Pope: ‘Sexuality Has An Intrinsic Meaning…Which Is not Homosexual’

The Pope, who earlier this week clarified his new stance on condom use, has a new book out called "Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times." Not surprisingly, the book, which is formated as a series of interviews, is full of some of the same anti-gay views we've heard from him in the past:

The interviewer, German journalist Peter Seewald, asked the pope whether the church's teaching that homosexuals deserve respect isn't contradicted by its position that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered."

The pope answered: "No. It is one thing to say that they are human beings with their problems and their joys, that as human beings they deserve respect, even though they have this inclination, and must not be discriminated against because of it."

"At the same time, though, sexuality has an intrinsic meaning and direction, which is not homosexual," he said. "The meaning and direction of sexuality is to bring about the union of man and woman and, in this way, to give humanity posterity, children, a future."

The pope said the church needs to hold firm on this point, "even if it is not pleasing to our age."

He said it was still an open question whether homosexual inclinations are innate or arise early in life. In any case, he said, if these are strong inclinations, it represents "a great trial" for the homosexual.

"But this does not mean that homosexuality thereby becomes morally right. Rather, it remains contrary to the essence of what God originally willed," he said.

Meanwhile, some HIV workers have welcomed the Pope's recent views on condoms saying "It's long overdue because people are dying and the Church has a responsibility to step up and take care of its people."


  1. ophu says

    Ever wonder why the world is overpopulated? Perhaps enforcing a heteronormative culture that encourages women to have large numbers of children has thrown our species out of balance with nature. So now we have a runaway population.

  2. Bubba says

    F the pope. Someday the Nazi will burn in hell. Too bad I don’t believe there is a hell, but he does.

  3. Matt26 says

    I don’t see ending in this. There probably are people and organisations that will never accept gays and homosexuality. They see homosexuality only as sex (and why, I’ll leave the answer for anyone reading this) not as love and natural thing. The pope just doesn’t understand nor doesn’t want to understand what gays are trying to say. We are third class people to them. I only wish Jesus will have more understanding, after all said he spent his time with people the society pushed away. I wonder what he would have to say about the Vatican.

  4. Sargon Bighorn says

    Why is what this man says or thinks of any concern to humans? He has no power over me…”be gone before someone drops a house on you too”

  5. TANK says

    This is ridiculous…as if I needed to contribute that waste of type to express it…but for different reasons and some of the same (he’s an unethical bastard, though not rivaling renaissance intrigue and excess, is engaging in a protracted, painful battle with reality that will inevitability end in failure…every time nazi pope speaks, you can practically hear galileo whisper, “but it does move…”).

    There is no such thing as “intrinsic meaning”–it’s a meaningless term…noises that signify nothing. Willard Van Orman Quine proved this, and because of that is regarded as the greatest philosopher of the former half of the twentieth century…because in philosophy, it’s very, very rare (and fucking hard) that something is PROVEN like in science…and he proved something that meaning is always underdetermined, and there is no such thing as “absolute meaning” or intrinsic meaning…for anything…in his rather dense essay the two dogmas of empiricism (one of the greatest essays in the history of analytic philosophy), and in much greater detail in his dense but great book, “word and object”. On purely objective grounds, he’s lying, and relying on an ancient and completely vacuous theory of meaning Quine dubbed the museum conception, and systematically annihilated.

    This appears like I’m going far afield to call a douche a douche, but I approach theological debate in the same way…any difficulty in reconciling god’s nature or god with paradox and problem is met with the same response from me: “God doesn’t exist. This isn’t fun, and it’s pointless…even saying ‘god’ doesn’t exist in meaningless”. It is pointless….intrinsically, even… to talk of meaninglessness….and when you get into so-called respectable theology (high brow, whatever), they’ve defined god in such a way as to flirt with incoherence…because they can’t maintain their faith coherently. It’s nothing…noises…

  6. Adrian says


    Thanks for that philosophical lecture, but your rant is only about the nonexistence of God, going even as far as attacking sympathetic churches. Such argument doesn’t help gays in general.

  7. Max says

    How is the Pope qualified to give an authoritative opinion about sexuality? He’s neither a doctor nor a psychologist.

  8. TANK says

    neither do sympathetic churches, which constitute less than one per cent of christianity, in total. And yes, they bare responsibility for the homophobia of their fellow christians…as much as they desire to innoculate themselves from it, maintaining the falsity of “outside observer” status. No go cock punch yourself as hard as you can, moron.

  9. bobbyjoe says

    So, let me see if I get this right. The Pope admits that homosexuality might be innate, but even if it is it’s NOT “what God originally willed.”

