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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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The Sin of Homosexuality

downloadQuestion

Can you explain to me what specifically is sinful about homosexuality?  I do not understand why out of the six hundred and thirteen commandments Paul decided to focus on homosexuality.  Did Paul focus on it because some of the early Christians to whom he wrote letters were homosexuals?

Response

Judaism viewed sexual misconduct with great concern and severity. Sexual misconduct could result in stoning to death. Paul would reject such censures but he would urge those who had practiced various immoralities to change their lives. He actually argues for a preference toward celibacy but then relates that it is better to marry than to burn. He would no doubt argue for perfect continence. As the Church teaches, the disorientation is not sinful but the acts and lifestyle are wrong or immoral. The challenge today is how we as Christians can maintain this view and still both tolerate divergent views and welcome with love our brothers and sisters with same-sex attraction. Just as with pornography, the Church rejects homosexual acts for both Scriptural and natural-law reasons. Many Bible passages could be cited, and the Old Testament is particularly stinging. It may suffice to quote the apostle you mention.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Sexual sin is always serious because we are our bodies. Paul sees us as living temples of the Spirit. Sexual misbehavior corrupts the person at his or her core. Note that he associates it with the sin of false worship or idolatry. Remember that Paul is speaking to Gentiles in the Greek world. They worshiped false deities or idols. They were also known to be more tolerant of homosexuality. The Judeo-Christian dispensation would put an end to this.