Guidance About Homosexuality

May 2006By Monica Hidalgo Breaux

Monica Hidalgo Breaux Is Ministry Coordinator for Courage and Encourage for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Tempe, Arizona.

Ideas prevalent in U.S. culture that are based on inaccurate reports by the media have led some people to mistakenly believe that, where human sexuality is concerned, the Catholic Church is operating on outdated information. Relevant information is often filtered out by politically charged opposition.

The Catholic Medical Association, the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations have issued formal statements to the effect that "acting on homosexual attraction is voluntary" and "homosexual behavior can be changed." Also, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality asserts, "The public must be made aware that some homosexual people do seek and achieve change. The change is neither quick nor easy, but many believe — as we do — that the goal is a worthy one." These organizations are among the many research-based organizations that oppose the claim that homosexuality is genetic.

Neuroscientist and "gay" activist Simon LeVay said recently, "Time and again I have been described as someone who 'proved that homosexuality is genetic'.... I did not. Homosexuality is a behavior that anyone might be tempted to engage in." He has supported re-orientation therapy for people with unwanted same-sex attractions.

Dr. Robert Spitzer was involved in the removal of homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental disorders in 1973. As chief of the New York State Psychiatric Institute's Biometrics Research Department, he recently began to promote re-orientation psychotherapy. His 2003 article, "Can Some Gay Men and Lesbians Change Their Sexual Orientation?: 200 Participants Reporting a Change From Homosexual to Heterosexual Orientation," appeared with 26 peer commentaries in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (32: 399-472).

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Does God create some people homosexual? My parish priest recently referred in a homily to "people that God created gay and lesbian." Implicit in these words is a provocative and, from my point of view, dangerous premise. Ms. Breaux's excellent article would appear to cast doubt on this premise from a scientific perspective. But I would be grateful for a definitive statement on how this premise squares with Magisterial teaching. Please, someone more knowledgable than I, respond. Posted by: Ambrose
June 15, 2006 11:44 PM EDT
I know of nothing in Church teaching that says that anyone is created with homosexual inclinations. In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says that the "psychological genesis [of homosexual inclinations] remains largely unexplained" (#2357). We don't have to accept the idea that some people are born with such tendencies. Posted by: Fr_Richard
August 05, 2006 07:33 AM EDT
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