Confused notions of morality, freedom and marriage and a reductionist view of the person create major obstacles to holiness for homosexual persons, said Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted in a recent column in the diocesan newspaper.
The bishop of Pheonix tackles the difficulties faced by homosexual people in his third column in a series, published in the diocesan paper called “Blessing of a Chaste Life.”
The bishop notes that there is “intellectual confusion about whether sexual activity outside of marriage is always wrong.”
Popular culture has made an effort to persuade public opinion that same-sex relations, and all sexual relations outside of marriage, are normal, morally neutral and even morally beneficial, says the bishop.
But the bishop points out that what has occurred is actually “a rejection of an understanding of human sexuality, found in most cultures and major religions of the world down through history.
“According to the modernist view, a morality based on truth and on objective norms is being replaced by a ‘morality’ based on desire,” he says. “Feelings, not truth, become criteria for whether something is right or wrong.
“Truth does not change to suit our tastes,” says the bishop. “Some things are always wrong, no matter the times, the circumstances, or people’s intentions,” he continued.
The bishop also points out that the Christian view of homosexual acts is not based on homophobia but on Scripture and the Church’s 2000-year-old moral teachings.
“Confused notions of what constitutes marriage also make it difficult for homosexual persons and others to make good judgments about love and responsibility,” the bishop says. The same-sex marriage movement is a sign of such confusion, he adds.
Homosexuals must also face the difficulties brought on by a reductionist view of the person, which tends to emphasize only one’s sexual orientation and undermine other more important dimensions, he says.
“This serves neither a person’s dignity nor inner freedom,” he says.
Finally, the bishop notes that “false views of human freedom assert that homosexual acts are not sinful for homosexual persons because of their sexual orientation.”
This argumentation “reflects a false understanding of human nature and the way it has been wounded by original sin,” he says. “In addition, it runs contrary to both love and truth.”
For Bishop Olmsted’s full text, go to: http://www.diocesephoenix.org/pressRoom/jun3.htm