Fish Eaters: The Whys and Hows of Traditional Catholicism

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D

Dealing With Homosexuality
(Please note: This page is for adults only)

Homosexuality is not a sin.

Yes, you read that correctly. Homosexuality is not a sin, and the Church doesn't teach otherwise. You see, homosexuality is a disorder, no more a sin in se than clinical depression or bipolar disorder. What is sinful is sexually acting on homosexual desires. This is straight out of the Catechism, which reads:

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, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." 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.

The inclination is disordered; homosexual acts are sinful. This should be very easy to comprehend, but some of the discourse on the topic going on out there in certain religious circles reflects confusion or, at least, a sloppy and dangerous use of language.

Then, too, and sadly, in over-reaction to the evil doings of homosexualist activists (not all of whom are homosexual, and not all homosexuals are Leftist activists), a backlash mentality exists in some people, an inordinate anger that is taken out on all those who suffer from homosexuality, no matter their committment to living chaste lives. This anger makes them prone to lashing out, leads them to such things as referring to all homosexuals, active or not, as "sodomites," and closes their hearts to even trying to truly empathize with the struggles homosexuals endure. This sort of attitude is wrong and extremely unhelpful and dangerous. It drives homosexuals away from Christ when it is He they need more than anything.

About Homosexuality

There is no evidence whatsoever to indicate that there is a "gay gene" that causes homosexuality (I, myself, personally know of a set of identical twins, one of whom is heterosexual while the other is homosexual). Even a strictly Darwinian view of life should make it clear that homosexuality is not something that would be sexually selected for, at least not directly, thereby making it less likely for a homosexual to pass on his genetic material. No, a homosexual is not "born that way," contrary to what Lady Gaga sings.

On the other hand, homosexuals do not choose to become attracted to members of their own sex. A false dichotomy exists that's based on the idea that either homosexuality is genetic in origin or it's a choice. But that is a fallacy, a matter of sloppy thinking. There's no gene that causes people to love liver and onions either, but one either likes the taste of that dish, or one doesn't, with no "choice" involved. It is what it is.

There may be genetic and/or hormonal influences in the origins of homosexuality, however; imagine a young boy whose genetic make-up causes him to be of a sensitive temperament, possibly an artistic type who's not interested in or not talented at traditionally masculine pursuits, a personality type that can often cause him to be mocked, bullied, and ostracized by others of his sex. Then imagine that boy being raised in a family with a dominant mother, and either a more passive, submissive father, an emotionally cold and distant father, an outright abusive father, or a completely absent father -- a dynamic that doesn't give the boy what he needs in order to identify with that father and, hence, the masculine world, a problem that is later eroticized, resulting in homosexuality. That sort of family dynamic is very common, and while one son of such a family might end up heterosexual, the son with the sort of personality just described, a personality that is influenced by his genetics and the hormones he received in utero, might turn out to be homosexual.

There's also the matter of sexual abuse as a potential cause or influence in the formation of a homosexual orientation. Homosexuals are much more likely to have a history of having been sexually abused than non-homosexuals. From a study called, "Comparative data of childhood and adolescence molestation in heterosexual and homosexual persons," found in the October 2001 edition of the Archives of Sexual Behavior, my emphasis:

In research with 942 nonclinical adult participants, gay men and lesbian women reported a significantly higher rate of childhood molestation than did heterosexual men and women. Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation. Twenty-two percent of lesbian women in contrast to 1% of heterosexual women reported homosexual molestation.

A homosexual doesn't choose his personality inclinations or the family dynamics that shaped his upbpringing, nor did he choose to be abused if he was. But these sorts of phenomena can influence a child such that he or she comes to not identify with the sex he or she (henceforth simply "he") was born into. It is, in part, this failure to fully idenfity with one's own sex, and the eroticizing of the struggle to do so, that is the basis of homosexuality.

This is a condition that should break our hearts and cause us to want to reach out to these men and women! They are broken, as all of us are in different ways, and are so very much in need of the Divine Physician to be healed! They need Jesus Christ, as we all do, and rhetoric that's marked by nasty language drives so many of them away from Him! I am very concerned and angry about how a (thankfully small) sub-set of my co-religionists deals with and talks about this issue, and because of the plague of homes led by single mothers, with no fathers around, all coupled with the normalization of homosexual sex, I envision that we'll have many, many more people in the future who'll struggle with same sex attraction. I don't want a single one of these precious souls to be lost due to lack of charity on the part of those who are called to be the most charitable of all!

Scylla and Charybdis

Greco-Roman mythology tells the tale of two monsters who lived in the Straits of Messina, the area of the Mediterranean that separates Italy from Sicily. One was Scylla, seen in the natural world as an outcropping of dangerous rock; the other was Charybdis, envisioned as a whirlpool by sailors. When seamen navigated this area, they had to be careful to avoid the rocks and the whirlpool lest they perish, and this gives us an analogy for what we, as Catholics must do when it comes to dealing with the matter of homosexuality.

Scylla: Normalizing Homosexuality and Condoning Homosexual Sex

On the one side, there are those who try to normalize homosexuality, that is, who try to treat homosexuality as non-disordered. Their first great triumph was to get homosexuality removed from the DSM-III in 1973. The "DSM-III" is an earlier incarnation of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual," the book used by mental health clinicians to make consistent psychiatric diagnoses (as of this writing, the 5th edition is in use, i.e., the "DSM-V"). The removal of homosexuality from the catalogue of psychological disorders was very controversial and the result of political lobbying. You can read about it here1 (pdf file). The take-away point:

In his scholarly analysis of the American Psychiatric Association’s reversal of the diagnostic classification of homosexuality, Ronald Bayer (1981) states: “the result was not a conclusion based upon an approximation of the scientific truth as dictated by reason, but was instead an action demanded by the ideological temper of the times” (p. 3-4).

These attempts to normalize homosexuality and to get the world to see homosexual sex as just a "lifestyle choice" have been incredibly successful (to read how it happened, see this remarkable article "The Books Were a Front for the Porn"). In a mere few decades, we've gone from a society which correctly understood homosexuality to be a disorder, to one in which homosexual "marriage" is the law of the land. Incredible! And dangerous. Active homosexuals, as a group (two very important qualifications) live lives that are brutal, sickly, and short. Homosexuals are at a much higher risk of having other mental disorders, engaging in suicidal ideation, substance abuse, and self-harm than are non-homosexuals.2 One out of every five homosexual men in the United States is infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS, and half of them are unaware they're infected.3 The domestic lives of bisexuals and homosexuals tend much more often than those of heterosexuals to be marked by violence. From an Atlantic Monthly article4:

In 2013, the CDC released the results of a 2010 study on victimization by sexual orientation, and admitted that “little is known about the national prevalence of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking among lesbian, gay, and bisexual women and men in the United States.” The report found that bisexual women had an overwhelming prevalence of violent partners in their lives: 75 percent had been with a violent partner, as opposed to 46 percent of lesbian women and 43 percent of straight women. For bisexual men, that number was 47 percent. For gay men, it was 40 percent, and 21 percent for straight men.

Most shockingly, a 1997 study, "Modelling the impact of HIV disease on mortality in gay and bisexual men," published in the "International Journal of Epidemiology," relates that homosexual men have lifespans that are typically much, much shorter than those of heterosexual men. From the abstract, my emphasis:

In a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged 20 years will not reach their 65th birthday. Under even the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban centre are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871.

It's astounding that in a society that's hysterical about the health effects of tobacco use, homosexual sex is given a pass, isn't it?

