A question about homosexual temptation

…over at the Register. The fun thing, when I write about homosexuality is that half my audience seems to think I am a “homophobe” while the other half seems to think homosexuality is no big deal. I can’t seem to get people to grasp that I basically think about the matter what the Catechism teaches, and then refrain from giving homosexuals free pastoral advice for the very good reason that I have never experience the temptation and am not a pastor. I regard it is one more disordered appetite (and I have plenty of my own so I’m in no position to sit in judgment of that). The only thing I ask is that homosexuals stop demanding that I approve of homosex since it’s, you know, a sin. In return, I will not demand that other people applaud my gluttony.

  • RelapsedCatholic

    The difference being that your ‘sin’ is not being used as an excuse to make you a second class citizen. The conversation and debate about whether homosexuality is ‘disordered’ is one that is longer than I care to get into here. But this entire post is a non-sequitor to the national debate we are having because you have full rights and protections by law. LGBTQ people do not. Most of us do not care for your personal approval, just that you acknowledge that your fellow citizens are worthy of full citizenship.

    • Quid

      When did anyone say LGBTQ people have different rights? I thought the entire debate was cause they WANT different rights.

      • RelapsedCatholic

        No, they and their allies want them to have the right to marry and not be discriminated against within this country. Radical idea I know.

        • Roland

          Not really. When offered the same rights under a different name in Rhode Island, same-sex attracted persons refused. It is not about rights but rather approval, which they will never get from the Church or the vast majority of society.

          Put that in your pipe and smoke it. There is nothing special about homosexuality. Nothing.

          • enness

            Rolland, you’re not wrong. The thing is, your over-the-top abrasiveness is drowning out anything worthwhile you have to say.

            • TheodoreSeeber

              Every time I hear ” The thing is, your over-the-top abrasiveness is drowning out anything worthwhile you have to say.” it makes me want to listen closer to the other guy.

            • Rolland

              I’m just sick and tired of the bullshit. I’m taking a stand to protect my family from these people. They’re not listening to reason. They reject Truth. They reject Christ…and then claim that they don’t. They lie and lie and lie. I love them, but I do not like them. Only by grace do I love them. But I will not be walked over by them anymore. I am going to fight. For the sake of my kids, I am going to fight them.

              • ocbjack

                Impressive empty threat o mighty keyboard warrior

    • Imrahil

      Last time I looked, no Catholic wanted to either strip any “LGBTQ” (wth?) person of their citizenship, nor exile them, nor take away their right to vote, to work, to run a business, to marry (though we might think to make sure that there are at least some sexual feelings), to express their opinions, and so on.

      (Yes, I certainly said and meant “marry”.)

      What we do oppose, is their getting preferential treatment due to supposed discrimination, their calling (and wish to at least somehow force us to call) sexual unions “marriages” contrary to the meaning of the word, their receiving benefits the State has seen fit to give in acknowledgement and compensation to those who contribute to the common good as married couples, and any other sort of unjust favoring of “LGBTQ” people.

      • RelapsedCatholic

        This is a parody post right? So what you are saying is that they have the right to marry the opposite gender so they have equal rights. I imagine many people saying the same thing about interracial marriages Pre Loving Vs Virginia.

        • SteveP

          Comparing two men who want to avoid estate taxes with what
          the Lovings endured is beyond offensive.
          It is barbaric.

          • RelapsedCatholic

            If you think this is about avoiding estate taxes than you need to open your eyes, ears, and heart to hear what has happened to gay and lesbian couples because of their lack of legal protections. I could describe to you what happened to my cousin after his husband died unexpectedly.

            If you are offended that means you are ignorant of what LGBTQ couples have endured in the wake of their legal status. And for barbarism, we could go over what happened to Matthew Sheppard or any of the gays murdered in New York lately, they are the same. And the homophobia expressed so freely by our church contributes to it.

            • SteveP

              Dude, read the amicus briefs filed for the SC hearing before
              mouthing the words “ignorance” and that most sacred of words “homophobia.”

            • enness

              I subscribe to Donne’s point of view, that is, I’m never thrilled to hear of a person’s death.

