- HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONSHIP

Created: Monday, 10 February 2014 Last Updated: Monday, 31 March 2014

HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONSHIP


1.-    The homosexual relationship is a complex problem related not only to the common ethic, but to the Gospel too. To begin with, several questions arise: is there a related common ethic? Which position does the Gospel adopt? Which is the relationship between the common ethic and the Gospel? In our plural society, the homosexual relationship originates very diverse reactions: it is an aberration, it is a pride, it is something against nature, it is a deviation, it is an option, it is an illness, it is not an illness, it must be punished, it must be tolerated, it is a healing matter, it is a matter of conversion, it must be accepted by the Christian community, it must be rejected.
2.-    Let us see some history data. In the imperial Rome, the homosexual are a minority, but the society is tolerant. Permanent and exclusive homosexual relations take place. In the third century a. D. laws regulating the different aspects of the homosexual relations, such us youngster violations or marriages between persons of the same sex, are approved. The homosexual acts that are not covered by related particular laws continue to be legal up to the sixth century, in which, by first time, the roman civil law forbids any type of homosexual relationship.
3.- Lamentably, in the so called Christian societies the homosexual person has been prosecuted, executed and (even short time ago) jailed. So it is, until a relatively short time ago, in most of the European nations, the homosexuality was considered like a social danger and was punished like a crime. Masculine homosexuality was more prosecuted than the feminine one. Nevertheless, during the twentieth century a progressive better knowledge of the phenomenon and a better comprehension has taken place. In our laical, pluralist, democratic and tolerant society, the homosexual person is not legally discriminated because of his sexual orientation.
4.-    A minority of the population is homosexual. Nevertheless, there are a much larger number of persons who, in some moments of their life, find out homosexual tendencies or they have homosexual type experiences. There is a distinction between homosexual tendencies and homosexual type behaviour. It may be also a distinction between primary homosexuality (irreversible) and bisexuality. The term bisexuality indicates a sexual ambivalent structure, with both homosexual and heterosexual tendencies. The prevalence can change along the diverse life periods, reaching even the fixation of one or the other sexuality way. There is also a distinction between persistent and transitory homosexuality. For instance, during the adolescence without any later endurance, or diffused between young and old people who live for years in an enclosed environment in which they only contact with persons of the same sex.
5.-    In 1968, the Psychiatric American Association considered the homosexuality like a personality deviation. Nevertheless, the pressure of diverse professionals and, above all, of several North American homosexual collectives, got, not without controversy, that in 1980 that concept were abandoned, reserving the egodistonic homosexual category to diagnose those persons whose sexual orientation produced a deep and marked discomfort to them. In 1987 one step forward was taken when the mentioned term was eliminated even like a diagnostic possibility. The only mention upon the matter that appears in the books is the inclusion, among the instances of sexual disorder not specified, of the “remarkable and persistent discomfort upon the own sexual orientation”, although without specifying if that discomfort is due to an hetero, homo or bisexual orientation.
6.-    The New York University Psychiatry teacher Luis Rojas, writes the following: “The exact cause of the homosexuality is not known. Nevertheless, everyday the scientific studies assert the notion that it is due to an innate variation of the biologic and psychological mechanisms modulating the romantic attraction between adults, and so it is out of the control of the individuals. Concretely, it looks like the sexual orientation begins its configuration during the gestation, by means of the sexual hormones, androgens and estrogens. Something that we know for sure is that homosexuality is not an illness, it is not contagious, it is not a vice, it is neither some antisocial tendencies consequence, nor the inept parents sequel or due to a traumatic infancy” (El País, 18-10-2003)
7.-    Let us see what says the moralist Bernard Häring in the Moral Theology Dictionary (1973): “Since we come out from a global perspective of the health and normality concept, we feel directed to sustain that the homosexual fixation must be considered like an abnormal situation that is necessary to cure in the best way we are able. The homosexuality, and any other sexual aberration, which avoids the person to get its plenitude in the marriage love or in a balanced bachelor life, constitutes a grave drawback and an obstacle for the normal development and merriness. The single fact that some homosexual is willing to continue as such, is not a proof that, in his case, it is not possible to talk about an illness, since there are many sick people who does not want to be cured”
8.-    The Congregation for the Faith Doctrine in its Pronouncement upon certain matters related to the sexual ethic (1975) affirms the following: “In the pastoral grounds it is necessary to treat these homosexuals with understanding and to animate them with the hope of overgrowing their personal difficulties and their incapacity to integrate themselves in the society. Their guiltiness should be prudently treated. But it is not possible to apply any pastoral method that could morally justify such acts on the basis that they could agree with these persons condition” (n.8).
9.-    The Catholic Church Catechism exposes this matter as follows: “The homosexuality designs the relationship between men or women feeling a sexual attraction, exclusive or predominant, towards persons of the same sex. It presents very diverse forms through centuries and cultures. Its psychic origin stays, in many aspects, unexplained. Taking the Scriptures, which present the homosexuality acts like grave depravations, like a base, Church’s Tradition has always declared that these acts are disordered in themselves” (n. 2357)
10. The Catechism also says: “A noticeable number of men and women present instinctive homosexual tendencies. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them this constitutes a true test. They must be accepted with respect, compassion and attentiveness. With respect to them, any sign of unjust discrimination must be avoided. These persons are named to carry out God´s will in their life and, if they are Christians, to join to the sacrifice of the cross of the Lord the difficulties they can find due to their condition” (n, 2358), “the homosexual persons are called to the chastity” (n. 2359)
11.- Well, and what does the Bible say?. In the Old Testament appears the Sodom’s sin, but it is a particular fault, the homosexual violation that the city inhabitants commit against Lot’s guests (Gn 19,4-5). The homosexual relation is a case of porneia, illegal union forbidden in the Leviticus:  “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination” (Lev 18,22); it is punished with the death (20,13). Of course, such barbarity does not appear in the Gospel. The Gospel calls for conversion, respecting the freedom. In the Gospel this matter is not directly treated. Nevertheless, several passages refer in a global form to cases of porneia or illegal unions forbidden by Law (Mt 19,9; 5,32; Acts 15, 20.29).

