INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, March 29, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Catholic priest has come under fire from homosexual activists for “anti-gay indoctrination” after he taught his students what the Catholic Church teaches about homosexuality in his high school course on gay “marriage.”
Equality Matters, a media and communications group for homosexual rights, on their website accused the chaplain of Indianapolis’ Cardinal Ritter High School of “spouting a stream of homophobic and offensive falsehoods about same-sex marriage and gay people in general to a classroom full of students.”
Fr. John Hollowell, chaplain and teacher at the private Catholic high school, had posted the videos of the lectures on YouTube and his personal blog last week.
In the lectures he explains Catholic teaching on homosexuality. However, his presentation was denounced as “anti-gay lecturing” by the media watchdog group, who said that the priest “calls homosexual acts ‘an abomination’, advocates for ex-gay therapy, and rails against same-sex adoption and marriage by comparing homosexuality to alcoholism and prostitution.”
The priest is currently in Rome and says he won’t be able to respond to the accusations until his return.
In the videos, however, Fr. Hollowell is seen challenging his students to think about and discuss the “difficult” issues of homosexuality and homosexual “marriage.”
He points out that the Bible, in Leviticus 20:13 and other places in the New Testament, calls “homosexual acts” an “abomination.” “You have two options,” he says, “God is cool with homosexuality, homosexual acts, I should say … or what the Bible and the Church say about it is correct … There’s no middle ground on that issue.”
The priest refers to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the official book of the teachings of the Church, which states that homosexuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” and condemns any form of “unjust discrimination” against them.
However, the Catechism also states that homosexual inclinations are “objectively disordered” and homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity.” “Under no circumstances can they be approved,” it says, explaining that people with the homosexual inclination are called to chastity.
Fr. Hollowell points out that human beings are able to choose either to act or not to act on given inclinations. Those who experience homosexual attraction, he said, are called upon to refrain from acting on their inclination. Just because someone has an “inclination to something” (for example, drinking alcohol, homosexual acts, etc.) does not make them “less culpable for acting on it,” he said.
Equality Matters claims that 70 percent of Catholics and the majority of Americans now believe that messages such as Fr. Hollowell’s lead to higher rates of homosexual teen suicide.
Hollowell, however, argues that the position he advocates is one of compassion. “If you’re struggling with homosexual attraction, the Church’s first message is compassion,” he told his students, “helping them overcome it is not the first inclination.”
Programs such as Courage are in place to help people “who want it,” he said, “we’re not out there telling people they need to change.”
Fr. Hollowell also described the “key Catholic social teaching” on homosexuality and its relation to the “common good.” By common good is meant “what every human person does affects me and affects everyone else,” said Fr. Hollowell, explaining why students should be concerned about homosexual “marriage” legislation in other states. “The Church sees society as one body, therefore all are affected,” whether we realize it or not.