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RC church and sexuality teaching

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RC church and sexuality teaching

Postby Deena in OR » Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:54 pm

For Uncle Lumpy, and whoever else has an interest :)

This is a cut and paste from a Notre Dame site which references the Catechism.

Uncle Lumpy, I stand corrected, to some extent. The phrase was "objectively disordered" not "gravely disordered".

My point is, the orientation itself is labeled and identified as disordered. Not a behavior or an action, but an orientation. To my mind, it's splitting hairs to differentiate between a person's orientation and the person herself or himself.

Anyway, the text follows.


"Homosexuality refers to relations between
men or between women who experience an
exclusive or predominant sexual attraction
toward persons of the same sex. It has taken
a variety of forms through the centuries and
in different cultures. Its psychological genesis
remains unexplained (#2357). 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 (#2358).

This orientation of one's sexual attraction is judged "objectively disordered" because it
inclines people in ways contrary to the masculine/feminine complementarity which the Catholic tradition takes to be normative, and which society normally presumes, so the Catechism suggests that it "constitutes for most of them a trial." Yet the inclination itself cannot be sinful, even though objectively it may be said to be disordered, since it is "deep-seated" rather than freely chosen, with its sources "unexplained," so its being "objectively" part of us can hardly be our responsibility. Moreover, those who have come to accept this inclination as part of themselves may no longer consider it "a trial." So what the Catechism goes on to say about homosexual persons can be said of all human beings, each in their own way: "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" (#2358)."
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Postby Uncle Lumpy » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:31 pm

Deena -

Well, that makes a little more sense. Paragraph 2 especially seems much more humane and in keeping with what I remember.

I'm pretty sure the Church doesn't mean anything perjorative by "disordered", although I can certainly understand someone taking offense. It's like the use of "normal" - like most people, I differ from norms on most measurements, but would bristle if somebody called me "abnormal."

I'd try to interpret "disordered" very narrowly (as the excerpt does in paragraph 2) - that is, as 'contrary to "normative" m/f complementarity.' That seems fair, doesn't it - "objectively" true? There may be offensive connotations to "disordered" that don't attach to "normative", i.e. that my inclinations are out of order, broken, contrary to natural law, etc. But it looks like paragraph 2 goes out of its way to dispel these.

And I was pretty surprised to see a recognition that deep-seated inclinations toward persons of the same sex may be accepted as part of a person's identity rather than a trial to be endured. That looks like progress.
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Postby gnome de blog » Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:34 pm

I feel a bit unqualified to comment, as I am not much of a Christian at all in the organized sense, much less a Roman Catholic.

I'm not much of a Bible scholar either, but I have paid some attention to the Gospels. As I read it, Jesus didn't care how one stood with the Pharisees. His father's house, He said, has many rooms.
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Postby True Fable » Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:26 am

gnome de blog wrote:I feel a bit unqualified to comment, as I am not much of a Christian at all in the organized sense, much less a Roman Catholic.

I'm not much of a Bible scholar either, but I have paid some attention to the Gospels. As I read it, Jesus didn't care how one stood with the Pharisees. His father's house, He said, has many rooms.


Well, I AM a Roman Catholic, and what you said makes sense to me. Jesus chose to hang out with people of his day who were NOT the high muckity-mucks of the region, but with people who were among the least socially accepted.

I like my denomination and all, but geez, sometimes I wonder if anyone who's maintaining the rules actually read the Bible. :-)
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