|Home         Meet Tom         Book Signings & Engagements         Veteran's Chaplain|
DOES THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW REVEAL GOD’S RELATIONSHIP WITH HOMOSEXUALS?
Questions to Dr. Scott Hahn in Advance of the West Coast Bible Conference
January 3, 2011
Dr. Scott Hahn
I will be attending the West Coast Bible Conference in Riverside January 14-16, 2011. I enjoyed attending the conference last year and we posed together for a picture. I have listened to many of your lectures and your programs on EWTN. You are my favorite speaker on Christianity.
I am a single gay man who is legally blind due to AIDS. I am celibate and try to go to confession 6 or more times per year. I received a Papal blessing when I was in the Marine Corps and took a USO tour of the Vatican. I have visited Fatima, Lourdes and the Holy Shroud. I have attended the Catholic War Veterans national convention. Like you I am a former Presbyterian who converted to the Catholic Church 10 years ago.
I am a nationally recognized leader in the gay community. The ACLU filed a complaint on my behalf that resulted in the Department of the Navy adding sexual orientation protection for more than 250,000 civilian employees in 1994. I led the effort to dedicate America’s only gay veteran’s memorial. In December I was invited by the White House to be with President Obama when he signed historic legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” about gays in the military. At the 1993 March on Washington for gay civil rights I was introduced on stage before one million people. I hope you are not offended that you have a famous gay admirer.
Dr. Hahn I have two questions about the Gospel of Matthew which of course is the subject of the West Coast Bible Conference this year. The questions are whether or not Matthew is describing homosexuals in two passages. They are contained in chapter 19 when Jesus says some eunuchs are born and in chapter 8 when Jesus heals the servant of the Roman centurion. My other question is why the New American Bible omits the word eunuch in Sirach 30:20. Since I may be the only gay person at the conference and the other participants may not be interested if gays are described in the book of Matthew I thought I should write you privately. I do not wish to distract you and the other lecturers from your lesson plan during the conference.
Dr. Hahn you are the only person in America I trust to share with me the truth about these questions. The answers you give are critical to my salvation. Is it possible that Jesus said gays are born that way? Is it possible that Jesus healed the same sex lover of a Roman centurion? Did the New American Bible revise Sirach 30:20 to conceal the word eunuch in Matthew chapter 19 can mean a homosexual?
In this document I pose the question if the word “pais” in Matthew Chapter 8 has a meaning that has not been considered by most Bible translators. I also question if Paul’s writings have been correctly interpreted to condemn all homosexual acts. I do not wish to be falsely perceived as a belligerent gay activist trying to attack the Catholic Church. I would not listen to your lecture tapes and attend the conference in Riverside if I was on a mission to harm the church. My questions and personal observations about the Bible, Catechism and other church documents are presented to you to improve my knowledge. I am asking for your answers and feedback and not seeking a debate whether Matthew’s Gospel sheds light on God’s relationship with gays.
This relationship between God and gays is important to my diocese because we have a monthly mass for gays as well as an open gay priest. The Vatican in 2005 reaffirmed homosexuals can be ordained priests if they are celibate and do not promote gay culture. So I feel my concern if born eunuchs are gay people that could become Catholic priests is not radical.
I was motivated to question what the Bible says when I attended a lecture at my parish Sacred Heart of Palm Desert CA. A theologian who teaches at Gonzaga University said in her lecture that Bible English translators have changed the meaning of words to justify their political agenda in the past. She revealed a little known fact about this Bible verse “In Rom 16:7 Paul says, “Greet Andronicus and Junia(s), my compatriots and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to [or prominent among] the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.”
The Gonzaga professor said Junia was a woman but sexist male English translators intentionally changed the name to a male person Junis to conceal that women like the Virgin Mary were leaders in the early church and just as prominent as the Apostles. Catholic tradition states that the Virgin Mary was very active in the early church and she encouraged the Apostle James in Zaragoza Spain by appearing in a vision riding on top of a pillar. Thus the Virgin Mary who was living in Palestine at the time demonstrated her power to do miracles. Yet this well known story does not appear in the Book of Acts. The fact that English translators have changed the Bible has led me to ask you if you believe the meaning of the Greek word “pais” in Matthew Chapter 8 and the term “born eunuchs” in Chapter 19 have been misinterpreted by translators.
The New American Bible (NAB) deletes the word “eunuch” from Sirach 30:20 as compared to the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB), Douay-Rheims and Public Domain Bibles. Here is from the NAB”
Here is from the NJB:
Dr. Hahn, do you know why the NAB omits the word ‘eunuch” from Sirach 30:20?
