The Moral Order of the World.
The Decalogue (the ten commandments).
In particular the sixth commandment.
(Continued from previous file)
The third principle: Homosexuality means sexual activity of men with other men, as well as women with women, and this is sinful. At all times, as Georg Sigmund stresses (in his basic work Die Natur der menschlichen Sexualitaet, p. 226), it was proscribed "as a perverse sexual offence, and frequently forbidden by law and also punished by law. It belonged to the 'secret vices,' which were outlawed in society, on account of which the persons addicted to this vice withdrew into the social background."
If at present the advocates of the "new morals" are now judging homosexuality as "natural" and are demanding exemption from punishment, this would mean an error and be deceptive. They openly state: "Homosexuals are a special human group, marked by a genuine natural disposition for sexual deviation from a type. And even this aptitude demands the dictatorial enjoyment of life to the fullest. No power on this earth is permitted to prohibit this carnal instinct from living itself out to the fullest." Rolf Italiander praises Holland because of its progress in matters of homosexuality and says: "The Netherlands belong to those countries in which sexual taboos have been removed thoroughly in the course of recent times. Naturally in this country, hypocrisy and reaction still exist... With the integration of the 'homophiles'-- as homosexuals call themselves today-- Holland is seen as the most progressive country." (In Weder Krankheit noch Verbrechen, p. 28 f.).
Against this stand the facts: homosexuality, the choosing of a partner of the same sex for orgiastic satisfaction, is not innate. The psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud opposed with great firmness the attempt to separate homosexuals, as a special, different group from other human beings (in Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie, p. 22).
Holy Scripture, in both the Old and New Testament, testifies to the condemnation of homosexuality and to its sinfulness. "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, because it is an abomination." (Leviticus 18, 22). The Old Testament prohibition of homosexual aberration is rooted in the original command of God, who created man male and female, with the order to put his sex-life into the service of human procreation.
Irrefutable is the voice of the New Testament. Thus Saint Paul writes: "God has given them up in the lustful desires of their heart to uncleanness, so that they dishonor their own bodies among themselves... their women have exchanged the natural use for that which is against nature, and in like manner the men also, having abandoned the natural use of the woman, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men doing shameless things, and receiving in themselves the fitting recompense of their perversity." (Romans 1, 24, 26/27).
A report form the commission of social medicine from the Medical Institute of New York of 1964 referred to the dangers of homosexual conduct and the conspicuous relationship of homosexuality with two other problems, namely, pornographic literature and venereal diseases. According to Sigmund Freud's way of thinking, homosexuality belongs to the "sexual perversions" which he calls "inversion," and which is abnormal.
Homosexuality belongs to other moral errors such as sodomy, sexual relation with animals, incest, and other perversities and lusts, which are classified by the Bible as "unnatural abuses of sex." However, masturbation, masochism, and sadism are indeed addictions, abnormalities, and (with the except of masturbation) perversities, but in the strict sense they are not normal sexual relations.
All those who are afflicted with such abnormalities (vices) have a certain peculiar "addiction for sexual exhibition," a sort of avidity and an insatiable sexual desire to see. This avidity can carry on into advanced age. The person addicted with such a sexual exhibition (voyeur) "stares above all at the bare sexual organs and execution of the sexual act... the glancing eye does not rest, but flickers. Also the collection of nude pictures (photos, magazines, etc.) which indicates an escape from reality, does not bring peace or satisfaction; rather it increases the desire for completion." (G. Siegmund, op. cit., p. 282).
Can homosexuality be healed? If so, then it can only be done through Christian and religious considerations and influence. Above all, the homosexual person should become aware of the meaning and concept of sin and repentance. To this the Protestant scholar and moralist Siegmund remarks-- he is quoted in this book more than once-- when he had certain theologians in mind: "In being afraid of being looked upon as 'out-moded,' he hardly dares to mention the word 'sin,' much less to reflect about the significance of it and to draw conclusions from it. Likewise the concepts which belong to it and which are 'repentance' and 'inner change' became strange to him (the theologian). It is enlightening that in American reports about homosexual cures, the specification 'conversion' is occasionally used. By this is meant the complete conversion and transformation of the old, sinful man into a new man, who rose with Christ from the grave of sin to a new man." (G. Siegmund, op. cit., p. 299).
In my conclusion I would like to quote a word as true as it is consoling, from the same author, who wrote with deep-rooted Christian conviction (p. 248): "A growing and saving act of the revelation of God's love belongs indeed to the cross of Christ, and it cannot be removed from its central position. At the same time it is the affirmation and also the suspension of the severe judgment of sin, and demands from the soul thus favored, a difficult and painful separation from his up-to-now habitual conduct of life. And so a new reflection on homosexuality should become evident in the present time, and to begin with, it should not be put under the dim light of a simplified, immanent natural interpretation. Only if homosexuality is retained in the foresight of God, its being endangered by sin and its need for salvation and new illumination by Christ's message of salvation, then it can be healed, even in our own time."