    Uh, Pope, buddy, if God exists and something is innate, then wouldn’t that by definition mean that God willed it to be that way?

    I mean, maybe I don’t know my theology, but if God made a duck innately a duck, then wouldn’t he mean it to BE a duck and not, say, a giraffe?

    Pope (if you happen to be reading Towleroad at the moment), you seem to be saying that God made a duck a duck but he doesn’t will it to be a duck. So why did he make it a duck in the first place? Did he proclaim “Voila! I innately make you a duck.. no, wait, I meant a giraffe! Damn! Oops.”?

    Apparently the headline for this article should instead read: “Pope Claims God Makes Mistakes.” Now THAT’S news.

  10. TANK says

    neither do sympathetic churches, which constitute less than one per cent of christianity, in total. They do nothing to change the hateful antigay propaganda that characterizes mainstream christianity. And yes, they bare responsibility for the homophobia of their fellow christians…as much as they desire to innoculate themselves from it and maintain the falsity of an outside observer status. No go cock punch yourself as hard as you can, moron.

  11. TANK says

    double post…well, I got another thrust of the rusty blade into your dead, pathetic argument, tool.

  12. Adrian says


    My, my. What a crappy disposition you have. Name calling is not very adult behavior. I only disagreed with you because your argument isn’t rooted against homophobia–it’s against spirituality. I pointed it out and you react by throwing a tantrum laden with put-downs. You can argue in a civilized manner, right? Is that too much to ask?

  13. Soren456 says

    The pope would use terms like “normal” and “perversion,” which are, in the sense he’d use them, not known in science. They are value judgments.

    Everything found in nature is natural. But if all he knows is theology, he won’t understand what that statement means.

  14. Craig says

    @Rat. Sadly, I’m pretty sure by his silence in helping the kids abused by priests, that this freak has probably had LOTS of boy/boy hookups … in all the wrong places, in the most inappropriate ways.

    I have no doubt he’s going to be doing some explaining sometime after he’s gone. :)

  15. David in Houston says

    “At the same time, though, sexuality has an intrinsic meaning and direction, which is not homosexual…”

    The intrinsic meaning of homosexuality IS to be sexually attracted to the same gender… Your Holy Dumbass!

    “The meaning and direction of sexuality is to bring about the union of man and woman and, in this way, to give humanity posterity, children, a future.”

    So basically he just gave a big middle-finger to all those heterosexuals in the world that never found a partner, and never had children. How christian of him.

  16. Adrian says

    The problem is that the Catholic church remains fixated on sexual organs. Your penis or vagina dictates your role in the family and society. Homosexuality is a role-breaker. They have a hard time understanding that families are built with love, not a pair of “complementary” gonads.

  17. TANK says

    Crappy disposition? Bitch, I’m just warming up. But really, relevant analysis about peepee vagina and mainstream christianity’s (as it’s not just catholicism that’s implicated in christofascist hate) obsession with sexism, which causes homophobia…really relevant…a long time ago.

    Now if you want things to change, you’re not going to achieve that cultivating relationships with the UCC, or so-called “sympathetic” churches or faith community…playing nicey nice with so-called allies in propping up christian dogma as a viable belief system, however obliquely. That’s not how it’s done. What changes the attitude and dialogue (of mainstream christianity, which is homophobic as moderates are truly useless people) is money, and donations and membership will decrease as stigma increases. When it’s considered as distasteful as racism to be homophobic, then the church will come around (because the bottom line is, religion is about money and influence, period)…not through trying to understand dogma…or reasoning with unreasonable people spouting gibberish..no no…when they feel embarrassed and ashamed, then they’ve got something called self interest at stake, and that motivates most people…well, just about everyone….and christians are definitely no exception to the rule.

  18. John Patrick says

    With all the evidence of people’s lives and relationships, with all the advances in research and the social sciences over the last sixty years, there is really no excuse for this pope’s outrageous claims. He is either blind, or caught in his own circular worldview, or just unwilling to do the research that is needed to understand human sexuality and the lives of gay people. He has claimed no one should be surprised when people react violently against people who want gay sex to be legal, he has claimed that gay couples do emotional violence to the children they raise, he has declared that gay sexual relationships cannot be loving, he has reduced gay relationships to sex, and he has likened gay relationships to disasters befalling the human race. He states that gay people deserve respect for their humanity, but he and his episcopal minions have opposed every single attempt by people to legally guarantee civil rights to gay people – whether the right be that of civil marriage, of adoption, or of non discrimination in housing, jobs, access to public accommodations or any other such rights. His message to gay children and youths is that they are disordered in the core of their nature and that they should deny themselves in order to please their creator and should not expect to ever live fulfilling lives of love and openness. He tells such youths that if they do live such lives, their creator will condemn them to eternal punishment – a fate much worse than even Hitler or Stalin or Mao or Idi Amin or any other despot could impose on their subjects. His message is as much sexual abuse as is any physical act of abuse. He abuses gay youths emotionally and tells his minions to do the same. And he opposes any laws that would outlaw such abuse. This is perverse, it is evil.

  19. Bill Michael says

    I normally wouldn’t waste the time to spit on the Pope but I am writing because I don’t want you to become another victim. The Pope is full of crap. He’s an old man in a dress that doesn’t fit well. If you are young and tempted to blow your brains out because the Pope makes you feel ashamed to be alive then I have some advice for you: God loves ALL of his children. God doesn’t make mistakes. You are here because you have a purpose in life that is to be fulfilled if only by being alive. Love yourself, love your family, love your friends and your enemies. Don’t let a dirty sick old bastard do you in with his lies.

  20. Rich says

    Does anyone know what the great Wizard of Hogwarts thinks? That’s about as relevant as this declaration. We are living through a very fascinating time, we are seeing the final century of the death of Holy Roman Empire. It’s been a long time coming. It must be like what the ancients felt when witnessing the death of their gods. Isis, Zeus to Jesus and Mohammad, all gasping for last breaths over the bones of us failed human beasts looking for answers, absolutely fascinating.

  21. BobN says

    It sure is weird to look at the complexity and wonder of human kind and come up with Tab A fits into Slot B as the one and only meaningful lesson.

    Strikes me as awfully insulting to God (if He exists).

  22. nic says

    here is the pope: “whee!!! i’m flying, i’m flying!!!!!!!!!!! i gave my butthole to god, my heart to jebus, my brain to the holy spirit, and my soul to the nazis. in turn, i get to wear fancy dresses and slippers. fuck everybody else. yeah, that’s right. i am a wretched whore.”

  23. Terry says

    I think it’s long overdue for the Southern Poverty Law Center to classify the Catholic Church as a hate group.

  24. Roman Bolliger says

    Educated people should know that meanings are never intrinsic! As the word says: Meanings are what people mean. Meanings are always attributions!

    So what does that tell about the Pope who we assume to have a good academic and intellectual education?

    The Pope knows that he is mistaken when he talks of intrinsic meanings. But the Pope is a politician and politicians do everything to manipulate and preserve power, even lie and more. So the Pope is an authentic dirty player.

    Another possibility is that he is a brainwashed (and already senile?) dogmatic fundamentalist who believes what he is saying, an authentic Catholiban.

    Both ways he is bad for the future of our world.

  25. galore says

    LOL! So many words but the solution is so simple:

    The pope desperately needs to get laid. Ganswein to the rescue !!!!

  26. BartB says

    Why would anyone take sexual advice or listen to the sexual cannon from a man who lives a celibate life with other men. That is so grossly abnormal that it can only lead to sexual disorders (ie. the problem the Catholic Church has today which the Pope and nis minions like to lie about and hide.)

    I get what he is trying to say as obtusely as possible that two guys can’t make a baby. But if he believes that that is all sexuality is about then he has missed that last 600 years of knowledge and advancement as a human being. Sexuality is about so much more and if you follow their belief that all things come from God, God created it so that men and women can express themselves with other people in a physical, loving manner.

    After 12 years of Catholic school I came to the conclusion that the only way that the Catholic Church can control people is through two things: sex and enternal damnation. The sex thing stems from the fact that all these men (partiarchs) choose not to have it — go with me on this, we know that that is not true both legally and illegally — so they do not want anyone else to enjoy this wonderful facet of their life. In fact, many are angry about it.

  27. Jersey says

    When I picture an evil blood-sucker preying on humanity I swear it looks just like this guy with his horrid sunken eyed craggy face with those wisps of white hair. He looks like the creature he is.

  28. divkid says

    That pic. Isnt that just after hes discharged his lightening bolts and immediatly before being thrown into the inky black chasm of oblivion at the hand of lord Vader?…oh wait, my mistake.

    And yes what Tank said… about…(????)…y’know…filosuffy
    -dayum clevers is sooo sexy.

  29. TJ Parker says

    Yeah, that’s right, The World’s Oldest Living Virgin is going to tell me the meaning of sexuality.

  30. HadenoughBS says

    “But this does not mean that homosexuality thereby becomes morally right. Rather, it remains contrary to the essence of what God orginally willed”.

    Oh, really? So you and your ilk in that massive edifice in Vatican City “know” what God originally willed — just like other Christian sects who don’t always have the same “God-willed beliefs” as your church?

    This Pope’s latest book is but more papist bullshit from biblical scholars spouting their centuries-old rhetoric trying to control a minority segment of humanity by having the majority oppress us. It’s only the latest edition of “pick-and-choose” biblical passages we wish to be enforced in the name of Catholicism.

    The Pope and his attendant sycophants are no men of God. They prey upon the uneducated, the downtroden, those sick in the heart and the head, the weak and hungry, the poor and those desparately looking for an answer to their own personal woes by believing in medieval crap perpetuated by this and so many other mainstream Christianists — the theology of hate according to the Word of (their) God. And, I must admit, they’re damn good at it (as they’ve had hundreds of years of practice).

    The Holy Roman Catholic Church is an outdated relic in today’s modern society. It has earned no right to direct humanity with its hateful dictates stemming from centuries of prosecution of anyone who differs from its teachings. The Holy See speaks jibberish from a by-gone era. Unfortunately, it still has millions of followers even though a good percentage don’t believe everything they’re told to think and believe. As to the rest, we must remain vigilant and speak out forcefully against their hate-filled sermons and writings. They do not and will not control our lives.

  31. Danny says

    All of this is, of course, grounded in the pope’s – the Roman system’s – contention that the purpose of sex is to make babies. And if that’s your view of sex then his statement is impeccably logical.

    Obviously this is an old dude who has never been able to enjoy sex. Too bad for him.

  32. Danny says

    @BobbyJoe–you’re almost right. the argument would run that god made the duck but doesn’t want the duck to ACT like a duck, willing instead that it should act like a giraffe. In other words, the god is fucking with the duck’s head.

    I happen to be a believer; but I don’t believe the god fucks with anybody’s head; but the pope seems to. The pope’s god, it would seem, is the same kind of bastard the pope is.

  33. Danny says

    I really wish we could NOT become one another’s enemies in this thread and outside it. The nastiness and name-calling because of differing religions–and non-religious–views makes this thread as bad as ugliness Sarah Palin’s like can stir up. We ought to be embarrassed to behave in this way toward our own. There’s plenty of room for all of us to be partially right and partially wrong. Please, my gay brothers, don’t let us go the way conservatives would love to see us to–to cutting one another’s throats.

  34. Justin Werner says

    I don’t know why anyone really bothers to listen and react to this sad man anymore. What can someone like that know of real human love whether it be heterosexual or homosexual? Not much. And I would certainly not allow him, or any religious “leader” to dictate the boundaries of my life. I would hope that all sensible, free people would feel similarly inclined.

  35. Shelly says

    I agree wholeheartedly on both points, Danny. I have often wanted to participate in the conversations here, but the anger and mean-spiritedness is daunting and depressing. We’re better than this.

  36. Rob says

    This is nothing new, and will not chnage in the near future. The way I look at it, who needs the Catholic church, the pope, and all the other crap that goe’s with it. Just live yourself as a good person, lover, and friend, and if they don’t like it, Tough!!

  37. Adrian says

    @Danny, @Shelley,

    Can’t keep trolls out of forums. They can’t be reasoned with, I’ve certainly tried. They’re just out to win arguments instead of having a dialog. I stop responding once they persist with the nastiness and name-calling. Ignoring them is the best way to keep enjoying the forum.

    “Don’t feed the trolls!”

  38. Baraeris says


    Speaking of trolls, are you familiar with the concept of tone trolling aka a concern troll? Because that’s exactly what Danny and Shelley were doing.

    They’re concern trolls. Just FYI. :)

  39. divkid says

    Problem is Pope Palpatine is in hock to the whole papal infallibility shtick. Is there any wiggle room? Can he overturn his predecessors anti-gay pronouncements, (GODS-WILL no less!), without blowing the hocus pocus sky high?

    This bit of movement on condom usage is because even among staunch catholics he’s hit the credibility buffers. None but the most wilfully blind of his sheeple will follow him up that intellectual dead-end. Only of course this tinkering around the fraying edges of his threadbare dogma brings into plain sight the silly arbitrariness and illogicality of the prohibition proper. So thats good.

    As for the disordered ones and il Papa its pretty much a lost cause. So if you haven’t already jumped ship what are you waiting for. There are still lifeboats available.

    To be fair he IS being intellectually consistent or as much as one can from within an irrational worldview. For how do you reverse course when the GREAT SKY CAPTAIN **HIMSELF** has already barked his destination in his celestial vent act. So I cant see things changing significantly. Not without the most blatant intellectually dishonest wizard-sleeve-eery.

