Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 66(1) February 2016

Book Review

Living the Truth in Love:
Pastoral Approaches to Same-Sex Attraction

Edited by Janet E. Smith and Father Paul Check
Ignatius Press
ISBN: 978-1621640608

Book CoverThis is a wonderfully charitable presentation of the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding same-sex attraction. They are written by experts in the field including theologians, philosophers and psychologists. The book is divided in three sections: theoretical, testimonial and pastoral.

The article by Monsignor Livio Melina is excellent. It clearly explains what is meant by the term "objective disorder". From his analysis, it is clear that the term was never intended to denigrate homosexuals.

Joseph Budziszewski is one of today's finest exponents of natural law theory. The right and wrong use of natural law is here discussed. To take one extreme, Joseph Biden apparently uses his own version of natural law to justify abortion. The author shows us why Mr Biden is wrong.

Jennifer Roeback Morse gives us an explanation of the sexual revolution. She argues that the legalization of "same-sex marriage" should have come as no surprise once there was widespread acceptance of contraception and no-fault divorce.

From a spiritual perspective, the chapter on abandonment to Divine Providence by Daniel Mattson is illuminating. The chapter by Dennis J. Billy on what Saint Aelred meant by friendship is especially helpful. It is quite clear that friendship for Aelred is rooted in charity and has nothing whatever to do with erotic attraction. As always, the context is important.

The chapters by Eve Tushnet and Joseph Prever are well written and it is clear that they desire to be fully believing Catholics. However, one may legitimately question the use of the term "gay Catholic". Is it in keeping with the Tradition?

None of the authors treat people with same-sex attraction in ways that are not respectful. Much of what is written is inspired directly or indirectly by the pastoral contribution of the late Father John Harvey and the book is thus highly recommended.

Click here to see book on publisher's website

Reviewed By Pravin Thevasathan