Sunday, 16 December 2012


There's a lot of hysteria among Roman Catholics about Mr Cameron's ideas about the exclusion of gay people from marriage, and what he wants to do about it. I personally couldn't care less; I am a confirmed bachelor in both the Victorian euphemistic sense and any other sense you like - I'm not remotely interested in relationships; and besides, it's a purely civil matter. It wouldn't be such a problem if Roman Catholics weren't so clearly homophobic, even if their church tells them to approach homosexuals with understanding and compassion. In my experience they either let on they don't know or they shun you altogether, in the Pauline spirit of ''expel the wicked from among you.'' Quite different if you're a priest of the London Oratory, of course, or you write books about Liturgy.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: ''Every sign of unjust discrimination in their [homosexuals'] regard should be avoided.'' Very well. I will not belabour the obvious discrepancy between this attitude and the one enunciated by St Paul, the Fathers and the Scholastics, who place sodomites among the basest of persons, but unfortunately anything the modern Roman church says about the subject, whether condemning homosexual acts, or repeated homosexual acts which lead to homosexual lifestyles, is tainted with fear and abhorrence, which has its uttermost source in the Devil, not God. Is this toleration? If so it has come in a form that is slightly insulting. You cannot have the unity of faith, acceptance, and a sacramental life on the one hand, and the stigma of going to church every Sunday and being greeted with the ''Oh, God, you're one of those'' look, on the other. ''You cannot sire or bear children, that part of you is crooked, an evil fruit of the Fall; don't be surprised if we don't include you in our extra-ecclesial activities.'' So all the official doctrine in the world makes almost no difference at all; it is the result of popular opinion, a stinking red herring. Thick mick priest is a homophobe, had his share in picking on the weak kid at school, and grew up with this attitude, mistaking it for orthodoxy. I have myself been on the receiving end of this, and I have known Roman Catholic parents to encourage homophobia in their children. I grew up in a homophobic house, where words like ''poof,'' ''pansy'' and ''faggot'' were used without much thought.

Being a compendium of church doctrines one can't expect the catechism to go into any great detail about homosexuality, but everything it says is rather noncommittal. Perhaps this is their idea of trying to fudge over the old ideas under the false ''hermeneutic of continuity,'' or fear of being accused of wanton bigotry without reason on the other, who knows? One Roman priest said to me once that he thought homosexuality didn't exist, and that homosexual tendencies were a temptation to sin rather than an ontological reality in the person. This is, of course, a factual statement about the reality of homosexuality in the human makeup, there is evidence bearing on it, so this man's personal opinion on the matter is completely irrelevant. I daresay that this homophobic individual would be one to support such unscientific articles as this one, begotten of hatred and ignorance.

No, given everything I've just said, it's hardly surprising that Roman Catholics are eaten up with fear and paranoia about Mr Cameron's views, is it?


  1. I'm a homosexual myself, but I was under the impression that homophobia was a word invented by the advocates of the gay rights movement in order to silence their critics. Does the word have another meaning? Just asking.

  2. I think there are clear differences between acceptance of chastity and continence and irrational fear and indescriminate hatred of homosexuals. I distance myself from gay activism anyway, having much more time for Oscar Wilde, Alan Turing and Quentin Crisp than for nobodies like Peter Tatchell, who is just there to make a name for himself - incidentally by accusing people of homophobia and other bully tactics.

  3. There seem to be other 'sexualities' including the spectrum of bi-sexuality. Kinsey wasn't wrong in allrespcts inhis spcturm of sexul yearnings! God evidently made some of us thus, and we have to take our lumps, as it were.

    Celibacy is not the cure, it is the medicine! Some would say.

    Rdr. james

  4. You're right, Auriel Ragmon, about the ''spectrum'' of human sexuality, which the catechism conveniently passes over without mention. Roman teaching on human sexuality doesn't treat of persons, doesn't recognise the reality of human sexuality at all, just inclinations, which are either conventional (you go after a woman, you marry her, you have children), or not, and which lead to acts, which are either moral or immoral. Human sexuality is far greater than simply making a choice, whether it be moral or no. It is not exactly the driving force of your life but it informs your mindset, your convictions, your way of life, your deportment and character, and choice of lifestyle. Homosexuals are as different among themselves, as a separate group, as are hobbits from dwarves. I don't claim to know whence human sexuality comes but I guess it has something to do with the mind, or soul; it certainly informs (or is informed by) temperament.

    As an aside, and before I forget, I'd like to know where exactly the Roman church draws the line as to what constitutes an immoral act among homosexuals. Sodomy? Holding hands? Don't let's forget that ''celibacy'' refers to relationships first and foremost, and to what goes on in relationships only incidentally.

    I would ask, in the light of increasing insight in the scientific world into human sexuality, wherefore the Church continues to treat the matter in an absolutely moral sense. And if, as St Paul says, God gave them up to unnatural lusts, then why me? For years I strove to live according to Roman church teaching on the matter but it just made me unhappy and bitter about my lot, not because I was necessarily forbidden from doing either this or that but because the system imposed a stigma through the said teaching. I have dealt with various attitudes from people in my life in my own way, either by putting them down, or in their place, or choosing not to associate with them, but you can't treat religion in this way; you cannot in conscience, if you are this way inclined, assent to a religious system which is utterly opposed to you.

    This, of course, raises other questions, such as the ethics of labelling. When there is no opprobrium heaped on homosexuals by the priests of the church homosexuals will cease to have to confirm or deny their ''sexuality.'' This is one reason I reject LGBT Pride, because Pride events thrive on the idea of being different and shoving it in everybody's face. Essentially I am a person. And to be quite frank I couldn't care less whether Mr Cameron's silly ideas come to fruition.

  5. Just discovered your blog, and just jove it. Since the last year i started to have troubles with my faith cause I am bi, and I fell in love with a special male friend that I have. I think that you have tho continue writing things like this. Is interesting to find that also in the traditionalist catholicism you can find people who wants to see the person and not only the cathesism or the doctrine. Congratulations from Mexico...

  6. fachamartinsky, thank you for your comment. It's interesting to know that I have a readership building up in central and south America. I hope you continue to enjoy my posts!