Then there's the "gay lifestyle" -- which, mind you, and please understand this, not all homosexuals -- active or not -- engage in. But many, many do. And that "lifestyle" is marked by a frantic sort of promiscuity, a sexual degradation born of self-hatred -- and that results in even more self-hatred. In the male homosexual world, it's frantic not only because it's born of testosterone-driven male sexuality and like-minded partners, but because it's fueled by very serious neuroses, a desperate need for masculine affirmation, for acceptance by other men.

Researchers Alan P. Bell, a psychologist, and Martin S. Weinberg, a sociologist, in their book, "Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women," published in 1978, report that 83% of the homosexual men they surveyed estimated that they'd had had sex with 50 or more partners. 43% of their respondents put their number at 500 or more partners. And 28% -- more than one out of every four -- claimed to have had sex with 1,000 or more partners. 70% of them said that over half of their sexual encounters were with strangers in "one-night stands."  Even those who claim to be "married" tend to have "open relationships." A New York Times article4 reveals this:

New research at San Francisco State University reveals just how common open relationships are among gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area. The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.

And those are just the couples who've consciously arranged to have open "marriages," never mind those who don't have such an arrangement but have extra-"marital" sex anyway.

This sort of behavior leads to disease -- HIV-AIDS, monkeypox, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, human papillomavirus, herpes, shigellosis, giardiasis, amebiasis, campylobacteriosis, cryptosporidiosis, hepatitis B and C, increased risk of anal cancer, etc. And in addition to pathogens are medical conditions that arise -- hemorrhoids, anal fissures, fecal incontinence, rectal prolapse, etc. These sorts of diseases and conditions are highly prevalent in "the gay community" and are just one of the reasons why homosexual sex was illegal for so long, and why LGBT activism that goes beyond simply affirming the human dignity of those with same sex attraction and condones homosexual sex is against good social order.

No, the not un-common (but, again, not universal, even for active homosexuals) "gay lifestyle" is certainly not just one healthy choice among many; it is a death wish come to life. It's horribly, tragically sad. And it is sinful, with not just temporal, but eternal consequences. Those who attempt to normalize homosexuality and, worse, condone homosexual sex are the "Scylla" we must radically avoid.

Charybdis: Overreaction and Hatred

In reaction to these realities, some Christians become filled with disgust, and very understandably so. The stereotypical "homosexual lifestyle" is disgusting. Seeing those sorts of behaviors as disgusting is a sensible, natural, gut-level reaction, but even more importantly, it's how we are called to see such things. They are sins. They separate us from God, and separation from God is death. Those of us with children or grandchildren have an additional layer of concern; we don't want our children to have to grow up in a world in which such behaviors are seen as non-sinful and perfectly OK.

Treating homosexuals qua homosexuals as disgusting is an entirely different matter, however. Too often people hear someone admit to being a homosexual, and then proceed to make a myriad of assumptions -- e.g., that he's an active homosexual; that, if active, he is unrepentant and thinks that that sin is OK; that he's promiscuous; that he engages in anal sex; that he condones gay "marriage"; that he's involved with the stereotypical "gay lifestyle" just described; that he's a radical Leftist; that he hates the Church, etc. To do this is tragically wrong.

An especially hideous example of this sort of reaction can be seen in the actions of members of the Westboro Baptist "Church," a group that infamously pickets the funerals of American soldiers and carries signs reading "God Hates Fags!" No, God most definitely does not "hate fags"; He wants for homosexuals to live lives of chastity (as we're all commanded to do) and to come to Him so they can have eternal life.

Hatred, scapegoating, judgmentalism, and inordinate anger are the Charybdis we need to keep ourselves safe from.

The Path Between Scylla and Chaybdis

Between that sort of ugliness and the attitudes of the secular world, including those of "progressive" so-called "Christian" types who don't believe in the realities of sin or of Hell, and the "God Hates Fags" nastiness is a spectrum. And what Christ's Church teaches is very clearly laid out in the Catechism quoted above. We are to differentiate between someone's being a homosexual on the one hand, and the behaviors of those who act on homosexual desires on the other. And regarding those who do act on homosexual desires, we are to differentiate between the actions of those who are sexually active without repentance, and those who strive for chastity but sometimes stumble, fall, go to Confession, and strive to sin no more. This is how Catholics approach all sorts of sins and (fellow!) sinners.

We are to treat homosexuals with charity and sensitivity, and to engage them using prudence. If you are treating homosexuals as nothing but emobidments of their sexual inclination, you are not doing it right. I encourage everyone to read these pages on this site: Conversion of the Heart and Judging Others. When meeting a homosexual, one should assume the best: that he is chaste or at least striving for chastity. One shouldn't leap to all sorts of conclusions based solely on the fact that that person is sexually attracted to members of his own sex. We need to try to understand that struggle and how difficult it is for a homosexual who is trying to live the Christian life to even "come out" and be honest about who he is and what his problems are. We need to never shame a homosexual for having the disorder he has any more than we'd shame someone for being clinically depressed.
If it becomes clear that the person is, in fact, an unrepentant active homosexual, the two pages just linked to should help in guiding you on how and even whether to react in terms of fraternal correction, and I have more to say about that below...

Dealing With Homosexuals

I so hate to have to say that I've seen from some -- thankfully only a very small subset -- of my co-religionists some very strange ideas and reactions when the topic of homosexuality comes up, but I have. And here are a few of them.

"Homosexuals shouldn't call themselves 'homosexual' because that's 'identifying' with a sin" 

Well, no it isn't, because homosexuality isn't a sin; it's a disorder. Acting on homosexual desires is sinful, but being homosexual isn't. Homosexuality is a disorder, and it's no more unseemly for a homosexual to refer to himself as "homosexual" than it is for a person with bipolar disorder to refer to himself as a "manic-depressive."

People refer to themselves as "lawyers," "blondes," "homemakers," "plumbers," "gymnasts," "clinical depressives," "kleptomaniacs," "jugglers," etc., all the time, and no one gets bent out of shape because they think that the people who do so are "ontologically defining themselves" solely in terms of those words. The aforementioned "lawyers," "blondes," "homemakers," etc., could also also describe themselves as "well-read," "studious," "sports fans," "chronically tardy," "Catholic," and so forth. So why is it only when it comes to homosexuality that adjectives and nouns are somehow "limiting," are seen as precluding the use of other such descriptive words, and are treated as philosophically meaningful in some particularly "ontological" way?
A person who reveals he is a homosexual might also reveal in a different situation that he is a "surfer," an "Historian," or a "stamp collector." None of those words and phrases say anything about who he is in some "ontological" sense, but they are perfectly good English words that indicate something about what that person and his life are like.

"But homosexuals calling themselves 'homosexuals' is indicating that's all they are!"

No more than an attorney calling himself a "lawyer" is saying that's all he is. In a different situation, the same person who describes himself as a "homosexual" might also refer to himself as a "bowler" or a "bird-watcher" or an "Anglophile." None of these things limit him to being just those things, and people know this when they hear any other adjective ("blond" or "tall") or noun ("doctor" or "pianist") used to describe someone. But for some reason, when a homosexual uses the word "homosexual" to describe himself, all of a sudden some people get strange about it.

"Homosexuals don't exist"

Yes, I've actually read this. What people who say such a thing are trying to convey is that homosexuality isn't part of God's plan, that no one was "created homosexual," that God desires everyone to be heterosexual, that inside the self-proclaimed homosexual's psyche is a heterosexual just dying to get out, and, so, homosexuals don't exist. They like to point out that the word "homosexual" is new, so, ergo, homosexuals, at least, didn't exist until recently.

