Homosexuality and Roman Catholicism
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Homosexuality is treated in Roman Catholic Church teaching under two forms: homosexual orientation is considered an "objective disorder" because Catholicism views it as being "ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil", but not sinful unless acted upon. Homosexual sexual activity, by contrast, is viewed as a "moral disorder" and "homosexual acts" as "contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity."
The Catholic Church teaches that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, and opposes introduction of both civil and religious same-sex marriage. The Church also holds that same-sex unions are an unfavorable environment for children and that the legalization of such unions is harmful to society.
Leading figures in the Catholic hierarchy, including cardinals and bishops, have sometimes actively campaigned against same-sex marriage or have encouraged others to campaign against it, and have done likewise with regard to same-sex civil unions and adoption by same-sex couples, and other LGBT rights (including non-discrimination). The Church has opposed the decriminalization of homosexual activity in certain countries, and stood against a proposed call for global decriminalization from the United Nations. However, in other countries, and again at the United Nations, the church has opposed its criminalization - reflecting a wide range of opinions within the global church.
Many Catholics disagree with the official position of the Roman Catholic hierarchy on LGBT people, and in some locations, such as North America, Northern and Western Europe, show stronger support for LGBT rights (such as same-sex marriage, or protection against discrimination) than the general population.
- 1 Church teaching
- 2 History of the Catholic Church and homosexuality
- 3 Dissent from Church teaching
- 4 Defense of Church teaching
- 5 Homosexuality and Catholic clergy
- 6 Political activity
- 7 Notable lesbian, gay and bisexual Catholics
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 External links
Catholic teaching condemns homosexual acts as gravely immoral, while holding that homosexual persons "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity", and "every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided" "The Catholic Church holds that, as a state beyond a person's choice, being homosexual is not wrong or sinful in itself. But just as it is objectively wrong for unmarried heterosexuals to engage in sex, so too are homosexual acts considered to be wrong."
Overview in the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered'. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
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.
The earlier first provisional edition in 1992 contained the line "They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial" which was changed in the 1997 definitive edition to say instead "This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial."
In 1975, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued the document Persona humana dealing with sexual ethics. It stated that acceptance of homosexual activity was against the church's teaching and morality. While, it said, a distinction existed between people who were gay because of "a false education [...] a lack of normal sexual development", or other curable non-biological causes and people who were innately or "pathological[ly]" homosexual, it criticized those who argued that innate homosexuality justified same-sex sexual activity within loving relationships and stated that the Bible condemned homosexual activity as depraved, "intrinsically disordered", never to be approved, and a consequence of rejecting God. In a 2006 commentary on the document, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger remarked that its description of homosexual acts as "intrinsically disordered" was misinterpreted by some as permitting the qualification of the homosexual tendency as neutral or even good, an idea rejected also in the 1986 Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons.
Jeffrey Siker says that the "negative connotations" of the language in Persona Humana—for instance, referring to homosexuality as an "anomaly" that gay people "suffer[ed]" from—contrast with more neutral and even positive interpretations of homosexual orientation in the subsequent decade. These interpretations were to be challenged in 1986 as having been "overly benign".:193
On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons
In October 1986, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a letter addressed to all the bishops of the Catholic Church entitled On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, which gives instructions on how the clergy should deal with and respond to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Designed to remove any ambiguity about tolerance of homosexual orientation proceeding from the 1975 document Persona Humana and prompted by the growing influence of gay-accepting groups and clergy,:193:201 the letter was aimed, it is generally thought, at the church in the United States.
The letter, the incipit (the first words in the original, Latin, text) of which is Homosexualitatis problema said that homosexual orientation is not a sin but, as a tendency toward the "moral evil" of homosexual sexual activity, must be considered "an objective disorder". What it thus says of homosexual orientation has been described as on the lines of what can be said of kleptomania, which is not in itself sinful, but is an objective disorder in that it leads to an immoral activity. The letter said that, when homosexual activity is the result of deliberate choice, it is not made inculpable by natural sexual orientation, contradicting the idea that natural orientation always rendered it totally inculpable, and Robert J. Dempsey said that the orientation diminishes, in proportion to the force of the psychological impulse, one's culpability for the immoral activity; and that this natural orientation is "essentially self-indulgent" since homosexual sexual acts are not genuinely loving or selfless.:198:222 Siker interprets the document as teaching "that a gay male or lesbian sexual identity is not to be celebrated, nor is it properly seen as a source of pride".:194 The letter condemned physical and verbal violence against homosexual persons,:195 but asserted that condemnation of violence did not mean that the homosexual orientation was good or neutral or that homosexual sexual acts should be permitted.:222 Its claims that accepting and legalizing homosexual behaviour leads to violence were seen as controversially blaming gay people for homophobic violence and encouraging homophobic violence.:195 The letter also said that accepting homosexual acts as morally equivalent to married heterosexual acts was harmful to the family and society and warned bishops to be on guard against, and not to support, Catholic organizations not upholding the Church's doctrine on homosexuality, groups which the letter said were not really Catholic.:201:223 It was referring to LGBT and LGBT-accepting Catholic groups such as DignityUSA and New Ways Ministry,:201 and resulted in the exclusion of Dignity. Referring to the AIDS epidemic, the letter, McNeill writes, blamed AIDS on gay rights activists and gay-accepting mental health professionals: "Even when the practice of homosexuality may seriously threaten the lives and well-being of a large number of people, its advocates remain undeterred and refuse to consider the magnitude of the risks involved". Andrew Sullivan called this comment "extraordinary for its lack of compassion" and added that "some of [the letter's] clauses read chillingly like comparable church documents produced in Europe in the 1930s".
In a statement released in July 1992, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith expanded on the letter and stated that discrimination against gay people in certain areas, such as selecting adoptive or foster parents or in hiring teachers, coaches, or military servicemembers, is not unjust.
The Dutch Catechism, first published in 1966, was the first post-Vatican II Catholic catechism and was an expression of the magisterium of the Dutch bishops, who commissioned and authorized it. The 1973 edition, issued after a Vatican review of the original text, dealt with the issue of homosexuality: "It is not the fault of the individual if he or she is not attracted to the other sex. The causes of homosexuality are unknown . . . .The very sharp strictures of Scripture on homosexual practices (Gen. 1; Rom. 1) must be read in their context."
Richard Scorer wrote that the leadership of the English Church has been "notably less homophobic than the Vatican", and that, in 1992, on publication of a statement by Cardinal Ratzinger, which Scorer said justified discrimination against homosexuals, Cardinal Basil Hume was said to be "appalled by the language and tone of the document" and privately distanced himself.
In April 1997, Hume issued A note on the teaching of the Catholic Church concerning homosexuality. It stated that the Church recognises the dignity and right to respectful treatment of all people and does not see their "objective disorder" of homosexual people as making them wholly disordered. It also said that sexual activity ought only to take place within an opposite-sex marriage and said that the Church cannot "acknowledge amongst fundamental human rights a proposed right to acts which she teaches are morally wrong."
In 1997, the US Catholic Bishops Conference published a letter entitled "Always our children", as a pastoral message to parents of gay and bisexual children with guidelines for pastoral ministers. It told parents not to break off contact with a gay or bisexual son or daughter; they should instead look for appropriate counseling both for the child and for themselves. The letter said that, while homosexual orientation is not sinful, homosexual activity is immoral, but gay people must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity, and allowed to participate actively in the Christian community, and even, if living chastely, to hold leadership positions.:131
History of the Catholic Church and homosexuality
The Christian tradition has generally proscribed any and all noncoital genital activities, whether engaged in by couples or individuals, regardless of whether they were of the same or different sex.:193 The Catholic Church's position specifically on homosexuality developed from the teachings of the Church Fathers, which was in stark contrast to Greek and Roman attitudes towards same-sex relations including the "(usually erotic) homosexual relationship between an adult male and a pubescent or adolescent male" that is called pederasty.
The early 2nd century treatise, the Didache (which influenced thinking by some of the Church Fathers), includes in a list of commandments: "You shall not corrupt boys." David F. Greenberg gives it as one example of the early Christian writings of the first two centuries that were "unequivocably opposed to male prostitution and pederasty — probably the most visible forms of homosexuality in their time".
Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – c. 215) rebuked heathens for worshipping gods who indulged in debauching of boys. Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 260/265 – 339/340) wrote of God "having forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men".
The "Apology" of Aristides of Athens, (presented to Emperor Hadrian sometime c.e. 117–138), scorned the practices and acts of the Greek pagans who worshipped gods some of whom "polluted themselves by lying with males".
Basil of Caesarea (329 or 330 – 379) was among the first to talk about penalties, advising in a letter that, "He who is guilty of unseemliness with males will be under discipline for the same time as adulterers." John Chrysostom (c. 347–407), the Archbishop of Constantinople, was particularly vocal on the subject. In a discourse on Romans 1:26–27, he declared that: "All of these affections then were vile, but chiefly the mad lust after males; for the soul is more the sufferer in sins, and more dishonored than the body in diseases. ... [The men] have done an insult to nature itself. And a yet more disgraceful thing than these is it, when even the women seek after these intercourses, who ought to have more shame than men."
Canon law regarding same-sex sexual activity has mainly been shaped through the decrees issued by a number of ecclesiastical councils. Initially, canons against sodomy were aimed at ensuring clerical or monastic discipline, and were only widened in the medieval period to include laymen,.
The early 4th-century Council of Elvira (305-306), was the first church council to deal with the issue directly, excluding from communion anyone who had sexual intercourse (stuprum) with a boy:
Canons 16 and 17 of the Council of Ancyra (314), which "became the standard source for medieval ecclesiastical literature against homosexuality", impose on "those who have been or who are guilty of bestial lusts" penances whose severity varies with the age and married status of the offender, allowing access to communion only at death for a married man over fifty years old (canon 16); and impose a penance also on "defilers of themselves with beasts, being also leprous, who have infected others [with the leprosy of this crime]".
In Iberia, the Visigothic ruler Egica of Hispania and Septimania demanded that a church council confront the occurrence of homosexuality in the kingdom. In 693, the Sixteenth Council of Toledo issued a canon condemning guilty clergy to degradation and exile and laymen to a hundred lashes. Egica added an edict imposing the punishment of castration (as already in the secular law promulgated for his kingdom by his predecessor King Chinawith).
The matter was also dealt with at the Council of Paris - in canons 34 and 69 (AD 829), which went beyond Elvira and Ancyra in explicitly endorsing the death penalty for sodomy - claiming that it had led God to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and send the Great Flood The concern at Paris was that toleration of sodomy might provoke God to give victory to the enemies of Christianity (i.e. the Islamic Ottoman Empire). At about the same time, the set of capitularies produced by Benedict Levita implied that Charlemagne had likewise supported the death penalty; in an attempt to assert ecclesiastical power over the state. Meanwhile canon 15 of the Council of Trolsy (AD 909) warned against "pollution with men or animals".
Alongside this, penances for such sexual transgressions may increasingly be found in a few of the penitential books which first emerged in the 6th century in monastic communities in Ireland (including for women having sex with other women).
Medieval and Early Modern period
By the late Middle Ages, as stated by writers discussing the Spanish Inquisition, the term sodomy had come to cover copulation between males, bestiality, and non-vaginal heterosexual intercourse, coitus interruptus, masturbation, fellatio and anal sex (whether heterosexual or homosexual).
Klaits writes: "From the twelfth century on, outsiders came under increasing verbal and physical attack from churchmen, allied secular authorities, and, particularly in the case of Jews, from the lower strata of the population"; and among "outsiders" he considers Jews, heretics, homosexuals, and magicians as having been among the most important.
Clark says that sodomy increasingly began to be identified as the most heinous of sins by authorities of the Catholic Church. In Italy, Dominican monks would encourage the pious to "hunt out" sodomites and once done to hand them to the Inquisition to be dealt with accordingly. She writes, "These clerical discourses provided a language for secular authorities to condemn sodomy... By persecuting sodomites as well as heretics, the Church strengthened its authority and credibility as a moral arbiter".
The Council of London in 1102, called at the urging of Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury, denounced homosexual behavior for the first time as a sin. Anselm felt that sodomy was widespread and was not condemned strongly enough or regarded with the seriousness that it should have. Confessors were urged to take account of such ignorance when hearing confessions for sodomy, and to take into account mitigating factors such as age and marital status before prescribing penance; and counselling was generally preferred to punishment. In Canons 28 and 29 the Council decreed that the people should be informed of the gravity of the sin, and their obligation to confess (particularly if they derived pleasure from it). Nevertheless, Anselm deferred publication of the proceedings - arguing further time was needed to clarify certain matters. Boswell argues they were never published at all.
In 1179, Pope Alexander III presided over the Third Lateran Council which decreed (canon 11) that all those guilty of sodomy be removed from office or confined to penitential life in a monastery, if clergy; and be strictly excommunicated, if laity: "Let all who are found guilty of that unnatural vice for which the wrath of God came down upon the sons of disobedience and destroyed the five cities with fire, if they are clerics be expelled from the clergy or confined in monasteries to do penance; if they are laymen they are to incur excommunication and be completely separated from the society of the faithful."
This was followed by canon 14 of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. This stated that if a priest suspended for unchastity of any kind - especially the vice that "on account of which the anger of God came from heaven upon the children of unbelief" (that is sodomy) - dared to celebrate Mass then he was to be deposed permanently from the priesthood.
By the early 13th century (time of the Fourth Lateran Council) the Church determined that "secular authorities, as well as clergy, should be allowed to impose penalties on 'sodomites' for having had sexual relations", and by the end of this period, "homophobic discourse became institutionalized ..Sodomites were now [regarded as] demons as well as sinners.". Civil authorities were in fact already trying the crime of sodomy in their own courts. They applied punishments very different from those that the Church applied, such as excommunication and deposition from the clerical state. They followed Roman civil law, which prescribed death by burning for those found guilty of sodomy. In 1232, Pope Gregory IX established the Roman Inquisition which investigated claims of sodomitical acts when, in 1451, Pope Nicholas V enabled it to prosecute men who practice sodomy. Handed over to the civil authorities, those condemned were frequently burned in accordance with civil law.
In the Summa Theologica, Saint Thomas Aquinas stated that "the unnatural vice" is the greatest of the sins of lust. In his Summa contra Gentiles, traditionally dated to 1264, he argued against what he called "the error of those who say that there is no more sin in the emission of the semen than in the ejection of other superfluous products from the body" by saying that, after murder, which destroys an existing human being, disordinate emission of semen to the preclusion of generating a human being seems to come second.
R.I. Moore reports that, in 1424, Saint Bernardino of Siena preached for three days in Florence, Italy, against homosexuality and other forms of lust, calling for sodomites to be ostracized, and these sermons alongside measures by other clergy of the time strengthened opinion against homosexuals and encouraged the authorities to increase the measures of persecution.
In 1478, with the papal bull Exigit Sinceras Devotionis Affectus, Pope Sixtus IV acceded to the request of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, granting them exclusive authority to name the inquisitors in their kingdoms. The Spanish Inquisition thus replaced the Medieval Inquisition which had been set up under direct papal control, and transferred it in Spain to civil control. In 1482, in response to complaints by relatives of the first victims, Sixtus wrote that he had not intended his grant to be abused in that way. However, strong pressure brought to bear on him prevented him from revoking it.
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition in Spain was therefore under the control of its monarchs and the initial direction of the Dominican friar Tomas de Torquemada. Mark D. Jordan says that it seems to have at first been reluctant to take on responsibility for trying those accused of sodomy, and that the Suprema (the governing body) ruled in 1509 that such cases were for the secular courts, which already punished sodomy with death. However, in 1524 the Suprema requested papal authorisation to prosecute sodomites. Pope Clement VII granted permission but only within the Kingdom of Aragon and on condition that trials be conducted according to the civil laws, not the standard inquisitorial procedure. The Pope refused the request of King Philip II of Spain to extend the authority of the Spanish Inquisition to conducting such trials in the rest of Spain.
Within Aragon and its dependent territories, the number of individuals that the Spanish Inquisition tried for sodomy, a broad-ranging crime, whose meaning has been explained above, between 1570 and 1630 was over 800 or nearly a thousand. In Spain, those whom the Spanish Inquisition convicted and had executed "by burning without the benefit of strangulation" were about 150. The Inquisition was harsh to sodomizers (more so for those committing bestiality than homosexuality), but tended to restrict death by burning only to those aged over twenty-five. Minors were normally whipped and sent to the galleys. Mildness was also shown to clergy, who were always a high proportion of those arrested. In fact, conviction and execution for sodomy was easier to obtain from the civil courts in other parts of Spain than from the tribunals of the Inquisition in Aragon, and there executions for sodomy were much more numerous. After 1633, where the Spanish Inquisition had jurisdiction for sodomy, it ceased treating it as requiring execution, and imposed lesser penalties in cases brought before it.
The Portuguese Inquisition was established in 1536; and in 1539 Henry, Archbishop of Braga (later made cardinal) became Grand Inquisitor. (An earlier appointment as Portuguese Grand Inquisitor was Friar Diogo da Silva.) It received 4,419 denunciations against individuals accused of sodomy, of whom 447 were subjected to a formal trial, thirty were burnt at the stake, in accordance with the pre-1536 civil laws enacted under Kings Afonso V and Manuel I, and many others were sent to the galleys or to exile, temporary or permanent.
In England, until Henry VIII, while still a member of the Roman Catholic Church, enacted the Buggery Act of 1533, as part of his campaign to break the power of the Catholic Church in England, the accused were tried by church courts, which almost never punished homosexual behaviour.
Although homosexuality was not directly discussed at the Council of Trent, it did commission the drawing up of a catechism (following the successful lead of some Protestants) which stated: "Neither fornicators nor adulterers, nor the effeminate nor sodomites shall possess the kingdom of God."
Neither the First Vatican Council nor the Second Vatican Council directly discussed the issue of homosexuality, nor did they alter the judgement of earlier councils. Homosexuality has received no mention in papal encyclicals except for Pope John Paul II's Veritatis Splendor of 1993, which "specifically proclaims the intrinsic evil of the homosexual condition":207 rejecting the view of some theologians who questioned the basis on which the church condemns as morally unacceptable "direct sterilization, autoeroticism, pre-marital sexual relations, homosexual relations and artificial insemination". However, homosexual activity was frequently referred to as crimen pessimum (the worst crime). including that codified in 1917.
Michael Bronski has written: "In Western culture, homosexual activity was first categorized as a sin. With the rise of materialism and the decline of religion, it became a transgression against the social, not the moral order: a crime." However, the Catholic Church has continued to categorize it as a sin.
Pope John Paul II
John Cornwell has written that the pontificate of John Paul II increasingly saw sexual morality as a paramount concern, and homosexuality, alongside contraception, divorce and illicit unions, as a dimension of "the 'culture of death' against which he taught and preached with increasing vehemence".
In John Paul II's teaching, homosexual intercourse is regarded as an utilization of another's body, not a mutual self-giving in familial love, physically expressed by the masculine and feminine bodies; and such intercourse is also performed by a choice of the will, unlike homosexual orientation, which he acknowledged is usually not a matter of free choice.
On 5 October 1979, John Paul praised the bishops of the United States for stating that "homosexual activity ... as distinguished from homosexual orientation, is morally wrong". He said that, instead of "[holding] out false hope" to homosexuals facing hard moral problems, they had upheld "the true dignity, the true human dignity, of those who look to Christ's Church for the guidance which comes from the light of God's word".
In 2000, he criticized the inaugural WorldPride event scheduled for Rome in that year as "an affront to the Great Jubilee of the year 2000" and as "an offence to the Christian values" of Rome, and recalled the Church's teaching that homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law, while every sign of unjust discrimination against homosexuals should be avoided.
In response, the Dutch gay magazine, Gay Krant, and its readership initiated a case against the pope in the Dutch law courts, arguing that his comment that homosexual acts are contrary to the laws of nature "give rise to hatred against, and discrimination of certain groups of people" in violation of Dutch law. This came to end when the court ruled that he was immune from prosecution as a head of state (the Vatican).
In his last personal work, Memory and Identity, published in 2005, John Paul II spoke of pressure brought to bear on countries such as Poland to have homosexual unions accepted as an alternative type of family, and asked whether this was not the work of another ideology of evil, less obvious than the Nazi and Marxist ideologies, bent on utilizing human rights themselves against human beings and the family.
The BBC reported that shortly before the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI in February 2013, the Italian media in particular used unsourced reports to suggest that there was a "gay lobby" of clergy inside the Vatican who had been collaborating to advance personal interests, thereby opening the Holy See to potential blackmail, and even to suggest that this may have been one of the factors influencing Benedict's decision to resign.
Pope Francis was reported to have acknowledged the existence of a "gay lobby" in remarks during a meeting held in private with Catholic religious from Latin America, and he was said to have promised to "see what we can do". In July 2013, he responded directly to journalists' questions concerning the reported gay lobby. He drew a distinction between the problem of lobbying and the sexual orientation of people: "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?" "The problem", he said, "is not having this orientation. We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worse problem."
He reaffirmed the Catholic Church's teaching that, while homosexual acts are sinful, homosexual orientation is not and people with that orientation should not be marginalised but integrated into society. In this regard, he quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which says: "They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided." In relation to reports that a Vatican official whom he had recently promoted had had a homosexual relationship, he drew a distinction between sins, which can be forgiven if repented of, and crimes, such as sexual abuse of minors.
Some LGBT groups welcomed the comments, noting that this was the first time a pope had used the word "gay" in public, and had also accepted the existence of gay people as a recognisable part of the Catholic Church community for the first time. The Pope’s attitude towards homosexuality also earned him a place on the cover of the US gay news magazineThe Advocate.
In autumn, 2014, Francis presided over the 2014 Synod of Bishops. This was the first Church Synod to explicitly examine the issue of pastoral care for people in same-sex civil unions and marriages, identifying it as one of several concerns which were unheard of until a few years ago. The synod's working document called for less judgment towards people that are gay and more understanding towards same-sex couples in civil unions or marriages, as well as an equal welcome for children of such couples (including conferring baptism), while still rejecting the validity of same-sex marriage itself. However, when the synod convened to discuss the issue, the final report failed to contain the proposed language as it did not manage to receive the necessary two-thirds support of attending bishops' support.
Nevertheless, in February 2015 he intervened in the national referendum in Slovakia on whether or not to allow same-sex marriage and adoption by "encouraging everyone to continue their efforts in defense of the family, the vital cell of society." This was interpreted by some as an encouragement to vote in favour of the referendum limiting rights.
Dissent from Church teaching
Critics make the general argument that The Church's line on homosexuality emphasises the physical dimension of the act at the expense of higher moral, personal and spiritual goals. Gay and lesbian Catholics also feel that the practice of total, life-long sexual denial risks results in personal isolation.:194 John J. McNeill writes that since gay people experience their sexual orientation as innately created, to believe that it is therefore a tendency towards evil would require believing in a sadistic God; and that it is preferable to believe that this element of Church teaching is mistaken in arguing that God would behave in such a way.
In January 1998, 39 year old Alfredo Ormando set fire to himself in St Peter's square, Rome as a political protest against the Catholic Church's condemnation of homosexuality. He died shortly after from his injuries.
There have a number of practical and ministerial disagreements within the clergy and hierarchy of the Catholic Church concerning the Church's position on homosexuality.
Two of the best-known advocates for a more accepting position on homosexuality within the Catholic fold have been the Salvatorian priest Fr. Robert Nugent and the School Sister of Notre Dame nun Jeannine Gramick, who established New Ways Ministry in 1977 This was in response to the Bishop of Brooklyn's invitation to reach out in "new ways" to lesbian and gay Catholics. In 1981, New Ways Ministry held its first national symposium on homosexuality and the Catholic Church, but Archbishop James Hickey of Washington, D.C. wrote to Catholic bishops and communities, asking them not to support the event. Despite this, more than fifty Catholic groups endorsed the program. In 1983 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith attempted unsuccessfully to block publication of Nugent's book, A Challenge to Love: Gay and Lesbian Catholics in the Church, although Cardinal Ratzinger did succeed in forcing Bishop Walter Sullivan of Richmond to remove his name from it.:200 In May 1999 both Nugent and Grammick were formally disciplined when the Congregation imposed lifetime bans on any pastoral work involving gay people, declaring that the positions they advanced "do not faithfully convey the clear and constant teaching of the Catholic Church" and "have caused confusion among the Catholic people". The Vatican move made Nugent and Gramick "folk heroes in liberal circles", where official teaching is seen as outdated and lacking compassion.
Similarly, the American bishops Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit and Matthew Clark of Rochester, New York were criticized for their association with New Ways Ministry, and their distortion of the theological concept of the "Primacy of Conscience" as an alternative to the actual teaching of the Catholic Church. Furthermore, the insistence of Bishop Jacques Gaillot to preach a message about homosexuality contrary to that of the official church teaching is largely considered to be one of the factors that led to him being removed from his See of Evraux, France, in 1995. While bishop he had blessed a homosexual union in a "service of welcoming", after the couple requested it in view of their imminent death from AIDS. 
In 1976, John McNeill, an American Jesuit and co-founder of Dignity, published The Church and the Homosexual, which challenged the Church's prohibition of same-sex activity. It argued for a change in Church teaching and that homosexual relationships should be judged by the same standard of heterosexual ones. The work had received permission from McNeill's Jesuit superiors prior to printing. In 1977, the permission was retracted at the order of the Vatican, and McNeill was ordered by Cardinal Franjo Šeper not to write or speak publicly about homosexuality. In a statement McNeill responded that "gay men most likely to act out their sexual needs in a unsafe, compulive way, and therefore expose themselves to the HIV virus, are precisely those who have internalised the self-hatred that their religions impose on them.". In 1986, the Jesuit order subsequently dismissed him for "pertinacious disobedience" from the order and effectively the priesthood.:200
In 1977, a collective theological study on human sexuality was published, after being commissioned in 1972 by the Catholic Theological Society of America, which however did not approve the study, after members of its board of directors criticized its scholarship. In his Breaking Faith: The Pope, the People and the Fate of Catholicism, John Cornwell says the theology contained within the work extended the Vatican II focus on the procreative and unitive purposes of marital sexuality, to emphasise the creative and integrative aspects; and that it criticised the "oversimplification of the natural law theory of St. Thomas", and argued that "Homosexuals enjoy the same rights and incur the same obligations as the heterosxual majority".:129 The book showed that dissent from the Church's teaching on sexuality was common among United States theologians. Reaction to its publication showed that the dissent was not unanimous, even within the Catholic Theological Society of America itself.
In 1984, Cardinal Ratzinger asked Archbishop Gerety of Newark to withdraw his imprimatur from Sexual Morality by Philip S. Keane, and the Paulist Press ceased its publication. Keane had stated that homosexuality should not be considered absolutely immoral but only "if the act was placed without proportionate reason". The Catholic tradition had suffered 'historical distortions', and should be "ever open to better expressions".:200
In a letter of 25 July 1986 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith rebuked moral theologian Charles Curran for his published work and informed the Catholic University of America in Washington that he would "no longer be considered suitable nor eligible to exercise the function of a professor of Catholic theology". Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Prefect of the Congregation, expressed the hope that "this regrettable, but necessary, outcome to the Congregation's study might move you to reconsider your dissenting positions and to accept in its fullness the teaching of the Catholic Church". Curran had been critical of a number of the Catholic Church's teachings, including his contention that homosexual acts in the context of a committed relationship were good for homosexual people. This event "widened the gulf" between the Catholic episcopacy and academia in the United States.
Also in 1986 Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle was required to transfer authority concerning ministry to homosexuals to his auxiliary bishop. Hunthausen had earlier been investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for allowing Dignity, the association for gay Catholics, to hold Mass in Seattle cathedral on the grounds that: "They're Catholics too. They need a place to pray". "Bishops had been put on notice that pastoral ministry to homosexuals, unless it is based on clear condemnation of homosexual conduct, invites serious trouble with Rome".:201 In the same year Cardinal Ratzinger wrote to Bishop Matthew Clark of Rochester, in the US instructing him to remove his imprimatur from a book aimed at parents talking to children, Parents Talk Love: A Catholic Handbook on Sexuality written by Father Matthew Kawiak and Susan Sullivan, and which included information on homosexuality.:200
James Alison, a priest formerly a member of the Dominican Order and in the United Kingdom, has also argued that the teaching of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons regarding gay people is incompatible with the Gospel, and states that "it cannot in fact be the teaching of the Church." In a Question of Truth, the Dominican priest Gareth Moore states that: "... there are no good arguments, from either Scripture or natural law, against what have come to be known as homosexual relationships. The arguments put forward to show that such relationships are immoral are bad."
In 2012, a group of sixty-three former Catholic priests in the USA publicly announced their support for Referendum 74, which would make Washington the nation’s seventh state to legalize marriage between same-sex couples. "We are uneasy with the aggressive efforts of Catholic bishops to oppose R-74 and want to support the 71 percent of Catholics (Public Religion Research Institute) who support civil marriage for gays as a valid Catholic position," they said in a statement.
In 2013 in England and Wales, 27 prominent Catholics (mainly theologians and clergy) issued a public letter supporting the government's move to introduce same-sex civil marriage. The group included Fr James Alison, Tina Beattie, and Fr Kevin T. Kelly.
