Homosexual “Love” a Gift?

In his recent book, LIFE: My Story Through History, Pope Francis advocates for legal support of same-sex civil unions of “[homosexuals] who experience the gift of love.” In what sense, if any, is homosexual love a gift?

The mind of the Church is that it certainly cannot be a gift of God, neither natural (creational) nor supernatural (sacramental). According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the ultimate source of love is God himself. Quoting John Paul II’s 1981 Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, the  Catechism of the Catholic Church asserts:

God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion [eternally united in being, relationship, and love]. Creating the human race in his own image . . . , God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman [Genesis 1:27] the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion.

Francis’ remark, on its face, does not seem to regard homosexual “love” as an inherently disordered form of love. Does he think that the homosexual is able to live the vocation to chastity, and hence, of love in a same-sex relationship? How could the homosexual do so? The vocation of chastity involves sexual differentiation between a man and a woman, which according to Christian anthropology, means “the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being.”

The Catechism explains, “Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.”

Chastity, therefore, presupposes the sexual differentiation of male and female, such that only a sexual union of male and female persons makes bodies in any real sense “one flesh” (Gen 2:24), with the latter organic bodily union being a necessary condition for the existence of authentic conjugal love.

Homosexual love is not a gift, indeed, it is a false love, because it is incapable of fulfilling the vocation to chastity, of perfecting the being of the person and developing his existence; and hence of being ordered to the natural law, the order of Creation, and hence to God. As a disordered form of love, it not only lacks integration but is a counter-integration by virtue of being an offense against the vocation to chastity, making it unable to realize the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift of self.

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