A Catholic researcher has criticised the “shoddiness” of the Catholic Church’s outdated teachings on LGBT+ identities.
Dr Luca Badini Confalonieri, director of research at the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research, criticised the Vatican’s refusal to move forward on LGBT+ issues despite emerging evidence that its anti-gay stance is based on a biblical mistranslation.
Writing for The Irish Times, Confalonieri said the Catholic Church’s position is that gay sex is “disordered” because it is “biologically infertile” – meaning it does not naturally lead to the conception of a child.
However, Confalonieri pointed out that this position is “grossly and demonstrably wrong” because conception is based on “fulfilment of numerous conditions” that are often not met during sex between heterosexuals.
“This means in practice that the vast majority of acts of heterosexual intercourse have neither a biological capacity nor a finality for procreation and, in that respect, they are identical to non-heterosexual sexual acts,” Confalonieri wrote.
“And yet, astonishingly, the grand edifice of papal condemnations of artificial contraception and same-sex relations depend entirely on the soundness of that one factual foundation. Undermine it and the whole house of cards comes crumbling down.”
Confalonieri said the Vatican has failed to put forward a single additional argument justifying its anti-gay position since 1968 when it claimed homosexuality is disordered in Humanae Vitae.
Catholic Church’s anti-LGBT+ teachings are built on ‘feeble foundations’
“The shoddiness of papal teaching on this issue is, one suspects, privately acknowledged by a good number of Catholic bishops, although those who have made the point publicly are still very few,” he wrote.
The researcher went on to reference the Wijngaards Institute’s recent groundbreaking study, which found that Bible passages condemning same-sex relationships are based on misinterpretations and mistranslations.
According to that report, passages in Leviticus often cited as the most explicit condemnations of homosexuality have been mistranslated. In fact, they actually only condemn incest and adultery between men, while no reference is made to sex between women.
Confalonieri rubbished Catholic arguments that “God clearly condemns homosexuality”, writing: “Our report shows that this last remaining objection is also on feeble foundations.”
He argued that a “critical scrutiny” of the Catholic Church’s position shows the “flimsiness” of its arguments around homosexuality and contraception.
Finally, Confalonieri suggested that papal teaching specifically must change.
“The cry for justice from gay Catholics worldwide must not be ignored,” he wrote.
“We hope our report will provide Pope Francis with the necessary foundation for an independent and transparent process of consultation to revise current doctrine and make it fully inclusive.”