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On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons

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The Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, (also known by its opening words Homosexualitatis problema or, disparagingly, as "the Halloween Letter") is a letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church written in 1985 and delivered in Rome on 1 October 1986 by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Archbishop Alberto Bovone. The letter gave instructions on how the Clergy should deal with and respond to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Pope John Paul II approved the letter and ordered its publication.

In the letter the Cardinal stated: "although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder." However, he also said that "It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs."

Ratzinger asserted that violence against LGBT people could be understood in context of the increased public acceptance of homosexuality: "But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behaviour to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase."

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