Salvation for LGBT Persons

In order to be saved and go to Heaven, a person must die in the state of grace. The claim that it is not possible for a person to be in the state of grace, due to certain choices that person has made, implies that such persons cannot be saved and go to Heaven, unless they repent. The questions in this article pertain to repentance and salvation.

1. Can LGBT persons be in the state of grace and go to Heaven, if they never repent from living lives that are gravely contrary to Catholic teaching and natural law?

2. Can persons who are sexually-active, outside of a marriage that is valid under Catholic teaching, be in the state of grace and go to Heaven, if they never repent from these choices, which are gravely contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church and natural law?

3. Can a trans person, in various states of transition, be in the state of grace and go to Heaven, if they never repent from these choices, which are gravely contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church and natural law?

4. Can persons in a same-sex marriage be in the state of grace and go to Heaven, if they never repent from these choices, which are gravely contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church and natural law?

5. Can persons who are obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin, whether sexual sins or other sins, nevertheless be in the state of grace and go to Heaven?

Under Catholic teaching, I think the answer to these questions is a conditional “Yes”.

It is possible for someone to be committing an act that is objectively gravely immoral, and clearly contrary to Catholic moral teaching and natural law, without the full culpability of actual mortal sin. Absent that culpability, the sinner might still be in the state of grace and may still go to Heaven, even if they never repent from that objectively grave sin.

Persons in a same-sex marriage, or divorced and remarried heterosexual persons, or other persons living in a state of objectively grave sin might be in the state of grace. They may have a sincere but mistaken conscience. They may love others sincerely, while living in a manner contrary to Church teaching or natural law. The fallen sinner often does not fully realize the grave immorality of certain kinds of sins, especially when those sins are widely approved by sinful secular society.

This means that gay married persons who die without apparent “repentance” may go to Heaven, as they died in the state of grace. And the same can be said of various LGBT persons, in many different complex situations. The mere fact that they know Catholic teaching is not sufficient to establish full culpability. Even an LGBT persons who practices the Catholic faith might not have that full culpability of actual mortal sin.

In addition, if a person has the culpability of actual mortal sin, they might repent with implicit perfect contrition, by the love of God or the love of neighbor. They would then return to the state of grace without explicit repentance from the grave sins in question.

But how would the Catholic far right answer the above question? They avoid answering such questions, because they know that their answer would be unacceptable to society in general and to most of their fellow Catholics. So they hide their views and only hint at their beliefs on certain points.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

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8 Responses to Salvation for LGBT Persons

  1. Matt Z. says:

    In my opinion you are giving too much credit to Catholics who openly disobey Church teaching so they can live a lifestyle that in their view will make them happy, yet is killing their soul. As Catholics much had been received, so much more is to be given. Also, with the availably of the internet, many Catholics can know their faith now more than ever. Failure to do so is lukewarmness, which will be judged accordingly. After listening to St.Leonard of Port Maurice work the Fewness of Those Saved(the entire work focuses on baptized Catholics over the age of reason), many Catholics do know right from wrong but choose mortal sin instead.

  2. Alex says:

    I think the question of the Love must be made once again the most important one in the Catholic/Christian teaching. We were told that God is Love, and that whoever loves how brother whom he can see, knows and loves God whom he doesn’t see, and whoever doesn’t love his brother doesn’t know or love God. (ref. 1 John). And yet all the complexity of rulings seems to eclipse that basic principle.

    If the Love becomes once more the cornerstone of the Church teaching, and not something else as it happened centuries ago, then it will be clearly seen that the gay people (who have not chosen to be gay) do indeed love and should not be demonized. Maybe that is inconvenient fact for the heterosexual people for whom their own beautiful love is the only existing love in the world, while the very similar and sincere feelings of the gay people are called everything else but love. And who is the arbiter of the so set “different kinds of love”? Isn’t it after all God?

    Why should we be made believe that the heterosexual marriages are all found on mutual pure love, while in fact many of them are not? Furthermore, some spouses do not divorce because of complex issues and not only because they do not want to break up the commandment. There is a clear double standard that should be reviewed thoroughly based on what Jesus taught. Not based on middle age scholars who believed that anything that doesn’t produce pregnancy is a sin (and who said the masturbation was worse than having sex with one’s own mother, because the latter could theoretically produce pregnancy while the former cannot – and I don’t want to say the name of that scholar a saint, because I respect him very much for his overall works that contributed to Christian philosophy. But no one is perfect or flawless).

