Is Sodomy No Longer a Sin?
An Urgent Appeal to Our Ecclesiastical Authorities.
And the men of Sodom were very wicked, and sinners before the face of the Lord, beyond measure (Gen. 13:13).
I. False Science, True Evil
A Standard of Sin
In our dark days, homosexuality, a shameful vice ever abhorred by the Christian conscience, finds prominent apologists within the very bosom of Holy Mother Church.
Sacred Scripture,1 Tradition, and the Magisterium have condemned few sins more consistently or severely than sodomy. The sins of Sodom and Gomorrha established a measure of evil by which other sins are judged, as recorded throughout the Holy Bible.2
Turning a deaf ear to these condemnations, proponents of perversion seek to sow confusion within the Church. To this end, they invoke deceptive interpretations — revisionist distortions — of Sacred Scripture. According to their self-serving rewriting of biblical history, Sodom and Gomorrha were destroyed not because their inhabitants practiced unnatural vice, but because they were inhospitable to travelers.3
Sodomy’s apologists have even dared to suggest the obscene blasphemy that Our Lord Jesus Christ was one of them. Sister Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of New Ways Ministry for Gay and Lesbian Catholics, has written:
Gay and lesbian people also look to the friendships of David and Jonathan, and Jesus and John. These stories hold up for lesbian and gay people a hope for a blessing for same-sex relationships or friendships.4
The promoters of the homosexual agenda within the Church profess a pseudo-science in which homosexuality is neither pathological nor reversible, but a genetic and biological trait. According to this parody of science, sexual intimacy with the same sex is simply a normal variation, like left-handedness.
This deceptive fiction has been demolished by a number of systematic studies.5 It is also contradicted by the fact that a growing number of homosexuals have been treated and freed from the chains of their morally and psychologically disordered compulsions.6
Now, the militant call for homosexuals to “come out of the closet” and affirm their vice is being parroted within the ranks of the hierarchy.
In defense of the good name of our beloved Church, of the moral order ordained by Her Divine Founder, and of the innocent victims of this abominable vice, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), appeals to the successors of the Apostles to combat this scandal and the scourge from which it arises.7
II. Sodomy: Sign of the Church’s “Self-Destruction”
The Popes Speak
The homosexual wreckers within the Church must be viewed in the sad and somber context of Her “auto-demolition,” of which Pope Paul VI observed:
The Church finds herself in an hour of disquiet, of self-criticism, one might even say of self-destruction. It is like an acute and complex interior upheaval, which no one expected after the Council. One thought of a blossoming, a serene expansion of the mature concepts of the Council. The Church still has this aspect of blossoming. But since “bonum ex integra causa, malum ex quocumque defectu,” the aspect of sorrow has become most notable. The Church is also being wounded by those who are part of her.8
His warning finds an empathetic echo in the soul of our Holy Father, who describes this self-destruction in our day:
One must be realistic and acknowledge with a deep and pained sentiment that a great part of today’s Christians feel lost, confused, perplexed, and even disillusioned: ideas contradicting the revealed and unchanging Truth have been spread far and wide; outright heresies in the dogmatic and moral fields have been disseminated, creating doubt, confusion, and rebellion; even the liturgy has been altered. Immersed in intellectual and moral “relativism” and therefore in permissiveness, Christians are tempted by atheism, agnosticism, a vaguely moralistic illuminism, a sociological Christianity, without defined dogmas and without objective morality.9
Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing
Homosexual predators, calling themselves “Catholic” while violating the most basic norms of Christian morals, further the “self-destruction” of the Church. Their predation is rendered more deadly by the aid and comfort they receive from nuns, priests, and even bishops. Ravening wolves thus devour the weakest of the flock abandoned by their shepherds.
The American TFP commends The Wanderer for its service to the faithful in publishing Paul Likoudis’s detailed and enlightening reports on the Mass celebrated for unrepentant homosexuals by Rochester’s Bishop Matthew Clark in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart10 and on the New Ways Ministry 4th National Symposium in Pittsburgh.11 The sad history chronicled by Mr. Likoudis amply evidences the homosexual revolution that threatens our Church and our Nation.
III. The Sodomites’ Strategy: Avoid Causing a Reaction
New Ways for Old Sins
The New Ways Ministry conference set the homosexual lobby’s plan of action, emphasizing the strategy of gradualism that marks the homosexual revolution. The objective of the sodomites’ strategy is to avoid meaningful reaction by ecclesiastical authorities against the homosexual agenda.
