According to the Catholic Church, homosexual acts are mainly immoral, and these acts contradict God’s intended plan for His creations of man and women, which is the marriage that is to pass between them. The Church’s teaching on homosexuality is that it is a condition, and people that follow that lifestyle must “convert their lives more fully to his Way” (Ratzinger) His way meaning God’s way. The Church states that those who are homosexual should receive pastoral care and must lead a chaste life. Homosexuality is a widely explored topic in the world of religion. Although the teachings on it are not inherently wrong or harmful, it sparks a lot of “debate which often advances arguments and makes assertions inconsistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church” (Ratzinger). In the eyes of the Catholic Church, to my understanding, it is taught that being a homosexual person is not a sin, but rather, a strong tendency that is a moral evil and a disorder. Those who have this condition must receive particular concern and should learn that living out this orientation is not morally acceptable. To further explain their teachings, I intend to refer to this article named Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons on the Vatican website, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church, as stated in the Vatican, will always stay true to the Creator’s sexual design, which is man and woman who follow a divine plan of sacramental marriage that homosexuality opposes. Being homosexual is self-indulgent, and “it is only in the marital relationship that the use of the sexual faculty can be morally good” (McQueen). The Church teach us that the practice of homosexuality is harmful and can even threaten the lives of other people. Those that believe it to be acceptable are put in jeopardy by that way of thinking. Thus, the Church’s teaching continues to go hand in hand with the Scriptural perspective and God’s constant tradition.
Moreover, “homosexual activity prevents one’s own fulfillment and happiness by acting contrary to the creative wisdom of God” (Ratzinger). Many people today are pressuring the Church to go against their teachings, such as painting homosexuality as morally acceptable. The Church ensures that homosexual people do not become misled by that point of view which much opposes their teaching. The Church only wishes to help homosexual people with their disorder so that they not are taught why it is wrong to follow that lifestyle, and they go about it with their best interest in mind.
Since homosexuality is still considered a form of evil, it must be abandoned and the help to abandon it would come from God’s liberating grace. The teaching of Paul the Apostle further explains this, “You cannot belong to Christ unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires” (Ratzinger). Homosexual people must become saved from a life “which constantly threatens to destroy them” (McQueen). Instead of isolating them or deluding them, the Church teaches us that we should all help people that are unfortunate enough to have this disorder. These are some of the ways that would help, as stated by the Church: “sacrament of Reconciliation, prayer, witness, counsel and individual care” (Ratzinger). These people are called “to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition” (Ratzinger). This statement ties in with their next argument that homosexual people should receive pastoral care per their condition.
Bishops are to provide pastoral care for homosexual people. This care would include the assistance of sociological, psychological, and medical sciences that relate directly to the teachings of the Church. They are to follow tradition: a tradition which has declared “homosexual acts as intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law” (Catechism). The reason for this is because it blocks the gift of life, an act that can only be done by a man and woman. The Church acknowledges that being homosexual is not a deliberate choice and is where they lack freedom. In that case, homosexual people are taught that if they continue to follow the Lord “they are called to enact the will of God in their life by joining whatever sufferings and difficulties they experience in virtue of their condition to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross.” (Ratzinger). Homosexuality only brings difficulties to one’s life because many Catholics learn that it is wrong in comparison to heterosexuality because one promotes the creation, and the other does not. Besides the pastoral care being required to be provided, there is a need for teaching on homosexuality to be especially crucial in Catholic schools.
The Church realizes that as time progresses, the further the people of God stray from His teachings. One example of this change would be the uprising of “Gay Clubs” in schools meant to help homosexual students find comfort in being surrounded by others like them. At such a young age, the Church deems it as “imprudent and perhaps dangerous” (McQueen). That is why it is essential to learn how differently one would be treated as a homosexual person and how they would be going against God’s nature. Simply put, the most crucial teaching on homosexuality is that “sexual activity is a marital activity. Genital expression is not allowed either for unmarried heterosexuals or homosexuals” (McQueen). It is for “the good of marriage and the flourishing of family life” (McQueen) and “everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity” (McQueen) in order to stay faithful to the Lord and be lightened by the truth.
Though homosexuality is not a sin, it is still an immoral evil and a disorder that must be abandoned as a sacrifice to the Lord’s Cross. Catholics are taught that homosexuality is a disorder that must be rid of and should not be normalized in any religious environment because of the natural law that is the marriage between a man and women. Those who continue to be homosexual must accept any hardships and will be provided pastoral care if necessary. In the end, it is crucial to understand that homosexual people cannot control what they feel if it is towards the same sex, and they should be treated with respect and care because we are all human.
- Ratzinger, Joseph Aloisius. “LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS.” Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, 1 Oct. 1986, www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html.
- “Chastity and Homosexuality.” Catechism of the Catholic Church – PART 3 SECTION 2 CHAPTER 2 ARTICLE 6, www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a6.html.
- McQueen, Moira. “Bioethics and Sexual Ethics.” Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute – Affiliated with the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, 12 Feb. 2011, www.ccbi-utoronto.ca/2011/02/11/bioethics-and-sexual-ethics/.