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Carl Paladino's opposition to homosexuality: "Exactly equivalent to the Catholic Church"

That's kind of a scary statement given the latest comments by the Tea Party fave and GOP gubernatorial candidate for governor in New York. Paladino has a hard-earned reputation for being, let's say, mercurial, and his statements on Sunday about gays at an Orthodox synagogue in Brooklyn plus his kind-of-walkback on the "Today" show this ayem only reinforce that.I have a story on the exchanges here, and NYT coverage is here.What intrigued me, in light of our recent discussions of Catholic teaching and gay bullying and the gay marriage battle by the bishops, were these quotes from Paladino's campaign manager, Michael R. Caputo, in reference to Paladino's often sneering dismissal of homosexuals:

"Carl Paladino is simply expressing the views that he holds in his heart as a Catholic," Caputo told The Times. "Carl Paladino is not homophobic, and neither is the Catholic Church."

Caputo continued that line in remarks to CNN.

"Carl Paladino's position on this is exactly equivalent to the Catholic Church," Caputo said. "And if Andrew Cuomo has a problem with the Catholic Church's position on abortion and homosexuality, he needs to take it up with his parish priest."

Caputo may be right, but does Paladino's tone at least merit a pastoral response from someone in the Catholic hierarchy? And is his attitude representative of how many Catholics internalize -- and then express -- church teaching on/against homosexuality and gays and lesbians?

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Reminds me of the time I went and had dim sum with two old Jewish Sociology professors. As one of them snarfed down the delicious pork pot stickers, one after another, the other one teased him and said, "Don't you know thoses things are porK"To which he replied "Anything I eat is kosher."

This is a tempest in a teapot. Is someone saying that every New Yorker must attend the Gay Pride Parade to be considered a decent human being? Give the guy a break. After all, he says that he doesnt want to hurt anyone who self-identifies as gay, and, according to The New York Times, he has campaign aides who self-identify in that manner.Im upset with Carl Paladinos position on the Manhattan mosque controversy (NO), and Im not saying that hes a model candidate from the perspective of Catholic social teaching. His positions on defending unborn children and marriage, however, are good. Im impressed with his forthrightness and guts in connecting his abortion stance with his Catholic upbringing. Further, as far as we know, he didnt try to pressure the mother of his out-of-wedlock daughter into aborting their child.Id like to learn more about Paladino, and I hope that hell develop his thinking on all issues.

Hello David (and All),I first learned of Mr. Paladino's remarks late last night. I admit I was initially offended, but I quickly had to admit to myself that Mr. Paladino said nothing different either in substance or in tone regarding homosexuality than I've heard from the most high profile American Catholic bishops. So maybe I had no business getting initially hot under the collar. And at least for the time being I'd have to agree completely with Mr. Caputo's remarks you quote here.This is certainly one occasion where I'd be grateful if other participants here show me I'm wrong.

Peter V: (I won't do offense by spelling out your last name, which is objectively disordered by the time it reaches my cortex) I agree that Paladino is in synch with much of the hierarchy, unfortunately the tone in particular is hardly necessary from him or any Catholic. Yet he is scrambling around here so much that he goes in and out of synch with Catholic teaching from one statement to the other. He would hire openly gay folks, he says, for example, and would not veto a gay marriage bill if it passed by a referendum. And he is "live and let live." I think perhaps he is above all the apotheosis of a strand of Tea Partyism, which can't reconcile libertarian and social conservatism.

Stephen O'Brien, yes, it would be worth your while learning about Paladino, though he can be so inconsistent as to make it difficult to find out what he's really about, except anger. He has some very dodgy business practices, and of course he is on dangerous ground when he preaches morality given that he has a 10-year-old daughter from an affair with a former employee and he has sent out porngraphic and racist emails, not to mention his spreading (so far) unfounded rumors about Cuomo's personal life. All in all, a piece of work, as we used to say in Jersey.

