A Place for Catholics and Christians Struggling with Homosexuality
I’m not Mormon, but one of the things that I really think that they are doing right is a new website that they have called Mormon’s and Gays. It consists of series of videos and articles from a wide range of people within the Mormon church from laity to bishops and everywhere in between. I’ve only begun to look around the site, but its really good, particularly Ty’s Story.
I really think that the Catholic Church could be doing a lot more for homosexual Catholics. Now I can’t say with certainty that Catholics are more likely to be gay than any other demographic, but I know from my secret double-life, alot of gay guys are Catholic, whether they are non-practicing or unrepentant. Many of them feel like the Church has hung them out to dry that the Church doesn’t care and/or condemns them because they are gay. Additionally, they have received this notion from the culture that they have to act on their feelings and are unable to distinguish between a predisposition and an action. Of course the Church does care and does distinguish between desire and action, but the Church really sucks at reaching out.
Sure, the Catechism has a small teaching on homosexuality:
Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. 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 complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is 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 persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
And there is the Courage Apostolate, and the letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, but other than that, there isn’t much going on the Church to actually care for us. There is no dialogue happening in regards to homosexuality other than the political force opposing the redefinition of civil marriage to include same-sex relationships. This is good and noble, but it is not enough. Neither is the simple phrase from the catechism saying that we should be treated with respect and dignity. It’s simply rhetoric. We need to have a real dialogue in the Church where we can express our fears and struggles, our vocations, our needs. We need priests to be knowledgeable in how to actually care for SSA Catholics, especially priests in rural conservative areas who have never knowingly engaged a homosexual in conversation. Homosexuality occurs in rural areas the same as in metropolitan areas and priests need to know how to pastor those homosexuals too!
I firmly believe that the Church’s teaching on homosexuality is correct. But the actual practice of shepherding gay Catholics is lacking and the more sexualized our culture becomes it is of the utmost important to do all that she can to prevent the loss of souls to secularization.
This issue is so important that I am resolving myself for the new year to pen a form letter that we can send to the bishops of our dioceses and to the USCCB imploring them to enter into a national conversation on the pastoral needs of SSA persons. When I have the letter finished I will share it so that you, too, can send the letter to your bishop.