              I understand this is painful for you to hear, but “his husband” is inherently contradictory. It’s not possible no matter how many laws are passed.

              None of which justifies violence toward anyone — never has, never will.

        • enness

          If race had anything inherently to do with marriage, sex, or procreation, you might have a point. Again, superficial resemblance does not prove same motives.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      You aren’t a full citizen unless you’re married? A million Catholic Religious beg to differ!

      • RelapsedCatholic

        No, you are not a full citizen unless you have equal protection under the law. The word marriage comes with over 1300 protections and benefits, all of which are denied to same sex couples.

        • Rosemarie

          +J.M.J+

          Those same protections and benefits are also denied to many unmarried heterosexuals, including nuns. So are you saying that heterosexual singles are not full citizens like married couples?

          There’s something very wrong with that argument. People in different states in life may have different rights and benefits; that does not detract from their citizenship.. A seventeen year old cannot vote like an eighteen year old can, so are seventeen year olds not full citizens of the US? That’s silly. I could give other examples as well.

          • RelapsedCatholic

            The nun is not prevented from marrying by anything except her choice, so they are not the same. Heterosexual singles are not prevented from marrying, so your argument is again a non sequitur. Also, 17 year olds are not full citizens because of age, and will be full citizens in time, which can not be said of gays and lesbians.

            • Rosemarie

              +J.M.J+

              Ah, but as long as people choose to remain unmarried the gov’t “discriminates” against them by not giving them all the goodies married couples get. How dare the gov’t require that people enter into a committed sexual relationship in order to file taxes jointly and get hospital visitation rights. Why shouldn’t two spinster sisters who have lived together for decades get all those rights as well? Surely that relegates them to second-class citizen status, by your standards. Your support of “gay marriage” would only perpetuate this unfairness, this discrimination against people based on their sexual relationship or lack thereof. Sure, gay couples could get all those privileges but singles both gay and straight are still left out in the cold.

              >>>Heterosexual singles are not prevented from marrying

              Actually, heterosexual singles are prevented from marrying members of the same sex, more than one person, as well as close family members, for that matter. In fact, maybe none of us are full citizens because we don’t have the right to marry our parents or siblings. Remember, only having full rights makes you a full citizen. Since bigamy/polygamy is outlawed as well, no one in America has full marriage rights therefore no one is a full American citizen.

              • enness

                Precisely. I think some individuals are, sooner or later, going to be shocked to find an accusatory finger pointing right back and themselves labeled “oppressor.” The tables will turn, and I imagine many will find it more than they bargained for.

            • enness

              I had, in a different season of my life, a tremendous attraction to an already-married man. It sure as heck was not my choice. I would love to hear you explain how it is any different.

            • TheodoreSeeber

              If the gays and lesbians decide to marry people of the opposite gender, they can, so I don’t see the difference between them and the nun.

        • David Elton

          All of the injustices which homosexuals suffer – medical issues, estate issues, whatever – can be remedied by law or contract. There is absolutely no need to resort to the absurd remedy of “marriage”.

          • Newp Ort

            But why object?

        • TheodoreSeeber

          A single person has equal protection under the law, and a homosexual who can heal themselves of the mistaken idea that sex is about love, can marry a woman and even have children with her- hundreds have done it.

          Attraction is a matter of WILL. Not mistaken emotions or illogical behavior.

    • enness

      You are not a second-class citizen. The capacity to marry is not what makes you a first-class citizen, so to speak.

  • john

    Relapsed, You are wrong about the sin of gluttony not preventing the full rights and protections of law. Airlines can exclude overweight passengers, Insurance companies can deny them life insurance, and the armed forces discharge members who do not meet weight and height standards.

    You are also wrong about the need for personal approval. That is exactly what the same-sex marriage push is. By advocating for same sex marriage, you want the approval of all society for the sin of homosexuality, so that it becomes fully normalized within the society.

    As it stands now, anyone of adult age can get married. But marriage is defined as a union of a man and a woman. So any homosexual can get married to a member of the opposite sex. There is no discrimination there.

