Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Fr. John Harvey Explains Church's Position on Homosexuality

The context of his talk and interview was the firing of the music director of this parish who was openly gay and refused to take a public vow of chastity.

I wonder how many parishes this has been done in?

From the Rockford Register Star:

REGISTER STAR: What do you think of Bill Stein, Holy Family’s former music director who is gay and was fired in June for his refusal to take a vow of chastity?

ANSWER: In my opinion, he is a Catholic and he knew the rules. We are supposed to live our lives in accordance with the Catholic faith and he has violated that rule in a serious way by being involved in a same-sex union and by wanting to adopt a child as well. We, the Catholic Church, do not support that idea of same-sex couples raising children for good reason, and that is the right of the child. We contend that a child should have a mother and a father. Being raised by two people of the same sex can lead to a child suffering deprivation with regard to relationships to persons of the opposite sex.

Q: What do you think of the decision facing the Episcopalian Church regarding what could be that denomination’s first homosexual bishop?

A: The Catholic Church will oppose ordaining an openly gay man to the episcopacy because a bishop should pattern his life upon the example of the 12 Apostles and Christ in which a homosexual act is seen as seriously immoral under all circumstances. He could be a very nice person, but his style of life is contrary to the Gospel. I’ve spent 50 years of my life working with homosexual people, and they all suffer a deprivation in not being attracted to the opposite sex. I have nothing against homosexuals, but I oppose homosexual activity.

Q: Summarize why the Catholic Church believes homosexuality is wrong.

A: The church holds that a homosexual act by its very nature is wrong because it doesn’t fulfill the purpose of a human sexual act. Normally, the union of marriage is a permanent commitment of a man to a woman with the hope of producing children. In some marriages, a child doesn’t come. If nature itself doesn’t produce children, that’s different. There are two purposes for a human sexual act: the union of a man and a woman and the procreation of children.

Q: What is the philosophy and purpose of COURAGE, your support ministry for homosexual-oriented Catholics?

A: Our philosophy is that men and women with same-sex attraction can desire to have a chaste life in accordance with the Roman Catholic teaching. Our purpose is then to teach these people how to practice chastity. That’s not easy, so we formed a support group for them back in 1980. We have five purposes: to live in accordance with Roman Catholic teachings; to develop interior prayer and learn to pray with the heart; to come together regularly to discuss our life and experiences so that none of us will have to practice the pain of homosexuality alone because you need to talk about it; fourth, it is necessary to form good friendships in order to be chaste; and to give a good example to others.

Q: Is it more difficult for a homosexual to live a chaste life than a heterosexual?

A: It’s much more difficult for a homosexual. A heterosexual can live a life of prayer and meet someone and enter into a life of conjugal chastity, but a homosexual can only live a life of chastity through prayer and the help of Christ.