Professor Ralph McInery
Jacques Maritain Center
714 Hesberg Library
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

As published in an editorial in The Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Newsletter March 1994 Volume 17, Number 2

Historians could no doubt tell us much about what the rise of homosexual ideology means for a society. Even I have read accounts of the fall of Rome which cite sexual license, especially perverted sex, as a symptom of precipitous decline. A few seasons ago, “I, Claudius”, the television series, unabashedly linked homosexuality with the general imperial unraveling.

When I was in the minor seminary of the Archdiocese of St. Paul, Nazareth Hall, in the early 1940’s, I recall but one whisper about such matters, and that in connection with the sudden absence of one of the students. The Marine Corps, where I next found myself, instilled a healthy disgust for perversity and dealt harshly with it , both officially and unofficially.

During most of my long university career, it would have been inconceivable to hear homosexuality referred to , in “wertfrei” tones, as an alternative lifestyle. Quite recently, it seems to me, things have changed.

Colleagues publish plangent pages in campus publications inveighing against homophobia–a neologism which requires linguistic as well as moral illiteracy. (Think of the implications for homonyms and homogenization.) Students follow suit, urging this Catholic university to apply Catholic doctrine and acknowledge that the Church “does not distinguish between homosexual and heterosexual persons.”

The other night I went to Mass, expecting to commemorate the Chair of Peter, and found myself involved in a liturgy devoted to the “victims of AIDS” and a patchwork quilt students had been stitching together to prove that they were open and flexible in the matter of sexual perversion.

The university, in short, has allowed itself to be recruited into an ideological campaign whose aim is to celebrate homosexuality and treat any misgivings as somehow, well, perverse.

Of course, the enemy has long been within the walls in the form of wobbling on the part of moral theologians.

Homophobia has come to mean the principled judgement that perverted sex is a serious sin, that its practitioners lead hellish lives and nowadays run the risk of a horrendous disease. In short, disease apart, the natural as well as the Christian attitude toward homosexuality up until yesterday.

If this is indeed what homophobia means, let’s have more of it.