Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pride and the Catholic


This weekend is Gay Pride in Brighton, in all my time here I have never seen this event. As Catholics we have problems with "pride" of any sought but even more with "Gay Pride", but then we would have problems with Straight Pride as much as we would with Nationalistic Pride. To define one's self in terms of one's sexual attraction seems to be a denial of so much else that makes us human. Brighton's Gay scene seems to be a very sad thing indeed, a revelry in indulgence, promiscuity, drugs and so frequently self loathing and misery, with a hight death-rate through suicide. We Christians know that happiness actual comes not from giving into ourselves but by denying ourselves and taking up our Cross everyday and following Christ. We stand directly opposed to consumerism, especially sexual consumerism and prosmiscuity.

Any love between human beings is good, as Pope Benedict says in Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), the Church always has encouraged love and deep friendship, which is by its very nature holy, it finds its fullest expression in marriage that is open to procreation of children. The Church itself is built on fraternal love, however all love needs to be controlled and directed, for example a married man is not free to engage in sexual intercourse with someone other than his wife.

All the ancient churches, as well as Islam, Buddhism (see the Dalai Lama's remarks) and Judaism have always had serious problems with homosexual actions. The Catholic Church proclaims tolerance and respect for homosexuals but it defines homosexual acts as "intrinsically disordered", meaning that they are not in tune with God's ordering of human society.

In our own congregation there are many men and women who struggle with their sexuality, it is part of being human (for both heterosexuals and homosexuals), within the clear timeless boundaries of Christ's teaching we are called to affection, friendship and love but these only make sense when lived out in the shadow of the cross, because holiness is about perfecting our nature and our loving.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree it is terribly sad that people feel the obligation to define themselves primarily by their sexuality. I think it is important though to consider the relevance of events like Gay pride in the light of it's historical context. We have to remember that it was less than fifty years ago that it was still "the love that dare not speak it's name."

Anonymous said...

The Dalai Lama's remarks are admirably succinct.