The word eunuch appears in Matthews’s gospel chapter 19. Below I discuss the belief that eunuchs born that way are homosexuals. Please give me your thoughts on this. Is it legitimate for people to say eunuchs born that way are homosexual?
Bible Passage Matthew 19:
So in Matthew Chapter 19 the disciples ask Jesus about marriage. And Jesus says in his reply "Not everyone can accept this word…”. I think this means the churches debate about marriage laws will continue.
The Catholic Church believes Matthew 19:12 is when Jesus praises celibacy for priests. Pope John Paul II in a general audience said that Matthew 19:12 is Jesus call for celibacy of priests. The Pope did not mention celibacy for the other two groups of eunuchs.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops does not say who the eunuchs from birth are. Here is what they say about Matthew 19:12
I know the first 39 Pope’s were married. In Biblical times priests commonly took vows of celibacy. I believe the Virgin Mary’s parents consecrated her to remain a virgin and live her life in the temple. So the early church must not have felt the new understanding that would be hard for people to accept was celibacy for priests or the first Pope’s would have been celibate. It is true that eunuchs who have “renounced marriage[c]because of the kingdom of heaven (entered priesthood)” is the norm for today’s Catholic priests. The Episcopal Church and Protestant churches do not interpret Matthew 19:12 to mean Jesus is promoting celibacy because their priests and ministers can get married and have children. A priest chooses a lifestyle of celibacy but he may still have some desire for sex.
The below web page contains Pope John Paul II comments on Matthew 19:12
The other two groups of eunuchs do not take a vow of celibacy. The group of eunuchs who make the decision to be castrated still have a sex drive and can have intercourse but typically do not marry because they cannot Father children.
Here below is from a web page:
The fact that castrated men still have lust for women and engage in intercourse is found in the Catholic Book of Sirach as follows:
20:2 The lust of an eunuch shall devour a young maiden.
ADDENDUM: Some Bibles cite chapter 20 verse four instead of verse two. For example Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition RSVCE says as follows:
So in Matthew 19:12 Jesus is not saying there are three classes or types of eunuchs that are celibate because castrated eunuchs still have lust and still engage in intercourse. So the purpose of Jesus words in Matthew 19:12 is to continue the discussion in the previous verses about marriage and not a new subject of celibacy.
When you look at Matthew 19 it describes the third group of eunuchs. These men do not marry because they were born that way. This natural lack of interest in women by eunuchs is mentioned in the Old Testament. The book of Sirach, found in the Old Testament of the Catholic Bible, says that embracing a girl makes a eunuch groan. (Sirach 30:20) This group of men do not choose to be celibate like a Catholic priest in today’s society. Marriage for them is not natural because of the way they were born. “In the Jewish New Testament, translated by David Stern, Matthew 19:12 tells us “…Jesus says that some males are born into the world “without the desire” to marry a woman. Stern understands a born eunuch to be a man born without the desire to marry a woman”.
Other examples of eunuch in the Book of Sirach include:
Douay Rheims Bible written in response to the Protestant Reformation
Wisdom of Sirach 30:20. The context is about how a rich man who is ill is worse off than a healthy poor man, because his illness makes him turn off to the good things in life like food. "He sees things with his eyes, and groans, like a eunuch embracing a girl groans." Greek: "Blep?n en ophthalmois kai stenaz?n h?sper eunouchos perilamban?n parthenon kai stenaz?n."
Wisdom of Sirach 20:4. Literally, "A man who exerts justice by force of arms is like the desire of a eunuch to take a girl's virginity."
Some Catholic lay leaders speculate that the eunuchs born that way are babies born without sex organs. God is not the creator of physical disability and the rarity of babies born without genitals hardly makes it a “type” or “group” of eunuchs. History tells us in literature where the word eunuch is used that these men were physically capable of procreation. This group of men do not enter the priesthood so they may not have taken a vow of celibacy. Who are the eunuchs who are born that way and why did God make them that way? I have looked at over two dozen Catholic web pages and cannot find the answer.
In Greek literature during the time of Jesus the word eunuch often meant homosexual. The Roman playwright Juvenal (who lived near the time of Christ) stated, “When a soft eunuch takes to matrimony. . . it is hard not to write a satire.” (See note 6.) Lucian, a Greek satirist who lived about one hundred years after Christ, compares a eunuch with a concubine to a deaf man with a flute, a bald man with a comb, and a blind man with a mirror.