All of this is silliness. It's akin to saying "cancer patients don't exist" just because God doesn't positively will cancer or any other evil on someone. And as to the assertion about the word "homosexual" not existing until recently, we also didn't know much about Germ Theory until the 19th century, but, I assure you, germs caused disease before then. And besides, the fact of homosexuality was most definitely known before our English word for it was coined.

This sort of thing is semantic pedantry that really has no place in serious discussions -- or at the very least, most especially, it has no place in discussions that have the goal of saving souls. Talking like that wastes people's time, does no good, offers no help. If you talk that way, please, just stop.

Some say that a homosexual should refer to his struggles only in terms of his having "same sex attraction," but for the life of me, I don't see how this isn't a matter of "six on the one hand, half a dozen on the other." "Homosexuality" refers to the condition of being attracted to members of one's own sex -- i.e., "same sex attraction." What is the "ontological difference" between the sentences: "I'm a homosexual," "I'm homosexual," "I'm attracted to people of my own sex," and "I have same sex attraction"? There is none.

"Homosexuals should just be quiet about it. No one needs to know what their sexual preferences are!"

Well, no one needs to know that a person with bipolar disorder is manic-depressive, or that a person has prostate cancer, either, but there's nothing sinful in relating the information. I think it shows a great lack of imagination to not understand why a homosexual would tell others about his orientation. How is he to get help? How is he to get help in avoiding near occasions of sin (imagine, for ex., a homosexual being asked by a "hot guy" to go camping with him and share a tent for a weekend)? How is he supposed to respond to the typical questions people get asked, such as, "So, you married? Got a girlfriend?" How is he supposed to respond to the matchmakers out there who want to fix him up with the nice girls they know? How is he to go about being who he is, and being known for who he truly is, in the world, which is one of the basic requirements for friendship and intimacy? Why should homosexuals go about their lives feeling as if they should hide the Truth about themselves? And, if asked directly, should they lie? ("mind your own business" sounds like a good response, too -- at first: in reality, it'd lead the interlocuter to assume the person is homosexual, because if he weren't, he'd simply say no).

Most people want to live lives of integrity, to have their public and private lives consistent, and to simply be, and be known as, who they truly are. People don't want to go about their lives feeling as if there's some dark and shameful secret they must hide from others. Homosexuals, being people, feel the same way. If it were up to me, homosexuals would definitely be "out of the closet," matter-of-factly relating who they are and what their struggles are, with no shame whatsoever. And in a Christian world, the people around them would embrace them as just people who have a certain struggle, as we all have struggles, and help them follow Church teaching. I want homosexuals both out of the closet and out of the bathhouse.

Another consideration: men who suffer from homosexuality should refrain from entering the seminary until and unless they've completely overcome their homosexual orientation (which can sometimes happen, both through natural means, such as therapy and simple maturation, and through grace, though this isn't typical). How are we supposed to make sure our seminaries don't become little "lavender mafias" if homosexuals feel pressured to hide their identities? Further, can you think of a better way to entice Catholic men who suffer from same sex attraction to enter the seminary than to make them feel as if they must hide who they are and that they can't relate who they are to others without shame? What better way for a Catholic homosexual to find cover for why he's not interested in marriage and girls, etc., than to join the seminary? Watch the almost perfect movie "Marty," made in 1955 and starring Ernest Borgnine, and imagine if his character had actually been homosexual while enduring the pressures to marry that the movie portrayed! This, I believe, is a large part of the reason why so many homosexuals flocked to the priesthood "back in the day" and why the "spirit of Vatican II," the effeminization of the liturgy, the revolutionary madness, got a foothold after that Council. And it explains why the vast majority of cases of priestly sexual abuse are not matters of pedophilia and did not involve female victims, but are manifestations of homosexual ephebophila -- the abuse of physically sexually mature teenaged boys, known as "chickens" in the gay world

There's another point in all of this, maybe the most important point of all when it comes to understanding the struggles involved in same sex attraction: So many people treat homosexuality as just a "sexual kink," no different from a fetish. They think of homosexuality solely in terms of genital sex. But their doing so is a great insult, really, and a gross misunderstanding of just how deeply the disorder goes. I'll post here an article about eros, one that so well explains something that must be understood in order to deal compassionately with homosexuality. This comes from the blog "Fare Forward":

In About Love, Pieper states that “eros is all demanding and needing love,” and Lewis agrees, classifying eros as a characteristic “need love.” Eros, then, is apparently something very distinct from philia (friendship), storge (natural affection) or agape-caritas (self-sacrificial love), and at first look it seems obvious that eros is “lower” than these types of love. Eros is primarily a desire, and desires are appetitive, and appetites indicate the natural inclination to fulfill ourselves. But for what is eros a desire?

At this point, Pieper suggests, one must step back and consider the broader context in which we must always situate questions of the nature of love. Love, of whatever form, is ultimately fulfillment or perfection. Without love, man is not truly himself. Man needs to love and be loved in order to be whole, in order to perfect his nature as a creature. We were created for love, by Love Himself, as St. John attests in his letters.

Given this conceptual framework, eros can be understood as the powerful longing, kindled by the beauty of the beloved, for the achievement of completion or wholeness in the beloved; it elicits in us a deep desire for union or communion with another in which we seek completion. Eros, therefore, openly acknowledges the need for completion in the other. This should not surprise us: if we were made for love, we are incomplete as individuals. The communion of love can only occur between persons; indeed, this reality is expressed fully in one of the central mysteries of Christian faith, the inner life of the Holy Trinity, which can fairly be called a loving communion of persons.

The implication of this fact may startle us: in erotic love, man loves not only for the sake of the beloved, but for his own sake, too. We are accustomed to thinking of authentic love as an affirmation of the beloved’s good at the expense of our own, to giving without counting the cost, loving without an eye for our own desires and fulfillment. Yet the longing for self-fulfillment with another is constitutive of the human condition. As St. Thomas Aquinas repeatedly said, we cannot choose not to pursue our own happiness; this holds true even in our most altruistic and charitable moments. We are, as then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger explained in a 1991 speech, ontologically oriented toward and attuned to the pursuit of the transcendent goods of truth, goodness and beauty. All of our loves are “for our own sake.”

Eros is not purely self-referential or self-seeking, however: it does not seek to instrumentalize the other for the self’s sake. In erotic love, Pieper observes, we say to the beloved, “It’s good that you exist—good not just for you, nor just for me, but for us.” In eros, we find ourselves enchanted by another to the extent that, without much effort, we truly love another as we love ourselves. For many of us, the first time we woke up in the morning and regularly thought about someone other than ourselves was when we were first in love, or in eros. We all have seen how spontaneously and effortlessly we can appreciate and affirm the beloved when we are “in love” with him or her.

At this point, it should be apparent that sexual attraction is quite distinct from eros, just as eros can exist between persons in the absence of sexual attraction. Think of the great mystic saints, like Theresa of Ávila, who express their prayer experiences as rapturous, ecstatic, erotic. Eros and sexual attraction are certainly distinct. Yet there is a reason that they are often considered together.

If eros is the desire, permeating all facets of our being, for union with another person, and if both body and soul are constitutive of, not accidental to, human persons, then the way that we seek this union will be both spiritual and bodily. Beauty—and not just physical beauty—kindles eros in us, and since beauty for us is perceived sensually, our response in turn will include a sensual or bodily response. Our bodies, which on the one hand demarcate our separateness, are the vehicles through which we strive to realize our desire for union. Lewis frames this erotic phenomenon with his typical grace: “The longing for a union which only the flesh can mediate while the flesh, our mutually excluding bodies, renders it forever unattainable can have the grandeur of a metaphysical pursuit.”

