Fordham University’s alumni services office recently presented a discussion on “Sexuality and the Church,” The Fordham Observer reported. While the discussion explored “new theological perspectives, especially with regard to sexual and gender diversity,” according to an event page, there was little indication that Catholic teaching on sexual identity received support.
Led by Fordham theology chair Dr. Patrick Hornbeck, the discussion was part of the University alumni office’s “Faith on Tap” series and focused on “the prohibition on gay marriage,” among other issues.
“Hornbeck’s stance was clear: the Roman Catholic Church has a lot of progress to make towards being more inviting toward the LGBTQ community,” the Observer reported. “Most [of] the attendees… seemed to agree with him.”
The discussion aimed to “explore what Christian traditions really teach about sexuality,” according to the event’s Facebook page. The event page also stated that “many people of faith are asking more questions than ever before about our understanding of the relationship between sexuality and religion—not least because they are no longer satisfied with some of the answers we have inherited from the past.”
The Observer reported:
At one point, Hornbeck made large jumps across the bar floor to demonstrate the five points of view towards those that identify as LGBTQ. He said “the current Catholic viewpoint sees homosexuality … as a tendency toward sin, but has begun leaning into a viewpoint that it is more of a ‘disability’, like blindness.” He also explained that the Church has moved to this point, and could move further along his “jump-line” of viewpoints, though “it would take a long time.”
The discussion led to further topics of “gender identity and intersexuality,” according to the Observer. Hornbeck went on to reportedly describe these topics as a “much more fluid conversation, but necessary to have… given the implications for society… that gender is a socially constructed and defined subject, and since there is no Catholic teaching on gender identity… the Church has chosen to remain silent on this issue for now.”
However, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches regarding sexual identity that “man and woman have been created… in their respective beings as man and woman” and that “'being man' or 'being woman' is a reality which is good and willed by God.”
Additionally, The Cardinal Newman Society recently spoke to two theologians on the topic of sexual identity, one of whom reinforced the point that “Scripture teaches in Genesis 1 and 2 that humans are made male and female, and that males and females are meant to join together in marriage for unitive and procreative reasons.”
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Dr. Hornbeck is also the “editor of More than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church and a writer and speaker on LGBTQ approaches to Christianity,” according to the event page. In 2011, The Cardinal Newman Society wrote a report exposing the “More than a Monologue” conference, which took place at both Fordham and Fairfield University, as “a well-orchestrated attempt to undermine the Church’s doctrine.”
Hornbeck’s Fordham faculty page states that he has received grants to study “the legal, ethical, and theological dimensions of the relationship between lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons and the American Catholic Church.”
Reprinted with permission from The Cardinal Newman Society.