    Even within the blessed marriage not every sexual encounter leads to pregnancy because it is physically impossible, naturally one woman can have about 15 pregnancies with some very rare exceptions that do not go beyond 20. In other words, the vast majority of sexual intercourses in the blessed life of heterosexual family, maybe thousands or ten thousand for decades, do not lead to fertilization. Do not even intend fertilization, because it is not physically possible a such. Let alone the nature of the male sperm that produces billions of spermatozoa that never ever would be able theoretically to fertilize any egg. That is how God created it. Not how the modernists liberals decided to be. Not how the conservatives, fundamentals decided to be. But how God who created it in His omnipotent wisdom. Whoever denies that, needs some basic education in human physiology. And I think, also some education in basic Bible history as well. Because the people in Bible times did not make such big problems out of the obvious things in life. Including the friendship between David and Jonathan that was recorded forever. Middle ages instead did it wrong. Not Christianity, not Catholicism, rather the Middle age understanding of what is sin and what is not.

    Jesus clearly set the conditions who will enter in His kingdom, by saying: “I was hungry and you gave me food (or, you didn’t give me food)”. He didn’t say, “because you were gay”. Further, Jesus performed miracles also to gay people (the centurion and his male servant whom he loved). I don’t even talk here of the special place of John the beloved disciple and what it did mean for a society where everyone including the prophets had to be married. Jesus himself made the precedent.

    Maybe it is also the time to review those books who weren’t approved in 4th century as canonical. Even the Revelation wasn’t immediately approved but only after more decades. The Council of Laodicea (363 AD) omits it as a canonical book. Perhaps it was canonized at the Council of Rome (382 AD) (source wikipedia). What is so different then to discuss again dozens of other books about the life of Jesus. What is so heretical. We all know the role of emperor Constantine on Nicaea council, when Constantine wasn’t even baptized and still held the pagan highest religious position of “pontifex maximus”.

    Today, we need a new Holy Council that will decide on all those matters, both moral and canonical, and will put an end of any dispute about them for the age we are living in and long after us. Those things are not dogmas (regardless of how much card. Muller calls them dogmas) and history shows they changed over time.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Certainly, I agree with Catholic teaching on sexual ethics, including the condemnation of homosexual acts, same-sex marriage, and every type of heterosexual sexual sin. I simple believe that some sinners are saved despite these gravely immoral choices, by a reduced culpability or by some form of repentance and forgiveness.

    • Matt Z. says:

      Just to touch on one part of your post. People do choose to be gay. God doesn’t make disordered inclinations. He may allow them to happen. Disordered inclinations are the result of original sin. Original sin does not stem from God. So everyone is to work out their salvation with fear and trembling even in the toughest circumstances to get to know and love God and live chastely. Once we put the marker on someone that he is born gay, he will lose all hope.

    • Ron Conte says:

      People are born (actually conceived) with original sin. And a homosexual orientation is a disorder due in part to original sin. There is certainly a genetic component to the inclination, as well as ac component from nurture and personal experiences, and also personal choices. It is complex, not simple. Some persons experience this orientation as if imposed on them, even if their past choices play a role, to one extent or another. Yes, gay persons are called to be chaste. But one can understand that some gay persons have difficulty accepting such a cross, esp. when society tells them it is not wrong to act on their orientation.

    • Alex says:

      I didn’t manage how to respond to responses, maybe now it will appear in the right position.

      No, people do not choose to be gay. Don’t know Matt where do you have your information from. They may choose to act or not to act in that way, (and the non action amounts to a great sacrifice up to a martyrdom). But they realize they are gay in their puberty years or even before that. Read about it or ask a relative/friend who is a gay. Every big family has at least one kid such, sometimes more. Even if the family is super traditional catholic.

      In the past those kids would have followed the religious vocation. And the family and church community would thank God for the gift of vocation, instead of demonizing the youth that he doesn’t like girls (or she doesn’t like boys). For obvious reasons priests and nuns do not marry. Today, even the religious vocation process is corrupt, and in many cases those youths would be rejected by the religious institutions. I know of such examples, perfect youths many times better and holier than those priests who rejected them. Paradoxically, the priests or even bishops who denied the vocation path of a youth who feels he is homosexual but never acted on it, may have been themselves acting homosexuals within the Church structures. Even the paradox, to find him not fit exactly because he is not willing to act on his sexual feelings. And those who will, they are accepted without much consideration. All the talks that seminaries do not accept gays, are exactly talks for the public. But God is the judge and He will judge rather Soon!

  3. dom64verona88chrysostomos says:

    Cela est possible: Dieu est Tout-Puissant.

  4. Alex says:

    Ron, I agree with much of what you said in the OP, but I don’t think the particular word “condemnation” in your response is correct. Pope Francis apologized to the gays, and their issues would have been included in the synod of families and in the following papal document, (similarly to the issues of remarried heterosexual couples), if it was not for the fierce opposition of the handful ultraconservative bishops. Those ones who now openly demonstrate their schism. I am curious what decisions will take the German bishops’ synod that starts on Dec 10 and will continue for years. And whether the next pope wouldn’t be German. On that issue of the next pope I also respectfully disagree with you. Thank you.

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