In October 2014, Wendelin Bucheli, a priest in Bürglen in the west of Switzerland was removed from his diocese by the local bishop after performing a blessing for a lesbian couple. He said he had discussed it with other members of the clergy before making the decision to acknowledge the relationship
In 2003 fewer than 35% of American Catholics supported same-sex marriage. However, a report by the Public Religion Research Institute on the situation in 2013 found that during that decade support for same-sex marriage has risen 22 percentage points among Catholics to 57%: 58% among white Catholics, 56% among Hispanic, with white Catholics more likely to offer "strong" support. Among Catholics who were regular churchgoers, 50% supported, 45% opposed.
A 2011 report by the same organisation found that 73% of American Catholics favoured anti-discrimination laws, 63% supported the right of gay people to serve openly in the military, and 60% favoured allowing same-sex couples to adopt children. The report also found Catholics to be more critical than other religious groups about how their church is handling the issue
Catholic support of gay rights is higher than that of other Christian groups and of the general population. A spokesperson for DignityUSA suggested that Catholic support for gay rights was due to the religion's tradition of social justice, the importance of the family, and better education.
A 2014 poll commissioned by the US-Spanish-language network Univision of more than 2,000 Catholics in 12 countries (Uganda, Spain, the US, Brazil, Argentina, France, Mexico, Italy, Colombia, Poland, the Philippines, and the DRC) found that two thirds of respondents were opposed to the idea of civil same-sex marriage, and around one third was in favor. However, the level of resistance varied between economically developing and developed countries, with 99% of respondents opposed in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo; but a majority in favour in Spain (63%) and the US (54%). Additionally, in all countries a majority of those polled said they did not think the Catholic Church should perform marriages between two people of the same sex - although the results again ranged with support strongest in Spain (43% in favour) to Uganda (99% against).
In January 2014 the former president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, strongly criticized the Catholic Church's approach to homosexuality in a lecture to the Royal Society of Edinburgh: "I don't like my church's attitude to gay people. I don't like 'love the sinner, hate the sin'. If you are the so-called sinner, who likes to be called that?" Her comments were welcomed by the Irish Association of Catholic Priests
The German bishops conference reported in February 2014 that in Germany "the Church's statements on premarital sexual relations, homosexuality, on those divorced and remarried, and on birth control ... are virtually never accepted, or are expressly rejected in the vast majority of cases"; and that there was "a 'marked tendency' among Catholics to accept legal recognition of same-sex unions as 'a commandment of justice' and they felt the Church should bless them, although most did not want gay marriage to be legalised".
DignityUSA was founded in the United States in 1969 as the first group for gay and lesbian Catholics shortly after the Stonewall riots. It developed from the ministry of Father Patrick Xavier Nidorf, an Augustinian priest. It believes that gay Catholics can "express our sexuality physically, in a unitive manner that is loving, life-giving, and life-affirming". It also seeks to "work for the development of sexual theology leading to the reform of [the church's] teachings and practices regarding human sexuality, and for the acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender peoples as full and equal members of the one Christ". In 1980, the Association of Priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago honored the Chicago branch of Dignity as the organization of the year. Meetings were initially held in San Diego and Los Angeles, before the organization ultimately became headquartered in Boston. It later spread to Canada. With the publication in 1987 of "On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons", which instructed bishops not to provide facilities for organizations that did not uphold Catholic teaching on homosexuality, Catholic bishops in Atlanta, Buffalo, Brooklyn, Pensacola and Vancouver immediately excluded Dignity chapters, and "within a few months the organization was unwelcome on church property anywhere".
The Rainbow Sash Movement covers two separate organizations created by and advanced by practicing LGBT Catholics who believe they should be able to receive Holy Communion. It has been most active in the United States, England, and Australia. The Rainbow Sash itself is a strip of a rainbow colored fabric which is worn over the left shoulder and is put on at the beginning of the Liturgy. The members go up to receive Eucharist. If denied, they go back to pews and remain standing, but if the Eucharist is received then they go back to the pew and kneel in the traditional way. Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said that members of the Rainbow Sash Movement disqualified themselves from Communion by making reception of it a display of opposition to the Church's teaching, while Archbishop Harry Joseph Flynn, when head of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, said that the decision to take Communion lay with individual Catholics as to their state of grace and freedom from mortal sin, but that receiving Communion should not be used as a protest. The movement in Illinois also planned to hold in a cathedral prayer for legalization of same-sex marriage, an initiative that Bishop Paprocki of Springfield called blasphemous.
In the United Kingdom, Quest is a group for lesbian, gay and bisexual Catholics with a purpose to "proclaim the gospel...so as to sustain and increase Christian belief among homosexual men and women." It was established and is led by lay Catholics. It was, however, taken out of the Catholic Directory because of its refusal to make clear its dissociation from active gay sexuality.:128
There are other groups operating around the world. many organising prayer meetings and retreats and making common cause in their desire to maintain their Catholic faith without hiding their sexuality. Some have called for official recognition of permanent partnerships as an effective way to curb homosexual promiscuity. In Germany there is "Homosexuelle und Kirche" (HuK); In France, "David et Jonathan" (with 25 local branches); In Spain, "Coorinadora Gai-Lesbiana"; In Italy there are a number of groups based in different parts of the country - "Davide e Gionata" (Turin), "Il Guado" (Milan), "La Parola" (Vicenza), "L'Incontro" (Padua), "Chiara e Francesco" (Udine), "L'Archipelago" (Reggio Emilia), "Il Gruppo" (Florence), "Nuova Proposta" (Rome), and "Fratelli dell' Elpis" (Catanaia). In the Netherlands there is a group called "Stichting Dignity Nederland". In Mexico, "Ottra Ovejas". And in South Africa a group called "Pilgrims".:128
Dismissal from work of Catholic LGB staff
In the United States in spring 2014, the Reverend Warren Hall was sacked from his job at New Jersey's Catholic Seton Hall University after posting a picture on Facebook in support of the "NOH8" campaign, and coming out as gay. The Archbishop of Newark felt the dismissal was justified as it raised serious questions where Hall stood in relation to important Church teachings. Warren has since called on Pope Francis to meet with LGBT representatives when he visits the US. arguing that "Good teachers are being fired, pastoral and compassionate priests and religious women are being silenced and accept it out of fear of being disciplined by their superiors, and good, faith-filled people are leaving the Church as they witness all of this happening".
A number of other Catholic gays and lesbians who are school teachers and parish ministers have also been fired following state and federal decisions to permit them to marry same-sex partners in a civil ceremony. In Philadelphia in 2013, Michael Griffin was fired from the Catholic-run Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem after applying for a marriage license in New Jersey to marry his male partner. In 2015, Margie Winters, the school's long-serving director of religious education was sacked from Waldron Mercy Academy. The school, run by the Sisters of Mercy, made the dismissal after a parent report her for marrying her lesbian partner. The Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput called it "common sense.".
Defense of Church teaching
An essay by the French Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim taking a clear position against gay marriage and denouncing the theory of acquired gender was quoted at length by Pope Benedict XVI in his 2012 Christmas address to the Roman Curia.
The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organisation, have also been active in political campaigns across the United States in the area of same-sex marriage. The Order contributed over $14 million to help maintain the legal definition of marriage as one man and one woman in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. Darren Hurwitz (a same-sex marriage proponent) has claimed that the Knights of Columbus has now become "one of the nation's largest funders of discrimination against gays and lesbians."
Catholic Medical Association
The Catholic Medical Association of North America claims that science "counters the myth that same-sex attraction is genetically predetermined and unchangeable, and offers hope for prevention and treatment." In their official journal, a peer-reviewed academic journal focusing on bioethics, homosexuality has been variously defined as "same-sex attraction disorder", a "psychological and behavioral condition for which people seek professional care", and "neurotic character syndrome", characterised by "personality immaturity, self-victimization, and self-centeredness". "MSM" (men who have sex with men) are claimed to have "a high rate of substance abuse problems and psychological disorders, and a significant percentage... have experienced childhood sexual abuse and other adverse events".
Terence Cardinal Cooke of New York City saw a need for a ministry which would assist gay Catholics to adhere to Catholic teaching on sexual behaviour. Cooke invited John Harvey to New York to begin the work of Courage International with Benedict Groeschel, of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. The first meeting was held in September 1980 at the Shrine of Mother Seton in South Ferry. The group consists of laymen and laywomen usually under anonymous discretion, together with a priest, to encourage its members to abstain from acting on their sexual desires and to live chastely according to the Catholic Church's teachings on homosexuality".
Homosexuality and Catholic clergy
Homosexual clergy, and homosexual activity by clergy, are not exclusively modern phenomena. In response to scandals among ordinary clergy, Saint Peter Damian wrote his Liber Gomorrhianus (1050), which denounced, in ascending order of gravity, four varieties of sexual practice: masturbation, mutual masturbation, interfemoral intercourse, and anal intercourse.
Estimates presented in Donald B. Cozzens' book The Changing Face of the Priesthood of the percentage of gay priests range from 23–58%; suggesting a higher than average numbers of homosexual men (active and non-active) within the Catholic priesthood and higher orders.
The 1961 Instruction issued by the Sacred Congregation for Religious, Careful Selection And Training Of Candidates For The States Of Perfection And Sacred Orders (Religiosorum institutio), stated that "Advantage [sic] to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers." Bishops had discretion in allowing the further instruction of offending but penitent seminarians, and held homosexuals to the same standards of celibate chastity as heterosexual seminarians.
In 1997, the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued a letter to the world's bishops giving guidelines for candidates for the seminary stipulating, "sufficient affective maturity and a clearly masculine sexual identity." It reiterated the policy in 2002: "Ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood of homosexual men or men with homosexual tendencies is absolutely inadvisable and imprudent and, from the pastoral point of view, very risky. A homosexual person, or one with a homosexual tendency is not, therefore, fit to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders."
