Dale's Web Pages
HEARTBEAT NEWS #26
HEARTBEAT NEWS #26
February 5, 2003
haven't missed any issues of Heartbeat News, and you have not been dropped from the
Canticle, the Magazine for Todays
Catholic Woman is holding its third conference in Irving, Texas, March 21 and 22.
The coloring book - The Art of Raphael
is now available
Homosexuality and Hope from the
Catholic Medical Association is available Translators required.
WHATS WRONG WITH SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AND
HEART BEAT NEWS
By Dale OLeary
P.O. Box 41294, Providence, RI 02904
To those of you, who have
written concerned that you might have been dropped from this email list, thank you for
your interest. Not to worry you havent missed anything. No Heartbeat News has been
put out since April.
Canticle, the Magazine for
Todays Catholic Woman is holding its third conference in Irving, Texas, March 21
and 22. Speakers include: Johnnette Benkovic, Dale O'Leary, Prof. Janet E. Smith, Dr.
Ronda D. Chervin, Suzanne Baars, M.A Genevieve Kineke, and Marie Bellet. For full
details, including cost, travel information, and registration, visit Canticles
website at www.canticlemagazine.com; for
brochures and questions, write to Canticle2003@aol.com
A number of years ago I designed a
coloring book - The Art of Raphael. It finally found a publisher. A sample picture
will be sent in a separate email because some people have set up their system to reject
jpeg files. The book is available from Heartbeat News for $4.95, plus $1.25 shipping and
handling in U.S. and $1.75 overseas.
a coloring book on Raphael? Because we are fighting a Culture War and how can we win a
Culture War if our only weapons are arguments. We need to restore the culture. If we want
a real cultural renaissance, perhaps going back and studying previous renaissances, will
help us understand the part that literature and art play in forming a culture. And we need
to start with the children. So a coloring book seemed a place to start.
Hope from the Catholic Medical Association is available at www.cathmed.org. The Spanish version is also available.
There have been requests for translations into other languages, particularly Portuguese.
Anyone who has made or would be willing to make a translation should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHATS WRONG WITH SAME-SEX
MARRIAGE AND HOMOSEXUAL PRIESTS
the last six months I have been struggling to find a way to explain what is wrong with
same-sex marriage and why homosexual men cannot be ordained Catholic priests in a way
which will reach the hearts of ordinary men and women? To the readers of Heartbeat News
these may be self-evident truths, but the problem with self-evident truths is that they
are often very hard to explain to the people to whom they are not self-evident. Our
opposition has convinced many that all arguments based on natural law and divine
revelation are mere opinions or worse
evidence of a mean-spirited bigotry.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
If marriage is such a
good thing, why are we so opposed to allowing those who have suffered so much to enjoy its
benefits? It is not enough to show that same-sex marriage will hurt society, we must show
that no matter how much persons with same-sex attraction (SSA) want to marry,
we are not denying them a good, but preventing them doing something not in their own best
Marriage and Complementarity
Marriage in its essence
involves complementarity. Sexual complementarity allows the two to join as one flesh
and to bring forth new life from that union. A man is designed to enter and impregnate a
woman and a woman is designed to be entered and to become pregnant. A woman cannot with
her own body enter and impregnate another woman, whatever she does to another woman is
artificial. When two men engage in genital activity together, one allows himself to be
entered. This is contrary to natural male sexuality.
Complementarity is not merely physical. A man and a woman are also emotionally and
psychologically complementary. In marriage the man can be fully male and a woman to be
fully female. The
radical feminists laid the foundation for the homosexual onslaught by
claiming that men and women essentially the same and that the obvious differences are the
result of unjust gender socialization which should be eliminated so that the differences
between men and women will disappear. Those interested in understanding more about radical
feminism can read my book The Gender Agenda: Redefining
Equality. (Available from Heartbeat News, for $12.00, P.O. Box 41294, Providence,
Having won acceptance among the liberals in academia and in the media for their claim that
the differences between the sexes were the result of oppressive
and pro-homosexual activists then were able to
argue that restriction of marriage to a male/female couple was part of the same unjust
have been working with other women for over ten years to develop an understanding of how
men and women can be different and equal and how true complementarity of the sexes works. Canticle
Magazine was founded to forward this effort. Once the true complementarity of the
sexes is properly understand, one can easily understand why same-sex relationships lack
complementarity. To compensate for this, same-sex couple must make accommodations; one
partner must deny some part of his or her true identity.
