"Homosexuals Are Called to Chastity"

by

Bryan P. Timby

I read with interest the article "Like the Silence Before the Holocaust" by Dave Clark (February issue) and am bewildered by his comment: "One standard that's bending for Catholics is the issue of special rights for homosexuals." As a Roman Catholic priest who is pastor of a large congregation and serves as a director of continuing education for our clergy, I would like to know Mr. Clark's source for such a statement.

It has been the constant and consistent teaching of the Catholic Church to love sinners and hate the sins they commit while calling the sinner to conversion. It is the mission of the Catholic Church to proclaim the revealed Truth of God that is, by its very nature, timeless and changeless. What the Catholic Church teaches about homosexuality can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, numbers 2357-2359, [which include these statements]:

"Basing itself on sacred Scripture, which represent homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity (Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10), tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered'…and…contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life.... Under no circumstances can they be approved."

"The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition….They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity….Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection."

This is not a bending of the truth or the teaching regarding homosexuality that the Church has proclaimed through two millennia. Accepting homosexual men and women with respect, compassion and sensitivity does not mean the Church accepts the sin of their sexual conduct. But the gospel will never be preached to the sinner unless they are gathered together for the sermon/homily.

The call of every homosexual is the same call given to every single man and woman: chastity for the glory of God. Yes, I am sure the struggle is difficult for many…. Preaching the truth is hard on the hearts of many, and they will wander again. But, like the Hound of Heaven, the Church pursues sinners.

Somehow, I think this is far from an issue that is "bending for Catholics" but rather, standing firm in the power of the cross.

Note: This letter was shortened by the editor to a permissible length.