...for Christians who uphold the traditional teachings on sexual morality.
Today's news reports that a policeman overheard a Christian speaker telling some one in the street that homosexual activity was sinful. The preacher, a Mr Dale McAlpine, has been charged for causing "harrassment, alarm or distress" after the policeman, a "community support officer" heard him listing homosexuality as among sins listed in the Scriptures. The preacher has said he did not mention it when listing various sins in his sermon, but mentioned it in a discussion with a passing shopper, saying it was contrary to the word of God. The police say that he said it in a voice loud enough to be overheard. He is now awaiting trial.
Of course, we do not know what the preacher said. Perhaps he failed to make the distinction between an inclination towards homosexuality and participation in homosexual acts. But the scene is a worrying one.
Will we risk arrest when we pass on the teaching of the Church?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
"2357. Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358. The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359. Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection."