Archive for the ‘Homosexualism’ Category


Reading Selections from “Homosexuality and the Church Crisis” by Brian W. Clowes Part Four

May 29, 2014
The primary goal of those attacking the Church is to publicly destroy its moral authority so that people will not heed its teachings that homosexual behavior is sinful, and that homosexual “marriage” is, quite simply, a fraud.

The primary goal of those attacking the Church is to publicly destroy its moral authority so that people will not heed its teachings that homosexual behavior is sinful, and that homosexual “marriage” is, quite simply, a fraud.

Interestingly, while the mainstream press and liberal groups systematically pillory the Catholic Church, they entirely ignore the well-organized and determined efforts by professional associations to decriminalize and normalize child sexual abuse. For example, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) recently sponsored a symposium in which participants discussed the removal of pedophilia from an upcoming edition of the group’s psychiatric manual of mental disorders.

At about the same time, the Archives of Sexual Behavior published a special edition in December 2002 discussing whether pedophilia should remain classified as a mental disorder. (Lawrence Morahan. “Psychiatric Association Debates Lifting Pedophilia Taboo.”, June 11, 2003; Archives of Sexual Behavior article discussed in Linda Ames Nicolosi. “International Academy of Sex Research Joins the Debate: Is Pedophilia a Mental Disorder?” NARTH, June 26, 2003.)

As early as 1988, a leading American psychological journal, Behavior Today, claimed that “Pedophilia may be a sexual orientation rather than a sexual deviation. This raises the question as to whether pedophiles may have rights.” (Behavior Today, December 5, 1988, page 5.)

Information Provided by a Diocesan Administrator
It is clear, even without reference to the numerous reports throughout the recent years, that homosexuals have infiltrated the ranks of the clergy to an astonishing degree. In some corners of the Church, such behavior has long been seen as acceptable. A recent assessment here.

To cite just one recent example, Msgr. Richard Sniezyk, appointed to head the Diocese of Springfield-in-Massachusetts after its bishop resigned amid sexual abuse allegations, said in an interview that the recent scandal in the Catholic Church stems from a belief among some priests during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s that sex with young men was “acceptable;”

Monsignor Richard S. Sniezyk, 66, the leader of the Springfield Diocese until the Vatican names a bishop to replace Thomas L. Dupre, said that as a seminarian and then a young priest … he heard of priests who had sex with young men, but “no one thought much about it” because priests didn’t recognize how mentally and emotionally damaging their behavior was ... “It was that era of the ’60s — most of it took place from the mid-’60s to the early’ 80s — and the whole atmosphere out there was, it was OK, it was OK to do.” (John M. McElhenny, “Monsignor Says Harm of Abuse Wasn’t Recognized.” Boston Globe, February 23, 2004. ) This is not a statement by an anti-Catholic or homosexual activist, but rather an admission from none other than the duly-appointed shepherd of souls in this Massachusetts diocese.

It is easy to look back on the crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States and place blame on the Vatican, on the bishops, on the seminaries, or even on our society’s permissive attitude toward sexuality in general. But much terrible damage has already been done — to the victims, to the Church, and to the souls of many whose faith has been shaken or even destroyed by the scandal. Our primary responsibilities at this point are not blame and condemnation, but reparation and prevention. We must compensate the victims, and we must reassure them by making certain that there are no more future cases of child sexual molestation by clergy or other Church workers.

Does Pederast Equal “Gay”?
Some researchers assert that just because an activity is homosexual in nature does not mean that the person committing the act is a homosexual. For example, criminologist Margaret Smith said that “The majority of the [clergy] abusive acts were homosexual in nature. That participation in homosexual acts is not the same as sexual identity as a gay man.” (Jeremy Schulman. “Expert: Donohue’s Claim that Most Abusive Priests are Gay is “Unwarranted.” Media Matters for America Web site, April 2, 2010.) This is like saying that someone who steals is not a thief, or that someone who races his car down a crowded city street at 200 kilometers per hour is not a reckless driver. Men who sexually molest boys may claim not to be homosexual, but this assertion is disingenuous at best and deliberately deceptive at worst.

Behavior Research and Therapy found that male pederasts are sexually attracted to “males of all ages,” compared to non-offenders, the offenders showed “greater arousal” when viewing slides of nude males as old as twenty-four: “As a group, the child molesters responded with moderate sexual arousal … to the nude males of all ages.” (W.L. Marshall, H.E. Barbaree, and Jennifer Butt. “Sexual Offenders Against Male Children: Sexual Preferences.” Behavior Research and Therapy, 26 (1988): 383.) In fact, a large percentage of pedophiles consider themselves to be homosexual. A study of 229 convicted child molesters in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that “eighty-six percent of [sexual] offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual.” (W.D. Erickson, et al. “Behavior Patterns of Child Molesters.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, February 1986 [Volume 17, Number 1], pages 77-86, p. 83.

Is Celibacy the Problem?
Many opportunists claim that, if the Catholic Church would simply relax its rules on celibacy, the sexual abuse crisis would be greatly ameliorated. This assertion simply makes no sense. Those priests who sexually molest boys have just as much access to adult women as other men. In fact, since priests are admired and respected professionals, we might reasonably say that they have more ready access to women than do other men.

The most certain proof that there is no correlation between celibacy and child molestation comes from the fact that married men commit child sexual abuse at about the same rate as Catholic priests. There are about 260 reports each year of children under 18 being sexually abused by Protestant clergy, church staff, volunteers or congregation members. By comparison, 4,392 priests (out of 109,000) were accused of sexual abuse during the time period 1950 to 2002, an average of 84 per year. (Rose French. “260 Reports of Abuse Yearly in Protestant Churches.” Chicago Sun-Times, June 15, 2007. Also see the John Jay study for statistics on accused Catholic priests.)

These numbers are backed up by a comprehensive study by Professor Philip Jenkins of Penn State, which found that between 0.2 percent and 1.7 percent of priests are pedophiles, and 2 to 3 percent of Protestant clergy are pedophiles, a somewhat higher rate. (Philip Jenkins. Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis [New York City: Oxford University Press], 1996, pages 50 and 81.)

Since Protestant clergy are free to marry, it is obvious that allowing priests to marry will not solve the problem. “Born that Way?” So What? We often hear from the homosexual-rights movement that “gays” are “born that way.” This may or may not be true, depending on which of the hundreds of conflicting studies we choose to believe. Some experts believe that, in many cases, homosexuality is an acquired condition due to the lack of an effective male role model. 

In the most fundamental sense, this point is irrelevant. We are all born with weaknesses, a direct result of our fallen natures. We can deal with these weaknesses in one of two ways. We can accept them as crosses given to us by God, and we can glorify His Name by struggling to overcome them with the aid of His grace. Or we can simply give in and use the “born that way” excuse, the weak and cowardly road that is a vote of no-confidence in God’s grace and its ability to save us. A person can have a genetic predisposition towards alcoholism. Yet our spouses do not accept the “born that way” excuse if we arrive home drunk every night.

Kleptomania may indeed also be genetic, yet no court in the world has ever accepted the “born that way” excuse as a defense against shoplifting charges. Alcoholics and those tempted to steal can be good and holy priests — just so long as they recognize their weaknesses, avoid near occasions of sin, and fight to overcome them on a daily basis with the help of God’s grace.

Men who are sexually attracted to women or to other men can also become saintly priests — but only if they do not give in to temptation and act out their desires. A man who is living an active homosexual lifestyle, or who even experiences homosexual tendencies, should never be ordained a priest. (Congregation for Catholic Education. Instruction “Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocation with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in the View of Their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders,” November 4, 2005.)

The danger to souls and to lives is just too great, as the sexual abuse crisis in the Church has amply demonstrated.

, or the sexual desire for adolescent boys, has always been a hallmark of homosexuality, as shown by numerous scientific studies, and as admitted by “gay” leaders themselves on many occasions.
Homophile groups are exploiting the current crisis in the Church in order to achieve their goals, a classic strategy of infiltration and subversion. Many of these groups vocally supported “man-boy love” in the 1960s and 1970s. Now the same groups are attacking the Church because pedophile priests followed their advice and became “boy-lovers!”

The primary goal of those attacking the Church is to publicly destroy its moral authority so that people will not heed its teachings that homosexual behavior is sinful, and that homosexual “marriage” is a fraud. A secondary goal of these groups is to eliminate the requirement for celibacy among priests. However, married Protestant clergy have a larger rate of child sexual molestation as Catholic priests, proving that celibacy has nothing at all to do with pederasty.

In summary, there are many attacking on the Pope specifically and the Roman Catholic Church generally because of the sex abuse crisis. However, these individuals and organizations are not motivated by a desire to enlighten mankind or protect the innocent, since the crisis has already largely subsided, and stringent means have been enacted to prevent the abuse from reoccurring. Rather, the motivation appears to be more one of bigotry and a desire to muzzle and sideline the Church’s moral opposition to the “gay rights” movement.



Reading Selections from “Homosexuality and the Church Crisis” by Brian W. Clowes Part Three

May 28, 2014
The modern-day concept that adults can legitimately have sex with children originated with the Alfred Kinsey team. Sex educator and Kinsey collaborator Wardell Pomeroy said that "People seem to think that any [sexual] contact between children and adults has a bad effect on the child. I say that this can be a loving and thoughtful, responsible sexual activity."

The modern-day concept that adults can legitimately have sex with children originated with the Alfred Kinsey team. Sex educator and Kinsey collaborator Wardell Pomeroy said that “People seem to think that any [sexual] contact between children and adults has a bad effect on the child. I say that this can be a loving and thoughtful, responsible sexual activity.”

Supporting Quotes by Homosexual Activists
As further evidence of the strong connection between active homosexuality and child molestation, many homosexual leaders have openly admitted that there is a natural link between a homosexual orientation and child sexual abuse. Many “gay” organizations and leaders not only admit to, but support, the sexual abuse of children by homosexuals. An editorial in the San Francisco Sentinel, a member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalist’s Association, claimed that the love between men and boys is at the foundation of homosexuality.

For the gay community to imply that boy-love is not homosexual love is ridiculous. We must not be seduced into believing misinformation from the press and the government. Child molesting does occur, but there are also positive sexual relations. And we need to support the men and the boys in those relationships. (Point of View. “No Place for Homo-Homophobia.” San Francisco Sentinel, March 26, 1992.)  The notorious North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), one of several major organized pederast groups, always has a drawing or a photo of a pre-teen boy on the cover of its NAMBLA Bulletin, as well as many other such depictions within each issue.

Pedophile Philip Hutchinson’s poem entitled “Choirboy” is entirely typical of the fare found in the Bulletin:

You look like a cherub, but you’re worldly-wise.
You’d love to have me think you’re newly-born,
but I can spot the twinkle in your eyes;
you know damned well how much you turn me on.
Between us, you’re the satyr — I’m the saint,
so shed your sacred robe and bare your skin,
surrender to my touch without restraint,
and later, put your halo on again.
(Pedophile Philip Hutchinson’s poem entitled “Choirboy.”
NAMBLA Bulletin, January-February 1984, page 14.)

One of NAMBLA’s flyers says that There is no age at which a person becomes capable of consenting to sex. The age of sexual consent is just one of many ways in which adults impose their system of control on children … Amazing as it may seem in this child-hating and homophobic society, boy lovers find boys attractive and like their spontaneity and openness. (NAMBLA flyer, quoted in Shirley J. O’Brien. “The Child Molester: Porn Plays a Major Role in Life.” National Federation for Decency Journal, May/June 1987, pages 9-11.)

Convicted pederast and NAMBLA member David Thorstad has said that “I think that pederasty should be given the stamp of approval. I think it’s true that boy-lovers are much better for children than the parents are …” (David Thorstad, quoted in Joseph Sobran. “The Moderate Radical.” Human Life Review, Summer 1983, pages 59-60. “Pederasty” is generally defined as the sexual molestation of a boy by an adult male not in his immediate family.) NAMBLA is by no means on the fringe of the “gay rights” movement. For years, it was a member in good standing of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), and was only jettisoned by ILGA when the parent organization applied for United Nations consultative status in 1993. Years earlier, the ILGA itself had resolved that “Young people have the right to sexual and social self-determination and that age of consent laws often operate to oppress and not to protect.” (Wikipedia entry on NAMBLA, April 14, 2010.)

Homosexual defenders of NAMBLA declared that “man/boy love is by definition homosexual,” that “man/boy lovers are part of the gay movement and central to gay history and culture,” part of “the Western homosexual tradition from Socrates to Wilde to Gide,” and part of “many non-Western homo-sexualities from New Guinea and Persia to the Zulu and the Japanese.” (Joshua Gamson. “Messages of Exclusion: Gender, Movements, and Symbolic Boundaries.” Gender and Society April 1997 [Volume 11, Number 2], pages 178-199.

In fact, one of NAMBLA’s “gay” defenders got right to the point when he said that “Homosexuals denying that it is ‘not gay’ to be attracted to adolescent boys are just as ludicrous as heterosexuals saying it’s ‘not heterosexual’ to be attracted to adolescent girls.” (Joshua Gamson. “Messages of Exclusion: Gender, Movements, and Symbolic Boundaries.” Gender and Society April 1997 [Volume 11, Number 2], pages 178-199.

“Gay” leaders and researchers have recognized and publicized the natural relationship between homosexuality and pederasty [adult male sexual molestation of boys] for decades. NAMBLA and similar groups may be in the forefront of promoting “gay” sex with young boys, but many other prominent homosexuals have transmitted the same message; Larry Kramer, founder of the homosexual group AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP), said that “In those cases where children do have sex with their homosexual elders, I submit that often, very often, the child desires the activity, and perhaps even solicits it, either because of a natural curiosity, or because he or she is homosexual and innately knows it. … And unlike girls or women forced into rape or traumatized, most gay men have warm memories of their earliest and early sexual encounters; when we share these stories with each other, they are invariably positive ones.” (Larry Kramer, in Reports from the Holocaust [New York City: St. Martin's Press], 1991.)

Pat Califia, lesbian author and activist, wrote in the “mainstream” homosexual publication The Advocate that “Boy-lovers and the lesbians who have young lovers are the only people offering a hand to help young women and men cross the difficult terrain between straight society and the gay community. They are not child molesters. The child abusers are priests, teachers, therapists, cops and parents who force their stale morality onto the young people in their custody. Instead of condemning pedophiles for their involvement with lesbian and gay youth, we should be supporting them.” (Pat Califia, in The Advocate, October 1980)

Steve Hanson wrote in the homosexual magazine Bay Area Reporter “Shame on us if our lesbian/gay voices remain silent while our NAMBLA brothers are persecuted once again, and shame on those lesbians and gay men who will raise their voices to condemn NAMBLA, insisting that boy lovers (and presumably the boys they love and who love them) are not part of this thing called the lesbian/gay community.” (Steve Hanson. “Shame on Us.” B.A.R. (Bay Area Reporter), January 23, 1992.)

One of the authors of The Big Gay Book said that “Sex between youths and adults is one of the most difficult issues in the gay movement. When does a youngster have the right and the power to make his own sexual decisions? How are laws against intergenerational sex used specifically to target gay men? What are the issues that make the romantic image of the Greek teacher and his student in times of antiquity turn into something ugly and forbidden in the modern age?” (John Preston, quoted in The Big Gay Book: A Man’s Survival Guide for the ’90s [New York City: Plume], 1991.)

Lesbian Gayle Rubin wrote that “The recent career of boy-love in the public mind should serve as an alert that the self-interests of the feminist and gay movements are linked to simple justice for stigmatized sexual minorities. … We must not reject all sexual contact between adults and young people as inherently oppressive.” (Gayle Rubin, quoted in Leaping Lesbian, February, 1978. This article originally appeared in an article entitled “Sexual Politics, the New Right, and the Sexual Fringe” in The Age Taboo [Alyson Press], 1981, pages 108-115.)

Like the “ten percent” myth, the modern-day concept that adults can legitimately have sex with children originated with the Alfred Kinsey team. Sex educator and Kinsey collaborator Wardell Pomeroy said that “People seem to think that any [sexual] contact between children and adults has a bad effect on the child. I say that this can be a loving and thoughtful, responsible sexual activity.” (Wardell Pomeroy, quoted in Michael Ebert. “Pedophilia Steps Into the Daylight.” Focus on the Family Citizen, November 16, 1992, pages 6-8.)


Reading Selections from “Homosexuality and the Church Crisis” by Brian W. Clowes Part Two

May 26, 2014

While news coverage has dropped precipitously, the story has permanently stained the priesthood. As these posts attest, the truth of the reports and studies emanating from the scandal do not lend themselves to the sort of superficial reportage of network news nor USA Today type newspapers.

Originally a page on this site. I’ve made this into a four part post. A bit of housekeeping…


Denying the Facts
There are occasional desultory attempts to deny or obscure the fact that a disproportionately high percentage of active homosexuals sexually molest children. These studies are invariably afflicted with one or more fatal flaws. A typical example, oft-quoted by “gay rights” activists, is the July 1994 Pediatrics article by Jenny, Roesler and Poyer that says “Using the data from our study, the 95% confidence limits of the risk children would identify recognizably homosexual adults as the potential abuser, are from 0% to 3.1%. These limits are within current estimates of the prevalence of homosexuality in the general community.” (C. Jenny, T.A. Roesler, and K.L. Poyer. “Are Children at Risk for Sexual Abuse by Homosexuals?” Pediatrics, July 1994 [Volume 94, Number 1], pages 41-44.) The fatal flaw of this study is that it examined sexually abused children with a mean age of just 6.1 years. Children this young are usually targets of true pedophiles, those persons with no sexual attraction to adults of either sex. By contrast, homosexual pedophiles are usually classified as “ephebophiles,” persons sexually attracted to pubescent or post-pubescent children.

Definitions and Calculations
The John Jay study on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States defines “pedophiles” as people who “exhibit recurrent, intense, sexually arousing fantasies, urges or behaviors related to sexual contact with a prepubescent child over a period of at least six months duration.” (John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States. April 2004, Section 3.1, “Introduction to the Problem of Child Sexual Abuse by Adult Men.” )

When people speak of the current crisis being a problem involving “pedophile priests,” they are addressing only a small portion of the situation. According to the John Jay study, most of the sexually offending priests are not true pedophiles. They are in fact “ephebophiles,” who “exhibit these same fantasies, urges or behaviors towards post-pubescent youths.” (John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States. April 2004, Section 3.1, “Introduction to the Problem of Child Sexual Abuse by Adult Men.”)

Generally, the John Jay study recognized that pedophilia can be defined as the sexual molestation of children aged ten and younger. The National Review Board study defines “ephebophilia” as “homosexual attraction to adolescent males,” a definition that certainly is validated by the quotes of “gay rights” activists later in this article. (National Review Board. A Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States. February 27, 2004, page 27, footnote 15.) Table 3.5.4 of the John Jay Study is reproduced below. It clearly demonstrates that, as the age of the victims rises, the percentage of victims decisively shifts from primarily female to overwhelmingly male. Click on it and it will display more clearly (apologies).


The results shown in Table 3.5.4 stand in stark contrast to United States Department of Health and Human Services statistics, which show that male-on-male child sexual abuse in the USA comprises only 14.4% of all sexual abuse committed by males. In other words, in the general population of males who sexually abuse minors, only one in seven molest boys. In the population of priests who sexually abuse minors, six in seven molest boys. (United States Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. Child Maltreatment [annual reports, 1995 to 2008].)


Figure 1 graphically depicts Table 3.5.4, and shows the numbers of alleged victims of sexual abuse incidents grouped by gender and age. One can clearly see that the percentage of victims is overwhelmingly male. Once again click to view more clearly.

Many experts have claimed that there is a much higher percentage of homosexuals in the priesthood than there is in the general population. Let us assume for a moment that the concentration of male homosexuals in the priesthood is four times greater than it is in the general population — about ten percent. 19 If we assume that this number is correct, using the figures given in Table 3.5.4, we find that a homosexual priest is (One of the “articles of faith” of the “gay rights” movement is that ten percent of any population is homosexual. In fact, the numbers are much smaller. There have been a number of major studies gauging the percentage of homosexuals in the general population. The aggregated results of these studies surveyed more than 218,000 men in several countries and show that 2.6 percent of the male population has ever had a homosexual experience in their lives [for a list of these studies, see Brian W. Clowes and David L. Sonnier. "Child Molestation by Homosexuals and Heterosexuals." Homiletic & Pastoral Review, May 2005, pages 44-54]. 7 (85.3%/10.0%)/(14.7%/90.0%) = 52 times more likely to molest a child than a heterosexual priest)

If we use the more reasonable assumption that five percent of all priests are homosexual (still about twice the average in the general population), we see that a homosexual priest is (85.3%/5.0%)/(14.7%/95.0%) = 110 times more likely to molest a child than a heterosexual priest. It is logical that homosexuals who sexually desire young children deliberately seek employment that will bring them into proximity with the greatest number of children possible. The most “promising” jobs of this nature include clergymen working in youth ministries, Boy Scout leaders and schoolteachers. This is primarily why homosexual teachers have been involved in a hugely disproportionate number of all recorded cases of teacher/pupil sex. A nationwide survey of school principals showed that they received 13 times as many complaints about homosexuals sexually molesting students than they did about heterosexuals molesting students. (J. Dressler. “Gay Teachers: A Disesteemed Minority in an Overly Esteemed Profession.” Rutgers/Camden Law Journal, 1978, 9(3), pages 399-445.)

Other studies have shown that homosexual teachers are from 90 to 100 times more likely to molest students than heterosexual teachers. (J. Dressler. “Gay Teachers: A Disesteemed Minority in an Overly Esteemed Profession.” Rutgers/Camden Law Journal, 1978, 9(3), pages 399-445.)


Reading Selections from “Homosexuality and the Church Crisis” by Brian W. Clowes Part One

May 26, 2014
Cardinal Law, former Boston archbishop, appears to break down before Mass in 2003.

Cardinal Law, former Boston archbishop, appears to break down before Mass in 2003.

The author, Brian W. Clowes, Ph.D., is a 1974 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 1995 he became the Director of Research and Training for Human Life International. He has written and edited eleven books and over one hundred articles in several fields of discipline. This was originally a page on this site but I am cleaning out my pages to make way for a new feature, Intro to Categories.  


A Summary
Due to clergy sex abuse scandals centered primarily in the US and Europe, the moral authority of the Roman Catholic Church has been subjected to an opportunistic siege by prominent individuals and organizations who see the chance to advance their goals, including the ordination of women and the suspension of the requirement for priestly celibacy.

There is also a strongly defensive element to this strategy. Opponents of the Church know that there is a well-documented and strong correlation between male homosexuality and child sexual abuse, but claim that there is no evidence supporting this connection. And, of course, those who are currently attacking the Church hope that they can undermine its moral authority to preach on the sinfulness of homosexual behavior and weaken its opposition to ersatz homosexual “marriage.”

This paper demonstrates that there is indeed a very strong link between male homosexuality and child sexual abuse. It also shows that there is a similar rate of child sexual abuse among other very large groups of adult males (e.g., Protestant clergy, who are usually married), thus proving that celibacy is not the root of the problem — homosexuality is.

A very small number of Catholic priests and other leaders have taken advantage of their positions of authority and influence in order to gain sexual favors or to take advantage of the helpless. The problem of clerical child sexual molestation, particularly in the United States and Europe, has been widely exposed and publicized over the past decade. During the crisis currently being discussed, homophile activists within and outside the Catholic Church have done everything they can to divert attention away from even the possibility that there may be a higher percentage of homosexuals among the priesthood than in the general public, and that this may be the root cause of the problem of child sexual molestation within the Church.

Denying The Obvious
These activists particularly seek to deny the link between homosexuality and child sexual molestation. For example, the dissenting organization “Dignity USA” kicked off its “Stop Blaming Gay Priests” campaign in 2002. The group said “DigntyUSA [sic] is calling on the U.S. Catholic bishops to stop blaming gay priests for the clergy sexual abuse scandal. All credible evidence discounts any link between the molestation of children and homosexuality.”

More recently, Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, the Holy See’s Secretary of State, suggested that there is a link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse. “Gay” groups all over the world reacted with horror and fury, and echoed what Dignity USA had said years before. (Dignity USA Web site, February 6, 2004) This campaign was begun during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops annual meeting in Washington, D.C., November 10-13, 2002. We should point out that the very existence of a group that supports sexually active “gay priests” is a great source of scandal. For example, Rolando Jiminéz, president of Chile’s Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, said that “No reputable study exists to support the cardinal’s claims.” (Rory Carroll. “Vatican Attacked over Cardinal’s Claim of Homosexuality and Paedophilia Link.” The Guardian, April 13, 2010)

When In Doubt, Smear And Discredit
The situation has become so charged that anyone who even suggests that there may be a connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse is instantly and reflexively labeled a “homophobe” and a “gay basher.” The powerful homosexual lobby reacts instinctively to negative publicity and information by “ritually defaming” those who dare raise their voices. Organized homosexual groups and their supporters first attempt to ignore the evidence, or, if it simply cannot be disregarded, aggressively smear and discredit those who produced it.( Laird Wilcox. “The Practice of Ritual Defamation.” Editorial Research Service Web site at Homophiles will inevitably use these tactics in attempts to discredit this report. Defenders of the Catholic Church must ignore these attacks and emphasize the quotes, statistics and conclusions contained in this work. )

Such wholesale dismissal of documented facts, and the accompanying refusal to even discuss the possibility of a link between an active homosexual lifestyle and child sexual abuse, is a grave disservice not only to the victims, but to society at large. Obviously, a proven link between homosexual orientation and child sexual molestation would badly damage the carefully crafted public relations image of the “gay rights” movement. Therefore, instead of calmly and rationally discussing the issues, homosexual rights leaders subscribe to the axiom “the best defense is a good [and loud] offense.” They remain in a permanent attack mode. In general, the media and liberal groups seem almost pathologically careful to avoid stereotyping an entire group of people because of the actions of just a few.