Our erotic desires transcend our bodies’ ability to satisfy them. Especially in erotic love, we want to become one with the beloved, but we mustn’t think of this oneness only in physical terms— or only in non-physical terms, for that matter. The fullness of eros is the inter-communion of whole persons, two separate “I”s coming together as one while remaining distinct. This union is reflected and truly embodied in the act of intercourse, which is sacramental in this sense, but no amount of sexual satisfaction can exhaust our erotic desires; they cannot be exhausted at all. Lewis wrote that, “What happens in erotic love is thus not ‘gratification’ but an opening of the sphere of existence to an infinite quenching that cannot be had at all ‘here.’”

Our culture has been confused about this point ever since sex became a marketable product. In order to commodify sexual pleasure, enterprises have to market it as a concrete, instrumental and “no strings attached” service. Yet when sex is divorced from eros—when what brings persons together in the embrace of intercourse is not a love that desires and respects the beloved as a person but is just plain lust—then the “union” achieved in such an embrace is only a simulacrum, a doppleganger. Alienation, disenchantment, disgust, bitterness, and hostility are the common results of such encounters, as the partners realize that neither of them could give or take through a sharing of their bodies what they each longed for in the seat of their souls. John Paul II referred to such reciprocally objectifying encounters as “mutual masturbation.”

Our sexuality and erotic love are meant to be complementary, and without eros, our sexual love will only be frustrating, rather than sacramental. Eros plays an integrative role in bringing our bodies and souls into pursuit of the human good of communion that we seek through love.

Homosexuals have that same erotic longing for completion in another. Keep in mind the line in the above article about how eros "permeat[es] all facets of our being". This is why treating homosexuality as "just a sexual kink" and in terms of nothing but genital sex misses a much larger problem.

Because of their disorder, the sexual acts active homosexuals engage in while striving for communion are utterly futile. This futility helps explain why the "gay lifestyle" is so sexually frenzied, so very neurotic and marked by self-medication and violence. They are looking for completion in people who cannot complete them even in the imperfect but fruitful and sanctified way a married couple complete each other.

Read again that Lewis quote about eros: "The longing for a union which only the flesh can mediate while the flesh, our mutually excluding bodies, renders it forever unattainable can have the grandeur of a metaphysical pursuit." That pertains to heterosexual sex, the marital union ordained by God and by which another soul enters the world, so you can imagine the frustration involved in a homosexual's attempts to satisfy his erotic longings! He so desperately wants to be affirmed as a man and to feel "as one" with another -- but he tries to do this with another who is too much like him to make him feel whole! It's no wonder at all why homosexual sex is often so frantic! It's an impossible situation.

That erotic need is one we all have, and ignoring it when it comes to homosexuals, speaking of homosexuality as nothing but a dirty desire to have hot sex with some guy, misses the very crux of the disorder, and dehumanizes those who suffer from same sex attraction. It also completely ignores the real and true friendships and emotional caring many homosexuals have for each other, especially those who consider themselves "married."

Of course, many homosexuals "dehumanize" and degrade themselves -- as do many heterosexuals. When thinking about the stereotypical "gay lifestyle," think, too, of the porn-addicted straight man who compulsively masturbates or beds women, or of the young woman, raised without a father, who promiscuously uses sex to get the masculine affirmation she never got as she was growing up. It isn't our job to "pile on"; it is our job to help raise up those who degrade themselves, to help them to see that God is calling to them. It's our job to teach them that the only thing that will truly complete them, that will truly "fill them up," is union with God, with Truth. But we can't teach them this, we can't help them, if we turn them away with bitter attitudes, scapegoating, sloppy or angry language, and judgmentalism.

"OK, I can see telling family, maybe, but why tell anyone else?"

Tell one, tell all. You tell your family, then your little sister tells her best friend, and then that best friend tells everyone. Then there's a whispering campaign going on about you. Who'd want to live that way? Is there no imagination in some people that'd allow them to empathize with a person's wanting to walk the earth with integrity, with the ability to say, head held high, "this is me, this is what I'm like, these are my struggles" without feeling as if there's some secret that needs to be hidden away from everyone? Should all people with disorders do the same thing? What purpose would that serve, anyway? And can you imagine how that would leave a person wide open to blackmail attempts, to handing power over their lives to other people? Why is this so hard to understand?

"No one needs to know such private information about anyone else! This is all just Oprah, tell-all, psychobabble nonsense! There's just no need to go around telling everyone you're homosexual!"

I certainly am not advising homosexuals to go around meeting people with a, "Hi, nice party, eh? I'm John, and I'm homosexual. And you are ---?" And to think that that is what I am advocating is pure silliness. Nor am I encouraging anyone to publicly reveal the details of his sex life or his deepest sexual desires. Not at all. I strongly believe in honoring the differences between the private and public realms, and lament the modern tendency to make one's private problems the business of strangers. I am simply talking about the ability of a person to let another person know he is homosexual when the circumstances for such a topic come up, and to not feel as if he has something he must hide at all costs -- e.g.,

"You know, I don't think I've ever seen you with a girl for the entire twenty years I've known you!" "Welll, to be honest, I'm homosexual."

"You've just got to meet my cousin. She's an anthropologist, too, and I know you're just her type!" "Aww, that's sweet, thanks, but just so you know, I'm homosexual, so that likely wouldn't work out."

Pretty simple, in my opinion. No sordid details. Just a simple statement of fact that allows the other to know and understand what the homosexual is enduring and struggling with.

"No one should refer to himself as homosexual unless he's an active homosexual" or "Anyone who calls himself a homosexual is an active homosexual"

"Homosexual" is the word used for someone who is solely sexually attracted to members of his own sex. That would apply to someone who is attracted to his own sex whether he were sexually active or not.

As to the latter statement, people who say this are simply wrong. I've met many who are honest about their suffering from same sex attraction and who are committed to living chaste lives and following Christ. There are many of them!

"Homosexuals should be called what they are: sodomites!"

Some homosexuals are sodomites; some aren't -- with some being perfectly chaste. Of course, too, much depends on how "sodomy" is defined. Various statutes in the United States have defined it as oral or anal sex between two people -- including the heterosexual and married -- and any sexual activity with an animal. But if it's defined -- as it most commonly is nowadays -- as just anal sex, which is how Common Law defined it, then let it be known that anal sex is the least-practiced homosexual act (oral sex, mutual masturbation, and frottage come out ahead. This is not to say that anal sex is rare among male homosexuals; it most certainly is not: receptive anal intercourse is practiced by up to 90 percent of gay men who have sex with men, according to International Rectal Microbicides Advocates).

Let it be known, too, that anal sex is something that heterosexual couples engage in as well, now more than ever. According to one American study, between the years of 2006 and 2008, 44 percent of straight men and 36 percent of straight women between the ages of 25 and 44
admitted to having had anal sex at least once in their lives -- and those numbers have undoubtedly skyrocketed due to pornography. The National Center for Biotechnology Information gives us this information, "About a third of heterosexual couples in Britain are thought to use anal sex as an occasional method of sexual expression, with about 10% using it as a preferred or regular method. Perhaps two thirds of gay men practise anal sex as a regular part of their sexual repertoire. This means that, in absolute numbers, there are more heterosexuals having anal sex than there are gay men."7

It should be kept in mind, as well, that heterosexuals sometimes engage in homosexual sex, sometimes on a lark, sometimes out of a felt "necessity." Prison rape is generally committed by heterosexual men who don't have the opportunity to engage in heterosexual sex and who abuse other men while, presumably, fantasizing about women. This problem is so common that, in fact, in the United States, more men are raped than women are.8
This phenomenon further illustrates that engaging in homosexual sex is a choice, but homosexuality -- being solely attracted to members of one's own sex -- is not.

