Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Permanent Homosexuality

Besides temporary SSA, authors refer to permanent or "irreversible" or "constitutional" or "innate" homosexuality. Some authors have misinterpreted the Vatican Declaration on Sexual Ethics, paragraph 8, to mean that all SSA is simply innate and irreversible. A careful reading of the text, however, shows that the Vatican only uses the term "quasi-innatus" ("almost innate" or "resembling something innate") in reference to the opinion that SSA can be so strong in a given person that it is regarded "as if innate." The Holy See only mentions this psychological opinion, and does not pass judgment on it - the task of the authors was not to sit in judgment of professional psychological opinion, but to clarify the moral truth that, no matter how persistent the tendency to SSA may be (even if it is "quasi-innatus"), this tendency does not morally justify homosexual actions. But I shall develop this argument later. At this juncture the point to be made is that in some individuals the tendency to homosexual activity is so deeply entrenched that there is very little chance of reversing the tendency. In a given situation a good clinical psychologist or psychiatrist can make a reliable prognosis.

Not to be confused with homosexuality are the phenomena of transvestism and transsexuality. Transvestites are men who love to dress in female clothing. Very few of them are people with SSA. Most transvestites are married and have families. Transsexuals are either men or women who feel that they are trapped in the wrong sex and who desire to possess the sexual body of the other sex. Some go to great expense and years of treatment to be "transformed" into the other sex by surgery, but they can never truly be transformed into the other sex. Each of these groups constitutes a special psychological problem.

(Source: Same Sex Attraction: Catholic Teaching and Pastoral Practice by Fr. John Harvey)

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