberals, will do the same. They are free to voice their opinions, but they will not deter me.

    … A pluralistic and diverse society like ours can exist only if we all tolerate people who disagree with us. That’s why religious freedom laws matter — and why it is critical for conservatives and business leaders to unite in this debate.

    If we, as conservatives, are to succeed in advancing the cause of freedom and free enterprise, the business community must stand shoulder to shoulder with those fighting for religious liberty. The left-wing ideologues who oppose religious freedom are the same ones who seek to tax and regulate businesses out of existence.

    He concluded, “Those who believe in freedom must stick together: If it’s not freedom for all, it’s not freedom at all. This strategy requires populist social conservatives to ally with the business community on economic matters and corporate titans to side with social conservatives on cultural matters. This is the grand bargain that makes freedom’s defense possible.”

    Although an ABC/Washington Post survey recently found 60% of Americans support gay marriage, the same poll also found that Jindal’s appeal may resonate deeply with GOP voters; the poll found that “6 in 10 Republicans oppose allowing gay couples to marry, and that increases to 71 percent of conservative Republicans.” A Suffolk University Poll conducted between April 8-13 found a bare majority of respondents, 51%, supported gay marriage.

    • jack

      For the Supreme Court to rule in favor of “gay marriage” it seems they should demonstrate that homosexual activity is a social good, beyond simply making people feel better and beyond any consideration of due process. Heterosexual marriage is positive in several ways, acting to help create good for society.

      • St JD George

        Good according to who, you? That’s not the standard to measure against Jack.

  • Guest_august

    Can a Catholic call himself or herself “gay”? Can a Catholic call himself or herself “homosexual”? Can a Catholic identify himself or herself as “gay” or “homosexual”?
    [can a Catholic call herself “lesbian” or “queer”?]
    Can a Catholic say, “I am gay, but chaste, so I am okay”?
    Can a Catholic say, “I am gay, but I don’t engage in homosexual sex acts, so I am okay”?
    To answer these questions adequately we need to start at the very beginning of the story of Man. Let us start with the aid of the Sacred Scriptures and St. Augustine of Hippo (City of God – Book 14).
    .
    Read more:
    http://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/
    http://popeleo13.com/pope/2014/08/19/category-archive-message-board-100-st-augustine-on-sex-3/

  • littleeif

    In reading through some of these com boxes, I am reminded of a form of rationalization I can only call “mystification”. Sometimes we try to relieve ourselves of guilt, or of the need to forthrightly explain our conduct by steeping it in mystery. The greater the mystery, the better we are served. Things are just so, well, complicated. On the one hand, the mystery is too deep for me to briefly explain or even explain at all (hey, you know, I don’t know why I did it). On the other hand, the judge of my conduct is invited to the distraction of unraveling and solving the mystery, forgetting the judgement itself. If I can’t explain it, and if you can’t understand it, how can you judge it?

    That having been said, it is true the crushingly vast majority of people do not have sexual thoughts of any kind whatsoever about members of the same sex. They do not become sexually aroused by the thought about, sight of or interaction with another person of the same sex. They are, in fact, repulsed by such thoughts. At the same time, the thought of, sight of or interaction with a member of the opposite sex can and often does cause sexual arousal. A tiny subset of people are able to be sexually aroused by thoughts about members of their same sex, and a tiny subset of that subset actually engage in sodomy in response to that arousal. Forgive me but after having read so much verbiage, I needed to remind myself of whom it is we are actually speaking.

    Now to my knowledge and in my formation, the Church has always instructed me it is wrong and a sin to entertain objectifying sexual thoughts about anyone. It is wrong and a sin to place myself in a circumstance where I am likely to be drawn into sinful thoughts or deeds of any kind, but including objectifying sexual thoughts. It is wrong and a sin to engage in sexual self gratification. It is wrong and a sin to engage another person in any kind of sexual act outside marriage. It is wrong and a sin to engage in sexual acts within marriage that are not ordered to and open to the production of a new life. Sexual sins are usually mortal sins (sins which, unconfessed, separate me permanently from God, prevent me from going to heaven and condemn me to hell.)