In November 2005, the Congregation for Catholic Education under the direction of John Paul II, issued a document entitled an Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders. It stated that,"the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture". Under the policy, men with 'transitory' homosexual tendencies may be ordained deacons following three years of prayer and chastity, but men with 'deeply rooted homosexual tendencies' may never be ordained. While not a new moral teaching, the document enhanced vigilance in barring homosexuals from seminaries, and from the priesthood. While the preparation for this document had started 10 years before its publication, this instruction was seen at the time as an official "answer" by the Catholic Church to several sex scandals involving priests in the late 20th/early 21st century, including the American Roman Catholic sex abuse cases and a 2004 sex scandal in a seminary at St. Pölten (Austria). There were some questions on how distinctions between deep-seated and transient homosexuality, as proposed by the document, will be applied in practice: the actual distinction that is made might be between those who abuse, and those who don't. However, by distinguishing between homosexual orientation and homosexual acts, the Vatican directive was technically according to Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York "not tout court a no-gays policy". The National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries criticized the document for implying that homosexuality was the cause of the sexual abuse crisis and was associated with pedophilia.
In May 2008, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, acting on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI, confirmed as applying to all Catholic seminaries everywhere the 2005 declaration that "the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called 'gay culture'." Subsequently in 2010, Bertone, commenting publicly on the clerical abuse crisis, said that "many psychologists and psychiatrists have demonstrated that there is no relation between celibacy and pedophilia". He said they do believe, however, "that there is a relation between homosexuality and pedophilia. "That is true. ... That is the problem." In fact academic literature supports no link between homosexuality and child abuse, within the clergy or not. The secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, Father Aloysius Stock, commented: "There is no empirical data which concludes that sexual orientation is connected to sexual abuse... " A study by Tallon and Terry examining the evidence on clergy abusers in the USA concluded that where priests had multiple victims, fewer than half of them had repeatedly abused victims of the same age and gender. While a further study by John Jay suggested that in fact "the abuse decreased as more gay priests began serving in the church". The gay rights activist Peter Tatchell has argued that "Scapegoating gay people within the Church is both a way for the Vatican to wash its hands of responsibility for the clerical abuse that has taken place and also a way to further demonise gay people and justify the church's anti-gay policies" Furthermore, "Many gay clergy have entrenched the homophobia of the Vatican. They espouse it with great enthusiasm, seeking to atone for their own homosexuality by being ever more homophobic".
Homosexuality and the episcopacy
The existence of gay bishops in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and other traditions is a matter of historical record, though never, until recently, considered licit by any of the main Christian denominations. Homosexual activity was engaged in secretly. When it was made public, official response ranged from inaction to expulsion from Holy Orders. As far back as the eleventh century, Ralph, Archbishop of Tours had his lover installed as Bishop of Orléans, yet neither Pope Urban II, nor his successor Paschal II took action to depose either man.
Although homosexual sexual acts have been consistently condemned by the Catholic Church, a number of senior members of the clergy have been found to have had homosexual relationships. Archbishop Rembert Weakland, who retired in 2002, was alleged to have been in a relationship with a former graduate student; Juan Carlos Maccarone, the Bishop of Santiago del Estero in Argentenia, retired after video surfaced showing him engaged in homosexual acts; and Francisco Domingo Barbosa Da Silveira, the Bishop of Minas in Uruguay, resigned in 2009 after it was alleged that he had broken his vow of celibacy. In 2012, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, described as the Catholic Primate of Scotland, was forced to retire prematurely because of complaints that he had made "inappropriate approaches" or "inappropriate contacts" of a homosexual character.
A number of Popes were rumored to have been homosexual or to have had male sexual partners. In the 11th century, Pope Benedict IX (1044–1048) was forced out of the papacy amidst a series of scandals, including his sexual orientation toward men. Pope Paul II (1417–1471) was said by detractors to have died while being sodomised by a page boy. Pope Sixtus IV (1414–1484) was called a "lover of boys and sodomites". Pope Leo X (1475–1521) was believed to have engaged in "unnatural vice". Despite having fathered a daughter, there were contemporary suggestions that Pope Julius II (1443–1513) was homosexual. The reputation of Pope Julius III (1487–1555), and that of the Catholic Church, were greatly harmed by his scandal-ridden relationship with his adopted nephew.
Decriminalization of homosexuality
The Catholic church has intervened both to support efforts decriminalize homosexuality, and to ensure it remains an offence under criminal law. In the 1960s, the Catholic Church supported the call of the Wolfenden report to introduce legislation to decriminalise homosexual acts in England and Wales. In Australia, Cardinal Archbishop Norman Thomas Gilroy supported efforts begun in the 1970s to likewise change the law. In the United States the Catholic National Federation of Priests' Councils declared their opposition to "all civil laws which make consensual homosexual acts between adults a crime".
In Malta, however, Catholic bishops opposed efforts to remove homosexual acts from the criminal code; something which was finally done in 1973. In New Zealand, Cardinal Williams issued in 1985 a statement opposing homosexual law reform, arguing that "to decriminalize homosexuality could suggest to some people that it was morally and socially permissible"; but the Church there declined to submit a formal response to the parliamentary enquiry. In later years, the local Catholic Church opposed or took action against decriminalization of homosexuality in Belize. In India, too, the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council opposed decriminalisation, but Cardinal Oswald Gracias, a President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India and one of the eight members of Pope Francis's Council of Cardinal Advisers, declared it wrong to make gay people criminals, since the Catholic Church "teaches that homosexuals have the same dignity of every human being and condemns all forms of unjust discrimination, harassment or abuse". Homosexuality remains illegal in Belize and India.
In Nigeria, Cardinal John Onaiyekan was thought to have tacitly approved of a May 2013 bill criminalizing same-sex relationships and participation in gay rights organizations. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, the Archbishop of Jos described the same law as "courageous" when first signed, praising the Government's action "against the conspiracy of the developed world to make our country and continent, the dumping ground for the promotion of all immoral practices." However, shortly after he went on to argue that the Catholic Church would "defend any person with a homosexual orientation who is being harassed, who is being imprisoned, who is being punished". Reports suggested that the influence of Pope Francis may have led to him modifying his initial rhetoric. Days later a editorial in "The Southern Cross" (a newspaper run jointly by the bishops of South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland) criticised the new Nigerian law, calling on the Catholic Church in Africa to stand with the powerless and "sound the alarm at the advance throughout Africa of draconian legislation aimed at criminalizing homosexuals." It noted the "deep-seated sense of homophobia" in Africa and said the Catholic church had too often been "silent, in some cases even quietly complicit" in the face of the new anti-gay measures.
In June 2012, Catholic bishops in Uganda, a country where 42% of the population is Catholic, participated in a joint Christian urging of Parliament to pass the anti-homosexuality bill, which originally (in 2009) proposed the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality",. In that declaration, Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga joined other religious leaders calling on parliamentarians to make progress in enacting legislation that would broaden criminalisation of same-sex relations. They asked Ugandan Christians "to remain steadfast in opposing the phenomena of homosexuality, lesbianism and same-sex union". This contrasted with an earlier statement tabled in 2009 by the Ugandan Bishop's Conference which said the Bill did not "pass the test of a caring Christian approach to the issue" and that "the targeting of the sinner, not the sin, is the core flaw of the proposed Bill. The introduction of the death penalty and imprisonment for homosexual acts targets people rather than seeking to counsel and to reach out in compassion to those who need conversion, repentance, support, and hope." It contrasted also with reaction to the passage of the bill in December 2013, with imprisonment for life as the maximum punishment instead of the death penalty, and its signing into law by President Museveni in February 2014. The Papal Nuncio to Uganda, Archbishop Michael Blume, voiced concern and shock at the bill, and Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Holy See's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, stated that "homosexuals are not criminals" and should not be sent to prison for life. At the same time he called on the international community to continue providing aid to Uganda.
The Holy See, an observer at the United Nations, opposed both informally and formally a 2008 proposed declaration opposing human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity, such as criminalization (including the death penalty), violence, and discrimination, and affirming the principles of human rights without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. In an interview published on 1 December 2008, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See's representative at the United Nations General Assembly, said of the proposed declaration that it "asked for the addition of new categories to be protected against discrimination without taking into account that, if adopted, these would create terrible new discriminations" such as, he said, pillorying and pressuring of states that do not recognize as marriage a union between persons of the same sex. or to provide adoption rights to gays and lesbians. Speaking on the floor of the General Assembly on 18 December 2008, he said: "The Holy See appreciates the attempts made [in the draft declaration] to condemn all forms of violence against homosexual persons as well as urge States to take necessary measures to put an end to all criminal penalties against them", but added that its failure to define the terms "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" would produce "serious uncertainty" and "undermine the ability of States to enter into and enforce new and existing human rights conventions and standards". In Italy, the gay association Arcigay and the newspaper La Repubblica decried the stance of the Holy See. An editorial in La Stampa, a general circulation newspaper, said the Vatican's reasoning was "grotesque".
During discussion at the 16th session of the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 of a Joint Statement on Ending Violence and Related Human Rights Violations Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, the Holy See's representative, Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, stated: "A state should never punish a person, or deprive a person of the enjoyment of any human right, based just on the person's feelings and thoughts, including sexual thoughts and feelings. But states can, and must, regulate behaviors, including various sexual behaviors. Throughout the world, there is a consensus between societies that certain kinds of sexual behaviors must be forbidden by law. Pedophilia and incest are two examples." He later said of that resolution that recognizing gay rights would cause discrimination against religious leaders and that there was concern lest consequent legislation would lead to "natural marriages and families" being "socially downgraded".
On 28 January 2012, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, gave a speech calling on African nations to repeal laws that place sanctions on homosexual conduct. Speaking to a journalist, African Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, called the speech stupid. The journalist reported: "Asked if Ban Ki-moon was overstepping his responsibilities, Cardinal Sarah replied: 'Sure, you cannot impose something stupid like that.' He added: 'Poor countries like Africa just accept it because it's imposed upon them through money, through being tied to aid.'" He said that African bishops must react against this move against African culture.