  • JustSomeGuy

    >>your ‘sin’ is not being used as an excuse to make you a second class citizen

    A disordered appetite for food can, indeed, be used as an excuse to make one a second class citizen. Pay more to fly? Check. Pointed at and laughed at? Check. Bullied? Check. Verbally abused, berated, or otherwise demeaned by various members of the government, including the POTUS and FLOTUS? Check. Pay more for insurance? Check. Don’t think other sins don’t come with very well documented health risks, RC.

    At least no one knows your sin by looking at you. For some, it’s the absolute thing that’s noticed. So get off of your high horse and accept that we all have a cross because we all have disordered appetites. The victim card benefits no one.

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      Amen, and bullying of overweight people will only get worse. Big Nanny Gov’t is already talking about treating obesity as the “new smoking.” Let the shaming commence in 3… 2… 1…

    • Newp Ort

      Are fat people disallowed from marrying? or Marrying other fat people?

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    I’ve really appreciated your writing on this and clear explanation of the Church’s teaching on it. I think, sometimes, that one of the hardest parts of following Christ is separating the sin from the sinner and temptation from action. The knee-jerk reaction toward homosexuals that they are somehow worse (just for the temptation, not even for the action) than everyone else was very damaging, and prevented people from listening to and interacting with SSA individuals with charity.

    • Beadgirl

      Exactly. I think part of the reason why I struggle so much with the Church’s teachings on homosexuality is because so very many “good” Catholics act as if homosexuals should stay locked inside a darkened room and constantly abase themselves for their temptations.

      • chezami

        No kidding. Read the comments at the Register site. Almost ever (straight) commenter is practically screaming (and some ARE SCREAMING) that homosexuals should just stop talking about their temptations because who wants to hear about it and they better be super clear they aren’t saying they are homosexual to recruit people and that stuff is perverted you know and have you gotten the message that we’ve got our eye on you because we have and let’s make really super clear that homosexuality is wrong. Weird.

        • Sam Schmitt

          I’m one of those “straight commenters at the Register site” and for me It’s not a matter of making sure that they really think homosexual actions are wrong. I fully believe Eve Tushnet, for example, when she says she accepts the Church’s teaching on this.
          .
          At the same time it seems that she misunderstands the Church’s “big picture” on sexuality in general, due in part to her skewed understanding of homosexuality. At the very least, some of what she writes raises legitimate questions / concerns along these lines. I don’t think her intention is to overturn the Church’s teaching – quite the opposite – but I’m afraid she may be unwittingly undermining some of the larger tenets which underlie that teaching.

          • Mariana Baca

            “but I’m afraid she may be unwittingly undermining some of the larger tenets which underlie that teaching.”

            Like what?

            I think in general the Church gives us a lot of latitude on theology as opposed to doctrines. Marriage is a good, chastity is good, are doctrines (summary, read chapter in catechism for details). Whether you subscribe to “Theology of the Body” or Scholastic theology or etc. to understand the framework of the teachings, is up to the individual. I think Eve posits interesting takes on the theology of sexuality through her experiences as a chaste homosexual. As with most sexual theologies, I don’t think they are all helpful 100% of the time for 100% of audiences, but I didn’t think her theology in particular was undermining some other teaching.

            • Sam Schmitt

              You can read what I wrote over at the Register site, but I’m thinking of her saying that in the Bible “same-sex love” and “opposite sex love” are “considered real and beautiful; neither is better than the other.”

              This seems dubious to me. I’m not sure that it is undermining Church teaching or not – but it certainly a legitimate question to ask.

              • Rebecca Fuentes

                She then defines “Real and beautiful” same-sex love as friendship. That’s not dubious.

                • Sam Schmitt

                  It’s dubious that the Bible considers friendship and married love as equal.

        • enness

          Hey, hey, I resent that.

        • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

          It’s not so weird when you reflect on the fact that we’re social creatures who (largely) learn how to express and direct our sexuality from the people around us.

          The freakouts are largely motivated by the recognition that broken public sexual expression affects those who are exposed to it. And they come from a generation who thought they could trust the culture to help raise their kids.

