Let me clarify a few things before proceeding with this post. I met several gay Catholics, with very different attitudes and different ways of viewing their being gay, their being Catholics and their way to reconcile or to try to reconcile the two. I respect and appreciate these people. I recently exchanged emails with a person that I was amazed by its radical, even if painful, consistency with Catholic doctrine. We exchanged a few messages even if from far points of view and I have to say that I consider the dialogue with this person an important opportunity to understand a bit deeper a lot of things. I therefore have no intention to argue with polemic attitudes and less than ever I have the pretension to judge those who in good conscience make their choices.
Given the above I start to explain why I published my preceding post on the new Pope. I tried to get a copy of his book “Sobre el cielo y la tierra”, where he speaks also of homosexuality, but I was not able to find it. I would avoid prejudice, frankly I think that this pope will also be different in some respects from traditional ecclesiastical positions on other issues, especially those related to social justice, because this is to be expected on the basis of his previous work, but nothing at all will be changed in terms of condemnation of homosexuality and opposition to the legal recognition of the rights of gay people. On the other hand the letter that Cardinal Bergoglio wrote is just the tip of the iceberg of the Cardinal Bergoglio’s activity to stop the legal recognition of gay rights. Here no one would dream of making judgments overall, but to free the field from easy optimism, we must take stock of what is to be expected objectively on the relation between Church and gays on the basis of what the current Pope did when he was not even the Pope.
First of all, everyone is free to think what he wants and to practice what he wants, but the Church does not have the right to “impose or attempt to impose” its moral rules completely based on revelation and on Catholic teaching to not Catholic people, i.e. to people who don’t recognize that faith that Church presents as the base of its authority. Of course, the Church has every right in a free world to consider homosexuality “grave depravity”, “sad consequence of rejecting God,” “lack of normal sexual development”, “pathological constitution”, “behavior intrinsically evil and immoral” and so on.
The Church in past centuries has sent thousands of people at the stake for heresy, witchcraft and homosexuality and it is not surprising that those expressions are still used today to condemn homosexuality, but fortunately for us, the world has moved on and recognized that all have freedom of thought and expression, and then of criticism. Consider homosexuality “grave depravity”, “sad consequence of rejecting God,” “lack of normal sexual development”, “pathological constitution”, “intrinsically evil behavior from the moral point of view” or, in the version of the new Pope, an “aggression against the law of God and the natural law” and consider it as a “diabolical plan” to grant legal protection to same-sex couples, making undue pressure on the civil power”, it means to try to compress the rights of others and to keep homosexuals without any legal protection claiming that the state law have to accord strictly to religious dogmas.
If a Catholic gay feels one seriously depraved, marked by an abnormal sexual development, a pathological case, a person intrinsically evil and immoral, a destroyer of the God’s law, an advocate of Satan (and the gallery of horrors could be extended a lot) he is free to follow what the Church proposes, the choice belongs to him only, but the fact that those expressions and those opinions can be an instrument of pressure to influence the lives of others who have nothing to do with the faith of the Church and to maintain for them an inferior condition, it is something morally unacceptable. The Pope, no matter if the previous, the current or the next, until he will try to impose his morality to those who do not share it putting pressure on civil institutions, cannot have a real respect from those outside the Church, in essence it is an attempt to impose a moral, which is repugnant to the conscience of anyone who considers the respect and freedom of others as a value.