He holds a Ph. For over 28 years, he served as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. You can download a PDF version of this page. Begun in in San Diego under the leadership of Fr. As an independent not-for-profit group, it has chapters located throughout the United States. In local chapters, we worship openly with other LGBT and supportive Catholics, socialize, share personal and spiritual concerns, and work together on educational and justice issues. Members gather at periodic regional meetings and biennial national conventions.
In the mids, the Vatican recognized the difference between being homosexual and engaging in homogenital same-sex acts. But just as it is wrong for unmarried heterosexuals to engage in Roman catholicism and homosexuality in christianity, so, too, homogenital acts are wrong.
The Church also teaches understanding and compassion toward gay and lesbian people.
Homosexuals, like everyone else, should not suffer from prejudice against their basic human rights. They have a right to respect, friendship, and justice. They should have an active role in the Christian community. Inthe U.
Catholic Bishops published Always Our Children: All Catholic sexual ethics rests on this principle: For this very same reason, Catholic teaching forbids contraception, masturbation, and pre-marital and extra-marital sex as well as homogenital acts. The Vatican insists that procreation pertains to the very nature of human sexuality. That is, the Church presents this teaching as natural law, the ordering which
Roman catholicism and homosexuality in christianity Creator built into the universe.
Unlike some other Christian churches, the Catholic Church does not rest its teaching on the Bible alone. But the Catholic Church does appeal to the Bible to support its teaching about natural law. Church documents claim that, from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible consistently opposes homogenital acts.
However, contemporary Bible scholars raise many questions about the matter. Read within their own historical and cultural contexts, the Bible texts Roman catholicism and homosexuality in christianity not address adult, loving homosexual relations as we understand them today. It is not easy to summarize the body of research on homosexuality in the Bible, but these are the interpretations that some scholars are proposing:.
Recent historical scholarship discredits that claim. Although one could find some opposing voice in every century, there was no common opposition to homosexuality in Christian Europe until the late 12th century except for a period around the collapse of the Roman Empire. Indeed, for nearly two centuries after Christianity had become the state religion, Christian emperors in Eastern cities not only tolerated but actually taxed gay prostitution. By the 9th century, almost every area in Christian Europe had local law codes, including detailed sections on sexual offenses; none outside of Spain forbade homogenital acts.
A body of gay literature was standard discussion material at courses in the medieval universities where clerics were educated.
Opposition to homosexuality, as in Augustine and Chrysostom, rested on reasons discredited today: All-out Christian opposition to homosexuality arose at a time when medieval society first began to oppress many minority groups: Jews, heretics, the poor, usurers.
Besides appealing to Scripture and Tradition Church teaching through the centuriesthe Catholic approach to morality also relies heavily on human reasoning. The argument from natural law is a prime example.
Arguments from natural law are inconclusive because the nature of human sexuality is debated. Procreation is certainly one aspect of sexuality. Yet the Catholic Church allows
Roman catholicism and homosexuality in christianity between known sterile couples and sex between couples beyond child-bearing age.
Surely, the personal, not the biological, is the prime meaning of sex among human beings. Likewise, while some may condemn practicing homosexuals as Godless and sinful, contemporary lesbian and gay Christians recognize their self-acceptance as a graced moment and report that, since coming out, they are happier, healthier, and closer to other people and to God.
Official Catholic teaching requires that homosexual people abstain from sex. But the Catholic Church also teaches solemnly that people are obliged to form their conscience carefully and responsibly and to follow it as the bottom line in every moral decision. Neither Scripture nor Tradition nor natural law Roman catholicism and homosexuality in christianity nor human science nor personal experience convincingly supports official Catholic teaching about the immorality of homogenital acts.
Accordingly, and after much soul-searching, many gay and lesbian Catholics have formed consciences that differ from official Church teaching and have entered into homosexual relationships. In this respect they are exactly like heterosexual married Catholic couples who cannot accept Vatican teaching on contraception.
Certainly yes, not as a matter of public Church teaching but as a matter of conscience, as a matter of personal application of the whole of Catholic teaching to their particular case. One of those questions was homosexuality. A principal author of that document was Fr. According to Catholic teaching, wrong and sin are not the same thing. Wrong is harm, disorder, destruction; it is in the objective or external world.
Sin is self-distancing from God; it is in the heart. Sin is more a general attitude than any particular action. We sin when we deliberately do what we
Roman catholicism and homosexuality in christianity is wrong.
Then in our hearts we opt for evil. Then we move away from goodness and from God, who is good. It may well be that what you do is not wrong at all.
But if you think it is and you do it anyway, well, you are corrupt. Or what you do may really be wrong. You may be uninformed, naive, or stupid, and even dangerous, but unless you neglected to inform yourself, you are not sinful. The Church teaches right and wrong but never says who is a sinner. Only God knows our hearts. Many homosexual people simply cannot believe that gay sex is wrong. Then they need not confess what is not sin, and they may participate in the Sacraments of the Church.
Perhaps just addressing homosexuality openly and fully would be enough to provoke an official reaction. Roman catholicism and homosexuality in christianity the history is more complicated. Surely the Vatican had Roman catholicism and homosexuality in christianity in mind. And many found the letter harsh and uninformed.
In national convention inDignityUSA declared that it believes lesbian and gay people may indeed engage in loving, life-giving, and life-affirming sex, always in an ethically responsible and unselfish way. Dignity proclaimed publicly what Church teaching does allow, but only in the privacy of conscience. Following these events, bishops began evicting local chapters for rejecting Church teaching and, most importantly, for opposing ecclesiastical authority.
However, a few chapters continue to meet in Catholic facilities. Dignity felt called to a prophetic stance, which, simply said, is to be honest about the matter. After nearly twenty years of ministering to hurting Catholics, Dignity members were aware of the harm that the Church's repeated condemnation of homosexuality does to individuals.
One statement from a pope or bishop can throw devout gay Catholics back into guilt and self-deprecation that they may have spent years trying to overcome. According to a study conducted by the U. Department of Health and Human Services, the rate of attempted suicide among gay and lesbian adolescents is three to four times higher than that among straight adolescents.
According to some estimates, a homosexual person is harassed or assaulted in the USA about every 90 seconds. Insensitive church pronouncements only aggravate these conditions. In contrast, Dignity wanted to go on record as a group of homosexual but self-affirming and practicing Catholics.
And Dignity wanted therefore to give hope to other gay and lesbian Catholics.