David - difficult to respond even prescinding from the obvious influence of the Tea Partiers. There is a huge disconnect here and by some of our bishops. Faith is not the same as religion especially not a fundamentalist expression of religion.What this candiate and some bishops express is basically another kind of fundamentalist religion - when, what the world, human race, church needs are honest folks who ask questions, are not judgmental, listen, and understand that there are questions in this world that are not black and white and what we need is patience and loving relationships that indicate we are all on a journey together. This applies to issues such as gay marriage, civil unions, basic human dignity of all without regard to orientation, race, religion, etc. It requires voters to assess whether a candidate can evaluate, consider, and arrive at positions that are consistent and workable and not just a fundamentalist black and white answer.

It was just after World War II---that people (and mostly educators) learned that children who used their left hand did so because of pre-natal conditions (actually it is genetics). That brought an end to trying to "force" young children who use their left hand---to become right handed.It was just this year, that studies discovered that children with ADD (attention deficit syndrom) are this way because of genetics. Not because of any learned behavior.What happens when we discover that gays and lesbians are not CHOOSING to be homosexual, but are homosexual because of genetics? Are Catholics still going to be using the Gospels? or Natural Law (which believed that female infants were 'misbegotten males) as our 'proof of infallibility' against gays and lesbians?

I happened to catch Matt Lauer's interview on "TODAY" this morning. It was interesting to see Paladino attempting to weave in and around Lauer's tough questioning. Score one for Lauer! What a poor candidate for governor (but, then, what mediocre Catholic hierarchs we see in the Church of Rome :)

I've never lived in New York, so I don't know, is his tone sort of normal?

This is certainly one occasion where Id be grateful if other participants here show me Im wrong.Peter,Rest assured that Paladino's attitude toward homosexuals is not identical to that of the Catholic Church. He said his approach was "live and let live." That is not the approach of the Catholic Church.

It seems that Paladino is a desperate politician trying to land a haymaker.That he has chosen to do so by pandering to homophobia, and then dragging the Church down with him is unfortunate and shameful.Paladino's statements may in some sense accurately reflect the textual teaching of the Church, but it is my belief and hope that they do not reflect its heart. And at this time of suicides by gay teens, I think the truly merciful and loving heart of the Church is what is needed more than statements about the superiority of the heterosexual orientation.I'm typically not a fan of having the bishops explicitly get involved in political campaigns, but this may be an exception. A consequence of Paladino's statements and subsequent linking of them to Church teaching is to reinforce the idea that the Church is completely hostile to gays and lesbians as people, and I think that needs to be vigorously confronted.

Further, as far as we know, he didnt try to pressure the mother of his out-of-wedlock daughter into aborting their child.The man's a saint! The Catholic view of abortion is that it is murder. To imply that it is admirable that Paladino didn't urge the murder of his unborn child conceived in an adulterous affair is to set the bar very low. Suppose you do pressure the woman you are having an affair with to have an abortion to get rid of your baby. I suppose one could consider it admirable that you didn't have the woman killed and her body incinerated to eliminate all evidence of the affair. See Howard Kurtz's piece titled Scandal time: Paladino gets a pass.

Paladino made a shrewd political move all around on this one. I have gays on my staff and wish them well, approve of SSM in a state in which the people approve of it, just being obedient to my church and unfortunately am a sinner having a child out of wedlock.....

This is just "wedge politics" at its worst. Paladino is so out of the mainstream, his views and deportment so over the top, he is hoping to peel-off some of the many Catholic voters in NY who might be inclined to not vote for Cuomo because there is some daylight between him and the Catholic Church.Why does Paladino do this kind of thing? Because it works. Most voters in America think political elections are somewhat akin to "prom King and Queen."Besides, conservatives have never forgiven Andrew Cuomo's father, Mario, for his eloquent defense of Catholics taking a liberal stance in politics (i.e., speech at ND University in the 80s or 90s).

Rest assured that Paladinos attitude toward homosexuals is not identical to that of the Catholic Church. He said his approach was live and let live. That is not the approach of the Catholic Church.DN,What, would you say, is the approach of the Catholic Church? Forced attempted conversions?What are you hoping to accomplish by arguing that the Church's position is worse than Paladino articulated?

