“Celibacy and Friendship ‘After 30′”: Wesley Hill

muses on the problems, and offers some anecdotes with practical advice:

…When I speak to groups of Christians about celibacy and friendship, one of the questions that always comes up is whether intimate friendships are attainable in churches today, particularly for single young adults. “You speak positively and hopefully about friendship,” people say, “but are you and other celibate gay Christians actually satisfied by the friendships you’ve found? Do you have the companionship and intimacy you need?” This NYT essay points to some reasons for skepticism on that front. And if emotionally fortifying friendships aren’t attainable for young adult Christians, then is celibacy really a viable option for those Christians? Outside of religious orders, where proximity, regular unplanned interactions, and a setting that nurtures meaningful speech and mutual self-disclosure seem more readily available, where are the kinds of friendships that will sustain “parish celibacy” (which is the way I’ve started referring to the Christian practice of celibacy outside of vowed religious contexts, etc.)?

I don’t have a good answer to this question, other than to talk about what has been sustaining to me. (And also to admit, candidly, in many ways, in the words of U2, “I still haven’t found what I’m lookin’ for.”)

I really liked this post. It gets discussed a bit in the comments here, and I’d love to see you all chime in!

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