Tuesday, March 8, 2011

CBCP on Homosexuality

"To be able to call on the people to embrace our homosexual brothers and sisters, we must understand that his/her being is but composed of desires and attractions which they may not necessarily act on to but are inseparable and has an inextricable link to the identity."

Below is an article by Eva Callueng (Punong-Babaylan, 2004-2005) from The Philippine Online Chronicles regarding CBCP's recently launched book entitled "Homosexuality and the Catholic Church"


CBCP on Homosexuality
by Eva Callueng

Alas, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has stipulated in writing their stand on homosexuality as they recently launched the bookentitled Homosexuality and the Catholic Church. Due to its title, the book has received numbers of reactions that are in sum challenging the idea of dichotomizing the identity and the acts.

LGBT groups in the country have come up with their positions allowing more points of agreements as the church opens a space for discussions and deliberations. Due to this, more and more people, at least, are encouraged to grab the opportunity of speaking up while willing ears are ready to not just hear but listen.

An inextricable link

If I claim I’m lesbian and celibate, it doesn’t hurt anyone, but if someone claims being lesbian or gay is okay but their engagement in homosexual acts is evil, it's unkind. The notion that to be homosexual and not acting on it or taking out one’s desires can be separated from each other removes some intrinsic elements crucial to the identity that are then considered core to its being.

For instance, a homosexual person is defined as someone who is physically, emotionally, romantically, sexually attracted to the members of the same sex. If attraction is then removed in the context, that being can not be called a homosexual being. How can one then be called a homosexual if the basic element in the identification of his/her sexual identity has ceased to exist?

In the same vein, as to cultural identity, one may identify his or herself by virtue of self-ascription and ascription by others as someone belonging to a certain indigenous group because of blood relations and not participating in activities that are binding to the group at the same time. In that case, the being’s non-participation in activities and rituals recognizing the group may not nullify his being an indigenous person as his bloodline defines the former.

A homosexual, on the other hand, though he does not engage in homosexual acts, still is one by the virtue of self-identification with which desires and attraction are ever present. Desires and attraction become the intension of the concept, an essential property that is a necessary and sufficient condition to define homosexuality. Meaning, to be able to call on the people to embrace our homosexual brothers and sisters, we must understand that his/her being is composed of desires and attractions, which they may not necessarily act on but which are inseparable and have an inextricable link to the identity.

To be celibate and to celebrate

It is of no doubt that some homosexuals may live the "ideal" life espoused by the church regarding celibacy. They may surely not act on their desires, to choose to be celibate. In the same manner like priests and nuns had vowed to adhere to the call, anyone can choose to make that vow but not all homosexual peoplev will. It isn’t necessary and more so, it’s not a prerequisite like that for the members of the clergy.

To use simple terms, homosexuals are not priests and nuns (though they can become priests and nuns) to make that vow of celibacy, and not all of our homosexual brothers and sisters will be given the grace for the vocation. While some of us may choose celibacy as their way of life, it is high time to understand that the rest of the members choose to celebrate their identity with their loved ones as heterosexual people do and there should be nothing wrong or evil with that.

Being intimate with someone, they say, is one of the happiest celebrations people do. It’s the moment when one exposes himself or herself naked because of the unconditional acceptance received from the other. This celebration of two souls is near perfect as they unify as one in love. However, this unification is only intended for two souls as defined by the hierarchy and any celebration beyond what is told is unacceptable, null, and ultimately not the work of God but of evil’s.

Desires can be re-channeled, passion may be put to stop, attractions are not real and may be cured through reparative therapy. That same discourse was heard decades ago and this in fact did not offer a new argument on the issue of homosexuality for it falls into the same trap of logic, “Love the sinners and hate the sin”, “Homosexuality is okay but homosexual acts are evil.” This, in turn, encourages all of us to come out and identify ourselves, and probably make a vow of celibacy and keep or cure our inner desires.

I and me, I and my

Coming out is not easy as ABC especially in the kind of society that we have. The many assumptions that we have about what is right, wrong, good or bad, black and white have led us to the [dis]belief that we were given the free will to live our lives, for we continue to live in the shadows of those we assign to a better position in understanding the things around us.

To believe that I, me, and my can be separated like the way we separate pagans from non-pagans may be false. For we all know, we all are pagans assuming and pretending to be listening to the words of God, without question. Aristotle’s tripartite nature is inseparable, one cannot exist without the other like the Yin and the Yang. Similarly, like what some philosophers say, a thing cannot be true until they are true in thought, word, and deed.

I cannot be separated from me and my and vice versa. To say that you love a person but despise his or her acts is a violation of the principle of non-contradiction. You either love or hate him and to half-love and half-hate him is absurd. When we claimed that homosexuality is okay and that homosexuals ought to be treated with love, it is the same as embracing his or her nature in totality, celibate or not.

Like in real love, you can love me, hate me and then love me again but never love and hate me at the same time in the same respect. And last, when one identifies herself as homosexual, she understands that her claim is in reference to her totality and not just simply parts of her complex being.

No one can surely be half-saint or half-homosexual.

Source: View the article here.

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