The fourth principle: The conjugal intimacy of man and woman in marriage is sanctified as a sacrament by the Church. It means for both partners mutual happiness of life and at the same time, in the order of God, they are provided with physical and psychological conditions destined for the transmission of life and for the formation of a family.
As it is seen in the eyes of God, the partners should enter marriage in purity. This means: the young man and the young woman should observe chastity during the time before their sacramental marriage, and should guard pre-marital purity. And if the so-called "new morality" wants to allow pre-marital sexual relations under the pretence of "practicing" for the oncoming marriage, then this may never dispense them from the observance of chastity and from complying with the Divine rules and the exalted Christian, and especially Catholic, concept and practice of marriage. When-- sadly enough-- in Christian and above all Catholic countries, the cases increase where pre-marital sexual relations are being practiced, then this is by no means a justification; rather, it is proof of sinking morality.
Marriage is indissoluble, according to the teaching of the Church. Man and woman, husband and wife, should observe good conduct throughout all their troubles and trials, difficulties and discords, since they are human, and sooner or later it can happen, even with the best people. Is not perseverance in these "narrow passages" of married life a proof of genuine faithfulness and strength of moral consciousness? But the fact that some marriages break is never a proof against the dignity and fundamental significance of the monogamous marriage, for the Church and for human society. Therefore it would be completely mistaken, in regard to unhappy marriages, to expect permission from the Church for "trial-marriages" or "time-restricted marriages." For the Church marriage morals remain unambiguous and marriage sacrosanct. And only if the reasons and circumstances of an existing marriage prove that the marriage contract was invalid, untrue, and substantially defective, then these reasons are taken care of by a marriage court, which is then only a formal confirmation of a relation that is not binding on one of the partners. However, this whole question and matter falls in the domain, the region and the theme of marriage as a sacrament.
The moral-theological question is important here: What are the facts in a marriage about the sexual intercourse of the married couple? Conjugal love between the couple leads, can lead, and should lead, to the procreation of children. This results in strictly binding duties, in consideration of the child that will be born and will grow. Sexual intercourse, which leads to the procreation of children and the transmission of life, cannot be prevented, obviated or destroyed, because the couple stands under the law and judgment of God. These sexual acts fulfill the Divine will of creation, but they could also be disturbances and a destruction of the Divine will and the Divine order of God.
Pope Paul VI wrote his encyclical Humanae Vitae to point out this Divine order of the Creator, to refer to it, and to impress it anew into the conscience of married couples. "Human life is sacred, recalled Pope John XXIII; from its very inception it reveals the creating hand of God. In conformity with these guiding principles in the human and Christian vision of marriage, we must once again declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun, and, above all, a directly willed and procured abortion, even if for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as licit means of regulating birth. Equally to be excluded, as the teaching authority of the Church has frequently declared, is direct sterilization, whether perpetual or temporary, whether of the man or of the woman. Similarly excluded is every action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible."
It was reported that some bishops, including German bishops, had certain reservations about the encyclical, and they demanded a distinction of the offences named and indicated by Pope Paul VI concerning the developing life of the unborn child. But the condemnation of abortion remains clear and unchallenged. Abortion causes death to the unborn child by intentionally inducing its loss or killing it in the mother's womb. A distinction has to be made between the interruption of pregnancy (abortion) and the prevention of pregnancy. Prevention of pregnancy means the prevention of conception. This can happen in different ways, and in fact through: 1. Constant or periodical abstention; 2. By coitus interruptus; 3. By contraceptive pills: 4. By mechanical or chemical means to kill the seed; 5. Through surgical intervention (castration, sterilization; temporary sterilization is possible by means of X-rays).
It is clear that these various ways of preventing pregnancy concerning morality are to be rated differently, which means in different degrees of guilt and condemnation. It is vitally important that abortion should be considered as morally more grave than the prevention of pregnancy. In the latter the question of the enormity or degree of sinfulness emerges. This question has been the main reason why people have occasionally been cautious, critical and reserved about this encyclical. Although these reservations may seem to be understandable, every doubt about it would be unjust, because of the seriousness of the Pope's words, and his responsible conscience which justified him before God when he wrote this encyclical.
Whether and how far prevention of pregnancy in the marriage act is really a grave sin, can hardly be determined from a single case. And so, for example, the Austrian bishops put forward their approval when passing judgment on the encyclical, saying that the Pope had not spoken explicitly of severe sin. In fact, these are considerations which seem to be well-founded.