One way is through a
pseudo marriage in which one person imitates the role of the other sex. An effeminate male
may think that he is like a woman, but as a woman I find the behavior of most effeminate
men a rather poor imitation of true feminine behavior. They imitate the form but
dont understand the content. Underneath they are still men, but men who feel
inferior to other men. They don't really understand what it means to be a woman.
the same-way masculine appearing women in same-sex relationships aren't real men; they are
only imitating men. I saw this clearly during a special in which Ellen DeGeneres gave a
televised tour of her home. Inside her closet there were no feminine clothes, but her
closet did not resemble the closet of well-dressed preppy man. Instead of a wide variety
of shirts, pants, there was one style of each item in different colors shirts,
jackets, pants, and shoes. It was as though she were stuck in a stereotype of masculinity.
The program included a fitting for a gown in which Ms. DeGeneres would attend an awards
ceremony. The dress was lovely but Ellen appeared to be on the verge of having a panic
attack. It struck me that at the height of her success Ms. DeGeneres was tragically unfree
unable to be comfortable as a woman and caught in a narrow stereotype of
While the general
public may view most same-sex couples as pseudo marriages, another form of accommodation
may be as prevalent: couples whose relationships resemble that of a parent and child.
Since SSA is frequently related to failure to bond with the same-sex parent, the younger,
dependent partner may be trying to repair this failure by seeking a union with a
replacement for the parent of the same sex.
marriage both partners should want what is best for the other. In a pseudo parent/child
relationship, the older partner does not want what is best for the younger namely
that younger become fully adult and independent. For the relationship to continue, younger
remain dependent and immature.
A less common type of
same-sex couple is those who see their partner as a mirror image of themselves. Like girls
in elementary school the couple may dress identically and share all activities. This type
of relationship is threatened if either partner wishes to be a free individual.
In some same-sex
couples, the partners are so wounded, so lonely, so lost that each sees the other as the
only person who has ever cared. Their loneliness becomes sexualized. They are afraid to
None of these
relationships forwards the good of both partners namely to live as a mature and
fully complete person according to ones true sexual identity. Each is based on an
unspoken promise to remain unhealed to never be the full man or woman they were
created to be. Legalizing a same-sex marriage would be approving a covenant to remain in
It is true that in some
marriages complementary does not lead to true equality between the husband and wife. The
differences is that in a dysfunctional marriage healing can improve the marriage, while
with a same-sex couple, healing will doom the relationship.
Marriage and Parenthood
The desire to be a parent is normal and healthy. Persons with SSA
almost always have had problematic relationships with one or both of their parents. If
they want children, they hope that they will be better parents than their parents.
There are several ways in which persons with SSA can acquire
children. In the past persons with same-sex attraction frequently tried to solve their
problem by marrying. Many had children and when marriage failed to resolve their same-sex
attraction, divorced, and sought custody or visitation with their children. Today persons
with SSA are less likely to marry or conceive children in a sexual relationship with a
person of the opposite sex and more likely to acquire children through adoption, foster
care, artificial insemination (for women) and surrogate parenting (for men). Once they
have children, they will love them and they want what is best for their children. They
certainly dont want their children to suffer, but by creating a creating a child who
is permanently and purposefully fatherless or motherless through artificial insemination
or surrogate parenting, they are the direct agent of suffering.
Every child has a right to know and to be raised by his or her
biological father and mother. Anything less is rightly perceived by the child as a
tragedy. If a tragedy occurs, adults can respond heroically to diminish the effects of the
tragedy. Single parents, deserted mothers, parents who adopt, and foster parents try to
cushion the blow.
The creation of a child who is conceived to be permanently and
purposefully fatherless or motherless is not unexpected tragedy to which a family
heroically responds, but a calculated injury. It is a tragedy engineered by the
childs parent and partner. Although the same-sex partners who have created the child
may claim that the child is suffering because society doesnt accept same-sex
parenting, in fact the child is suffering because he or she has been denied something
essential either a father or a mother. Two mothers is not a substitute for a mother
and father and children know this, no matter how many times they are told differently.
