Alan Keyes
Christian and homosexual: Labels that contradict?
Alan Keyes trounces Catholic clerics who violate their vows
By Alan Keyes
October 30, 2018

An article in America – The Jesuit Review purports to substantiate the notion that "homosexuality is not a risk factor for the sexual abuse of children." It purports to substantiate the conclusion that the victims of clerical abuse by Catholic clergy are mostly boys because boys are more available to priests, not because so many priests are homosexuals.

This conclusion makes sense only if we reject the argument that homosexuality is a set disposition, not unlike the biological attraction between males and females. But this supposed analogy is the only argument for treating homosexuality as a matter of right, subject – like skin color – to protection against discrimination. If, as people used to say, homosexual behavior is a matter of preference, it is no different than preferring steak to chicken, pastel walls to wood paneling, or white wine over beer.

But if homosexual behavior is a matter of circumstance or preference, it can be subject to discrimination, particularly when it comes to employment. No one denied that people disposed to lose control of their violent emotions ought not to be employed as police officers or even soldiers under discipline. Alcoholics disposed to lose control of their desire for alcohol ought not to be employed as bartenders. People who cannot control nausea and disorientation at the sight of blood should not be trusted to perform surgical procedures in which it is inevitable.

The Catholic priesthood requires people who can control their sexual impulses, even when those impulses are undeniably a matter of biology rather than preference, and in any circumstance. That's because the Catholic Church proclaims, with God and Jesus Christ, that human sexuality is properly confined to the purpose God intends, which is to "be fruitful and multiply." Avoiding or thwarting that purpose, in order to pluck the fruit of pleasure from the tree of love, is expressly forbidden.

Priests who avow celibacy promise to redirect their desire for procreational love and companionship, whether rooted in biology or personal taste, toward God and Jesus Christ, and thence toward the material and spiritual care of their fellow human beings, according to the example of Christ and the purview of their own God-given talents. Though like all flawed human beings, clerics may fail at times to fulfill this promise, it is a solemn vow. If they set their will on pursuits that violate it, they obviously cannot be allowed to carry the titles or functions they thus willfully contradict.

If people do not set their will on using strictly for pleasure what God intends for more wholesome (i.e., conducive to the good of the whole) purposes, they should not be identified by any label that suggests they do. They should therefore not be called homosexuals. But if they are set on doing so, and the label therefore applies to them, the disposition of their will precludes accepting them into the body of priests, nuns, or other avowedly religious Catholic clergy.

The disposition in question is not just a matter of outward behavior. It's a matter of keeping faith with God's intention, in heart, mind, spirit, and truth. The avowed religious Catholics consciously accept to make God, and Christ-in-God, the whole foundation of their identity. That's why it makes sense for them to wear special garb that reminds them, and all the world, of this wholesome identity.

It makes no sense for a body of people, such as the Jesuits who prominently identify themselves with the name of Christ, to pretend that some other name (homosexual) is compatible with that identity. It especially makes no sense when the name they avow, which is of God, stands in contradiction with that other identity. For by proclaiming the name of Christ as their own, they disavow any name that identifies behavior contrary to God's will. For the heart of Christ says to God, even unto death, "Not my will but thine be done."

Of course, the same can be said of any of us who identify as Christians, or in any way proclaim our affinity with Christ. We ought not to identify ourselves by any label that proclaims a will set against the heart of Christ, and his intention to fulfill the will of God. We differ from the avowed religious in no wise but the fact that we admit, to a greater extent, the expectation of failure that cries out, like the man in the Bible, "I believe, Lord. Help my unbelief." Avowed religious Catholics should be those who find themselves so preoccupied by God and Jesus Christ that their hearts become, as it were, hearths, filled with the fire of God's love, and burning to share its warmth in every moment, in every way they can, with all those they encounter in the world.

Not everyone who feels the fire of God burning within is called to the specially avowed religious life. But every avowedly religious Catholic cleric should know this as their calling. If they do not, they should resign themselves, as the laity do, to shrink humbly from positions that proclaim their wholesome identity with Christ-in-God, into the position that avows the desire to be worthy of that identity, but not the confidence fully to portray it to others, as Christ did.

People who wear the titles and the miters, the red hats and rings of reminding us of God's power, are precisely those to whom we look to represent Christ's answer to our prayer "Lord, help my unbelief." To the extent that we call ourselves voters, Americans, politicians, or any other name short of the glory of Christ in us, we admit that our belief is a work in progress, not yet come to wholesome perfection. Like a sculptor's hands, Catholic clergy are called to serve Christ's will toward that perfection. No one who shrinks from the working at the duty to be his vicar in every moment and circumstance of the day should consent to take the vows that require that striving.

As for the psychologist's article in the so-called "Jesuit" review – of what worth to a Christian is a psychology that avows its intention to understand the soul apart from God? It is an aim willfully inconsistent with the truth of Christ and the Gospel he, and his living body the Church, exist to offer the world. In terms of our faith, that disjunction from God makes any such understanding of the soul a lie, intended to mislead souls into hell. If this is what it presently means to be a Jesuit (which I sincerely doubt), it is an order the Catholic Church urgently needs to reform.

To see more articles by Dr. Keyes, visit his blog at and his commentary at and

© Alan Keyes


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Alan Keyes

Dr. Keyes holds the distinction of being the only person ever to run against Barack Obama in a truly contested election – featuring authentic moral conservatism vs. progressive liberalism – when they challenged each other for the open U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in 2004... (more)


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