The point to all the above: Those who seem to truly hate homosexuals and see them as nothing but "sinners" rather than as "fellow sinners," who see them as the worst sort of sinner -- "sodomites" -- rather than as people who are suffering from a disorder, are being rather hypocritical unless their rage against the practice of anal sex is also focused also on the many heterosexuals who engage in it.

Finally, no matter how Common Law or the typical modern person defines it, "sodomy," to the Church, isn't limited to anal intercourse alone. It even includes the sin of onanism (masturbation). St. Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church, in his Liber Gomorrhianus ("The Book of Gomorrah") writes about four forms of sodomy:
Four types of this form of criminal wickedness can be distinguished in an effort to show you the totality of the whole matter in an orderly way: some sin with themselves alone; some by the hands of others; others between the thighs; and finally, others commit the complete act against nature [anal intercourse]. The ascending gradation among these is such that the last mentioned are judged to be more serious that the preceding. Indeed a greater penance is imposed on those who fall with others than those who defile only themselves; and those who complete the act are to be judged more severely than those who are defiled through femoral fornication. The devil's artful fraud devises these degrees of failing into ruin such that the higher the level the unfortunate soul reaches in them, the deeper it sinks in the depths of hell's pit.
So if you're prone to go on about "sodomites," you're likely talking about yourself unless you've never masturbated.

"But homosexuality is a sin that cries out to Heaven!"

No, "homosexuality" isn't a sin at all, let alone a sin that cries out to Heaven; the sin of Sodom is, certain actions are, and 1) not all homosexuals are active homosexuals; 2) not all active homosexuals engage in sodomy as typically defined (anal sex); and 3) as said, heterosexuals engage in sodomy as well, as typically defined (see just above). Further, unless the person who uses this line of thinking is as equally concerned with the other three sins that cry out to Heaven -- defrauding the wage-earner, oppression of the poor, and willful murder -- then I call hypocrisy. I dislike the term "homophobia" because "phobia" means "fear," which typically most certainly isn't what is actually experienced by those at the receving end of that slur, but I do think that there is something to the accusation that those who scream the loudest and most inordinately angrily and unjustly about homosexuality and homosexuals are thereby exhibiting behaviors that may well be indicative of unacknowledged homosexual desires they, themselves, have -- an accusation that is borne out by research.9

Finally, the Douay Catholic Catechism of 1649, Chapter XX, describes the sin of Sodom like this: "The sin of Sodom, or carnal sin against nature, which is a voluntary shedding of the seed of nature, out of the due use of marriage, or lust with a different sex." The sin of Sodom simply does not pertain only to homosexual sodomy and other homosexual acts; it pertains to many different forms of the illicit use of our sexual faculties. It includes adultery, fornication, masturbation, etc. None of this is to deny the gravity of the sin of Sodom; the point is to stop the singular focus on homosexuals when this sin is mentioned, and to remind people of the other three sins that also "cry out to Heaven."

"I don't want homosexuals around my kids! They're child molesters!"

Most homosexuals are not pedophiles or child molesters. Most homosexuals are as repulsed by child sex abuse as anyone else. However, homosexuals, as a group, are disproportionately victims of abuse themselves, and sadly, those who are sexually abused when young are more likely to go on to become abusers.

In daily life, though, we don't typically deal with percentages and odds and disproportions; we deal with human beings. Because most homosexuals are not child sex abusers, because of the fact that if you're talking to a homosexual, the odds are that he is very much not a pedophile, it'd be an awful thing to treat a given homosexual as such simply because of his orientation.

On the other hand, it's almost impossible for a parent to do too much to protect his children when it comes to sexual abuse. Trust your gut instinct when it comes to keeping your children safe! If a given person -- whether homosexual or heterosexual -- feels "hinky" to you in any way, then by all means prevent his -- or her!10 -- being alone with your child. If you have no evidence that that person is, in fact, a child molester, then treat him with charity and give him all benefit of the doubt in terms of how you deal with him personally -- but trust your gut and protect your children. You can do this without making unwarranted accusations, shaming, engaging in slander, forgetting about the supreme importance of charity, etc. But better safe than sorry when it comes to the safety and innocence of our children.

With regard to the topic of the sex abuse of the young, note, too, that there's a difference between pedophilia (attraction to pre-pubescent children) and ephebophilia (attraction to post-pubsecent youth), the latter of which is very common in the homosexual world (see this pdf of a Twitter/X thread about this topic). For example, the clerical sex abuse scandals that rocked the human element of Holy Mother Church were overwhelmingly cases of homosexual ephebophilia and not pedophilia (the media, of course, called it "pedophilia" so as to arouse even more hatred against the Church). While the law in the United States treats pedophilia and ephebophilia as the same, the differences between a 6 year old and a 16-year old are pretty obvious. But any non-marital sexual touching is sinful, and whether the victim of an adult is 6 or 16, he is a victim. No adult -- especially one in a position of authority, and most especially one who's been given spiritual authority --  should ever sexually touch an under-aged person.

"I don't want to even have to talk to my kids about homosexuality! I want them to be innocent!"

If you don't talk to your kids about such things, the world will. On that you can rely. Parents have to get very clear about the fact that there is a huge difference between innocence and ignorance. The latter is not good, is not a virtue, and serves no one! Even a very young child can understand the concept of "disorder." There's no need to go into the details of the various forms of homosexual sexual activity; the goal is to simply let your children know what homosexuality is in a manner that is tailored to the level of their intellectual and emotional maturity.

"Mommy, what does 'homosexual' mean?"

"Well, son, God's design is for men and women to fall in love, marry, and have children, right? Now, you know how sometimes people get sick? Well, sometimes people can get emotionally or intellectually sick -- the ways they feel or think can be sick. Understand? Well, a homosexual is someone who, instead of feeling what a man should feel for a woman, has those sorts of feelings for other men. And there are women who have those feelings for other women instead of for men; they're called lesbians. These folks didn't choose to be sick in that way, so we have to help them get better and pray for them. Some homosexuals don't realize they're sick, and think their sickness is normal, so we have to pray for them the most so they come to know they have a problem and will ask Jesus to help them."

Pretty simple. Nothing prurient. Nothing to incite the imagination in an unhealthy direction. Just the facts, straight-up, with love. Nothing to panic over. A typical four-year old would likely have such an exchange, and then file it away while changing the subject to ask for ice cream or what have you. Maybe a few more questions would follow -- e.g., 'How did they get sick?" -- and if that happens, just answer them with the same sort of calm, respectful, loving tone, and then move on. Innocence preserved; ignorance eradicated.

Dealing with Being Homosexual

If you are homosexual, don't think "God made me gay." He didn't. He also didn't "make" someone else to be born with no legs, or another person to be born prone to depression, either. Those are disorders. But, indeed, He made you. And you, through whatever combination of nature and nurture, are homosexual. And He made you, like everyone else, to know Him, love Him, and serve Him in this world so you can be happy with Him in the next. And He loves you. He loves you very, very deeply.

You are called to sexual continence if your orientation isn't healed (which can sometimes happen, though isn't typical) and you then marry someone of the opposite sex. But you are not alone! Know that priests and religious are also called to continence, as are all unmarried heterosexuals! Don't walk the earth thinking you are being singled out for suffering in a special way because you cannot licitly engage in sexual acts centered on your homosexual longings. You are not! You also don't have to deprive yourself of friendship and non-sexual intimacy!

