UPDATED: Catholic bishop: Homosexuality is fine; some of the Apostles may have been “gay”

Satire may be dead, but capitulation and stupidity are thriving

UPDATE (May 16, 2015): Bishop Córdoba has apologized for his recent remarks (see below) about homosexuality:

“Even if homosexuality as an inclination doesn’t constitute a sin, it’s regarded as a disordered conduct,” he said.

Córdoba’s clarification, published by the Colombian Bishops Conference, came a day after he stated that homosexuality isn’t a sin and that “we don’t know if one of Jesus’ disciples” had a same-sex orientation.

Apparently the bishop thought his attempt at capitulation was actually a meaningful form of dialogue:

“In the letter published Friday, Córdoba said that his words were not intended to modify the ‘solid and unchangeable moral position of the Church,’ but to express respect in an auditorium which, according to the prelate, was mostly composed of leaders and members of the LGBT community.”

He also said he wasn’t aware that reporters were present, and that “he only used such colloquial expressions because of the academic and dialogic context of the encounter, adding that they had no theological or moral value.” That, however, makes little sense: why use colloquial expressions because one is in an academic setting? 

Original Post: Need some proof that satire is dead? Or, if not dead, nearly impossible to pull off in this age of “I’m gonna top this insanity with even more insanity!”? Consider this news account of a Catholic bishop “insisting that being homosexual is not a sin [and saying] it’s possible that one of the twelve apostles of Jesus was gay or that Mary Magdalene, another key New Testament figure, was a lesbian.”

Hold on to your lunch and seat before reading further: 

Bishop Juan Vicente Córdoba of Fontibón, Colombia, also said the Catholic Church does not oppose same-sex couples making a life together, but does not consider such arrangements to be a marriage or a family.

“No one chooses to be gay or straight,” Córdoba said. “One simply feels, loves, experiments, is attracted, and no attraction is bad.”

No attraction is bad? Strictly speaking, having an “attraction” to something or someone is not, in itself, a sin—but that doesn’t mean it isn’t disordered. Or that it shouldn’t be regarded as such. There are obvious examples: adults being sexually attracted to children, for instance. “Experiments”? Is this a Catholic bishop or “sex expert”/pervert Dan Savage giving a talk to students? The piece reports that “Córdoba reiterated Church teaching when it comes to marriage – that it’s a union between a man and a woman, permanent, and open to children – he said that homosexuality isn’t a sin.”

“Sin is something else. It’s not respecting the dignity of others. Not loving God and our neighbors as we love ourselves, not feeding the hungry, not giving water to the thirsty,” Córdoba said.

As any half-catechized Catholic should know, having sex outside of marriage is, in fact, an objective act of disrespect toward the dignity of the other, regardless of the subjective feelings involved. And, as John Paul II rightly noted, such disrespect can also take place within marital relationships. Apparently the bishop has never really pondered the deeper nature of love—self-gift and willing the true good of the beloved—and thinks that “love” is just a jumble of hormones, trying this or that on for size, and having emotions direct one’s actions.

The most revealing part, I think, is found in this:

Córdoba asked those in favor of the gay rights bill not to call the opposition “recalcitrant, dinosaurs, cavemen, retarded, because we also have the right to present our ideas and our emotions with respect.”

“There will come a time when the Catholic Church is a minority that will be crushed by the majority,” he warned. “Let us respect each other, without using adjectives or telling anyone they’re sick or disordered.”

It appears to me that the bishop (who, for what’s it worth, entered the Society of Jesus in 1969) is afraid. He’s a chicken. And as someone who raises a few chickens and has been around farms, I can tell you that chickens are not good at shepherding.

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About Carl E. Olson 1190 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His recent books on Lent and Advent—Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021) and Prepare the Way of the Lord (2021)—are published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @carleolson.