D Gregory Smith

Hartford Archdiocese Offers Abstinence Group For Gays

Filed By D Gregory Smith | January 05, 2012 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: abstinence education, Catholic church, Connecticut, LGBT, morality, natural law, theology

The Hartford Courant reports that:Thumbnail image for catholic-jesus.jpg

The Hartford Archdiocese wants gays and lesbians to practice abstinence in the new year.

On Tuesday, the archdiocese announced it was launching a local chapter of a national ministry called Courage "to support men and women who struggle with homosexual tendencies and to motivate them to live chaste and fruitful lives in accordance with Catholic Church teachings."

In a press release, the archdiocese stated that its Office of Diaconate director, Robert Pallotti, had been working to establish an area program for more than four years. The Courage ministry is based in Norwalk, led by the Rev. Paul Check of theĀ Bridgeport Diocese, and claims to have more than 100 chapters around the country.

Gay attraction is not the sin, the ministry preaches - only when one acts on those feelings is it immoral.

This teaching is based on the "natural law" argument: that sex is only appropriate when it is procreative - as shown/proven in/by the natural world - i.e. animals in nature.

Problem is, it's a fallacy. Sexual activity is not limited to procreation in nature - nor is it limited to opposite-sex activity. (See this article: Homosexual Behavior In Animals.)

It also goes against an important part of Catholic theology, which says that intercourse has two purposes: procreation and the promotion of conjugal love between the partners. When there is only one half of this equation being promoted, the limitation of marriage to young, fertile, childbearing-able couples is the only appropriate response.

That leaves out sterile, aged or sexually dysfunctional persons from the benefits of marriage - and that's obviously not the case. Any two opposite sex persons can be married in the church, regardless of their ability or intention to bear children.

Gay feelings are not immoral, the church says, acting on them is.


Let me see if I follow. So these non-immoral feelings are natural, and are a consequence of creation by God. By this equation God is a torturer, since the naturally created feelings are there to be felt but not acted on?

It's a simplistically flawed argument, and I don't buy it.

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