Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Homosexuality and the Catholic Church: Book Review

The Filipino edition of Homosexuality and the Catholic Church Clear Answers to Difficult Questions has finally arrived. The book is sold on Catholic bookstores (try St. Paul's) locally but is also available through Courage Philippines for only P200 (for Courage members) and P250 for outsiders. You can find our contact details on the sidebar of this blog for orders.

This book by the late Fr. John Harvey, OSFS, is a must-read for everyone struggling with SSA whether you are Catholic or not. In fact everyone including priests, religious, and the laity alike will benefit from the contents presented in a question and answer type format that is very easy to read and understand. All the major issues surrounding the nature of homosexuality are covered and presented in an objective and pastorally sensitive manner drawing from Fr. Harvey's extensive experience in ministering to people with SSA.

About the Author

Fr. John Harvey, OSFS was ordained to the priesthood in 1944. He holds a master's degree in experimental psychology and a doctorate in moral theology from the Catholic University of America, and served as a moral theologian at De Sales School of Theology for thirty eight years.

The author of The Homosexual Person, The Truth About Homosexuality: The Cry of the Faithful, and (with Gerard Bradley) Same-Sex Attraction: A Parents' Guide, Fr. Harvey has given counsel and guidance with same-sex attraction for more than fifty years.

Fr. Harvey passed away last December 27, 2010 at the age of 92. He was the founder and national director of Courage, which is a spiritual support group for homosexual men and women. He had been director of Courage since its foundation in 1980 at the request of the late archbishop of New York, Terrence Cardinal Cooke. Meanwhile, Courage has grown from a local New York group to more than a hundred chapters throughout the world.

Table of Contents


Foreword by Most Rev Raymond L. Burke, DDJCD, Archbishop of St. Louis


Introduction by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, Ph.D

Chapter 1 - Homosexuality: Some Basic Questions

Chapter 2 - Helping Those with SSA Live a Chaste Life

Chapter 3 - The Pastoral Challenges of Masturbation and Pornography

Chapter 4 - Same-Sex Unions and the Health of Society

Chapter 5 - Chastity

Chapter 6 - Human Friendships: Benefits and Boundaries

Chapter 7 - Freedom of the Will and Addiction

Chapter 8 - Norms for Admission to Seminaries and Holy Orders

Chapter 9 - Courage, Encourage, and the Twelve Steps

Chapter 10 - Spiritual Direction

Chapter 11 - Other Organizations

Chapter 12 - Dissenting Catholic Organizations

Chapter 13 - An Encourage Story

Selected Annotated Bibliography


About the Author

Timely message from Paciano Aniceto, D.D. Chairman of Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, CBCP:

"Chastity is not about rules and prohibitions. It is a way of life lived in grace that restores and liberates us from the slavery of our passions. I pray that our brothers and sisters who experience same-sex attraction allow the Lord to "pitch His tent" in their precious lives and see the face of the compassionate, Good Shepherd who came that we may have life and have it in abundance." (Jn 10:10)

"I have come not to condemn you, but to help you. I am the only one who truly understands you, the only one who truly loves you...up to the point of death." - Jesus Christ


  1. I would definitely get a copy of this book for my personal reference, and recommend at least a copy for the libraries of catholic communities, parish youth offices, guidance counselors and catholic institutions.

  2. Thank you very much for your support! This book is not exclusive to those who struggle with SSA. Everyone who wants to understand SSA should read this book, and especially priests and pastors so that they will be able to better guide their flock towards the right path.

  3. read the Bible not some random books!..homosexual is a sin!it is a perversion of God!..that's why sodom and gomorah is destroyed!..that's why Jesus came to earth to explain the Law and the prophets!..it is stated in the Bible!..sorry for this but, this is the truth!..this book is swaying the minds of the people!..although wala ng magagawa!.i'd like to speak my mind!..ang babaw ng explanation nyo!..ang lalake magdamit babae, binabastos mo na ang diyos!...come on guys, the battle starts in the mind!...pag natalo ka dun!..tapos na ang laban kahit di mo pa ito ginagawa!...men dressing as girls is a sin!... un palang kasalanan na!...

  4. @ Anonymous

    I know what you are referring to. It's the statement of Archbishop Cruz that says it's "okay" for him if a man dresses like a woman. It's quite controversial I must admit. But going back to the book, it's very biblical. The book condemns "homosexual acts" as acts of grave depravity but not the homosexual person or his or her homosexual inclination. Furthermore, the book emphasizes the need to be chaste especially for the person struggling with same sex attraction.

    I suggest you read the book first, and if after doing so you find some "objectionable" parts in it, I'll be ready to answer you anytime.

    God bless and thanks for your concern. Please remember we are one in saying that "homosexual acts" are always sinful and can never be justified.

    1. That's bullshit. Sex is primarily recreational. It's about having a good time. Who cares who you have that good time with.

    2. Hi Anonymous!

      I respect your opinion but I beg to disagree.

      If you were some lower animal who only possesses instinct yes you may have a "good time" to recreate and procreate all you want.

      But I'm pretty sure you're somebody endowed with reason, intellect, free will, and a conscience.

  5. yes I agree with that homosexual acts are sinful.. and a homosexual person needs not to discriminate because they are cross dressing. they also need understanding and respect. for as long as they don't do sexual acts with same sex, I think there's no problem with that.. God loves His children but not the wrong doings of them.

    I want to buy and read this book. Can we order online? -mg

  6. @mg

    You can order the book through Bro. Rollie at 09285066974. Tell him you saw this on the Courage blog. Thanks.

  7. Does Courage recognize that two persons of the same sex can love each other? I know same sex couples, who are in committed and loving relationships. They care for each other, tend to each other's needs, and plan their lives together. But because they have sex with each other, then all that caring and loving still don't count? Now, I would agree that some - straight or gay - have sex with different motivations (lust, sense adventure etc.). Maybe I can understand why some people would object to that. But I can't understand why the same should apply to Joe and Larry who have been together for years and who have been at each other's side in sickness and health, through ups and downs. Their love should not remain as "love which dare not be speak its name." Love is love.

  8. Dear Anonymous,

    I am posting my answer to your comment on a separate blog post entitled On Same-Sex 'Love'.

    Thank you.

  9. hi! can i find the book in the catholic bookstore at sm north edsa? coz i need the book for my report on homosexuals and the church :) thanks!

  10. Please help me how to deal with a child who is gay. I a single mom. I'm not pretty sure if i can get a response to this but im very desperate to seek an advice regarding on my child.

    1. Hi Anonymous!

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I understand how heartbreaking this is for you but hold on coz you're not alone.

      First I want to ask if your son is actively engaged in the gay lifestyle - living with a same-sex partner, promiscuous, etc. and it would be nice if you can give us a short background about your son. You see, there are "gay" men who choose to live and follow the Lord despite their cross of same-sex attraction.

      You can find online blogs and forums of moms who are in the same situation as you are. I tried to search one and here is what I found:


      Where do you live? If you're here in the Philippines, you can contact Courage Philippines and talk to our group regarding your son. Support groups are a great help. Courage is one of them. If you're not Catholic, there are Christian support groups like Exodus International who minister to men struggling with same-sex attraction.

      Hope that helps. Please pray unceasingly for your son, perhaps not to make him 'straight', but that he remain godly and morally upright in spite of his condition. We always remind ourselves every now and then that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality but holiness. We in Courage strive to lead a chaste life however difficult it may seem and this is something that the world hates us for. Though we are sinners like anyone else, we strive to follow the will of God in our lives and that I think is what matters most.

  11. To the mother with gay son,

    I just found this old post on my blog that might be of great help to you.


    You don't have to be Catholic to relate to this, but it's a great blog post. Hope it helps.

    God bless.