40 Myths About the Catholic Church–The Church Hates Gays

I know you’ve heard this one many times.  As usual, this is not an in-depth study into the theology of the whole thing but to put it as simply as I can, the Church doesn’t hate anybody.  Here’s the thing.  You’ve probably heard the expression “Hate the sin but love the sinner.”  It definitely applies here. To understand where the Church stands on homosexuality, you have to look at the Church’s position on sexuality in general.  Sexual activity is reserved for men and women who have entered into a sacramental marriage.  For anyone, gay or straight, to engage in sex outside of marriage is a sin.

The Church does not discriminate between sinners based on with whom the sin is committed.  Two men, two women, a man and a sheep, or an unmarried man and unmarried woman (that is, not married to each other)  having sexual intercourse is a mortal sin.  The Church doesn’t hate any of them, she just hates the sin.

“OK, deacon, if that’s the case, why won’t the Church allow gay people to be married.”

The answer is simply that the sacrament of marriage was instituted by God for the creation of families.  In the prenuptial agreement signed by both parties, and in the sacrament itself, the man and the woman promise to be open to God’s gift of children.  That’s what marriage is for!  It’s the same reason she opposes artificial birth control.  We, as human beings, are not allowed to interfere with God’s plan.  “Be fruitful and multiply!”

“But deacon, what if two men or two women love each other?  Isn’t God all about love?”

Yes, Virginia, God is all about love.  In fact, God is love.  But the fact that we love someone doesn’t mean it’s ok to do whatever we want, whenever we want.  There are lots of kinds of love.  I love my wife, I love my kids, I love my grandkids, I love the Saint Louis Cardinals.  Obviously only one person in that list can share my bed.  There are other proper expressions of love that don’t involve sex.  Homosexuals are called to express their love in other ways.  They’re called to celibacy just as priests and religious are called to celibacy.

They’re part of God’s plan just as surely as heterosexual people are.  And God and His Church loves each of us.

Note:  I made a serious typo in this post.  I wrote “Sexual activity is reserved for men and men who have entered into a sacramental marriage.”  Obiously I should have written: “Sexual activity is reserved for men and women who have entered into a sacramental marriage.  Sorry for the typo and thanks to my most loyal reader, my lovely and talented sacramental wife for pointing out the error.

5 Responses

  1. That’s better!

  2. ” For anyone, gay or straight, to engage in sex outside of marriage is a sin. ” Funny how if one starts with this foundational teaching, then one can see the reasonableness of the Church’s teaching as extrapolated to premarital sex, extramarital sex, etc. It’s a very consistent teaching, once one accepts the sound basis on which it is formed.

  3. I read this a bit differently. The way I interpret this is: Anyone engaging in sex outside of marriage is sinning. However, even a couple who is married and engages in sex for purposes “other than procreation” is also sinning! What I think this all means is: in order to have sex, one must be heterosexual, married and all sexual encounters with ones spouse must be soley for the purpose of having children. Sex is never recognized as an expression of love. It’s only purpose is procreation. Again, sex is limited only to married heterosexuals who are engaging in sex soley for the purpose of having children. Not any other reason. Do I understand this correctly?

    • Todd, Not exactly. Married couples must be open to the possibility of children but sex is not solely for procreation. For example, a couple who isn’t physically able to have children (because of infertility for example) is not prohibited from love making. As long as they are able, even elderly married couples can certainly enjoy each other’s bodies. Sexual love is an expression of love, not just for one another, but also an expression of love for the Creator, who made us man and woman.

  4. Wow… Well it appears we are reading or interpreting the Catechism of the Catholic Church quite differently. Apparently we agree that same sex encounters are sinful and wrong. And no argument regarding hate the sin – love the sinner. We are all sinners and God loves us all. However, when it comes to sexual relations or “making love” and “enjoying each others bodies” WHOA hold the phone!! Elderly and otherwise infertile couples having sex? “Enjoying each others body and making love” with no intent of, or chance for procreation IS NOT a sin? The way I understand the Catechism, God gave of us sex and the appropriate organs to engage in sexual activity for one purpose only. Procreation. Therefore, married heterosexual couples who are infertile or incapable of reproducing for wherever reason (be it choice, age or biological associated) are also called to celibacy like homosexuals, Priests, Sisters, etc…

    I am not sure when sex outside of procreation became “recreational” within the Church, but foundationally it creates a path for disaster. For example, the church in fact clearly identifies one of the main reasons same- sex relations are wrong is because such relations are not capable of procreating. Does this foundation apply to all sexual relations or just some? One might suggest that marital sex outside the purpose of procreation is love? Is it really love or could it perhaps be misguided lust? Would the act of “Inserting Tab A into Slot B” knowing full well nothing will become this action aside from physical gratification be sinful? We can call it “making love” if it satisfies the masses I suppose but again what about our foundation of faith?

    As Kent posted on Feb 25, 2013: “Funny how if one starts with this foundational teaching, then one can see the reasonableness of the Church’s teaching once one accepts the sound basis on which it is formed”.

    Again we know for a fact that homosexuals should not engage in sexual relations for one of many reasons including the fact they can not procreate. Therefore, we believe God calls them to express their “love” in other ways. Does this same call of God apply to others who can not or choose not to procreate for whatever reason? Honestly, I am not trying to be controversial and problematic. I am just trying to understand what we as Catholics believe anymore and hopefully spark some more dialog.

    One last comment I would like to make…. Throughout the posts on this particular subject I see the terms “Homosexual and Gay” used interchangeably I believe done so innocently and without malice. Please understand however these terms (while often used interchangeably and considered politically correct) are not one and the same. But that is a whole other conversation for another thread.

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