Many theologians interpret Sirach 30:20 to mean a homosexual. When Matthew was writing his gospel he was aware the word eunuch in Greek literature often meant homosexuals and he would have been familiar with Sirach 30:20. Yet Matthew makes no attempt to tell his readers his use of the term eunuch does not imply a homosexual.
With this in mind we return to Jesus statement that
"Not everyone can accept this word…”. There has never been a dispute that a priest can choose a lifestyle of celibacy and not get married. No one disputes a man’s right to castrate himself and not get married. The Old Testament Holiness Code only speaks against temple prostitutes who engaged in homosexual acts in a cultic form of idolatry.
The Old Testament has conflicting passages as to whether or not eunuchs are to be welcomed in the temple. (See Dt. 23:1 and Is. 56:4). Some eunuchs display heroism like the one that rescued Jeremiah. Thus the only type of eunuchs that Jewish society found hard to accept was the notion that God created homosexuals. Homosexuals do not fit into the Adam and Eve marriage paradigm. This interpretation places Matthew 19:12 into the context of marriage which follows with the previous verses in Matthew 19.
For more information please see this web page:
Sacred Space web page created by Irish Jesuits shares with us more about people who castrate themselves in the following: “…the theologian Origen was so upset by carnal temptations that he castrated himself. It was not something the church admired in him. God calls us to live with our sexuality and transform it into a vehicle of love, not to root it out”.
In Biblical times Jews, Romans and other cultures did not believe born eunuchs could be healed or cured of their homosexuality. The Book of Wisdom says this:
I interpret “against God” to mean then desire to have sex with fallen Angels (which took place in Genesis Chapter 6 and was attempted at Sodom). Also “against God” means sex with temple prostitutes who were surrogates for the goddess of love. This latter group were called Sodomites. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit to become like God. The offspring of sex between fallen Angels and women resulted in giants that the children of Israel found when spies crossed the Jordan River after Moses death. God wants us to love him but not have sex with him and we cannot become Gods ourselves.
Kings had great confidence that gay eunuchs could not be cured and behave like a heterosexual. They knew gay eunuchs would not touch the king’s many wives and concubines so they gave all of the keys to the bedrooms of the palace to gay eunuchs. The Book of Acts interestingly provides the job title of an Ethiopian eunuch that was baptized by Phillip. That job title identifies the Ethiopian eunuch as a castrated gay man. The Greek word used in Acts is eunouchos, which means literally “guardian or keeper of the couch.” The term refers to those who were placed in positions of highest trust in royal palaces and wealthy households. Eunuchs served and guarded the women in these households. Because of their intimate access to the royal courts, eunuchs often rose to senior government positions. In this story, the Ethiopian eunuch was Treasurer to the Queen of Ethiopia.
Jesus words that gay eunuchs are born that way does not conflict with the Vatican. On December 29, 1975 the Vatican released a document titled: “Persona Humana”. It may have been in response to a decision by the medical community about homosexuality.
In 1973, the weight of empirical data, coupled with changing social norms and the development of a politically active gay community in the United States, led the Board of Directors of the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Some psychiatrists who fiercely opposed their action subsequently circulated a petition calling for a vote on the issue by the Association's membership. That vote was held in 1974, and the Board's decision was ratified.
Here is part of the Vatican document:
Dec. 29, 1975 Persona Humana
SACRED CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
A distinction is drawn, and it seems with some reason, between homosexuals whose tendency comes from a false education, from a lack of normal sexual development, from habit, from bad example, or from other similar causes, and is transitory or at least not incurable; and homosexuals who are definitively such because of some kind of innate instinct or a pathological constitution judged to be incurable.
Please note the Vatican offers no guidance to determine which homosexuals can be cured and which ones are incurable. The Catechism uses terms like inclination, deep seated tendencies and intrinsically (essential nature) which some gay priests compare to sexual orientation.
The Catholic Church views homosexuality as an ailment or birth defect that is morally corrupt. We know all people are born with the stain of original sin. God gives us a free will to make moral choices between right and wrong. It seems strange for the Catechism to say that God creates some people with an ailment that makes them morally corrupt and this ailment is incurable. If God made homosexuals with their bedrock core values system morally corrupt then they are not given a free will to make moral decisions.
The church says homosexuals should be treated with compassion and respect. Also that discrimination should be avoided. The Church does not approve of homosexual acts because they do not unite male and female duality. Also homosexual acts do not lead to procreation.