The Lack of a Decent Opposition
For example, we are told repeatedly that we must not perceive jihadists as representing Islam. Yet, when dealing with the Catholic Church, the media and others cast even the vestiges of decency and restraint to the wind. As one example, a writer described the Vatican as “an international criminal conspiracy to protect child rapists.” (Perhaps the best general article on the bigotry of the “Pope-hunters” is by atheist Brendan O’Neill. “The Pope- Hunters’ Pathological Campaign.” The Australian, April 15, 2010.) Naturally, the Pope is singled out for the most vicious and ridiculous abuse.

According to The Irish Times, “Pope Benedict has made worse just about everything that is wrong with the Roman Catholic Church and is directly responsible for engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests.”( Hans Küng. “Church in Worst Credibility Crisis since Reformation, Theologian Tells Bishops.” The Irish Times, April 16, 2010.) The only way to get at the root of the problem of priestly child molestation is to ignore this smear campaign and proceed methodically.

We must first objectively study all facts relating to the situation, and then muster the courage to respond by taking the appropriate steps. If this is not done, any effort to address the problem, no matter how well intentioned or vigorously pursued, will be utterly squandered. Certainly we owe it to the victims — and to the Catholic Church itself — to determine the truth behind this volatile topic.

Studies on the Frequency of Homosexual Child Molestation: Examples
Dignity USA and other homosexual groups strenuously deny any connection whatever between a homosexual orientation and child sexual molestation. They repeatedly claim that “All credible evidence discounts any link between the molestation of children and homosexuality.”  (Dignity USA Web site, February 6, 2004) Yet these groups seem curiously reluctant to cite this “credible evidence.” In fact, a number of studies performed over a period spanning more than half a century — many of which were performed by homosexuals or their sympathizers — have shown that an extremely large percentage of sexually active homosexuals also participate in child sexual molestation. This is not “homophobia” or “hatred.” This is mere scientific fact.

1.  For example;  Homosexual Alfred Kinsey, the USA’s preeminent sexual researcher, found in 1948 that 37 percent of all male homosexuals admitted to having sex with children under 17 years old. (Alfred Kinsey data described in P.H. Gebhard and A.B. Johnson. The Kinsey Data. Saunders Publishing, 1979. Table 443, “Homosexual Sample: Age at First Postpubertal Homosexual Contact,” and Table 444, “Homosexual Sample: Age of Partner in First Postpubertal Homosexual Contact.” Even though much of Kinsey’s research has been thoroughly discredited, his enduring primacy in the field of ‘sexology’ means that sex educators and others involved in human sexuality study his material intensively, and have therefore been aware of the strong link between homosexuality and pedophilia for more than six decades. ) •

2.  A recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that “The best epidemiological evidence indicates that only 2-4% of men attracted to adults prefer men. In contrast, around 25-40% of men attracted to children prefer boys. Thus, the rate of homosexual attraction is 6-20 times higher among pedophiles.” (Ray Blanchard, et al. “Fraternal Birth Order and Sexual Orientation in Pedophiles.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, October 2000 [Volume 29, Number 5], pages 463-478, p. 464. )  Another recent study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that “… all but 9 of the 48 homosexual men preferred the youngest two male age categories.” These age categories were fifteen and twenty years old. (A. Zebulon, Z.A. Silverthorne and Vernon L. Quinsey. “Sexual Partner Age Preferences of Homosexual and Heterosexual Men and Women.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, February 2000 [Volume 29, Number 1], pages 67- 76, p. 73.) •

3.  A third study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that “Pedophilia appears to have a greater than chance association with two other statistically infrequent phenomena. The first of these is homosexuality … Recent surveys estimate the prevalence of homosexuality, among men attracted to adults, in the neighborhood of 2%. In contrast, the prevalence of homosexuality among pedophiles may be as high as 30-40%.” (Ray Blanchard, et. al. “Pedophiles: Mental Retardation, Maternal Age, and Sexual Orientation.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, April 1999 [Volume 28, Number 2], pages 111-127, p. 112.)

4.  A study in the Journal of Sex Research noted that “… the proportion of sex offenders against male children among homosexual men is substantially larger than the proportion of sex offenders against female children among heterosexual men … the development of pedophilia is more closely linked with homosexuality than with heterosexuality.” (Kurt Freund, Robin Watson and Douglas Rienzo. “Heterosexuality, Homosexuality, and Erotic Age Preference.” Journal of Sex Research, February 1989 [Volume 26, Number 1], pages 107-117, p. 115.)

5.  A study of 229 convicted child molesters published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that “eighty-six percent of [sexual] offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual.” (W.D. Erickson, et al. “Behavior Patterns of Child Molesters.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, February 1988 [Volume 17, Number 1], pages 77-86, p. 83. ) A study by The Institute for Sex Research, which was founded by Alfred Kinsey, determined that 25% of white homosexual men have had sex with boys sixteen years and younger. (Alan P. Bell, et. al., Institute for Sex Research. Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women [New York City: Simon and Schuster], 1978. Appendix C, Table 7, “Sexual Partnerships,” page 311.


Causes of Homosexuality: A Christian Appraisal of the Data — Andrew J. Sodergren, M.S.

May 12, 2014
Dante and Virgil observe the damned gripped by their addiction to same sex behaviors. Not a pretty sight but neither are the others observed in Dante’s circles of hell. Paedophiles proclaim the positive lifestyle and benefits of man-boy love, Homosexualists the normality of same sex love, and Red Sox fans the joys of watching the game in Fenway Park. Doesn’t anyone remember sin anymore?

Dante and Virgil observe the damned gripped by their addiction to same sex behaviors. Not a pretty sight but neither are the others observed in Dante’s circles of hell. Paedophiles proclaim the positive lifestyle and benefits of man-boy love, Homosexualists the normality of same sex love, and Red Sox fans the joys of watching the game in Fenway Park. Doesn’t anyone remember sin anymore?

Andrew J. Sodergren, Psy.D. is an adjunct professor at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, DC, and a licensed psychologist at Ruah Woods in Cincinnati, OH.

This is a 2005 paper that cites the most recent scientific findings, many from the 1990s or the 2000s. Studies on homosexuality have more or less dried up due to the extreme culture wars that have been waged on the issue. Homosexualists target researchers in the most personal ways and many have been discouraged from engaging in such research. One of the reasons I have included it in is the section on Catholic anthropology and homosexuality.

I find Sodergren’s writing on the topic immensely positive and satisfying. If you understand the nature of the homosexual relationship, you will see that it doesn’t fulfill the description of the relationship of persons in love that the Catholic Church demands through its proclamation of the truth as known through Jesus Christ. And for that matter, most heterosexual relationships fail to fulfill that as well and that shouldn’t escape your regard. There is no hetero vs homosexual face-off here. One is not superior to the other.

But the homosexual relationship fails as one of kind, due to the inability of same-sex partners to fulfill the requirements of complementarity. Men are simply not women and women are not men. They may be more loving, kinder and generous in their homosexual pairings, but that is not the issue. God demands that we love the other and he has provided that other in the infuriating nature of our opposite sex. I more than understand the urge to override His plan but unfortunately that is a no-no. Read the last section to fully comprehend why.

Here are some of the divisions that follow:

The Abstract gives a scholarly overview of the paper.

The Intro gives a Christian appraisal of the data.

The research on the etiology of homosexuality discusses the approach of genetics to the issue along with some notable studies.

The final, rather lengthy section on Catholic anthropology is a discussion of human nature through the lens of Catholic teaching. Homosexuality, same sex orientation, in many cases is an apparently natural development in the lives of our fellow men and women. As such, the modern mentality accordingly holds that whatever I am naturally disposed to do I should do as long as it does not involve violating the rights of others — whatever gets you through the night.

Seems reasonable but it also ignores the truth of the matter that in God’s creation there is a certain order and normative content. And the Church teaches that “There can be no true promotion of man’s dignity unless the essential order of his nature is respected,” [CDF, 1975, no. 3]. A careful reading of this section leaves you unable to support gay marriage or at least it did me anyways. So I am by definition homophobic to the homosexualists of this world while they are, in my eyes, unable to think straight. You may want to avoid this section depending upon your politics. 


This paper discusses some of the recent scientific findings on the causes of homosexuality in the context of a Christian anthropology. After reviewing the major findings in the empirical literature, the discussion focuses on how such an anthropology can account for these findings without compromising the traditional Christian ethical teaching that homosexual acts are intrinsically immoral and the homosexual inclination is objectively disordered. [Editor's Disclaimer: Needless to say, after reading that, if your political bent is of the homosexualist nature, you will find such Catholic notions as unremittingly noisome and prejudiced in nature. The fact that 6 or 7 billion of the world embrace such teachings should give you some clue that you are in a distinct minority and that "prejudice" and "the Church" are simply antithetical in nature. But that is for you to figure out.] Of particular importance here are notions of original sin, fallen nature, the sexual difference, and the virtue of chastity [Editor's Disclaimer: "OMG Really?" "Yes, really"].

Causes of Homosexuality Intro: A Christian Appraisal of the Data
Debates over the morality of homosexual acts and same-sex unions inevitably contain some inferences and remarks about the supposed causes of homosexual inclinations. Likewise, researchers who examine the causes of homosexuality are often unable to refrain from commenting on the ethical debate. Thus, these issues seem intertwined, at least in the minds of many well-intentioned people. This interlinking, however, tends to result in misunderstanding and in fallacious assumptions on the sides of both ethicists and scientists because of a lack of understanding across disciplines. For instance, many in the ethical debate over homosexuality hold that not only are homosexual acts always immoral but also the very disposition is in some way morally disordered. On the other hand, scientists often oppose such a view and hold that a homosexual orientation is morally neutral. They marshal empirical evidence of a biological basis for the homosexual orientation, proving that it is “natural” and should therefore be embraced and lived out by those who experience it. In this paper I will attempt to steer a path through this tangled forest. I will begin by providing an overview of the major empirical findings on the causes of homosexuality. I will then attempt to show that a Christian anthropology can account for these findings without compromising a firm ethical stance on homosexual acts and inclinations.

Research on the Etiology of Homosexuality
The most publicized research studies on the causes of homosexuality have been those examining the role of genetics. Indeed, a number of studies have attempted to assess the heritability of the homosexual orientation. The primary way of examining the genetic contribution to a given behavior or disposition such as sexual orientation is through twin studies. The premise is that by comparing monozygotic (MZ) twins (who share 100% of their genetic code), dizygotic (DZ) twins and biological siblings (who both share approximately 50% of their genetic code), and adopted siblings (who have none of their genetic code in common), researchers can glean an understanding of whether a trait is heritable and to what extent (Billings & Beckwith, 1993).

However, in order to truly assess the effects of genes, one has to control or neutralize the contribution of environmental factors in the development of the characteristic in question. Such environmental factors could include anything from position in the womb, maternal nutrition, and the hormonal milieu of the uterine environment to post-natal care, early illnesses, parenting style, family constellation, education, socialization, and so forth. These influences can have profound effects not only on a person’s behavior but even on their biological make-up.

Thus, researchers are coming to recognize that the hard division of nature—nurture is no longer tenable. It is always a “both—and”, especially in traits as complicated as sexual orientation. It is important to note that several of the factors listed above pertain to the prenatal environment. In this period of development, the environment can have profound effects on the organism, and this will be discussed further below.

In the most desirable type twin study, researchers examine MZ twins who were separated at birth and reared apart. This is considered the ideal in behavioral genetics. As the reasoning goes, since such twins have the same genetic code but are reared in different environments, any behavioral similarities they manifest likely have a strong genetic basis. Unfortunately, these situations are rare, and they are extremely so if the trait being studied is itself uncommon. Homosexuality is just such a case.

A great deal of research in recent years has shown that roughly 2-3% of men in the United States are homosexual (Fay, Turner, Klassen, & Gagnon, 1989; Rogers & Turner, 1991; Leigh, 1993; Billy, Tanfer, Grady, & Klepinger, 1993; Seidman & Reider, 1994; Black, Gates, Sanders, & Taylor, 2000). The figure is even smaller for women, approximately 1-2% (Diamond, 1993; Laumann, Michael, Gagnon, & Michaels, 1994; Wellings, Field, Johnson, & Wadworth, 1994).

Thus, locating MZ twins who were separated at birth and of whom at least one twin developed a homosexual orientation is unfeasible. Moreover, such a twin study (MZ twins reared separately) does not in fact neutralize the environment to the extent that researchers surmise. The reason for this is that MZ twins, even if they are separated from the moment of birth forward, still shared the same, profoundly influential environment for the previous nine months. Thus, every twin study, no matter how elegant in design, cannot fully tease apart the effects of genes and environment.

Researchers try to cope with these difficulties by comparing MZ twins who were reared together with other sibling pairs such as DZ twins, normal biological siblings, and adopted siblings with no biological relation between them. Bailey and Pillard (1991) followed this general paradigm by examining family patterns of adult males with homosexual orientation who had either a MZ twin, DZ twin, or adopted brother. These researchers found a concordance rate (if one twin was homosexual, the other was as well) of 52% among the male MZ twins who were reared together in the study. The figure for female MZ twins was 48%.

