Just because Pope Benedict XVI won’t make male, female, or trans prostitutes say 15 Hail Marys and 20 Oh Fathers for wearing condoms during their sex work doesn’t mean he’s reversed his position on homosexuality. Thank goodness he spelled it all out there in his book then!
Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times, a collection of papal interviews published Tuesday, is quick to call homosexuality “disordered” and “incompatible” with becoming a priest. Skillfully dodging German reporter Peter Seewald’s questions about whether there are gays in the church, the pope says, “Homosexuality is incompatible with the priestly vocation. Otherwise, celibacy itself would lose its meaning as a renunciation. It would be extremely dangerous if celibacy became a sort of pretext for bringing people into the priesthood who don’t want to get married anyway.” If there are gay priests, then “that is just one of the miseries of the church. And the persons who are affected must at least try not to express this inclination actively.”
But what about the church’s teachings that gays, while being monsters, deserve respect? Doesn’t that conflict with the church’s position that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered”? “No,” the Catholic leader responded. “It is one thing to say that they are human beings with their problems and their joys, that as human beings they deserve respect, even though they have this inclination, and must not be discriminated against because of it. At the same time, though, sexuality has an intrinsic meaning and direction, which is not homosexual. The meaning and direction of sexuality is to bring about the union of man and woman and, in this way, to give humanity posterity, children, a future.”
And what about the basically accepted fact that sexuality is not a choice, but something you are born with? Tough luck for your homos, who must embark on a “great trial” to deny your innate desires. And if sexuality is biological, “this does not mean that homosexuality thereby becomes morally right,” says the pope. “Rather, it remains contrary to the essence of what God originally willed.”
Sure sounds like a wonderful way to live.