In an ideal world, you should be able, when the situatiton arises, to simply state the Truth about your struggle without shame, to be able to live as a whole person with no sense of having some "deep, dark secret" you need to hide away. You have a disorder, but that in no way makes you a bad person, it doesn't make you less beloved by God, and it doesn't -- or shouldn't, anyway -- make you any less welcome to His Church. Let no one shame you simply because you have a set of struggles he doesn't! Don't let anyone make you feel unwelcome in Christ's Church! I think you'll find, though, that most Catholics will be very understanding. I certainly hope that's the case. Hold your head up!

You would likely benefit from therapy -- not necessarily "conversion therapy" for the purpose of "making you straight," but therapy for the purpose of understanding your present and past struggles, dealing with any trauma you may have endured, finding ways to break any bad habits you may have acquired, forming new habits, coming to terms with your sex and learning how to relate to other members of it, and coming up with general coping strategies and ways of avoiding "triggers."

Above all, though, stay close to Jesus, His Church, and the Sacraments. Develop a good prayer life. Take inspiration from the Saints and their writings. Take care to avoid near occasions of sin, as we all must. Balance focusing inward and trying to understand yourself so you can heal with focusing outward and serving others. Learn how to truly forgive if abuse or emotional neglect played a role in your orientation. Get support from Catholics who follow the example of the Master of Love, Who is Our Lord Jesus Christ.

And be wary, staying far away from any parish or group that waters down Catholic teaching in order to be inordinately "inclusive," that treats acting on homosexual desires as non-sinful. There are many such entities out there, sadly, but you, like all of us traditional Catholics, might need to go out of your way to find a place to worship that preserves the Faith undiluted. You are called to sainthood, as we all are, but you won't make it if you lie to yourself or swallow lies others tell you, even if those others are priests and religious.

Why You are Not Called to the Priesthood

After giving the catechism's teachings on homosexuality, the 2005 Vatican directive, "Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies," says,

In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture".

Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem - for example, that of an adolescence not yet superseded. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.

As to the "negative consequences" referred to, one of the most obvious is the clerical sexual abuse scandals that are now rocking the Church. These scandals are overwhelmingly matters of homosexual ephobophilia, that is, the sexual abuse of physically sexually mature teenaged boys and young men. It is not pedophilia; it's a gay thing.

Male homosexuality is a disorder that centers around the eroticizing of the struggle to identify with the masculine world, the world of the father. Because of this, and because a priest is a spiritual father, you should not strive for ordination until and unless you are truly healed of your disorder -- which, again, can happen, though it isn't typical. A few articles about fatherhood and its incredible importance (these links are off-site and will open in new browser windows):

In addition to the spiritual fatherhood aspects of the priesthood, there's the fact that heterosexual seminarians make the sacrifice of marriage when they promise celibacy, a sacrifice you can't make because you're not drawn to sacramental marriage. It may be a sad thing to you that, barring healing from your disorder, you won't have a wife and children, but you wouldn't be "giving that up" if you entered the seminary. You wouldn't be making the same sacrifices.

In a seminary, too, you'd be surrounded by other young men in a very close setting, a situation that would likely be a great temptation, an occasion of sin for you, and a source of discomfort for heterosexual seminarians.

Your inability to be ordained, though, in no way means you are not valuable to the Church and can't bring many gifts to Her! There are lots of people with disorders out here in the world! The inability to become a priest isn't a personal slam against you as an individual, as a valuable human being. Women, too, can't be ordained, but it's a woman, the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom the Church considers the very greatest of all God's creatures! An inability to be ordained doesn't mean you're not important! You -- perhaps you're an artist, a musician, a writer, an apologist, a master gardener, a filmmaker, a bricklayer, an attorney, or any of a thousand other things that could serve the Church and Her people well! You are important, my friend -- called to Love, called to serve, called to sainthood! Say yes to Christ! This article, which is off-site and will open in a new browser window, might help you understand things: Why Men Like Me Should Not Be Priests.

Some Final Comments

Comment needs to be made about the hypersexualization going on in our society and how it harms the ability of members of one sex, most especially men, to bond with one another. I used to give tours in a medical museum, and in its entryway hangs a late 19th c. photograph of a group of male doctors -- some sitting, some standing. One of the seated physicians has his hand on the knee of the doctor sitting next to him, a perfectly natural and lovely expression of friendship. But seen with eyes twisted by hyper-sexualized 21st. c. thinking, those two doctors are seen as having been homosexuals. Another such photograph:

We're all the time seeing historical friendships being twisted and interpreted as being homosexual relationships because of the hypersexualized manner in which we see things nowadays.

As an Italian American, I come from a sub-culture that is very physically expressive, with half of my ancestors hailing from a place where men and women greet each other with kisses on the cheek and warm embraces. While "WASPy" America is very different from Italy, even the men of the United States used to have a very diffierent approach to male expressions of affection for each other. The Art of Manliness website has a page called "Bosom Buddies: A Photo History of Male Affection"11
that is quite revealing, as are many of the comments on the post -- reactions that betray how many men are starving for genuine, wholesome intimacy with other men, a striving that is frustrated by how so many minds have been made filthy and "paranoid" because of how our society sees sex and lust where they don't actually exist.  

The Art of Manliness website chalks up the change in how we see physical expression of affection between men to the change in how we see homosexuality -- i.e., to how we've come to see homosexuality as an "identity." Me, I see things differently. Men who are solely sexually attracted to other men do, in fact, exist, and ignoring that fact, like all ignorance, serves no one. The problem lies in how we react to that fact. If being a homosexual is, wrongfully, seen as sinful in itself, if homosexuals qua homosexuals are scapegoated and seen as "the sinners of all sinners," then it's understandable that men, out of fear of being seen as "one of them," would become wary of physically expressing their love for each other. But if homosexuality is seen as the disorder that it is, a disorder that doesn't have to be acted upon sexually, and if homosexuals are not just treated with charity, but truly thought of with charity, then we can restore the ability of men to become intimate and physically expressive with each other without fear of others leaping to conclusions (which people shouldn't be doing in the first place).
J. Bryan Lowder, a homosexual writer for Slate, writes about all of this in an article called "Another Casualty of Homophobia: Platonic Male Affection."12 In that article, he writes:

On a trip to southern Spain a few years ago, my partner and I were invited to a friend’s home for Shabbat dinner. As we were seated at the table, our host, a maternal and physically affectionate gay man, continually petted us as he brought fragrant Sephardic food to the table. This is common among gay men and thus did not surprise me. But to this day I remember how my body froze when the other guest—a quiet but warm straight man—rose from his seat, picked up a kippah, gently placed it on my head, and patted the back of my neck. His platonic touch was totally nonchalant for him, and yet it electrified me—not because I found it erotic, but because, at that moment, I realized how rare that kind of fraternal male touch had been in my life. Straight men weren’t supposed to express affection this way.

Of course, Mediterranean cultures like Spain and Italy possess a higher degree of male homosocial comfort—it is not at all strange there to see two men walking with their arms around one another, sleeping on each other’s shoulder, holding hands, or even sharing a quick friendly kiss. But as Mark Greene recently observed over at The Good Men Project, trying that kind of thing in the U.S. could get you a black eye:

In America in particular, if a young man attempts gentle platonic contact with another young man, he faces a very real risk of homophobic backlash either by that person or by those who witness the contact. This is, in part, because we frame all contact by men as being intentionally sexual until proven otherwise. Couple this with the homophobia that runs rampant in our culture, and you get a recipe for increased touch isolation that damages the lives of the vast majority of men.

