Homosexuality, Sin and the Children of God
By John Mallon
© 2005 by John Mallon
If there is anything I want to communicate through my work, articles and so forth, it is that being Catholic is not an adjunct, add-on, or category in our lives. It is everything. The First Commandment is "Thou shalt love the Lord your God with all you heart mind and strength. This is what being Catholic is all about. We are more than simply followers of Jesus Christ, we are part of Him--His Bride--His Body.
If we are married and put being liberal, conservative or food, alcohol, drugs, or career ahead of our marriage it will likely fall apart.
Whatever in our lives we put ahead of Christ will likely kill us and drive us crazy first. C.S. Lewis writes beautifully about this in his book The Four Loves and his essay, "On First and Second Things," in the book God in the Dock. St. Augustine said, "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee."
What I am leading up to with all this is the latest flurry in the news over reports that Pope Benedict XVI has signed a document that will potentially ban the ordination of homosexuals to the priesthood. The news is filled with references to "gay" priests, including men identifying themselves as "gay priests."
This is particularly disturbing because all Christians are called to find their identity in Christ without qualifiers, hyphenation or adjectives. This is true for all of us but in a particular way for priests who are called to be an alter Christus--another Christ.
The Catholic Church sees all people as children of God and as such, due to Adam's Fall we all have to struggle with sin. Sin, both Original Sin and our own personal sins bring disorder into our lives and even our very beings.
To struggle with same-sex attractions is not the same as being "gay." To accept the term "gay" implies an acceptance of an ideology--the gay agenda, which rejects Catholic teaching on sexual morality. In this the "gay agenda" is hand-in-hand with the abortion agenda which attacks the family as the basic unit of society and denies the sinfulness of sexual behavior outside of marriage.
Though it is often forgotten--or neglected--these two sins also represent two of the four sins described in Scripture as sins that cry out to God for vengeance: sodomy and murder of the innocent. The fact that this sounds so harsh to modern ears indicates how far from God we have slid down the slippery slope.
This is not to place certain people under condemnation; all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. It does, however, call for the serious Christian to seek to understand and obey these teachings through prayer and study. Both of these sins, unchecked, have the power to destroy a society in a unique way. Both involve the misuse of sex in a slovenly and even recreational way which leads to dissolution and addiction. It makes an idol out of sex and necessarily cuts it off from God's purposes for procreation (here we see the seriousness of the sin of contraception). We see a moral chaos all around us that is reminiscent of St. Paul's description of the Pagans of his day recorded in Romans 1: 18-32. Read it!
I have had homosexual friends say to me, "Your Church says I'm intrinsically evil!" I say, "No it doesn't. It says certain behaviors are intrinsically evil. It says the homosexual condition is intrinsically disordered. Welcome to the club. All of us have to deal with the disorder of sin in our hearts and the evil of sin in actions. What it comes down to is where you find your identity: Do you reduce your entire God-given identity to sexuality, or are you a child of God like everyone else, who must struggle with sin in your life and heavy seemingly unfair and heavy crosses in this life on the road to Paradise?"
The essence of this journey is not identifying ourselves with what is opposed to God, but surrendering ourselves to His mercy and care, especially what is too heavy for us, and repenting when we stumble and staying the course.
Note: Courage, the Catholic Apostolate for persons with same-sex attractions seeking to live according to their Catholic faith may be found at: http://couragerc.net.
John Mallon is Contributing Editor of Inside the Vatican magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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