All we need is St. Thomas Aquinas homosexual! The pleasure homosexual according to St. Thomas Aquinas or according to Dominican Adriano Oliva?



We hope that the Holy Father, with the help of the Holy Spirit, has the power to unite the Catholic world, now torn between two opposing parties, Also present within the Dominican Order, where you go from the ultra conservative Father Thomas Michelet the modernist Father Adriano Oliva.



Author John Cavalcoli OP
John Cavalcoli OP



OLIVE Adriano
Dominican theologian Adriano Oliva

The Dominican theologian Adriano Oliva recently published in France a book entitled Loves (Deer, Paris, 2015), translated in Italian with the title The greatest friendships. A theological contribution to the issues on the divorced and remarried and the same-sex couples (Nerbini, Florence, 2015).

In this book he argues that St. Thomas

"Also addresses the issue of the sexual inclination of a person towards people of the same sex, and considers the innate to the person taken in his individuality " (The greatest friendships, p.95).


adriano olive Book
book Adriano Oliva, OP [see WHO]

Hence he argues that, these are natural pleasure and, since Thomas holds lawful what is second nature, Thomas admits the legality of homosexual pleasure volunteer. In addition to this, it would meet the needs of the individual, as if heterosexuality was not an obligation for all and instead, those who have homosexual tendencies must be free to be able to implement. But this, as we shall see, it is not the thought of St. Thomas, that does not consider homosexuality a choice as another, but rather a grave sin "against nature".

Father Oliva fact does not take into account the fact that, by Thomas, a pleasure, to be lawful, must be in accordance with reason, why do not you just put the ontological level or individual psychological, but it needs to be supra, that is reasonably, corresponding to purpose of human life. And this is precisely the moral good.

The misinterpretation of Father Oliva It is to believe that Thomas is content of the ontological consideration of the good or pleasure to clarify the issue of what is permissible and the offense, which it is the moral issue, thus arrive at reducing the ontological moral. As Thomas speaks to the gay pleasure "natural", just this simple fact to Father Oliva to believe that Thomas legitimate pleasure homosexual.

St. Thomas Aquinas Givan francis chalks temptation-001
The Temptation of St. Thomas Aquinas, by Giovan Francesco Gessi

Father Oliva bases its interpretation of the thought of Thomas some considerations that Aquinas does in I-II Summa Theologica [q.31, art.7], where he asks if there are unnatural pleasures (non natural). It responds that certainly exist; and among these it is precisely homosexuality, that Thomas condemns in no uncertain terms what a grave sin "against nature". The homosexual, but, Aquinas observes - and this is where Oliva was deceived -, He warns her tendency as "innate".


In general, from the psychological point of view, the pleasure sensitive (delight the senses), for St. Thomas, It is a movement of the sensitive, trying satisfaction for an act or a fine (pleasurable) earned and owned. Such pleasure is normally occurs when the subject follows a natural end or normal, for example procreation, both when it searches only for the pleasure itself, regardless of research of the natural order of sexuality, for example independently or against procreation convenient and honest, as it happens in the sins of lust [1]. For Thomas the sensible pleasure was created by God in man and animals to guide the adoption of measures and the achievement of the goals and the means of life: substantially health, feeding and reproduction of the species.

Tommaso Aquino XIV sec
San Tommaso Aquino, table of the fifteenth century

There is also a spiritual pleasure, experienced intellect, the will and conscience, that Thomas calls joy, joy or joy, which, similarly physical pleasure, but in a more intimate, stable and rewarding, why the person, It stimulates the mind to doing good and it follows, to characterize, its highest summit, the note of his beatific vision. The animal is guided in his conduct by the simple attraction of pleasure and avoidance of pain. Man, instead, this is not enough, especially since this dynamic of pleasure and pain, as a result of original sin, It has failed, so it happens that we like certain sins and certain actions ripugnino honest. It so happens that the attraction of pleasure often pushes us toward sinful acts. The man, therefore, as taught by St. Thomas, to act morally good and virtuous, in accordance with human dignity, should moderate right reason, on the basis of the moral law, my pleasure, effect of passions, in such a way that it is of help and not hinder the fulfillment of the good actions [2]. That virtue which performs this task is temperance [3]. The problem that it faces is making sure that the tendency or desire of pleasure concorrano the exercise of virtue, help him, facilitate the, it will strengthen and encourage. Temperance has to favor at the right time and right place the wishes and honest and to restrict or limit or completely suppress the wishes and bad or inappropriate, out of time [4] or misplaced. Must be able to adjust and moderate pleasure depending on the circumstances and the acts permitted or controlled. Thomas therefore rejects both the hedonistic principle: "There is more, better ', quanto rigorismo encratista [5] Stoic-origenistarum: "Death to the pleasure! A death sex!».

