The following comes from a November 12 LifeSiteNews article by Jeanne Smits:
A Dominican friar, Father Adriano Oliva, has celebrated the 800th anniversary of his religious order with a book about “the Church, the divorced and remarried, and homosexual couples.”
Amours (“Loves”) is a study of St Thomas Aquinas’ definition of love and aims to show that the “Angelic Doctor” recognized the “natural” character of homosexuality. In the wake of the Synod on the family, Oliva pleads for new ways of welcoming divorced and remarried and homosexual couples into the Church and of recognizing their unions in civil law.
His editor, the “editions du Cerf” publishing house, is the historic Dominican editor in France, founded at the request of Pope Pius XI in 1929. It still functions under religious supervision.
Father Adriano Oliva is works as a researcher for the State-run CNRS in France (National Center for Scientific Research) at the “Laboratory of Monotheistic studies. But he is also a doctor in theology, a historian of medieval doctrines, and president of the Leonine Commission founded by Pope Leo XIII in Paris in 1880 in order to publish or republish critical editions of St Thomas Aquinas’ work and to “restore his golden wisdom.”
Dominicans from all over the world are associated with this prestigious institution, whose aim is restore the knowledge of one of their wisest predecessors in the very town where he taught and lived. Oliva also presides the “Bibliothèque thomiste” collection of the Parisian academic editor, Vrin.
Catholic philosopher Thibaud Collin explains that Oliva bases his reflection on the fact that “counter-natural pleasure” can exist, either because of a corruption which comes from the body (“finding sour things sweet because of fever” for instance), or which comes from the soul, “such as those who, from habit, find pleasure in eating their fellow man, in having relations with animals or homosexual relations, and other similar things which are not according to human nature.”
From this Oliva deduces the thesis according to which “St Thomas places the principle of pleasure in sexual unions between persons of the masculine sex as coming from the soul and not from the body, where he had placed venereal pleasure, on the other hand.” He then proceeds to declare: “St Thomas considers homosexuality as an inclination that is rooted in its most intimate part, the soul, from where affections and love are expressed.”
This leads him to affirm that it is necessary to distinguish between homosexuality and sodomy which is practiced for the sole aim of gaining pleasure. “For this singular person, homosexuality cannot be considered as being against nature, even though it does not correspond with the general nature of the species,” writes Oliva, who considers this general nature not as a reality but as an abstraction.
For these people, therefore – reasons Father Oliva – as homosexuality is constitutive of the very nature of their soul, moral virtue consists for them in living out their inclination according to the demands of their humanity: in unique, gratuitous, faithful and “chaste” love. And the Church must accompany them in their love for a person of the same sex in which they “accomplish” themselves. Sexual acts, in this context, are rendered morally legitimate by the criterion of “love” between homosexual persons, in the same way as happens between heterosexuals.
(One wonders why cannibals were not so similarly vindicated.)
Interestingly but not surprisingly, this sort of reasoning was invoked in substance by Vatican priest Krzysztof Charamsa, who said on the occasion of his “coming out” just before the Synod: “The Bible says nothing about homosexuality. It speaks of acts that I would call ‘homogenital’. Even heterosexuals can commit such acts, as often happens in prisons, but in this case they act against their nature and so commit a sin. When gay persons engage in such acts, on the contrary, they express their nature. The sodomite of the Bible has nothing to do with two gays who love each other in Italy today and who want to marry. I have not managed to find a single passage, even in St Paul, which can be interpreted as relating to homosexual persons who demand to be respected as such, as at the time the concept itself was unknown.”