12.- In Corinth’s port corruption ambient, Saint Paul denounces the attitude of those who say “anything is licit for me”: “Do not deceive yourselves! Those who have unlawful sexual relations, or worship idols, or who are adulterers, homosexual of any kind (masculorum concubitores), or thieves, exploiters, drunkards, gossips or embezzlers will not inherit the kingdom of Heaven” (1 Co 6, 9-10; 1 Tim 1,10). And in the roman society pluralist ambient, Saint Paul denounces the deviation of a world that breaks away of the true God and that not only practices but also exalts the homosexuality: “Because of this God gave them up to their inner cravings; they did shameful things and dishonoured their bodies. They exchanged God´s truth for a lie; they honoured and worshiped created things instead or the Creator… because of that, God gave them to shameful passions, since their women, exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones; similarly, the men, giving up the natural sexual relations with women were lustful of each other, men with men, bringing upon themselves the punishment they deserve for their wickedness” (Rom 1,24 – 27).
13.- The sexuality is one of the factors marking the human personality; it constitutes the persons like men and like women, decisively influencing their individual development and their social insertion. Like the Scripture says, “male and female He created them” (Gn 1,27). In the Bible, the sexual difference between man and woman appears entailed to two main options. In first place, the mutual help, established to redeem human solitude: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will give him a helper” (Gn 2,18). In second place, the fecundity, in order to life transmission: “Be fruitful and increase in number” (1, 28).
14.- In the Gospel, Jesus directs to the original God’s project: “Man has now to leave father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Mt 19,5). Jesus eliminates the concessions made by Moses: “Whoever divorces his wife, unless in case of illegal union, and marries another, he commits adultery” (Mt 19,9; see Mt 5,32 and Lk 16,18). The expression illegal union (porneia in greek) is referred to the unions forbidden in the Law, one of them the homosexual union (Lev 18,20). The disciples perfectly perceive Jesus position and they assume it like something that is above them. (Mt 19,10). Jesus tells them that to understand this is a God’s present (19.11). And there are more difficult things; there are those who in the name of the Gospel renounce to the conjugal life (19,12).
15.- According to the original God’s project, the homosexuality constitutes a deviation, a deep disorder of the sexual orientation, as far as it is directed to persons of the same sex. Its origin remains obscure. Several factors can concur: a lack of a normal sexual evolution, delay in the evolutional development of the personality, physical, psychic, familiar, educational or social conditionings, acquired habits. The homosexual person cannot be legally discriminated. In moral valuation, it is also taken into account the type of conditioning: there are those who are born in that manner, but there are also those who made themselves, or those who are made like that. The homosexual persons must be accepted with understanding and supported in the hope of overcoming their difficulties. Their personal responsibility must be judged with prudence.
•        Dialog over the homosexual relationship
-         It is an aberration/it is a pride
-         It is against nature/ it is natural
-         According to God’s project, it is a deviation/it is an option
-         It may be cured/ it can not be cured
-         It must be punished/ it must be tolerated
-         It must be accepted in the Christian community/it must be rejected
-         There are those who are born in that manner/ those who made themselves and those who are made like this
-         It is a matter of healing/ it is a matter of conversion
-         The homosexual person must not be legally discriminated
-         The homosexual person must be accepted with understanding
-         Their personal responsibility must be judged with prudence.