    I have never in my entire life been taught anything different by the Church regarding sexuality from my earliest childhood on. I knew exactly what it meant when I was a kid, a teenager and now as an adult I know what it means. Exactly. So do you.

  • James of Clan Scott

    This combox has a lot of Jansenist wannabes and very little Catholicism.

    • GG

      Said the confused Catholic.

      • James of Clan Scott

        Might I suggest you put down Calvin’s INSTITUTES & or Luther’s BONDAGE OF THE WILL and maybe read the Summa?

        Some Traditional Catholic theology would do you wonders Prot boy.

        • GG

          Aquinas would not agree with your propaganda.

          • James of Clan Scott

            So you think Traditional Theology and it’s application is “propaganda”?

            Typical Calvinist wannabe.

            • GG

              No, I think the gay propaganda is not Catholic and never will be.

              • James of Clan Scott

                You are a paranoid person who see “gay propaganda” where there is none. Like your anti-Catholic Protestant Brother who sees a Jesuit under every bush.

                • GG

                  It is not paranoia when your posts reveal your propaganda. Just accept Catholic truth. Same sex desire is nor ordered toward the good.

                  • James of Clan Scott

                    Thomism is based on Aristotle and Aristotle was the disciple of Socrates.

                    Socrates taught for constructive dialog to take place one must let one’s opponent define their views.

                    You have not done this you have ignored them and read errors they do not in fact objectively hold.

                    How are you “Catholic” if you do this? You simply aren’t.

                    Do don’t even qualify as an honest Pagan.

                    • GG

                      Same sex desire is not ordered toward the good.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Yes wanting to have sex with someone the same gender as yourself is not ordered toward the good and is intrinsically evil if willfuly consented too & only extrinsically evil if not.

                      As if I didn’t believe that…..

                      Of course Temptations are not sins as per the teachings of the Council of Trent. To disagree is to teach Calvinist heresy.

                      You are useless GG.

                    • GG

                      The desire is disordered.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      It is objectively disordered meaning the final cause of the desire is evil.

                      The desire is not itself a sin. Since those of us who follow Trent(as opposed to secret Calvin followers) know temptations are not themselves sins.

                    • GG

                      We are not talking about temptations. We are talking about disordered desires.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Again in other news water is wet……

  • SnowSong

    I LOVE gay people, I completely and absolutely love them. I have known so many many gay people and every single one of them were abused, very badly abused, sexually abused and so deeply hurt. I hate that they deny this. I can’t change this, I can’t heal it……..but I can LOVE them. It’s all I can do. I can’t accept what they think they want…I can’t accept what they want us to allow, but I can love their very human selves….and pray for Jesus to rescue them from Satan who wants to damn them forever. This is what I can do.

  • GG

    “In conclusion, St. Aelred deserves to have the rubric of “spiritual
    friendship” returned to him, unaltered. If you want to be “spiritual
    friends” with someone, whether you have same-sex attraction or not won’t
    make a difference. Just do what St. Aelred did: set aside everything
    that is carnal or worldly; seek spiritual progress toward Christian
    perfection and intimate union with the Divine; and prayerfully choose,
    test, and accept those others who have done similarly, with whom you can
    experience the spiritual heights of “love of neighbor” both in this
    life and the next.”

    Nicely said. The question is why do the NH disagree?

  • M.J.A .