Likewise, male DZ twins reared together showed a concordance rate of 22% (16% for women) but this was not significantly different from the rate for adoptive brothers (Bailey & Pillard, 1991). What this study shows is that there may be a genetic component to homosexuality, but there appear to be substantial environmental factors as well. Why else would the concordance rate among MZ twins be so much less than 100% and why would there be any concordance at all among adoptive brothers?

Though far from conclusive, this study by Bailey and Pillard was highly influential. Several such twin studies followed, and, taken together, the lowest concordances found for homosexuality among MZ twins was 47% for men and 48% for women (Bailey, Dunne, & Martin, 2000). However, the samples of twins included in these studies were largely recruited through advertising in gay or lesbian publications. This creates the possibility of “ascertainment bias”.

In other words, “twins deciding whether to participate in a study clearly related to homosexuality probably considered the sexual orientation of their co-twins before agreeing to participate” (Bailey et al., 2000, p. 533). This non-random sampling, of course, would result in biased data. Bailey, Dunne, and Martin (2000) overcame this methodological weakness by using a large sample (N=4901) of adult twins recruited from the Australian Twin Registry. In that study, the researchers identified 27 pairs of male twins in which at least one of the men was homosexual. However, only 3 of these pairs were concordant (both twins were homosexual).

Thus, 3 of 27 pairs of male twins (approximately 11%) were concordant on homosexuality in this systematic study. Likewise, only 3 of 22 pairs of female twins (approximately 14%) were concordant. These researchers conclude, “These rates are significantly lower than the respective rates for the two largest prior twin studies of sexual orientation…. This suggests that concordances from prior studies were inflated because of concordance-dependent ascertainment bias” (Bailey, et al., 2000, p. 533). They go on to state,

Consistent with several studies of siblings… we found that sexual orientation is familial. In contrast to most prior twin studies of sexual orientation, however, ours did not provide statistically significant support for the importance of genetic factors for that trait (p. 534).

This does not rule out the possibility that there is a genetic component to homosexuality but rather suggests that “sexual orientation is inherited, if at all, in a complex manner” (Bailey & Pillard, 1995, p.144, emphasis added).

A second line of research examining the supposed genetic basis for homosexuality employs the molecular analysis of blood samples from relatives of homosexuals and a method called linkage analysis, which maps genes onto chromosomal regions, to identify the specific gene or genes that influence sexual orientation. Based on evidence that “gay men have more homosexual uncles and cousins through the maternal line than on the paternal side” some researchers have attempted to identify an X-linked gene that influences male sexual orientation (Rahman & Wilson, 2003, p. 1342).

Hamer, Hu, Magnuson, Hu, and Pattatucci, (1993) initially reported findings consistent with this hypothesis that implicated the chromosomal region Xq28 in the heritability of male homosexuality. A similar though weaker relationship was reported later by members of the same research group (Hu et al., 1995).

However, the methods used in these studies and therefore the reported results have been called into question. Risch, Whleeler, and Keats (1993) criticized the research design and statistical methods used by Hamer et al. (1993) and asserted that their conclusions might not be supported by the data. In addition, Rice et al. (1999) attempted to replicate the previously reported link between Xq28 and male homosexuality using similar methods in independently conducted genetic studies, but their results did not support the Xq28 hypothesis. Indeed, these researchers stated,

It is unclear why our results are so discrepant from Hamer’s original study. Because our study was larger than that of Hamer et al., we certainly had adequate power to detect a genetic effect as large as was reported in that study. Nonetheless, our data do not support the presence of a gene of large effect influencing sexual orientation at position Xq28 (Rice et al., 1999, p. 668).

These issues were again revisited in the journal Science in 1999 (Hamer et al., 1999; Rice, Risch, & Ebers, 1999). It is clear from these articles that because scientists are treading on new methodological ground, there is no simple solution to this question. The methods being used in these studies have not been tested and verified in studying a trait as complex as sexual orientation. Hamer et al. (1999) defended their approach and attempted to meta-analyze four studies in this area concluding that they collectively support the Xq28 hypothesis.

However, Rice, Risch, & Ebers (1999) pointed out that if only those studies carried out by independent investigators are considered, which is necessary to reduce potential biases, no researchers outside Hamer’s own group has found support for the Xq28 hypothesis: “Thus, the conclusion remains that the original studies of Hamer and colleagues are not replicated” (Rice, Risch, & Ebers, 1999, p. 806).

A study conducted by Bailey et al. (1999) also examined the hypothesis that homosexuality is the result of an X-linked gene using more stringent standards in recruitment analysis than many previous studies. Three sampling techniques were utilized: recruitment from an HIV clinic, a gay pride parade, and through homophile publications. All participants were interviewed about familial patterns of non-heterosexuality. Only the sample attained through magazine advertisement knew of this purpose of the study. The researchers found a rate of occurrence of homosexuality among brothers of a homosexual male ranging from 7.3% to 9.7%.

This suggests a modest familial (not necessarily genetic) component to the origin of male homosexuality. Bailey et al. (1999) also found a slight increase in the appearance of female homosexuality among sisters of gay men. However, the familial patterns of homosexuality observed in this study did not support the Xq28 hypothesis. “This study found no evidence that male sexual orientation is influenced by an X-linked gene” (Bailey et al., 1999, p. 84).

One final study worth mentioning was recently conducted by Mustanski, DuPree, Nievergelt, Bocklandt, Schork, and Hamer (2005). Using blood samples of 456 individuals from 146 unrelated families, the researchers conducted for the first time a search of the entire human genome for a genetic basis to male homosexuality. Though three gene regions resulted in elevated values, none were large enough to generate a statistically significant result. In addition, they found no evidence of a link to the Xq28 region. Thus, as stated above, research into the genetic basis for homosexuality, taken as a whole, is inconclusive. While there may be a modest heritability to such an orientation, the existence of an overriding gay gene seems highly unlikely at this time.

Another biologically based line of research bearing on the question of the etiology of homosexuality deals with the pre-natal environment. As already alluded to, fetal development is a remarkably crucial time in the development of the human organism. In particular, brain systems develop rapidly during this period and are quite sensitive to hormonal and other biochemical influences.

Normally in a male child, his testes will begin producing testosterone during the fetal period which masculinizes various body structures and systems. (Girls produce androgens as well from their adrenal glands, though usually in much smaller quantities than boys who produce them in their testes and adrenals.) Besides the obvious differences such as genitalia, musculature, etc., this masculinzation process affects the development of various brain structures and, thus, their functions (see chap. 8 of Baron-Cohen, 2003). The development of the child in the womb can also be influenced by the mother’s hormone levels. It has been hypothesized that abnormal hormone levels or other deviations during the fetal period could be responsible for the development of non-heterosexual orientations (for reviews, see Mustanski, Chivers, & Bailey, 2002; Rahman & Wilson, 2003).

Researchers have made various attempts to study such an effect upon the development of homosexual orientations. While for ethical reasons, experimenters cannot manipulate the hormonal milieu of the prenatal environment in humans, they can study cases in which such abnormalities occur naturally to see if a homosexual orientation is more likely to result. In addition, a certain amount can be learned from animal studies. Finally, somatic and neuropsychological variables known to be strongly affected by prenatal hormones can be compared in adults to see if they differ according to sexual orientation.

All of these methods have been utilized, and it appears that in some respects, female homosexuals appear to have experienced increased prenatal androgenization compared to heterosexuals (more masculine auditory systems and waist-to-hip ratio, higher salivary testosterone levels, less desire to give birth, etc.). Likewise, on some measures homosexual men appear to have been less androgenized than heterosexual men (more female-like pubertal onset, weight, height, cognitive spatial abilities, and language abilities; higher rates of non-right handedness).

However, on other measures homosexual men appear hypermasculine, i.e. exposed to greater quantities of androgens (more masculine relative finger lengths, possibly larger penises [according to two studies: Nedoma & Freund, 1961; Bogaert & Hershberger, 1999], and possibly hypermasculine auditory systems [see McFadden, 2002]). Some differences in the size and shape of certain adult brain structures have also been identified across sexual orientation categories, but it is unknown whether these neural differences cause or are consequent upon homosexual lifestyles. After all the brain is a “plastic” structure that changes throughout life in response to one’s genetic/biological endowment, experiences, and behaviors.

Thus, the data on the role of prenatal androgens are very complex, and no scholarly consensus exists on how to integrate and interpret them. If abnormal androgen levels are what drive these differences, they appear to affect males and females differently since homosexual men and homosexual women do not always differ from their heterosexual counterparts on the same variables.

Moreover, the data on homosexual men are mixed. Rahman and Wilson (2003) put forward the hypothesis that perhaps a genetic factor in some men alters the distribution of androgen receptors in various brain structures. Thus, when exposed to prenatal androgens at whatever level, the result will be that some brain structures will be more masculinized than normal and others will be less masculinzed than normal because of the redistribution of the receptors. While this makes a good deal of sense, the research has not yet shown this to be the case.

Perhaps the most well replicated phenomenon related to the causes of homosexuality is the “fraternal birth order effect”. To put it simply, “Several studies, which collectively examined over 7000 subjects, have shown that homosexual men have, on average, a greater number of older brothers than do comparable heterosexuals” (Ellis and Blanchard, 2001, p. 543).

Thus, something about being born later in a line of several brothers seems to increase the likelihood of male homosexuality. Researchers believe that the fraternal birth order effect per se is not the ultimate causal factor of male homosexuality in these cases but that there is some other mechanism in place that mediates the effect. However, what this causal mechanism is is still highly debated. Most favor a biological explanation such as a fluctuation in prenatal androgens or increased maternal immune system response related to multiple, successive male pregnancies.

Another possibility with mixed empirical support suggests that maternal stress, which could increase with the births of multiple sons, may alter fetal development in such a way as to increase the likelihood of a homosexual orientation. Stress hormones are in fact produced in the adrenal glands (and are therefore, androgens or at least androgen-like) and can interfere with normal fetal development.

Other explanations for the fraternal birth order effect are psychosocial in nature and posit such potential causes as ostracization of boys by older brothers or increased early sex play among boys with several older brothers (see James, 2004a; 2004b). Presently, however, the fraternal birth order effect remains largely unexplained in the absence of any overwhelmingly conclusive evidence.

Moreover, it is important to note that according to researchers only 14.8% to 15.2% of homosexual men can attribute their orientation to this effect (Cantor, Blanchard, Paterson, & Bogaert, 2002). Though it is a well established and easily identifiable phenomenon connected with the genesis of male homosexuality, the fraternal birth order effect does not appear to be the primary cause of homosexuality in the majority of gay men. Nothing analogous to this effect has been found in women.

In light of the foregoing, it is important to recall that sexual orientation does not emerge immediately upon conception and birth but takes time to develop throughout childhood, adolescence, and even adulthood. Thus, there is a great deal of room for experience to affect this process. Consequently, researchers investigating the various factors discussed above agree that rather than causing homosexual orientation directly these influences likely precipitate a set of pre-homosexual traits and dispositions that in turn increases the likelihood of adult homosexuality (Bailey & Zucker, 1995; Dunne, Bailey, Kirk, & Martin, 2000).

The term coined for this is childhood gender nonconformity (CGN), which simply refers to a certain conglomeration of sex atypical traits (physical, psychological, and behavioral features). CGN is known to be consistently associated with later homosexual orientations as well as many of the biological and familial factors discussed above (Bailey & Zucker, 1995). However, since not everyone with CGN develops an adult homosexual orientation, there must be some environmental influences that contribute to such a development. These could include for instance failed relationships with one’s parents and/or peers.

Indeed, classic psychodynamic theory held that male homosexuality was primarily caused by a maladaptive family pattern in which the father is weak and distant and the mother is over-controlling (roughly the reverse is posited for females). While there has been very little data in the last 20 years supporting these specific claims, research does emphasize the importance of relationships in the development of sexual orientation. For instance, an interesting study by Landolt, Bartholomew, Saffrey, Oram, and Perlman (2004) examined the relationship between CGN and rejection from parents and peers in a sample of 191 gay and bisexual men. They found, “Gender nonconforming behavior in childhood was associated with maternal, paternal, and peer rejection” among these gay and bisexual men (p. 124).

Another recent study, though methodologically weak, found that among a sample of Catholic seminarians, those admitting a homosexual orientation also reported “more emotional distance from their fathers than heterosexual seminarians” (Seutter & Rovers, 2004, p. 46).

Bem (1996; 2000) proposed a model of sexual orientation development which he dubbed the “exotic becomes erotic” theory. He proposes that biological variables influence childhood temperaments which in turn affect a child’s degree of gender conformity. A child who has nonconforming traits and behaviors feels him/herself to be different from peers. This “feeling different” from same-sex peers can evolve into an erotic attraction in adolescence:

An individual’s protracted and sustained experience of feeling different from same- or opposite-sex peers throughout childhood and adolescence produces a correspondingly sustained physiological arousal that gets eroticized when the maturational, cognitive, and situational factors coalesce to provide the critical defining moment (Bem, 2000, p. 539).

