I have read around in a blog I prefer not to mention an interesting post concerning “intrinsic disorder”. Leaving aside the sugary parts (the “thoughtful debate” therein mentioned, with the perfectly meaningless conclusion that “the Church must listen to the gay community”, but also “the gay community must listen to the Church”, which is a soundbite meaning perfectly nothing) what surprised me is the analogy between gluttony and homosexuality. The very fact that such an analogy could be made is in my eyes another example of a subterranean Protestant current easily to be found in Anglo-Saxon countries, perhaps not at an explicit level (the blogger in question does not make the comparison; many of the author’s readers will), but certainly at the level of underlying mental and moral category.
To an Italian, to even think to put gluttony and homosexuality on the same plane of “intrinsic disorder” flies in the face of common sense, and means to be no more than 2.5 inches away from Protestantism.
Common sense and Christian tradition have always made a great difference between those sins that go with nature, and those sins that go against it. Gluttony is certainly a capital sin, and at some point it will become a mortal sin, too. But the desire for food is, in itself, perfectly natural, rather indispensable for the human existence and completely God-given. This is absolutely not the case for someone whose “intrinsic disorder” consists in wanting to screw a dog, or his mother, or a person of the same sex, or a child. These kinds of behaviour all blatantly go against the very fabric of our human nature; far from being a wrong use of, or excessive dependence from, or even obsession with what is a God-given desire, they go frontally against the way God made us. God makes every healthy man with the desire for good food, but none with the desire of the abominations described above.
This seems to me such an obvious thought, that a discussion about it appears perfectly superfluous; but this is not the first time the way of thinking explained above is, if not openly professed (again, the post merely makes the point one can send yourself to hell with gluttony, and to get the excuse that “it is part of me” won’t help much in the end), at least invited, or involuntary suggested, in a public area.
We must recover sound thinking and common sense in the discussion about Catholic morals; and we can do it only if we serenely acknowledge, and openly profess, that there is an intrinsic gulf between the immoderate or misguided use of desires that are supposed to be there, and the perversion (per and versio, “wrong direction”) resulting in desires that are utterly disgusting, and conflicting with natural law.
This lack of proper focus, or if you wish this inability to see the forest of reason and common sense because of the obsession with the trees of this or that verse, or this or that public statement, of this or that desire to be “inclusive”, appears to me another speciality of the Protestant world, where the madness of sola scriptura has caused a century-long tradition in word-picking and a high specialisation in self-serving private interpretation of Scripture; until the point comes when the forest is completely out of sight.
We must reacquire the habit of talking straight and call a pervert a pervert and an abomination an abomination. There is an intrinsic and ontological difference, not merely a variance in degree, between the sin of a glutton and the sin of a sodomite. We must say this straight, because to mix up things in that way isn’t charitable, merely extremely dangerous for human souls, potentially including ours.
We recover proper Catholicism by recovering healthy thinking, and accepting that Christianity – and more so Catholicism – never go against sound wisdom and elementary common sense.