Ouchamagaucha! He's sooooo strict!
I like Deacon Jim Russell. He has a way of getting under people's skin though. I believe he is blessed with a sensitive conscience, as well as a love of the truth - in charity, no matter how difficult it may be. He has actually helped clarify, for me at least, some teachings of the Church regarding same sex friendship, and what that really means. Today I discovered his essay on Catholic Vote regarding "Chaste Gay Couples - and other same sex unions". He's a brave man.
How dare he?!
I say that jokingly because many people believe that all the Church calls people to is chastity - as long as same sex friends don't have genital sexual relations they are good to go. Actually, the Church calls all of us to sanctity - holiness - which means a complete and total love of God alone, and our neighbor as ourselves. Love never harms the beloved, hence, outside sacramental marriage, love never demands the exclusive love of the other. Don't listen to me however, I have trouble expressing these things, which is why I like the fact Deacon Jim dares to step in and do so.
Perhaps these are hard sayings for most, especially those who are trying to live chastely with a friend they were once intimate with. It can be hard to accept at first, but if one thinks it through, one eventually can understand there remains a distinction between disinterested same sex friendship and a variation of same sex union. It may seem unnecessary to make such fine distinctions, but one needs to remember that 'same sex unions' prepared the way for legal recognition of same sex marriage.
As some readers know, I am convinced that marriage is impossible for same sex couples - precisely because of the lack of physical complementarity as well as the ability to 'naturally' procreate - being 'open to life' doesn't make the cut here. People disagree with me of course, but it remains the basis for my insistence that same sex couples cannot be married, and even if they claim to be, the permanence of a real marriage cannot and does not exist. This is also the basis for my claim the erotic interest between same sex friends dissipates and can only remain active in and through the use of porn or some other outside stimulus, even degenerating into mutual-consensual promiscuity. I would also note that proper disinterested friendship, especially between former 'lovers' is an exceptional situation. The friendship would necessitate resolute determination to help one another grow in holiness and wholeness - to support one another while allowing each other to attain that authentic freedom of spirit God wills for us. People hate it when I say that stuff, so I'll shut up and hand this over to someone who knows his theology of the body better that I do...
In certain Catholic landscapes, an unsettling custom seems to be developing.
Many Catholic writers, pundits, and thinkers are opting to give a thumbs-up to the notion of the “chaste, gay couple,” describing self-identified “gay” couples who have opted to abide by Church teaching prohibiting “homogenital acts.” These observers of such couples are so rightly impressed by the pursuit of “chastity”* that they, unfortunately, wrongly overlook the other vitally important descriptor—“couple.”
By glossing past “couplehood,” the observers are missing the inherent contradiction of saying all at once that someone is gay, chaste, and a couple. The claim is that the only “homosexual inclination” that the Church teaches to be “disordered” is the inclination to homogenital acts; therefore, by agreeing with the Church that such acts ought never be willed, the couple is therefore free to live life happily ever after in blissful, chastely-gay couplehood. Additionally, observers assert that being a “couple” is not wrong because the two men or two women aren’t succumbing to the temptation to act out sexually. Such couples are being referred to as Catholics living life in utter fidelity to Christ and His Church.
Of the many inherent problems with this relative to an authentically Catholic understanding of human nature (which I won’t address here), one basic problem of “category” exists as well—the “chaste, gay couple” represents a specific form of same-sex union, and the Catholic Church makes clear, in its teaching regarding efforts to legalize or recognize same-sex unions, that Catholics are called to oppose them (See “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons”). - Please finish reading here.
I would like to reprint the entire article here, but I don't have permission for that, so please go to Catholic Vote and read what Deacon Jim has to say. People have asked why Deacon Jim takes an interest in these matters, that it doesn't concern him. I disagree, as an ordained minister he has Holy Orders, and his concern is pastoral and an important part of his ministry. It's part of his vocation.