While these various accounts all have merit to them and a certain ring of truth, one aspect of the development of a homosexual orientation not explicitly tapped in any of them is the role of child sexual abuse (CSA) and other early sexual experiences. There seems to be a link between CSA perpetrated by men (or older males) against boys that predisposes these boys to later identify as homosexual.

Indeed, one reviewer states, “The effects of sexual victimization on male children, placed in the context of the prevailing concept of masculinity, include mental disorders, the probability of becoming rapists and incest offenders as adults, and the development of homosexual identification” (Vander Mey, 1988, p. 61). Several studies support this claim. For instance, Finkelhor (1984) found a statistically significant relationship between CSA victimization and later homosexual activity in adulthood (cited in Dimock, 1988). In a study of 25 adult males who had been sexually abused in childhood, the majority of these men experienced “masculine identity confusion” characterized by “confusion regarding sexual preference and… male roles” (Dimock, 1988, p. 208). Homosexual feelings and/or behaviors were common among these men. Noting that “the literature reports that there may be a significant number of gay men who have been sexually abused as children,” Schwartz (1994) presented clinical data from eight men who had been victims of CSA. “Six of the eight men identified themselves as homosexual in their sexual identity; two were heterosexual. Of the two heterosexuals, one continuously questioned his sexual orientation” (Schwartz, 1994, p. 182).

Likewise, Johnson & Shrier (1985) compared 40 male victims of CSA and an age-matched control group and found that 47.5% of the CSA victims went on to develop a homosexual orientation and another 10% became bisexual. “The study group identified themselves as currently homosexual nearly seven times as often and bisexual nearly six times as often as the control group” (Johnson & Shrier, 1985, p. 374).

These small studies finding an increased likelihood of homosexual identification in male victims of CSA are corroborated by at least twelve more recent and systematic ones that have all documented elevated rates of CSA among homosexual men (Saewyc, Pettingell, & Skay, 2004; Kalichman et al., 2004; Ratner et al., 2003; Garcia, Adams, Friedman, & East, 2002; Dolezal & Carballo-Diéguez, 2002; Tomeo et al., 2001; Paul et al., 2001; Krahé et al., 2001; Paris et al., 1995; Doll et al., 1992; Baier et al., 1991; Haverkos, Bukoski, & Amsael, 1989; for reviews see Relf, 2001; Holmes & Slap, 1998). For instance, using a nonclinical sample of 942 participants, Tomeo et al. (2001) found that 46% of homosexual men had been sexually abused as a child by a man. This was significantly greater than the 7% rate found among heterosexual men in that study. Among a sample of 307 Latin American men who have sex with men (MSM), Dolezal and Carballo-Diéguez (2002) observed “that early sexual contact [with males] is common among these men.

Fifty-nine percent had had some sexual/genital contact prior to their 13th birthday. In the majority of those cases, they had a partner who was at least 4 years older than they were” (p. 169-170). Finally, in a systematic study of 2881 MSM, Paul et al. (2001) found that one fifth had experienced CSA. They state,

Our study confirms and extends prior research indicating high prevalence levels of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) among MSM. Such prevalence levels might be higher if we had elicited data about experiences involving non-contact sexual victimization (i.e., sexual exposure or exhibitionism). Overall, these men’s CSA experiences were characterized by high levels of penetrative sex, physical force, and perceptions of these events as distressing (Paul et al., 2001, p. 575).

Interestingly, some research suggests that boys who have gender nonconforming traits such as effeminate physical features are rated as more attractive by adults than a control group of typical boys (Zucker, Wild, Bradley, & Lowry, 1993).

Even in cases where such young men and boys do not report the experience as abusive, early sexual contact with other males is common prior to identifying oneself as gay. For instance, Dawood et al. (2000) found that one third of their sample of gay men with gay brothers had engaged in sexual activity with their siblings in childhood. “Among the 21 participants who indicated that some form of sex play occurred, levels of activity included touching and mutual masturbation (N=16), giving or receiving fellatio (N=9), and anal intercourse (N=4)” (p. 161). A recent study of 961 Dutch gay and bisexual men “found that 68% of respondents engaged in their first same-sex experience before coming-out” (Schindhelm & Hospers, 2004, p. 585). Another study found that 58% of homosexual and bisexual men came to their sexual identity through a sex-centered sequence, i.e. one in which same-sex activity preceded their identification as gay or bisexual (Dubé, 2000).

In a study comparing homosexual men and women, researchers discovered that homosexual men were more likely to pursue sex before identifying themselves as gay, whereas for women the context of their homosexual identity development was more emotionally oriented (Savin-Williams & Diamond, 2000).

This last finding raises an interesting but challenging issue: sexual orientation in men and women is markedly different and develops in divergent ways. Summarizing research in this area, Diamond (2003) states,

Women show greater variability than men in the age at which they consciously question their sexuality, and the age at which they pursue their first same-gender sexual contact…. Also, women place less emphasis on the sexual component of their lesbian or bisexual identification, both during and after the questioning process…, and are more likely to report that their sexuality is fluid and chosen versus fixed and biologically given… (p. 185).

Thus, for men, a homosexual orientation seems to involve a strong inclination to engage in sexual activity with other men. Whereas, for women the question of sexual orientation is much more caught up in affectional bonding and is more often a matter of conscious choice than an irresistible urge.

This review of the research shows us that many known factors (and there are likely still more unknown factors) are implicated in the development of homosexuality, but no one factor seems powerful enough to trump them all. Rather, the adult homosexual has probably arrived at that orientation through a complex, idiosyncratic combination of biological, experiential, and volitional factors. This process seems clearly divergent for men and women and likely differs from individual to individual among gays and among lesbians.

Homosexuality & Christian Anthropology
The purpose of the foregoing discussion was to clarify the state of scientific research on the causes of homosexuality. It is important for moralists and those responsible for public policy to be well-informed on these issues. However, as mentioned in this paper’s introduction, these data are sometimes misused in ethical debates over homosexuality. Primarily, some argue on the basis of science that homosexuality has a strong, inborn, biological origin.

Regardless of what combination of factors actually produced the orientation, it is believed to arise in the person without any act of the person’s choosing. Since this disposition is apparently innate, then it must be in a sense natural. After all, it seems to arise quite naturally in those who experience it. If, therefore, a homosexual orientation arose by nature’s choosing – or perhaps even God’s choosing – to act on such an inclination would be to act in accord with one’s nature. The person so inclined who adopts a homosexual lifestyle is simply behaving in an authentic way: he/she is being true to him/herself.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith summarized this view by saying, “Some people conclude that their tendency is so natural that it justifies in their case homosexual relations within a sincere communion of life and love analogous to marriage insofar as such homosexuals feel incapable of enduring a solitary life” (CDF, 1975, no. 8 emphasis added).

This is a legitimate argument that deserves a response. However, Christians who hold the traditional view “that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and can in no case be approved of” (CDF, 1975) and that the homosexual orientation itself is “objectively disordered” (CCC, no. 2358) are left in a difficult position. Some Christians seeking to avoid implying that God wills people to be homosexual and creates this orientation in them deny the role of biological causes in the etiology of homosexuality.

This is problematic for several reasons. First of all, it is not true to scientific research which, despite inconclusiveness and other difficulties, does suggest that there are biological components (genes, prenatal effects, etc.) to homosexuality. To deny the role of biology, then, encourages the popular view that Christianity is somehow opposed to science or that to follow Christian doctrine, one must renounce scientific rigor. This, of course, is patently false. Secondly, this denial is often motivated by the misguided fear that if one were to admit a biological predisposition to homosexuality, there would no longer be any basis for condemning homosexual acts. Thirdly, arguing in this way – that homosexuality is in no way biologically inherited – leads one to commit the same mistake committed by those on the other side, namely a misuse of the concept “nature”. This is precisely where a counter-argument should begin.

Those who argue that homosexual inclinations are “natural” utilize a problematic understanding of nature that needs to be challenged. This understanding of nature refers to that which is innate and unchosen within a person. “I did not choose to be the way I am.” “I discovered my homosexuality within me.” Moreover, a certain normative quality is attributed to this nature such that it can and should dictate my actions. Nature as such is good, or at least neutral in respect to ethics, so the modern mentality holds that whatever I am naturally disposed to do I should do as long as it does not involve violating the rights of others.

A Christian anthropology, however, comes to very different conclusions about “nature”. Human nature, in a Christian sense, does also have a normative content to it. As the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says, “There can be no true promotion of man’s dignity unless the essential order of his nature is respected” (CDF, 1975, no. 3).

In creating the world, God inscribed a certain order in it. Thus, the true nature of things and their fulfillment can be understood only in light of God’s design. This is especially salient when we are speaking of desires that arise within the human heart for Christian revelation recognizes the reality of original sin.

At the start of human history, our first parents rebelled against God’s plan and by their action, brought disorder into the world: “Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state” (CCC, no. 404). The Fathers of the Church taught that human nature is one and thus all human beings participate in the same nature. Thus, when our first parents marred their likeness to God through sin, the whole human family was affected by it. Thus, the human nature that each human being inherits is disordered. Original sin is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it; subject to ignorance, suffering, and the dominion of death; and inclined to sin – an inclination to evil that is called “concupiscence” (CCC, no. 405).

Every evil in the world is traceable back to this fundamental disruption at the beginning of time. Indeed, another crucial aspect of Christian anthropology is that human nature involves a unity of body and soul such that the human person is not wholly identifiable with either taken separately but exists as a composite of the two. In other words, the body and the soul are intrinsically united.

The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the “form” of the body: i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature
(CCC, no. 365).

Therefore, when we say that original sin has wounded human nature, this includes both physical and spiritual effects. In this way, the doctrine of original sin can account for every sort of genetic or biological defect, disease, or disorder as well as all kinds of human suffering and inclinations to do evil. With this understanding of fallen human nature, a Christian anthropology would have no difficulty accommodating research (past or future) implicating a substantial inherited component to homosexuality.

Clearly, this understanding of original sin is essential when we are speaking of the moral quality of human inclinations. Because of original sin, a certain disorder resides in the human heart such that one often desires that which is contrary to the moral law. Therefore, even if homosexual inclinations are entirely inherited, this does not mean that they necessarily correspond with human nature in the original sense, as God intended it. Moreover, as Christ made clear in his preaching, it is the original, created order that has normative weight to it, not this transitory fallen state:

Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate” (Mt 19.3-6).

Thus, the inclinations that arise in the human heart must be tested according to objective moral norms because the human nature we encounter in this age of history, though wounded by sin, is still called to the same norms of behavior intended by God “from the beginning.” Why? Because God created us “out of love for love” (John Paul II, 1981, no. 11); His wise, loving plan permeates all of created reality. Therefore, to follow the norms given to us by our Creator and Redeemer is in no way an imposition or alienation but a call to happiness. The moral law given to us by God is a blueprint by which human beings can achieve their fulfillment. This implies another fundamental truth of Christian anthropology: human nature is wounded, but it is not totally corrupted. Man still has freedom. Though weakened by sin and prone to misuse, the human person still possesses the ability to make free moral choices and, by cooperating with God’s grace, grow in holiness and maturity.

Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s responsibility. By free will one shapes one’s own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when direct toward God, our beatitude (CCC, no. 1731).

The proper, beatifying use of freedom requires God’s grace. Only with His help can we properly see the truth and act in accord with it. Thankfully, God desires all men to be saved and abundantly supplies the means for it to happen.

If a person finds himself or herself inclined to a homosexual lifestyle, this certainly is a cross to bear because it means that the person has “a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder” (CDF, 1986, no. 3). Only in light of original sin does it make sense to say that someone could inherit an “objective disorder”. Recall that the research on homosexuality does not conclusively show that it is inherited, but there is no need on the basis of Christian teaching to deny this possibility. Moreover, society commonly recognizes that certain disordered propensities are inborn in some people. For instance, there is acceptance for the notion that various pathological personality traits are heritable as well as predispositions for various addictions such as alcoholism. Yet, these characteristics are not normalized but still held to be deviations from normal, “healthy” humanity. In light of this, there is no justification for a priori accepting homosexual inclinations and homosexual acts as morally upright without serious rational reflection in the light of objective moral norms.

Such a discussion, however, would be incomplete without mention of the problem of sexual identity. Because of the language of sexual orientation prevalent in contemporary culture, there is a great deal of confusion regarding sexual identity in the fundamental sense. Christian anthropology recognizes that there are two genders: male and female. This maleness or this femaleness is ontologically grounded in the human person such that the person is always one or the other and this sexual differentiation affects all areas of life. Nonetheless, man and woman share the same human nature, though they live it and express it in two irreducibly different ways.

The importance and the meaning of sexual difference, as a reality deeply inscribed in man and woman, needs to be noted. “Sexuality characterizes man and woman not only on the physical level, but also on the psychological and spiritual, making its mark on each of their expressions”. It cannot be reduced to a pure and insignificant biological fact, but rather “is a fundamental component of personality, one of its modes of being, of manifestation, of communicating with others, of feeling, of expressing and of living human love”. This capacity to love – reflection and image of God who is Love – is disclosed in the spousal character of the body, in which the masculinity or femininity of the person is expressed (CDF, 2004, no.8 ).