    St.Thomas The Twin ..one has to wonder if he is addressed only as a twin, since The Lord knew that many a times, we are going to be like him …and yet , are to be blessed to be his twin , as well as the twin of others in our lives …able to see the wounds and touch same , in the heart of our Mother ..her glance at us , magnifying The Lord for us …such as , at that scene of the scourging , a Lord who brings us the forgiving love of a Mother, in the strength of The Spirit – ‘ this is for you , to give you too The Spirit , to free you from all that keeps you from belonging to The Son and The Spirit ..to trust that they are yours .. sustained by that Spirit , all I have is compassion for you, not bitterness ..give me the ribbon of your life with all its knots of evil and fear , that keep you from taking in that truth ..’
    and falling prostrate , at His feet , we can say – ‘My Lord and my God ‘ , in repentance , being twin to many in our lives , who struggle with unbelief and all the evil knots that come with same, knots that are there , even in the hearts of nations and their leaders , who fail to see that we Christians love enough , to want to take away the knots of evil and fear and help them into the light of a God, who is not like all those gods the enemy had made them worship and now do not want to let go – gods who lie and cheat , use you , are themselves confused in their roles ..
    ‘ My Lord and my God ..’ – falling at His feet ..for all occasions when we have chosen to let other gods take that pace …trusting and hoping , for miracles ..even at very high levels , that they too choose to value what alone need to be valued – being a friend of The Lord ..and of all others , in Him , such as St.Aelred and others , who eagerly await our invitation !
    Blessings !

  • Rick Fitzgibbons

    Numerous studies have documented the serious conflicts with loyalty, fidelity and abuse in same sex relationships. Mathay et al (2011)analyzed the impact of
    sexual orientation on suicide mortality in Denmark during the first 12 years
    after legalization of same-sex registered domestic partnerships (RDPs), using
    data from death certificates issued between 1990-2001 and Danish census
    population estimates. This study found that the age-adjusted suicide risk for same-sex RDP men was nearly eight times greater than the suicide risk for men in heterosexual marriage.

    [i] Mathy, R., Cochran, S.,Olsen, J., Mays, V. (2011). The Association
    between Relationship Markers of Sexual Orientation and Suicide: Denmark, 1990-2001. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology,46: 111-117.

  • Sed contra est quod dicitur Eccli. XIII, omne animal diligit simile sibi.
    Respondeo dicendum quod similtudo, proprie loquendo, est causa amoris…
    II-I Q. 27, Art. 4
    ἔρως verit ad diligit.

    For those of you who don’t know Latin, Greek, or Aquinas.

    On the contrary, It is written (Ecclus. 13:19): “Every animal loveth its like.”
    I answer that, likeness, properly speaking, is a cause of love (amoris AKA eros)…
    Prima Secundae, Question 27, Art. 4
    Eros translates to desire (properly speaking, love of concupiscence).

    The reverend would do well to do some research before making claims such as: “The Catholic Church’s understanding of authentic eros is that it requires complementarity and reciprocity.”

    The Church does not in fact teach that. If she does, I’d like to know where precisely. What I understand the Church DOES teach is that the end of marriage is procreation. Cf. Casti Cannubi. Whatever emotional states exist to facilitate procreation are secondary, possibly irrelevant. Restricting an ancient Greek term to facilitate a modernist understanding of typical romantic coupling really does no service to anyone. It certainly does no good to one’s credibility.

    If you think this article or its author represents traditional Catholicism, I beg of you to speak to someone who can read dogmatic materials in their original language. Particularly the Angelic doctor. Apparently there are institutions handing out STLs without the same rigor as they did in a more genteel era when the Church worked more to assist the devout, rather than find new ways to condemn those trying to be faithful.

    • Jim Russell

      Aaron–thanks for the comment–the Church *does* in fact teach that. Where, precisely? First, in the magisterium of Pope Benedict XVI, who defines eros like this (Jan. 18, 2006, general audience):

      *****The “eros”, this gift of love between a man and a woman, comes from the same source, the Creator’s goodness, as the possibility of a love that gives itself for the sake of the other.*****

      Pope Benedict’s encyclical “Deus Caritas Est” states clearly:

      *****First, eros is somehow rooted in man’s very nature; Adam is a seeker, who “abandons his mother and father” in order to find woman; only together do the two represent complete humanity and become “one flesh”. The second aspect is equally important. From the standpoint of creation, eros directs man towards marriage, to a bond which is unique and definitive; thus, and only thus, does it fulfil its deepest purpose. Corresponding to the image of a monotheistic God is monogamous marriage. Marriage based on exclusive and definitive love becomes the icon of the relationship between God and his people and vice versa. God’s way of loving becomes the measure of human love. This close connection between eros and marriage in the Bible has practically no equivalent in extra-biblical literature.**** (11).

