Why Do Catholics Believe It is Sinful to Celebrate “Pride Month”?

You may have seen the above on Twitter; that Notre Dame (ND) or some other nominally Catholic institution is celebrating pride month. Some, like Notre Dame, have even used their supposed Catholicism to justify their actions. But what they are doing is actually against Catholic doctrine. This disturbed me, so I decided to write this piece. I ran it past my pastor to make sure it accurate from a Catholic doctrinal standpoint.


Before answering the question I pose above, please allow me to begin by making something clear:


There is no sin whatsoever in being attracted to members of the same sex any more than it is a sin to be attracted to the opposite sex. 


If people are discriminated against merely because of that attraction, that discrimination is wrong. 


The reason for Catholic opposition to most “pride” activities (as this is a family blog, I am not posting photos taken over the weekend of some of the pride parades) can be summed up in a single New Testament verse:


What does it benefit a man to gain the whole world but lose his immortal soul?! [Mark 8:36]


We are clearly taught that sexual activities outside of traditional marriage are sinful. That includes adultery, pre-marital sex, and same-gender sexual activities (as recently as last week, Pope Francis reinforced that position). 

If we encourage or participate in pride month activities, we are essentially cooperating with, or giving permission to, sin. Here's an analogy: consider the morality of having a parade celebrating adultery. Of course, the penalty for living a life of unforgiven sin is eternity in hell – a worse punishment than we can imagine. Sin is nothing to celebrate or encourage! We do ourselves and our friends no favors when we tacitly approve these activities; some of which (based on photos) included children. 


If a Catholic individual or institution (like Notre Dame) encourages same-sex activity, it is guilty of giving scandal – another serious sin. As Jesus said,


If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”  Matthew 8:16


In other words, Jesus says it would be better to perish in the state of grace rather than commit the sin of scandal and condemn your soul for eternity!


In the 2020’s, we don’t hear much about sin or even societal responsibility. We, unfortunately, live in a society where it is all about, “me, me, me; whatever I want.” Unfortunately, it is unlikely that God judges on a curve based on current mores – we either live a life pleasing to Him or we don’t.


We Catholic Christians often hear the justification, “Jesus told us to love one another.” And, yes, He certainly did. But that was Jesus’ second command. Here is the entire exchange:


[Matthew 22:36-40]

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The first and greatest commandment is to “love God.” Would you offend someone you love?

The Ten Commandments forbid lying, adultery, and theft (among other things). If you have an affair, do you love your spouse? So, disobeying God’s commandments is not justified by quoting Jesus’ “love your neighbor” out of context. 


Not too long ago, an acquaintance said to me, “I don’t believe in God and all of that stuff.” Okay, but do you think one’s personal “belief” makes a difference? Suppose I said, “I don’t believe in the Grand Canyon because I’ve never been there and I’ve never seen it!” 


The fact I may or may not believe in the Grand Canyon has absolutely nothing to do with whether it actually exists. The same is true with God, Heaven and Hell. At the end of our lives, all of us will give an accounting to God, regardless of whether we believe in Him. I doubt He will accept, “I don’t believe in you, so I lived a dissolute life,” as an adequate response. 


As to Notre Dame, I fear for the souls of its students if they take this and any other scandalous message to heart. Catholic Bishop Robert Barron recommends we pray for ND and its staff and students. That is a good idea.


We should wish our gay friends well in their lives and treat them well -- as fellow children of God. I reinterate that discrimination strictly because someone is gay is wrong. But we should never put our souls – or theirs -- in jeopardy by encouraging sin. 



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