Like the one I got this morning from a group called Catholics For Equality.
The bad feeling welled up about 2 seconds after the site loaded. It wasn't so much their agenda as the manner in which they twist Catholic teaching to mislead the public and advance their agenda that made my stomach churn. Here's an example. They list on their Website five "freedoms" to which the LGBT community is entitled: to work, to serve, to become American, to create family, and to marry. They provide a number of quotations to support their overall position.
One of their quotations comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. (CCC, 2358)It's no wonder recent polls show that a large number of Catholics support gay marriage. If this is what groups such as this tell Catholics that the Church teaches about homosexuality, then really, why is gay marriage such a big deal?
The problem is that they don't provide the entire teaching. In the Catechism, here's what appears before the aforementioned quotation:
Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (CCC, 2357)...and here's what appears after:
Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (CCC, 2259)All of this appears in a larger section under a heading titled "The Vocation To Chastity". (Funny, Catholics for Equality used "The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 6, The Sixth Commandment" as their little byline, but conveniently left off this heading, as well as the subheading "Chastity and Homosexuality") This entire section of the Catechism on the virtue chastity teaches about human integrity, self-mastery and the dignity with which all humans are created equally. So is it equality that Catholics For Equality is after; or is this group really trying to get some kind of preferential treatment?
Consider that of the five "freedoms" they've listed, two are diametrically opposed to the complete Catholic teaching on homosexuality. As Catholics, if we find ourselves in disagreement with the Church's teaching (which is the truth of Christ, by the way), then we prayerfully consider where we are going wrong by examining Her teachings and honestly looking at ourselves in Her light. We do not simply omit that which we find inconvenient. Truth is eternal and not subject to public opinion, and a lie of omission is a lie nonetheless.
The following video expresses the very heart of why Catholics really need to start earnestly learning their faith--NOW.
This program is from RealCatholicTV.com