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Christian Article

Instruction on Controversial Questions: Homosexuality
by Ronald L. Conte Jr. 
June 14, 2005

1. Introduction

Homosexuality is a disorder; homosexual sexual acts are grave sins. Homosexuality is directly and irreconcilably opposed to God's will for humanity and for the human person. A homosexual orientation is a grave moral disorder within the human person. This disorder is not part of God's plan for the human race; it is a result of the sinfulness of the individual and of groups of individuals. This disorder is not a part of human nature; it is an effect of serious sin on human nature. Anyone who has a homosexual orientation has a severely damaged human nature.

While a homosexual orientation itself is not a sin, it is a result of serious sin, and anyone who acts according to a homosexual orientation sins. Also, a homosexual orientation cannot possibly be present in anyone who has avoided all objective mortal sin in their life. Anyone who has a homosexual orientation has certainly committed sins that have contributed to this effect on their human nature.

Since the human person is often influenced by other individuals, and by society in general, some of the blame for this state can be placed upon other individuals, groups of individuals, and society in general. However, it is never the case that a person with a homosexual orientation is without any personal culpability. And any willful desires, thoughts, and actions taken by such an individual, in response to his or her own homosexual orientation, are certainly personal sins for which that individual is culpable.

The sinful secular society that surrounds us teaches many false teachings, in contradiction to Tradition, Scripture, and the Magisterium. The true disciples of Christ will listen to the voice of the Church and ignore the voice of strangers. The Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, teaches that homosexual acts are always gravely immoral and that the homosexual orientation is a serious moral disorder within the human person. The Church has always taught that this disorder is contrary to God's will and to God's plan. Do not be led astray by the pervasive false teachings of modern society.

2. Are some individuals born with a homosexual orientation? Could this orientation be genetic, not chosen?

No one is born a homosexual, nor is there a gene or set of genes that makes someone into a homosexual. This is certain because each human person has free will. Our genetics and other factors with which we are born can never take away or nullify free will. And any act that is freely chosen by a human person is a result of free will, not birth or genetics. Homosexual acts, as well as every other kind of serious sin, are acts of the free will. Thus, these acts are sins for which each is personally responsible. One cannot evade personal responsibility for freely chosen actions by blaming genetics.

Some might argue that the orientation itself, as opposed to willful acts, is not freely chosen. However, the Church teaches that homosexuality is contrary to the will of God; therefore, it cannot be a part of the human nature created by God. Also, no one can end up with a homosexual orientation without freely choosing to commit sins that are objectively and gravely immoral. Therefore, human nature itself, including genetics and whatever else constitutes the human person, cannot be said to be the cause of a homosexual orientation. Rather, it is the sins of the individual, and the influence of other persons and of a sinful society that causes this disorder.

Do genetic factors play any role in forming a homosexual orientation? If a person is raised in the true Christian faith, and if they adhere to that faith, avoiding all objective mortal sin, then, regardless of their genetics, they will not have a homosexual orientation. If a person is raised apart from true faith, in a sinful society filled with false teachings and harmful ideas, and if they commit objective mortal sins, such a person might be influenced, firstly by their own sins, secondly by a sinful society, and lastly by other factors, towards a homosexual orientation. But such a result is not determinate, even for persons who are very sinful, who live in a very sinful society, and who have other such factors.

3. Is homosexual orientation a matter of degree, so that anyone could be said to have this to some degree?

No. Human nature itself is created by God and the homosexual orientation is directly contrary and irreconcilable with the will and plan of God. Therefore, human nature cannot be said to have a natural or inherent homosexual orientation, even to a small degree.

Human nature is damaged by original sin. The damage is that we are not conceived with sanctifying grace present in our souls and that our physical human nature has a tendency towards selfishness called concupiscence. However, original sin by itself does not damage human nature so severely as to result in the grave moral disorder of a homosexual orientation. Such severe damage to human nature cannot occur in any individual without objective mortal sins by that individual, and usually also with the influence of the mortal sins of other persons. Sin damages human nature; numerous mortal sins damage human nature severely. Sometimes the result of this severe damage is a homosexual orientation.

The human soul is created by God. The human race is also God's creation. God did not create human nature such that it would have a sexual orientation that is completely incompatible with God's will. Homosexuality is a grave moral disorder. Our belief that God created us leads us to the inevitable conclusion that homosexuality is not present, even to a small degree, in each and every person, nor in most persons, but only in a few whose human nature has been severely damaged by their own sins and the sins of others.

4. What if someone with a homosexual orientation does not commit homosexual acts and lives chastely?

First, it must be observed that the vast majority of persons with a homosexual orientation do not even try to live a chaste life. Such unrepentant homosexuals are committing objective mortal sins. If some of these call themselves Christian or Catholic, they are also in a state of heresy, because they do not believe the teaching of Tradition, Scripture, and the Magisterium that homosexual acts are a serious moral evil. Anyone who claims that prayer or holiness or faith or true spiritual love is in any way compatible with homosexual acts or with a homosexual orientation is a liar and a heretic. Anathema sit.