Because of original sin, deviations of this sexual difference can and do occur, but there are just that – deviations. The problem with the language of sexual orientation is that it tends to separate sexual desire from sexual identity (the basic sexual difference of male and female). Though one is a man, one’s sexuality need not be inclined toward women and vice versa.

This implies that all orientations are on the same anthropological and ethical standing, which the Church recognizes as false. A homosexual inclination is “objectively disordered” (CCC, no. 2358). This is only understood when one sees one’s biological sex and the purposes inscribed in it as fundamentally intrinsic to one’s personal identity. In other words, sexual identity consists in being male or female, and within these two irreducible ways of being human, there is no room for a multiplicity of sexual orientations. The fact that such orientations exist is, once again, a result of original sin. The way to overcome the power of sin is not to normalize all the deviations and disorders that it produces but to persevere in seeking and living by the truth with the unfailing help of God’s grace.

Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection (CCC, no. 2359).

Rather than embracing one’s disordered desires with reckless abandon, they must be submitted to the truth, and thus gradually transformed into dispositions of virtue. Only in doing so, can one’s fallen human nature slowly grow toward its proper perfection bringing with it true freedom and happiness.

Accordingly, persons with homosexual tendencies cannot find true happiness in embracing their disordered orientation as their core identity and the guiding light of their lifestyle, but rather they are called to live their sexuality in integrity precisely as a man or as a woman according to the truth of the divine plan.

This truth is rooted in God Himself Who created us, holds us in being, and bears our destiny within Himself. Thus, to seek chastity according to God’s plan is not an imposition of arbitrary norms but the inner condition of attaining the fulfillment desired by every human heart. Though it may be a long difficult road, as the late Karol Wojtyla stated, “Chastity is the sure way to happiness” (Wojtyla, 1960, p. 172).


What Would The Greeks Have Thought Of Gay Marriage? –Robert R. Reilly

November 15, 2013
The Rape (kidnapping) of Ganymede. Early 16th-century Renaissance ceiling panel, Villa Farnesina, Rome, by Baldassare Peruzzi. Ganymede, a beautiful prince from Troy, was the son of King Tros. Ganymede was considered to be the most beautiful of mortals. He was carried off by the gods (in one story by Zeus himself, or by Zeus in the form of an eagle) to Olympus as Zeus's lover, and to serve as cup-bearer to the gods, a position previously held by Hera’s daughter Hebe, goddess of eternal youth. Zeus replaced Hebe with Ganymede after she spilled a flask of nectar. Zeus immortalized Ganymede, his favorite server, with a heavenly constellation in the form of the eagle he had assumed when abducting Ganymede to Olympus: 'Aquila' (eagle), also 'Aquarius' (water bearer). One of Jupiter's many moons is also named after Ganymede. The Zeus/Ganymede myth is the first indication of male homosexuality in Greek literature.)

The Rape (kidnapping) of Ganymede. Early 16th-century Renaissance ceiling panel, Villa Farnesina, Rome, by Baldassare Peruzzi. Ganymede, a beautiful prince from Troy, was the son of King Tros. Ganymede was considered to be the most beautiful of mortals. He was carried off by the gods (in one story by Zeus himself, or by Zeus in the form of an eagle) to Olympus as Zeus’s lover, and to serve as cup-bearer to the gods, a position previously held by Hera’s daughter Hebe, goddess of eternal youth. Zeus replaced Hebe with Ganymede after she spilled a flask of nectar. Zeus immortalized Ganymede, his favorite server, with a heavenly constellation in the form of the eagle he had assumed when abducting Ganymede to Olympus: ‘Aquila’ (eagle), also ‘Aquarius’ (water bearer). One of Jupiter’s many moons is also named after Ganymede. The Zeus/Ganymede myth is the first indication of male homosexuality in Greek literature.)

The great classical philosophers would have regarded it as an absurdity, despite their partial tolerance of homosexual love. Reblogged from


It is ironic that the proponents of homosexuality so often point to ancient Greece as their paradigm because of its high state of culture and its partial acceptance of homosexuality or, more accurately, pederasty. Though some ancient Greeks did write paeans to homosexual love, it did not occur to any of them to propose homosexual relationships as the basis for marriage in their societies. The only homosexual relationship that was accepted was between an adult male and a male adolescent. This relationship was to be temporary, as the youth was expected to get married and start a family as soon as he reached maturity.

The idea that someone was a “homosexual” for life or had this feature as a permanent identity would have struck them as more than odd. In other words, “homosexuality”, for which a word in Greek did not exist at the time (or in any other language until the late 19th century), was purely transitory.

It appears that many of these mentoring relationships in ancient Greece were chaste and that the ones that were not rarely involved sodomy. Homosexual relationships between mature male adults were not accepted. This is hardly the idealized homosexual paradise that contemporary “gay” advocates harken back to in an attempt to legitimize behavior that would have scandalized the Greeks.

What is especially ironic is that ancient Greece’s greatest contribution to Western civilization was philosophy, which discovered that the mind can know things, as distinct from just having opinions about them, that objective reality exists, and that there is some purpose implied in its construction.

The very idea of Nature and natural law arose as a product of this philosophy, whose first and perhaps greatest exponents, Socrates and Plato, were unambiguous in their condemnation of homosexual acts as unnatural. In the Laws, Plato’s last book, the Athenian speaker says that, “I think that the pleasure is to be deemed natural which arises out of the intercourse between men and women; but that the intercourse of men with men, or of women with women, is contrary to nature, and that the bold attempt was originally due to unbridled lust.” (Laws 636C; see also Symposium of Xenophon, 8:34, Plato’s Symposium, 219B-D).

For Socrates, the sight of beauty is not to be taken as something in itself, but as a reflection of divine Beauty and the ultimate Good toward which Eros directs the soul. It is an error, therefore, to be diverted by the reflection in one’s search for the ultimate Good, which is the source of beauty. Beauty stirs and awakens the soul, but it is philosophy that provides the means of perceiving and coming to know the Good.

As a consequence of this metaphysical view, Socrates sees the erotic attraction of a grown man (erastes) for a beautiful male youth (eromenos or paidika) within the perspective of the erotic drive for wisdom. This drive will be thwarted by a life of self-indulgence and can proceed only with a life of self-discipline.

Therefore, the relationship between the erastes and the eromenos should be of the older enlightening the younger in philosophical education. This means that any physical touching by the older man of the younger must be in regards to the latter “as a son,” as Socrates puts it, and not further than that.

What went further than that, Socrates condemned. He loathed sodomy. According to Xenophon in The Memorabilia (i 2.29f.), Socrates saw that Kritias was sexually importuning the youth of whom Kritias was enamored, “wanting to deal with him in the manner of those who enjoy the body for sexual intercourse”. Socrates objected that “what he asks is not a good thing.” Socrates said that, “Kritias was no better off than a pig if he wanted to scratch himself against Euthydemos as piglets do against stones.”

In Phaedrus, Socrates makes clear the moral superiority of the loving male relationship that avoids being sexualized: “If now the better elements of the mind, which lead to a well-ordered life and to philosophy, prevail, they live a life of happiness and harmony here on earth, self-controlled and orderly, holding in subjection that which causes evil in the soul and giving freedom to that which makes for virtue…”

By their chastity, these Platonic lovers have, according to another translation of the text, “enslaved” the source of moral evil in themselves and “liberated” the force for good. This was the kind of mentoring relationship of which Socrates and Plato approved. On the other hand, “he who is forced to follow pleasure and not good” because he is enslaved to his passions will perforce bring harm to the one whom he loves because he is trying to please himself, rather than seeking the good of the other.

In the Laws, Plato makes clear that moral virtue in respect to sexual desire is not only necessary to the right order of the soul, but is at the heart of a well-ordered polis. The Athenian speaker says:

“… I had an idea for reinforcing the law about the natural use of the intercourse which procreates children, abstaining from the male, not deliberately killing human progeny or ‘sowing in rocks and stones’, where it will never take root and be endowed with growth, abstaining too from all female soil in which you would not want what you have sown to grow.

“This law when it has become permanent and prevails — if it has rightly become dominant in other cases, just as it prevails now regarding intercourse with parents — confers innumerable benefits. In the first place, it has been made according to nature; also, it effects a debarment from erotic fury and insanity, all kinds of adultery and all excesses in drink and food, and it makes man truly affectionate to their own wives: other blessings also would ensue, in infinite number, if one could make sure of this law.”
(The Laws 838-839)

The central insight of classical Greek philosophy is that the order of the city is the order of the soul writ large. If there is disorder in the city, it is because of disorder in the souls of its citizens. This is why virtue in the lives of the citizens is necessary for a well-ordered polis. This notion is reflected in the Athenian’s statement concerning the political benefits of the virtue of chastity.

The relationship between virtue and political order is, of course, par excellence, the subject of Aristotle’s works. It was a preoccupation of not only philosophy, but of drama as well. Just read The Bacchae by Euripides. Euripides and the Classical Greeks knew that Eros is not a plaything. In The Bacchae, as brilliantly explicated by E. Michael Jones, Euripides showed exactly how unsafe sex is when disconnected from the moral order. When Dionysus visits Thebes, he entices King Penthius to view secretly the women dancing naked on the mountainside in Dionysian revelries. Because Penthius succumbs to his desire to see “their wild obscenities,” the political order is toppled, and the queen mother, Agave, one of the bacchants, ends up with the severed head of her son Penthius in her lap  — an eerie premonition of abortion.

The lesson is clear: Once Eros is released from the bonds of family, Dionysian passions can possess the soul. Giving in to them is a form of madness because erotic desire is not directed toward any end that can satisfy it. It is insatiable. “That which causes evil in the soul” – in which Plato includes homosexual intercourse – will ultimately result in political disorder.

For Aristotle, the irreducible core of a polity is the family. Thus, Aristotle begins The Politics not with a single individual, but with a description of a man and a woman together in the family, without which the rest of society cannot exist. As he says in The Politics, “first of all, there must necessarily be a union or pairing of those who cannot exist without one another.” Later, he states that “husband and wife are alike essential parts of the family.”

Without the family, there are no villages, which are associations of families, and without villages, there is no polis. “Every state is [primarily] composed of households,” Aristotle asserts. In other words, without households – meaning husbands and wives together in families – there is no state. In this sense, the family is the pre-political institution. The state does not make marriage possible; marriage makes the state possible. Homosexual marriage would have struck Aristotle as an absurdity since you could not found a polity on its necessarily sterile relations. This is why the state has a legitimate interest in marriage, because, without it, it has no future.

If Aristotle is correct – that the family is the primary and irreducible element of society – then chastity becomes the indispensable political principle because it is the virtue which regulates and makes possible the family – the cornerstone unit of the polis. Without the practice of this virtue, the family becomes inconceivable. Without it, the family disintegrates.

A healthy family is posited upon the proper and exclusive sexual relationship between a husband and wife. The family alone is capable of providing the necessary stability for the profound relationship which sexual union both symbolizes and cements and for the welfare of the children that issue from it.

Violations of chastity undermine not only the family, but society as a whole. This accounts for Aristotle’s pronounced condemnation of adultery, which he finds all the more odious if committed while the wife is pregnant: “For husband or wife to be detected in the commission of adultery – at whatever time it may happen, in whatever shape or form, during all the period of their being married and being called husband and wife – must be made a matter of disgrace. But to be detected in adultery during the very period of bringing children into the world is a thing to be punished by a stigma of infamy proportionate to such an offense.” (The Politics, XVI, 18) Aristotle understood that the laws were, or should be, ordered toward the formation of a certain kind of person – toward the realization of a virtuous citizenry.

This is why Aristotle forbids adultery, wants to make it disgraceful in all circumstances, not only because it subverts virtue, but because it attacks the political foundations of society. Adultery becomes a political problem because it violates chastity, which is indispensable to a rightly ordered polis. There is no comparable condemnation of adultery in homosexual marriage in Aristotle because such an institution would have been inconceivable to him, as it has been throughout history until recent times.

That is because it is a self-contradiction. Marriage cannot be based on an act which is in itself a violation of chastity, because something cannot be its opposite. A homosexual household would not make sense to Aristotle since it could not contain parents and all the generational relations that spring from them, which makes the polis possible. What did not make sense then still does not make sense now, and for the same reasons.


The Big Same-Sex Marriage Lie — Ryan T. Anderson

October 4, 2013
Radical advocates of same-sex marriage don’t think marriage should exist, at least not as a state-sponsored institution. They think marriage is simply an intense emotional union -- whatever sort of interpersonal relationship consenting adults want it to be. Their victory would leave marriage with no essential features, no fixed core as a social reality. And if marriage has no form and serves no essential purpose, how would society protect the needs of children -- the prime victims of our nonmarital sexual culture -- without government growing more intrusive and more expensive?