          My generation, on the other hand, always knew that the society’s view of sex was seriously screwed up, so we were largely prepared and consequently less bothered by it all. We’re the generation of Porky’s not the Production Code.

    • Imrahil

      Only I somehow do not see that happening.

      I mean: yes. Homosexuals are being friendlily joked about, bullied, and the thing in between – as is practically anyone else with something that makes him different from the others. That’s obvious. What I do fail to see is where Catholics on anything remotely similar to a large scale purposely and intentionally (as opposed to just falling for a vice) treat people having any SSA as second-class citizens, second-class Catholics, or confuse temptation with action.

      Only they might follow a general language which *means* by the word homosexual not the one who has a temptation (after all, that’s not generally a known thing) but the one who acts on it, or who confesses to it, or who acts publicly in manners that make clear he belongs to and wants to belong to this group.

      If Catholics treat homosexuals in the latter sense different from other people, the reason is simple, but has rather little to do with any specific disdain for them (may that exist or not). A Christian does not treat even criminals with contempt. But a weak Christian might treat with self-protective contempt a heterodox person if he cannot instantly think of a compelling argument against their heterodoxy.

      If a person even now said, “I’m gay, but I know and accept that is a sin”, or if we had an environment where the forbiddenness of homosexuality had ceased to be a (perceived) matter of discussion, then the contempt would be largely gone.

      And if a SSA-having faithful Catholic would hear rants and rants against homosexuals from a faithful Catholic and then said, “I experience SSAs”, the honest answer would probably be “I never intended to mean you. I was just indulging in some ranting against adversaries of the Catholic Church (and maybe that was wrong); whereas you, with your temptations and even your sins, certainly do belong to us.” (Only I fear this answer would not be given, but covered in shame.)

      The Catholic problem, as always, is not with sin. It is with heterodoxy.

      • Rebecca Fuentes

        Perhaps we are speaking on different levels or from different experiences. What I have seen is Christians (which I’m defining as people who identify themselves as Christians), not specifically Catholics, who do identify people as their sin. There is a mindset that doesn’t separate the attraction from the active homosexual, but simply says, “You feel that? You’re gross, you’re sinful, you’re an abomination!” The same lack of separation is often applied to those who are promiscuous, adulterous, etc., but in the case of those with homosexual attractions, I’ve seen it applied just for having the temptation, or identifying and admitting the temptation.
        When we mesh the person with their sin, making their identity their sin, we set up a wall preventing us from loving them and interacting with them in a loving way. The teaching of the Church, I find, helps to sort out and prevent this. We are called to love, and interact in love, the actively homosexual man or woman. Speaking to them charitably does not mean acceptance of what they do (sometimes the charitable thing is admonishing the sinner), but it does require separating them from a temptation we may not understand (and may find repulsive), and even from sinful actions they have chosen to commit in response to that temptation.
        I find many Christians, and I myself for a long time, fell into the false idea that loving the sinner would mean accepting or allowing the sin, instead of seeing that we hate the sin because it is hurting the sinner. We should hate the sin as I hate my nephew’s MS–I don’t hate him, but I sure hate the disease which cripples him and makes him totally dependent on others.
        We must fight against the movements in society that are pushing for acceptance, redefinition, and moral equality for actions that are sinful–homosexuality certainly isn’t the only movement like this–but we must view the individuals within those movements as unique, priceless children of God. We fight against their movements and lobbies not just for our sake, not just for our children’s sake, but for the sake of the people within those movements. And it’s so hard, sometimes.

        • Beadgirl

          “When we mesh the person with their sin, making their identity their sin,
          we set up a wall preventing us from loving them and interacting with
          them in a loving way.”

          One thing I do wholeheartedly agree with about the Church’s teaching is the idea that we are much more than just our sexual desires. Americans tend to act as if Sex Is The Biggest Deal Ever!, both positively and negatively, and … no. Sex is awesome, and important, but there is quite a bit more to life than it.

          • enness

            And at the same time, they act as if it’s no big deal at all. Really bizarre, isn’t it?