Discrimination against homosexuals
Siker has described the Church as sending "mixed signals" regarding discrimination based on sexual orientation. It does not regard such an orientation is comparable to gender or race differentiation and so actively opposes the extension of at least some aspects of civil rights legislation to gay men and lesbians.:194
The Vatican holds that there are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account.:193 In 1992, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a statement under the title "Some Considerations Concerning the Catholic Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-Discrimination of Homosexual Persons". It commented that some "municipal authorities made public housing, otherwise reserved for families, available to homosexual (and unmarried heterosexual) couples" and said that "such initiatives ... may in fact have a negative impact on the family and society", affecting "such things as the adoption of children, the employment of teachers, the housing needs of genuine families, landlords' legitimate concerns in screening potential tenants". After recalling what it had already stated in its 1986 letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the pastoral care of homosexual persons, it declared that, because of the moral concern that sexual orientation raises, it is different from qualities such as race, ethnicity, sex or age, and therefore "there are areas where it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account, for example, in the placement of children for adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or athletic coaches, and in military recruitment". Limitation of rights is permissible, and sometimes even obligatory, in cases of "objectively disordered external conduct", even if the conduct is not culpable, as in the case of "contagious or mentally ill persons", the exercise of whose rights can justly, for the sake of the common good, be restricted.
The United States Conference of Bishops wrote to all members of the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labour and Pensions in 2013 to register its opposition to a proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The proposed legislation would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by civilian, nonreligious employers with at least 15 employees. While they expressed their belief that "no one should be an object of scorn, hatred, or violence for any reason, including sexual inclination", the bishops declared: "We have a moral obligation to oppose any law that would be so likely to contribute to legal attempts to redefine marriage". In 1999, the trustees of Notre Dame University, a Catholic university in the USA rejected a proposal to amend their antidiscrimination clause to include sexual orientation along with characteristics such as race, color, and gender.
In July 2013, Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez referred to President Obama's nominee for Dominican Republic’s ambassador by the anti-gay slur maricón. In 2011 a Catholic bishop in Peru, Luis Bambarén, was forced to apologize for using the same word in commenting, when answering journalists' questions on plans to legalise same-sex marriage, on the use in Spanish of the English word "gay": "I do not know why we talk about Gays. Let's speak in Creole or Castilian: They're faggots. That's how you say it, right?" He later apologized, saying: "It is an offensive word, and [homosexuals] deserve respect." In May 2014 the Archbishop of Monrovia, Liberia, Lewis Zeigler, was reported as saying against the backdrop of the Ebola outbreak that "one of the major transgressions against God for which He may be punishing Liberia is the act of homosexuality".
In 2014 the United Nation's Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern in a report about the Holy See's past statements and declarations on homosexuality which it said "contribute to the social stigmatization of and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescents and children raised by same sex couples". The Committee urged the Holy See to "make full use of its moral authority to condemn all forms of harassment, discrimination or violence against children based on their sexual orientation or the sexual orientation of their parents and to support efforts at international level for the decriminalisation of homosexuality."
In contrast, in May 2014, Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta attended an event organised by the Maltese Catholic gay rights group Drachma to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. In Ireland, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin reacted to concerns over anti-gay comments in the media by saying that "anybody who doesn’t show love towards gay and lesbian people is insulting God. They are not just homophobic if they do that — they are actually Godophobic because God loves every one of those people."
Campaign against same-sex marriage and civil unions
In recent years, the Catholic Church has resisted legislative efforts by governments to give equal rights to gay men and women through the establishment of either civil unions or same-sex marriage.
On 3 June 2003, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a document with the agreement of Pope John Paul II called "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons" opposing the very idea of same-sex marriage. This document made clear that "legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour ... but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity". Catholic legislators were instructed that supporting such recognition would be "gravely immoral", and that they must do all they could do actively oppose it, bearing in mind that "the approval or legalisation of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil". The document said that allowing children to be adopted by people living in homosexual union would actually mean doing violence to them, and stated: "There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law."
On 9 March 2012, Pope Benedict XVI, denouncing "the powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage", currents that the Washington Post described as a "cultural shift toward gay marriage in U.S.", told a group of United States bishops on their ad limina visit to Rome that "the Church's conscientious effort to resist this pressure calls for a reasoned defense of marriage as a natural institution consisting of a specific communion of persons, essentially rooted in the complementarity of the sexes and oriented to procreation. Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage."
In the United States, the leadership of the Catholic Church has taken an active and financial role in political campaigns across all states regarding same-sex marriage. Human Rights Campaign said that the church spent nearly $2 million in 2012 toward unsuccessful campaigns against gay marriage in four states (Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington), representing a significant share of the contributions used to fund anti-gay marriage campaigns, although a 2012 Pew Research Center poll indicated that Catholics in the United States generally who support gay marriage outnumber those who oppose it at 52 percent to 37 percent
In addition to financially supporting political campaigns against same-sex marriage, the church has also urged its followers to campaign and vote against it, distributing anti-gay-marriage DVDs and asking parishioners to write to lawmakers and urge them to oppose the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. In Washington State, for example, the four Catholic bishops were reported as "intensifying a campaign of pastoral statements and videos urging parishoners to vote against marriage equality" under Referendum 74.
Bishops and archbishops have described same-sex marriage as against nature and a risk to spiritual well-being and discouraged Catholics from attending same-sex weddings, as well as from taking communion if they supported same-sex marriage.
In July 2003, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Canada, the country's plurality religion, protested the Chrétien government's plans to include same-sex couples in civil marriage. The church criticisms were accompanied by Vatican claims that Catholic politicians should vote according to their personal beliefs rather than the policy of the government. Amid a subsequent backlash in opinion, the church remained quiet on the subject until late 2004, when the Bishop of Calgary, Frederick Henry, wrote a pastoral letter calling homosexual behaviour "an evil act" and seeming to call for its outlaw by the government, saying "Since homosexuality, adultery, prostitution and pornography undermine the foundations of the family, the basis of society, then the State must use its coercive power to proscribe or curtail them in the interests of the common good."
In 2004, George Hugh Niederauer, as Bishop of Salt Lake City, who opposed same-sex marriage, spoke against a proposal to include a ban against it in the Utah state constitution, saying that he feared it excluded unions other than marriage and that the prohibition by law was sufficient But in 2008, as Archbishop of San Francisco, he campaigned in favor of California's Proposition 8, a ballot measure to recognize heterosexual marriage constitutionally as the only valid marriage within California, and was said to have been instrumental in forging alliances between Catholics and Mormons to support the measure. His successor, Salvatore Cordileone, had been instrumental in devising the initiative. Campaign finance records show he personally gave at least $6,000 to back the voter-approved ban and was instrumental in raising $1.5 million to put the proposition on the ballot. Subsequently, as Cardinal Archbishop of San Francisco, he called for an amendment to the US Constitution as "the only remedy in law against judicial activism" following the striking down of a number of state same-sex marriage bans by federal judges. He also attended and addressed the audience at the "March for Marriage", a rally opposing marriage for same-sex couples, in Washington, D.C. in June 2014, in spite of being warned by Nancy Pelosi against doing so.
In 2010, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops clarified the criteria for the funding of community development programs by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. One criterion was exclusion of organizations advancing activities that run counter to Catholic teaching, examples of which included those that support or promote same-sex marriage or discrimination.
Catholic Church figures have also criticized attempts to legalize same-sex marriage in Europe. Pope John Paul II criticized same-sex marriage when it was introduced in the Netherlands in 2001, and cardinals in Scotland and France said that it was a danger to society.
In Spain and Portugal, Catholic leaders led the opposition to same-sex marriage, urging their followers to vote against it or to refuse to implement the marriages should they become legal. In May 2010, during an official visit to Portugal four days before the ratification of the law, Pope Benedict XVI, affirmed his opposition by describing it as "insidious and dangerous".
In 2010 in Ireland, Sean Brady (the Archbishop of Armagh) unsuccessfully asked Irish Catholics to resist government proposals for same-sex civil partnerships, and the Irish episcopal conference said that they discriminated against people in non-sexual relationships. In April 2013, when the legalization of same-sex marriage was being discussed, the Irish Bishops Conference stated in their submission to a constitutional convention that, if the civil definition of marriage was changed to include same-sex marriage, so that it differed from the church's own definition, they could no longer perform civil functions at weddings.
In the predominantly Catholic countries of Italy and Croatia the Catholic Church has been the main opponent to either the introduction of civil unions or marriage for same-sex-couples. In July 2013, 750,000 signatures (a fifth of Croatia's total population) were collected by Church leaders for a petition calling on law-makers to ensure the prohibition on same-sex marriage was embedded in the national Constitution.
In response to efforts to introduce same-sex marriage in Uruguay in 2013, Pablo Galimberti, the Bishop of Salto, on behalf of the Uruguayan Bishops Council, said that marriage was "an institution that is already so injured" and that the proposed law would "confuse more than clarify". The proposal nevertheless became law, with strong public support.
In Cameroon, Victor Tonye Bakot, the Archbishop of Yaounde, urged parishioners in 2012 that:"Marriage of persons of the same sex is a serious crime against humanity. We need to stand up to combat it with all our energy". At the start of 2013 the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon followed this up by issuing a public statement urging "all believers and people of good will to reject homosexuality and so-called ‘gay marriage’".
In 2014, the Catholic Bishops Conference in Nigeria welcomed legislation passed by the government to make participation in a same-sex marriage a crime punishable by 14 years imprisonment. It noted the move as a "courageous act" and a "step in the right direction". The Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, argued that the action was "in line with the moral and ethical values of the Nigerian and African cultures", and blessed President Goodluck Jonathan in not bowing to international pressure: "To protect you and yor administration against the conspiracy of the developed world to make our country and continent, the dumping ground for the promotion of immoral practices".
Acceptance of civil unions
There has been some dissent expressed in recent years by senior and notable figures in the Catholic Church on whether support should not be given for homosexual civil unions.