Not only do these children begin life with a calculated, planned
loss of one parent, the chances are extremely high that these children will experiences
subsequent losses. Same-sex relationships both male and female are extremely
unstable. When the relationship breaks up, the biological parent will demand custody, and
the non-biological parent will try to sustain the relationship. This has already led to a
number of messy custodial battles. Children conceived into these unstable families will
probably cling to whatever security they can, grow up feeling guilty, and afraid to
express legitimate anger. Their parents and the gay community will undoubtedly encourage
these children to turn their anger on an unaccepting society, but would societys
acceptance make it better for the children? Or would it just be another betrayal?
Would these children think to themselves, If everyone else says its all right
so why does it feel so wrong? Why am I so ungrateful as to want a daddy and mommy when
everyone says that two mommies are just as good?
The children created for same-sex couples will suffer and same sex
couples rather than admit that their actions are the cause of their childrens pain
will have to deny the pain or blame someone else. They are already demanding that the
world be restructured so that their children arent exposed to
heterosexist images of families. A large number of studies have been done on
children of lesbian couples. According to the studies, the children in spite of traumatic
divorces and other stresses have no problems. This absence of problems is in itself
problematic. Could it be that the researchers, the couples, and the children themselves
are afraid to admit problems that do exist?
The denial of the childrens pain and fundamental human right
to be conceived in an act of love between a man and a woman who married and committed to
the child for life constitutes the gravest evil. Children are not objects, created to
satisfy their parents needs. At present the law cannot prevent same-sex couples from
creating fatherless or motherless children, but making same-sex marriage legal would
encourage these couples to acquire children. Same-sex marriage would constitute a legal
encouragement of a particularly terrible form of child abuse.
Marriage and Fidelity
SSA is a psychological
disorder in which, for many, sexual addiction is a significant factor. Pro-gay writers
readily admit that expecting two men in a sexual relationship to remain faithful is an
unrealistic goal. It is expected that over time at least one of the partners will engage
in sexual acts with others. Fidelity in these relationships is redefined to mean that the
extent and nature of other relationships is negotiated between the partners. To legalize
marriages in which infidelity is expected changes the very meaning of marriage.
Persons with SSA who
seek to marry undoubtedly hope to escape from the cycle of raised expectations
and dashed hopes. They may sincerely believe that marriage will solve their
problem, but marriage doesnt resolve psychological problems. The psychological
disorders associated with SSA (see Sandfort et al, Archives of General Psychiatry, 2001) make healthy, stable same-sex relationships difficult to achieve.
Persons with SSA want
acceptance, as children they felt rejected, different, unaccepted. For them, the
legalization of same-sex marriage would finally force the world to accept them. They are
willing to pay the price for that acceptance the surrender of their true masculine
or feminine identity. They want us to agree to the lie that governs their inner life
to say that all they are or can ever be is homosexual and we must love them
enough to say, No, you are real men and women.
WHY HOMOSEXUAL MEN CANT BE PRIESTS
The Catholic Church has recently confirmed its long-standing prohibition against the
ordination of homosexual men to the priesthood. This has provoked criticism from
pro-homosexual activists. It appears that in the recent past dispensations from the rule
have been granted that the results have not been positive. A man with untreated Same-Sex
Attraction (SSA) should not be ordained a priest because, until he receives some form of
healing he is not free psychologically, emotionally or spiritually to marry or to
become a priest who is the sign of Christ, the bridegroom of the Church. According to
- Priesthood is not a job opportunity or even a
career. A priest is a man called by God; he has a divine vocation.
- A priest is called to a sign of Gods
- A priest is called to image Christ, the bridegroom
whose loves the Church his bride with spousal love which is the pattern for married love.
- A priest is called to participate in the
brotherhood of priests in unity with the bishops and the Pope.
- A priest is called to holiness, which must be
built on psychological wholeness.
- A priest is called to live heroic virtue.
- A priest is called to chastity. In the Roman rite
all priests take a vow of celibacy.
- A priest is called to obedience.
- A priest is called to serve the truth.
