“That doesn’t mean that the other element, of any sort of sexual depravation is not there as well,” he added.
The study next examines the Book of Leviticus, in which “we find a precise list of prohibitions regarding immoral sexual acts and among these is listed homosexual relations between males.”
In Leviticus “the gravity of the perpetrated act, as well as the qualification of ‘abominable thing,’ is highlighted by capital punishment. There is no notice that this sanction has ever been applied; however, it remains that such behavior is considered to be gravely inappropriate by the Old Testament law,” the text states.
The law in Leviticus, it continues, is “intended to protect and promote an exercise of sexuality open to procreation, in accordance with the Creator’s command to human beings, taking care of course that this act is inscribed within the framework of a legitimate marriage.”
The study then examines the references to homosexual acts in the New Testament, in particular, Romans 1:26; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10; and 1 Timothy 1:10.
Looking at these three texts, the report points out that the “unrelatedness” of homosexual acts to the “Christian way of living is accentuated by St. Paul’s introductory rhetorical question in 1 Corinthians 6:9: ‘do you not know that...?’”
This, the report states, is “to point out a truth that should be evident to its audience.”
Like the Decalogue of the Old Testament and other Old Testament lists of unlawful actions, the actions referenced by Paul come at the penalty of “exclusion from the Kingdom,” it notes.
The study also examines the list of the “lawless” in 1 Timothy 1:9-10, which includes “sodomites,” concluding that “for Christians, homosexual practice is considered a grave fault.”
Looking at Romans 1:26-27, the report says that for St. Paul, there are some “consequences of an anthropological nature, first of all in sexual distortions ... which are seen as ‘dishonor of their very bodies’; and all this is highlighted, almost emblematically, in the feminine and masculine homosexual practice.”
At the end of the section, the document states its conclusion that “the exegetical examination carried out on the texts of the Old and New Testament has revealed elements that must be considered for an evaluation of homosexuality in its ethical implications.”
“Certain formulations of the biblical authors, as well as the disciplinary directives of Leviticus, require an intelligent interpretation that safeguards the values that the sacred text intends to promote, avoiding therefore repeating to the letter what that carries with it, also the cultural traits of that time,” it continued.
The document closes the section on homosexual relations by noting that “the contribution of the human sciences together with the reflection of theologians and moralists, will be indispensable for an adequate exposition of the problem, only sketched in this document.”
It also advises that the Church provide pastoral care on this topic, in order “to implement that service of good that the Church must assume in its mission on behalf of mankind.”
Kolarcik said the book of the Biblical Commission, with which the Biblical Institute often partners, is trying to understand and present “what understanding of humanity comes out of the Bible?”
“Che Cosa e’ l’Uomo” is divided into four chapters: the human being created by God, the human being in the Garden, the human family, and the human being in history.
The forward is written by Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the CDF and president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.
This project of the Biblical Commission, he said, is fundamental “for the mission of the Church in the contemporary world” in which are manifested “new needs, new problems, and new challenges” related to the history of man in the light of the mystery of the Kingdom of God.
“In the last decades the change mentioned above has accelerated further, with questions and behaviors of an anthropological nature that demand to be subjected to serious discernment,” he continued.
Ladaria writes that the desire of the Church is to be faithful to the commandments of God and place herself at the service of humanity, bringing the elements of truth “that favor authentic progress, according to God’s plan.”
“And it is by resorting to the divine Revelation, documented in the Holy Scriptures, that the Church fulfills its mission, bringing to the questions and the search for men that light which comes from the Word inspired by God, capable of shining in the heart of all the value and vocation of man, created in the image of God,” he says.