JJ,Do you believe that "eloquent defense of Caholics taking a liberal stance on politics" is a truthful summary of Mario Cuomo's 1984 Notre Dame speech? That it didn't have something to do with abortion? As if there was any sentiment that it was unacceptable for Cathoics to be, for example, liberal on economics?

To say that theres some daylight between Andrew Cuomo and the Catholic Church is like saying that theres some daylight between a cattlemens association and vegetarianism. By the way, Cuomos father wasnt arguing for a liberal political position at Notre Dame: he was defending legalized abortion. Theres nothing liberating about the mass murder of unborn children.

"that Paladino didnt urge the murder of his unborn child conceived in an adulterous affair is to set the bar very low."How low must the bar be for NARAL-endorsed Cuomo, then, who supports the right of a woman to murder her unborn child."What happens when we discover that gays and lesbians are not CHOOSING to be homosexual, but are homosexual because of genetics?"There is much more firmly-based science for a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. Does that mean that God "made that person an alcoholic"? That we should celebrate when such a person becomes an alcoholic? That we should affirm that person in his alcoholic nature since "God made him that way"?

I saw Paladino a few hours ago in the Columbus Day Parade. His delegation was met by what I can only describe as awkward silence. Of course, the loud cheering that accompanied Cuomo when he passed by a few minutes earlier was mostly coming from the people marching with him. But the mood was very different, on the sidewalks and on the street. Cuomo's group looked ready for a party; Paladino's looked ready for a fight. (But the most negative response they got, at least near me, was from people politely declining the offer of campaign signs.) It wasn't the most entertaining part of the parade, but the contrast of professional politician vs. angry upstart was a spectacle in its own way...

The question of whether there will be a response from the hierarchy is an interesting one. The Catechism teaches that gays and lesbians should be treated with "respect, compassion and sensitivity," (2358) which is exactly what Mr. Paladino is not doing. Thus he is going against church teaching if he is not being respectful, sensitive and compassionate. When other politicians misrepresent church teaching, there is often a swift response, clarifying the teaching in question. On the other hand, Mr. Paladino's comments on most other topics have been rather bizarre, so perhaps that he spoke as he did on the topic in question is not terribly surprising.

"The Catechism teaches that gays and lesbians should be treated with respect, compassion and sensitivity, (2358) which is exactly what Mr. Paladino is not doing."Fr Martin, can you give an example of how a faithful Catholic might express support for Church teaching that homosexual acts are gravely immoral while doing so with respect, compassion and sensitivity? It seems to me a very fine line, treading between the two unsatisfactory poles of uncompassionate condemnation and pusillanimous acceptance of homosexual acts. Thanks in advance...

What, would you say, is the approach of the Catholic Church? Forced attempted conversions?John McG,The approach of the Church is to oppose any legal protections that would apply specifically even to celibate people with a heterosexual orientation, let alone self-identified gay men and lesbians. It approach urges "homosexual persons" to live celibate lives and hide their sexual orientation, and then they will have no problems with discrimination. What are you hoping to accomplish by arguing that the Churchs position is worse than Paladino articulated?I am just pointing out a simple truth. Check out this interview. Paladino, in that interview, is much more accepting of gay rights than the relevant official documents from the CDF.

David,Have you considered how casting the Church's position in this way may be adding to the (IMO, incorrect) perception that the Catholic Church in particular, and Christian churches in general, hate gay people, and that this may be a contributing factor to the gay teen suicides?Even if one accepts your description, I don't think it's necessarily at odds with "live and let live." Does "live and let live" imply supporting "legal protections that would apply specifically" to a certain group?Yet, you couldn't resist your little potshot. Hope you enjoyed it.

