In his address at Germany’s Regensburg University in September 2006, Pope Benedict XVI asserted that faith without reason is fanaticism. Although he was not speaking about homosexuality, I think that this point directly applies to that debate. As students at a Jesuit institution, we are called upon to learn through reevaluating our ideas. Combining the ideals of both the Holy Father and the Jesuits, we can conclude that, without questioning what we are told, we run the risk of following others blindly.
In Friday’s issue of THE HOYA, Kieran Raval explained the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality by referencing various elements of Catholic theological doctrine (“God’s Plan on Sexuality,” A3, Oct. 19, 2012). However, as a Catholic, I would like to offer another opinion on the subject of sexual orientation.
Raval states, “Human sexuality is a gift from God that must be ordered according to God’s will and plan … of the spouses (love) and procreation (life).” By writing that homosexuality is “not properly ordered toward the natural and divine telos,” Raval implies that love and life are not part of a homosexual relationship. I would hope that most agree the first point is moot; obviously a relationship is built upon love, regardless of gender. I also take issue with the second point: life. Although homosexual couples cannot conceive a child through sex, this should not prevent them from being together. If gay couples are “disqualified” because of their inability to procreate, so too should barren individuals and women with ovarian cancer be considered “unnatural” in relationships.
Raval responded briefly to this argument saying, “This confuses the distinction between capacity and ability in an ontological sense.” However, his response is an argument about semantics rather than meaning. Both people who are incapable of bearing children and those who are unable to bear children cannot produce life through sex.
However, my purpose is not to dissect Raval’s viewpoint, but rather to question why some continue to view the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality as acceptable. Despite stating that homosexuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity” (CCC 2358), the Church itself discriminates against them. Raval writes, “it seems to me that we must … encourage those people with same-sex attractions who desire to live according to Scripture and the tradition of Christianity.” Although this idea may seem inclusionary, it actually implies that those who identify as gay must ignore that part of themselves.
In short, the Catholic Church tells gay individuals that they can be themselves provided they subscribe to the large asterisk that asks them to disregard part of their identity. Despite Raval’s assertion to the contrary, that is not cura personalis.
Kaley Beins is a junior in the College. She is a staff writer for The Hoya.