Catholic teaching on homosexuality 2

Some persons claim that the sin of Sodom, for which God utterly destroyed the entire city, was merely inhospitality. This interpretation is absurd and disingenuous.

{13:13} But the men of Sodom were very wicked, and they were sinners before the Lord beyond measure.

Mere inhospitality is not a grave sin, and certainly does not deserve to be called ‘very wicked’ and ‘sinners…beyond measure’. Therefore, the sin here is not inhospitality. Lot is saved, and the rest of the city is condemned, because Lot rejecting homosexual acts as evil and the rest of the city did not.

{19:4} But before they went to bed, the men of the city surrounded the house, from boys to old men, all the people together.
{19:5} And they called out to Lot, and they said to him: “Where are the men who entered to you in the night? Bring them out here, so that we may know them.”
{19:6} Lot went out to them, and blocking the door behind him, he said:
{19:7} “Do not, I ask you, my brothers, do not be willing to commit this evil.

The men of Sodom wanted to commit the sin of homosexual acts with the men who were visiting Lot. (These men were actually Angels, but everyone thought that they were men.) This sin was widely accepted in that city, even as if it were a right, and they were accustomed to committing this sin often. For they all gathered together to demand the same sin, even with men who were merely visiting the city. And this sin must have been long-standing in that city, since it had permeated their society thoroughly, from boys even to old men.

Some persons claim that the sin condemned by the story of Sodom is solely the sin of rape. But this is obviously not the case. The attempted rape of the men visiting Lot is certainly a sin, but rape has occurred in other cases in the stories of the Bible, and God did not destroy the entire city where the rape or attempted rape occurred. The sin of the whole city of Sodom was that all the men, from young to old, were willing to commit unnatural sexual acts; they apparently did so as a matter of course. And so Sacred Scripture tells us that there was an outcry about the sins of Sodom, even before this incident at Lot’s house.

{19:6} Lot went out to them, and blocking the door behind him, he said:
{19:7} “Do not, I ask you, my brothers, do not be willing to commit this evil.
{19:8} I have two daughters who as yet have not known man. I will bring them out to you; abuse them as it pleases you, provided that you do no evil to these men, because they have entered under the shadow of my roof.”

Lot sinned by offering his two daughters to the men of Sodom, for this type of formal cooperation with evil is always immoral. But the point that Sacred Scripture is making here is that some sexual sins are of a more serious type than other sexual sins. Unnatural sexual acts are more gravely disordered than sinful heterosexual acts.

{18:22} You shall not commit sexual acts with a male, in place of sexual intercourse with a female, for this is an abomination.

{20:13} If any man has slept with a male in place of sexual intercourse with a female, both have committed a nefarious act, they shall die a death. So let their blood be upon them.

These two verses clearly condemn homosexual acts as an abomination, as nefarious acts, as acts so grave they deserve death. Sacred Scripture teaches that homosexual acts are mortal sins, resulting in the figurative death of the soul that occurs when the state of grace is lost. The Old Testament discipline prescribed the death penalty for homosexual acts. This provision is no longer in force as an exterior precept, but the meaning of this provision, that homosexual acts are gravely immoral, remains in force. For the moral law is unchanging.

Although these verses condemn a male having sexual relations with another male, the verses certainly imply that a female having sexual relations with a female is also condemned.

When the Church interprets the ten commandments, not only the particular stated act is condemned, but also similar acts. For example, the commandment against adultery is interpreted to also prohibit other sexual sins. The section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Sixth Commandment (You shall not commit adultery.) also condemns masturbation, fornication, pornography, prostitution, rape, and other related sins. Similarly, when Sacred Scripture condemns homosexuality by giving the example of a male committing sexual acts with another male, the condemnation of all homosexual acts is implied, for men and for women. And the commandment against bearing false witness against your neighbor is also interpreted as condemning all lying.

Sacred Scripture must always be interpreted in the light of Sacred Tradition and the teachings of the Magisterium. Tradition has always condemned homosexual acts, by men and by women. The Magisterium has always condemned homosexual acts as gravely immoral, regardless of whether the persons committing the acts are both male (gay) or both female (lesbian). We are all equal before the eternal moral law. There is not a separate code of morality for women than for men.

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament condemn homosexual acts as intrinsically evil and always gravely immoral. Such acts are immoral by the very nature of the act. The deprivation of the marital meaning, the unitive meaning, and the procreative meaning causes these acts to be inherently gravely immoral.

Catechism of the Catholic Church: “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, [140] tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” [Persona Humana, n. 8] 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.” (CCC, n. 2357)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church cites these verses from Scripture in support of the condemnation of homosexual acts: [140] Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10.

Genesis 19 is the story of Lot. Therefore, the CCC interprets the sin of Sodom as referring to homosexuality, not mere inhospitality.

{1:24} For this reason, God handed them over to the desires of their own heart for impurity, so that they afflicted their own bodies with indignities among themselves.
{1:25} And they exchanged the truth of God for a lie. And they worshipped and served the creature, rather than the Creator, who is blessed for all eternity. Amen.
{1:26} Because of this, God handed them over to shameful passions. For example, their females have exchanged the natural use of the body for a use which is against nature.
{1:27} And similarly, the males also, abandoning the natural use of females, have burned in their desires for one another: males doing with males what is disgraceful, and receiving within themselves the recompense that necessarily results from their error.

[1 Corinthians]
{6:10} nor the effeminate, nor males who sleep with males, nor thieves, nor the avaricious, nor the inebriated, nor slanderers, nor the rapacious shall possess the kingdom of God.

[1 Timothy]
{1:10} for fornicators, for males who sleep with males, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,

This entry was posted in ethics, Scripture, theology of the body. Bookmark the permalink.