STATEMENTS FROM CHURCH DOCUMENTS

THESE ARE STATEMENTS FROM CHURCH TEACHING ON HOMOSEXUALITY RELATED TO SEXUAL IDENTITY AND HUMAN DIGNITY, RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES  (originally compiled by NACDLGM)

TO LIVE IN CHRIST JESUS, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1976:  “Homosexuals, like everyone else, should not suffer from prejudice against their basic human rights. They have a right to respect, friendship and justice. They should have an active role in the Christian community.”

THE PREJUDICE AGAINST HOMOSEXUALS AND THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH, Washington State Catholic Conference, 1983:  “Church teaching is positive with regard to homosexual persons considered in the totality of their being...Church teaching does not morally condemn homosexual orientation..."

LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS, Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, 1986:  “It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs…The particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin.” 

THE MANY FACES OF AIDS: A GOSPEL RESPONSE, United States Catholic Conference, 1987: “Those who are gay or lesbian...should not be objects of discrimination, injustice or violence. All of God’s sons and daughters, all members of our society, are entitled to the recognition of their full human dignity.”


HUMAN SEXUALITY: A CATHOLIC PERSPECTIVE FOR EDUCATION AND LIFELONG LEARNING, United States Catholic Conference, 1990:  “Sexuality...is a fundamental dimension of every human being. It is a reflected physiologically, psychologically, and relationally in a person’s gender identity as well as in one’s primary sexual orientation and behavior. For some young men and women, this means a discovery that one is homosexual, i.e., that one’s sexual inclinations are oriented predominantly toward persons of the same sex.” “We call on all Christians and citizens of good will to confront their own fears about homosexuality and to curb the humor and discrimination that offend homosexual persons. We understand that having a homosexual orientation brings with it enough anxiety, pain and issue related to self-acceptance without society adding additional prejudicial treatment.”


CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 1994:  “(Homosexual persons) must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

“Homosexual persons are called to chastity.”

“Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being.” 

NOTE ON CHURCH TEACHING CONCERNING HOMOSEXUAL PEOPLE, Cardinal Basil Hume, London, 1995:  “Friendship is a gift from God. Friendship is a way of loving. Friendship is necessary for every person. To equate friendship and full sexual involvement with another is to distort the very concept of friendship. Sexual loving presupposes friendship, but friendship does not require full sexual involvement. It is a mistake to say or think or presume that if two persons of the same or different sexes enjoy a deep and lasting friendship then they must be sexually involved.” 

ALWAYS OUR CHILDREN: A PASTORAL MESSAGE TO PARENTS OF HOMOSEXUAL CHILDREN AND SUGGESTIONS FOR PASTORAL MINISTERS, NCCB Bishops’ Committee on Marriage and Family, 1998:  “This child, who has always been God’s gift to you, may now be the cause of another gift: your family becoming more honest, respectful and supportive...It seems appropriate to understand sexual orientation (heterosexual or homosexual) as a deep seated dimension of one’s personality and to recognize its relative stability in a person...Generally, homosexual orientation is experienced as a given, not as something freely chosen. By itself, therefore, a homosexual orientation cannot be considered sinful, for morality presumes the freedom to c hoose...God loves every person as a unique individual. Sexual identity helps to define the unique persons we are. One component of our sexual identity is sexual orientation...All homosexual persons have a right to be welcomed into the community, to hear the word of God, and to receive pastoral care. Homosexual persons who are living chaste lives should have opportunities to lead and serve the community.” “You are always my child, nothing can ever change that. You are also a child of God, gifted and called for a purpose in God’s design. In you God’s love is revealed.” 

MINISTRY TO PERSONS WITH A HOMOSEXUAL INCLINATION: GUIDELINES FOR PASTORAL CARE, USCCB, 2006:  “It is important that Church ministers listen to the experiences, needs and hopes of the persons with a homosexual inclination to whom and with whom they minister. Dialogue provides an exchange of information, and also communicates a respect for the innate dignity of other persons and a respect for their consciences.”