Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan

On Sunday, Michael J. Sheehan, the Archbishop of Santa Fe, provides an Op-Ed for the Albuquerque Journal titled “Homosexual act – not orientation – is the sin.” Sheehan does the usual homophobia hula:

Let me preface the rest of my comments by stating that the Catholic Church loves and welcomes all people regardless of their ethnicity, race, sexuality or their state in life. However, we believe that the sexual act is a gift given in marriage between a man and a woman. It is a sin for anyone to have sex outside of marriage.

When I refer to homosexuality, I am referring to the sexual act, not the homosexual person. There is no sin in having a homosexual orientation. But homosexual acts are sinful.

Later on he writes (highlighting added):

Moral values in our very secular culture have dropped dramatically in
these recent years. Our church teaches clearly that homosexual activity
is indeed sinful. At the same time, we teach that we accept gay people
with respect, compassion and sensitivity.

Rev. Sheehan is being disingenuous. He is repeating the same feel-good nonsense that we get from every Catholic prelate. He also seems to equate societal acceptance of LGBT citizens (tolerance for diversity) as a decline in moral values. More to the point, the Catholic Church is anything but welcoming to gay people. In fact what Sheehan has written is at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church which include:

The homosexual inclination is however “objectively disordered” and homosexual practices are “sins gravely contrary to chastity.”

Were I Catholic I would have to question just how much the Church “loves and welcomes” me if they think that I am “objectively disordered” which, according to Webster, means “not functioning in a normal orderly healthy way.” When things aren’t functioning correctly we “fix” them. In fact, the Church treats homosexuality as something comparable to a drug addiction. They have even created their own 12-step program as a ministry. Here is what that program tells young adults:

God Permits Us To Make Choices: We are born with free will. Our emotions are good, but they must be guided by intellect and reason.

God Is With Us: With His Grace, He has promised that any hardship can be overcome, if we choose to seek Him first. It is important to stay connected to others who welcome us as we are and understand our struggle as we travel along the journey to understanding SSA and strengthening our relationship with God.

Aside from the obvious intellectual dishonesty, that is an approach riddled with guilt. Being gay should not be a hardship nor a struggle with the intended inference of something to be overcome. Inflicting guilt on young people because of their sexual orientation seems neither welcoming nor loving. The substitution of SSA or same-sex attraction for gay seems to deny the very existence of those they claim to love. Where, exactly is that acceptance, respect and compassion? But that’s just me.

Little wonder why some observant gay Catholics are so neurotic — and often homophobic. Their choice has nothing to do with their sexual orientation. The choice that they have made is to be observant to a religion that rejects them. Yet that is their choice to make.

I honestly don’t give a rat’s ass about the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding homosexuality, or anything else for that matter. However (aside from the fact that they are trying to impose those teachings on public policy), the public dishonesty is appalling.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.