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December 4th, 2006

All That Is Human

From the Cartoon Page

Last month, a conference of US Catholic bishops approved and released a letter entitled "Ministry to Persons With a Homosexual Inclination: Guidelines for Pastoral Care". Calling homosexuality "objectively disordered" the document complains that western culture recognizes "no acts as intrinsically evil". It asserts that "any tendency toward sexual pleasure that is not subordinated to the greater goods of love and marriage is disordered, in that it inclines a person towards a use of sexuality that does not accord with the divine plan for creation". Then later, without any apparent irony, the document states that "many in our culture have difficulty understanding Catholic moral teaching because they do not understand that morality has an objective basis."

The document ultimately demands that homosexuals abstain from any and all forms of sexual intimacy congruent with their nature, and says that "chaste living is an affirmation of all that is human, and is the will of God. It is we who suffer when we violate the dictates of our own human nature."

Which is true enough, as any gay person who has tried to deny their nature will tell you. In 1975, one of Love In Action’s first clients, Jack McIntyre, committed suicide rather then, by his own reckoning, make one more promise to God he knew he could not keep. The effect of the Guidelines for Pastoral Care will without a doubt be to drive other gay men and women into self annihilating behaviors, if not outright suicide. "Chastity", say the Bishops, "means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being." But it is precisely that inner unity they intend to doggedly destroy within gay and lesbian people, in the name of god, in the name of Jesus, and in the name of love. How easy it is, to take that body and soul wholeness away from someone else, when you don’t have to live with the pain and the emptiness. It is we who suffer, when we violate the dictates of our own human nature, not the ones who teach us to fear and loath our human nature, the nature that our creator bestowed upon us.

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