Second, any person who has always lived a chaste and prayerful life could not possibly have been so damaged in his or her human nature as to end up with a homosexual orientation. A prayerful chaste life blesses human nature, preventing such severe damage from ever occurring, despite original sin and the sins of society. Anyone who claims to have always lived chastely and prayerfully, and who claims to have a homosexual orientation, is a liar.

Third, given the rare case of someone who has a homosexual orientation, admits his or her own responsibility and sinfulness, and who thereafter lives prayerfully and chastely, such a person would certainly be quickly turned from a homosexual orientation to a heterosexual orientation and towards God. Anyone who claims that they have repented and that they now live prayerfully and chastely, and who also claims to still have a homosexual orientation, is a liar, who has not sincerely and thoroughly repented, and who does not now live prayerfully and chastely.

5. Should we not hate the sin and love the sinner?

Yes, but some have used this expression to justify treating the unrepentant homosexual as if he or she were the same as a faithful member of the Church. We cannot welcome those who are unrepentant from serious sin into the Church and its Sacraments, as if they were the same as the repentant or as those who have not sinned seriously. Jesus Christ ate and drank with sinners, but He did so to teach them the truth and to bring them to repentance. It is not right to use the expression 'love the sinner' in order to justify ignoring a person's serious sins and in order to give them a place in the community of believers that they should not have.

And those who would not repent, Christ rejected, just as He rejected Herod the tetrarch (not saying even a word to him, Lk 23:9), just as He rejected those Pharisees and scribes who did not repent (Mt 23), just as He rejected even one of the Twelve Apostles, Judas Iscariot. Of course, it was the decisions and actions of each of these that caused them to reject Christ themselves. He would have accepted any who repented sincerely and thoroughly, and who gave up their sins to live a chaste and prayerful life.

6. Can homosexuals be admitted to the Sacraments?

Most homosexuals are unrepentant, but a few might be repentant. Unrepentant homosexuals include (a) those who are sexually active with members of the same sex, and, (b) those who, whether or not they are sexually active, believe that homosexuality is not a disorder and that homosexual acts are not gravely immoral.

Unrepentant homosexuals should not be admitted to the Sacraments, nor given any positions of teaching or leadership in the Church (including Ordination) because they are (a) unrepentant from acts that are objective mortal sin, and/or, (b) they are in a state of heresy by rejecting definitive Biblical and Magisterial teachings that homosexuality and homosexual acts are always gravely and objectively immoral.

Repentant homosexuals are, today, clearly in the minority. However, suppose that a person (a) has repented from homosexual sins and received forgiveness in Confession, AND, (b) that he or she sincerely believes Church teaching that homosexuality is a disorder and that homosexual acts are always gravely immoral. Such a person should receive Communion and Confession regularly. For these Sacraments strengthen each devout recipient against all manner of sin. Such a person should continue to pray, to remain chaste, and to learn and practice the true faith, going to Confession regularly, and continuing to receive Communion as long as he is not conscious of any grave sin. After a long period of chaste and prayerful living, and many sincere Confessions and devout Communions, such a person might overcome his disordered orientation. But even if he does not, anyone who dies in a state of grace is saved. [This paragraph edited on 1 Oct. 2012]

However, it should also be said that most persons who identify themselves as homosexual, are not repentant and do not believe Church teaching against homosexuality. This is largely due to the influence of modern secular society, whose teachings are contrary to Church teaching on this subject. As long as such persons are unrepentant, they are unfit for every Sacrament, including Confession.

7. Can someone with a homosexual orientation receive the Sacrament of Ordination?

No. God required of the Israelites, when they presented a sacrifice to Him, that the lamb be without blemish. And God requires of the Church, when the community of believers present some few of its members to Him as a living sacrifice, that these ones be lambs without blemish. (Exodus 12:5, 29:1; Leviticus 1:3, 10; 3:1, etc.) Those who have a homosexual orientation, even if they have not acted upon it or have repented from such acts, still have a human nature that is severely damaged. As such they are very far from being lambs without blemish. Any Israelite who presented such a lamb to God as a sacrifice would have been severely rebuked by his family and neighbors, and by the Jewish priests and Levites, and rightly so. So then, those who accept homosexuals into seminaries, religious orders, or the clergy are rightly rebuked by God. And those who enter a seminary, or a religious order, or who receive Ordination, while having a homosexual orientation, are rightly condemned by God.

