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Questions and Answers

I know many gays and lesbians who are very nice persons. So why should they be rejected by the Catholic Church?

Outline of the Answer
• Introduction
• “Nice” People
• Mortal Sin
• Sins of Narcissism
• Disobeying God
• Rejecting the Church

 
I, too, know many gays and lesbians who are nice persons. But being a nice person—or a good person—in the secular social sense does not mean that someone lives a holy life. After all, even the devil can be nice if it suits his purpose.

 
“Nice” People

“Nice” people aren’t necessarily what they seem on the surface. Many individuals will present themselves socially as cooperative and accepting so as to hide their dark unconscious feelings of anger and victimization— and under their mat of welcome you can find quite a bit of dirt.

  

In contrast, individuals of true holiness are “men of good will” (Luke 2:14): those who keep God’s commandments in chastity of body and mind and whose inner purity diffuses its peaceful fragrance into the world around them.

  

Being “nice,” therefore, doesn’t really amount to much spiritually because, being nice, in itself, will not get you into heaven.

 
Mortal Sin

The sad truth is that many persons who are “nice” persons also live in mortal sin.

And why can this be said? Well, mortal sin is not limited just to egregious social offenses such as murder, assault, and robbery. Sexual and reproductive sins are also mortal sins.

And why are they sins? Well, let’s find out. 

 
Sins of Narcissism

Saint Paul said (1 Corinthians 6:12–20) that a lack of respect for sexual and reproductive functions are offenses against one’s own body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Psychologically, these offenses are acts of narcissism,[1] and narcissism, by definition, is the psychological defense of self-love. Self-love, when reduced to a psychological defense, is a rupture with the divine because it offends true love: it places one’s self above love of God, who made heaven and earth—including our bodies. The sin of self-love makes the temple into a brothel, so to speak. 

So, yes, persons who use artificial birth control, who have abortions, who get remarried after divorce, or who engage in acts of sensual gratification that deny the reproductive function within Holy Matrimony (e.g., acts such as masturbation; oral sex; anal sex;[2] and interrupted coitus, or “pulling out”) may all be nice persons, but they are also guilty of the offenses of self-love.

Artificial birth control is narcissism because it renounces fertility. That’s self-love placed before love of God who created us to be fertile.

Abortion is narcissism because it makes life into a piece of garbage. That’s self-love placed before love of God who created life itself.

Remarriage after divorce is narcissism because it renounces a holy covenant. That’s self-love placed before love of God who made a holy covenant with us to rescue us from our sins.

And any activity that reduces the sexuality of the body to something no more than a form of entertainment is narcissism because it seeks to make yourself seen through your desire for another person. When you look at another person with desire, you do not see a soul enrobed in chaste beauty; you see only the exuberant fantasy that your aching throb of loneliness might be alleviated through someone’s body. Narcissism makes your pleasure in having your body fondled the focus of your satisfaction. It makes your pleasure in playing with the body of another person—turning God’s temple into your toy—into the focus of your satisfaction. That’s self-love placed above love of God, isn’t it?

So where does all this self-love placed above love of God lead us? It leads right into disobedience.

 
Disobeying God

Consider here how the devil tempted Eve to disobey God (Genesis 3:1-6).

First, he led her to doubt God by making Him seem irrational: “Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?”

Then he led her to doubt that God was being honest with her: “You certainly will not die!”

Consequently, Eve saw that the fruit was good for food and looked really nice. It was natural, so it had to be good for her, she thought. So, she disobeyed God’s command and satisfied her desire.

Furthermore, the devil continues to tempt us in the same way today, convincing us to doubt God so that we will ultimately disobey God’s commands. And so we look with desire at behaviors that separate us from a holy life, saying to ourselves, “How can there be anything wrong with anything that seems so nice?”

 
Rejecting the Church

So those who do their own will, rather than God’s will, and defile chastity (and all the holy obligations it entails) persist in narcissism. The Church does not reject them for their narcissism; it’s they who reject the Church, because by placing self-love before love of God they refuse to repent their sins, thereby falling into unforgivable sin and preventing themselves from accepting God’s merciful call to forgiveness.

 

Who wrote this web page?
 

Notes

1. Narcissism, in its psychological meaning, refers to making oneself seen and noticed; its operations are concerned entirely with the self and its satisfactions, such that all motivation begins with the self and returns to the self.

  

“. . . The root of the scopic drive is to be found entirely in the subject, in the fact that the subject sees himself. . . . in his sexual member. . . . Whereas making oneself seen is indicated by an arrow that really comes back towards the subject, making oneself heard goes towards the other.”

(Jacques Lacan, “The Partial Drive and its Circuit” and “From Love to the Libido.” In The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. New York: W. W. Norton, 1981, pp. 194–195).

  

Therefore, in contrast to this self-centered orientation of a narcissistic culture, Christ, who is the Word, makes Himself heard by calling us out of ourselves, to listen to Him, and to follow Him. He is the good shepherd, the gatekeeper who opens the gate, “and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice ” (John 10:4).

2. Acts or fantasies of bondage, rape, and anal penetration pull us away from spiritual responsibility into a realm of anger and self-loathing, reflecting—or even compulsively re-enacting—those times when we weren’t unconditionally accepted as infants or children. The erotic element of such acts or fantasies ironically derives from the anger of having been made into an object—indeed, a piece of garbage—as a child, in which all human dignity was surrendered and defiled. Thus, behind all the seeming eroticism, is a dark urge to defile the other or to be defiled yourself. These acts or fantasies, therefore, lead you right into the psychological dead-end of sado-masochism, for in their deepest psychological sense they represent a “worship” of putrefaction and death as a psychological defense against the fear of death, and consequently they defile any responsibility to life itself.

 


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