      The Catechism states that “sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman.” (CCC 2360) And (2361) “Sexuality…is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death.”

      And of course the entire corpus of St. John Paul II speaks eloquently of the complementarity and reciprocity necessary for “this gift of love between a man and a woman.”

      I TOTALLY stand by my claim that the Church teaches that eros-love requires both complementarity and reciprocity. Your selected quote from Aquinas doesn’t change a thing, seems to me.

      • GG

        ++The Catechism states that “sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of
        man and woman.” (CCC 2360) And (2361) “Sexuality…is realized in a
        truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a
        man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death.”++

        Thank you, Deacon, for all your hard work. The dissenters here, like James of Clan Scott and Mark, represent this new and unCatholic idea that claims heterosexuality is a novel idea in history and that all that the Church teaches is that the marital embrace matters while every other sexual “feeling” or desire is not disordered as long as no genital activity is involved.

        Now, they make this assertion because it allows for all manner of expression even when such expression is unnatural and contrary to what our Lord ordained. They play up this idea that homosexual desire is a gift because it allows one to grow in holiness which is a way to accent only one aspect of the truth. It is obfuscation and confusion.

        • James of Clan Scott

          The problem is you are a pathological liar & theological incompetent attributing to others views they don’t objectively hold and Deacon Russell appears to let you get away with it.

          You should be ashamed.

          • GG

            All can read your posts and see that you calumniate me.

            • James of Clan Scott

              They should also read your past posts on other threads & your slanders to me in them and others then they can also see how delusional you happen to be.

              • GG

                Are you a teenager?

                • James of Clan Scott

                  Late Middle aged so what is your excuse for the paranoia, rank dishonesty and neo-Calvinist outlook?

                  • GG

                    You act like a teen.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Says the git who when he has no rational theological argument to put forth starts ranting “propaganda”.

                      Did your education stop at high school? Because it seems like it.

                      Oh and how do you explain the pathological lying about others
                      views?

                    • GG

                      Keep posting. It keeps revealing you.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      Keep dodging and denying your own obvious faults & naked acts of lying.

                      it reveals you.

        • James of Clan Scott

          >like James of Clan Scott and Mark, represent this new and unCatholic idea that claims heterosexuality is a novel idea in history and that all that the Church teaches is that the marital embrace matters while every other sexual “feeling” or desire is not disordered as long as no genital activity is involved.

          GG is a pathological liar. I have made no such claim and I doubt that is a fair presentation of Mark’s view.

          You lie GG like your master who was a murder and liar from the beginning.

          • GG

            Please turn down the hyperbole. I know it is hard for you.

      • James of Clan Scott

        This is weird.

        > Adam is a seeker, who “abandons his mother and father” in order to find woman; only together do the two represent complete humanity and become “one flesh”.

        Adam had no human parents…..God alone was his Father. Also he didn’t literally seek Eve God brought them together.

        Thus how could Benedict mean this literally?

        • Jim Russell

          You mean when Benedict says “only together do the two represent complete humanity and become ‘one flesh,'” he doesn’t literally mean that?

          • James of Clan Scott

            No I am confused by Adam abandoning his Mother and Father.

            Adam had no Father or “Mother” save God. So obviously Benedict could not mean that literally.*

            *Even if we take a Theistic Evolutionist approach as sanctioned by Pius XII & believe Adam’s body had biological parents they would have been animals without Souls and would be Sires not parents in the Strict sense.

            • Jim Russell

              So he *does* literally mean the part about the necessity of complementarity of man and woman in eros, right?

              • James of Clan Scott

                God made man to have sex with woman in marriage. What orthodox Catholic denies this? Passionate desire moves us to that end.

  • James Kabala

    This would be a better article if it did not start off with the made-up term that this website invented. I know that many terms that began as pejorative eventually became standard, used even by members of the group in question – e.g., Quaker, Impressionist, neoconservative – but “New Homophile” is not there yet.

    • Jim Russell

      James–thanks for the comment. Here is why, after setting “new homophiles” aside for some time, I began using it again with the piece at Crisis.

