In the official “guidelines” from the Archdiocese of San Jose, California, with regards to “pastoral” considerations when counseling someone with same-sex attraction, priests are instructed to inform the person that they were born gay. According to the document, “Diocese of San Jose Guidelines for The Catholic LGBT Ministry Council,” Catholics priests within the Archdiocese should “not presume any particular social or psychological analysis of sexuality in our society, except for a generally accepted premise that individuals do not choose and cannot change their sexual orientation but must understand it and integrate it into their life of faith and conscience.”

First of all, the Archdiocese tells priests “not presume any particular social or psychological analysis of sexuality,” then, in the same sentence, they instruct priests to make the greatest presumption of all – by accepting the “born gay” theory; for there is no scientific evidence which conclusively establishes that homosexuals are born with same-sex attraction.

Over the years, there have been numerous studies which tried to find a genetic or biological determinant for homosexuality; including:

A research team from both the State University of New York and UC Berkeley, which found that –

“Sociobiologists have proposed evolutionary explanations of homosexuality. Such hypotheses assume that the homosexual orientation is a distinct, reifiable trait, rather than an expression of universal sexual and emotional drives. For homosexuality to constitute an evolved trait, it must have a genetic basis…We find these evolutionary theories of human sexual orientation to be unsupported by even the most rudimentary data. Moreover, it is hard to see how some of these theories could even be subjected to proper scientific testing; in our judgement, they cannot be considered even valid scientific hypotheses.”1.

In his essay “Biological Perspectives on Sexual orientation, American psychologist and professor at Northwestern University, J. Michael Bailey wrote:

“…the rational link between the position that homosexuality is biologically determined and a sympathetic view of homosexuality is much more tenuous than commonly assumed. This is because all behavior is biologically determined, in one fundamental sense. Thus if homosexuality (or heterosexuality) is excused on the grounds that it is biologically determined, all behavior, must be excused including behavior that should not be excused, such as dishonestly, theft, homophobia, or even genocide.”

Yet, over the years, countless inconclusive studies have pointed towards, at best – a “modest, genetic or biological cause for homosexuality; the most famous being studies of identical twins, and the comparison of brain physiologically in “gay” men; none of the findings in these studies have been replicated. Only, the erroneous claims of these studies get quickly picked up by the media; just last year (2015), news outlets quickly heralded the discovery of a “gay gene.” While other researchers, including Dr. Richard Sever, were incredulous; by the way – the credentials of Sever are impeccable:

“Richard Sever is currently Assistant Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press and Editor of Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives. He obtained his PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, having studied Biochemistry as an undergraduate at Oxford University. He has worked an editor on several journals, including Current Opinion in Cell Biology, Trends in Biochemical Sciences and Journal of Cell Science, where he was Executive Editor.”


In the mean-time, other psychological and sociological causes for homosexuality have been neglected as inherently homophobic. Nevertheless, even Richard Isay, a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and gay-rights advocate, whom “The New York Times” gave this headline to his obituary: “Dr. Richard Isay, Who Fought Illness Tag for Gays,” had to admit that “The majority of gay men, unlike heterosexual men who come for treatment, report that their fathers were distant during their childhood and that they lacked any attachment to them. Reports vary from ‘my father was never around, he was too busy with his job,’ to ‘he was victimized by my mother, who was always the boss in the family,’ to that of the abusive, unapproachable father.”*

As for the issue of change in sexual orientation, Courage founder Fr. John Harvey, in his landmark book “The Homosexual Person,” made the definitive Catholic statement:

“Since in more recent years there is more evidence that persons can change their sexual orientation…it seems that the spiritual counselor or confessor should at least keep his mind open to the possibility that the person, particularly the young person, can change sexual orientation and that counselors should encourage homosexual persons to look into the possibility of changing from a homosexual to a heterosexual orientation.”

Lastly, in the very colorful “official” brochure for the “Catholic LGBT Ministry Council” of the Archdiocese of San Jose – there is not one single word about chastity. Even under a section marked “Church Teaching” – there is not one word from “The Catechism of the Catholic Church;” instead they include a passage from the USCCB document “Always Our Children” and a quote from the Archdiocese of San Jose’s “Pastoral Guidelines.” None of these documents qualify as “Church Teaching.” “Always Our Children” was a “pastoral message” from the Bishops of the United States and had no power to interpret, let alone define, Catholic teachings for the Universal Church. Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz once boldly stated: “It is my view that this document carries no weight or authority for Catholics, whom I would advise to ignore or oppose it.”

*Taken from “Being Homosexual: Gay Men and Their Development.”

1. “Sexual orientation, sociobiology, and evolution.”
Futuyma DJ, Risch SJ.
J Homosex. 1983-1984 Winter-Spring;9(2-3):157-68.