Advertisement

Straight Facts for Story on Gay Catholics

September 16, 1990

When writing a story on a controversial issue such as homosexuality, particularly in regard to the Catholic church, it would be a good idea for the reporter to familiarize himself with the primary sources regarding the topic, in this case the Ratzinger Letter and the moral theology on which it is based.

The first source of confusion is the blurring of distinction between groups and (church) members. No individuals have been denied access to the sacraments. The groups such as Dignity which proclaim the moral neutrality of homosexual acts have been barred from holding meetings or liturgical services on church property. This action was not a conservative crackdown by some bishops, but obligatory upon them all, both by decision of the National Conference and by the terms of the Ratzinger Letter.

The second habit of thought that throws dust in the eyes of the hapless reader are the modern assumptions that sexual orientation is fixed at birth and immutable and that people can be accurately described in terms of this orientation, as their primary characteristic. While it has always been recognized that individual circumstances may alter or lessen moral guilt, to assume that in fact none of us, gay or straight, has any choice of action is a deterministic and demeaning view of human nature. "Dignity" is not an accurate name for an organization which espouses slavery to one's gonads.

The Church, unlike modern society, has always acknowledged that homosexuality does exist, but rather than proceeding from denial to slack-jawed indifference, as we have done, it has consistently taught that homosexual acts (like adultery, fornication, masturbation, etc.) are the disordered forms of an instinct which finds its proper expression in procreation. Those who dissent from this teaching in order to continue indulging themselves are not "faithful outcasts" but victims of pride, the arrogance which says "I've got to be me."

Are faith and morals supposed to change their definitions with every decade? Read the documents, and you will find a church that still teaches that everyone is accepted who denies himself to follow the cross. I see no reason to think this will change.

NATHAN VAIL

Pasadena

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|