Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Heart of Catholicism - Part 2

The Curé of Ars church in Merrick, which recently was host to the heart of a French priest who died more than a century ago, is in the news once again. Newsday reports that the church received complaints regarding a pamphlet displayed in its literature racks titled “Homosexuality & Hope”. According to the brochure, homosexuality is a disorder that is preventable with psychotherapy and lists possible causes of homosexuality in at-risk children.

Father Charles Mangano, the same priest who was so thrilled to have the heart of Father Vianney in his bedroom as he slept, said he had ordered the pamphlet from the Catholic Medical Association in response to “a parishioner seeking guidance during a sexual identity crisis.”

"The content of this pamphlet was intended to offer direction to those who are struggling with their sexual identity and those seeking guidance and conformity with the teaching of the church," Mangano told Newsday. In response to the complaints received, Mangano pulled the pamphlets from the church’s literature racks.

As a former Catholic and current atheist, I am of two minds on this issue. I believe the church was wrong for displaying the “Homosexuality & Hope” pamphlets. Yet at the same time, the Catholic Church is what it is. Those who belong to the Catholic Church believe that it embodies the teachings of Jesus and the will of God, and that God’s truth is contained in that collection of books known as the Bible. The teachings and commandments of the church are not like a cafeteria menu where you can pick and choose which ones you will accept and obey and ignore the ones that go against your values. The same holds true for any other Christian church, as well as religions such as Judaism and Islam.

Face it, if you are gay and consider yourself to be a Catholic, then you have a problem. The Catholic Church considers homosexual conduct to be a sin and an abomination, and that homosexuality is a disorder that is treatable with psychotherapy. Either you choose to be a Catholic and not engage in homosexual conduct, or you really need to reconsider if the Catholic Church is for you.


beepbeepitsme said...

If animals display homosexual behaviours (which they do) and if human beings are part of the natural world, it explains quite nicely why catholic priests also display homosexual behaviours.

Tommykey said...

Hi Beep!

I guess gay animals are going to hell too!

Anonymous said...

I disagree that Chatolics can pick and choose which parts of scripture they want to use at any given time. They do it constantly! They choose the laws from Leviticus and Deuternonmy selectively to further their agenda, and ignore those, such as animal sacrifice, death for relatively minor offensese, etc, which don't fit into modern life.

Further proof that religion as a concept is a crock.

Anonymous said...

Slightly wrong, Tommy. The Church considers homosexual acts to be sinful, and has plenty of scriptural documentation for that. But it considers the condition of being homosexual to be "disordered," as in an illness, but being ill is not a sin.

The U S Conference of Catholic Bishops just released a document re-emphasizing the teaching, noting that it is treating homosexuality pretty much the same way it treats heterosexual sins: fornication and adultery are considered sinful, though (obviously) the condition of being heterosexual is not.

Tommykey said...

Hi Dana, thanks for visiting and for your comments. However, I did end the post with:

"Either you choose to be a Catholic and not engage in homosexual conduct, or you really need to reconsider if the Catholic Church is for you." In other words, I distinguished between the "condition" as it were and the actual act.

Revenant, you are right that Catholics, as well as followers of other religions, do pick and choose from their religious laws. But ask a priest or a rabbi if their congregation should be able to pick and choose, and they are likely to reply in the negative.

Anonymous said...

Too bad homosexual ACTS are also a part of the behavior of animals which IIRC, have no real free will.

If God created them, then He obviously has no problem with homosexuality. Period.

Anonymous said...

Tommy, just before the statement you made, you wrote:

The Catholic Church considers homosexuality to be a sin and an abomination, not to mention a mental disorder that is treatable with psychotherapy.

That is a statement that the Church considers homosexuality (a condition) as a sin. You further emphasized that you were referring to the condition by including that the Church considers it to be a "mental disorder."

Tommykey said...

I edited the paragraph Dana. Thanks for the correction.