LBGT orientation "intrinsically disordered"?
Is same sex activity disordered? Should the words be removed from the Catechism?
Is intrinsically disordered a "hurtful" and "cruel" term?
Fr. James Martin has been lobbying the Vatican to remove the term "intrinsically disordered" from the Catechism paragraph 2357. He met Pope Francis in 2019 to discuss it. In his book "Building a Bridge" he says:
“The phrase [intrinsically disordered] relates to the orientation, not the person, but it is still needlessly hurtful. Saying that one of the deepest parts of a person — the part that gives and receives love — is ‘disordered’ in itself is needlessly cruel” (pp. 46-47).
I was active in the gay community and an "out of the closet" letter writing, pride marching advocate for “LGBT rights" who was openly accepted by my secular family and friends. However, I had a powerful conversion experience and eventually became a Catholic and was interviewed on the BBC. I have no problem with the idea that my attraction to people of the same gender was intrinsically disordered. For me the term is freedom.
Same sex messed me up,
the Truth set me free.
As per Jn 8:31-32
The term "intrinsically disordered" would only be hurtful if we saw same sex attraction as a good thing to pursue and celebrate, and that is the crux of the difference between the mind of Fr. Martin and the mind of the Church.
I personally experienced the Lord calling me out of the LGBT community, which has its own set of tenets that are in conflict with the Church. I have seen the good fruit of that decision. I cannot reconcile this with Fr. Martin’s message. I don't feel he represents people in this situation at all, many of whom say their posts to Fr. Martin's Facebook groups have been deleted. Fr. Martin needs to understand it is not "internalized homophobia" to abstain from unnatural sex. It is the powerful and loving hand of God.
Did God wonderfully create people with an LBGT identity?
Fr. Martin tells people with same sex attraction:
God made you this way [LBGT]. You are wonderfully made just like Psalm 139 says you were knit together in your mother’s womb … this way. This is a part of your identity
While we appreciate that each of us is wonderfully made in the likeness of God, Fr. Martin's treatment of the question is a conflation of God's active will and passive will. Our "all powerful" God allows factors (nurture and/or nature) that form our attractions just like he allows some people to have depression, etc. Life is messy because of original sin, free will, and many other factors. The purpose of these challenges is so that we may become saints through the amazing choices we make in the face of adversity. Paul comfortingly reminds us:
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. ... And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.(1 Cor. 10:13).
To assert it is God's active will to create someone with same sex attraction would mean that God willed something that he has forbidden in the Bible. This would make the Christian faith contradict itself.
What does Fr. Martin want to put in the place of "intrinsically disordered?
In a recent interview, he called for the use of the replacement phrase “differently ordered.” This would be a rupture with the Christian faith of our fathers, it could not possibly be a hermeneutic of continuity. It would mean that God created two different orders of sexual behavior that are both good and right according to his will (gay and straight).
What does intrinsically disordered mean?
According to Merriam-Webster:
- Intrinsic: belonging to the essential nature or constitution of a thing.
- Disordered: not functioning in a normal orderly healthy way.
Putting the two together we get something like the following:
"The essential nature of homosexual acts is that they don't function in a normal orderly healthy way."
This is objectively true:
- The Biblical evidence: cover to cover the Bible presents gay sex as a problem, which is why there has been so much work by activists to try to re-frame the Bible, or worse make it illegal.
- The historical evidence: Saints, mystics, and the fathers of the Church, throughout history are consistent about gay sex. Many gave their lives in the defense and pursuit of truth, and had no good reason to "toe the line" with the Church or their culture.
- The biological evidence, "Natural Law" says that things in God's Creation should be used according to their purpose. (i.e., Gay sex does not follow any natural or biological law.) William Shakespeare wrote "unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles" in the play Macbeth. That may be universally true.
- The ecclesiastical evidence: Christian charity is to try to help people overcome obstacles to spiritual growth for their own eternal good and for the good of those they influence. That's the Church's mission as commanded by Christ, and whenever and wherever the Church drifts from that mission, it suffers.
- The statistical evidence: A coalition of LBGT members filed an HRC complaint (pg 3-4) where they provided current health statistics. It paints a bleak picture of life expectancy, addiction and health of sexually active members of the LBGT community.
How does the scientific community explain same sex attraction?
Dr. Lawrence Mayer, professor of psychiatry and statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University and Dr. Paul McHugh, psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore from 1975 to 2001 wrote a series of articles called Sexuality and Gender. The Journal – The New Atlantis, (August 23, 2016).
Dr. Mayer testified in dozens of federal and state legal proceedings supporting equality and opposing discrimination for the LGBTQ Community. He says this study is an objective review of scientific inquiry. The report which reviews over 500 scientific studies determined the following were not supported by scientific evidence:
- The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property – that people are “born that way”.
- The belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex – so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’.
- Only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behaviour will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood. There is no evidence that all such children should be encouraged to become transgender, much less subjected to hormone treatments or surgery.
- Non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems (anxiety, depression, suicide), as well as behavioral and social problems (substance abuse, intimate partner violence), than the general population. Discrimination alone does not account for the entire disparity.
Dr. Mayer was alarmed to learn during his review of over 500 scientific articles that the LGBTQ community bears a disproportionate rate of mental health problems compared to the population as a whole.
There have been studies to which some in the LGBTQ community have pointed to "prove" people are born gay. (i.e., "INAH-3" by Simon Levay, "Twins and Other Brothers" by Bailey & Pillar, "Xq28 Genetic Markers" by Dean Hamer). However, none of these researchers has claimed "proof" of the born gay theory. Reputable researchers admit there are many problems with these studies such as small samples sizes and inconsistent results. What these studies have shown, however, is that some people, such as identical twins, who should have been gay based on the theory, were not gay.
Dr. Lisa Diamond is co-author-in-chief of ‘the American Psychological Association (APA) Handbook’ of sexuality and psychology. She is professor of developmental psychology and health psychology at the University of Utah. She is a lesbian activist who said during a lecture at Cornell University that abundant research has now established that sexual orientation – including attraction, behaviour and self-identity – is fluid for both adolescents and adults for both genders.
Bishop Sheen perfectly describes the normal and abnormal mind
Here is a classic Fulton Sheen talk about a normal and abnormal mind. It starts about 11:32 and should start there on play.
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