Instead Paul VI, encyclical Human life, taking the principles of ethics Thomist, not afraid to say that the conjugal act It expresses love and promotes love. While the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in the Declaration Human person of 21 January 1976, It begins even assuming a valid aspect of Freudianism, by saying that:


"From sex, the human person receives the characteristics which, on the biological, psychological and spiritual, make the man or woman [6].


tommaso 2
San Tommaso Aquino, particular of a fresco

It is clear, therefore, for example the couple They may give free rein to the pleasure when you join, while conversely if the pleasure arising during the liturgical celebration, it is totally repressed immediatamentee. To nip in the bud this eventuality, in the old liturgy, as explained by the same St. Thomas, Women were forbidden to celebrate Mass the liturgy of the word or preach in church [7]. You could perhaps ask which remedy to oppose female lust. Women were perhaps considered more capable of self-control. Perhaps it is to take the woman away from danger, that exists in the Eastern liturgy the iconostasis, that hides the view of the faithful celebrant.

To stay on the topic that interests us emotion or sexual energy, Thomas likens this passion in a kind of heat energy. Employing them even in speech current expressions like "Fire" or "heat" of passion. Are metaphors that make the idea. How, then, the heat is adjusted with the thermostat, so even sexual pleasure. The reason is in charge, similar to that of a thermostat, to decrease, when it is excessive, not to fall into lust and increase it when it is scarce. In this second case Thomas speaks of insensibilitas, that we can translate as "frigidity" [8]. This is the theme of the wedding.

Thomas is natural for a treat when it is second nature. But this can happen in two ways: or according to the physical nature of man, such as the pleasure of food or sexual pleasure; or according to the rational nature, such as the pleasure of virtue or knowledge. The pleasure instead is unnatural (not natural) or unnatural (against nature), when it does not fulfill the purpose of man and his true good. And so it is in accordance with right reason.

St. Thomas Aquinas with St. Gregory the Great, Sant Ambrogio, Saint Jerome and Saint Augustine, Master of Boldone
St. Thomas Aquinas with St. Gregory the Great, Sant'Ambrogio, St. Jerome and St. Augustine, oil on canvas by master Boldone

Per l’Aquinate, Pleasure can be a natural physical or moral. For instance, sexual pleasure is physically natural, if it is the union of man and woman. But it does not mean yet that it is second nature or according to reason, respecting the natural law, since even in adultery, in polygamy and concubinage it will assume you have a sexual union normal or natural, and why the pleasure that one feels is morally good. As for the sexual pleasure, could be, According to Thomas, unnatural duplex: on the plane of reason and in terms of physical or animal. May be unnatural in terms of reason and natural remain on the animal plane, for instance, concubinage between man and woman. Or, as well as being against reason, can against the animal nature. And here we homosexuality, which it is against nature dual title; against reason and against the animal plane of the person.


Thomas here but admits that there are pleasures connatural according to the individual, while stating that, if these pleasures are contrary to the good of human nature (Man against nature), to which the individual belongs or that he possesses, occur in the same individual a corruption of his own individual nature, whereby, though these pleasures may be acceptable to the individual, They are in fact unnatural for him, existing in it on account of some corruption of the nature, because of the human nature that exists in him. It gives the example of those who "for their habit revel in eating human flesh, in intercourse with animals or with males' (on account of the custom of some take pleasure in eating or liers with men, or in committing the).

TOmmado D Aquino frescoes by andrea Buonaiuto 2
San Tommaso Aquino, frescoes by Andrea Buonaiuto

Thomas also admits without hesitation that what is second nature, it's pleasant, and in itself it is lawful and honest. However, reminds us that those pleasures, in the individual, They are acceptable to the individual nature as corrupt, are not pleasures "Strictly speaking”, but only "Qualified”, ie can not be human pleasures in the full sense and absolute, in every respect, because they frustrate the purposes of human nature. But pleasures are just as emotional states, not ordered to the true good of man. Why they are not honest and lawful pleasures, but forbidden and sinful. And the pleasure homosexual is one of them.



Now, here must be taken to avoid a misunderstanding, which unfortunately does not seem to escape the Father Oliva. In fact the impression that one could draw from these considerations of St. Thomas, It may be this false reasoning:

Major premise. It is legally and morally good that which conforms to nature, what it is natural.

