Sounds to me like condemnation, calling it a "disordered attraction". But what is their basis for calling it "disordered" in the first place, other than "The Bible Tells Me So" (which it doesn't)?
I happen to agree with you that the reasons for this attraction to be disordered are unconvincing.
However, "disordered attraction" is not, in itself, a condemnation of the individual. The term is not used in the medical sense. Everybody has tendencies and desires which, if pursued, would lead to unacceptable behaviour; but as long as these tendencies are kept in check, there is no guilt in that — and as I said, the stronger the desires are, the more it is meritorious to be in control of them.
But as for the reasons... apart from "the Bible says so" (which I find somewhat debatable and not necessarily relevant, by the way, but we already discussed that), the main argument within the Catholic Church comes from its understanding of the purpose of sexuality and the telos
of an action.
Essentially, the idea is that all tendencies in a human being have a purpose, and that an action is rightful only insofar as it is oriented to fulfilling that purpose — so, for example, eating to nourish yourself is fine, and there is clearly nothing wrong with enjoying that, but eating food with no nutritional properties whatsoever for the mere sake of the taste is a (venial) sin, and gorging yourself and endangering your health could actually be a rather serious sin.*
Now, the purpose of sex is thought to be reproduction. So, any form of non-reproductive sexuality is sinful — and this, of course, includes heterosexual non-reproductive intercourse too: for example, if I am not mistaken, heterosexual oral intercourse is considered just as "bad" as homosexual intercourse (unless if it is thought as a prelude to reproductive intercourse). Every Sperm is Sacred
, after all
I actually happen to agree in full with the notion of telos
and the idea that actions and desires should be oriented towards their natural purposes. However, what I would disagree with is the idea that the only
purpose of intercourse is reproduction. Bringing pleasure to each other and strengthening the relationship within a couple are, I think, perfectly legitimate purposes for such an act; and while homosexual couples are barred from fulfilling the reproductive aspect of intercourse, at least so far, there is nothing in principle that prevents them from fulfilling these other, perhaps even more important, aspects.
edited 11th Apr '12 10:12:42 AM by Carciofus