    Yep its gonna take a VERY long time to turn this tanker around If at all ( I prefer to scuttle it) And by then we will ALL be MUSLIMS anyway and living on the moon and we’ll each have with two sets of genitals… so OUR “Galileo moment” will be pretty much academic.

  40. mikej says

    Gee, Tank, Googleing philosophy is actually a productive past-time, as we see here. It allows you to rise above your own mediocrity to post something that is not-so-mediocre.

    As for Miss Benedicta, The Popette Coquette: honey, what the f*ck do you know about “human sexuality”? The only sexual “choice” any of us have is the one you and your legion of child-molesters made (but did not keep): to be celibate.

    Human biology is about indiscriminate sex to perpetuate the species.

    Human sexuality is about the emotional, spiritual and physical aspects of intimacy and sensuality.

    Please make a note of these differences. Also, stop with the institutional value judgments. I’ll match my morality, my decency against yours and your so-called “church” any day and, honey, you will always come up wanting.

  41. David says

    There is a great irony here:

    “The meaning and direction of sexuality is to bring about the union of man and woman and, in this way, to give humanity posterity, children, a future.”

    Celibacy goes against this particular “meaning and direction” of sexuality.

    And bacteria and other parasites are orders of magnitude better at this “meaning and direction of sexuality” than humans ever are.

  42. Jim says

    Spoken by a dress wearing Nazi who has had his hand in everything from the Holocaust to the spread of AIDS and widespread child molestation. It would be amusing if so many people didnt look to him for guidance-it is now just plain dangerous

  43. Jerry6 says

    First; At the current Pope’s age, I doubt if he can even get it up if all of the Swiss guards pranced around him naked. Therefore, he can pontificate all he wants about sexual matters as they no longer apply to him.

    Now, then, about the Bible and all of the nonsense the right wing members of the various religions are quoting; Show me the original edition of the Bible in its original language. Then we can have a discussion. All of the present Christian Bibles are edited and re-edited versions of Catholic and King James versions, and bear little relationship to the original.

    How do I know the versions differ? Simple; my parents; one STRICT Roman Catholic, and the other Agnostic; Had collectively, six old family Bibles (All the family history and births were kept in Bibles to be handed down from one generation to another.)

    One Summer, when I was thinking about becoming a Priest, I set the six bibles on a table and randomly opened one; and then opened the others to the same page. I did this for two and a half weeks, and eight pages of notes. The notes were of the changes made to verses from one edition to the next.

    If these changes were that evident in only 168 years of editions, what do you think has gone on during the prior 1,500 years of Catholic changes, only?

  44. divkid says

    Established religion is just another business and marketing enterprise. Its just about power. Same as it ever was. I don’t think this lot believe in half of the supernatural crazy.
    They’re too educated. Its convenient. Its as cynical as that.

    I even like some of it’s marketing. Some of religions better excrescence’s like its art and music are indeed transcendently beautiful. But transcendental means it breaks free of its squalid origins and shabby motives and cant be confined by dogma. It is great art. But it ain’t divinely inspired. And not essentially, necessarily or solely christian. Just wonderfully human. So we get to keep.

    Same for the best of its philosophy, ethics, and culture. None of it is truly sui generis, To some extent its all prefigured in the wisdom and customs of earlier civilisations. And wilfully misattributed to that Christian magpie. Thou shalt not steal; except other peoples traditions (christmas , halloween, easter…etc) Again some of it is worth keeping.

    But without the BIG FELLAH how is “morality”, “truth”. “the good” to be descried let alone grounded, if, not in and through HIM ?… relativism blah.. .slippery slopeism… blah blah?
    Answer that then.

    Well duh! Science”n”stuff is suggesting , only suggesting mind –though not uncontestably absolutely (thats your game)– but yes, suggesting that it’s possible that our very NATURE as a highly developed social species would have required us to evolve ( I know, sorry, THAT word), a capacity for altruism and compassion and its opposites. OH, and I may have ever-so-slightly simplified that.

    Ok religion solved. We don’t need you anymore. Fuck off. But leave the pictures.

    But enough. Why wast time bashing the bishops when i could be out there bashing bishops ; P

  45. PRE says

    Yeah, I’m not gonna agree that the sun doesn’t revolve around the earth even if it’s not pleasing to our age. Why doesn’t the pope go fuck himself?

  46. says

    “….What god originally willed …” ?
    I don’t even know what this means…….did god have some original intention and then change his/her/its mind ?
    And “intrinsically disordered” …../? I’m with TANK on this…(in so far as I understand his answer !)