Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons

Given at Rome, 1 October 1986.

…It is within this context, then, that it can be clearly seen that the phenomenon of homosexuality, complex as it is, and with its many consequences for society and ecclesial life, is a proper focus for the Church’s pastoral care. It thus requires of her ministers attentive study, active concern and honest, theologically well-balanced counsel.

3. Explicit treatment of the problem was given in this Congregation’s “Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics” of December 29, 1975. That document stressed the duty of trying to understand the homosexual condition and noted that culpability for homosexual acts should only be judged with prudence. At the same time the Congregation took note of the distinction commonly drawn between the homosexual condition or tendency and individual homosexual actions. These were described as deprived of their essential and indispensable finality, as being “intrinsically disordered”, and able in no case to be approved of (cf. n. 8, $4).

In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.

Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not.




  1. HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR IS AMORAL …. No way to “Candy Coat” it with Pretty Words!

  2. Typical of the conciliar Church: WORDS WORDS and even more unnecessary WORDS to articulate a policy that could be covered in no more than three paragraphs.

    Such excessive length can only be inimical to clarity.

    • Then Cardinal Ratzinger published that wordy piece. In light of such guidance, it’s no wonder that poor Pope Francis feels that he is incompetent to exercise prudential judgment in such matters.


  3. I do not think homos should be priests unless they denounce it as a sin. Otherwise how can they be pastoral when they are in error. It is not judging but pointing out a fact. As Catholics we should be proactive in countering sin as the devil has wiles and snares. I believe many fall in the trap of equality in all circumstances. Our own president is a homosexual activist. They teach this junk in our schools and stick it in children’s books. Although bleak, we must continue to speak out against this vile sin. God Bless Eddy

    • The acceptance of Homosexuality is rampant, in all arenas of our life!
      The children have been touched with the Gay Agenda, starting in Primary Education,,,,,get to them when young and you own them!
      Please Oh Lord, keep it out of our Holy Roman Catholic Church and may the Priests who have succumbed to this immoral act….leave and repent!
      Edwin, many Blessings…Push-on and remain proactive!

    • “Our own president is a homosexual activist.”

      Indeed, credible media report that our president’s cancellation of his scheduled meeting with Putin had little or nothing to do with the Snowden affair, and practically everything to do with Russia’s being deficient on so-called gay rights.

      • Mark,
        I am a Believer!
        What’s more important, a lowly SNTCH or a Gay Rights Slap In The Face?
        The Great Orator, Socialist, has spoken…….
        Homo Rights will prevail!

  4. Persons that choose to engage in a sexual act be it homosexual or heterosexual when they have freely made vows of purity and chastity present a stumbling block for themselves and others. Scandal is awful and many bad individuals have caused scandal to arise because of their private or not so private lives becoming a circus. Sometimes through no real fault but simply because of human weakness or frailty individuals succumb to bad sexual acts that need to be dealt with. This latter example may not require heavy condemnation because it has been brought about by human frailty rather than demonic wile or laissez-faire attitude.
    That is a position within the Catholic Church but there is another wider example that requires a social element. That is unfortunately, sometimes because people go on a witch hunt and act like a pack of wolves instead of considering Christ and his passion. Many improper and unkind acts have historically been committed against gay persons. It is not a thing to boast about that these may have lived in fear etc because of a difference in physical attraction.
    In todays West the gay lobby has become vocal and made some legitimate claims and some improper ones on wider society. That is to be expected.
    I understand however, that some of the treatment of gay people in Russia today is akin to what it was like once in the West; beatings, attacks, rapes etc being inflicted upon this group. The acts of governmental violence against a group it does not believe in hardly inspire hopes of détente or democratic progress. Violence and brutality are never good things and should be rejected by all peoples of good will.
    Recognition of homosexual peoples is probably preferable to banning or pushing such groups underground again. Nevertheless, actively homosexual (and heterosexual) clerics should be investigated and reminded that interpretation of Scripture does not allow such acts as beneficial and must desist.

    • Compromise and Tolerance are “Dirty Words” when it comes to HOMOSEXUALITY in any arena, of any part of the world, at ANY TIME! Stay Underground…..this is Rebellion and Disobedience to God and NEVER BE ACCEPTED by the Carnal Christians, not if you want to Reconcile with God and have Eternal Life!
      I apologize for being so blunt!
      Thy word is TRUTH

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