Homosexuality and Renaissance Friendship

There is a difference between homosexuality and Renaissance friendship and homosexual attraction, impulse, orientation, overt expression and covert expression. And the degrees of practice and responsibility. These distinctions are all-important for acceptance and general intelligence. They are multiple distinctions. And graded. There is no attempt in the mainline Church traditions to think in black or white. In terms of hetero or homo. Or sin or not-sin.

That is the way you try to simplify it. Or caricature it. But you can’t read one line of a book and say this is the whole novel.

Read a little in the Renaissance tradition on the nobility of friendship, the need of cultural and spiritual friends, the need for brotherhood (celibate or expressive or continent or practicing does not really enter into it) and the general praise of AMICITIA as distinct from EROS or AGAPE.

What English needs is words: and the one word homosexual will not do.

Father Tom – Letter to the Editor, National Times 16/6/1975

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