The annual Sydney Mardi Gras                 (E.J.Tyler)

   I was once told by an American that in the United States Sydney is gaining the reputation for being one of the homosexual centres of the world. This may or may not be true, but the notoriety of the annual Mardi Gras of Sydney, involving a public celebration of homosexuality and of homosexuality practices, shows how much the moral disorder of homosexuality has been growing. It is given time on television, vast numbers attend it to watch, and parliamentarians express their support for it. The fact is that very many people are losing the sense that homosexuality as a condition is a serious moral and human disorder in an individual and that as a practice it has to be resisted.

  There is, of course, the loss in our society and culture of the sense of sin. There is, consequently, little or no sense that if an individual engages in a homosexual act, that person is committing what the Catholic Church denotes as objectively a mortal sin. The Church teaches that apart from the disorder as a condition of a homosexuality tendency, if a person knows the immorality of homosexual practice and proceeds to engage in it, he is personally guilty of mortal sin. Deliberately to commit a mortal sin is the worst thing that a person can do, and any person who dies in the state of unforgiven and unrepented deliberate mortal sin will be lost. The vast number of people who watch the Mardi Gras and give it their support are putting themselves and our society in danger of losing the sense that homosexual actions are profoundly evil, and also their sense that the homosexual condition is a disordered condition which is to be resisted.

    Consider the section in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which refers to chastity and homosexuality. The Catechism states that: “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. This condition has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. The origin of this sexual attraction towards persons of the same sex has not yet been fully explained. Whatever about how such a condition arises or develops in a person, Sacred Scripture teaches that homosexual acts are acts of grave moral depravity. The Church has always declared that homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law which, of course, comes from God. This is because they close the sexual act to the gift of life, which is the purpose of sexual activity. Under no circumstances can any homosexual actions ever be approved.” 

   The Catechism states that all homosexual acts are morally wrong. The Mardi Gras tells everyone that such acts are morally acceptable. That is why the Mardi Gras as a celebration is such an evil and ought in no way be supported. The Catechism of the Catholic Church continues: “The number of men and women who have homosexual tendencies is not negligible. Many of them do not deliberately choose their homosexual condition, and for most of them it is a trial. They must never give in to their condition by committing homosexual acts. Persons with this condition are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives in resisting all temptation to commit sin. If they are Christians they are called to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter in resisting their condition. Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and the grace of the sacraments, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

   So whenever we think of the annual Mardi Gras in Sydney with its celebration of the condition of homosexuality and the practice of homosexual behaviour, we ought renew in our minds the sense that this is a great moral travesty. The Church teaches that any homosexual condition in a person is a human disorder to be resisted and rectified. It is a disorder because it inclines a person to immoral activity. Having the disorder is not itself a sin, but it can lead to sin if it is consented to, just as having a tendency to steal is a disorder because it can lead to acts of theft. Apart from the disordered condition, the Church also teaches that homosexual acts are gravely sinful and under no circumstances whatsoever are allowable.
   What this means is that in a culture in which more and more people are tending to think that homosexuality and its practices are acceptable, we as Christians, and especially as Catholics, out of love for God and our country should absolutely resist the spread of such values and standards. We are to witness to the light of Christ. And this can be done very effectively. Once a mother of several children told me about a girl friend of hers from her school days. They met up again on one occasion and agreed to meet over dinner in the city. They met, and this lady asked her friend how everything was going. Her friend told her that she had begun a relationship with another girl friend - by which she meant a lesbian relationship. The lady was shocked and urged her to give it up immediately, to get to Confession, to go to Confession regularly, to the Sacraments, and to practice daily prayer. Her words had an effect and the girl did so. That girl is now happily married with eight children and a very good husband, and practises her Catholic Faith wonderfully.

  The most serious deficiency of our day is the loss of the sense that sin is truly objective, that it is not just a subjective hang-up, and that it is a great evil. Let us take seriously the duty to renounce sin in our daily life, and to resist the tendency in society to think of sin, especially serious sin, as not being sin at all.