Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Bored with the gay issue...

I am completely bored with the whole militant gay issue, and the Soho Masses debacle.  I keep resolving to write no more on the topic, and then something happens, such as Archbishop Nichols' statement and I feel it is too important to ignore.

Now on the comments section of that same Herald article, Terence Weldon has written:
Hooray for the sanity, pastoral wisdom of Archbishop Nichols, ever mindful of the whole of Catholic teaching on the subject - including clause 2358, which the orthotoxic Catholics, using pseudo-religion as a cover for bigotry and homophobia, too frequently ignore.
This is, frankly, a bit rich.  For someone who campaigns for tolerance and understanding, 'orthotoxic... pseudo-religion... bigotry...homophobia...' is pretty judgemental stuff. (Terence Weldon, in case the name means nothing to you, is the author of the unpleasant Queering the Church blog, and one of the co-ordinators of the Soho Gay Mass)

By 'clause 2358' he presumable means §2358 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  The language is revealing: 'clause' is the language of political campaigning, and in particular in this context we remember the fuss over 'clause 28' - more correctly Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, which was designed to prohibit the active promotion of homosexuality in schools etc.

His argument seems to be that by promoting a Catholic understanding of homosexuality, people like me are orthotoxic pedlars of pseudo-religion indulging in bigotry and homophobia, and specifically that we are ignoring §2358 of the Catechism.

So let us look at §2358, and place it in its context by looking also at §2357 and §2359, and the relevant section headers:

You shall not commit adultery.113 
You have heard that it was said, "You shall not commit adultery." But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.114
Chastity and homosexuality 
2357 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 great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 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.
That is all pretty clear, I think; and it is also clear that Terence Weldon, in claiming that proclaiming the truth about homosexuality is an assault on the respect, compassion, and sensitivity owed to people with homosexual desires or practices, is wrenching the paragraph out of context.

I am full of compassion for people so afflicted, and pray for them.  However I do believe that they are afflicted, and it is that which Weldon and fellow gay activists cannot tolerate.  They deny the truths of §2357 and §2359 believing instead that gay sex is not only acceptable but a positive good. It is their using the Mass, and even more the collusion of some Catholic clerics with that, to proclaim that anti-Catholic worldview that I and others find so... well, blasphemous is not overstating it.

If, as seems to be the case, Archbishop Nichols has finally become aware of what is really going on, and is prepared to address it, then he too will need our prayers, as he will be in the eye of the storm.

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