Minor premise. But sodomy, or the exercise of homosexuality is innate or conforms to the individual nature of the homosexual.

Conclusion. Therefore, this practice can be considered lawful and good for that individual according to his particular needs or inclinations.


San Tommaso Aquino, Altarpiece of San Domenico in Ascoli Piceno or Demidoff Altarpiece

Senonchè, but, for St. Thomas, a human act is lawful and good, if the application is, It gives dell'individuo part, the moral norm, that is rule Universal of action, law equal for all, because it is the law of human nature as such, identical in all; and then all individuals, as members of the human species, They are bound by it. For this, a sin according to the species, by Thomas, Sin is also for the individual who commits it.

The individual is well innate moral rule only if law enforcement is universal. It is clear that the food that feeds a senior 90 years can not be good for him as the food that feeds the Olympic 20 year old. But both the one and the other must obey the law that commands everyone to eat properly. Now, homosexuality is not simply a good conduct, suitable homosexual, different from the heterosexual norm, made just for heterosexual. But it is a conduct contrary the universal law of human nature, that the homosexual should try to practice, as the costs fatigue. This is the thought of Aquinas flawless.

This does not preclude the existence in general and the need laws or special privileges and positive, established by human, civil or ecclesiastical, for particular classes of people, in particular circumstances or particular places or historical periods. But these laws are only binding if they are determining the larger universal and unchanging moral laws, regulating the conduct of every human person, as such.

Positive law can and must, if necessary, according to the wisdom of the legislature, regular clemency, equity, graduality, sense of humanity, tolerance or for educational or rehabilitative, being sometimes exceptional, even the conduct of persons, not bad for wanting, but limits the will, by situazioni irresolubili, for reasons of force majeure, insuperable obstacles to, for human immaturity, ignorance or objective physical disabilities, psychological or moral, They are not able to fulfill the law in all its rigor and the loftiness of his needs.

Thomas Aquinas Stefano di Giovanni
San Tommaso Aquino, fresco by Stefano di Giovanni

Human cases particularly delicate and worthy of attention by the Church and civil society, for the proportions that are taking on today, are undoubtedly one of the divorced and remarried and the cohabitation of homosexuals, cases of which is the book of Father Oliva.

Though sodomy always remains a grave sin, Today the state is moving to grant a status or some form of legal recognition to same-sex partners. What will the Church? It may grant the sacraments? I due, to be in the grace of God, you have to leave or they can live together? They are able to give or the Church must accept their coexistence? And what pastoral adopt?

The recent Synod of Bishops, after a very complex work, a thorough examination of the situation and a dense and lively discussion, with moments of high tension, It saw the emergence of various proposals and initiatives, which I am now in the hands of the Holy Father. Non so, but, if bishops, very I am taken by the problem of divorced and remarried, They have devoted enough attention to the problem of homosexuals living together, and maybe with adopted children or born of a previous marriage or artificially generated.

All we are waiting confident in the decisions of the Supreme Pontiff, such that they are, in the certainty of having a light, encouragement, a comfort and an indication of the way forward to put into practice the Gospel. We hope that the Holy Father, with the help of the Holy Spirit, has the power to unite the Catholic world, now torn between two opposing parties, Also present within the Dominican Order, where he goes by the ultra Father Michelet the modernist Father Oliva.

The consultation of Aquinas' thought, in a situation ecclesial agitated, confused and stormy like this, it has always helpful, certainly not ask for concrete solutions to problems and situations that he could not know and on which however did not rule, but to bring into play notions and theological principles, anthropological, moral and psychological, if not metaphysical, from which one can not ignore, to understand the true sense of the issues, and finding the right solution, in fidelity to Christ and the Magisterium of the Church.

St. Thomas Aquinas Blessed Angelic 2
San Tommaso Aquino, fresco by Fra Angelico

However, because Thomas could play in today's world its valuable mission of Light Church, and define it as was Paul VI [9], must be presented in its purity and authenticity, forexample as we find in another Dominican theologian of our time, the Servant of God Father Tomas Tyn, and renounces therefore to make Thomas a precursor of Kant, of Hegel, Severino or Freud, though the amplitude, permanence and universality of his thinking in order to adopt what is critically valuable in modern thought, as he noted many times over the Maritain [10].

Instead we must say frankly that, unfortunately, Father Oliva, believing perhaps to understand and to approach the charity with the particular situation of homosexuals, in order to recognize the human dignity, and propose an ad hoc solution, He has fielded an unfortunate distinction between individuality and especially in moral, allowing the individual to what is denied to the species; and, thus risking an individualistic, that confuses the moral good (individual) with good ontological (species), misunderstands completely the thought of Aquinas, into saying the opposite of what in fact says.

