Review by Dr Pravin Thevathasan
A bridge offering sensible and respectful explanations about Catholic
Christian attitudes to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual (LGB) debate
by Dr Charlie O'Donnell FROP FRCEM FFICM
Panda Press Publishing
(This book is being sold and distributed from the Holy Cross Catholic
Dr Charlie O'Donnell has been a friend of mine since medical school
days. It is therefore with great relief that I find myself
wholeheartedly endorsing this book. When I first read it, I said that
it is "very charitable" and "easy to read." I also believe that it is
an important read for those on both sides of the debate. I include
those members of the Catholic clergy who have been critical of the
Vatican direction banning the blessing of same sex unions.
What the Catholic Church teaches on this matter is
beautiful, good and true.
The author notes that the LGB movement is the most visible
manifestation of the sexual revolution. There are Gay Pride Marches in
almost every capital city of the developed world. There are no
corresponding marches celebrating divorce, cohabitation and
pornography. He begins his work with a clear statement: God loves
everybody irrespective of sexual orientation. Indeed sexual orientation
does not define the person. He goes on to say that homosexuality is not
a psychiatric illness. I agree. Psychiatry's attempts at "treating"
homosexuals have been an abject failure. This is in marked contrast to
organizations like Courage, the Catholic apostolate which follows the
teachings of the Catholic Church. It should surely be promoted in every
The author then proceeds to what he means by
orgasmic justice. By orgasmic justice, the author means that our
actions ought to promote the common good. This includes protecting
vulnerable women and children. When we separate sexual acts from our
responsibility towards women and children, the result is our neglect of
the most vulnerable in our society. There is a failure of the virtue of
However, a woman in a committed relationship with
one other woman might well argue that her behavior is far more
responsible than that of a heterosexual man with multiple partners. But
two wrongs don't make a right. The author argues his case well:
orgasmic justice can only be achieved in a life-long marriage between
one man and one woman.
The author follows this with a summary of Catholic
doctrine, which then leads to a discussion of biological realism,
something that can be understood by reason alone. Other topics include
why the Catholic Church cannot support "gay marriage" or gay adoption.
Ultimately, I think this book is about marriage,
what it means, why it is so important. We see all around us the
consequences of heterosexual marriage breakdown. One of the best ways
we can help our brothers and sisters with same sex attraction is by
living our marriage vocation as well as we can.
A brilliant, thoughtful and compassionate work.
Copyright ©; Dr
Pravin Thevathasan 2021
Version: 30th April