Of course gays can be cured

Although it does depend upon what you mean by cured of course:

The 84-year-old Archbishop Emeritus of Pamplona said: “Homosexuality is a deficient way of manifesting sexuality because (sexuality) has a structure and a purpose, which is procreation.” “Homosexuality, which can’t achieve this purpose, is a failing,” he said in an interview with Malaga-based newspaper Diario Sur, published Sunday.

He went on to compare it to his own deficiency of high blood pressure. “Our bodies have many deficiencies. I have high blood pressure — a deficiency I have to correct as I can.” With this in mind he continued:“Saying homosexuals suffer a deficiency is not an insult. It’s a help because in many cases of homosexuality it is possible to recover and become normal with the right treatment.” His comments brought swift criticism from some quarters.

Within Catholic teaching of course he’s absolutely correct. Any sex must be open to the possibility of conception. This is how we get to the ban on contraception for example.

And if you want to say that it is homosexual sex itself that is the problem or the sin then of course it is indeed possible to, sometimes, “cure” that. And it is the sex itself that is the sin: no Catholic teaching says that same sex attraction is a sin in the slightest. It’s the act not the inclination.

It’s also true that sexual attraction and or desire operate on a spectrum, from the determinedly heterosexual through to the determinedly homosexual with an awful lot of waverers either way in the middle (as well as all sorts of other options like asexuality etc). And as we also all know people’s behaviour can in deed be affected by incentives. So it’s entirely possible to push some of those waverers either way along the spectrum with the appropriate carrots and or sticks.

It’s not going to change desires but one can indeed change actions, to some extent.

So, all in all the Cardinal is entirely correct….but only if you accept the initial assumptions that he’s making. Note that he doesn’t say that “being homosexual” is the problem, but that it’s a deficient method of manifesting sexuality. It’s the act. And, as above, it’s not open to the possibility of conception and thus ain’t kosher.

I’ve no problem with anyone at all insisting that this is a load of old cobblers. I most certainly don’t live my life on the basis of Catholic sexual teachings. But before everyone goes all wobbly and starts screaming about homophobia and the like, it is worth understanding the argument that is being made. In the strictest terms of Catholic teaching having gay sex is no more, and no less, sinful that doing it with your girlfriend using a rubber johnny. You might not like or agree with that view but that is what is actually being said here.

18 comments on “Of course gays can be cured

  1. “In the strictest terms of Catholic teaching having gay sex is no more, and no less, sinful that doing it with your girlfriend using a rubber johnny”

    And the Bible spends far more time talking about adultery than it ever does about the gays.

    Now, could someone explain this to a few Catholic priests…and tell them ti’s alright to be the way they truly are deep down, you know, fancying boys and all that.

  2. where does the Catholic Church stand on post-menopausal women or post-snip males having sex? The probability of conception with a condom (splitting etc) is higher than in those cases.

    Tim adds: There’s a great deal of coughing, spluttering and shuffling of feet at this point. Then someone points to Sarah (think that’s the right name) in hte Old Testament who had a child at some vast age. And so everyone says, well, it’s still possible.

    And having the snip ain’t kosher at all.

  3. The irony perhaps being that on this the Church is up against somebody else’s faith based orthodoxy; specifically the equally silly (Platonic) essentialist model of sexuality developed by the post-protestants we now call Progressives. Or twats.

    You know what GK Chesterton (never actually) said; “when men stop believing in God, they do not believe in nothing. They will believe in anything”.

  4. If God can intervene to get Sarah knocked up then surely he can intervene to split an condom, un-snip a vas deferens, etc.

  5. Why should any non catholic care one jot what this man or his organization say’s.

    By all means, they can have whatever silly rules they want, but cease applying them to those not of your religion.

  6. Beelzeebub

    I don’t see that he is trying to apply them to others, just pointing out the Catholic view of it. To be fair that seems slightly more tolerant of the beliefs of others than the opposition, as I’m sure you would agree.

  7. “I don’t see that he is trying to apply them to others,”
    Given that he is the Bish of Pamplona, he’s likely well alongside trying to apply them to others. There’s a lot of cross-talk between the church in Spain & the diocese across the Atlantic in the old colonies. And over there the church is still enthusiastically converting the surprising number of victims so far left unbothered by the Conquista

  8. The archbishop should re-read his New Testament. Jesus clearly said “If you lust in your heart after a woman, you have committed adultry with her” (same with murder). So it is the Desire of the heart that matters, not just the act.

  9. @DaveB: There’s a difference between looking at someone – another man’s wife, another man, whatever – and thinking “What an attractive person,” and lusting after them. It’s perfectly possible to be attracted to someone yet to avoid fantasising about them.