      • TheodoreSeeber

        The reverse is also true. I’ve had swastikas painted on my Church. In certain areas of Portland Oregon, if I go with my child, the homosexuals call me a “Breeder” and make fun of me. My 4th Grade son had to put up with being hit on in public school by homosexuals.

        They aren’t saints either.

        • enness

          I had someone pose this to me as a hypothetical situation. Good to be reminded that satire is incredibly difficult these days.

  • Elmwood

    Mark, I don’t believe you or anybody about never experiencing this temptation. I can prove it too, click here. Am I right?

    • chezami

      Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

    • Beadgirl

      Heh. Have you heard the theory about Top Gun from the movie Sleep with Me? You can find a transcript here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111218/quotes (warning: naughty language).

    • Stu

      Only the biggest the maroons in Flight School would wear their dog tags around at the beach. To do so in the Fleet would really make you a dork.

  • Benjamin

    I’d say it’s pretty unhelpful to look at obesity as “disordered appetite” as well, actually. It’s a medical condition caused by certain foods that create a chemical imbalance in our bodies (skyrocketing insulin from sugar and refined carbs) that leads to excess fat accumulation. It’s more the type of food than the amount, and it’s damned hard if not impossible to stop a chemical-biological process in your body by sheer act of will.

    Americans didn’t suddenly become gluttons in the past 30 years, it’s that our food has changed for the worse (mostly in the pursuit of corporate profits). We now have obese five year olds for example. Are you really going to tell me its their “gluttony” that made them obese?

    • Benjamin

      However I now see a disturbing number of people at the other end from treating obesity as a moral failing to those who actually want to celebrate it under the guise of “fat acceptance”. To me that’s like having a “cancer acceptance” or “smallpox acceptance” movement. It’s absolutely perverse and if it didn’t actually exist it would be on the pages of The Onion.

      • Matthew

        Benjamin:
        Mark never said anything about “obesity”. He did however mention “gluttony”. These are two different things as you note in your post. Obesity may NOT be caused by gluttony. Gluttony is still a disordered appetite for food and drink.
        Matthew

        • Rebecca Fuentes

          It helps to think through the primary and secondary purposes for food, and then think through all the reasons people eat that aren’t anywhere near these. Food is primarily for nourishment, secondarily for pleasure (because eating is good, we are meant to do it, and God made it pleasurable for us) and (in my opinion) for community/hospitality. Gluttony happens when someone (like me–I haven’t contemplated this as a mental exercise), places pleasure as the primary reason for eating, or another reason unrelated to the purposes for eating. Eating to reduce stress, eating because I’m depressed, because I’m upset, because I “deserve” a treat, because that second piece of chocolate cake looks really good, because it’s there, because everyone else is eating too . . . I am ignoring the primary purpose of food and eating, engaging in disordered appetites, and engaging in the sin of gluttony. It can lead to obesity, but not always. The amount of food is not the issue, but the reasons for eating.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Eat local, and cut out the corporations, is my solution.

      It hasn’t worked well so far- I hit 311 this spring.

      • TheodoreSeeber

        Over the weekend, I did step on the scales, and I’m back down to 299. But that was *before* Father’s Day BBQ and strawberry shortcake….

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      True, and there’s also sometimes genetic and endocrine system factors in play.

    • Stu

      Sounds like a disorder to me.

      • Bill

        They are called eating disorders

    • enness

      If you’re going to make a distinction between obesity and gluttony, could you please make it consistently?

      Obviously, it depends. The reference to five-year-olds is irrelevant because we would consider them below the age of reason, much less the age of ability to buy one’s own food.

  • Benjamin

    Catholics really misunderstand being gay and lesbian in thinking that it’s all about sex or sexual attraction. No, gays and lesbians have all the same feelings towards the same sex as you have towards the opposite sex–they desire their companionship, love, faithfulness, etc. They feel every bit as much feeling towards their partners as you do to your wives or husbands, and they can never feel that way about someone of the opposite sex. It’s not just about how you have sex, people, and it’s myopic to look at it that way.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Then why not Philia instead of Eros, as Courage preaches?

