Not That There Is Anything Wrong With That!

So are Jerry and George really a gay couple?  What about Bert and Ernie, or maybe Thelma and Louise…or maybe even R2D2 and C3PO???[1] Not that there is anything wrong with that! [2] And who cares anyways…right?  I mean, if God made me this way, it must be good…and God would not want me to be unhappy…and remember Jerry, it’s not a lie if YOU believe it!   Yikes!!  Where to begin?!?!

Church Teaching:

Ok, well let’s start at the beginning…with same sex attraction.  The church clearly teaches that it is not objectively sinful or immoral to have same sex attraction or, in the vernacular, to “be” gay, bisexual, etc. To say it more formally, a person is not morally culpable for such an attraction if the attraction is not subject to free will, i.e., is not consciously chosen.  Nevertheless, the attraction itself, whether chosen or not, is objectively disordered[3].  The attraction predisposes a person toward what is not good.  It leads the person down the wrong path.

WHOA – WAIT A MINUTE – IS THE CHURCH REALLY SAYING THAT A PERSON IS DISORDERED OR DEFECTIVE?!?!

NO!  Lets be clear, the Church never ever says that[4]!

All people, no matter their sex, gender, attraction, or identity, can have disordered attractions, passions, and desires.  Yet not one of them…not a single one…is defective, rejected, hated, worth any less, or is any less loved as a child of God.

Some people may have a disordered attraction to money, others to power, others to envy, others to sex, and still others to gluttony.  Many heterosexuals have a disordered attraction to sex.  Some of these attractions are chosen and some are not. Some are more serious and some are less serious. [5] Nevertheless, none of them lead towards the good…towards towards Truth…towards Life.

To be clear, the Church is not casting judgment on the value of a person. The Church is not saying that the person, as a whole, is disordered. Perhaps most importantly, the Church is absolutely not saying that the person is hated or has been rejected by God!

Quite the opposite, the Church consistently and universally teaches that every single person has co-equal dignity and an eternal unfathomable value to the Lord no matter what attraction they have or what sin they commit. God created every human person out of love and wishes to grant them eternal life in the communion of the Trinity.[6]

It’s really quite simple when you dig into it.  All people are created in the image and likeness of God and thus possess an innate human dignity that must be acknowledged and respected at all times.[7]  The Church teaches that persons with a homosexual inclination “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”[8] In other words, we, as Catholics, must respect the dignity of all persons whether we perceive them to be saints or sinners, good or bad.

All of us are children of God and tabernacles of the Lord.  We must stand up for the human dignity and respect of our brothers and sisters, even if we disagree with their choices or lifestyle.[9]  Even more, we must love them…past all of their sin, past any disordered attraction, and past any weakness.  We must choose to love them and want the best for them (Heaven) precisely because of all of that and pray for them very much.

Alright…so at this point you are probably tired of reading about attraction and want to move on from the potential to the actual.  Well, its not rocket science.  The Church unambiguously teaches that voluntarily acting on a same sex attraction or entertaining same sex temptations is objectively sinful and immoral.  Seems pretty cut and dry, so I won’t muck it up with any additional words.

So here we find ourselves, probably with a head swirling about attraction versus action, potential versus real, and everything in between.  But just what are we to do in this culture when confronting same sex attraction and it’s elevation by the culture to a “norm”? Good question!  The answer is simple – Love our brothers and sisters very much and pray for them in front of the Blessed Sacrament for the cross that they have to bear.  Pray for society and for a recognition and respect for human dignity.  Pray the Rosary!

But for those of you that want something a little more concrete, the Bishops have established some guidelines for us to follow.[10] For example, we should: encourage members of our Catholic Community who have same sex attraction to fully and actively participate in the sacraments; support their efforts to live a life of chastity and integrity; welcome them into Catholic Communities; encourage those living in accord with Church teaching to take an active role in the life of the faith community; and, perhaps most importantly, love all of them (Catholic or not, Christian or not, theist or atheist) with everything we have and everything we are by praying for them very much and very often.

And so, as we conclude and ponder Jerry’s and George’s exclamations, lets remember Church teaching and the inherent dignity of every human person. Let’s remember that every one of us, regardless of attraction, action, or inclination, is a child of God, has an inestimable worth and value, and deserves to be treated with the dignity of the King’s kid at all times…nothing less.  But let’s not forget the objective Truth, the Eternal Word that is the source, center, and summit of life itself, and fall into the trap of calling good evil and evil good…because that would be a lie, whether you believe it or not, and yes Jerry, there is something very definitely wrong with THAT!

God Bless


[1] ooooh, I know…sacrilege to you Star Wars fans!

[3] If you really want to get formal, try to wrap your head around an intrinsic disorder of what is directed toward that which is evil in all cases (contra naturam) versus an accidental disorder of what is not properly ordered by right reason but what fails to attain the proper measure of virtue (contra rationem).

[4] How do we know this?  Because such a teaching would not be Christocentric.

[6] Glad to see that you are actually reading the footnotes.  This concept is set forth throughout the Catechism…I’m just too lazy to find all of the references 😉

[7] Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) Sections 1700-1702

[8] CCC 2358

[9] Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (October 1, 1986), no. 10.

[10] See Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination: Guidelines for Pastoral Care, Issued by USCCB, November 14, 2006.

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