Radical advocates of same-sex marriage don’t think marriage should exist, at least not as a state-sponsored institution. They think marriage is simply an intense emotional union — whatever sort of interpersonal relationship consenting adults want it to be. Their victory would leave marriage with no essential features, no fixed core as a social reality. And if marriage has no form and serves no essential purpose, how would society protect the needs of children — the prime victims of our nonmarital sexual culture — without government growing more intrusive and more expensive?

Ryan Anderson is the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at The Heritage Foundation. He is co-author of the book “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense.”


Same-sex marriage will never be widely accepted in America for a simple reason: It’s based on a lie. But don’t take my word on this; leading LGBT scholars and activists say as much.

Take Masha Gessen, acclaimed author and former Russian director of Radio Liberty. “Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there — because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change,” Gessen said last year.

Last month, I was part of a debate at the NYU School of Law at which Judith Stacey, a sociology professor at the university, declared: “Children certainly do not need both a mother and a father.”

Stacey went on to suggest that three parents might be better than two. In fact, while asserting she is in favor of same-sex marriage because of “equal justice,” Stacey admitted she isn’t a fan of marriage. “Why should there be marriage at all?” she asked.

I pointed out that marriage exists, and the government takes an interest in marriage because the sexual union of a man and woman produces children — and children need both a mom and a dad.

I quoted President Obama making a closely related point:

“We know the statistics — that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.”

Stacey’s response? President Obama “was deeply misled.” Indeed, “Obama was dead wrong.”

But most Americans know that on this point, Obama is right. Children are better off with both a mother and a father. And marriage is the institution that unites a man and a woman as husband and wife to be father and mother to the children their union produces.

Obama is wrong, though, in his “evolved” thinking that we can redefine marriage to make fathers optional while still insisting that they are essential. This inherent contradiction empowers those who want to weaken the foundation of the nuclear family.

Take Stacey, for example. In congressional testimony against the Defense of Marriage Act, she expressed hope that redefining marriage would give marriage “varied, creative and adaptive contours,” including “small group marriages.”

Stacey was among more than 300 scholars and advocates who signed a statement, “Beyond Marriage,” calling for legal recognition of sexual relationships involving more than two partners. During our NYU debate, she asserted that nothing gives the state an interest in monogamy.

The very day of the debate, Slate posted an article headlined “Legalize Polygamy!” The author, Jillian Keenan, argues: “Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less ‘correct’ than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults.”

She concludes: “Legalized polygamy in the United States is the constitutional, feminist and sex-positive choice.”

And this is why the marriage redefiners are doomed to fail: Redefinition has no logical stopping point. Its logic leads to the effective elimination of marriage as a legal institution. This will harm women, children and society as a whole.

If we redefine marriage to exclude the norm of men and women complementing each other in (ideally) a lifelong familial bond, Gessen admits, “The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change . . . I don’t think it should exist.”

What an amazing claim: Radical advocates of same-sex marriage don’t think marriage should exist, at least not as a state-sponsored institution. They think marriage is simply an intense emotional union — whatever sort of interpersonal relationship consenting adults want it to be.

Their victory would leave marriage with no essential features, no fixed core as a social reality. And if marriage has no form and serves no essential purpose, how would society protect the needs of children — the prime victims of our nonmarital sexual culture — without government growing more intrusive and more expensive?

Same-sex marriage rejects the anthropological truth that men and women are different and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman and the social reality that children need both a mother and a father.

In the end, the truth about marriage will win out.


The Geometry Of Marriage – Peter Kreeft

August 8, 2013
This monumental flower painting is one of O'Keeffe's early masterpieces. Enlarging the petals far beyond lifesize proportions, she forces the viewer to observe the small details that might otherwise be overlooked. When paintings from this group were first shown in 1924, even Alfred Stieglitz, her husband and dealer, was shocked by their audacity. A perfect introduction to a topic about sex and marriage the metaphysics of the seen and unseen.

This monumental flower painting is one of O’Keeffe’s early masterpieces. Enlarging the petals far beyond lifesize proportions, she forces the viewer to observe the small details that might otherwise be overlooked. When paintings from this group were first shown in 1924, even Alfred Stieglitz, her husband and dealer, was shocked by their audacity. A perfect introduction to a topic about sex and marriage the metaphysics of the seen and unseen.


An Argument about Same-Sex Marriage from Dr. Peter Kreeft, May 2012. Originally published as Do Squares Have Three Sides? I like my title better.


The current demand to redefine marriage to include same-sex as well as opposite-sex couples is often motivated by goodwill, the will to fairness and happiness, while opposition to this redefinition is often motivated by bad will, the fear or hatred of homosexuals. Nevertheless, the rightness or wrongness of same-sex marriage has to be decided on its own merits, not by taking the moral temperature of the advocates on both sides. For

  1. We have no reliable moral thermometer to stick into people’s motives; and
  2. We often have bad motives for good deeds or good motives for bad deeds; and
  3. We need to judge the deed, not the doer.

Two Arguments From Authority
First, the Catholic Church has always taught, and always will teach, these two things with equal insistence: that we should love all sinners, both heterosexual and homosexual, and hate all sins, both heterosexual and homosexual; that we should love all persons, including homosexual persons, and that homosexual sex is “unnatural,” “disordered,” and “sinful.”

Many societies in the past did not believe the first of these two teachings (“love the  sinner”), but not one society in all of human history ever disbelieved the second, except for small  segments in ancient Greece and Rome. In the rest of the world this is still true, but in our society, i.e. in what we still call “Western civilization,” it is exactly the opposite.

But the Church’s counter cultural mission in every time and in every society is to try to conform the mind of man to the mind of God, not vice versa. This assumes, of course, that the Church has “the mind of God,” i.e. divine revelation, and not just human opinion.

That is the essential reason for being a Catholic. And that is the decisive reason for Catholics to oppose same-sex marriage, even if they understand nothing else about the issue. If the Church is officially wrong about that, then she is wrong about her own authority as the infallible voice of God Incarnate; and in that case she is a false prophet, arrogantly claiming “Thus says the Lord” for her own fallible opinions.

And in that case she may very well be wrong also about anything else she teaches, e.g. that we ought to love all people, including homosexuals.

Second, a reason for opposing same-sex marriage is less decisive but still serious. It is not religious or definitive, only pragmatic and probable: it is what G. K. Chesterton calls “the democracy of the dead,” the consensus of all other societies before our own. The vast majority of all mankind, a cross section of all times, places, cultures, and religions, is a serious authority. It is not infallible, and it may be wrong about some things, but that is far less likely than that only one culture, the one we happen to be in, is right and the rest of humanity is wrong. (And even in our culture, only a few nations, and none south of a certain line of latitude, have a majority of approvers.)

I can think of one and only one moral issue on which the vast majority of human beings in all societies in the past were wrong, and only religious Jews and Christians were right: that we should love everyone altruistically, absolutely, and unconditionally, even the wicked and even our enemies.

Argument From Reason
When we turn to arguments from reason rather than arguments from authority, the first thing we must agree about is the need to think honestly, open-mindedly, and clearly, especially about important things, and most especially about important things that we feel very passionate about, like sex. This is what I want to explore for a few minutes, as a philosopher.

It is true that we can change our thoughts, and change our definitions of things, of anything at all. Some of these redefinition’s are possible — e.g. we can criminalize or decriminalize many things, including homosexual acts But some redefinition’s are impossible. We can call squares triangles, but that does not make them into triangles. Calling cats dogs does not make them dogs. And calling homosexual friendships marriages does not make them marriages. This does not depend on whether they are good or bad; it depends on what they are; it depends on their nature, their essence. 

Unless there are no natures or essences, i.e. unless we are complete nominalists, and therefore skeptics. (If you are one of these people, and if you actually practice the philosophy you preach, then please do not invite me to your house for dinner, for you must believe that it is impossible to draw a real and absolute line between people and animals, in which case you may be either a vegetarian or a cannibal — two tastes I do not share.)

What Is Marriage?
The whole question of homosexual marriage depends on just one thing: on what marriage is, or rather on whether marriage has a “what” at all, a nature. If marriage is not a natural essence but an artificial human invention, like a game or a human law, than we can redefine it because we invented it in the first place.

Because we invented football, we can not only change the rules but we could even call it baseball if we wanted to. We could say there were two kinds of football, and one of them used to be called baseball. If we invent a thing, we can redefine it. If not, not.

The question can be phrased this way: is the answer to the question “What is marriage?” dependent on our reason or our will? Artificial things are dependent on our will, for we willed them into existence. Natural things are dependent on our reason; we discover them rather than inventing them. The decisive question about homosexual marriage is just that: whether marriage is artificial, man-made, and dependent on human wills, or natural, discovered, and dependent on human nature.

The issue is not just psychological, or scientific, or religious, or ethical, but philosophical, in fact metaphysical. The deepest reason why popular opinion has changed in favor of same-sex marriage in industrialized countries (but nowhere else) is that these countries no longer think in terms of what is “natural.” We no longer understand, or feel the force of, the old notion of “nature,” which meant the essence of a thing as manifested by its natural activities.

The old notion of “human nature” assumed an inherent, unchangeable telos or purpose or design in it. E.g. “the reproductive system” was designed for reproduction, as the eye was designed to see. (Duh!) But to the typically modern mind “nature” means simply simply stuff, the universe, whatever we can see. It has become an empirical concept, not a philosophical concept.

That is why the notion of “unnatural acts” no longer has a holding-place in our minds. To the modern mind, the difference between homosexual acts (or desires) and heterosexual acts (or desires) is like the difference between the acts on what we now call a football field and the acts on what we now call a baseball field. “Different strokes for different folks” is quite reasonable there.

And if football players have traditionally had special privileges which were denied to baseball players, we feel, quite reasonably, that this injustice must be undone. Let us be inclusive; let’s include “baseball” under “football.” Let’s recognize the artificial quotation marks around these two terms. Let’s be Nominalists: they’re just man-made names, after all, not inherent natures.

An Illustration From Geometry
But suppose marriage is not like a game but like a geometrical figure, or a cat: something discovered, not invented. Then redefining it would be confusion. It would mess up the whole geometry of marriage, so to speak, as calling cats dogs would mess up the whole veterinary treatment of both animals.

And if marriage is as natural as geometry, then those who voted for a “Defense of Squares” act would not necessarily be motivated by a personal fear or hate of triangles, but by a love of geometry.

This is the first necessary thing for people on both sides of this deep divide to understand: that their opponents are not loveless cads, idiots or liars. There is an inherent reasonableness to both sides.

But they contradict each other. And therefore one side must be wrong and the other right. For the law of non-contradiction, at least, is not invented but discovered. There is no alternative to it. Its opposite is literally unthinkable. Contradictories are incompatible. The concept of “same sex marriage” may or may not be an oxymoron, but the concept of ”compatible contradictories” certainly is. Two propositions that contradict each other cannot both be true. That’s why neither side can compromise: not because these two groups of people intolerantly exclude each other but because their ideas do.

The traditional definition of marriage contains four properties, as a square contains four sides. If you subtract any one side from a square, you don’t change the nature of squares so as to have a larger set of squares, one that includes three-sided squares as well as four-sided squares; you simply don’t have a square any more, but something else, a triangle.

Four Dimensions of Marriage
That something else may be good or bad — it may be just as good as a square, or it may be less good — but it’s not a square. It’s a triangle. The four dimensions of marriage, as traditionally defined, are:

  1. Freedom
  2. Exclusivity
  3. Permanence, and
  4. Sex

It’s the fourth dimension that is most in question today — though the others are also, and there is no reason why any or all of them cannot be questioned and changed if marriage is artificial, like football.

1. Freedom
Small children cannot marry because they have not yet the maturity to make such a binding covenant freely, just as they cannot yet make legal contracts. “Shotgun marriages” are not marriages then, for the same reason. They are oxymorons. Arranged marriages are not necessarily oxymorons, but they are valid (i.e. real marriages) but only if both parties freely consent to them.

2. Exclusivity
Marriage is between two persons, not one, not three, not many. There can be covenant relationships among more than two persons, but they are not marriages. They are friendships or communes or kibbutzes or states.

3. Permanence
Marriage is for life. Perhaps divorce is literally impossible (as the Catholic Church says), perhaps it is possible and permissible as an extreme, emergency treatment, like amputation, but it is not natural, normal, or intended. Marrying a person is not like leasing a car. That’s why the argument for premarital sex and cohabitation (“let’s give the car a road test before we buy it”) is not only a bad analogy but an insulting one.

4. Sex
Marriage, as traditionally defined, obviously has something to do with sex. The sex between the married couple is to be (a) faithful and exclusive and (b) open to children (that’s part of the definition of a family). This second feature is why it has to be heterosexual: because heterosexual sex, unlike homosexual sex, can and often does produce children. That’s its nature, and its natural end, purpose, design, telos. (The “reproductive system,” remember!) And that’s the aspect that’s controversial today. Essential to the traditional idea of marriage is the idea that marriage, by its nature, produces children, is for children, is about children, is for the sake of children’s existence and welfare.