"Fr Martin, can you give an example of how a faithful Catholic might express support for Church teaching that homosexual acts are gravely immoral while doing so with respect, compassion and sensitivity?"Politely decline to participate in such activities on the basis that your religion prohibits it.If and when asked to explain the Catholic Church's position on homsexual acts and sexuality in general, simply state it factually. If you believe the current position is correct, then say so. If your friend is having an affair, how would you explain to that friend that the affair is "gravely immoral?" If your nephew is living with his girlfriend how would you explain to him and her that their conduct is "gravely immoral?" I suggest that the Church's answers as to how to deal with these two questions should be identical to its approach to homosexual conduct.

The Catechism teaches that gays and lesbians should be treated with respect, compassion and sensitivity, (2358) which is exactly what Mr. Paladino is not doing. Fr. Martin,The Catechism never uses the words gays and lesbians. As I have argued at length in my post of 10/09/2010 - 12:28 pm in another thread, in a very real sense, the Catholic Church does not even grant gay people and lesbians the right to exist. I appreciate the efforts of those who attempt to make the teachings of the Church less harsh than they are in an attempt to take the sting out of them. But in reality, the Church does not call for "respect, sensitivity, and compassion" for gay people and lesbians but for celibate men and women with heterosexual orientations who, if they take the advice of the Church, keep their orientation a secret.

Yet, you couldnt resist your little potshot. Hope you enjoyed it.I am growing weary of these kinds of personal remarks. I hope if I slip into them myself, people will hold me doubly accountable.

Have you considered how casting the Churchs position in this way may be adding to the (IMO, incorrect) perception that the Catholic Church in particular, and Christian churches in general, hate gay people, and that this may be a contributing factor to the gay teen suicides?John McG,I would not say the Church hates gay people. I would say it regards them much the same as it regards murderers, abortionists, rapists, polygamists, and other people who commit gravely sinful acts and are dangerous to society. It does not recognize the right of gay people to live the life of their choice, and it particularly does not recognize the right of gay people to attempt in any way to win acceptance in society. Gay people must be opposed until they acknowledge that homosexual acts are acts of "grave depravity," to which no one has any conceivable right. Gay men and lesbians have no right to housing or jobs if they openly persist in homosexual behavior.If teens are troubled because they are told they are "objectively disordered," have a "more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil," and must choose between a life of celibacy on the one hand, or grave depravity on the other, the Church cannot change its teachings just because some of these teens commit suicide.

Any person with a sexual disorder, including those with a homosexual inclination, should be treated for their developmental disorder with Love and compassion so that they might come to understand what contributed to their sexual disorder, address the contributing factors, and learn how to develop healthy and Holy relationships. Our Dignity as Human Beings is found within our complementary nature as male and female that has been endowed to us from God from The Beginning.

so that they might come to understand what contributed to their sexual disorder, address the contributing factors, and learn how to develop healthy and Holy relationships.Nancy,Do I understand you here to be saying that a person with a homosexual orientation can figure out what caused it, overcome it, develop a heterosexual orientation, and perhaps even marry a person of the opposite sex?

David, I am saying that our inherent, complementary nature as male and female that has been endowed to us from God must be respected and that those who suffer with a homosexual inclination deserve our compassion, Love, and guidance to help heal the wounds that contributed to their disorder so that they may develop healthy and Holy relationships.

"and, according to The New York Times, he has campaign aides who self-identify in that manner."In favor of the view that his statements are more liberal than that of bishops, I think no Catholic bishop would tell the world that he has a gay aide.Of course, it's a variant of the "some of my best friends are Jews" cliche, but still it's more liberal than career-conscious bishops allow themselves to be. I'd like to rewrite Nancy's mantra in a more christian style: "Our inherent, complementary nature as male and female (or as same-sex oriented) that has been endowed to us from God must be respected and that those who have a homosexual inclination deserve our compassion, Love, and guidance to help them live our their godgiven nature in the healthy and Holy relationships."

