Thursday, July 8, 2010


This is a very touchy subject. Whether you are with the Church, more strict than the Church, or are not inclined to think with the Church, someone will be publically upset with you for your position. BUt even if you think with the mind of the Church there is no general cure all answer because not all persons who are gay are exactly same. That being said if there is any chance of assisting such a person in becoming an active member of the Church the method to be used is pretty much the same one applied to every other son or daughter of the Father: They must first know that you love them and that the Church loves them – and most importantly – that God loves them. That must be the first part of the message – not how sinful such a person is. After all, who wants to belong to an organization - no matter what it is - that first and foremost appears to think that you are a freak or intrinsically evil?

Whenever a discussion is had about homosexuals in the Church the first emphasis seems to be on what is wrong with a homosexual person. The parts of the Catechism that are emphasized (paragraphs 2347-2359) state, “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarily. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

This is all true and must be taught of course. But there are two things that are often overlooked. One, it is not the person who is homosexual that the catechism is addressing but behaviors. The second point that is often overlooked is the Church’s compassion for persons who have same sex attractions who none-the-oless desire to be a part of the Church. “The inclination, while objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These person are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unit to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”

“If you say gay people can get to heaven, gay people start coming to Church,” said “Sean” in an interview in the radio. But it’s a hard sell. It is one thing for priests and religious to willing decide to be vowed celibates, it is quite another to have it imposed if you will. It can be a bitter pill to swallow. Therefore great care must be used. And that stick by which we measure must be fairly applied to all. Mary Roberts Rineheart once wrote, “Love that is hopeless, that cannot end in marriage, does one of two things; either it degrades or it exalts. It leaves its mark always, but that mark need not be a stain.” It is a rough statement but applies not just to people who have a same sex attraction – it applies to all relationships – we are to be consistent.

One must have an understanding of what love is. It is not an emotion. True love (as defined by Christ) is radically turning out toward the other for their good – particularly for the good of their soul. That is why we can have commandments to love. (You cannot command emotions.) This puts Mary Rineheart’s comment into perspective and lifts love from acting solely on how to fulfill the feeling of love within myself to exalting the other person even at my own expense with actions of love. It takes heroics to do this. It’s mighty work and takes a lot of support for all of God’s people. We need to be agents of support for all persons who face such trials.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Father. We need to hear what you said here more often.

Pat said...


Thank you for addressing this difficult matter.

As much as we might wish a person with same-sex attraction to live in accord with Church teaching, harshness will not accomplish anything.

As you have said, Father, we do not convert people. The Holy Spirit does.

Robert M Kraus Sr said...

once said is enough . . . . not more often

Anonymous said...

And the fact that we all benefit from the sacraments in carrying our crosses - whatever they may be.
None of us need to be separated, though some may choose to but I hope it isn't because they think God doesn't love them.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, it still seems like the church has a ways to go in understanding what science has learned about homosexuality over the past hundred years. How long did it take for the church to accept the heliocentric view of the solar system. It's pretty much the same with sexual orientation. The science is pretty clear, but the church evolves slowly over time.

Anonymous said...

There is "science" and then there is "science." Everyone can find some "report" to justify a claim.

Same-sex attraction is a complex issue that has not been settled by "science."

Instead, "science" has been politicized to "prove" the existence of the gay gene, for example (which other "science" verifies does not exist).

But "science" that shows how people with same-sex attraction can and do come out of the homosexual lifestyle is kept from the general public.

As for the heliocentric theory, once again, people who bring this one up do not understand what was at issue many centuries ago, when there was not the "science" to prove it. A fair examination of Galileo's (and Copernicus') THEORY shows that the necessary "science" to prove their theory did not exist at the time. Thus, the Church was cautious about accepting a "scientific" claim that could not be proven with the technology available at the time.