The Roman Catholic Church's Position on Homosexuality

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Many denominations have differing views on homosexuality. The Roman Catholic Church is no different. While each Pope has had their individual opinions on same-sex relationships and marriage, the Vatican currently has a strong opinion on homosexuality. What is it?

Papal Opinions

As a leader in the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict was long concerned about homosexual behavior, taking the stance that there are different kinds of homosexuals. In 1975, he issued the "Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics," which delineated a difference between transitory and pathological homosexuality. However, even in denouncing homosexual behavior, he called for empathy and compassion from followers. He denounced the violence of speech and action against homosexuals in "The Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons."

Despite his call for compassion, he never stepped down from his stance that homosexuality is a moral evil. He stated that the inclination toward homosexuality is not necessarily a sin, it can be considered a "tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder." He continued, "A person engaging in homosexual behavior, therefore acts immorally," because he feels that sex is only good if framed in the stance of being for procreation between a married man and woman.

Pope Benedict is not the only Pope or Vatican member that has denounced homosexuality. In 1961 the Vatican discouraged church officials against the ordination of homosexuals because they were "afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty." Currently, the Roman Catholic church has strict limitations on allowing homosexuals to become members of the clergy, and it also continues to fight the legal recognition of homosexual couples.