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Faith/Spirituality Forum: Homosexual impulses not acted on, still a sin?

by Catherine Frakas 23 Apr 2001

Homosexual impulses not acted on, still a sin? QUESTION from Faith on December 29, 2002 Hi. I just read through some earlier posts on homosexuality and needed some clarification. You stated that being a homosexual is not a sin, rather, homosexual sex is a sin. However, I thought the very premise of homosexuality was the ATTRACTION to the same sex. Isn't the attraction considered lusting in one's heart which in itself is a sin? If a person isn't having homosexual sex, and isn't even experiencing same sex attraction, then what makes them a homosexual? It sounds like we sin the moment we look at someone and become attracted, or harbor lustful thoughts. This also begins to question whether homosexuality is a physical condition or just resulting from the thoughts one thinks. If one is celibate and not thinking lustful thoughts, are they then cured of homosexuality?
I would also like some information on articles which discuss childhood trauma as a precursor to homosexuality. If you haven't guessed by now, this is a hot topic for me. Someone close to me was assaulted by an older male as a child and althought they live as a single, macho male who has no problem attracting women, they have a serious internet porn addiction, and have confessed homosexual urges and distasteful online activity. They told me of the childhood abuse themselves. I stumbled upon the other stuff by coincidence. Your help and insight would be greatly appreciated.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on December 30, 2002 Dear Faith:
Lust is a sin regardless of whether one is homosexual or heterosexual. Having a homosexual attraction does not automatically mean that the person is sinfully lusting any more the a heterosexual attraction is automatically lusting.
If a person lusts (whether the object of that lust is same sex or opposite sex) then they are sinning. If a person acts upon that lust and has sex with a person they are not validly married to, then they commit the sin of fornication.
Being having a homosexual orientation by itself is not any more sinful than having a heterosexual orientation.
No, one is not cured of homosexuality if they are celibate and not lusting, again, any more then a heterosexual celibate is no longer a heterosexual if he does not lust.
Homosexuality is an ontological condition of the person. This condition is disordered and most likely a result of childhood traumas, but it is not an action. Sin requires an action of thought or body.
Heterosexuality is also an ontological condition of the person. This is the normal condition of man.
Either homosexuals or heterosexuals then have a choice to sin. They can choose to lust or choose to commit fornication. Or they can choose to be free from these sexual sins.
We have to understand that even though it is not likely that people are born homosexuals, one generally becomes a homosexual through events not in their control and the dynamics of this condition is one that one cannot easily dismiss.
But one CAN control their passions. This is one of the characterizations of being Human. Humans can control their desires. Animals have no such control.
Homosexual is not cause by what one thinks. This implies that a person makes a positive and deliberate decision to be a homosexual. Some homosexuals have done this. I have met homosexuals personally who have even admitted this.
But most homosexuals have deep psychological issues that lead them to have a homosexual orientation. We all have some psychological baggage from childhood and sometimes that baggage profoundly effects our lives.
It is possible to be cured of homoseuxality. There are organizations that provide support to homosexuals and helps to facilitate their cure. One excellent Catholic organization is Courage
When one is sexually abused as a child addiction to sex and/or to pornography is almost a given.
We have a support group for those addicted to sexual sins and to pornography on our website. It is closed right now for re-organization, but it will be back online sometime in January.
As for research on the origins of Homosexuality and the child trauma connection I do not have anything specifically in mind to refer to you, but you may try National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality
God Bless
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