      • RelapsedCatholic

        Celibacy is a serious and important commitment between and individual and God, to force it upon someone belittles the sacrifice of those that made it willingly, and turns it into a weapon against those that do not want it.

        • Rosemarie

          +J.M.J+

          Consecrated celibacy is a commitment between an individual and God. No one is forcing that on anyone. Continence, OTOH, is required of all unmarried persons, SSA or not. There’s a difference.

          • RelapsedCatholic

            They are denied the right to civil marriage and denied the sacrament of marriage. There is no difference. They are being told they must choose between loving their partner and their God. If you don’t see it, ask a gay Catholic about how loved and accepted they feel by Cardinal Dolan’s ‘Wash Your Hands’ blog.

            • Rosemarie

              +J.M.J+

              Again, they are not being told not to love persons of the same sex, just not to commit certain sex acts with them. This is certainly a cross for them but all of us must bear our respective crosses in life. Even married couples must endure the cross to make it to heaven; none of us have it easy in life. Might I suggest you ask a member of Courage about this?

              • RelapsedCatholic

                I can tell you this is a distinction without difference and means we are demeaning our Catholic brothers and sisters and chasing them from our faith communities. I refuse to believe that God created them wi the same capacity to love and bond w/ another human being (In which sex is a part) but at the same time sets the rules against them doing so. I don’t believe that God makes mistakes nor is he cruel enough to do this.

                The United Church of Christ has been performing marriages between same sex marriages for 30 years and the world has not ended.

                • Rosemarie

                  +J.M.J+

                  It’s not a distinction without a difference; it is a true difference. The Courage apostolate is dedicated to helping people with SSA live chaste lives in the Church; there is a place for them in our faith communities. You may believe that God creates same sex attraction but divine revelation says otherwise. SSA is one manifestation of the frailty of fallen human nature; God is not at fault for that. Once again, we must all take up our cross and follow Jesus. The cross may seem cruel at times but that is the way to heaven for all of us, including people with SSA

                  • RelapsedCatholic

                    Science has taught us that it is a regularly occurring, non-pathological, minority variant. Nothing more. It is the moral equivalent of red hair. We find it occurs in no less than 1500 species and may have benefits for the survival of species, especially one as social as ours. Society has shown us that when they are allowed to live openly they flourish and become normal happy well adjusted parents, church goers, and community members. Continuing to discriminate against them based on six badly understood passages or on errant Aristotelean science does not do anyone favors.

                    It is a mistake, an error, a crime that some continue to perpetuate. It costs us legitimacy, relevance, and will cost us a generation of young people that have grown up knowing and loving their gay friends.

                    • Rosemarie

                      +J.M.J+

                      Science is limited to the material realm. It cannot inform us about spiritual matters such as the results of original sin. It can notice that a certain number of people have a certain trait and then say it is a “variant” but that is from a limited perspective. Also, science has not discovered a gay gene, so you cannot compare it to red hair which is genetically based.

                      As for the animal kingdom, the data there is debatable. But just because animals do something doesn’t mean it’s right for humans. Some animals mate by having the male forcibly subdue the female, so is rape okay for humans? Female praying mantids tear their mates heads off, should we do that? The answer is obvious.

                      The Church’s teaching on this matter isn’t based solely on Scripture (“six badly understood passages”) but on the totality of Sacred Tradition. That glib dismissal doesn’t cut it.

                      Bottom line, we can’t redefine marriage because God has already defined it as between a man and a woman. He Himself married our first parents long ago. Marriage has been practiced all over the world and understood as between a man and a woman. Even in cultures like Ancient Greece, where homoerotic love between males enjoyed a level of acceptance, men married women, not other men.

                      Jesus Himself elevated marriage to the level of a Sacrament. In doing so, He reaffirmed that marriage is the union between a man and a woman (Matthew 19:4-6). Jesus never said that two men or two women can get married; nowhere in Scripture or Tradition. The Church cannot go beyond Christ’s teaching here. She does not, we do not, no one has the authority to redefine marriage.