The Catechism says homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law. This church statement was written before scientists increased their study of same-sex behavior in animals. There are more than 450 species that display same-sex behavior. None of these animals behave in a disordered or depraved manner. Animals do what is instinctive and do not reason so they do not make moral judgments. God created the animals before He created Adam and Eve. Based on this can we say with 100 percent certainty that God did not intend for some people to be gay? Anti-gay clergy reply that God created Adam and Eve but not Steve. No one denies God created two genders but the Bible is silent as to how many sexual orientations God created. God did not create Grandmothers yet we know they exist. So it is possible for Steve to be part of God’s plan. Many gays believe God does in fact have a plan in that the number of homosexuals in the world at any given time depends on world population. If there is world overpopulation nature would create more homosexuals.
If the natural law is the duality of men and women to procreate then can God make exceptions? The Holiness Code said a man could not marry his Father’s sister. Moses parents had an unholy marriage yet God blessed Moses in a special way. Can God do something supernatural and lead gays to do God’s will like Moses?
Was King David bisexual and if so did he go against the natural law? 1 Samuel 20:30
Reference to the nakedness of one's parents is one of the methods used in the Bible to refer to a sexual relationship. (See Leviticus Chapter 18)
Saul apparently thought David and Jonathan were having sexual intercourse that was confusing and embarrassing to the family. In Leviticus “uncover the nakedness” does not mean “loyal best friend”. Every time “uncover the nakedness” is mentioned in the Bible it is in regard to a sex act. Saul called Jonathan the son of a perverse rebellious woman which means Saul is blaming the genes of his wife (and not himself) that Jonathan is gay. Many Father’s in modern society blame the wife’s side of the family when they discover their child is a queer. If David and Jonathan were only loyal best friends there would be no reason for Saul to blame his wife for Jonathan’s lifestyle. God made David king so He must have made an exception to what the Catechism calls “natural law”.
In Matthew’s gospel chapter 19 gay Christians believe Jesus said (gay) eunuchs are born that way. When Jesus said this He did not go on to say that eunuchs born that way are depraved or disordered. If Jesus believed gays were depraved and disordered it seems that He would have wanted to make this distinction in comparison to the castrated eunuchs and eunuchs who are priests. Instead Jesus makes no statement that any of the three types of eunuchs are created morally corrupt. I personally hope in my lifetime the Catechism will be revised when it discusses homosexuals. This can be done if recently discovered ancient Greek documents enable translators to correct the English translation of many Biblical words.
With so much controversy in the Catholic Church about gay marriage and gay priests you might wonder if the Virgin Mary has ever commented on homosexuality in her apparitions. I have researched the Internet and thus far the only time the Virgin Mary spoke against homosexuality was the Bayside Prophecies. Many of the so-called prophecies did not come true and the Catholic Church does not believe these apparitions are authentic. I find it interesting that the only so-called apparitions of the Virgin Mary condemning homosexuality are those orchestrated by Satan. The Virgin Mary rearranged Juan Diego’s bouquet of red Castilian roses in his cloak or tilma and placed other roses of various colors. Mary said a diversity of roses would be her sign to the Bishop. Mary’s endorsement of diversity gives me hope God created diverse sexual orientations.
The Catechism takes Bible verses about homosexual acts as they were performed in Biblical times and in the context of idolatry and states all homosexual acts in today’s society are wrong. Some priests have written to the Vatican indicating that the harsh terms in the Catechism to describe gays are abusive and lead to violence against gays. The Catechism says discrimination should be avoided but since the church teaches that homosexuals are born with the stain of original sin and additionally born morally corrupt then the church is saying gays are inferior and this can lead to discrimination.
The church says it’s views have never changed on these important matters. But we know St. Augustine did not believe an early abortion was murder because he believed ensoulment came later in pregnancy. The current church view when life begins was the result of changes by a new Pope after the American Civil War. For most of the church’s history the Pope was not infallible. The church has in fact changed its pinion on what is God’s truth and eternal word.
Dr. Hahn, if Matthew Chapter 19 is properly translated it could result in the Vatican revising the Catechism. I know you are very influential with Catholics in America. I do not know how much influence you have with the Vatican. Gays like Matthew Shepard have been murdered because churches use derogatory language to describe homosexuals. You may be in a position to suggest the Vatican tone down its’ anti-gay rhetoric. The church can continue to say homosexuality is a sin but make the admission that Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, Father Mychal Judge died a hero on September 11, 2001 and St. John Henry Newman and St. Aelred were most likely gay.
The Speaker of the California State Assembly is gay and in 2009 the Mayor of my home city was gay. In our Diocese we have an open gay priest who said gays and lesbians of today represent God’s diversity and are examples of “new signs” of the Holy Spirit since the Day of Pentecost. Gays in today’s society do not attempt to have sex with a temple prostitute acting as the surrogate for God as the Sodomites did and the Romans did in Paul’s time. It is my understanding that the Holy Spirit was received by the Gentiles when they were baptized as believers that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Protestants say a person must be “born again” in reference to Paul’s writings to receive the Holy Spirit. There are many gay Christians who are filled with the Holy Spirit and show fruits of the Spirit. These spiritual gifts can be tested and in my opinion they are genuinely from God. The presence of the Holy Spirit with gay Christians proves without any doubt that gays are equally loved by God. If a gay Christian demonstrates that he is filled with the Holy Spirit why would he feel himself lacking or need to be cured? The Bible says if God is for you then who can be against you? In reality no one in the Catholic Church who believes gays need to be healed is comparable to God and thus they cannot interfere with a gay Christian’s salvation.
Gays believe Jesus words that gay eunuchs are born that way does not conflict with Paul’s writings or the Book of Jude. In Romans Paul writes about temple prostitutes in cultic idol worship.
Paul’s writings have to be taken in proper context. For example Paul tells the women of Corinth not to wear short hair because in his time short hair was the sign you were a prostitute. This custom does not apply in today’s society. See 1 Corinthians 11:2-6).
Many theologians do not believe Romans 1:26,27 condemns homosexuality in modern times. St. Augustine believed this Bible passage in Romans was saying oral sex between men and women was unnatural and a sin rather than condemning homosexual acts.
The Catholic Bible disagrees with the New International Version if 1 Cor. 6:9 speaks against homosexuality. Four versions of the Catholic Bible do not specifically say homosexual acts. The term “sodomite” is defined as Old Testament temple prostitutes in a cultic form of idolatry and not a loving same-sex relationship.
1 COR. 6:9
New American Bible
New Jerusalem Bible:
Catholic Public Domain:
New International Version
Paul’s writings about homosexuality in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy have been misinterpreted similarly to the Lord’s Prayer “lead us not into temptation” has been misinterpreted (the latter according to your lecture). In these two Bible passages the Greek word Arsenakos has never been defined. The New International Version falsely translated this word to mean homosexual. Here below the US Conference of Catholic Bishops describe Paul’s intent. Please note the Bishops do not believe Paul is condemning loving same-sex relations between adults in today’s society.
USCCB  The Greek word translated as boy prostitutes may refer to catamites, i.e., boys or young men who were kept for purposes of prostitution, a practice not uncommon in the Greco-Roman world. In Greek mythology this was the function of Ganymede, the "cupbearer of the gods," whose Latin name was Catamitus. The term translated Sodomites refers to adult males who indulged in homosexual practices with such boys. http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/1corinthians/1corinthians6.htm
Here below we continue the discussion from another perspective.
The word arsenokoites in 1 Cor. 6:9 and 1 Tim. 1:10 has been assumed to mean “homosexual”. However, the word does not mean “homosexual”, and its range of meaning includes one who anally penetrates another (female or male), a rapist, a murderer, or an extortionist. When used in the meaning “anal penetrator”, it does not apply exclusively to males as the receptors, as it was also used for women receptors. The word does not appear in any Greek literary source until the poets of the Imperial period. This late occurrence is most significant as the Greeks wrote at length on male-male sexual relationships.
In another example, Romans 1 and Jude have been said to speak against homosexuality. However, the “flesh of different kind” was referring not to homosexuality but to “The Watchers” (angels) coming to earth and “whoring after” human women. This is well documented in the apocryphal literature.
Jude speaks of angels who did not uphold their own office, and that God has held them with eternal ropes down in the gloom. In the next sentence Jude says that “just like these” Sodom and Gomorrah “who went after different flesh” serve as an example of those who undergo punishment in the eternal fire. Jude quotes 1 Enoch in verses 14-15. 1 Enoch 6-10 states that 200 angels came to earth, lusted after human women causing “defilement” and producing progeny. The Book of Jubilees 5 sets out the punishment by God upon these angels. 2 Enoch 10 states, “And (they)… showed me there a very terrible place, and there were all manner of tortures in that place: cruel darkness and unillumined gloom, and there is no light there, but murky fire constantly flaming aloft, and there is a fiery river coming forth, and that whole place is everywhere fire, and everywhere there is frost and ice, thirst and shivering, while the bonds are very cruel... This place is reserved for those who sin against nature.” Note the words “sin against nature”.
The Testament of Naphtali 3.3.4-5 states that the women of Sodom had sex with angels, who “changed the order of their nature, whom also the Lord cursed at the flood, and for their sakes made desolate the earth, that it should be uninhabited and fruitless.” Note the term “changed the order of their nature” which is similar to Jude’s term, “went after different flesh” and to Paul’s statement, “for the females exchanged natural sex for what is other than nature. And the same goes for males too,” in Romans 1:26.
The context in Romans 1 and Jude is angels having sex with humans, as well as committing other crimes. In fact, the context cannot be more obvious in Jude 6-7, “6 And as for the Messengers who did not uphold their own office but deserted their own places, he (the Lord) has held them firmly in eternal ropes down in the gloom, waiting for the Judgment of the Great Day. 7 Just like these, Sodom and Gomorrah as well as the surrounding cities, which in a similar way committed porneia and went after different flesh, serve as an example of those who undergo punishment in the eternal fire.” 1 Enoch 10 says the main angel who was responsible for abandoning his office in this way was bound hand and foot and cast into in darkness where he would remain until the Great Day of Judgement.
Note the “just like these” in verse 7. Jude is spelling it out very clearly, Messengers (angels) did not uphold their own office, are held with ropes in darkness/gloom, and just like these, Sodom and Gomorrah went after strange flesh (angels having sex with human women). This is most certainly nothing to do with homosexuality: it is not even anything at all to do with sex between human beings.
Definition of PEDERASTY
My final question is about the Roman centurion and his servant as written in both Matthew and Luke. Is it possible the servant that Jesus heals is gay?
I know that words in the Bible shown in italicized letters, means that it does not occur in any Greek manuscript but was inserted by translators. Theologians debate the idiomatic expression of the Greek word “Pais” in Matthew 8:6 and Luke 7:2 (see below). The word “pais” describes the servant of the centurion that Jesus heals of illness.
During the time of Jesus the Roman Emperor prohibited Roman soldiers from being married. The Emperor did not want the soldiers thinking about their wife and children while they served in the military in distant lands. In Roman society sexual behavior was different than today’s standards. Many Roman soldiers had gay lovers.
The word “pais” translated to mean servant in most Bibles can also be translated to mean “same sex lover”. Greek authors in Biblical times used the word “pais” often to mean “beloved“ or “same sex lover”. The gospels use a different Greek word other than pais to describe the servants that the centurion gives orders to in Matthew and Luke Chapter 7 verse 8. This indicates the servant who is sick has a different relationship with the centurion than the other servants. The centurion is reluctant to have Jesus come to his home and meet the sick servant in person. There have been times when I had a gay friend visiting my home and I hesitated to have non-gay coworkers come to my home.
Luke Chapter 7 has the story of the Roman Centurion. The New Jerusalem Bible describes the pais who is sick as “favorite servant”. The Douay-Rheims Bible describes the relationship of the servant to the centurion as “dear to him”.
2 A centurion there had a servant, a favourite of his, who was sick and near death.
Other Bible translations use various phrases to identify the relationship of the servant to the centurion in a special way. These two Gospels disagree whether or not the Roman Centurion actually meets Jesus in person or communicates to Jesus via messengers. The main focus of this account is that the Centurion had strong faith and Jesus healed the young man.
Young's Literal Translation (What did Pais mean in Jesus time?)
8:6 and saying, 'Sir, my young man hath been laid in the house a paralytic, fearfully afflicted,'
The Faith of the Centurion
1When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant.
I look forward to being with you at the West Coast Bible Conference. Thank you.
I shook hands with Dr. Hahn after his opening talk at the WCBC. This was on Saturday February 15. He said my name after I introduced myself as if he knew who I was and was expecting to see me at the conference. He recognized my name immediately and said he read my letter. He said he did not write me a reply because he wanted to tell me in person. He said he disagreed with my interpretations (plural which means he read at least the introduction). He said I should pray to the Holy Spirit and do all of the Sacraments like the reconciliation sacrament (He said reconciliation twice). He asked me to pray for him.
Reconciliation is the act of confessing your sins and doing penance. In my letter I said I was celibate so Dr. Hahn apparently believes my questions about interpretations of the Bible from gay Christians is a sin. So he does not feel interpretations of the Bible from gay Christians are valid.
He was not angry and I was surrounded by people so he could not explain why he disagreed with my interpretations. He could have written why he disagreed but he chose against doing that so I am left to wonder if he has weak arguments or does not want to be published talking about homosexuality. I did not see him again. Dr. Brant Pitre spoke about Matthew 19 and said it had to do with celibacy. He said the born eunuchs are people born with birth defects (without a penis) or something to that effect. It still does not fit the context of what Jesus is saying because castrated men are not celibate.
Your first gut impression is usually correct.
I returned to the hotel and slept without my usual interruptions for two days. I had a very vivid dream about Jesus Christ. Jesus was driving my old 1979 Chevette. He went into a store like a 7-11 and I noticed Him and realized it was Jesus. Other people did not recognize Him. Jesus was wearing modern clothes but His hair and beard were just like the Divine Mercy portrait. This picture of Jesus and Him being my friend and talking gently to me is the most vivid of my lifetime. I recall in the dream that my mind was so relieved that I had properly recognized Jesus and He recognized and welcomed me to ride in the car with Him. I had fun with Jesus. Jesus asked me to go for a drive in the car. I was not blind in the dream and Jesus spoke to me directly. The topic of gay did not come up in the dream. I did not see the other people in a sexual way. Jesus went to other stores to see if people would recognize Him. People would say He looked familiar but they could not place Him. Some people said they did not know Him. Jesus went to about four stores and interacted with at least a dozen people. The weather was warm and Jesus wore summer clothes. For awhile I was in the front passenger seat. At other times I was in the back seat and Joseph and Mary as infants were in the front passenger seat. After some time Jesus dropped me off some place so I got out of the car and He drove away down a rural country road. In a later scene I saw many of the disciples and Paul before seeing Jesus again on a hillside. This time everyone was wearing a robe like they were in heaven. I believed it to be my arrival in heaven.
I normally have violent dreams so this is very peculiar. I felt just as peaceful as I did on the pilgrimage. Sacred Space web page said this about my vivid dream and the fact that Jesus and I called each other by name:
Saturday night I had a bipolar episode because I slept all day. I could not figure out how to retrieve messages on the hotel phone from Hal Rover. I used the F word and the other guests called a security guard per my request. I thanked the guard and manager for their help so they cancelled a call to police. I am grateful my guardian Angel told me to settle down.
On Sunday I missed Mass. So I told the Rovers that I slept a lot was because I did drugs the Wednesday night before the conference. I said there are no beds available in VA drug rehab. Pat Martin is their God son. They will talk to Pat about rehab options and pray for me. They will not disclose this confidential information to anyone except Pat, Jim Foudy and Father Lincoln. When we returned to my home the Rover’s came inside to see my grotto and acted like they would come to the blessing. The Holy Spirit told me to tell them. I will trust the Holy Spirit that I did the right thing.
What is an "Abomination"?
An abomination is that which God found detestable because it was unclean, disloyal, or unjust. Several Hebrew words were so translated, and the one found in Leviticus, toevah, is usually associated with idolatry, as in Ezekiel, where it occurs numerous times. Given the strong association of toevah with idolatry and the canaanite religious practice of cult prostitution, the use of toevah regarding male same-sex acts in Leviticus calls into question any conclusion that such condemnation also applies to loving, responsible homosexual relationships.
On the other hand, Roman Catholicism, unable to show a continuity of faith and in order to justify new doctrine, erected in the last century, a theory of "doctrinal development."
Following the philosophical spirit of the time (and the lead of Cardinal Henry Newman), Roman Catholic theologians began to define and teach the idea that Christ only gave us an "original deposit" of faith, a "seed," which grew and matured through the centuries. The Holy Spirit, they said, amplified the Christian Faith as the Church moved into new circumstances and acquired other needs.
Consequently, Roman Catholicism, pictures its theology as growing in stages, to higher and more clearly defined levels of knowledge. The teachings of the Fathers, as important as they are, belong to a stage or level below the theology of the Latin Middle Ages (Scholasticism), and that theology lower than the new ideas which have come after it, such as Vatican II.
All the stages are useful, all are resources; and the theologian may appeal to the Fathers, for example, but they may also be contradicted by something else, something higher or newer.
On this basis, theories such as the dogmas of "papal infallibility" and "the immaculate conception" of the Virgin Mary (about which we will say more) are justifiably presented to the Faithful as necessary to their salvation.
In any case, the truth of these dogmas have always belonged to the Christian Tradition. They have been present from the beginning of that Tradition as "hints," seeds that only waited for the right time to bloom. http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/ortho_cath.html
Some Catholics interpret Matthew 19:12 to promote celibacy because sex outside of marriage is a sin. They stress a castrated man does not get married therefore he is not having sex (he is celibate). Many castrated men were sexually active that is why the king would make a gay castrated man the custodian of the keys to all of the rooms. In Biblical times rulers had many wives as well as concubines. Jesus never spoke about sex out of marriage except in terms of adultery. He never commented on premarital sex. Since Jesus never spoke against premarital sex or harems he is not talking about celibacy in Matthew 19:12. In fact Mathew 19;12 is not listed as one of the four times Jesus talks about human sexuality.
Summarizing Jesus' statements involving human sexuality:
So, a case can be made that Jesus was totally silent on matters relating to sexual behavior except for the special case involving obsessive feelings of lust towards a married person other than one's spouse.
If an individual wants to match Jesus' expectations in inter-personal relationships, then he/she might wish to fall back on his general ethical teachings:
See this web page: http://www.religioustolerance.org/sex_jesu.htm
Genesis Chapter Two:
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.
Body interpreted as “one flesh” because both fleshes must come together (sperm and egg) to procreate. This is about procreation and not the only form of marriage. Catholic Church assumes this means marriage because sex outside of marriage when you are not attempting to procreate is a sin.
Always Our Children:
Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers
Committee on Marriage and Family, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States of America
Approved by the NCCB Administrative Committee September 10, 1997
Released October 1, 1997
Uses the term “homosexual orientation”
For 1700 years after Sodom was destroyed Moses, the prophet Ezekiel and Jewish Rabbi’s taught that the sin of Sodom was inhospitality and idolatry. At the time of Jesus, the Roman/Jewish historian Josephus offered a new interpretation that Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality. In Matthew 10:15 Jesus Christ responded to this reinterpretation by affirming that Sodom was destroyed because of inhospitality. Apparently, Jesus believed that rejecting His disciples, or refusing to show Hospitality, was a worse sin than anything that went on in Sodom. In the book of Jude we find support for Jesus statement. The Hebrew word for Sodom has no linguistic relationship to the Hebrew word translated “sodomites”.
A summary of the Scriptural support used by Catholics against contraception can be found in Rome Sweet Home, an autobiography by the Catholic apologetics Scott and Kimberly Hahn, both of whom are converts to the Catholic Church from Protestantism.22 They illustrate the results of the research on contraception conducted by Kimberly Hahn as having a pivotal effect on their lives, notably the fact that the Catholic Church is one of the last few Christian groups to take a clear stance on the issue. Among the Scripture included in the book are the following lines from Psalm 127:
Family planning proponent Stephen D. Mumford has argued that the primary motivation behind the Church's continued opposition to contraceptive use is the Church's fear of losing papal authority if the pope were to contradict the dogma of papal infallibility.  Mumford gives as an example the citation made by August Bernhard Hasler of a comment by Pope John Paul II prior to his papacy:
I am disappointed about my relationship with Dr. Hahn. (See my e mail 2-17-11). However since he wrote a book to oppose the use of contraception should I be surprised by his response? If Hahn said my views were valid he would be asserting the Pope’s infallibility is false. Hahn offered no Biblical evidence to oppose my interpretations of the Bible. From Sacred Space February 17, 2011:
Lent 2011 USCCB publish revised Old Testament which shows the Bible could be incorrect about gays.
Only one in four (New Jerusalem Bible) uses the word homosexual.
Early reports have focused on new translations for English words that have changed their popular meaning since 1970. In Judges 8:24-25, where Gideon once asked his troops, "Will each of you give me a ring from his booty?" he now says, "Give me, each of you, a ring from his spoils."
Roman Centurion and Pais
1929 Bible Matthew uses words “boy” and “bondservant” to distinguish between lover who was healed and the other servants of the centurion
Luke says “servant who was dear unto him”
Add 1929 Bible information.]
At the WCBC Dr. Hahn advised me to go to Confession. Here is his reply to my follow-up question as to what sin I had to confess.
From: tom swann
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and offer advice to me. I have added your name to my daily prayer list as you asked me to pray for you. You twice spoke of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I am celibate. Can you please recommend what I need to say at confession? Your advice is confidential. Your help is greatly appreciated.
SACRED SPACE ON BORN EUNUCHS
Friday August 12, 2011
The word of God
Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?' He answered, 'Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning "made them male and female", and said, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh"? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.' They said to him, 'Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?' He said to them, 'It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but at the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.' His disciples said to him, 'If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.' But he said to them, 'Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.'
Some thoughts on today's scripture
• Jesus calls us to high ideals and wants us to imitate both his ambition and his understanding. Whether we marry remain single, we are called to live wholeheartedly.
The Pharisees ask Jesus about divorce which means this portion of the gospel deals with marriage and not celibacy.
The disciples say it is better that a man and his wife (a woman) not marry. Then Jesus describes three classes of men that do not marry women.
|Home         Meet Tom         Book Signings & Engagements         Veteran's Chaplain|