"They engaged in the mutual degradation of their bodies." —Romans 1:24
If we engage in idolatry, that is, giving anything priority over God, the Lord will deliver us up in our "lusts to unclean practices" (Rm 1:24) and "disgraceful passions" (Rm 1:26). Women will exchange "natural intercourse for unnatural" (Rm 1:26), and men will give up "natural intercourse with women" and burn "with lust for one another" (Rm 1:27). They will do "shameful things with men, and thus" receive "in their own persons the penalty for their perversity" (Rm 1:27).
The Catholic Church has applied these verses from Romans in the following statement: "Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357). This is the way these verses have been understood for almost two thousand years.
When we know the truth that homosexuality is an objective disorder and homosexual acts are gravely sinful, we have the basis for truly loving those with homosexual tendencies. We can bring them hope and healing. If they have sinned, we can call them to repentance and chastity. Any understanding of homosexuality not based on the truth is harmful to those with homosexual tendencies. Love in truth (see 1 Jn 3:18).
Prayer: Father, may I love people enough to tell the truth.
Promise: "If you give what you have as alms, all will be wiped clean for you." —Lk 11:41
Praise: Callistus was a humble slave. Jesus exalted him (Mt 23:12) and placed him in the office of Pope. As Pope, Callistus exalted Jesus and vigorously defended His divinity.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our book, The Bible on Sex.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997