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from issue no. 11 - 2005

From «innate tendencies» to «deeply rooted tendencies»

The Catechism and homosexuality. Variations on a theme



by Gianni Cardinale


The Catechism of the Catholic Church deals with the question of “Chastity and homosexuality” in nos. 2357-2359. Well, as for paragraph no. 2358, there is a difference between the first version of 1992 and the normative editio typica of 1997. In the earlier text «innate homosexual tendencies» are spoken of, whereas the final text introduces the concept of «deeply rooted homosexual tendencies» mentioned in the Instruction published by the Congregation for Catholic Education. Below we print the two versions of the paragraph from the Catechism with the bits that have undergone change in bold.


no. 2358 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1992 edition
A not-negligible number of men and women present innate homosexual tendencies. These people do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is an ordeal. They must therefore be accepted with respect, compassion, delicacy. Any sign of unjust discrimination towards them is to be avoided. Such people are called to perform the will of God in their lives, and, if they are Christians, to unite the difficulties they may encounter as a result of their condition to the sacrifice of the Lord on the Cross.
no. 2358 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, editio typica 1997
A not-negligible number of men and women present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies. This objectively disordered inclination is for most of them an ordeal. They must therefore be accepted with respect, compassion, delicacy. Any sign of unjust discrimination towards them is to be avoided. Such people are called to perform the will of God in their lives, and, if they are Christians, to unite the difficulties they may encounter as a result of their condition to the sacrifice of the Lord on the Cross.


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