David Nickol (wasting his breath) once again challenges Nancy on the grounds of basic phenomenology -- the very ground on which the most intimate bullying is imposed on vulnerably young people, often by their parents. Surely to negate your own child's identity and deny the validity of his or her experience is a sort of soul-murder; nor is it surprising that so many such abused children are driven to suicide. Nancy, please (I waste my breath) consider rewriting your creed as follows: "Our inherent, complementary nature as male and female (or as same-sex oriented) that has been endowed to us from God must be respected and those who have a homosexual orientation deserve our compassion, Love, and guidance to help them live out their godgiven nature in healthy and Holy relationships."|

Paladino will actively recruit openly gay people for every role in his administration. He has NO problem with homosexuality, only with gay marriage and with exposing young kids to homosexuals at raunchy gay pride parades (as Cuomo did with his daughters). Discrimination against homosexuals is horrible, terrible, and affects his own nephew. The interviewer pushes him to say the lifestyle is equally valid and acceptable. He said it is unacceptable to call homosexuality dysfunctional and that that is why he crossed it out of the speech written for him. My approach is live and let live.No Catholic bishop speaks as openly and liberally as this.As to suicides, Fr Bernard Lynch, who works as a therapist, claims that the insidious CDF documents have directly contributed to them.

We have just got to admit that we were wrong, terribly, murderously wrong, just as in the case of the Jews.

From the tone of this thread, it seems most posters here either do not have kids, or their kids are already raised. Please try to understand the concerns of parents of young children. Paladinos statement is not at all shocking; in fact it seems more or less on the mark. I do not want to have to try to explain to my 5-year old why the teacher is babbling on about Johnny has two dads and the the like.Homosexuality is obviously not normal; it never has been and it never will be. These are people with a serious problem, but they are not the norm. Statistically, active homosexuals have more emotional problems and shorter life spans. Children will be better off if they do not embrace-follow homosexuality.Now obviously we ought not promote abuse of anyone, but that we should not be promoting such a lifestyle is clear enough. I have no desire to see anyone abuse smokers, but I certainly do not want the teacher telling my son that smoking cigarettes is fine either.More generally, why these people with these weird ideas always keep trying to creep into our public schools and into the minds of the young, is beyond me.

Ken, I have a five-year-old as well, and my hope is that she is never exposed to someone like you.But above all, I hope that if your child turns out to be gay, you will treat her or him with greater love and respect and intellectual honesty than you show here.

My point is that if you want to know what the Church thinks and feels about something, I suppose one approach is to find the most incendiary phrase you can in a Church document, and band that about to convict the Church of homophobia. So, take "objectively disordered," put it in 24-point type, and conclude the Church is hostile to gays.Or, you can talk to actual Catholics, and see how they feel.Church documents are going to deal with matters of governance and necessarily be a bit of a sting. I recall when we were dealing with infertility, I found the statement that infertility is "not an intrinsic evil" a bit stinging. I never thought we were intrinsically evil.Even so, passages like Fr. Martin cited are easily dismissed as lip service.I think it is our job, particularly in the laity, to actually put flesh on what these sometimes harsh-sounding words mean. And that's why it irritates me, in a thread full of people who recognize that Palodino's speech does not reflect the fullness of Catholic regard toward gays and lesbians, to see people trying to make the case that the Church is *even worse* than what Palodino presents. It's cheap point scoring, and it has consequences.DN, if you tire of being called out on this, perhaps you should consider your conduct in the threads. Did you really think, "He said his approach was 'Live and let live.' That is not the approach of the Catholic Church." was a positive contribution to the conversation?When you go into comment boxes of blogs with a Catholic identity and insult the Catholic Church, some people aren't going to like it. Either reconsider your approach, or deal with it.

"I do not want to have to try to explain to my 5-year old why the teacher is babbling on about Johnny has two dads and the the like." -- Ken, it's not that hard. First I would tell my child that Johnny has only one biological father because the seed comes from only one of them, but that the biological mother is not there, so, one of the biological parents is missing. But a child needs two parents.Then I would say that Johnny's father has chosen to live with the other man, they must be really really good friends, friends for life, and they will take care of Johnny together, so that Johnny still has two parents. Then I would say that it's like adoption. Sometimes the man and woman who provided the seeds are not there, and then other people step in to love the child and be his parents.

