What Does the Catholic Church Teach about Homosexuality?
Few doctrines are so vehemently opposed as that of the Catholic Church on homosexuality.
Every good Catholic instinctively knows that science always supports the teachings of the Church, particularly with regards to matters of sexual morality. Those who avoid abortion, extramarital sex, pornography, divorce, contraception, sterilization and other sexual sins are usually much more content and happy than those who indulge in these evils.1 This is only natural, since God desires us to be happy in this life as well as in the next.
The culture of death does absolutely everything it possibly can to obscure this fundamental fact, dangling every kind of distraction in front of us as it attempts to seduce us and get us addicted to various forms of illicit sexual activity. But in the end, the culture of death has nothing but emotions and personal opinions to back up its claims, while authentic Catholics have both faith and science to support their views.
Unfortunately, there is much confusion today among Catholics regarding the teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality. Much of this is due to agitation by homosexual groups falsely presenting themselves as teachers of true Catholic morality, and some is due to ambiguous teachings from Church leadership.
Regardless of the misguided statements by certain officials, and despite all of the propaganda alleging that the homosexual lifestyle is acceptable for Catholics, one thing remains clear: the teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality will not change.
This teaching does not stem from a “hatred” of homosexuals any more than it arises from a “hatred” of adulterers or fornicators. The Church has always taught ― and always will teach ― that the only acceptable setting for the marital act is within marriage. History has shown us that any deviation from this norm has always led to catastrophic results, both on the personal and on the national levels.
Homophile Subversion of the Church
Organized homosexual activists often manifest a truly Satanic loathing of Jesus Christ and of His Church. Many homosexual books, magazines, articles and “shows” seethe with hatred and vilification of authentic Christianity. But mere name-calling is not the real threat.
Homosexual organizations specifically target those organizations and individuals courageous enough to oppose their agenda. Their weapons of choice are confusion and obfuscation. Homophiles are adept indeed at employing these tactics, and have a long history of using them.
As one of many examples, Dignity USA is a group of unrepentant “Catholic” homosexuals who insist that homosexuality is a perfectly acceptable alternative lifestyle, and its members claim that they are faithfully adhering to the teachings of the Church. This group’s mission is to confuse the faithful with clever propaganda and misinformation, just as “Catholics” for Choice (CFC) deliberately distorts Church teachings on abortion.
Homosexuals cannot lobby church leaders directly, so they hire traitorous proxy groups to do so. For example, billionaire homosexual Jon Stryker founded the Arcus Foundation in 2000. One of its primary missions is to advance LGBTI special rights in the United States, and one of the ways it does this is to fund groups that promote homosexual “marriage” among Catholics and to oppose religious exemptions to such laws. Arcus has funded several allegedly “Catholic” groups specifically for the purpose of undermining the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding homosexuality. These groups include Catholics for [a Free] Choice, Catholics United Education Fund, and Dignity USA.2
Arcus has also funded one of the nuttiest so-called “Catholic” groups in existence, the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER), to create “a cadre of Catholic lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and their allies that would assume a leadership role within the Catholic community on issues related to gender, sexuality, [and] reproductive health.”2
Groups such as Arcus’ fail to realize that the teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality simply cannot change any more than the Church can change truth itself.
The Catholic Church on Homosexuality
The teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality has always been perfectly clear. Every Catholic must understand and be able to transmit these teachings in order to perform one of the spiritual works of mercy, instructing the ignorant.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes historical Church teachings on homosexuality:
2357 tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. Under no circumstance can they be approved.
2358 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.
2359 By virtues of self-mastery that teach them [persons with same-sex attraction] 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.
In 1975, the Vatican published its Declaration on Sexual Ethics, whose pivotal paragraphs on homosexuality are as follows:
Some people conclude that their [homosexual] tendency is so natural that it justifies in their case homosexual relations within a sincere communion of life and love analogous to marriage, insofar as such homosexuals feel incapable of enduring a solitary life.
In the pastoral field, these homosexuals must certainly be treated with understanding and sustained in the hope of overcoming their personal difficulties and their inability to fit into society. This culpability will be judged with prudence. But no pastoral method can be employed which would give moral justification to these acts on the grounds that they would be consonant with the condition of such people. For according to the objective moral order, homosexual relations are acts which lack an essential and indispensable finality. In Sacred Scripture they are condemned as serious depravity and even presented as the sad consequence of rejecting God. This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and can in no case be approved of [¶8].
Briefly stated, while homosexual persons are always to be treated with charity and kindness, we may never encourage or support homosexual actions, for they are intrinsically disordered.
Use of Church Facilities by Homosexual Groups
Homophile groups are so convinced of the superiority of their views that they sincerely believe that the Church may not even refuse to assist them. They even believe that they have the right to use Church facilities to denounce and undermine the teachings of that same Church.
On October 1, 1987, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a letter entitled “On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons.” This letter reaffirmed the Vatican’s Declaration on Sexual Ethics by reiterating that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered.”
With regard to use of Church facilities, the letter asserted:
All support should be withdrawn from any organizations which seek to undermine the teaching of the Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely. Such support, or even the semblance of such support, can be gravely misinterpreted. Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling religious services and to the use of Church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic schools and colleges. To some, such permission to use Church property may seem only just and charitable; but in reality it is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, and it is misleading and often scandalous [¶17].
Thus, to prevent the appearance of supporting homosexual groups, churches should avoid lending them facilities or providing any other form of support.
On the Ordination of Homosexuals
The disastrous Church scandal of recent years demonstrates the foolhardiness of ordaining homosexuals. As we have seen, more than eighty percent of the priestly child sexual molestation in the United States was committed against prepubescent boys, a favorite target of homosexuals.
Jorge Cardinal Medina Estevez, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has said:
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.3
We should heed the Cardinal’s advice.
One point should be made perfectly clear: Despite many assertions to the contrary, the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations do not condemn homosexuals, but rather condemn their unnatural and unhealthy acts, which not only contravene the laws of nature but ignore God’s Commandments. Similarly, the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations do not condemn heterosexuals who commit adultery and fornication, but instead the sins themselves. Homosexuals have no more cause to complain about Church teachings than do fornicators or adulterers.
The teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality is perfectly clear: hate the sin, but always love the sinner.
 See detailed mapping studies by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute for hundreds of detailed charts and graphs showing that people who follow the Ten Commandments and other laws of God describe themselves as much happier than those who do not.
 Arcus Foundation website, https://www.arcusfoundation.org/grantees/, May 16, 2020.
Kathleen Gilbert. “‘Catholic,’ ‘Christian’ Gay Projects Funded by Homosexualist Billionaire.” LifeSite Daily News, March 25, 2011.
 “Catholic Replies by James J. Drummey.” The Wanderer, June 2, 2005, page 3.
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Dr. Brian Clowes has been HLI’s director of research since 1995 and is one of the most accomplished and respected intellectuals in the international pro-life movement. Best known as author of the most exhaustive pro-life informational resource volume The Facts of Life, and for his Pro-Life Basic Training Course, Brian is the author of nine books and over 500 scholarly and popular articles, and has traveled to 70 countries on six continents as a pro-life speaker, educator and trainer.