      1. I believe that “Spiritual Friendship” doesn’t adequately express the “collective” because a) not everyone aligned with the view affirming public identity and pursuit of authentic same-sex love are aligned with or directly part of the blog site and b) I don’t think the SF site adequately expresses Aelred’s original thinking. This piece, in particular, requires a term different from SF.

      2. The term “homophile,” as implied above, seems a concise and adequate description of the *primary* common ground being rallied around by those at SF and elsewhere–namely, that “love of the same” (homophilia/homophile) is the focus. It’s not about sex, it’s about love, love properly shared among those with SSA.

      3. The term “new” places it in contrast with the older but similar usage of the term “homophile.” Like “new atheist or “neo-con” it’s indicative of a connection with a difference to something that came before it.

      4. “New homophile” doesn’t depend upon any religious affiliation–writers taking the “homophile” approach as described above are not all Catholic but come from varying religious backgrounds.

      5. “New homophile” also doesn’t depend upon whether or not a member of this collective is or is not “gay.” One can be a “new homophile”–affirming public identity and supporting pursuit of same-sex love–without having SSA, as notable Catholic folks do.

      • James Kabala

        That was not a bad explanation – better than anything Mr. Ruse ever gave!

        • Jim Russell

          Thanks, James–I appreciate your open-mindedness. I don’t think Austin ever intended the term to come across as pejorative, and I’m open to some other more universally appealing term, but I have to admit I haven’t seen anything else yet that could be fittingly employed. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to explain my use of it.

  • BCSWowbagger

    Would it kill the deacon to actually quote the people he’s dissecting at some point in the article? He makes a lot assertions about them, but never actually points at any of them and says, “And here’s where a ‘New Homophile’ endorsed this viewpoint.”

    As a result of this frankly sloppy analysis, I think Deacon Russell almost completely misunderstands the supposed subject of his piece. He does a wonderful job defeating this straw man.

    • Jim Russell

      Hello! Thanks for the suggestion. Here you go–three links to three obvious sources that match up with my three claims. Are these three “straw men”?

      1) The New Homophiles deliberately make room for “same-sex eros” in their interpretation of St. Aelred’s “spiritual friendship.”

      http://spiritualfriendship.org/2014/03/19/christianity-and-same-sex-eros/

      2) The New Homophiles seem willing to accept exclusive “chaste, gay couplehood” under the rubric of St. Aelred’s “spiritual friendship.”

      http://spiritualfriendship.org/2015/02/04/chaste-gay-couples-and-the-church/

      3) The New Homophiles advocate for vowed friendships as compatible with St. Aelred’s “spiritual friendship.”

      http://spiritualfriendship.org/2014/09/27/are-vowed-friendships-really-what-we-need/

      • BCSWowbagger

        Yes, you are still fighting a straw man.

        Have you read the first link you posted? Mr. Taylor adopts a substantially different definition of “eros” than you do, spends a significant portion of his article critiquing the very definition your article holds out as correct, and accommodates many of the concerns you discuss in the third section of the article. You do nothing whatsoever to respond to these points — you simply ignore them as though they aren’t there. Even if you had responded, it appears to me that your difference with Mr. Taylor on this point is almost entirely semantic, not substantive — you might win the argument about “eros,” but wouldn’t advance your thesis that the Side B gang has a defective understanding of friendship. Similar critiques may be leveled at your construction of the other two sources — though, as an unpaid, uncelebrated combox ranter, I don’t feel the need to go line-by-line showing how.

        It’s possible that you are ultimately correct about the Side B gang, but this piece engages so little with the subject of its critique that it injures your position more than it advances it. It’s sloppiness that would not have survived editorial back in the days of my print subscription to this magazine.

        • James of Clan Scott

          My wife informs me Deacon Russell is a Christopher West supporter.

          I thought there was something fishy about his critiques & his theology. It explains his near heterodox or at least questionable non-scholastic understanding of Divine Eros.

          Since you commented on the problems of the First link let me tackle the second.

          quote “Ben Conroy asks……..doesn’t that open up a space for the idea of a committed, lifelong, celibate partnership between two gay people as being a valid vocation, a holy thing, a place where virtue and love might flourish?…..

