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The Roman Catholic Church represents the principal Christian body and has been fundamental in the influence of European culture and values, as well as extending its values into other civilizations. Today, the Roman Catholic Church represents approximately 16% of the world population. For time eternal, the Church has beexternal image 614.jpgen regarded as an institution of the highest authority and power, with many followers investing their lives and beliefs into the Church doctrine. To this day, the Church continues to represent what is right and wrong, as well as defining standards on how one is supposed to live i.e. The Ten Commandments. Like many other Christian churches, the Roman Catholic Church recognizes the Bible as the foundation for its philosophy. Ultimately, the church has the right and responsibility to teach Christian values, which is exemplified by the Holy Spirit. The most fundamental Catholic belief is that “God’s love and grace are mediated to the world in a uniquely efficacious way through the ministry of the church"

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Today, the Catholic Church raises much opposition and has been known to take strong positions on controversial issues. Such issues include nuclear warfare, the arms race, and exploitation of poor nations. Like most issues, the Church seeks to protect and uphold basic human rights. More controversial topics include abortion and birth control. An issue that still continues to raise much debate is the issue of how the Catholic Church reacts to homosexuality. As stated in the Bible, homosexuality is considered a sin and many believe that if the Church supported homosexuality, then Adam and Eve would have either been two women or two men. Despite this, opponents state that one is born homosexual and if God created him or her as such, then as a child of God, he or she should be accepted by the Church.

As much as the Catholic Church preaches against homosexuality, it’s time that the church looks at itself. Since 1950, there has been 14,000 allegations of abuse and has resulted in $2.6 billion in settlements, therapy, and legal fees. At least 4% of priests, or approximately 4,392 priests, have been involved in victimizing more than 10,000 children. It seems pretty ironic that an institution that preaches against homosexual acts is engaging in sex abuse scandals, a much more horrible sin. Homosexuality is not gender specific, it occurs in virtually all social contexts—within different community settings, socioeconomic levels, and ethnic and religious groups. Opinions toward homosexuals have changed dramatically with time and place. In ancient Greece, homosexuality was seen as the status quo and was very much accepted. As time progressed into the late 1800s into the mid 1950s, attitudes towards homosexuality were dominated by Christian morals, which stated that homosexuality was immoral. During this time, homosexuality was considered a weakness of the human body and was even considered a mental disorder. Austrian physician, Sigmund Freud, went to such conclusions as to classify homosexuality as a deviant condition. In 1993, scientists sought to identify a genetic marker for sexual orientation, but the research proved to be inconclusive. During the beginning of the 20th century, opinions toward gays were overpoweringly negative. Homosexual activities were hidden and spoken in only the strictest of confidence, and could result in criminal punishment in much of the United States. Like today, homosexuals were subjected to stereotypexternal image gaymarriage-704434+niestedt.pnges and prejudice, with gay men being portrayed as feminine and lesbians as masculine. Homosexuals were portrayed as sex-obsessed and potential child molesters and during the period of Nazi Germany, homosexuals were the target of mass genocide. A major revolution began to occur in 1948 with the publication of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female by American biologist, Alfred Charles Kinsey. These publications provided a much more realistic view of homosexuality and helped expose it. The Kinsey reports focused on homosexuals outside of clinical settings, and found gays in “all walks of life, growing up in all kinds of families, practicing many different religions.” In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses, and in 1980, it was eliminated from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.