The sad thing is that the non-sinful, often exuberant sort of physically-expressed, natural male affection that we see in those old photographs is precisely the sort of thing that can help homosexuals come to feel truly accepted by other men and can help them heal. While few heterosexual men would be happy to be perceived
erroenously as being homosexual for physically expressing affection toward other men, it's just that sort of courage that we need in order to help de-sexualize what is perfectly normal and good. We need to eradicate the hypersexualization that's been going on for way too long now, replacing it with Truth and Love, making for a culture that is marked by warmth and deep friendship instead of isolation and fear.

When it comes to that male bonding, though, it's important to understand that young boys, in order to identity with the masculine world, have to make a great psychic break with the feminine world, the world of mother. The feminine world is typically the entire universe to young children, beginning with the Ever-Present Mother, who is followed by teachers who are almost always women. The young are drowning in the feminine, and nowadays so many of of them don't have fathers in their lives at all. The failure of young boys to separate from the world of women and to then identify with the world of men is precisely what homosexuality is when eroticized! So, to some degree, the banter of young boys that mocks the feminine ("you throw like a girl!", "girls have cooties!") and that which is perceived to be feminine, including homosexuality, is natural. "That's gay!" is not mockery of the disorder; it's mockery of homosexual actions, the stereotypical lifestyle associated with active homosexuality (and the word "gay" connotes acceptance of the idea that it's OK to act on homosexual desires in a way that the word "homosexual" or the phrase "SSA" -- "Same Sex Attracted" -- doesn't; it brings to mind various unhealthy sub-cultures and behaviors that healthy, young, masculine boys are right to look askance at).

If you're homosexual, don't take such banter personally. Females have to learn that same lesson, and it's clear that radical feminists haven't. They see such talk as "hate." But it isn't; teasing, "busting each others' chops," and banter are how males bond. Of course, there are lines, and some young males can be inordinate in their use of that sort of talk, with some becoming complete jerks, or even violent (they're undoubtedly the ones most likely to have sexual orientation struggles of their own; see footnote 9). And children should most definitely be taught to not hurt the feelings of others for no good reason. But the need for young boys to separate themselves from the feminine and to guard against being seen as feminine can't be pathologized away without danger. So understand the reasons for such talk, and grow a sense of humor about it, as healthy girls and women have to do. I encourage you to do that even as I encourage parents to teach their children to understand and love those who struggle with homosexual disorder, and to be careful with others' feelings.

Preventing Your Children from Having to Struggle With Homosexuality

1. Stay close to Christ and His Church and pray for your children. Ask their guardian angels to protect them. Don't just talk the talk; walk the walk, developing a true and deep relationship with Lord Christ so that you have a profound conversion of the heart.

2. Work to have a happy marriage, a marriage in which the husband and wife respect each other. Be consistent and unified in your approach to disciplining your kids, and be not only just, but merciful to them. Make sure that the father is the head of your "domestic church," your home -- in a manner of which Christ would approve. Headship means that when the husband and wife disagree (which implies that the wife's ideas are heard, respected, and taken into account), but a decision must be made, then the husband's decision prevails; it in no way means that the wife is the husband's maid, slave, child, etc., that her voice and opinions don't matter, that she has no say in what happens in the family and to her life. Further, it entails the husband being so loving toward his wife that he is willing to die to protect her. He is to love her as Christ loves the Church. An imbalance in either direction -- e.g., if the wife has headship or if the husband is emotionally or physically abusive -- can help create a family dynamic that fosters the development of homosexuality. If any personality disorder (especially any of the "Cluster B" personality disorders -- i.e., borderline, narcissistic, antisocial, or histrionic personality disorders) affects you or your spouse, get help and deal with them.

3. Emotionally affirm your children -- by which is meant: Listen to them. Don't deny what they are feeling, don't treat the emotional world as unimportant. Teach your children to understand their emotions, to name them, comprehend their true origins, and master and order them -- dealing with them and expressing them in a moral and healthy way. Pay attention to emotions that masquerade as other emotions -- e.g., anger is often a mask for sadness, and sadness is often a mask for anger -- that is, the inordinately angry are often truly, preconsciously, experiencing sadness, and vice versa. Learn to cut through emotional layers to get to underlying, core problems, and teach your children to do this.

Fathers, love, guide, and mentor your male child, even if he is temperamentally different from you and has different interests. Your job is to help your boy identify as male and to embrace his masculinity, even if his ways of expressing that masculinity aren't exactly like yours. Listen to him, spend time with him, do things with him, teach him masculine skills, include him in your masculine pursuits. Engage him in activities that are "just for the guys" and that he'd enjoy (he might not like football, but will love baseball; he might not like fixing cars, but might love air shows or a natural history museum, etc.). When he's young, engage him in rough-and-tumble play, teaching him to grapple. Express pride in him for his accomplishments, and show him lots of affection, including physical affection. Develop the moral virtues so that you'll be someone worthy of emulating.

Mothers, never emotionally use your male child as a surrogate husband. Don't use him for emotional consolation, and don't burden him with the responsibility for your emotional well-being and need for emotional intimacy. Also, don't emotionally coddle him, don't pit him against his father, and don't undermine his father's attempts to bond with his son ("Oh, don't do that; it's so rough! He might get hurt!"). Prepare to do what every mother must do: let her child grow up, individuate, and grow apart from her.

Both parents: do all you can to ensure your child has members of his own sex to play and socialize with.

4. Allow your children to use their gifts and express themselves without stuffing them tightly into traditional gender roles. Traditional gender roles exist because they reflect Nature. Most girls are girly; most boys are boyish. But there are outliers, and that is fine. If you have a son who prefers painting to football, encourage him in his artistic pursuits and neither pressure him to become the "football-playing son" of your dreams nor shame him in any way for being who he is and being interested in what he's interested in. If you have a daughter who's more into playing softball than with dolls, let her be and love her like crazy. While no one is "born gay," we are born with gifts, aptitudes and temperaments. Those things do come from God, and disallowing their fulfillment and expression will result in misery. Quashing outliers also causes resentment and anger, and leads them to band together and foment revolution, which is a big reason why we're enduring the social situation we have now. Nor is quashing outliers good for the outliers themselves. Besides, just think of how boring the world would be if we were all exactly alike! Love your children for who they are and encourage them to use the gifts they've been given, within the bounds of Love and a sane social order!

5. Keep your children safe from sexual abuse. Teach your children that sexual abusers are out there, but do so without making them feel inordinately afraid, without overstating the problem and causing them to walk the world in fear. Teach them how to keep themselves safe, about what sexual abuse is, what to do if someone tries to cross boundaries with them (like showing them dirty pictures), what to do if they are, in fact, (God forbid) abused, etc. Teach them to recognize when they feel something is "off" -- and teach them what to do about it (e.g., leave immediately, tell someone, etc.). Role-play with them, giving them the language and skills to firmly refuse and run away, fight, scream, kick, bite -- whatever they have to do to safely stop a sexually abusive situation. Don't let them be coy and passive about this! "You touch me and I'll kill ya!" is in no way out of order. And, finally, know the signs of sexual abuse and watch for them. If you see any such signs, talk to your child about them, and listen to what he says.

6. Teach your children about sex, homosexuality, and other things they need to learn from you rather than learning about them from secular sources. Do so in a manner consistent with their intellectual and emotional maturity, guarding their innocence without letting them remain ignorant. Know that demonizing homosexuals is not only wrong, but will undoubtedly backfire; the moment your child goes out into the world, meets homosexuals, and sees that most are just "nice" people trying to get through life, he will come to question what you've taught him, mistrust your understanding of things in general, and see you as unloving, unfair, and unjust. And know this: if you've wrongly taught him that your unjust and false perceptions of homosexuals and homosexuality are "what the Church teaches," you imperil his very soul by tempting him to walk away from the Faith. Please be careful with the language you use: differentiate between "homosexual" and "actively homosexual," and between "homosexual" and "homosexual activist," etc.