          …………..I can’t possibly hope to answer that question fully now, so what I offer here are two pointers for further conversation about this issue. One is positive, the other cautionary, since I’ve noticed two common reactions to the idea of chaste couplehood—firstly, censorious condemnations from right-wing Christians, but also, over-enthusiasm from some young gay Christians.

          …………..I’d like to offer a note of caution about the danger of seeing chaste gay relationships as the solution to the problem of gay loneliness.

          I’ve been reluctant to write about this question before—even though it is frequently asked—because it seems to me that the classical idea of same-sex friendship, and not any kind of romantic couplehood, is the type of affection most severely devalued in our culture. Couplehood in general is perhaps already esteemed too much, and it is friendship which is most badly in need of being recovered and defended today. With some irony, it is chaste friendship that has become, in our day, “the love that dare not speak its name.”

          Most young gay Christians have grown up bombarded with cultural messages telling them they can only be happy if they have romance in their lives. When they turn to the Church for guidance, instead of offering a healthy corrective, they tend only to hear the same messages amplified and theologized.END QUOTE

          I would disagree with Aaron in that it’s not the teaching of the Church or Pope Benedict XVI but the reading of a bunch modern novelties into their work that ignores tradition.

          At this point I am convinced there is no value in Deacon Russell’s criticism of the SF writings. I don’t believe his is an accurate critique of their views.

          • Jim Russell

            Fair enough, you’re not convinced. There is a doorway in the comboxes marked “exit,” which you are quite free to use, right? 🙂 As to C. West, are you attempting guilt by association? Do you also find “fishy” all the cardinals, bishops, other clergy, and lay people who affirm the orthodoxy of what someone like West teaches?

            • James of Clan Scott

              I just find it a bit odd that West whose views have been critiqued if not severely condemned by none other then a theologian of the stature & competence of Alice Von Hildebrand gets a pass from you but the SF kids who are not professing a theology & deny competence to do so are condemned by you as some sort of pastoral threat and promoters of anti-Catholic teaching?

              Don’t you think that is a little inconsistent?

              Plus you clearly are not presenting their views accurately IMHO. I could believe you or I can believe my own eyes.

              You where asked by BCS to give documentation and so far it’s a bust.

              At best any ideas they throw out there are experimental and tentative. You are treating it like a full blown developed theological and philosophical position.

              >Fair enough, you’re not convinced. There is a doorway in the comboxes marked “exit,” which you are quite free to use, right? 🙂

              So does this mean you cannot be challenged or critiqued? But the SF kids are fair game eh?

              >Do you also find “fishy” all the cardinals, bishops, other clergy, and lay people who affirm the orthodoxy of what someone like West teaches?

              Rather I find you a bit inconsistent.

              • Jim Russell

                Actually, West, never got “a pass” from me. I thoroughly examined the claims made against him in comparison to his own work and found his work to be just fine and the claims to be deeply overwrought.

                As to the new homophiles, given their consensus that they are seeking to rehabilitate the Church’s concept of ‘eros’, I think my critique of their positions is both fair and consistent. And I’m okay with being challenged–I try to make myself available in the comboxes for just such a possibility.

                As to your now-ongoing claims that contradict Pope Benedict’s magisterium on “eros,” all I can do is continue to point out that he means what he says, literally, about eros existing as the “gift of love between a man and a woman,” a Catholic view that stands in *contrast* to other non-biblical views on eros that he cites in Deus Caritas Est.

                • James of Clan Scott

                  >Actually, West, never got “a pass” from me. I thoroughly examined the claims made against him in comparison to his own work and found his work to be just fine and the claims to be deeply overwrought.

                  Which is so far where I stand on your claims made against the SF crowd.

                  Quote”he classical idea of same-sex friendship, and not any kind of romantic couplehood, is the type of affection most severely devalued in our culture. Couplehood in general is perhaps already esteemed too much, and it is friendship which is most badly in need of being recovered and defended today.”

