Same-sex attraction

gay priesthood

The Priesthood of the Transgendered

There was always something Disneyesque about the 1980s preachers of the prosperity gospel. Of course there was no corpus on their cross, but that sacrilege had been achieved by earlier versions of Protestantism. What was really galling about the perpetually smiling televangelists was their soft-lens obliteration of the cross, which had at least remained a [...]

The Traumatic Foundation of Male Homosexuality

As a psychologist treating homosexually oriented men, I’ve watched with dismay as the LGBT movement has convinced the world that “gay” requires a revised understanding of the human person. The psychological profession is much to blame for this shift. Once, it was generally agreed that normality is “that which functions in accordance with its design.” [...]

Do We Understand the Homosexual Inclination?

“An essential dimension of authentic pastoral care is the identification of causes of confusion regarding the Church's teaching.” Thus begins an early paragraph (no. 4) of the pivotal 1986 CDF “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons.” Said another way, authentic love and authentic freedom can only [...]

Let’s Explain Rather than Eject the Church’s Language

The Church in recent decades has found itself in an internal discussion about how best to express its belief about sexual morality, and these conversations have filtered into the episcopate as well. Fr. Gerald E. Murray raises some recent examples in an essay at The Catholic Thing. In an interview with America magazine this summer, [...]

Reasoned Analysis vs. Blah, Blah, Sneer, and Blah

That is the argument today on the question of homosexuality and transgenderism. On the one side there is reasoned argument, science, social science, analysis. On the other, nothing much more than mockery, slander, laughter, and dismissal. Sure, there are studies on the other side, many of them shoddy and ideological, and others that actually back [...]

Why Homosexuality is a Natural Law Issue

Melinda Selmys, familiar to the readers of Crisis as a leading voice among the gay Christian movement, recently wrote an essay she called “10 Reasons Why Homosexuality is Not a Natural Law Issue.” Her basic premise is “that trying to argue against homosexuality from a natural law point of view in contemporary discourse is about [...]

The Unspoken Tragedy of the Orlando Massacre

In responding to the Orlando massacre at a same-sex nightclub, Bishop Robert Lynch of the Diocese of St. Petersburg found religion, including Catholicism, responsible for the slaughter. He wrote, “sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people.” And he is right [...]

The Spiritual Friends and Amoris Laetitia

By the deafening silence, one can assume the “Spiritual Friends” are disappointed by the Holy Father’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, at least as related to their favorite topic, same-sex attraction. No doubt their hopes were high when the controversial interim report was produced at the Extraordinary Synod in the Fall of 2014. It was as [...]

Why Attractions and Emotions Become “Identities”

For years to come, a range of experts and armchair analysts will likely argue about the origins of same-sex attraction and “gender” confusion and to what extent either counts as a psychological disorder. But there is one aspect of the LGBTQ(etc.) phenomenon that, it seems to me, is beyond dispute: basing identity on attractions and [...]

Their Sexual Proclivities Are Killing Them

It is clear from their relatively tiny numbers—only a few million in a total population of 318,000,000—that men who have sex with men (MSM)* are not “everywhere” as MSM insist they are. It is also clear from their sexual activities, particularly related to anal sex, that their sexual practices also set them apart from the [...]

The Bob Spitzer I Knew

When I opened the newspaper a couple of days after Christmas, I was surprised by a familiar face in the obituaries section: psychiatrist Robert Spitzer. The name brought back a flood of bittersweet personal memories. I had learned something about human nature from Bob Spitzer, and also about politics as they play out behind the [...]

50 Shades of Gay

The Sexual Revolution was supposed to liberate us from sexual stereotypes. In fact, we have replaced the old stereotypes of gay men with new and even more rigid stereotypes. Perhaps some people regard the new view of gay as more positive and affirming than the old view. But the New Gay Man is no less [...]

Is Homosexuality a Psychological Disorder?

“Is homosexuality a psychological disorder? And could it be cured?” These are the “dead-horse” questions that blogger Melinda Selmys mentions as she takes exception to the substance of a Crisis Magazine article on homosexuality—Mark Latkovic’s “Using Modern Science to Treat Homosexuality.” Selmys considers this question—“homosexuality as mental illness”—as tantamount to a lifeless horse brought back [...]

Using Modern Science to Treat Homosexuality

Homosexuality is an issue that has been shaped by Western values, and is now front-and-center in almost every country and culture around the world, especially those societies influenced by secular humanism. But even more traditional societies, such as those in Africa, have not gone unaffected by it, given how social media shrinks our globe. In [...]

Homosexuality Is Not Sexuality

Events of recent memory have left my head spinning in disbelief—“Caitlyn," same-sex so-called "marriage," three women "marrying" in South America, and, yes, "gay Catholics" and "chaste gay couples." With me, you may wonder how all this has emerged in a short few decades of social upheaval. I may have an answer: Society has constructed an [...]

Stepping Forward in Courage

Rilene, Paul, and I went to Rome to give our testimonies at a conference and resource event titled “Living the Truth in Love.”  This conference was scheduled two days prior to the start of the Synod, and was co-sponsored by Courage International, Ignatius Press, and the Napa Institute as a way to begin a dialogue [...]

Is the Homosexual Tendency a Complex Reality?

The title of this essay asks a question drawn from the literature of a recently concluded conference in Rome. This conference—entitled “Living the Truth in Love”—intended to probe “the complex reality of homosexual tendencies.” The conference was sponsored by Ignatius Press and Courage, an international organization that offers spiritual support to persons with homosexual tendencies. [...]

Spiritual Friends on Chastity, Romance, and Freudian “Sublimation”

A half-dozen of the usually non-monolithic Spiritual Friends have joined forces in an educational project that, unfortunately, will probably bring more confusion than clarity to Catholics seeking to understand what the Church has to say about same-sex attraction. The website CatholicSexuality.com—a chastity-education project from a Yonkers, New York group called the St. Augustine Foundation—invites people [...]

A Word of Caution for the Spiritual Friends

Melinda Selmys thinks that I have entirely missed the point of Spiritual Friendship, the blog to which she contributes, along with several other same-sex attracted Christians. Her response to my essay (found in this now-available volume and profiled here by Austin Ruse) declares that I am quite wrong to suppose that she, or her fellow [...]

An Intellectual Challenge to the Spiritual Friends

Two years ago I began to notice regular columns in First Things from those who identified as homosexual, chaste and supportive of Church teaching on marriage and human sexuality. It became immediately clear there was a movement afoot, one that I hadn’t noticed nor had anyone else outside of a small bubble, but that it [...]

Reflections Inspired by the Courage Conference in Detroit

Modern times being what they are, it can be quite difficult to have a civil, Catholic discussion of same-sex attraction. People who experience it are sometimes reluctant to speak out about their experiences, which is understandable considering that those who do speak open themselves to criticism from many directions. For those who are not same-sex [...]

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