Bishop Clark, in his tweed-suit and striped-shirt “clericals,” encouraged conference participants: “If individuals change quite slowly, how slow is institutional change?” Driving home his brother bishop’s message to those he dubbed “a loving group,” Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton added, “As Matthew said, even if we are frustrated sometimes with the slowness of change, we still must put up with that frustration as we continue to struggle to make it happen.”12
Step-by-Step: The Descent in Hell
In the moral realm, the homosexual revolution proclaims the view that the sexual ethics professed by the Church are inevitably evolving to the stage where homosexual relations will be equal — if not superior — to heterosexual intimacy.
Prof. Joseph Selling, chairman of the Department of Moral Theology at the Catholic University of Louvain, gave the symposium a progress report on the gradualist strategy for the Church’s acceptance of sodomy.
Is the teaching going to continue to evolve? With respect to the homosexual relationship, will it evolve toward encompassing it? Yes, it will! We have already taken the first step. Begrudgingly as we might like to admit, even the teaching of the Church has recognized the homosexual person, the homosexual orientation. It may be very uncomfortable with its own statements, but it’s there! The homosexual person is a person and no less of a person than anyone else. This is the first step.
The second step is the recognition of the homosexual relationship. I think we are virtually on the edge of accepting the homosexual relationship. The Church will accept the homosexual relationship, like those divorced and remarried: We must live as brother and sister or brother and brother and sister and sister as the case may be… [The audience laughs.] What is important is that the relationship be recognized as a valuable, fruitful, meaningful, affirmative, creative relationship. We are on the verge of accepting this.
The third step is: Can we accept the homosexual act? Before we can talk about the morality of the homosexual act, we have to define it, to understand exactly what it is…. Our whole understanding of human sexuality needs to be rewritten, but rewritten not from a “procreative or reproductive” point of view. It needs to be rewritten from a “relational” point of view.13
Gradualism was a thread woven throughout the fabric of the New Ways for old sins symposium, as was the abhorrence sterile vice accords fruitful love. Sr. Margaret Farley, R.S.M., of Yale University, made clear the reason for the sodomites’ fear and loathing of the sacramental love that gives birth to life and preserves chastity.
As long as the Christian sexual ethic was focused on “procreation” and the “control of sexual desire,” there was no room for a positive evaluation of homosexuality. But in recent decades, under the pressure of new discoveries in the social sciences and scientific fields, traditional Catholic sexual morality is crumbling. Now, the “procreative norm” is gone, the rigid stereotype of male/female complementarity is gone, and the time is ripe for a positive evaluation of homosexuality and same-sex relations.14
A Homosexual Pastoral
Religion provides the surest yardstick by which human acts may be measured. Unlike such continua as healthy/diseased, virtuous/sinful reflects a transcendent reality that bears directly on conscience. Sinfulness is a particularly relevant construct since it addresses not only an act’s rationality but also its effects on the universal order.
The moral standards taught by religion are the single most important factor in the virtually universal rejection of homosexual vice. Accordingly, those promoting the homosexual agenda strive to change the traditional Church teachings that constitute its principal obstacle.
Astute sodomites know that before changes can deconstruct and deviate doctrine, they must be put into practice. According to the homosexual revolution, pastoral practice should not be governed by Christian sexual ethics but by an erroneous view of social justice in which the Church has the duty to defend the civil rights of practicing homosexuals as homosexuals.15
Fr. Richard Peddicord, O.P., professor of moral theology at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, described the rationale for a homosexual pastoral at the New Ways symposium.
Catholic sexual ethics do not have the conceptual tools to say how homosexuals should be treated by civil society. The issue of homosexual rights should be considered under social justice.16
A homosexual pastoral, Father Peddicord continued, “should not be satisfied with repeating the moral condemnations of gay sex, but advance the civil rights of homosexuals.”
According to its advocates, a homosexual pastoral “should provide a supportive atmosphere for a stable relationship.” A significant step in this direction was given by certain “pastoral guidelines” that defend “the stable, faithful, and committed homosexual relationships” as “a better moral situation than promiscuity.”17
As early as 1979, the bishops of England and Wales offered pastoral guidelines urging pastors to distinguish between “irresponsible, indiscriminate sexual activity and the permanent association between two homosexual persons who feel incapable of enduring a solitary life devoid of sexual expression.”18
In the homosexual pastoral, the distinction between “homosexual orientation” and “homosexual behavior” is challenged. “The bishops,” according to Fr. Robert Nugent and Sr. Jeannine Gramick,
honestly acknowledge that the difference is “not always clearly convincing.” They are undoubtedly aware that while many people find the distinction useful in teaching and counseling programs on homosexuality, they do not find it particularly helpful in the pastoral field or fully congruent with the experiences of gay and lesbian Catholics.19
A New Liberation Theology
In 1969, the Stonewall Riots in New York City unleashed a major homosexual offensive. From this disorder sprang “lesbian/gay theology,” which now dominates many Catholic universities and seminaries.
Like liberation theology, much in vogue in Latin America before the collapse of the Soviet Union, homosexual theology is a “theology from below.” Both theologies arise from a praxis (experience) and a purportedly scientific analysis of that experience.
Liberation theology used Marxist analysis of the socioeconomic conditions in Third World countries to establish its theological and hermeneutical principles, which provided a sympathetic ideology for guerrilla movements fighting to impose communism on their fellow man.
Homosexual theology is a new liberation theology that uses the praxis of the “lesbian/gay experience” to liberate man from the bonds of Christian morals.
As Father Nugent and Sister Gramick, the co-founders of New Ways Ministry, boast,
Lesbian/gay theology is an example of authentic subversion. It involves a real turning from below with a scriptural analysis from the underside of society. Since God’s spirit is continually revealing truth to the human heart, the scriptures contain some insights that can be made known to the Christian community only through the testimony of lesbian and gay people.20
Such a spurious interpretation of Sacred Scripture was echoed by Bishop Gumbleton at the New Ways symposium.
I learned from reading an article by Andrew Sullivan in America magazine a few years ago, where he was speaking about his own experience of learning how to love within his context of being a gay man. When he was asked by his friend, “Do you really believe that what we are doing is wrong? Because if you do, I cannot go on with this,” he says, “Of course I was forced to say I do not believe at some level.”
You see what Andrew Sullivan is telling us? He found God in his experience as a gay man. We know that God is love, and where there is love, there is God. And Andrew Sullivan tells us that his experience is that he finds God where he finds love.21
Call to Action: “Come Out!”
Declaring that “The time is ripe,” Bishop Gumbleton called on homosexuals “to share their gifts” with fellow Catholics since “this is how our Church is going to change.”
The most important thing that we can do in our pastoral care is to create a church community where gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people can be truly open about who they are…. I think it is very, very important that they experience a warmth and oneness within the Church to allow them to share their gifts with our Church…. I encourage this because I hope that within our Church, every gay person, every lesbian person, every bisexual or transgendered person will come out, because that is how our Church is going to truly change: when everyone who from this community of homosexual people is courageous enough, because it does take courage to come out….
I would say this especially to bishops and priests within our Church. I cannot tell you the number of letters I have received in the last few years from priests who say they are gay, but are afraid to come out. What a loss this is to our Church! Because if they were willing to stand up on a Sunday morning in front of their community and to say who they really are, our Church could much more fully and quickly appreciate the gifts that homosexuals can bring to the whole community of our Church and to our society as well….
As more and more people come out, more families are changed, more churches are changed, more parishes are changed, and our whole Church is changed. And so I appeal here publicly to all of us within the Church to create a community in which this can happen. But then, for those who are gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgendered, please come forward. Say who you are, be proud of who you are, and share all of your gifts with our Church.22
IV. Invoking the Abyss
As an uncompromised champion of the Faith, Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira advises in his seminal treatise Revolution and Counter-Revolution:
Disordered passions, moving in a crescendo analogous to the acceleration of gravity and feeding upon their own works, lead to consequences which in their turn develop according to a proportional intensity. In like progression, errors beget errors, and revolutions prepare the way for revolutions…. This explains why we find ourselves today in such a paroxysm of impiety and immorality and such an abyss of disorder and discord.23
Sacred Scripture warns, “Abyssus abyssum invocat” — “Deep calleth on deep” (Ps. 41:8).
“Celebrate Diversity” proclaims a bumper sticker popular among the sodomites and their apologists. The practice of homosexual vice inevitably descends into the lowest depths of the moral abyss. From pedophilia to sadomasochism, any and all abominations — even bestiality — find justification in the perverse school of sexual deviance.
In the upside-down world of the homosexual pastoral, could a homosexual “find God” through the “interspecies love” of bestiality? Such questions are only prudent in view of the fact that we are witnessing the gradual acceptance of homosexuality as a legitimate way of life, not only in secular society but within the Church.
This process of auto-demolition — of Church and State — constitutes an authentic and cataclysmic revolution to which we are unalterably opposed.
V. An Appeal to Our Ecclesiastical Authorities
Along with contraception, abortion, and euthanasia, homosexual vice is an integral weapon of the Culture of Death aimed at our families, our Nation, and our Church.
In face of this danger to all we hold dear, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, comprised of practicing Catholics dedicated to defending the moral standards of Christian civilization, is obliged to publicly appeal to our ecclesiastical authorities to employ urgent and energetic measures against the advance of the homosexual agenda within the Church.
We also respectfully direct our appeal to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, filially imploring this sacred dicastery to effectively denounce and condemn the pernicious doctrinal errors against Catholic morality that are being taught with impunity in many dioceses and seminaries, as well as in Catholic schools and universities across the country.
In so doing, we defend our beloved Nation against the perversion and loss of its soul. We also defend our even more beloved Holy Mother Church by demanding that Her clergy, and in particular Her bishops, teach what the Church and Her Divine Master teach.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without sin, Patroness of the United States, protect us from this terrible onslaught of perversity.
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property — (TFP)
Published in The Wanderer on April 24, 1997.
- Gen. 18:20; 19:12-13, 24-25, 27-28.
- Lev. 18:22-29; Is. 3:9; Rom. 1:24-27, 32; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:9-10; 2 Pet. 2:6-9; Jude 1:7.
- Robert Nugent and Jeannine Gramick, Building Bridges (Mystic, Conn.: Twenty-Third Publications, 1995), p. 10.
- Sr. Jeannine Gramick, “Can Gays and Lesbians Come Out to be Faithful Catholics?” (U.S. Catholic, August 1992, p. 11).
- See Charles W. Socarides, M.D., Homosexuality: A Freedom Too Far (Phoenix: Adam Margrave Books, 1995).
- For information on how one can turn away from homosexuality, contact one of the following organizations: Beyond Rejection Ministries, Hemet, Calif., 714-925-0028; Courage, New York, N.Y., 212-421-0426; Homosexuals Anonymous Fellowship Services, Redding, Calif., 1-800-253-3000.
- In so doing we are exercising the right and duty proclaimed in Canon 212, #3: “In accord with the knowledge, competence and preeminence which they [the Christian faithful] possess, they have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard for the integrity of faith and morals and reverence towards their pastors, and with consideration for the common good and dignity of persons” (The Code of Canon Law, A Text and Commentary, James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green, and Donald E. Heintschel, eds. [New York: Paulist Press, 1985]).
- Allocution to the students of the Lombard Seminary, December 7, 1968, Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. 10, pp. 707-709.
- John Paul II, Allocution to the religious and priests participating in the First Italian National Congress on Missions to the People for the 80s, February 6, 1981 (L’Osservatore Romano, February 7, 1981).
- The Wanderer, March 1, 1997.
- Ibid., March 20, 1997.
- Bishop Matthew Clark and Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, “Pastoral Care of Lesbian and Gay People,” Plenary Session, New Ways Ministry 4th National Symposium, Pittsburgh, March 7-9, 1997.
- Joseph Selling, “The Meanings of Human Sexuality,” New Ways Ministry 4th National Symposium.
- Sr. Margaret Farley, R.S.M., “Same-Sex Relations: An Ethical Perspective,” New Ways Ministry 4th National Symposium.
- The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith states in “Some Considerations Concerning the Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-discrimination of Homosexual Persons,” of July 22, 1992: “Including ‘homosexual orientation’ among the considerations on the basis of which it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead to regarding homosexuality as a positive source of human rights, for example, in respect to so-called affirmative action or preferential treatment in hiring practices. This is all the more deleterious since there is no right to homosexuality, which therefore should not form the basis for judicial claims. The passage from the recognition of homosexuality as a factor on which basis it is illegal to discriminate can easily, if not automatically, lead to the legislative protection and promotion of homosexuality. A person’s homosexuality would be invoked in opposition to alleged discrimination, and thus the exercise of rights would be defended precisely via the affirmation of the homosexual condition instead of in terms of a violation of basic human rights” (no. 13).
- Fr. Richard Peddicord, O.P., “Catholic Moral Teaching on Gay and Lesbian Rights Legislation,” New Ways Ministry 4th National Symposium.
- Nugent and Gramick, p. 143.
- Catholic Social Welfare Commission (Britain), 1981, p. 8.
- Nugent and Gramick, p. 144.
- Ibid., p. 190.
- Bishops Clark and Gumbleton, op. cit.
- Revolution and Counter-Revolution, 3rd ed. (York, Penn.: The American TFP, 1993), p. 30.