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A interesting and far broader treatment of the whole Gay Marriage issue by Leon Suprenant at CUFBlog:

I’ve been reading a book by award-winning Catholic journalist Dale O’Leary entitled One Man, One Woman: A Catholic’s Guide to Defending Marriage (Sophia, 2007). For many years O’Leary has been an internationally known advocate of family rights, and in this volume she brings her considerable talent to bear on the issue of “gay marriage,” and in doing so she charitable and accessibly addresses the issue of same-sex attractions from the standpoint of various perspectives and disciplines. I strongly recommend this book, as this is one of the defining moral challenges of our time.

Today, I would like to touch upon but one aspect of the issue, namely how the crucial distinction between the “sin” and the “sinner” in Catholic moral teaching aids our understanding and pastoral approach in this area.

In the context of homosexuality, we affirm the dignity of the person with same-sex attractions and the need to accept such persons with “respect, compassion, and sensitivity” (Catechism, no. 2358). At the same time, however, we recognize that homosexual liaisons are “acts of grave depravity” and “intrinsically disordered” (Catechism, no. 2357). This distinction between the person with same-sex attractions and homosexual acts is vitally important and must be patiently communicated to our contemporaries.

But what about the condition itself, the “inclination” or “tendency” or “orientation” to commit such acts? How does that fit in?

The most definitive teaching on this subject is found in The Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (1986), published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). This document notes that there has been an overly benign interpretation given to the homosexual condition itself, leading some commentators to adopt the error that the condition is neutral or even good. In response, the CDF says that while the homosexual condition itself is not a sin, it “is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder” (no. 3).

One might ask, “So long as we love the sinner and hate the sin, what difference does it make whether we consider the condition itself to be ‘neutral’ or ‘good’ or even an ‘objective disorder’?”

It makes all the difference in the world.


No comments on this one, folks. Just posting if for the record.



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