Thursday, January 08, 2009

Postscript to Odone

One of my dearest friends is a priest who is same-sex attracted. He is also committed to living chastely and fulfilling his vows. I remember a discussion over a bottle of Rioja when a fellow student said something along the lines of "But surely the Church can find some way of accomodating the love gay people have for each other?" (I'm not sure what he had in mind).

His response was stark: "You are surely not suggesting that the Church should advocate sodomy?"

He was right. His love of Christ made him foreswear his inclinations and be faithful to what the Church teaches in Christ's name. The love we owe to our gay men and women does not mean that we must advocate that which is contrary to the immemorial teaching of the Church.

Human nature, oddly enough, did not change significantly in 1968 (or whenever).

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Blogger madame evangelista said...

Thanks for this post, you raise a really interesting point - why would anyone, gay or straight, think homosexuality is a synonym for sodomy? I was under the impression that sodomy is forbidden to heterosexuals too rather than being specific to gay couples. And it would be pretty difficult for a gay woman to commit sodomy without artificial help.

I completely agree, human nature didn't suddenly change in 1968. (At least I assume it didn't, I wasn't there, lol).

I'm happy your priest-friend is able to live chastely and obediently to the church, and pray that I may follow his example.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

I think his point was that the Church's changing does not change and cannot change because it is expedient or because we perceive that we have changed in some fundamental way. We haven't.

He's much too subtle and humane a man to pin everything on one particular sexual behaviour. As you imply, the rules are the same for all of us (because God loves ALL of us)

9:22 AM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

Sorry: That's "the Church's teaching does not change..."

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post!

Living chastely is a challenge and those of us who are same sex attracted have what can sometimes seem like more than our fair share of it--but really the good Lord gives each of us the grace we need in each of the circumstances of our lives.

Pft; I have to redouble my efforts at being patient with someone who goes on and on about how the World Has Changed, pft: I know immediately that my interlocutor has no real grasp of history, psychology &c &c.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos to your Priest-friend.

It is an interesting discussion, whether homosexuality equals homogenital acts...but I think the clue is in the words. At any rate, I would opine it is high time for people to think carefully about what they are calling for. Do we want to be faithful or not?

Thanks for the post. :D

10:56 AM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

I wanted to emphasise the fact of a universal call to chastity. The gay lobby would have us believe that we are in some way defined by our orientation or more radically by our sexual behaviour (and that this is immutable and inevitable in some weird corruption of predestination).

The fact is that all sexual orientations have a radical call to chastity - 'gay' or 'straight' if you accept these definitions, married or single, lay or clerical - a chastity that includes human warmth, open-heartedness and above all friendship and love.

My priest-friend is possessed of heroic charity - bought at a cost of great sacrifice but something that shines through in his friendship. I have been blessed to know him.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly, Paulinus! :D

2:07 PM  

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