So how has the Church evolved in its thinking? Its understanding of homosexuals? What exactly is the new thinking on this subject? How will the Church do better in the way it treats gay people?
Ask Eve Tushnet maybe?
Ask me and I will tell you that the teaching cannot change. Homosexual acts are sinful. Same sex marriage is not possible. I've posted this stuff over and over ever since I began blogging. Likewise, common sense and experience should prove without a doubt civil unions will lead to recognition of gay marriage - because civil unions are not good enough - they are not equal.
That said, why do some people reject the term gay and/or gay identity?
Once again, I will repeat myself. When a person uses that term, he reduces his identity to a sexual preference/orientation. An orientation which is objectively disordered - not a sin - but objectively disordered. Hence, the implication being the condition is unchangeable and a natural variant of human sexuality.
I want to share something from the foreword to Fr. Harvey's study, The Truth About Homosexuality - a book the Belgian Cardinals should have read. I'm not a member of Courage but I agree very much with the aims of the apostolate. I also very much admire the work, spiritual direction and the writings of the late Fr. John Harvey. His writings almost always have resonated with my own interior convictions and experience. His references to those experts he has collaborated with in his own writings, also have been useful to me in my personal journey and understanding the condition of homosexuality.
From Fr. Harvey:
It is noteworthy that the Society of Catholic Social Scientists sent a letter to the American bishops on November 28 1994, in which they expressed their concern 'with a trend in U.S. ministries which flatly contradicts Catholic doctrine on homosexuality'. They outline ambiguities and contradictions, using scientific research in order to show the erroneous assumptions upon which these statements and activities are founded. They list five fallacies:
- False statements are being made about homosexuality being biologically determined.
- Catholic homosexuals are being told that change in sexual orientation is never possible.
- The term gay is being used to describe people of a homosexual orientation who do not identify with the gay socio-political position.
- A separate 'gay spirituality' is being encouraged, and gay ministries tell us that a person who suffers from homosexual disorder has special 'gay gifts' for the Church
- Catholics are being informed that the homosexual condition is not disordered." - The Truth About Homosexuality: The Cry of the Faithful Seeking the Truth
Read Tushnet, Selmys, Gonnerman and others to see how commonplace this thinking has become, even endorsed by a growing number of bishops.
On the pastoral care of homosexual persons.
Almost always overlooked, deliberately ignored, or in some cases, considered to be irrelevant, I would direct the reader to study the CDF's Letter to Bishops on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons which clearly affirms Catholic teaching: "The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual orientation."
There is an effort in some countries to manipulate the Church by gaining the often well-intentioned support of her pastors with a view to changing civil-statutes and laws. This is done in order to conform to these pressure groups' concept that homosexuality is at least a completely harmless, if not an entirely good, thing. Even when the practice of homosexuality may seriously threaten the lives and well-being of a large number of people, its advocates remain undeterred and refuse to consider the magnitude of the risks involved.
The Church can never be so callous. It is true that her clear position cannot be revised by pressure from civil legislation or the trend of the moment. But she is really concerned about the many who are not represented by the pro-homosexual movement and about those who may have been tempted to believe its deceitful propaganda. She is also aware that the view that homosexual activity is equivalent to, or as acceptable as, the sexual expression of conjugal love has a direct impact on society's understanding of the nature and rights of the family and puts them in jeopardy. - CDF Letter to Bishops