In his book Credere e conoscere, published shortly before his death, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the former Archbishop of Milan, set out his disagreement with opposition by Catholics to homosexual civil unions: "I disagree with the positions of those in the Church, that take issue with civil unions", he wrote."It is not bad, instead of casual sex between men, that two people have a certain stability" and said that the "state could recognize them". Although he stated his belief that "the homosexual couple, as such, can never be totally equated to a marriage", he also said that he could understand (although not necessarily approve of) gay pride parades when they support the need for self-affirmation.
In 2006 Thedore McCarrick, as Archbishop of Washington, indicated an acceptance for such unions. In 2013 Christoph Schonborn, the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna stated "There can be same-sex partnerships and they need respect, and even civil law protection." Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota has said: "Other unions have the right to exist, no one can ask them not to, but they should not be equated to marriage". The former Papal Master of Ceremonies, Archbishop Piero Marini has said: "Church and state should not be enemies to one another. In these discussions, it's necessary, for instance, to recognize the union of persons of the same sex, because there are many couples that suffer because their civil rights aren't recognized." Godfried Danneels, Archbishop Emeritus of Brussels has called the legalisation of same-sex civil marriage "a positive evolution", and added that the Church has nothing to say about whether states can legalise civil marriage for gay people Cardinal Rainer Woelki the Archbishop of Berlin has also stated: "If two homosexuals take responsibility for each other when they deal permanent and faithful to each other, you have to see it in a similar way as heterosexual relationships."
Over 260 Catholic theologians, particularly from Germany, Switzerland and Austria (including Hans Küng), signed in January and February 2011 a memorandum, called Church 2011, which said that the Church's esteem for marriage and celibacy "does not require the exclusion of people who responsibly live out love, faithfulness, and mutual care in same-sex partnerships or in a remarriage after divorce".
Pope Francis too, speaking of homosexual persons, said that "the key is for the church to welcome, not exclude and show mercy, not condemnation." "Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people," he stated, "but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person."
It has been suggested that Pope Francis, when Archbishop of Buenos Aires, urged fellow Argentine bishops in 2010 to signal the Church's public support for civil unions, as a compromise response to calls for same-sex marriage. This was at the time that Argentina, which already permitted civil unions, was debating a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children, a move that Cardinal Bergoglio strongly opposed as leading to a situation that "can seriously harm the family…At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God." In a 2010 book written as Archbishop of Buenos Aires with Jewish Rabbi Abraham Skorka (recently published in English), Bergoglio also spoke of same-sex marriage as "a weakening of the institution of marriage, an institution that has existed for thousands of years and is 'forged according to nature and anthropology'."
In the first days of 2014, Bishop Charles J. Scicluna of Malta reported that in a private conversation held with Pope Francis in December 2013, he repeated the phrase about same-sex marriage used in the earlier Argentine letter - that it was "an anthropological regression".
In January 2014 during a conversation with leaders of religious orders, Pope Francis spoke of the importance of education in the context of the difficulties now facing children; indicating that the Church had a challenge in not being welcoming enough of children brought up in a multiplicity of household arrangements - including the children of gay couples He mentioned as an example a case of a child with a mother living in a lesbian relationship:The educator should be up to being a person who educates, he or she should consider how to proclaim Jesus Christ to a generation that is changing. He insisted, therefore: "Education today is a key, key, key mission!" And he recalled some of his experiences in Buenos Aires regarding the preparation necessary to welcome children in an educational context, little boys and girls, young adults who live in complex situations, especially family ones: "I remember the case of a very sad little girl who finally confided to her teacher the reason for her state of mind: 'my mother's fiancée doesn't like me.' The percentage of children studying in schools who have separated parents is very high. The situation in which we live now provides us with new challenges which sometimes are difficult for us to understand. How can we proclaim Christ to these boys and girls? How can we proclaim Christ to a generation that is changing? We must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them."
Italian media presented this as "an opening to legal provision for civil unions for gay couples, a subject of debate in Italy". The Director of the Holy See Press Office called this presentation paradoxical and a manipulation of the pope's words, especially since some media reported him as if he were "speaking specifically of homosexual unions", although he was only talking about the difficulties of children, not making a declaration on the debate in Italy.
On 5 March 2014, in an interview with the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, Pope Francis said: "Marriage is between a man and a woman. Secular states want to justify civil unions to regulate different situations of cohabitation, pushed by the demand to regulate economic aspects between persons, such as ensuring health care. It is about pacts of cohabitating of various natures, of which I wouldn’t know how to list the different ways. One needs to see the different cases and evaluate them in their variety." Some, including Catholic News Service, interpreted this as suggesting that the Catholic Church could tolerate some types of non-marital civil unions as a practical measure for the purposes indicated. The English-language assistant of the Holy See Press Office stated that "civil unions" is a term that in Italy refers to non-religious marriages by the state, and that, in using it, "Pope Francis spoke in very general terms, and did not specifically refer to same-sex marriage as a civil union".
Notable lesbian, gay and bisexual Catholics
- A number of influential Italian Catholic artists of the Renaissance and the Baroque who were notable for their religious paintings and sculpture were considered to have been homosexual or bisexual. These include Donatello, Sandro Botticelli,Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. In addition, Michelangelo Buonarotti was noted for painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel under which popes are elected to this day.
- Andy Warhol was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art; and whose homosexuality strongly influenced his work. He was a Ruthenian Catholic and regularly volunteered at homeless shelters in New York to practice his faith; describing himself as a religious person and regularly attending mass
Politicians, military leaders, and royalty
- The military commander of the Catholic Imperial forces in the Holy Roman Empire, Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663 – 1736) was predominantly homosexual
- Christina, Queen of Sweden (1626 – 1689) reigned from 1632 before her abdication in 1654. Modern biographers generally consider her to have been a lesbian, and her affairs with women were noted during her lifetime. She was a prominent convert to Catholicism in 1654, and is the only woman to be buried in the crypt of St. Peters Basilica in Rome.
- Archduke Ludwig Viktor of Austria (1842 – 1919) was the younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and a homosexual transvestite.
- Ludwig II (1845 – 1886) was King of the Catholic German state of Bavaria from 1864 until his death; it is known from his diary and private letters that he had strong homosexual desires which he tried to suppress. He remained a devout Catholic throughout his life and attended services regularly; building chapels for prayer within his castles, and commissioning religious art.
- Pim Fortuyn was a Dutch politician, civil servant, sociologist, author and professor who formed his own political party. He was openly gay.
Clergy and religious
- Benedetta Carlini (1591-1660) was the abbess of the Convent of the Mother of God in Pescia who shared her cell with Sister Bartolomea. When the two nuns made love, Sister Benedetta said she experienced mystical visions and angelic possession. The church authorities investigated the mystical experiences and, upon discovering her lesbian sexuality, stripped her of her position as abbess and held her under guard for the remainder of her life.
- Henry Benedict Stuart was a Roman Catholic cardinal, as well as the fourth and final Jacobite heir to claim the thrones of England, Scotland, France and Ireland publicly; several contemporaries strongly suggested he was homosexual (although chaste).
- Antonio Barberini (1607 - 1671) was an Italian Catholic cardinal, Archbishop of Reims, military leader, patron of the arts and a prominent member of the House of Barberini. He was also bisexual.
- In Britain, a number of late 19th-century authors who converted to Catholicism were gay or bisexual, among them Oscar Wilde, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Alfred Douglas, Marc-André Raffalovich, Robert Hugh Benson, Frederick Rolfe and John Gray. These male writers sometimes found, in their Catholicism, a means of writing about their attraction to and desire for relationships with other men. Wilde, who had Catholic tendencies throughout his life and converted on his deathbed, wrote himself in De Profundis, during his imprisonment and hard labor, as akin to Christ embodying suffering, and invoked Christ's transformative power for the oppressed. Wilde's sometime lover, the poet John Gray was also a Catholic. Raffalovich compared the physicality and the ecstasy of devotion to Christ to same-sex erotic desire; Hopkins's work as well is strongly marked by physicality and eroticism in its religious references, and the poet, who was reminded of Christ by other men that he found beautiful, dwelt on the physicality of Christ's body and intimacy of his comfort and love.
- Radclyffe Hall, author of The Well of Loneliness, was also a convert to Catholicism. Joanne Glasgow writes that for Hall and other lesbians of the early twentieth century, such as Alice B. Toklas, the church's erasure of female sexuality offered a cover for lesbianism.
- Marcel Proust was one of the first European novelists to feature homosexuality openly and at length; and was himself considered to have been homosexual.
- Tennessee Williams was an American playwright and author of many stage classics. He believed that his work was full of deep Christian symbolism, and admitted loving "the beauty of the ritual in the Mass"; yet nevertheless thought the tenets of the Roman Catholic church themselves "ridiculous".
- Michelangelo Signorile is an American journalist, author and talk radio host; he is openly gay.
- John Boswell was a prominent historian and a professor at Yale University, and gay. Many of Boswell's studies focused on the issue of religion and homosexuality, specifically Christianity and homosexuality.
Singers and musicians
- Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 921) was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. It's generally thought today that Saint-Saëns was homosexual, but married a woman and tried to live a conventional life.
- Jeanine Deckers (d. 1985) was known as The Singing Nun or Sœur Sourire. She was a Belgian singer-songwriter and was at one time a member of the Dominican Order. After leaving the order, she remained a practicing Catholic. Some 14 years later, she began a lesbian relationship with a lifelong friend.
- Vaslav Nijinsky was a Russian ballet dancer and choreographer of Polish descent, cited as the greatest male dancer of the early 20th century. He was romantically involved with Sergei Diaghilev.
- The pianist and entertainer, Liberace was recognized during his career with two Emmy Awards, six gold albums and two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He enjoyed a four year relationship with Scott Thorson. Described as a devout Catholic, he was received in a private audience by Pope Pius XII
- Josephine Baker was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture, or to become a world-famous entertainer.
- Francis Poulenc was a French composer and pianist. He was predominantly gay, yet struggled with his sexuality. Following the death of a close friend in the 1930s, he rediscovered his Roman Catholic faith and replaced the ironic nature of neo-classicism with a new-found spiritual depth.
