Tuesday 10 May 2011

"Catholic Voices" are undermining Catholic teaching on homosexuality

On 1 May Jack Valero and Chris Morgan of Catholic Voices were interviewed on BBC West Midlands radio. Mr Valero and Mr Morgan were questioned about, among other things, the issue of Catholic teaching on homosexuality* (full transcript of their replies on homosexuality). Whilst they affirmed that the Church approves neither homosexual acts nor homosexual marriage, they also commented on homosexual orientation:
Jack Valero
Valero: "[T]he Catholic Church is against all forms of homophobia, and all forms of unjust discrimination against anybody for what they are ... I think people could have this idea that the Catholic Church is not in favour of gay people or whatever, but that’s absolutely not true. The Church is in favour of all people without discrimination."
Interviewer: "[The Catholic Church] says you can’t be a Catholic and gay, or a good Catholic and gay."
Valero: "No, that’s absolutely not true. I have many friends who are homosexually inclined and are Catholic and are very happy with the Church and practising Catholics and so on."
Chris Morgan
Interviewer: "Do you think the Catholic Church has had a particular problem with homosexuality in proactively challenging discrimination against it?"
Morgan: "I don’t think the church does have a problem ... [I]f you look at Catholic teaching it’s very clear that all discrimination is wrong."
Interviewer: "So it’s alright to be gay but you can’t have sex."
Morgan: "There is absolutely nothing wrong with somebody being homosexual. If that’s the way they are, that’s just their characteristic. There is nothing wrong with that at all."
Firstly, what does Mr Valero mean by "homophobia", a term invented by the homosexual rights lobby? And what does Mr Valero include in "all forms of homophobia"?

Secondly, do Mr Valero and Mr Morgan agree on the issue of discrimination? Mr Valero says the Church is against "unjust discrimination" but Mr Morgan claims that "Catholic teaching [is] very clear that all discrimination is wrong".

Lastly, why are Mr Valero and Mr Morgan undermining Catholic teaching on homosexual orientation by asserting boldly that there is "nothing wrong" with being homosexual? The Catechism of the Catholic Church states clearly that:
"homosexual acts...do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity ... [The homosexual] inclination...is objectively disordered"
and the Holy Office's 1986 letter "on the pastoral care of homosexual persons" teaches that:
"Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder." [no.3]

"[I]ncreasing numbers of people today, even within the Church, are bringing enormous pressure to bear on the Church to accept the homosexual condition as though it were not disordered ... The Church's ministers must ensure that homosexual persons in their care will not be misled by this point of view, so profoundly opposed to the teaching of the Church." [no.8]
In 2003 the Holy Office made clear, precisely in the context of the public debate about homosexuality, that:
"Moral conscience requires that, in every occasion, Christians give witness to the whole moral truth".
Mr Valero and Mr Morgan have not only failed to "give witness to the whole moral truth" about homosexuality, but have contradicted Catholic teaching on homosexuality.

One does not need to look far for the likely origin of this scandal. Dr Austen Ivereigh, Mr Valero's fellow Catholic Voices co-ordinator who recently endorsed civil partnerships, in September said:
"In the briefing sessions [for Catholic Voices spokesmen] ... a thorny issue was homosexuality. Obviously we had to deal with the “disordered” language... Also, we had to deal with the question of what are gay people actually called to? Obviously they’re called to chastity, because the only place for sex is within marriage. But are they called to love, for example? It caused a bit of discussion. It’s one of those cases in which I don’t think there’s really a settled view within the church."
Also in September the Catholic Voices blog not only espoused the unorthodox position broadcast this month by Mr Valero and Mr Morgan, but defended the infamous Soho Masses, despite the clear and mounting evidence, easily available then as now, that these Masses are organised by and for openly-practising homosexual dissenters.

Unless and until Catholic Voices accepts the "whole moral truth" of Catholic teaching on sexual ethics, and "in every occasion" witnesses without ambiguity or internal contradiction to that truth, they have no business representing Catholicism.

*And why is the Catholic Church's teaching on sexual ethics important specifically for the pro-life movement? The late Pope John Paul II, the great pro-life champion, taught in no. 97 of his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae that it is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection. 

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