My comment on an intellectual Catholic site:
Such a disheartening conversation. But predictably so.
After years of struggling with this issue for myself, I came to the
conclusion that the Church could never condone homosexual action without
unraveling the fundamental natural law axiom which holds together all
of its sexual morals: only sexual intercourse between a married man and
woman, open to procreation, accords with human nature. Everything else,
be it outside or against nature, is sinful. Whether it was sex with a
stranger or the friendly lovemaking of devoted longtime companions is
virtually immaterial. End of story. Make one exception and the cloth
In an ideal Catholic world, there would only be two kinds of sexually virtuous people: married people and celibate people.
Speculation as to the origins of sexual orientation, (even its
existence), its relative "pathology" according to current fields of
study, its cultural forms, the sanity or insanity of "gay culture", the
particulars of given relationship, whether homosexuality constitutes
identity or is just one more disordered desire, the intentions of the
participants...pro or con...all these things are really not that
important to the Catholic discussion.
As well, the job of the Church, IMHO, has been to safeguard and promote
sacramental marriage-and-family. Again, nothing else on the human erotic
horizon is of positive interest outside that role.
To Catholic "gay" people and those who would like the Church to be
different, I would say this: Forget it. Not gonna happen. Either A. try
to conform, in single chastity, B. ignore the rules, based on your own
"conscience", and try to belong as best you can or C. say farewell and
To the Church as Teacher, I would say this: I know that you cannot, are
incapable of, approving of sex between men or between women. I get it
and I understand the logic. But what you are asking people of homosexual
orientation to do is not simply to constrain yet one more disordered
desire like greed or envy, but to accept that if and when they come to
love another human being (of their own sex), and as part of that love
arises the desire for physical communion, then they must accept that
their hunger for loving bodily connection is perverse, that a crucial
part of their ability to love is defective and shameful. And that what
they perceive as a gift is actually a form of violence.
This is quite unlike the message you give to men and women, whose
combination of eros and friendship is for the other sex. The chastity
you require of them is to channel something very much constitutive of
their identity as people capable of enacting a Sacrament not only with
heart, mind and vow, but with flesh. You never tell them to avoid being
defined by their opposite-sex desire because it is an implied part of
their divinely ordained manhood and womanhood, the stuff of the
Whether your words are harsh and cruel, or whether they are kind and
compassionate, the situation remains basically unchanged: to accept the
teaching, a homosexual man or woman must accept that what is potentially
sacramental in others, the sacredness of which moral rules protect, is
in them a counterfeit perversion and disorder, which the same rules must
It really will not do to make male-female sexual desire and activity a
part of a sacramental vocation, a divine calling, and then suggest that
same-sex desire and activity is merely an unfortunate hunger that ought
not become part of personal identity, as if it were a tic or bad habit
of speech. Especially if the oft-overpraised and under-valued phenomenon
of personal experience is factored into the mix.
This will not change the Church's mind. It cannot. It is not the
Church's job to accommodate human nature where both Nature and Sacrament
combine against it. But perhaps it might let some of those who share
the Church's mind get a glimpse as to why some of those who love "their
own kind" took option C.