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Homosexuality and the Catholic Church

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By: Isabelle Eisinger
Does God love every human regardless to his or her sexual orientation? According to the Catholic Church and the Vatican, He does not.
In their statements, leaders of the Catholic Church refer to text passages in the Holy Bible. Especially the story about Sodom has fatal effects on the perspective on homosexuals.
In this story, God in the shape of three male angels is looking for Abraham to tell him that He would destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah if their inhabitants are really as sinful as they are said to be. God says that He would spare Sodom if Abraham could find ten decent men. He sends two angels to Abraham’s nephew Lot who lives an honest life in Sodom. Lot receives the angels kindly as his guests but the inhabitants of Sodom request him to leave the angels to them because they want to have sexual intercourse with them. After Lot could not find ten decent inhabitants of Sodom, the angels save Lot by bringing him out of the city, while God destructs Sodom and Gomorrah.
From today’s Bible experts’ point of view, the story has nothing to do with homosexuality but is about the breach of the right of hospitality by violation. The East Roman emperor Justinian (527-565 AD) was the first who used the story of Sodom against homosexuals. After numerous earthquakes and the appearance of the pest, referring to the story of Sodom, he enacted a law to punish homosexuality with death because he claimed that God had sent hunger crisis, earthquakes and the pest because of such offenses. Justinian used the fact that the angels of the story of Sodom were men, to assert that they had homosexual intercourse and that this was the reason why God destroyed Sodom.
In the following centuries there were consistent pogroms against homosexuals, using the same justification. The Vatican still uses this argument today although the perspective on homosexuality of many societies has changed. Even the Protestant Church argues against homosexuality. That is why Protestant priests are not allowed to have a same-sex partner. Apparently the Church is afraid that a homosexual priest who lives happily together with his or her partner would be a danger for the community; which is complete nonsense, of course. In contrast, homosexual adolescents need role models as well, and it would be helpful for them if there would be a homosexual authoritative person they could look up to.
 
The Vatican defines the acceptance of sexuality not by the contrast of hetero- and homosexuality but by the contrast of natural and unnatural sexuality, which refers to the act of reproduction. That is why masturbation and artificial contraception are condemned by the Vatican, too. So if the leaders of the Catholic Church would change their opinion in one of these points, their whole doctrine would collapse. Therefore, a change of the Catholic Church’s opinion about homosexuality is very improbable.
 
Through the history, there were consistently people who spoke out against homosexuality referring to Ancient Greek’s philosophers and the Bible. This had a great influence on the early church fathers who crucially contributed to the doctrine and the self-understanding of Christianity. According to the church father Augustine for example, before the fall of mankind Adam and Eve were without passion during the act of reproduction. Afterwards, humans were punished by not being able to control their genitals and their passion. That is why Augustine refused the passion of sexuality and allowed sexual intercourse only for the purpose of reproduction. Logically this excluded homosexual activities because the procreation of a child is not possible. The Catholic sexual morality is thereby only permitting sexual activities or sexual intercourse if there is a possibility of reproduction.
 
The most obvious question that emerges, is, who created homosexual people if not God? And why would He create people with this sexual orientation if He would not want them to be like that? That must be a cruel God if He would want those people to deny themselves and live an unfulfilled life. Is it not blasphemy when people presume to decide which lifestyle, sexual orientation or gender identity is decent and respectable and which is not?
According to the Bible, Jesus said that God loves all people, also those who are rejected by other people because they are different.
 
Source: http://www.lsvd.de/fileadmin/pics/Dokumente/Homosexualitaet/kirche.pdf

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