                    • Alias Clio

                      Remember, it isn’t only gay people who are called by Catholic teaching to lifelong and involuntary sexual continence. Handicapped people often – indeed, more often than not, from what I understand – also find themselves in this situation – and remember, there are more of them than there are homosexual men and women, although not all will have celibacy imposed upon them.

                      That continence may be terribly painful for them, but what recourse do they have, if no one desires them in a sexual sense? Perhaps some turn to prostitutes or pornography, but that is hardly an appealing outlet for those hungry for love, as well. So please, gay people and gay apologists, stop grumbling as though you’re the only ones called to make this kind of sacrifice.

                      Alias Clio

                    • RelapsedCatholic

                      If two handicapped people sought marriage within the church, would they be denied?

                    • Rolland

                      If they cannot consummate it, yes.

                    • Rosemarie

                      +J.M.J+

                      Besides, who decides what is the proper understanding of Scripture if not the Church, the pillar and foundation of all truth? She is the authoritative interpreter of Scripture by the power of the Holy Spirit, Who is her soul. If she says that the Bible condemns homosexual activity then she is the final authority on that, not people who want to reinterpret it to fit modern Western sensibilities.

                    • RelapsedCatholic

                      Sacred tradition has changed in the past, and usually for good reason. Where once we condoned slavery we now work against it in all its forms. Where once we forced conversion upon non Christians we now respect freedom of conscious and self-determination. Where once we engaged in and encouraged war we now strive for peace in all things. We have made changes, albeit sometimes slowly; too slowly.

                      Sacred tradition also revolves around Aristotelean philosophy, in which he makes errant assumptions about purpose, intention, and design based on what was fundamentally flawed observation of nature. When Darwin discovered evolution, the church did not shove its head in the sand and stick by Adam and Eve. They have incorporated and accepted the revelation. We need to do the same. There is nothing unGodly about two gay people in a loving committed relationship. They make excellent parents and community members, they love God despite what His children have done to them.

                    • Rosemarie

                      +J.M.J+

                      No, Sacred Tradition has not changed. Certain small-t traditions have changed but Sacred Tradition is part of the Deposit of Faith, God’s revelation to humanity and it does not change. Our understanding of it may deepen but its essence does not change. Matters like the Church’s current view of religious freedom are examples of development of doctrine, not changing Sacred Tradition.

                      Now, the Deposit of Faith has always taught that homosexual activity is sinful. Not love, but sex acts between persons of the same sex. That’s not going to change. Catholicism is okay with people with SSA having chaste friendships with members of the same sex but not sexual activity.

                      The Church is the interpreter of Sacred Scripture and the whole Deposit of Faith. She allows for some belief in evolution (with caveats) because the Deposit of Faith never insisted on belief in a literal six-day creation that occurred about six thousand years ago. There was always some leeway for interpretation there long before Darwin was born. Yet the Church’s moral teaching does insist that homosexual activity is a sin, so you are comparing apples to oranges here.

                    • RelapsedCatholic

                      Yet that Sacred tradition was created by real people that were flawed and incomplete in their knowledge. Sometimes they were wise enough to admit that they did not know the entire truth, as in evolution and creation. Sometimes they made assumptions that were wrong. It was widely assumed in the ancient world that people who desired members of the same sex had let their passions run amok or had some other moral os spiritual failing. Women’s sexuality and role in procreation was completely misunderstood and disregarded. The words homosexual and heterosexual are only 150 years old. We know more about the world than Peter and Paul. We should not be exclusively slaved to their writings and philosophies. I am not saying that they were not brilliant writers and men, just that they were men, and not perfect. Just as we no longer hold to a geocentric model of the universe we are under no obligation to cling to a heterosexist view of sexuality. Just as we no longer consider women a vessel in which men deposit their seed to be grown and nurtured we need not cling to the notion that everyone MUST be heterosexual in order to be married.

                    • Rosemarie

                      +J.M.J+

                      Sacred Tradition comes from Christ through the Apostles. Jesus was not flawed and incomplete in His knowledge. The Apostles were guided to all truth by the Holy Spirit. Even if the Apostles personally misunderstood matters of science like the motions of the heavenly bodies, the teaching they received from Christ Himself is still inerrant on matters of faith and morality. