(Reblogged from December 5, 2013)
Today I am beginning a 7-part series on Catholicism and Homosexuality. Here is a list of all of the articles:
Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 1: Equal Persons
Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 2: Unequal Acts Part 1
Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 3: Unequal Acts Part 2
Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 4: The Call to Chastity
Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 5: The Rugged Cross
Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 6: Love, Not Hate Part 1
Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 7: Love, Not Hate Part 2
My point here is not to necessarily to do in depth discussion of the issue, but to really draw an outline of truth regarding the Church’s teaching, the unity of Faith and reason when it comes to this sensitive issue, to teach those who don’t understand what it really is like to bear this cross, and most importantly to proclaim the love of Jesus Christ and the care which Mother Church has for all souls, especially the souls which, like me, bear this burden.
So, equal persons.
No discussion on homosexuality should fail to restate this foundational truth: that all members of our species are created with equal dignity.
“Created in the image of the one God and equally endowed with rational souls, all men have the same nature and the same origin. Redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ, all are called to participate in the same divine beatitude: all therefore enjoy an equal dignity.”
This truth transcends the issue of homosexuality. It applies to all groups of people who suffer, who, at times, feel forgotten, outcast, or forgotten. It is a truth, which our present Pope, Francis I, is particularly excellent at demonstrating. Each and every one of us, whether we live in a palace or we live in a gutter, whether we speak English or Chinese, whether we were born in this country or came here illegally, whether we are black or white, whether we are gay or straight were created by the very same God. We were ALL created in His image. We all were given a rational soul, and we all share in the same human nature. Even greater we were all redeemed by the same man, in the same sacrifice. We are all called to the same heaven and eternal reward. No matter what lies in our past, no matter what we struggle with in the present moment we are all of equal dignity.
And this is where our discussion must begin because whether we care to admit it or not, our failure to begin with this premise, especially when evangelizing the homosexual community is a real turn off. We forget that non-Christians, especially homosexuals, are designed for Jesus Christ. We neglect to understand that the homosexual is capable of longing for God, and maybe just maybe even wants to know and wants to love God! We sometimes assume that because a person is homosexual that their default status is atheist! Even I sometimes forget that a homosexual can desire to love and serve God! So we must begin by restating the timeless truth, that all men enjoy an equal dignity before God.
It is also important to emphasize that the moral code is the same for all persons in all places at all times. There is one moral code, one set of rules and they apply to all persons, regardless of what their temptations or inclinations may be. As ridiculous as it may sound, the straight woman has the same commandment to not have sexual relations with another woman as the lesbian does. She may not necessarily struggle against the command, yet the command exists for her and she is bound to be obedient to the command.
Each commandment of God causes someone to struggle, and each person struggles with at least one commandment. But the commandment is not abrogated for the one who struggles against it simply because they struggle. In fact the struggle is what sanctifies them! But I am getting ahead of myself.
As we go from here today, pray for greater clarity in understanding that all persons were created by the same God and that we all share in an equal dignity.