Those who have a homosexual orientation, or an orientation towards pedophilia, or who are strongly attached (or even addicted) to anything that is gravely immoral, are not suitable for the religious life, nor for ordination. Even if they are repentant from, or have never committed, such gravely immoral acts, they are not suitable for the religious life, nor for the Sacrament of Ordination, because of the Biblical teaching that the faithful should offer as a sacrifice to God only lambs without blemish.

The homosexual orientation (and other strong attachments to serious sin of any kind) is a fundamental type of damage to the human person that cannot be overlooked when evaluating someone for ordination, the religious life, or even any leadership or teaching role in the parish or diocese. For much the same reason, such persons are not fitting candidates to be lectors, nor extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, nor altar servers, nor to teach children, nor to teach adults, nor for any other position of leadership or teaching in the Church.

In addition, most persons with a homosexual orientation do not sincerely and fully accept Church teaching that the homosexual orientation is a disorder and that homosexual acts are always gravely immoral. Anyone who does not accept this teaching of the Church, or who obstinately doubts this teaching, is in a state of heresy. And heretics are automatically excommunicated under Canon Law.
    Canon 751: “Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

    Canon 1364 §1: “an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.”
The phrase 'latae sententiae' literally means a 'broad sentence' or 'wide judgment,' in other words, a sentence or judgment which is applied widely. In this context, it refers to a type of excommunication which is automatic. Such a sentence of excommunication is incurred “by the very commission of the offense,” (CCC 2272) and does not require the particular judgment of a case by competent authority.

Obviously, no heretic should be admitted to Ordination, or to the religious life, or to any position of authority, teaching, or leadership in the parish or the diocese. There are many heterosexuals who likewise do not believe Church teaching against homosexuality. Such persons are also automatically excommunicated and are unfit for Ordination, and for the religious life, and for positions of authority, leadership, and teaching.

8. Should we avoid discrimination or bias against homosexuals?

All human persons, even those in a state of mortal sin, have certain inalienable rights given to them by God. These rights include the right to life, to some kind of work that fits their abilities and their state of life, and to medical care, to food and water, and to other basic human necessities.

However, homosexuals do not have any additional rights, other than those that each and every human person has been given by God. There is, in truth, no such thing as 'gay rights.' Such persons, who are unrepentant from serious sexual sins, do not have a right to any position of teaching, leadership, or authority. Those who hold such positions should have a good moral character. This is true in the fields of politics, education, law enforcement, the military, medicine, psychology, and other similar fields. And this is not an unjust form of discrimination or bias, but merely the just discrimination between those fit for a position and those unfit.

Homosexuals do not have a right to a same-sex marriage, nor to the rights, benefits, and privileges that society accords to married persons. Marriage was ordained by God, who created both man and woman, and who gave them to each other as a holy living reflection of the relationship between Christ and His Church, and between God and His Creation. Marriage is not a human artifice with which human persons can do as they please. A same-sex marriage is not, in fact, a marriage but an offense against God, against the human race, and against Creation.

The presence of a significant percentage of persons with a homosexual orientation, within any group or society, damages that group and makes it more difficult for the larger group to take actions as a group that are pleasing to God. The presence of a significant percentage of persons who commit homosexual sins, within any group or society, is a severe detriment to the ability of that group to live according to justice and truth. Therefore, the presence of a large number of homosexuals within any group or society should not be treated as if it were acceptable, nor should homosexuals be allowed to have positions of influence whereby they might harm society by promoting false teachings about morality, or merely by the own bad example of their lives.

The presence, within any group whatsoever, of persons who adhere to such evil ways, undermines all morals and all true love, faith, and hope in that group. And, if any group has a significant percentage of these persons, the group cannot succeed in doing what is good and right, as it will constantly be undermined in good deeds by these persons who choose evil.

Therefore, any group, within society at large, that wishes to deny admission to homosexuals, or to any other persons known to commit objective mortal sins, should be allowed to deny admission, on the grounds that admitting such persons would damage the ability of the group to act as a group with morals, justice, and truth.

9. Are homosexual sins more sinful than heterosexual sins?

Yes. For several reasons. First, it should be understood that the only sexual act that is moral is natural sexual relations between a man and a woman who are married to each other.

Now, concerning heterosexual sexual sins, some are more serious than others. Natural sex before marriage is a sin against God's plan that sexual relations take place only within marriage. Adultery is a sin against both God's plan for marriage and against one's spouse and children. Unnatural sex within marriage is a sin against the natural order that God created in the human person, and it is a sin against procreation, and it is a sin against one's spouse. Unnatural sex outside of marriage is an even worse sin because it adds the sin against God's plan for marriage. Rape adds a sin against the body and the will of another human person, in addition to the other above-mentioned factors. The factors that make any sexual acts sinful, or more sinful, include one or more of the following (in no particular order):

