The vice of effeminacy

The vice of effeminacy

Father Todd has posted an article by the vocations director for his diocese that writes about the “forgotten vice of effeminacy,” especially in seminaries. Now, we’re not just talking about outward homosexually, but effeminacy, which is a way of acting that may or may not directly be related to sexual orientation.

Saint Thomas includes effeminacy under the vices opposed to perseverance. It is from the Latin mollities, which literally means “softness.” Mollities is the verb used in 1 Corinthians 6:9 which deals with the sexual sin of sodomy. It involves being inordinately passive or receptive.

He goes on:

An “effeminate man is one who withdraws from good on account of sorrows caused by lack of pleasures, yielding as it were to a weak motion.” Thomas states that this effeminacy is caused in two ways. First, by custom, where a man is accustomed to enjoy pleasures and it is, therefore, more difficult for him to endure the lack of them. Second, by natural disposition, less persevering through frailty of temperament, and this is where Thomas compares men with women and also mentions the homosexual act of sodomy and the receiver in this act as being effeminate or like a woman.

He says that while men or women may be infected by the vice of effeminacy, it is more perverse in man because women are more susceptible to this vice, just as drunkenness is more perverse when found in woman. It doesn’t make it better, just more perverse.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli