Friday, September 23, 2011

Misleading the Faithful

The Vortex continues to trap and expose the lies and falsehoods of the homosexual agenda in our Church. Yesterday, Michael Voris mentioned the programs and presentations the homosexualists have so kindly (not) prepared for the faithful. He brought to light an essay by Paul Lakeland which appeared on the Washington Post website a week ago. The article irritated me so much that I decided to use the Fr. Z Protocol to comment on it; in other words, here it is with my emphases and comments.

Time to talk about sexuality in the Catholic Church
By Paul Lakeland

The difficulty many people have in understanding this teaching is the gap between affirming gays and lesbians as made in the divine image and loved by God while condemning sexual activity among gays and lesbians as “intrinsically disordered.” This teaching puts gays and lesbians in no different a position from heterosexual unmarried Catholics, who are also expected to refrain from sexual intercourse. No. The Church, in #2357 of the CCC says: “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.” The Church does not say that the attraction between heterosexual unmarried people is disordered. It says that the proper context for the consummation of that sexual relationship is marriage. Marriage between one man and one woman. On the other hand, unmarried heterosexuals can get married and thus, in the church’s eye, then engage legitimately in intimate sexual activity. Since same-sex marriage is not considered possible by the church, gays and lesbians are called to life-long celibacy. Apparently, it is all about sex. If you view pro-homosexual websites, you see this pretty blatantly. It’s about who can have sex with whom. That’s why we have an organization like the NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association) which essentially promotes the legalization of pedophilia.Many people, not just gays and lesbians, would like to see the church change its teaching on homosexuality. The Church is not a democracy. Many people would like to see the Church change its teaching on issues that are their own pet peeve. It doesn’t work that way. Recent surveys show what may to some be the surprising fact that Catholics form the American Christian denomination most favorable towards either same-sex marriage or civil unions (74 percent at the last count). In itself that doesn’t mean they are necessarily right or that the church will bend to such a statistic, but it does suggest that the gap between the current position of the teaching church and the apparent convictions of Catholics gives us something that we have to discuss. No. What it suggests is that catechesis in this area has been very poor, and that the homosexual political agenda has had the upper hand in forming the consciences of the people of this country. I think these “convictions” are a nod to political correctness, not a moral conviction.As to whether Catholic Church teaching will ever change on this topic, it’s hard to say --though one should never say never. Teachings have changed in the past and they could do so again. Some teachings have not changed, and never will. There. I said it. Never. Because Truth is Truth forever and always and cannot be changed, even if 99.9% of “Catholics” want it to. What seems fairly sure is that they won’t change because the church will recognize same-sex marriage or partnership as a matter of human rights. If the teachings change they will change because of a religious or, more accurately, a theological justification. Those who believe such a change can or should occur focus on Catholic understandings of the goodness of creation, which includes the goodness of all human beings as God made them. I think Mr. Lakeland has forgotten about original sin. Disorder follows from the fallen nature of man. By grace, we can overcome the disorder. If all human beings are "good" just the way "God made them", then why do the same people who follow the homosexual agenda seem to be the ones condoning the killing of babies in the womb who might have Down syndrome, or some physical deformity? Isn't this "the way God made them"? Let us also remember that there IS NO "GAY" GENE. One cannot claim to be inherently homosexual (though there is the possibility that some are, in which case they have a heavy cross to bear, and they are called to a life of celibacy. Others are called to seek help to change their disordered thinking and desires.).The biggest obstacle to change in the church is the centrality of “the natural law” in official Catholic sexual ethics, meaning by this term that sexuality is “ordered” to procreation and that while sexual pleasure is a legitimate and even God-given good it is only appropriate in relationships that reflect this “ordering,” namely, heterosexual marriage. Why is “ordered” always in quotes here? It’s a clear concept, if not very well understood these days. Still, I think it is pretty obvious to most people that a man and a woman fit together sexually, and a natural result can be a new life. But it is equally obvious that two men or two women do not fit together sexually, and no baby can result from such a “union”. So if the teachings on homosexuality are to change, that will probably have to be part of a larger change in the way the church understands sexuality, which would also have implications for other hot-button issues in Catholic teaching like premarital or extramarital sex, contraception, sterilization and so on. They are hot buttons because liberal “Catholic” theologians have made them into such, not because there is a legitimate issue at hand. And apparently, Mr. Lakeland would like Church teaching on the related moral issues to change as well. Right now, there is no sign that the church is ready to make such a momentous move. Thanks be to God. At any rate, such a “momentous move” would only be a reflection of the error into which theologians like Mr. Lakeland have fallen. But that is no reason to delay having an honest, open conversation about sexual diversity and the Catholic Church. “Honest”?! Really?! I think not, Mr. Lakeland. You have already obfuscated the issue with a duplicitous characterization of Church teaching and a failure to adequately take into account the natural law. Your reasoning is intentionally skewed to accommodate the homosexual agenda.

Paul Lakeland

Aloysius P. Kelley S.J. Professor of Catholic Studies

Director, Center for Catholic Studies

Fairfield University

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