I have a six year old and ten year old (both of whom attend Catholic schools). I have already had a few conversations with my older daughter that the Catholic Church has occasionally been wrong about a couple of things, and that same sex marriage is one of them. I have also told her that 50, 60 years ago, people of different races couldn't marry each other; we know today that this is bigotry. I told my daughter that her own children will someday be shocked to learn that people once discriminated against gay people and wouldn't let them marry the person they love. That's how I explain how "Johnny has two dads".

The beat of division goes on and bravo to Fr. Martin.Paladino is a loose canon in these days when big moneyed crazies on the right can politically try to gain power (as apropriately noted here trying to havea "wedge issue.")I think Mr. McG. confuses criticism with insult. All the recent posts here relevant to this topic will continue the beat of a division that is going to also continue in society at large.Rationality is not prevailing in the highly politicized atmosphere generated by the likes of Paladino et al.And the rationality of the Church's natural law arguments (as Jeanne pointed out in the thread below) remains open to a lot of criticism.

FWIW - I think David N is right to call out statements from Rome that are now more than two decades old but have never been updated.If ever there was an area where Catholic teaching needs to develop - for all pracitcal purposes, has developed - it is in some of the presecriptions form the CDF.Paladino's statements, as recast by Fr. O'Leary, do seem about right.I also think that Joe McFaul makes a great point. There are a lot of other issues in our lives where quoting passages from Roman documents to a person asking questions, or in anguish, is the completely wrong pastoral approach.

I don't think it is right for DN to call out those statements, ignore the witness of the many Catholics around him, and use that as the sole evidence to draw conclusions about what the attitude of the Church is (while dismissing other more compassionate statements because they don't use the words he prefers).It's one thing to say those statements should be revised; it's another to say that those statements mean that the Church's attitude toward gay people is more severe than what Paladino has expressed.

Jim, you say, "There are a lot of other issues in our lives where quoting passages from Roman documents to a person asking questions, or in anguish, is the completely wrong pastoral approach."And I agree with you.But I also think it's important to point out re: the 1986 magisterial document (and the use of its language of disorder in the catechism) that we're not talking precisely about people quoting passages from a Roman document as what proves harmful to many LGBT persons in our society.What I understand us to be talking about is the cultural and political application of a teaching that has proven toxic for many members of the church and for society at large. David began the thread asking,"And is his attitude representative of how many Catholics internalize and then express church teaching on/against homosexuality and gays and lesbians?"Obviously, the answer to David's question is yes. Just read this thread and you'll see respondents repeatedly demonstrating that the answer to the question is yes.I can't think of any other area of church teaching in which people feel so free, at a cultural and political level and even while claiming to represent the center of Catholic identity, to vent such hateful thoughts and to treat those against whom they're venting the hateful thoughts with such disdain.The problem is clearly rooted in the magisterial language of disorder. And those using it in a baleful cultural and political way as a weapon against their gay brothers and sisters are not misusing or distorting the language of disorder. They're accurately representing it, even if they're also ignoring the call of the catechism to treat those who are gay and lesbian with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. (But how possible are any of those gestures in a system defined by this language of disorder at the top?)Reading this thread reminds me of why, like many other gay and lesbian folks who happen to be Catholic, I keep my distance. I have to do so, to salvage self-respect and to have peace of mind.And I have to do so to pursue what's most significant in my life, even when some of my brothers and sisters -- who claim to embody in their own natures the norm for all the rest of us -- tell me in no uncertain terms that I am incapable of pursuing that goal. I have to keep my distance from my own church when I listen to many of my "normal" brothers and sisters on threads like this spew homophobic poison because I find, elsewhere in my life, and precisely in loving myself and others as gay, grace, peace, joy, and above all, love.All the things my church tells me to aspire to, and which I ought to find in my church.But I decidedly find none of these things in many of the comments on this thread, which appeal to a non-existent teaching of Jesus on homosexuality, while seeming to me to ignore what is clear, abundant, patent, and compelling in Jesus's teaching -- the call to practice love, mercy, and justice. To find Jesus and to listen seriously to his call for my life, I have to distance myself decisively from some of his own followers in my church.

John McG, I'll let David Nickol speak for himself, but it was my sense reading him that he was talking about the "Church" as in the Magisterium, the catechism, and the like, whereas you are talking about regular Catholics in the pews, and elsewhere. Perhaps I have that wrong, but it sounds to me as though you are talking past each other to some extent, even though you may have a legitimate disagreement.

As someone who wishes the Church's documents on pastoral ministry to LGBTQ people were a little better than they currently are, I recently posted a response to the Paladino debacle that pointed out the pastoral nature of the official church documents and their priority of each person's intrinsic dignity at the core of the teaching. That is, to say the least, much more than Paladino offers in his terrible remarks. Additionally, as a Franciscan friar and an alum of the same Franciscan college as Paladion - St. Bonaventure University - I must say that I am horrified that somebody could graduate from that school and express the worldview that Paladino espouses. He does not represent the Church nor my alma mater!Here is my full take on the matter:http://www.datinggod.org/2010/10/11/carl-paladino-does-not-represent-the...

Mr. Gibson takes issue with Paladino's "tone." Father Martin argues that Paladino is actually violating Church teachings that state that gays and lesbians deserve respect. Even calmly and politely agreeing with Church teaching or expressing any moral disapproval or reservations about homosexual conduct will bring hysterical howls and condemnation from gay activists. Is a better "tone" keeping quiet about Church teaching or expressing dissent or a hope that it evolves?Most gay activists have long dismissed the idea of separating the sin from the sinner. In fact, my own attitude toward homosexuality was formed by a parish priest who told us at Mass, "You condemn homosexuality [or homosexual conduct] not the homosexual." In my view, most gay activists want us to unconditionally accept the idea that homosexual conduct is perfectly moral and natural.Critics ignore the fact that the Church is quite consistent. What type of sex do gays engage in? From what I understand, it's oral and anal sex. Doesn't the Church consider these acts sinful even if heterosexuals engage in them?Let us ask ourselves: Is homosexual conduct (i.e. sexual contact) sinful? If it is, we're not doing people (and ourselves) any favors by sanctioning conduct (as opposed to having homosexual tendencies or inclinations) that is sinful. I could be wrong--and usually am--but it seems that some of you no longer accept Church teachings on certain sexual matters.

Thank you William for expressing my thoughts so gracefully.I would only add, that Paladino represents that 20%+- of catholics who hold that the Bishops and Pope have it right.

For purposes of clarification, Id be grateful to know what those who object to Carl Paladinos remarks think he ought to have said.

The difference Dimittri, If I may be so bold, is that your Bishop does not assume you are having anal sex with your wife. With a gay person, he likely does.

I dont think it is right for DN to call out those statements, ignore the witness of the many Catholics around him, and use that as the sole evidence to draw conclusions about what the attitude of the Church is (while dismissing other more compassionate statements because they dont use the words he prefers).John McG,I simply can't believe I am being criticized on a Catholic blog for quoting these official documents from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS, 1986.SOME CONSIDERATIONS CONCERNING THE RESPONSE TO LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALSON THE NON-DISCRIMINATION OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS, 1992.CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS, 2003.They were all promulgated when Cardinal Ratzinger was Prefect, and of course now he is the pope. One might plausibly argue there had been a shift in position if someone other than Cardinal Ratzinger were not pope and were implying a change in position.If you have criticisms of my interpretations of these documents, let's hear them. Or if you have quotes from other sources that you feel put the position of the Church in a better light, please link to them or post them here.Now, I am perfectly aware that a recent poll showed that 51% of Catholics expressed support for same-sex marriage, and I find that heartening. But they are in dissent from the official teachings of the Church, and I am talking about the official teachings of the Church.

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David Gibson is a national reporter for Religion News Service and author of The Coming Catholic Church (HarperOne) and The Rule of Benedict (HarperOne). He blogs at dotCommonweal.