That’s the ultimate point of traditional marriage. To be complete, marriage needs children, and to be complete children need to be born into a marriage and a family. Every child needs the protection of a family, and every child needs two parents, not only to be procreated but also to be educated, by two different role models. Men and women are “hard-wired” with different instincts and different talents, and children need both. Deliberately depriving a child of a father or a mother is child abuse. What motivates (or should motivate) opposition to same-sex marriage is not hatred of homosexuals but love of children.

Notice how dependent this argument is on the old notion of “nature” and what is “natural.” This is an a priori concept, not an empirical one. It’s true that empirical psychological studies have reinforced it. But they cannot prove it. Such studies have shown that many psychological disorders come from the lack of a father or a mother in a child’s life. But these studies cannot of themselves decide the issue, since they can only compare the probable consequences of the two different arrangements, not adjudicate their intrinsic rightness.

There’s no way around it: philosophy is going to have to decide this issue. Or mythology, which is unconscious, instinctive philosophy. Is there such a thing as “the nature of things”? “To be or not to be, that is the question” not only for traditional marriage but also for Mother Nature herself. How big is the camel whose nose is newly under our tent? Read Brave New World, the most prophetic book of our time, to find out.


Treating Homosexuals With Dignity Means Telling Them The Truth —- John–Henry Westen

July 22, 2013
Wojciech Giertych, O.P. is an English Roman Catholic priest in the Dominican Order. He was appointed theologian of the Papal Household on 1 December 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI. This post, which since the Middle Ages has been held by Dominicans, is tasked with providing advice to the Pope on theological issues, as well as checking papal texts for theological clarity. Giertych also serves on the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses and as a consultant to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the International Theological Commission, and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Wojciech Giertych, O.P. is an English Roman Catholic priest in the Dominican Order. He was appointed theologian of the Papal Household on 1 December 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI. This post, which since the Middle Ages has been held by Dominicans, is tasked with providing advice to the Pope on theological issues, as well as checking papal texts for theological clarity. Giertych also serves on the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses and as a consultant to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the International Theological Commission, and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Reblogged from a LifeSite News article.


In an interview with, Papal Theologian Rev. Wojciech Giertych, spoke of the need to treat persons with homosexual inclination with dignity, adding that dignity means telling them the truthWhat truth? “Homosexuality is against human nature.”  And what is needed is to “pastorally help such people to return to an emotional and moral integrity.” 

Appointed in 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI, it is Fr. Giertych’s job — Theologian of the Papal Household — to review the texts given to the Pope for his speeches for theological accuracy.  LifeSiteNews was granted access into the papal palace wherein Fr. Giertych has his apartment for the interview.

Asked about the problem of homosexuality, gay ‘marriage’ and their incursion on religious freedom, Fr. Giertych noted “this is not an issue which is reacting against the Church’s teaching – this is a fundamental anthropological change.” It is, he said, “a distortion of humanity which is being proposed as an ideology, which is being supported, financed, promoted by those who are powerful in the world in many, many, countries simultaneously.”

“The Church,” he added, “is the only institution in the world which has the courage to stand up to this ideology.”

He continued, noting that the increasing role of the state in society has resulted in a substantial lowering of ethical standards:

“Now, what we are observing in many countries world–wide, certainly in the 20th and the 21st century, there is an enormous extension of the responsibility of States. Now, the more the State is encroaching on the economy, on family life, on education — the State is saying that only the State has the monopoly to decide about these things. The more the State is omnipotent, the more the ethical standards are lowered, because it’s impossible to promote high ethical standards by the State.”

The 61–year–old of Polish background said,

“I’ve seen the Communist ideology, which seemed to be so powerful, and it’s gone! Ideologies come and go, and they have the idea of changing humanity, of changing human nature. Human nature cannot be changed; it can be distorted. But the elevation of perversion to the level of a fundamental value that has to be nurtured and nourished and promoted — this is absolutely sick.”

“The Church, standing up to this ideology which we are seeing now in the Western world, the Church is saying something very normal and humane, which corresponds to the understanding of humanity, which humanity has had for millennia, long before Christ, long before the appearance of Christianity,” he said. “So it’s not a question of the Church fighting the ideology, it’s a question of the distortion of humanity, and the Church standing up in defense of human dignity.”

Speaking of practicing homosexuals Fr. Giertych said, “of course they have to be treated with dignity, everybody has to be treated with dignity, even sinners have to be treated with dignity, but the best way of treating people with dignity is to tell them the truth.”

“And if we escape from the truth we’re not treating them with dignity,” he added.

The papal theologian drew an analogy to smoking saying that helping people stop smoking is not denying their dignity.

He said:

“Homosexuality is against human nature. Now, there are many things that people do that are unnatural – smoking cigarettes is also unnatural. You can live with the addiction to tobacco, you can die of it, but there are people who are addicted to tobacco, yet they live and we meet with them and we deal with them and we don’t deny their dignity. So certainly people with the homosexual difficulty have to be respected … And so the important thing is how to pastorally help such people to return to an emotional and moral integrity.”

Fr. Geirtych noted that for many there is a lessened culpability for falling into a homosexual lifestyle due to hardships endured.

Homosexual activity is also tied to the contraceptive culture, Geirtych explained:

“…we began talking about contraception, and homosexuality is tied with it because since contraception destroys the quality of relationships amongst the spouses, and it generates sexual license outside marriage, and it reduces sexuality to an easy source of pleasure with no responsibility, that pleasure without responsibility is never satisfying, and it generates like a drug. It generates a hunger for even more pleasure, which is even more not truly satisfying, not giving ultimate happiness, and so there is a search for more perverted types of sexual pleasure, which can never fulfill the human person.”

The Pope’s theologian also explained the distinction between the words “homosexual” and “gay” and the danger to someone who identifies themselves as being “gay”.

“…in the American language you have a distinction between the word ‘homosexual’ and ‘gay’. A homosexual is a person who has, to some extent, this homosexual condition. Somebody may have this difficulty, and his friends, his neighbors will not know about this. He’s dealing with this in cooperation with the grace of God and may come out of this difficulty and come back to normal human relationships.

Sometimes adolescents, at the moment when their sexual sensibility is appearing, if they have been distorted by others they go through a phase of difficulty in this field. But as they mature they will grow out of it. Whereas a ‘gay’ is somebody who says, ‘I am like this, I will be like this, I want to be treated like this, and I want special privileges because I am like this.’ Now if somebody is not only homosexual, but a gay, declaring, ‘This is how I am, and I want this to be respected legally, socially and so on’ — such a person will never come out of the difficulty.”

He also spoke of the danger of identifying with the homosexual condition as if it was the “supreme expression of the identity of the individual” which would deprive the individual of healing and happiness.

The papal theologian concluded noting the Christ is both the model for a healthy humanity and the source of healing for distortions of humanity. “Christ shows us a humanity which is supremely transformed from within by the divinity, “ he said. “Now, we have access to the grace of God through our faith, through the sacraments, and, by living out the grace of God, that grace of God heals whatever distortions we may have, whatever difficulties we may have, on the condition that we initiate, we commence the pilgrimage, we start the journey of living out our lives with the grace of God.”


No to Gay Marriage but Yes to Gay Adoption? — Michael Paterson-Seymour

June 13, 2013
Lévy-Soussan believes that in order to be successful, adoption must lead to a psychological filiation that “allows for a nexus of the three elements that are basic to any society: the biological, the social, and the subjective dimensions specific to human beings. The psychological strength of this construction exceeds the purely biological connection of filiation and provides it with security. The security and ‘truth’ of this filiation are based on childbirth, on a potential or actual procreative relationship between a man and a woman, allowing the fictional filiation through the encounter with the other sex, alive and of the same generation. The fictional filiation can then be experienced as true, consistent and reasonable.” The difference in sex between the two members of the parental couple thus seems to him indispensable if the adoption “graft” is to take.

Lévy-Soussan believes that in order to be successful, adoption must lead to a psychological filiation that “allows for a nexus of the three elements that are basic to any society: the biological, the social, and the subjective dimensions specific to human beings. The psychological strength of this construction exceeds the purely biological connection of filiation and provides it with security. The security and ‘truth’ of this filiation are based on childbirth, on a potential or actual procreative relationship between a man and a woman, allowing the fictional filiation through the encounter with the other sex, alive and of the same generation. The fictional filiation can then be experienced as true, consistent and reasonable.” The difference in sex between the two members of the parental couple thus seems to him indispensable if the adoption “graft” is to take.

Michael Paterson-Seymour farms in Ayrshire, Scotland and also practices Scottish and French law. Re-blogged from First Things:


Paul Ryan’s recent off-the-cuff statement that he supports gay adoption while he opposes gay marriage is as likely to be a one-time slip as a change in position. Whether or not it represents his real view, it certainly is gaining traction among some Christians. This trend reveals a profound ignorance of the reasons for opposing same-sex marriage even among those who do oppose it. If Americans are to better understand the case for opposing same-sex marriage, they must look to France.

Anyone who has been following the debate over same-sex marriage in France will know that the opposition has focused on L’homoparentalité or “same-sex parenting.” The commission established by the National Assembly, the “Mission of Inquiry on the Family and the Rights of Children” (usually referred to as the Pécresse Commission, after its rapporteure) reported in 2006 that

the link between marriage and filiation is so close that the question of making marriage accessible is inseparable from that of making adoption and medically assisted conception accessible. This link was acknowledged by almost all witnesses, whether they were in favor of or opposed to developments in this area.

In this, they were prescient; the recent legislation does authorize both SSM and joint adoption by same-sex couples. Allowing an unmarried couple to adopt a child jointly was rejected. As the Minister of Justice observed,

We must be guided by the basic purpose of adoption, which is to give a child who has no family to a family itself unable to have one. While de facto spouses form a couple, they do not form a family. They may end their relationship at any time, without the exercise at any point of control by a judicial authority. This significant risk of family instability can prove especially harmful for an adopted child, who, given the nature of his or her personal history, in many cases expresses a greater need for emotional security.

The Commission also noted that the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption of 29 May 1993, of which France is a state signatory, restricts adoption to married couples.

The Commission found further reasons to oppose joint adoption by same-sex couples, regardless of marital status, summarized in the evidence of the eminent psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Pierre Lévy-Soussan, an adviser to the Ministry of Health. “It is in the child’s best interests to join a nuclear family that is already socially accepted so that he or she does not have to take on the additional task, following a history of abandonment, of adapting to a family that is, for whatever reason, ‘non-standard.’”

Lévy-Soussan believes that in order to be successful, adoption must lead to a psychological filiation that “allows for a nexus of the three elements that are basic to any society: the biological, the social, and the subjective dimensions specific to human beings. The psychological strength of this construction exceeds the purely biological connection of filiation and provides it with security. The security and ‘truth’ of this filiation are based on childbirth, on a potential or actual procreative relationship between a man and a woman, allowing the fictional filiation through the encounter with the other sex, alive and of the same generation. The fictional filiation can then be experienced as true, consistent and reasonable.” The difference in sex between the two members of the parental couple thus seems to him indispensable if the adoption “graft” is to take.

Similarly, Janice Peyré, president of the federation Enfance & Familles d’Adoption, told the Commission:

“As much as adoptive parents are open to the idea of extending adoption — legally and transparently — to homosexuals, adolescents, or adults who have been adopted express genuine reservations. They attest to a private feeling of being different when they grew up — a feeling accompanied by a very deeply experienced desire for normalcy. In their view, having homosexual parents would simply add to the sense of difference and the curiosity that adoption already engenders. In certain cases and in certain communities, it might even lead to rejection.”

Peyré therefore feels that “bringing an adopted child into a society in which he or she will have the same rights and the same place as other children — as the Hague Convention provides — requires that the child be received into pre-existing family structures, already recognized as such, and not serve as an instrument for obtaining recognition of new family structures.”

Other witnesses argued that, inasmuch as almost 25,000 married couples in France have been approved but wait an average of five years to be able to adopt because fewer than 5,000 adoptions take place each year, it is possible to provide every adoptable child with a father and a mother who will offer him or her the best chance of integrating into a new family.

During the Mission’s deliberations, it was not formally demonstrated that approving legal filiation with two fathers or two mothers has no effect on the building of the child’s identity. Martine Gross gave the Mission a list of studies on children brought up by persons of the same sex. The conclusion, based on these studies, was that there were no negative effects on children.

These studies’ scientific basis and the representativeness of the population samples studied were widely criticized and disputed at the hearings. Few countries allow adoption of a child by two persons of the same sex, and legislation allowing this type of adoption is very recent and has, in fact, led to very few adoptions.

The lack of objectivity in this area is blatant. The studies in question deal, rather, with children born of a heterosexual relationship and raised by a biological parent and his or her companion — a situation that is absolutely not comparable with the establishment of a dual same-sex filiation for a child from outside the couple.

These arguments have resonated with many of the opponents of same-sex marriage.

The approval of adoption by same-sex couples thus appears as a leap of faith. Is it possible that, in the anxiety to combat one form of discrimination, some Americans are unwittingly approving another — namely, discrimination between children.

If L’homoparentalité is to be accepted, is the word “marriage” worth fighting over?


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