Monday, November 22, 2010

Same-Sex Attractions, by Fr. Paul Scalia

The Catholic Education Resource Center is running an interesting four-part series on same sex attraction. Part two went online today. Here's an excerpt about sexual "orientation":

"Although our culture speaks about various "orientations," there is really only one: heterosexual. This is simply another way of expressing the truth that human sexuality is ordered and designed for a purpose. It is oriented toward heterosexual union for procreation and marital bonding. Anything apart from that is a dis-orientation – meaning it is not oriented to the proper purposes of sexuality.

Further, once we lose sight of the one orientation of human sexuality, we simply create confusion. We do not end up with two orientations but sexual chaos. And so now we have a seemingly endless proliferation of "orientations": gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, transgendered, transsexual, queer, questioning, etc."

I had been thinking along those lines myself, and it reminded me of that phrase, I believe by Chesterton, "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing -- they believe in anything." When one refuses to accept the reality, which is the limitation of, a thing (in this case sex) it can then be seen as anything else, limited only by one's imagination, because one no longer accepts that it simply is what it is.

An example of this is given in a radio interview given by the homoactivist priest Fr. Donal Godfrey, at World Youth Day, 2008:

"In our Christian faith, when you think about it, it's about the incarnation. It's about Jesus becoming human. It's also about being sexual. Not in the sense of having, of sex with a capital "s" but sex with a small "s." All our relationships, even for people who are celibate are sexual in some sense because it it is sexuality that draws us out of ourselves."

Until recently Fr. Godfrey was the Executive Director of University Ministry at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco.

You can listen here. The segment above is heard in the first minute.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney


Anonymous said...

I question Fr. Scalia's claim. Do you really believe that "ANYTHING apart from [heterosexual union for procreation and marital bonding] is a dis-orientation"? Anything? For example, if I hold the hand of a 87-year old person at the nursing home, do you and Fr. Scalia believe that act of love and companionship is oriented toward heterosexual union for procreation and marital bonding? Where is your mind at?

Anonymous said...

Why does Fr. Scalia present his personal opinions under the color of "The Church’s pastoral response"? For example, the Church does not teach that there is no "hormonal or chromosomal explanation" or biological explanation for same-sex attraction in any person. The Church does not grant Fr. Scalia authority to exclude such causes for all persons. Fr. Scalia is speaking beyond his authority under the color of "The Church’s pastoral response", and that is scandalous. Similarly, his claim that "People cannot change... is the necessary consequence of the mistaken belief that people are 'born that way'" is another of his falsehoods. For example, the color of hair or eyes that a person is born with is not necessarily the same color lifelong. Belief that someone was born some way does not necessitate belief that the person will always be that way. It is wrong for Fr. Scalia to promote his false views under the color of the Church's pastoral response.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Scalia claims that "Some years ago Vatican documents used the term homosexual person. The Church has since backed away from that term". But anyone can look at the present day Catechism of the Catholic Church and plainly see that the Church continues to boldly use that very term: "Homosexual persons are called to chastity." (CCC#2359) Similarly, the Holy See recently used the term in its public address to the United Nations: "The Holy See continues to advocate that every sign of unjust discrimination towards homosexual persons should be avoided and urges States to do away with criminal penalties against them." Fr. Scalia claims the term "implies that the person is defined by the attraction", but it is not the term itself which implies that to him, but his own misunderstanding of the English language. Rather than "define", adjectives describe in a limited sense. The term "homosexual person" is every bit as appropriate as the term "angry person". "Angry person" does not define the person as having been created by God as angry or that he is forever and ever angry. Instead, it describes the person as (temporarily) angry. The same is true of the term "homosexual person". If Fr. Scalia makes more of it than that, that is Fr. Scalia's doing.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Godfrey's statement that "All our relationships, even for people who are celibate are sexual in some sense" reflects official Church teaching: "Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others." (CCC#2332)

Anonymous said...

Fr. Scalia complains that "Most of all, we should avoid words and phrases that identify the person with the inclination", but we plainly find that the very first paragraph of his article uses the phrase "radical homosexual community". What does he think that phrase says about the persons? Does he think the phrase "accurately conveys the truth and respects the hearts of others"? In the words of Pope John Paul II, "The truth can also prove uncomfortable when it asks us to abandon long-held prejudices and stereotypes." Indeed, the Church does not call us to limit our language to Fr. Scalia's narrow linguistic preferences, or to succumb to his prejudices and stereotypes. To the contrary, "The Church... speaks all tongues, understands and accepts all tongues in her love, and so supersedes the divisiveness of Babel." (Ad Gentes 4)