7. Know that confusion about sexual orientation and even gender identity is not uncommon during puberty, but is usually "outgrown." My hunch is that this sort of confusion will likely become even more common given the increasing number of fatherless children, the normalization of homosexuality, the condoning of homosexual sex, the cheapening of sex in general, the seeming omnipresence of pornography, and media attempts to make being homosexual and expressing gender dysphoria "cool." If your child is experiencing such confusion, talk to him about it without shaming him in any way whatsoever, try to understand what he deeply needs and then give it to him. Very importantly, keep him away from any group that'd slap a label on him, push him into adopting an "identity," and encourage him to adopt a lifestyle and peer group that'd "lock him into" that "identity."

8. Keep your children far, far away from pornography. It is poison! Use filters to keep your child safe while surfing the internet. Consider only allowing him to use a computer that is in a public room of your home. Think about whether he should have a smart phone and, if so, how he should use it, what limits should be placed on its use, etc. If you have a problem with pornography yourself, deal with it. This site, a secular one, called Your Brain On Porn, might help (link will open in a new browser window).

9. If your child does turn out to be homosexual, make sure he knows the teachings of the Church, and continue to love him like crazy. As with anyone, never shame him for having a disorder! Do not threaten, shun, punish, yell, or do anything that'd cause the child to write you off as a source of help and love. If he is unrepentantly actively homosexual or an activist type, do what you have to do to protect your other children from any poisonous ideology he might spew, remain firm in your faith, and don't cave in order to assuage or out of fear of "losing" your child, but never turn off the love and the prayer for his soul. Love and prayer that bring him to Christ are precisely what he needs the most! 

10. Finally, I once again urge everyone to read these two pages on this website: Conversion of the Heart and Judging Others.

A Note on "Homosexual Marriage"

Marriage is, of course, a sacrament between a man and a woman, with the primary purpose of bearing and educating children. That's what it is and always will be until the end of time, and the State has an absolute interest in maintaining that definition and supporting the institution of marriage. Many nations, though, have legalized homosexual "marriage." This should never have happened. But homosexuals -- active or not -- have legitimate concerns about such things as the ability to have someone treated as a family member for purpose of hospital visitations, to have someone legally allowed to act for a medical patient when that patient is unable to act for himself, etc. All of those concerns are ones that are not only homosexuals might have; anyone with no family (or estranged family) should have the legal ability to deal with such things by way of contract such that a named friend could act in place of next of kin. Instead of homosexual civil "marriages," a one-stop means to legally identify someone as next-of-kin for legal purposes should be devised.

While on the topic: don't let anyone tell you that the legalization of gay "marriage" is about equality. Before two people of the same sex were allowed to civilly "marry," the laws applied equally to all. A straight man couldn't marry a man, and a straight woman also couldn't marry a woman. Neither could homosexual people marry members of their own sex. Perfectly equal. And perfectly logical given that marriage isn't about intense feelings and romance (though those are, or at least can be, good things); it has as its primary purpose the begetting and raising of children, which two people of the same sex cannot do. Further, there is no way to sanely and legally define "consummation" when it comes to "marriage" between two people of the same sex. And, finally, the goal with legalizing "gay marriage" was always about abolishing the traditional family. Writer Masha Gessen let that cat out of the bag at the 2012 Sydney Writer's Festival. Have a listen:

Further Reading

These links are off-site and will open in new browser windows:

NARTH: The Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity

Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences
from The New Atlantis

BBC Earth: Are There Any Homosexual Animals? Note that whether or not homosexual behavior exists in animals or not, we human beings are more than just animals; we are made in the image of God and are moral creatures, gifted with reason. Chimpanzees are aggressive; that doesn't mean we should be. They also fling their feces at each other; that doesn't mean we should. Male bears cannibalize bear cubs born of other fathers; that doesn't mean we should eat our babies. Nonetheless, homosexuality as it's known in the human world does not, in fact, exist among wild animals.

Courage Catholic ministry serving those who struggle with same sex attraction. There is another group for "Catholic" homosexuals, a group called "Dignity." This second group is not faithful to the teachings of the Church; they are "progressives" who push for change in Church teaching, condone homosexual acts, etc. Stay far away from them.


1 This pdf file is offered here with the kind permission of Dr. Stephen Krason, publisher of  "The Catholic Social Science Review." URL:

2 "A systematic review of mental disorder, suicide, and deliberate self harm in lesbian, gay and bisexual people", by King, Semlyen, Tai, Killaspy, Osborn, Popelyuk. URL: Retrieved: February 24, 2017.

3 "Study puts HIV rate among gay men at 1 in 5," by Darryl Fears, Washington Post. URL: Retrieved: February 24, 2017.

"A Same-Sex Domestic Violence Epidemic Is Silent," by Maya Shwayder of the Atlantic Monthly. URL: Retrieved: February 24, 2017.

5 "Many Successful Gay Marriages Share an Open Secret," by Scott James, New York Times. URL: Retrieved February 24, 2017. Of course, this NYT article lauds such behavior, even intimating that heterosexuals have much to learn from it. A quote: "'The traditional American marriage is in crisis, and we need insight,' he said, citing the fresh perspective gay couples bring to matrimony. 'If innovation in marriage is going to occur, it will be spearheaded by homosexual marriages.'”



8 See "More men are raped in the US than women, figures on prison assaults reveal" from the Daily Mail. URL: Retrieved: March 3, 2017

9 See the study, "Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal?". URL:  Abstract:

The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n = 35) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n = 29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the Index of Homophobia (W. W. Hudson & W. A. Ricketts, 1980). The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes, and changes in penile circumference were monitored. They also completed an Aggression Questionnaire (A. H. Buss & M. Perry, 1992). Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.

Of course, scientific studies these days have extremely serious problems with regard to reproducibility, political bias, and a lack of peer review (see, but the abstract above seems to me to fit human nature and our propensity to use defense mechanisms, in this case, reaction formation.

10 While most pedophiles and ephebophiles are male, don't think for one minute that there are no female offenders of that nature. There most certainly are -- and many, many more than most people think (I personally know one woman who was sexually molested by her own mother). In addition to the female teachers who seem to always be in our newspapers after getting caught sexually abusing students -- typically cases of ephebophilia involving physically sexually mature male students -- there are also women who sexually abuse pre-pubescent children of both sexes, even babies.

In Eve Ensler's notorious "The Vagina Monologues," one scene -- a scene called "The Little Coochi Snorcher That Could" -- recounts one woman's story of her encounter, at the age of thirteen, with a twenty-four year old lesbian who plied her with vodka ("the alcohol has gone to my head; I am loose") and molested her. The character talks about her enjoyment of it all, how the female rapist was her "surprising, unexpected, and politically incorrect salvation." She relates how she was told later that what was done to her was rape; her reply: "If it was rape, it was a good rape." After conservative groups and even some liberals expressed outrage, the play was altered so that the character became sixteen years old instead of thirteen, and mention of rape was omitted. But the original play, a bit of theater beloved by radical feminists, literally condoned the rape of a thirteen-year old girl by a twenty-four year old lesbian who got her drunk first, and the updated, now supposedly OK version, has a 24-year old lesbian molesting a sixteen-year old.

11 Retrieved: February 27, 2017

touch_for_straight_men.html Retrieved: February 27, 2017

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