Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sodomy and false compassion...

Pope Saint Pius X, in his 1910 Catechism, teaches us that sodomy ranks second in gravity to voluntary homicide, among the sins that "cry out to God for vengeance." According to this Catechism, these sins "are said to cry out to God because the Holy Spirit says so and because their iniquity is so grave and manifest that it provokes God to punish with more severe chastisements."

The Catechism of the Catholic Church published by the Vatican in 1994 teaches clearly that homosexuality is contrary to nature and that homosexual acts are among the "sins gravely contrary to chastity." (CCC, 2396). This Catechism teaches that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered," "contrary to the natural law," and that "under no circumstances can they be approved." (CCC, 2357).

In a discussion thread which may be found here homosexual activist John Hosty [from Massachusetts] is attempting to convince others that Christian "compassion" for homosexual persons should leave such individuals comfortable in their sin.

Now while it is true that everything must be done to help sinners, this cannot include helping them to sin or to remain in sin. Because of human frailty, every sinner deserves both pity and compassion. However, vice and sin must be excluded from this compassion. This because sin can never be the proper object of compassion. (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.1, ad 1).

It is a false compassion which supplies the sinner with the means to remain attached to sin. Such "compassion" provides an assistance (whether material or moral) which actually enables the sinner to remain firmly attached to his evil ways. By contrast, true compassion leads the sinner away from vice and back to virtue. As Thomas Aquinas explains:

"We love sinners out of charity, not so as to will what they will, or to rejoice in what gives them joy, but so as to make them will what we will, and rejoice in what rejoices us. Hence it is written: 'They shall be turned to thee, and thou shalt not be turned to them.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25, a.6, ad 4, citing Jeremiah 15:19).

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that the sentiment of compassion only becomes a virtue when it is guided by reason, since "it is essential to human virtue that the movements of the soul should be regulated by reason." (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, c.3). Without such regulation, compassion is merely a passion. A false compassion is a compassion not regulated and tempered by reason and is, therefore, a potentially dangerous inclination. This because it is subject to favoring not only that which is good but also that which is evil (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.1, ad 3).

An authentic compassion always stems from charity. True compassion is an effect of charity (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.3, ad 3). But it must be remembered that the object of this virtue is God, whose love extends to His creatures. (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25, a.3). Therefore, the virtue of compassion seeks to bring God to the one who suffers so that he may thereby participate in the infinite love of God. As St. Augustine explains:

"'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' Now, you love yourself suitably when you love God better than yourself. What, then, you aim at in yourself you must aim at in your neighbor, namely, that he may love God with a perfect affection." (St. Augustine, Of the Morals of the Catholic Church, No. 49, which may be found here:

Please pray for Mr. Hosty and other misguided individuals who believe that compassion toward homosexual persons means showing acceptance of homosexual behavior. For such false compassion actually serves to harm the one chained to vice as well as the common good.



Ellen Wironken said...

Paul, that is just powerful. God bless you for posting such an incredible refutation of false compassion.

Anonymous said...

Ellen, I fully agree. Paul's article is brilliant and decimates John Hosty's tired and adolescent arguments about compassion. Every time a Christian - or anyone else who opposes homosexual acts - refuses to justify John Hosty in his illicit behavior, he accuses us of "turning our backs" on the homosexual person.

This faulty argument has now been shattered. The question is: will John Hosty now acknowledge the faulty premises behind his failed argument?

Anonymous said...

Our society has embraced that false notion of compassion. Which is why the push is on to normalize homosexual behavior and to legitimize homosexual "marriage." If only your post was read by Massachusetts State legislators.

Anonymous said...

Let's see if Mr. Hosty has the intellectual integrity to admit when he's wrong about compassion. In the past, when Mr. Hosty was losing an argument, he would suddenly fall silent. Will he remain silent now or will he rise to the challenge?

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most powerful things I have ever read on compassion and our attitude toward the homosexual person. I have witnessed false compassion toward homosexuals at my parish. There is never any talk about the sinfulness of the homosexual act or how the inclination is "intrinsically disordered." Because no one wants to "hurt" the feelings of the one caught up in homosexuality, everyone ends up ignoring the elephant in the livingroom: that the homosexual way of life is disordered and homosexual acts are always gravely sinful objectively speaking.

If we really had charity toward the person caught up in this vice, we would be not only charitable toward them, we would be blunt. The truth is sometimes very difficult for some to accept. Much like the large pill which must be ingested to cure sickness. It's a bit uncomfortable going down but in the end it will only do one good. As long as we cower in fear, desiring the respect of men more than we fear God, the situation in the United States - and other Western countries - will only deteriorate and go from bad to worse.

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