- The Lebanese-British singer-songwriter, Mika Penniman has acknowledged his Catholic upbringing but has written about his conflicting relationship with the Catholic Church and it's stance on homosexuality in his music. He still considers himself Roman Catholic, and has indicated that his song "The Origin of Love" is about religion. "It’s about the Roman Catholic Church, which I love dearly – even though I’m not a bigot and I’m not in denial of the human condition. Yet, at the same time, it’s a very strange thing, ’cause I’m very respectful of that world."
Actors and directors
- Pedro Almodóvar (b.1949) is a Spanish film director, screenwriter, producer and former actor. He is openly gay. Many of his films contain strong Catholic imagery. His film "Dark Habits" (1993) features a mother superior in a convent who is also a lesbian. The 2004 film "Bad Education" deals with the theme of the sexual abuse of children at the hands of Catholic priests.
- Biography of John F. Harvey
- Catholics United
- Courage International
- Homosexuals Anonymous
- Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders
- Integrity USA, a similar group of organizations for members of the Anglican Communion
- Joel 2:25 International
- LGBT-welcoming church programs
- List of Christian denominational positions on homosexuality
- Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination
- New Ways Ministry
- On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons
- Ordination of LGBT Christian clergy
- Restored Hope Network
- "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- "Chastity and homosexuality". Catechism of the Catholic Church - Article 6: The sixth commandment. Vatican.va. 1951-10-29. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, "Marriage: Unique for a Reason", section 1, question 4
- John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary
- Edward Pentin, "Pope Repeats that Same-Sex 'Marriage' is 'Anthropological Regression'" in National Catholic Register, 3 January 2014
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations regarding proposals to give recognition to unions between homosexual persons, 5
- Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 228-229
- Michael Hellgren, "Catholic Church Strongly Opposed To Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage In Md.", in CBS, Baltimore
- Submission to the Constitutional Convention by the Council for Marriage and the Family of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference
- Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons, 2003, points 7 and 8
- Comment. "We cannot afford to indulge this madness". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-04-29
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- "Vatican condemns Spain gay bill". BBC News. 2005-04-22. Retrieved 2007-01-08
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- Bishops issue warning over bid to legalise gay marriages
- "Croatia says 'I do' to gay civil unions". Gay Star News. 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
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- Benjamin Mann, "Vatican official: UN gay 'rights' agenda endangers Church's freedom" (Catholic News Agency, 8 July 2011)
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- Ing, Dr (2009-03-23). "Malta Gay News Library: Leħen is-Sewwa 1973: Ittra Pastorali kontra d-Dekriminalazzjoni ta' l-Omosesswalità" [Voice of Sewwa 1973: Pastoral Letter against Decriminalization of Homosexuality] (in Maltese). Patrickattard.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
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- Full text of Archbishop Migliore's statement at the United Nations on 18 December 2008
- "SEXUAL OFFENCES (No. 2) (Hansard, 5 July 1966)". Hansard.millbanksystems.com. 1966-07-05. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- Ed. Yorick Smaal, Out Here: Gay and Lesbian Perspectives VI, Monash University
- "Supreme Court rules homosexuality is a crime. Archbishop of Mumbai: Gays are not criminals".
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Refworld | Philippines: Treatment of homosexuals and state protection available (2000-2005)". UNHCR. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- Newport, Frank. "For First Time, Majority of Americans Favor Legal Gay Marriage". Gallup. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
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- Stewart 2003, p. 184
- "Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2358-2359". Scborromeo.org. 1951-10-29. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- Originally published in French in Catéchisme de l'Église Catholique. Tours/Paris: Mame/Plon. 1992. p. 584. ISBN 2-266-00585-5.
Ils ne choisissent pas leur condition homosexuelle; elle constitue pour la plupart d'entre eux une épreuveSee "Modifications from the Edito Typica". Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church website/Amministrazione Del Patrimonio Della Sede Apostolica. 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2012. and James Martin, S.J. (12 January 2012). "Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity". blog. America. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- Persona Humana, 1975
- Michael L. Coulter, Richard S. Myers, Joseph A. Varacalli (editors), Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy: Supplement (Scarecrow Press 2012 ISBN 978-0-81088266-9), p. 273
- Siker, Jeffrey S. (2007). Homosexuality And Religion: An Encyclopedia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 163.
- John L. Allen, Benedict XVI: A Biography, Continuum, 2005
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- Latin text of the letter
- Scarnecchia, D. Brian (2010). Bioethics, Law, and Human Life Issues. Scarecrow Press. p. 221. ISBN 978-0-81087423-7. By "disordered", the letter means that homosexuality is a departure from the norm and not, as usage in English could suggest, sinful, demeaning or sickly. (O'Rourke, Kevin D. (1999). Medical Ethics. Georgetown University Press. p. 199. ISBN 978-0-87840722-4.)
- Robert J. Dempsey, "The Catholic Church's Teaching about Same-Sex Marriage" in The Linacre Quarterly, vol 75 (2008), p. 77
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, 1 October 1986
- Grabowski, John S. (2003). Sex and Virtue: An Introduction to Sexual Ethics. Catholic University of America Press.
- Scarnecchia (2010)
- Jeffrey Siker, Homosexuality and Religion
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- Primiano, Leonard Norman. "The gay god of the city: the emergence of the gay and lesbian ethnic parish". Gay religion. Rowman Altamira. p. 10.
- Gillis, Chester (2013). Roman Catholicism in America. Columbia University Press. p. 178.
- Peddicord, Richard (1996). Gay and Lesbian Rights: A Question - Sexual Ethics Or Social Justice?. Rowman and Littlefield. p. viii.
- Weaver, Mary Jo (1999). "Resisting Traditional Catholic Sexual Teaching: Pro-Choice Advocacy and Homosexual Support Groups". What's Left? Liberal American Catholics. Indiana University Press. p. 100.
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- Kowalewski, Mark R. (1994). All Things to All People. SUNY Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-79141778-2.
- "Some Considerations Concerning the Catholic Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-Discrimination of Homosexual Persons", Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. July 1992.
- John L. Allen 2005, p. 202
- John L. Allen 2005, p. 203
- Richard Scorer, "Betrayed: The English Catholic Church and the sex abuse crisis", Biteback, 2014, p20
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- Summary of the "Always Our Children" pastoral message
- Cornwell, John (2001). Breaking Faith: The Pope, the People and the Fate of Catholicism. Viking.
- David Sacks, Oswyn Murray, Lisa R. Brody (editors), Encyclopedia of the Ancient Greek World (Infobase Publishing 2009 ISBN 978-1-43811020-2), entry "Homosexuality"
- Michael Gagarin, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, Volume 1, pp. 25ff. ISBN 978-0-19517072-6
- Louis Crompton, Homosexuality and Civilization (Harvard University Press 2006 ISBN 978-0-67403006-0), pp. 118ff
- The literal Greek phrase is "ou paidophthorēseis", which means,"You shall not corrupt boys.
- David F. Greenberg, The Construction of Homosexuality (University of Chicago Press 1990)
- Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Heathen, chapter 2
- Eusebius of Caesarea, Demonstratio Evangelica, book 4, chapter 10
- The Apology of Aristides the Philosopher, VIII
- Robert Grant in The Anchor Bible Dictionary argues that the language in the Syriac version against homosexuality is stronger, probably because it was presented to Antoninus Pius rather than the homosexual Hadrian
- Jan Krans, Joseph Verheyden (editors), Patristic and Text-Critical Studies: The Collected Essays of William L. Petersen (BRILL 2011 ISBN 978-90-0419613-1)., p. 112]
- Basil of Caesarea, Letter 217
- John Chrysostom, Homily 4 on the Epistle to the Romans
- Gregory of Nyssa, The Letters, p. 220
- Derrick S. Bailey, Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition, London, Longmans, Green, 1955, p185
- Derrick S. Bailey, Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition, London, Longmans, Green, 1955, cited in Paul Halsall, "Homosexuality and Catholicism Bibliography"
- Canon 71
- Early Church Texts, Canons of the Council of Elvira
- David F. Greenberg, The Construction of Homosexuality (University of Chicago Press 1990 ISBN 978-0-22630628-5), p. 227, with note that says: "Not too much should be made of the restriction of the prohibition to boys."
- Pierre Player (editor), Book of Gomorrah: Eleventh century treatise against clerical homosexual practices, Wilfred Laurier University Press, 1982, notes
- Council of Ancyra (314)
- David F. Greenberg, The Construction of Homosexuality (University of Chicago Press 1990 ISBN 978-0-22630628-5), pp. 250-251
- Louis Crompton, Homosexuality and Civilization (Harvard University Press 2006 ISBN 978-0-67403006-0), p. 153
- Byrne Fone, A history of homophobia, Picador, 2001
- Louis Crompton, Homosexuality and Civilisation (John Boswell has called the canons a forgery in John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (University of Chicago Press 2009 ISBN 978-0-22606714-8), P. 177 arguing in fact that "attitudes towards homosexuality grew steadily more tolerant in the early Middle Ages"). Allen J. Frantzen, Before the Closet (University of Chicago Press 2009 ISBN 978-0-22626092-1), p. 128
- Michael D. Jordan, The Invention of Sodomy (University of Chicago Press 1998 ISBN 978-0-22641040-1), p. 1
- Haggerty, George E. (2000). Gay histories and cultures: an encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis, pp. 470-471, retrieved at: http://books.google.com/books?id=L9Mj7oHEwVoC&pg=PA471&dq=Haggerty+%22already+a+capital+crime%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=xBb6UvuXJ8a07QbhpYHwCg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Haggerty%20%22already%20a%20capital%20crime%22&f=false
- Joseph Pérez, The Spanish Inquisition (Profile Books 2006 ISBN 978-1-86197622-2), pp. 91-92
- Joseph Klaits, Servants of Satan: The Age of Witch Hunts, Indiana University Press, 1985, ISBN 978-0-25335182-1, p. 19
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