  10. Any sex must be open to the possibility of conception. This is how we get to the ban on contraception for example.

    My understanding is that it’s a bit more complicated than that. The teaching is set out in Section II of Humanae Vitae. Any sex must be between man and wife and must respect the capacity to transmit life which God has built into the act of mutual love. That means that it can be moral to have sex even if there’s no possibility of conception – during pregnancy for example – but it’s never moral to use artificial contraception, howsoever ineffective.

  11. It’s perfectly possible to be attracted to someone yet to avoid fantasising about them.

    Possible, but very boring.

  12. MattyJ – “If God can intervene to get Sarah knocked up then surely he can intervene to split an condom, un-snip a vas deferens, etc.”

    But one is natural and the other is a direct defiance of God’s Intention. Obviously one is more serious than the other.

    The distinction that they don’t make which confuses me, is between different types of sin. A barrier contraception method like a condom ought to be a lesser sin than a one that relies on killing a fertilized egg which in turn seems to me to be less serious than a later abortion.

    Beelzeebub – “Why should any non catholic care one jot what this man or his organization say’s.”

    Let’s see, 2000 years of the most intelligent people in the Western world thinking about moral problems? Naturally we should ignore that. Let’s go with some buffoon with a part time degree in sociology from Sussex University.

    You don’t have to believe a word he says, but you would be foolish to ignore what is, after all, the centre of the West’s intellectual tradition. Western philosophy, morality and even law is little more than a comment on what the Catholic Church said earlier.

    Not to mention their record – on all the big issues in the last century, they have been right. Everyone else has been, at best, intermittently right, but more often wrong. The Fabians were fine with eugenics for instance. H. G. Well wanted to see all the people of the Third World exterminated. Everyone and his dog thought Pol Pot was the best thing since sliced bread and so on.

    “By all means, they can have whatever silly rules they want, but cease applying them to those not of your religion.”

    Does that apply only to the left footers, or does it apply to everyone? So I can say that homosexuality is a sin and refuse to rent my spare room to a Gay couple now can I? The only people imposing their views on anyone are the liberal Left. Not a single Church.

    bloke in spain – “There’s a lot of cross-talk between the church in Spain & the diocese across the Atlantic in the old colonies. And over there the church is still enthusiastically converting the surprising number of victims so far left unbothered by the Conquista”

    I doubt they are. They would like to. But most of that is the work of American Protestants. Who are also making huge in roads in Latin America’s Catholic population.

  13. on all the big issues in the last century, they have been right.

    Except for when they’ve been wrong. For example, when they entered into a Concordat with the Nazis – here’s Cardinal Faulhaber in 1937

    At a time when the heads of the major nations in the world faced the new Germany with reserve and considerable suspicion, the Catholic Church, the greatest moral power on earth, through the Concordat, expressed its confidence in the new German government. This was a deed of immeasurable significance for the reputation of the new government abroad.

  14. PaulB – “Except for when they’ve been wrong. For example, when they entered into a Concordat with the Nazis – here’s Cardinal Faulhaber in 1937”

    The Church consistently opposed the rise of the Nazis. They consistently condemned their policies before the Nazis came to power. They continued to do so after they were in power.

    But they had a flock to attend to. They had to be able to offer them the Sacraments. It was not an optional extra. So they signed the Concordat. As they did with Napoleon. That did not imply approval in either case. Hitler did not keep to it. They continued to criticise those aspects of the Nazis programme that came to their attention – they got the Mercy Killing programme closed down, even if only temporarily.

    By any measure they were the only people to have dealt with the Nazis properly. As reflected in the number of priests killed in camps and groups like the White Rose.

  15. Beelzeebub (sigh),

    “By all means, they can have whatever silly rules they want, but cease applying them to those not of your religion”

    If you were to decide to, say, go and play a game of golf, you would surely play your game according to the rules of golf regardless of whether or not you are a member of a golf club – wouldn’t you? Agreed? The Catholic Church has absolute no power to declare what is or is not legal. That is the function of the state. What it does have, in my view, is the power to do is declare what is or is not moral – in other words, to declare the rules of the game. If people choose not to play by those rules, that’s their, and your, choice.

    PaulB,

    That the sexual act is being conducted between spouses is a given. Anything else is theologically absurd – like going to the chiropodist to get a tooth pulled.

    So Much For Subtlety,

    “most of that is the work of American Protestants. Who are also making huge in roads in Latin America’s Catholic population.”

    Perhaps with the help of the CIA as a means of reducing the Catholic Church’s influence, I’ve heard it suggested.

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