PHOENIX, June 10, 2004 ( – Phoenix bishop Thomas J. Olmsted has published his third in a series of letters on homosexuality in the Phoenix diocesan newspaper, titled The Blessing of a Chaste Life. Valiantly, Bishop Olmsted addresses the delicate topic with candor and charity. He describes four difficulties that face a person with homosexual inclinations.  The first difficulty, he explains, is an “Intellectual confusion about whether sexual activity outside of marriage is always wrong.” Bishop Olmsted argues that popular culture has consistently portrayed sexual activity outside of marriage as the norm, lending to a growing degree of confusion for Catholics. He contends that sexual activity outside of marriage has been considered immoral for all religious traditions throughout history. The modern laxity results from the faulty idea that “Feelings, not truth, become criteria for whether something is right or wrong,” he says. “Some things are always wrong, no matter the times, the circumstances, or people’s intentions,” he asserts.  The popular push to have homosexual unions recognized as “marriages,” gives rise to the second difficulty, that society and Catholics have “Confused notions of what constitutes marriage . . .” Drawing on language used by Pope John Paul II in his writings on marriage and sexuality, Olmsted argues that “. . . marriage can exist only between a man and a woman because only the union of male and female can express the sexual complementarity created and willed by God for marriage.”  He argues that there is no justification for allowing civil unions for same-sex couples either. “. . . t is not unjust to deny legal status to ‘same-sex unions’ because such unions are essentially different from marriage,” he says. “Moreover, such a legal redefinition would harm the institution of marriage itself.”

Thirdly, Bishop Olmsted takes issue with a person’s identity being reduced to their “sexual orientation.” He says, “. . . [T]his reductionism can hinder one’s ability to see the human body as a temple of the Holy Spirit created by God for the fruits of chastity, joy and peace.”  Finally, Bishop Olmsted asserts that “False views of human freedom” makes some assume “that homosexual acts are not sinful for homosexual persons because of their sexual orientation.” On the contrary, he says that such ideation “runs contrary to both love and truth.”  Read Bishop Olmstead’s third column on homosexuality:

Read the coverage of the first and second installments in the three-part series:  New Phoenix Bishop Shows Impressive Leadership – Dares to Directly Address Homosexuality   Phoenix Bishop Addresses Homosexuality – Lovingly but Without Compromising Truth