Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rick Warren, Is This What You Were Trying to Say? (CCC 2357-2359)

Rick Warren is struggling to articulate his position on gay marriage. I'm not surprised. Talking about homosexuality is difficult. Perhaps Rick could use a little help from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2357-2359. I have added some emphasis.
2357 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, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." 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.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
Notice the clear distinction between person and action, between being and doing. The text is careful not only to safeguard but uphold the dignity of the human person while at the same time being absolutely clear on the Church's position concerning the actions in question.

Our culture resists this separation. We tend to think of people who suffer homosexual inclinations as homosexual persons. The transcendental dimension of the human person is lost in this confounding of being and doing.

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