Tuesday, 18 March 2014

St. John Chrysostom on the evil that is homosexuality: the truth of God rejected; vile affections result

"the primacy of the objective moral order must be regarded as absolute by all"
Inter Mirifica

St. John Chrysostom
In the present period, the corruption of morals has increased, and one of the most serious indications of this corruption is the unbridled exaltation of sex. Moreover, through the means of social communication and through public entertainment this corruption has reached the point of invading the field of education and of infecting the general mentality...

...there are those who have put forward concepts and modes of behavior which are contrary to the true moral exigencies of the human person. Some members of the latter group have even gone so far as to favor a licentious hedonism.

As a result, in the course of a few years, teachings, moral criteria and modes of living hitherto faithfully preserved have been very much unsettled, even among Christians. 

So began the introduction to Persona humana, the 1975 document on sexual morality released by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Unfortunately, rather then settle the matter for those who claim to be Christian, this document, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church have been unable to change minds and hearts. One could say that things since 1975 have got considerably worse. What else is one to conclude with priests and lay Catholics promoting (for example) the "homosexual agenda" (that is, whilst officially rejecting "gay marriage" are evasive on other aspects of the "gay subculture"?). If a Catholic claims to oppose "gay marriage", but is silent on the intrinsically evil nature of homosexual acts, what is one to conclude? If a Catholic claims that "gays" "love" each other, and that homosexual relationships cannot be compared to other evils, what are we think? If Catholics march in "gay Pride Parades", thereby giving public affirmation, what are we to deduce? Fr. Dariusz Oko, has termed the new proposals that obfuscate the evil of homosexuality as a "homoheresy" or "gender-ideology". The Polish Bishops Conference has dealt with this in a well reasoned Pastoral Letter dated the 2013 Feast of the Holy Family. 

The relics of St. Gregory the Theologian
and St. John Chrysostom
Persona humana distinguishes between those who have undertaken a homosexual lifestyle as a deliberate moral choice, and those who may be suffering from some sort of psychological pathology. Whatever the case,  "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 a serious depravity and even presented as the sad consequence of rejecting God".

St. John Chrysostom, in his series of Homilies on Romans provides us with a detailed theological exposition on why homosexuality is one of the most evil of sins; why it is and forever remains one of the "four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance". Catholics need to see the world from God's perspective, not theirs. Some may, out of a sense of misguided compassion, wish to downplay Church teaching on the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts; some may wish to dismiss, out of hand, those who adhere to the Church as "fanatics"; others, even clergy, may pander in various ways with the "gay liberation" movement - in all of this a betrayal of Christ and His Church can be seen. We can no more pander to other sins, than to the sin of homosexuality. Certainly, culpability of some may be minimal due to a subjective psychological condition, but objectively each and every homosexual act is intrinsically evil. 

The Church, via the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that temptations towards homosexuality constitute a trial; it is for these people that we are called upon to show compassion. "This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity" (n 2358). The Church does not ask us to respect sinful actions, nor to encourage those who engage in an aggressive public manifestation of homosexuality as a form of "liberation", or would seek to change civil legislation that would promote positive evil. Thus, the Church forbids not only "gay marriage", but also, "civil unions". 

The evil of homosexuality does not grow in a vacuum. The Patriarch of Constantinople demonstrates how it is that "ungodliness" and the rejection of truth that leads to men becoming "fools". And from this great conceit in a false wisdom, and refusal to follow the way of God, humanity would be given up to uncleaness and lusts of the heart.... ultimately these would exchange truth (e.g. marriage being between a man and a woman) for a lie (psuedo "gay marriage") and so on. In all of this, they reject the Creator and serve the creature. They become idolators. Homosexuality is, ultimately, a perverted sexual manifestation of self-idolatry, self-worship. It is, as the saint will say, "satanical", as it is at heart, blasphemy. 

In Book Four of his Homilies, the holy Patriarch provides us with a detailed exposition of the verse 1, 26, 27: 

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one towards another.

The saint continues: 

They changed the truth of God for a lie. And with regard to the men again, he shows the same thing by saying, Leaving the natural use of the woman. And in a like way with those, these he also puts out of all means of defending themselves by charging them not only that they had the means of gratification, and left that which they had, and went after another, but that having dishonored that which was natural, they ran after that which was contrary to nature. But that which is contrary to nature has in it an irksomeness and displeasingness, so that they could not fairly allege even pleasure. For genuine pleasure is that which is according to nature. But when God has left one, then all things are turned upside down. And thus not only was their doctrine Satanical, but their life too was diabolical.

And reflect too how significantly he uses his words. For he does not say that they were enamoured of, and lusted after one another, but, they burned in their lust one toward another...

...For there is not, there surely is not, a more grievous evil than this insolent dealing. For if when discoursing about fornication Paul said, that Every sin which a man does is without the body, but he that commits fornication sins against his own body (1 Corinthians 6:18); what shall we say of this madness, which is so much worse than fornication as cannot even be expressed? For I should not only say that you have become a woman, but that you have lost your manhood, and hast neither changed into that nature nor kept that which you had, but you have been a traitor to both of them at once, and deserving both of men and women to be driven out and stoned, as having wronged either sex. And that you may learn what the real force of this is, if any one were to come and assure you that he would make you a dog instead of being a man, would you not flee from him as a plague? But, lo! You have not made yourself a dog out of a man, but an animal more disgraceful than this.

...But nothing can there be more worthless than a man who has pandered himself. For not the soul only, but the body also of one who has been so treated, is disgraced, and deserves to be driven out everywhere. How many hells shall be enough for such? But if you scoff at hearing of hell and believest not that fire, remember Sodom. For we have seen, surely we have seen, even in this present life, a semblance of hell. For since many would utterly disbelieve the things to come after the resurrection, hearing now of an unquenchable fire, God brings them to a right mind by things present. For such is the burning of Sodom, and that conflagration! And they know it well that have been at the place, and have seen with their eyes that scourge divinely sent, and the effect of the lightnings from above. (Jude 7) 

Consider how great is that sin, to have forced hell to appear even before its time! ...

And what is there more detestable than a man who has pandered himself, or what more execrable? Oh, what madness! Oh, what distraction! Whence came this lust lewdly revelling and making man's nature all that enemies could? 

Links: The website of the Patriarchate of Constantinople


Lawrence and Susan Fox said...

I love your total political incorrectness. It's a great article. But when you start talking about people heading for hell, I shudder. Let us pray and sacrifice for these people who self identify by their homosexuality. They are living in a torment I would not wish on my worst enemy. And the ones I've met who have reformed their lives have become living witnesses to the power of God's Mercy and forgiveness. Their celibate lives are a great and fruitful gift to the Catholic Church. God bless you. Susan Fox www.christsfaithfulwitness.com

Unknown said...

In so many words, this artical accuses a gay person that to be an active homosexual is to deny God. As a gay man and a Christian in a gay relationship, I can only find this paper totally depraved and so out of touch in the 21st. century as to be pornographic. At no point is their any scientific evidence produced to show that homosexuality is anything other than a part of the human condition. What a load of obnoxious boloney. Please pray for a new enlightenment so that the minds of people that can publish this obsurb prejudism against another human being will be changed. The mentioning of stoning to death another human being for being gay is simply disgusting and immoral. This artical only serves to add justification in the minds of African leaders to continually condon the taking of innocent lives of gay people in those countries. A great deal of repentance is needed by those who perpetrate this nasty propaganda against a vulnerable minority.