Thomas Aquinas fresco of the Blessed Angelic
San Tommaso Aquino, fresco by Fra Angelico

Father Oliva flies over the clear expressions Thomist with which it is expressly condemned homosexuality, considering them outdated and daughters of his time; whereas, he said, the true, deep thought Thomas would give an endorsement "metaphysical" homosexuality, where he speaks of "innate good individual", without taking into account the fact that Aquinas here speaks explicitly of individual nature "corrupt".

Father Thomas would hide for Oliva, under the explicit condemnation linked to his time, real, implicit legitimization of homosexuality, based on the needs of the ontological dignity of the individual. But the arguments of Father Oliva unconvincing, so it is good to stay at what Thomas says explicitly on the basis of the general framework of its ethics corresponding to the demands of the Gospel. It turns out in fact the interpretation of Father Oliva a surprising justification of homosexuality, while Aquinas actually, with irrefutable arguments, It demonstrates the unlawfulness of sodomy, however, in a theological and moral framework, in which every man is given space to become aware of the image of God, bearing in himself, to reform it with the grace of Christ and open to His mercy.


Varazze, 24 November 2015




[1] CF QUESTION, II-II, q.153.

[2] CF Amount Thelogiae, I-II, q, 24.

[3] Cf Cf QUESTION, II-II, qq.141-142.

[4] Cf As the wise Ḳohelet: "There is a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing"(3,5).

[5] The encratisti were heretics of the first centuries, of which Irenaeus speaks in his De haeresibus, who they considered sexual pleasure or even sex as work of the devil, or at least as punishment of original sin.

[6] I covered this in my licentiate thesis in theology "The influence of sexuality on plans psychological and spiritual person", Thesis Director P.Alberto Galli,OP, St. Thomas Aquinas Theological College, dissertation 172, Bologna 1977.

[7] CF QUESTION, II-II, q.187, a.2.

[8] CF QUESTION, II-II, q.142, a.1.

[9] Letter Light Church Paul VI to Father Vincent de Couesnongle, Master of the Order of Preachers, of 20 November 1974.

[10] CF The Angelic Doctor, Desclée Brewer, Paris 1930.



St. Thomas Aquinas Triumph
fresco depicting the triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas





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Giovanni Cavalcoli Dell'Ordine dei Frati Predicatori Presbitero e Teologo ( Click on the name to read all its articles )

4 thoughts on "All we need is St. Thomas Aquinas homosexual! The pleasure homosexual according to St. Thomas Aquinas or according to Dominican Adriano Oliva?

  1. I get the impression, the reverend fathers correct me if I'm wrong, that the root of the problem is the denial of original sin. Because the reasoning of the father Oliva works denying that nature, and human nature in particular, both wound and inclined to sin.

  2. Rev. Father,
    just yesterday, the Pope was in Namugongo, to pray in the two Shrines, first in one and then in the Anglican Catholic, on the grave of the young martyrs Christians, after resisting the ugly, morbid attention of their king, who preferred death rather than renounce their faith, praying to the end, no groan.
    Another hardening expressed those Saints than some prelates, recent protagonists in Rome.

  3. He also says that this corruption may depend on a corruption of the body due to diseases or defects of the constitution that spoil and cheat the senses (and then those affected, I say, at least to start is innocent): but homosexuality is not dependent on the corruption of the body. Or it depends on a corruption of the soul (and therefore it is guilty): and homosexuality depends on the corruption of the soul. It seems implicit in this reasoning that St. Thomas denies therefore any innate tendency to homosexuality. In conclusion: It is the perfect "homophobe"; intellectually, is intende, not out of charity.

  4. Rev. Father,
    I applaud his clear and detailed refutation of the convoluted argument of Father Oliva. I feel, however, a problem. Certain, St. Thomas's prodigious bend in the language of Aristotle - so to speak – the reasons of Christianity. But what makes it difficult to understand both he and those who try to defend the correct interpretation to those not versed in the craft (I speak in part - and in substantial part – even myself, amateur and moreover with a dislike - how to say? – "Natural" for Aristotle) . In the meantime, but, public opinion, thanks to the media complacent, It is bombarded by raised talented theologians electrocuted on the wide path of pseudo-pseudo-bergogliana mercy and should possibly find, in synergy with the learned arguments, simple words to expose: I think in this case we can do, as the Father Oliva climbed very slightly’ too straws. St. Thomas says in essence this: humans corrupt vice – the pleasure against nature – becomes "second nature".

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