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SOteric's Journal
Posted by SOteric in General Discussion (Through 2005)
Wed Feb 11th 2004, 12:42 PM
on homosexuality and contraception. I've read a great deal of popular misconception about it but little real exploration.


Ordained priests of the Roman Catholic Church do marry gay couples. In the U.S. they do so without either the overt approval or covert nod of the Council in Rome. In many other countries, they do so with the covert nod of approval from the Council in Rome. These differences with the administration of doctrine are socio-cultural. There are a great many misconceptions about what does and does not go on in the church, worldwide. And there is a great deal of flux in what is accepted from one culture to the next.

What’s clear and undeniable and often seemingly unchangeable is Roman Catholic Doctrine.




Its not unlike most socio-cultural diversity.

While I was being frightened out of my mind by a cab driver in Luxor, Egypt, I became painfully aware of the lack of regard for stop lights in that country. “Is it legal to drive through stop lights here?” I ask. No, of course it isn‘t, I‘m informed. The laws on the books in Egyptian cities are not different with regard to stop lights than are laws in the U.S. However, here in the states, a majority of people stop at a stop light even if there’s no one around for miles. (Especially in places where there are traffic cameras). There, not-so-much. If the intersection is clear, reasonably clear, or the conjuction is easily gauged, drivers fly right through. Only if several people arrive at once do they use the stop light to determine the lucky lotto winner in the “Proceed at 2.99E8 m/s Derby.”

Do you know why the police in their cities don’t write them tickets for this? Because the culture, the citizens, the people do not think it’s wrong. (If you think about it, they may have a point) Yes, they know its illegal and laws are good things for the good of the people, but breezing through an intersection when there’s clearly no one around is not to them a wrong thing.

In the US we stop at stop lights, often, even when there‘s no one around. Do we do this because we think we’ll get caught? - Because we think it’s wrong? -Because it’s a culturally accepted behaviour? I don’t know and I don’t have the data to formulate a response to that.


You’re out to lunch with your dear old Aunt Minnie. She takes 4 or 5 of those little pink sugar packets out of the condiment caddy and stuffs them in her handbag for later. That’s stealing and it’s illegal. Do you wrestle her hands behind her back roughly and call the police? If police came to the scene would they arrest her? Probably not. In fact, only a real dick would call the authorities, and only a real dick would arrest her. The the greater portion of the population of the US would not think Aunt Minnie’s actions were particularly ‘wrong’ even if they were technically illegal. Even the owner of the restaurant is not likely to want to prosecute an elderly woman for absconding with a few sugar packets.*




Yes, the Roman Catholic Doctrine states that the act of homosexual sex is a sin. (Being homosexual is not a sin.) And yet, as I’ve asserted in other places, the active acceptance of homosexual marriages does take place in many differing locations globally within the church.

At this point, I feel compelled to point out that the Roman Catholic Doctrine also determines as sin the completion of a sex act for any heterosexual persons who are unmarried. And it determines as sin the completion of a sex act for married couples who are not actively engaged in trying to produce offspring.

But & However; a suprising lot of the people comprising church in the U.S. see little wrong with these behaviours. So you visit a priest from time to time, you do some self-examination, you examine the goal, invoke a traditional penalty and you move on.

Ireland is a little more conservative on some of these issues; Latin America, a little less.

That doesn’t tend to leave sexually active homosexuals out in the cold the way some statements might paint them. Most sexual activity is wrong according to Roman Catholic Doctrine, and we’re all sinners. It’s not a singular condemnation of gays and lesbians alone. It’s more like the religious equivalent of South Park.

There are some cultures within the global church where gay and lesbian sexuality is more likely to be viewed as ‘wrong’ and some where gay and lesbian, and all aspects of individual sexuality are likely to be viewed in the same way as Aunt Minnie’s obsession with sugar packets: not particularly wrong and only a real dick would press the issue.




Your original question seems to paint the notion is that good Catholics cannot be good progressives. I disagree. A good analogy would be to point out the government of the U.S. is not particularly progressive just now. In fact, it’s walking briskly toward totalitarianism in some legislation (Can you say “Patriot Act?” Sure. I knew you could). I ask if that means that U.S. citizens cannot be progressive. It tends to imply without stating it outright that one is either a bad American or a bad progressive. And yet we don’t see it that way; only the Conservative seem to.

I submit that a good progressive is actively involved in trying to change the government to better suit their ideal and not vice versa. I submit that a good progressive Catholic is a follower of Christ and is actively involved in trying to change the doctrine of the church to better suit a progressive ideal (which coincidentally is Christ-like). And I further submit that there are vast hordes of the practising Catholic who do not feel that homosexual intercourse is either a wrong thing, or frankly, - any of their business as they’re too busy working on their own personal admission ticket to the confession booth.

With time, the Roman Catholic Doctrine may well make some changes and adjustments to reflect the growing belief within the body of the church that the doctrine is itself, bigoted in the matter of homosexuality. It may well come to see it that way, too.

Now we come to the trickly business of my own opinions in the matter.

Because many of the DU regulars are quite well aware that I’m a practising Roman Catholic and the notion has been suggested that I’m either a bad Catholic, possibly a bad progressive or I think homosexuality is a sin, I feel the need to make a statement.

That’s a load of crap.


Biblical scholars have been noting for centuries the curious fact that condemnations of homosexual acts seems to run contrary to the whole of Christ’s character and behaviour as we know it from every available text. The only condemnations issued by Christ during his lifetime seem to be those against the Pharisees and the Money Lenders. -And even those people, he did not claim to “hate.“

Scholars have also noted quite correctly that it was to the specific advantage of the early Council in Rome to encourage the population of the church to multiply and flourish in producing offspring. Since contraception, homosexuality and premarital sex tended to limit the production of Catholic offspring, one wonders if some over-ambitious monk didn’t slip them into the text to curry favour with a wealthy and powerful bishop; perhaps at the behest of a wealthy and powerful bishop.

I do not get to decide what constitutes sin, - that’s God’s business. If God has a particular grudge with homosexuals that’s between him and homosexuals. I doubt it, though, it’s contrary to all those commandments about loving one another and forgiveness and learning to live peacefully amoung one another, to single out a group of his children and say “y’all are just born wrong and hateful and worthy of revile.”

There are activists within the church who hope for a day when a new Pope might come to the Vatican and look differently at the cultural context of sexuality and many other issues and the U.S. - Just like there are Democrats and Greens who hope for a day when a new Administration would come the U.S. presidency and look differently at a host of progressive issues.


The Roman Catholic Church has many faults and at this time many of them are mooted about in the court of public opinion I’ve more than a few times been asked why an intelligent woman like myself doesn’t leave the church and all her failings and consider another, -or even Atheism.

The answers for me are clear. Most of us aren‘t deserting the U.S. in haste over the many faults and trying times of this current Administration. I have annoying people with many faults in my family and yet I haven’t disowned them and changed my name. So it is with the church. There are many good people who express thought and opinions I value within the church. The Roman Catholic Doctrine attempts to set a bar, a standard for the body of the church to achieve. Many of us work to see that the bar is more correctly, more fairly placed. What kind of faith turns tail to run just because the going got tough?
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