                  So we are not talking about a chaste “romance” between persons of the same gender. So what is the problem.

                  >As to the new homophiles, given their consensus that they are seeking to rehabilitate the Church’s concept of ‘eros’, I think my critique of their positions is both fair and consistent. And I’m okay with being challenged–I try to make myself available in the comboxes for just such a possibility.

                  Very well. You will be critiqued so that gives me comfort. But so far I don’t trust your claims about their views and have more than once found contradictions between what you claimed and what they wrote.

                  >As to your now-ongoing claims that contradict Pope Benedict’s magisterium on “eros,” all I can do is continue to point out that he means what he says, literally, about eros existing as the “gift of love between a man and a woman,” a Catholic view that stands in *contrast* to other non-biblical views on eros that he cites in Deus Caritas Est.

                  Deacon your grave problem is you don’t listen or you are fighting the wrong battle.

                  My contention is against your misreading of Benedict on Divine Eros not human Eros. I maintain Divine Eros is not a literal term. It is clearly a metaphorical term and nothing Benedict says contradicts me. However I believe interpreting it as literal clearly contradicts the teaching of the Church and classic Scholastic ism.

                  • Jim Russell

                    You’re correct–I framed your concern incorrectly. But here is the irony, something I’ve been meaning to mention: If we presume for argument’s sake that you’re correct and that there is *no* “eros” to be found in Divine Love, then you’d have to admit that this really short-circuits the claims made about *same-sex-eros* among the new homophiles, since the only legit form of *human* eros is man-woman, according to the Church. In fact, among the new-homophile claims is the claim that same-sex eros is legit *because* of its parallels to God’s own eros for us. So, even if I conceded your view was correct, it would weaken support for the claims being made regarding legitimate same-sex eros.

                    • James of Clan Scott

                      >You’re correct–I framed your concern incorrectly. But here is the irony, something I’ve been meaning to mention: If we presume for argument’s sake that you’re correct and that there is *no* “eros” to be found in Divine Love,

                      Eros is a metaphor for the strength and power of God’s love since Eros is passionate desire thus it is a strong desire in humans. But God has no emotions or passions as that would violate the dogma of the Divine Immutability. God’s Love in essence is clearly Agape. In the sense of Christian Platonism (& Benedict is an Augustinian who in turn was a Christian neo-Platonist) all things that exist reflect something in the One. But God can’t literally have passionate love. God has no needs towards His creatures. Eros can only be a metaphor like “Christ is the door”. Benedict himself says in the letter you cited that the marriage imagery between God and Israel is metaphorical. The natural interpretation here is inescapable.

                      >then you’d have to admit that this really short-circuits the claims made about *same-sex-eros* among the new homophiles,

                      I have no proof they are using it in the sense you are using it & I don’t trust in your ability to tell me. I’m a Traditional Thomist you think we understand Being and analogy in the same way as the Scotus?

                      > since the only legit form of *human* eros is man-woman, according to the Church. In fact, among the new-homophile claims is the claim that same-sex eros is legit *because* of its parallels to God’s own eros for us. So, even if I conceded your view was correct, it would weaken support for the claims being made regarding legitimate same-sex eros.

                      Since they repeatedly deny the legitimacy of cultivating sexual desire for members of their own gender, then however they understand Eros to be, one thing we can conclude is that it is non-sexual. Just as God’s relation to Israel is non-sexual & the relations between the Persons of the Trinity is non-sexual. Granted the act of sex was created to image these unions but as Augustine said to say within God the relations of the Trinity are sexual or God’s relation to Israel is sexual is to state something vulgar and impious.

                      This is the classic theological paradox. We are in some sense like God but God is nothing like us.

        • Jim Russell

          And I see that as an erroneous claim. I have dealt with eros and with the “chaste gay couple” concept in past articles here and elsewhere. As to responding directly to Spiritual Friendship posts, I am viewed largely as “persona non grata” in the comboxes there. I have not *tried* to engage the scope of the whole “project” in this article, which would be untenable. Rather, I’ve focused on a comparison between the three claims (which are *entirely* substantiated in the public work of the new homophiles) and the genuine context of spiritual friendship as articulated in the work of St. Aelred of Rievaulx. I believe I’ve adequately demonstrated that approving of same-sex eros, affirming chaste-gay-couples, and supporting “vowed friendships” all run contrary to the very core of St. Aelred’s work.

