Saturday, October 25, 2014

Synod Final Statement

With regard to homosexuality the Synod of Bishops closed with remarks meant as a support for families that have children or siblings who have a homosexual orientation.  The context, of course, is that the Synod was held on the theme of the family, and not on that of sexual morality.
In the context, to avoid what the Bihops would see as possible ambiguity, they repeated the standard position of the Catholic Church that there is not the remotest parallel between marriage and homosexual unions.  This has to be seen against the unrelenting Catholic definition of marriage where the begetting of children is the purpose of marriage on a par with the love of the spouses, to the extent that the intention not to have children can invalidate the marriage contract.   

Against such a background view, obviously, there is no parallel between homosexual unions and marriage.  But, the Bishops go on to say, from a pastoral point of view, despite this Catholic manner of viewing homosexual unions, people with homosexual tendencies (including, presumably, those living in homosexual unions) must be welcomed with respect and sensitivity.  There is to be no unjust discrimination.  Presumably, this means, in fact no condemnation.  This is based on the Catholic teaching on the primacy of the individual conscience.  Everybody should respect the choices that people have made in good conscience.  If the respect of the individual conscience is not present then talking about welcoming people with respect and sensitivity has no meaning.  In some ways, given the particularities of Catholic thinking, this statement of the Bishops’ Synod might be more positive that people would generally give it credit for.  I give below the original Italian text of the paragraph on homosexuality with my translation.

Alcune famiglie vivono l’esperienza di avere al loro interno persone con orientamento omosessuale. Al riguardo ci si è interrogati su quale attenzione pastorale sia opportuna di fronte a questa situazione riferendosi a quanto insegna la Chiesa: «Non esiste fondamento alcuno per assimilare o stabilire analogie, neppure remote, tra le unioni omosessuali e il disegno di Dio sul matrimonio e la famiglia». Nondimeno, gli uomini e le donne con tendenze omosessuali devono essere accolti con rispetto e delicatezza. «A loro riguardo si eviterà ogni marchio di ingiusta discriminazione»
“Certain families are living the experience of having one or other of their members with a homosexual orientation.  We asked ourselves what would be the correct pastoral approach when faced with this situation, given that the Church teaches “There exists no basis for likening or drawing analogies, even remote ones, between homosexual unions and the design of God for marriage and the family.”  Nonetheless, men and women with homosexualtendencies must be welcomed with respect and sensitivity.  “In their regard every sign of unjust discrimination must be avoided.” (A quotation from a document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Normal and Natural

One of my habitual correspondents wrote to welcome me back.  

Welcome back, I missed your blogs. While you were gone I did a lot of web surfing and found many blogs for masturbation. I was amazed at the number who masturbate and are willing to share their pleasure with the world. Having been taught that masturbation was sinful those who taught that would be shocked to see the number who masturbate and are unashamed to let the world see them doing what we were told was a no no. This just reinforces the realism that few today consider masturbation sinful or wrong. 

My friend was the first priest who agreed with my opinion that masturbation is normal and natural. He took that opinion further by agreeing masturbation is masturbation whether you masturbate yourself or someone masturbates you. That there is nothing wrong with two men enjoying each other’s genitals. 

The first time I took his cock in my hand it was a very special feeling like none I ever felt before. When we held our two penises together it was glorious. When we masturbated each other it was extraordinary. In looking at the blogs I’ve found it is wonderful to see so many enjoying themselves doing what they believe is normal and natural and even if they are doing it with someone else no one is being hurt. Many of the blogs included cock sucking or as Jim has said masturbation by mouth rather than by hand. I guess one could say that makes cock sucking normal and natural also. When one surfs the net and finds the number of blogs featuring masturbation and cock sucking it doesn’t take much convincing to conclude most do it.”   

Myself, I think that you can you can consider what is normally called anal sex as just masturbation via anus.  It is all just a wonderful celebration of our enhanced masculinity.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

More on the Synod

Two summaries have been given of the discussions at various stages by the members of the Synod of Bishops on homosexuality.  

1. In relazione agli omosessuali, inoltre, è stata evidenziata la necessità di accoglienza, ma con la giusta prudenza, affinché non si crei l’impressione di una valutazione positiva di tale orientamento da parte della Chiesa. La stessa attenzione è stata auspicata nei riguardi delle convivenze.”  (I translate that: “With regard to homosexuals, besides, the need for a welcoming attitude was put forward, but with due prudence, so that no impression was given of a positive evaluation on the Church’s part of this type of orientation.  The same approach was taken towards couples living together.” )

2. “Inoltre, è stato ribadito che, ferma restando l’impossibilità di equiparare al matrimonio tra uomo e donna le unioni omosessuali, le persone con tale orientamento vanno accompagnate pastoralmente e tutelate nella loro dignità, senza tuttavia che ciò appaia come un’approvazione, da parte della Chiesa, del loro orientamento e della loro condotta di vita.”  (Again, I would translate that: “Further, it was repeated that, whilst continuing to insist that homosexual unions can in no way be put on the same level as marriage between a man and a woman, persons with such an orientation should be accompanied pastorally and their dignity safeguarded, without, nonetheless, this appearing as approval by the Church of their orientation or their life-style.”)   

Now, what interests me in both those statements is the attitude towards homosexual orientation.  If anything, the approach to the orientation here is more negative that it was in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  These two statements say, effectively, that the orientation is not to be approved.  The Catechism said that the orientation could not be helped, but putting it into act was not to be approved.  I would expect that those who expess themselves in these terms, putting forward homosexual orientation as somehow suspect or not quite right, are not going to get very far.  Indeed putting forward such an attitude towards homosexual orientation could cause the Church’s teaching on the subject to crack wide open.  The Church has got to take notice of scientific progress and it is now decades since the medical sciences determined that homosexuality was neither an illness nor a deformity.  Further, the Church has never been able to say, where the so-called disorder of homosexuality came from.  She needs, therefore, to turn round and face the fact that, as a datum of human make up, homosexuality can only come from God.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Accept Sex

Queer Heaven commenting on my post “Synod” expressed the opinion that the Church will never get round to saying that gay sex is acceptable.  The way I think, they have simply got to, but it may take a long time. 

Once again let us examine the current thinking of the Catholic Church, but which is, in fact, the thinking of most of society worldwide.  The thinking is that the governing value is the procreation of children.

Sex is a sideline to that.  You can like it, but not too much, you should pretend that you do not like it, or, better, you should recognize that sex in itself is pretty close to an evil.  If, however, we stop at that point and ask why is sex evil, suspect or to be condemned as an entity in itself, independent of procreation, we will be at pains to find a rational and satisfactory answer.   
Sex is, after all, a given fact.  We all feel its pleasures and attractions, but we have all learned from society to try and pretend it is not there.  It is this unrealism that the Church and society have to shrug off.  As a society and as Church we have to turn round and accept sex, lovely sex, as a good in itself with its own tremendous dignity and spiritual potential.  The ultimate step in revising our thinking is, I suppose, to recognize that in the pursuit of sex as a good in itself, homosexuality fits right in there.