a.) sex outside of marriage - offends against God's plan for marriage and marital relations.
b.) adultery - offends against one's own spouse and/or against the spouse of another person.
c.) contraceptive sex - offends against God's plan for procreation.
d.) masturbation - offends against God's plan for marriage and procreation, and against the human person
e.) unnatural sex - offends against nature, i.e. the natural order that God created in the human person, and against procreation, and against the other person.
f.) rape (sex without consent) - offends against the body and the will of another person and against God.
g.) underage sex - offends against God's plan for children and adults, and against consent. Sexual relations between an adult and a teen is even more offensive than between two teens. Sexual relations between an adult and a child is all the more offensive, and increases in offensiveness as the age of the child decreases.
h.) homosexual sex - necessarily includes the offenses of unnatural sex, non-procreative sex, sex outside of marriage, and further offends against God's will that sexual relations only occur between a man and a woman.
i.) other sexual sins - various types of perversities offend even further against God, His plan, and His creation.

More than one of the above-listed factors are sometimes found together in the same relationship or in the same sexual act. Each factor increases the sinfulness of the acts. Note that there are other sins and perversities that offend even further against God.

Homosexual sex necessarily offends against God's plan for marriage, and for procreation, and is necessarily unnatural, and it adds the further perversity of offending against God's will that sexual relations only occur between a man and a woman. This further offense is against the very order that God created in the human race and in Creation. Therefore, homosexual sins are not equivalent to heterosexual sins, but are much worse. Some Christians think that all sex outside of marriage is equally sinful. But this is not so. Homosexual acts are a more serious offense against God because they are fundamentally and objectively a greater state of disorder and a greater state of opposition to God's plan.

10. Are homosexuals in the same category as any heterosexual who is struggling against sexual sin?

The homosexual orientation itself is objectively disordered, since it offends against the very order that God built into the human race and human nature. The heterosexual orientation is a part of human nature created by God. So, a heterosexual struggling against a tendency towards the immoral expression of a natural and generally good sexuality is not in the same category as a homosexual who is struggling against a tendency towards the immoral expression of an unnatural and intrinsically immoral sexuality. A heterosexual can find the moral expression of his or her sexuality within marriage. A homosexual cannot find any moral expression of such an immoral orientation.

11. Do homosexuals necessarily go to Hell?

A homosexual orientation does not necessarily result in eternal damnation. However, anyone who commits one or more actual mortal sins, and who refuses to repent from such sin through the last moment of their life, is certainly condemned to Hell forever. The only sin for which anyone suffers eternal damnation is final impenitence (refusing to repent from serious sin through the last moment of life). A repentant homosexual can go to Heaven by way of Purgatory; an unrepentant homosexual, who knowingly commits serious sin and who never repents, will certainly go to Hell.
    To know and choose an evil deed,
    and never to repent;
    the only everlasting sin,
    to Hell forever sent.

12. What about AIDS and the use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS?

God has not given the world a cure for AIDS yet, because people are unrepentant from the sins that spread this disease. Do you really think that scientists can find a cure for this disease without the Providence and Grace of God? No, they will wander aimlessly, without finding what they seek, unless God guides them to it. And do you really think that God will give the world a cure for a disease that is spread by serious sin, so that the world can continue to commit these serious sins? God wants the world to have a cure for this disease, but He cannot and will not do so until the world gives up the sins that spread this disease. There will be no cure for AIDS before the world repents.

The Church cannot recommend the use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS, for several reasons. First, homosexual acts, and any sexual acts outside of marriage, are intrinsically evil. Adding the use of a condom to such acts does not change them from evil to good.

Second, the use of condoms is not a true solution to the problem of the spread of AIDS. The Church cannot give false hope to people by recommending a false and ineffective solution that cannot possibly succeed. As long as persons have sexual relations outside of marriage, they will be able to spread various diseases, including AIDS. Some groups have recommended and promoted abstinence outside of marriage and faithfulness within marriage as a way to slow the spread of this disease. This approach has been effective because God helps those who abandon sin in order to do His will. But God abandons those who abandon themselves to sin.

Third, the use of condoms as a form of contraception is intrinsically evil. The Church cannot promote or approve of something that is intrinsically evil.

Fourth, only with God's help can we succeed at anything. And as long as these persons are committing such serious sins against God, they will not have God's help in stopping the spread of this disease, nor in finding a cure. Do you really think that people can accomplish anything of value without continual help from God? God will not help people to slow or stop the spread of this disease, when such attempts involve the continual commission of serious sexual sins.

by Ronald L. Conte Jr.

On a personal note, I am straight. I do not have a homosexual orientation, nor have I ever had a homosexual orientation. I have never committed any homosexual sins. But I do not bear hatred or undue prejudice against gays and lesbians. I merely recognize that they have gone astray from the path of truth and righteousness. And I would like to see them sincerely repent of their sins. Until and unless they repent, they cannot be welcomed as full members of the community of believers.

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