- A priest is called to love not erotic love
(eros in Greek) but self-giving love (agape love) the love which makes a man ready
to lay down his life for his friends.
While men with SSA may genuinely desire to be good priests, the
very nature of the problem from which they suffer makes it difficult for them to be all
that a priest is called to be. SSA is a developmental disorder. Men with SSA are real men,
who as boys felt different from other males. From the spiritual point of view,
SSA can be viewed as the internalization of a lie about the self. Since this process
occurs when the child is very young, the child is not morally responsible and cannot be
said to have chosen SSA. As the child matures, same-sex sexual desires emerge. Again the
adolescent does not choose to have same-sex attractions. However, the lie can become so
engrained, so tangled in net of psychological defense mechanisms, that the man truly
believes that he was born gay and may even insist that God make him that way.
It takes time and hard work for a man who has lived for years inside this lie to find his
way out, but it is not impossible.
Called to be an image of Christ the bridegroom
A priest must be a man of truth. He must know the truth about
himself namely that he was made by God to be fully and completely male. He must
understand the nuptial meaning of his own body. A priest surrenders his right to take a
wife and become a biological father, and accepts Gods call to become a father for
all and take the Church as his bride. How can a man who finds spousal love alien be a sign
of that love for all?
The love between two men cannot be a sign of spousal love. The
fraternal love between two men is the basis for the brotherhood of priests, and fraternal
love is in its essence non-sexual. A man with SSA cannot surrender his right to an
intimate, permanent, loving relationship with another man, because he has no right to such
a relationship. A sexual relationship between two men whether a one-night encounter or a
permanent committed relationship is always objectively sinful.
Called to obedience
A man with SSA who has convinced himself that he was born
gay, that gay is good, and that change is impossible necessarily rejects
the authority of scripture and the unchangeable moral law presented therein. This
rejection is rarely confined to that single point of theology. Men who self-identify as
gay routinely reject the Christian teaching on sexuality in other areas.
SSA often begins with a boys inability to see his father as a
model; therefore it is common for men with SSAD to have problems with father figures and
Called to the brotherhood of priests
Brothers dont have sex with brothers. Healthy men have a
natural negative reaction to effeminacy in other men and to the very idea of genital acts
between men. Most men dont like being viewed as a sex object by another man. The
close bonding within a group of men which creates a healthy solidarity is predicated on
the unspoken agreement that the relationship will be totally and absolutely non-sexual.
Called to live heroic virtue
A priest is called to live heroic virtue. Some have argued that
since men with SSAD have suffered rejection and oppression and are sensitive persons, they
are uniquely qualified to be priests. However, if they are unhealed and not only
unhealed but unwilling to do the hard work required to be healed then they are
clearly unqualified to examples of the power of the gospel to set men free. SSA is
associated with depression, self-pity, envy, and other problems which directly affect a
persons spiritual life. Men with SSA often seek escape through self-comforting
behaviors, including substance abuse, sexual fantasy, pornography, acting out alone or
Christians have too often failed persons with SSA, failed to pray
for them and failed to help them find healing. Like the priest and the Pharisee in the
parable of the Good Samaritan, Christians have passed by on the other side. Now in a
misguided attempt to remedy that past failure some are suggesting that these deeply
wounded men should be ordained priests. Such thinking is born out of ignorance concerning
the causes and effects of SSA.
It is important to recognize that SSA is a problem to be healed,
not the true identity of the person. Nor is it an either/or proposition. Many men have
same-sex temptations or same-sex sexual experiences in their youth and grow up to be free
of such problems although embarrassed and ashamed. SSA is best viewed as a symptom
of an underlying problem. The younger a man is when the problem is addressed, the greater
the possibility of complete freedom. Careful discernment by spiritual directors and
absolute honesty from applicants to the seminary are essential.
What about men with SSAD who have already been
ordained as priests?
Their bishops have a duty to see that therapy and spiritual
direction aimed at healing the underlying conflicts is available in every diocese for
every priest. Spiritual directors and lay men who provide such therapy and/or spiritual
direction must be men of good character who accept without reservations Christian sexual
morality and also understand of the causes of SSA and most effective methods of treatment.
Posted: 2003 02 08