Homosexuality in the Roman Catholic Church
Today the topic of homosexuality is often a controversial one around the world, but one that arises frequently none the less. It is becoming more and more socially acceptable for people all over the world to be open about their sexual orientations towards people of the same sex. It is now very clear and apparent that homosexuals worldwide come from all walks of life and take on nearly every single occupation and career. Many homosexuals have even come to make life long commitments to a single partner and raise families. However, homosexuals are repeatedly refused equal rights as heterosexuals, and are often discriminated against because of their sexual preferences. As an America, same sex marriage is a topic I hear almost daily when I am home. People all over my country are refused legal marriage licenses despite the fact that they live very similar lives to heterosexual couples and often raise children. Furthermore, as a Catholic I often hear condemnation of homosexuality, and even hear many people from my religion urging the government to continue to ban same sex marriage. Having many gay friends and acquaintances, and a homosexual uncle, the actions and thoughts of people in my country often upset me, and my religions teachings towards homosexuality sometimes confuse me. Therefore, I have researched the position of the Roman Catholic Church regarding not only homosexuality, but also same sex marriages. Throughout this essay, I will give an unbiased explanation of the Churches teachings that date back to the time of the Old Testament. The Roman Catholic Church maintains that homosexual orientations are not necessarily sinful, but are “disordered” (Catechism). However, the church preserves that all homosexual activity is immoral and most often sinful (Catechism). The Vatican uses a very particular theological framework based in scripture to defend its strong stance against homosexuality. While traditionally the Church has
Cited: Catechism of the Catholic Church. Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1994: nos. 2357-2359. www.Fordham.edu/libraries Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, 1986, no. 12 Pope John Paul II. Apostolic Exhortation on the Family (Familiaris Consortio). Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1981 Yip, Andrew K. "Dare to Differ: Gay and Lesbian Catholic 's Assessment of Official Catholic Position of Sexuality." Sociology of Religion 58 (1997): 165-80. JSTOR. Fordham University Walsh Library, New York. 14 Oct. 2008. Keyword: Roman Catholic Homosexuality.