• Hell still for gay sex, Catholic dogma says

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    Gays shouldn’t just yet celebrate that homosexuality is ok now for Papa Francis, based on his much-publicized comments in a recent press conference in the heavens—on board the airline Alitalia at 30,000 feet, that is—on the way home from Brazil last week.

    The papal quotes that sent gays to paroxysms of ecstasy and dogmatic Catholics to a convulsion of disbelief, translated from the Italian:

    “Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord? You can’t marginalize these people. The tendency [to homosexuality]is not the problem, [gays]are our brothers.”

    While the remarks certainly made Pope Francis appear to be the most liberal Vicar of Christ ever, it would seem merely a clever PR move. In a CBS “This Morning” episode, New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan clarified: “Homosexuality is not a sin, right? Homosexual acts are.”

    Pope Francis actually didn’t veer an inch from official Catholic dogma, if you check out the official Catechism of the Catholic Church, the compendium of the Church doctrines promulgated by Pope John Paul II.

    Pope Francis

    Pope Francis in his recent press conference above the clouds, i.e. on board Alitalia jet flying back to Rome.

    The catechism’s paragraph 2357 says: “Homosexuality . . . has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained.” If it cannot be explained, then the Pope was certainly right in saying, who is he to judge?

    That gays should be looked at as brothers isn’t at all new, as expressed in the catechism’s paragraph 2358: “This (homosexual) inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

    The Pope of course was clever enough not to talk of homosexual acts, but only of “homosexual tendency,” as Catholic dogma hasn’t changed down the centuries: “It’s alright if you are a homosexual, just don’t publicly behave like homosexual, and never ever do gay sex.”

    As the catechism’s paragraph 2359 clearly says: “Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

    The import of the Church instruction to a gay is best expressed in Pilipino: “Tiiisin mo, pigilan mo. Iyan ang Kalbaryo mo.”

    Because if he does engage in gay sex, as the catechism says, it will be “acts of grave depravity” and “contrary to the natural law.” And acts of grave depravity will send you straight to hell.

    The Church cannot but condemn homosexuality as a depravity because of its dogma that everything in the bible is the word of God—which included books that make up the Old Testament that contained the tribal mores of a small tribe surrounded and bullied by powerful kingdoms three thousand years ago.

    That was a time when a tribe like Israel was militarily weak, living in a rocky land, was on the verge of extinction. What bigger crime to the tribe therefore than for a man to waste his seed in homosexual sex. The Catechism in fact declares that a homosexual act is sinful because it “closes the sexual act to the gift of life.”

    Contrast the Jewish taboo on homosexuality to those of dominant powerful tribes as the Achaeans of Homer, the Babylonians, as well as Philistines and Egyptians who didn’t worry about their extinction—and where homosexuality wasn’t a big deal.

    Biblical scholars indeed have pointed out the two cities “nuked,” as it were, by Yahweh—Sodom and Gomorrah—and suffered such genocide (even children were killed in the blast) not just for “wickedness” in general, but because homosexuality in those two cities were as common and as accepted as in Manhattan, probably, today.

    According to the Bible, the Sodomites were so into gay sex that they demanded that Lot allow them to sodomize his attractive male visitors. Unfortunately for them Lot’s visitors were God’s disguised Angels sent by the Lord to check out if He should really nuke the city. (Genesis: 19: 1 – 8). And I can just imagine what and how they made their recommendations to Yahweh—“include their neighbor Gomorrah, Lord.”

    Indeed in the Old Testament, homosexuality was a capital offense: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13). [It’s the same offense for bestiality, with the poor beast meted the same punishment: “If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal.”(20:14)]

    It will be nigh impossible for homosexuality and same-sex marriages to be accepted by the Catholic Church, since this would require that it declare the Old Testament—which even commands that gays be put to death—as not really the word of God, but tales and customs of a desert tribe thousands of years ago.

    It is such an irony for a Church, many of whose priests, even bishops, have been accused—many found guilty by regular courts— of the only real depravity in homosexual sex, that forced upon helpless young boys.

    Only in recent years have Catholic priests’ sexual abuses been exposed to be of massive proportions: 3,000 lawsuits have been filed in the US with the settlement to stop these amounting to $3 billion. Eight Catholic dioceses have declared bankruptcy due to sex abuse cases from 2004-2012. There is even a website bishopaccountability.org which has a database of clergy publicly accused of sexual abuse of minors. (The list includes Rev. Cristobal Garcia form a prominent family in Cebu, and whom the magazine National Geographic featured as a collector of ivory religious stations. In his defense, he told a US newspaper that he was seduced and raped by the two teenaged altar boys who accused him of sexual abuse.)

    The Pope’s recent expression of concern for gays reminds me so much of a comedy skit by the late George Carlin, in which he rants like a mad man: “And the invisible man [God] has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ‘til the end of time!”

    And then his tone suddenly changes into a tender one, he looks up to the audience, and with a mischievous smile, says: “But He loves you.”

    tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
    www.rigobertotiglao.com and www.trigger.ph

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