On October 29, 1992, Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira granted an interview to the Brazilian newspaper, O Globo, about the problem of homosexuality and its threat to the family. We reproduce the interview for the benefit of our readers.
Q. What is your opinion about the increase of homosexuality in Brazilian society? Do you believe it harms family integrity?
The effect of homosexuality on the family in Brazil is the same as everywhere else.
Since the homosexual relationship is sterile by definition, it is destructive of the family; it is the opposite of the family, and the number one enemy of the family.
Q. Do you believe this has increased and been a threat to the family especially since the sixties?
I believe that of itself sterility in sexual relationships is an evil. At times it is due to no fault of the spouses; it may be due to a physical circumstance for which the spouses are not responsible. But if even one of the spouses decides to avoid fecundity, that is an attack on the family.
So you can imagine what I think of a sexual relationship that is sterile by definition.
The sexual act exists in the natural order of things for the fecundity of the family and thus for the expansion of mankind. God’s precept to early man was “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth.” Hence, there is the need for fecundity in sexual relationships, which are legitimate only within marriage. There is no marriage and above all there is no fecundity in homosexuality.
Homosexuality is completely contrary to the natural order and therefore contrary to the family.
Q. What about homosexuality on television? It seems to figure prominently in a whole series of films, etc. Do you believe it affects the formation of children and adolescents in Brazil?
Generation after generation and for centuries, homosexuality was seen with aversion. This aversion was due not to whim or fashion, but to the principles I just mentioned, which are principles of the Catholic Church.
When the Faith profoundly influenced with the suavity and splendor of its values all of social life, and therefore family life as well, understandably people rejected what was contrary to the Faith, including homosexuality.
To gauge the depth of this rejection, you need to bear in mind that according to Catholic doctrine homosexuality is among the few sins that “cry out to God for vengeance.”
The other day I was going through some old papers and came across the catechism I used as a child long ago. As I leafed through it, I happened on the list of the sins that “cry out to God for vengeance.” Homosexuality was one of them, along with murder.
In other words, just as murder elicits people’s moral rejection, so does homosexuality.
This rejection is also society’s reaction to what it senses to be against it. Anything alive rejects what destroys it. Therefore, in a movement comparable to the instinct of self-preservation, human societies shaped according to Catholic doctrine were profoundly and manifestly anti-homosexual.
Thanks to the increasingly paganized customs and ideas I have witnessed throughout most of the twentieth century — I was born in 1908 — all this gradually lost its vigor and most profound meaning. And so we see also a gradual decline in the rejection of homosexuality.
Twenty or thirty years ago this almost continual featuring of homosexuality on television, in theater, etc., would have been rejected with indignation. Actually, it would not have been permitted.
As a Brazilian, I cannot fail to deplore the increasing acceptance of this profoundly anti-social habit.
Q. Do you think that homosexuality hinders the population growth you consider so important for our country?
How could I think otherwise?
Homosexuality being the practice of sterile unions, it lacks the fecundity of legitimate marriage and even the fecundity of unlawful heterosexual unions, which are still according to nature.
Homosexuality deviates people from fruitful relationships.
Q. Do you believe that homosexuality harms work performance? Or that it can even be a bad influence, as in the case of a homosexual who teaches kids?
Homosexuality not infrequently goes hand-in-hand with pedophilia, that is, with adults having sexual relations with children.
Pedophilia is the plague of schools and is understandably repressed by law in innumerable countries.
Q. Does the TFP ever admit homosexual members?
No, because the TFP is an association of Catholic inspiration. The TFP is not a Catholic association properly speaking; it was founded not by the Catholic hierarchy but by a group of private laymen. According to canon law, the TFP is in this sense a lay association, but of Catholic inspiration.
All the TFP’s thought is Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic, even in the smallest details.
From what I have told you of the Catholic morality regarding homosexuality, you understand that if we had to accept people who practice an act completely opposed to our morality, we would feel that our religious liberty was being violated.
Q. Do you believe that homosexuals are now more accepted by society?
This is no play of words: I would say they are now less rejected.
Q. Do you consider this dangerous?
Yes, in that it represents the disappearance of social censure of a habit contrary to the natural order.
Q. Going back a bit to the conceptual question of sterility: You say that homosexuality is an unacceptable practice because it is sterile?
Q. And what would you say of the sexual relationship of a sterile man or woman? Is this practice also inadvisable?
No, I would not go that far.
It would be inadvisable if something were done to make the relationship sterile.
For example, there is a surgical procedure — I may be wrong but I think it is not done so frequently nowadays — tubal ligation, which prevents conception. It is very censurable because it artificially induces sterility.
The case is different if sterility is not induced. Say a married couple finds out that their sexual relations are sterile. There is no violation of natural law here, because fecundity was not impeded. They practiced an act that is fecund by its nature. Nothing was done to impede its fecundity. Therefore they have a right to sexual relations despite their sterility.
What is censurable is the artificiality with which sterility is introduced in a couple’s conjugal life.
Q. If you had to counsel a young man who is homosexual, who has homosexual relationships, what would you tell him?
There is a distinction to be made between a young man who has homosexual tendencies but resists their urgings and therefore controls himself, and a young man who gives in to them and practices homosexuality.
In the first case, I would tell him that I respect and admire him and that I ask God to continue helping him to remain pure and to avoid condemnable sexual practices. That if he can marry, he should marry. I would have only praise for him if he does.
In the second case, I must still see him as a creature of God. I must desire his good, including his salvation. I must treat him with dignity and respect. I would tell him: “My friend, I understand that it is difficult and indeed heroic for a person to change once he has abandoned the practice of purity and let himself be dragged into a practice such as this. However, experience shows that it is possible if you take certain steps. In other words, stay away from persons and places that invite you to this, and try above all to avoid looking at or thinking about these practices. If you do this, you will have won a brilliant victory worthy of congratulation. I urge you to start fighting now.
“If you choose not to undertake this great but noble effort, if you prefer the illegitimate pleasures of your disorderly nature, I can but lament and continue praying that God will have mercy on you, and touch you one day with His grace and lift you to better dispositions.”