Monday, November 7, 2011

The Devil and Daniel Avila

Daniel Avila’s article, “Some Fundamental Questions On Same-Sex Attraction”, caused such an outcry that it was pulled from the diocesan newspaper in which it appeared; the editor of the newspaper printed an apology; and Mr. Avila offered a “retraction/apology”. I’ve read Mr. Avila’s original article, the newspaper’s apology, and the retraction.
And I’d be left scratching my head…except that I’m as aware as anyone else of “political correctness” and the power of the homosexual political agenda, both outside the Church and within it.
It seems that the most volatile statement made in the article came from this paragraph:
In other words, the scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be created provides a credible basis for a spiritual explanation that indicts the devil. Any time natural disasters occur, we as people of faith look back to Scripture's account of those angels who rebelled and fell from grace. In their anger against God, these malcontents prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. They continue to do all they can to mar, distort and destroy God's handiwork. (my emphasis)
Of course, the first sentence – especially the part I’ve emphasized – was taken out of context by the mainstream media and the “gay” media. Mr. Avila did a fine job, I think, of summarizing: a) the pain-filled questions of those affected by homosexuality; b) the theological and logical reasons for not assuming that God wants homosexual people to act on their feelings; and c) the scientific evidence that speaks against a genetic cause of homosexuality.  And then he suggests that, as Catholics, we must look beyond the material:
We look for ultimate explanations that transcend the strictly physical world and that stretch beyond our limited ability to mold and reshape reality as we know it.
If you have not read the article, you should. It was removed from the diocesan website, but I was able to access it here.
Here’s an example of the gross misrepresentation of Mr. Avila’s statements to be found in the media: an article from the “Gay News Network” entitled “Devil makes you do it writer resigns”. Here are some excerpts, with my comments in brackets :
A senior advisor to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has resigned after publishing an article stating Satan caused homosexuality. [This is not true. Nowhere does Mr. Avila state that Satan causes homosexuality.]

Avila called same-sex attraction a "natural disaster" caused by Satan entering the mother's womb. [This is a blatant lie. The author goes on to quote a sentence from the article, from which he presumably drew the above conclusion:] "…Whenever natural causes disturb otherwise typical biological development, leading to the personally unchosen beginnings of same-sex attraction, the ultimate responsibility, on a theological level, is and should be imputed to the evil one, not God," he wrote. [That’s a far cry from “Satan enters the mother’s womb”.]

The “Gay News Network” article concludes:

“Avila’s resignation is a good first step for the bishops,” Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of gay Catholic organisation Dignity USA told the Rainbow Times.
“But they need to demonstrate they understand the ramifications of the violent language against the gay Catholic community and our families. [I do not find “violent language” in Mr. Avila’s article!]
“Dignity USA is calling for a policy advisory committee consisting of LGBT Catholics and family members to be appointed by the bishops and to be consulted by them on decisions that affect to our community.”
There you have it: the homosexual agenda within the Church. The “gay” news media misrepresents the article, and the “LGBT” community demands to “be consulted”.
And it appears that our bishops are more interested in appeasing these misguided souls than in educating and counseling them. How difficult is it to quote the Catechism of the Catholic Church?
2357…Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 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. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons 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.
2359 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.
Frankly, I see nothing in Mr. Avila’s article that contradicts these paragraphs. Neither do I see in his article any malice toward homosexual people, nor any lack of compassion for their trials. He has not accused them of being possessed, nor of being evil in and of themselves! He has merely suggested that it is possible that Satan has a hand in the course of events that leads to a person experiencing same-sex attraction.
I don’t think he’s wrong.


  1. Mr. Avila's article was censored for the same reason Father Rodriguez was banished from El Paso.

    They were guilty of the crime of correctly proposing Catholic teaching to a dying world.

    (Jeremiah 23:1)

  2. Well, I found Mr. Avila's "teaching" problematic. He says the church pushes ssa's into lonliness, that ssa is a condition one is born with, and (in a certain way), that there is no phsycologial reason for it. Before the phsycology of today, say around 68, there were hundreds of good papers all stating nurturing as 99% of the reason why people become ssa'd. It can be overcome. The other teaching he suggests, is that we Catholics would be more "kind" to ssa's if we believed that satan caused their feelings.


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