TOP POPES' QUOTES ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY
1. People Are More Than Their Sexual Tendencies
"I am glad that we are talking about 'homosexual people' because before all else comes the individual person, in his wholeness and dignity. And people should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies: let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love."
Pope Francis, from his book: The Name of God is Mercy
2. Homosexual Acceptance Is The Way
"Men and women with homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”.
Card.Joseph Ratzinger, Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons, 2003, 4.
3. The Church Sometimes Feels Under Pressure On Homosexual Matters
"Increasing numbers of people today, even within the Church, are bringing enormous pressure to bear on the Church to accept the homosexual condition as though it were not disordered and to condone homosexual activity. Those within the Church who argue in this fashion often have close ties with those with similar views outside it...They reflect, even if not entirely consciously, a materialistic ideology which denies the transcendent nature of the human person as well as the supernatural vocation of every individual."
Card. Joseph Ratzinger, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the pastoral care of homosexual persons, 1986, 8, .
4. Homosexual Violence Is So Bad, It Endangers The Principles Of A Healthy Society
"It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law."
Card. Joseph Ratzinger, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the pastoral care of homosexual persons, 1986, 10.
5. Homosexual Sex Is Not Neccessarily Culpable
"It has been argued that the homosexual orientation in certain cases is not the result of deliberate choice; and so the homosexual person would then have no choice but to behave in a homosexual fashion. Lacking freedom, such a person, even if engaged in homosexual activity, would not be culpable.
Here, the Church's wise moral tradition is necessary since it warns against generalisations in judging individual cases. In fact, circumstances may exist, or may have existed in the past, which would reduce or remove the culpability of the individual in a given instance; or other circumstances may increase it. What is at all costs to be avoided is the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behaviour of homosexual persons is always and totally compulsive and therefore inculpable. What is essential is that the fundamental liberty which characterises the human person and gives him his dignity be recognised as belonging to the homosexual person as well. As in every conversion from evil, the abandonment of homosexual activity will require a profound collaboration of the individual with God's liberating grace."
Card. Joseph Ratzinger, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the pastoral care of homosexual persons, 1986, 11.
So what is the Church actually trying to say?
The Church is trying to say is that what is objectively sinful is not necessarily subjectively culpable, like when Pope Francis' in his widely quoted comment said: "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" But the point also is that the person is invited to growth in holiness: "The Church seeks to enable every person to live out the universal call to holiness. Persons with a homosexual inclination ought to receive every aid and encouragement to embrace this call personally and fully. This will unavoidably involve much struggle and self-mastery, for following Jesus always means following the way of the Cross. “There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle.”
Reply from the USCCB Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination: Guidelines for Pastoral Care