          • BCSWowbagger

            “(which are *entirely* substantiated in the public work of the new homophiles)”

            It is your *responsibility*, as a columnist, to substantiate it yourself. Don’t tell me to go Google it and draw my own conclusions — you *must* draw those links yourself, or you’re engaging in simple detraction.

            I’ve lately been responding to critics of the Sad Puppy ballot. This is an obscure debate from the realm of speculative fiction, so I’ll quickly summarize if you haven’t encountered it: the Hugo Awards are Sci-Fi’s most important award, and they are nominated and awarded by popular vote. Several conservative-leaning people have been unhappy with the nominees in recent years, for various reasons, so they organized a voting slate (called the “Sad Puppies slate”, for obscure reasons) with choices more to their taste. Many people who don’t usually vote ended up voting for that slate, and they ended up nearly sweeping the nominations. This made a lot of people — less conservative people — very angry.

            Since then, umpteen angry (liberal) columnists, in publications from io9 to Entertainment Weekly, have written that the Sad Puppies are racist, sexist white men who are angry, not about the content of the stories that have been nominated in recent years, but about the color of the skin of the authors of those stories. This allows them (and their sympathetic readers) to dismiss the Sad Puppies out-of-hand as backwards bigots. When challenged on their baseless, unevidenced assertions, these columnists invariably say some variation on what you just said: “Our claims are entirely substantiated in the public writings of the Sad Puppies.” The problem is, they’re wrong. There *is* some mention of race and racism in the posts of the Sad Puppy organizers, but only in the context of how “message fiction” has too much influence in the genre. The slate actually includes a variety of women, minorities, and minority women — the SP organizers included any stories they thought deserved it.

            The laziness and irresponsibility of these columnists — who claim their assertions can be easily substantiated but pointedly fail, then refuse, to substantiate them — has led to a great deal of unjust harassment of the Sad Puppies organizers and their supporters, as angry Twitter mobs deride them as racist evil bigots (as angry Twitter mobs do). On the Internet, if you say something, most people are going to believe you, even if your belief is not well-justified or even demonstrably false. This places a very grave responsibility on those who would presume to say things on the Internet, especially under a byline on a platform with thousands of pageviews. It is *unethical* to make bald assertions of the sort you did in the article, *even if* you are eventually able to prove (way down here, buried in the comments) that your assertions are true.

            To be clear, I don’t believe that you *can* prove it, but it’s impossible for me to so much as mount a defense of the Side B people, because your case against them amounts to a lot of vague insinuations. (Never trust an argument that puts words in the other side’s mouth!)

            I know very little about you, but, given what I’m seeing here, I can’t say I’m surprised you’re unpopular in the SF comboxes.

            “I believe I’ve adequately demonstrated that approving of same-sex eros, affirming chaste-gay-couples, and supporting ‘vowed friendships’ all run contrary to the very core of St. Aelred’s work.”

            I believe you’ve adequately demonstrated that your daring extrapolation of St. Aelred’s work excludes these things, yes. It’s tough to make claims about the “core” of someone’s work on the strength of a three short quotes and a redacted block quote.

            (As it happens, I agree with the middle third of your argument as a matter of logic, but I don’t think you demonstrate that your/our thinking on that point is rooted in *Aelred* very well at all.)

            • Jim Russell

              You have referenced “side B” twice–this suggests that you are perhaps familiar with the Gay Christian Network?

              As it is, my task is more focused than you might think: I’m seeking to clarify how folks ought to understand these issues from an authentically Catholic context–at about 1200 words at a time, in a post like this one. While I can appreciate your desire for even more evidence and even more diligence, my task as is to articulate these truths to the best of my ability. I can’t say everything at once.

              So, if you want to address things I *have* stated (rather than what I haven’t said immediately, here, in this article), I’d welcome your comments.

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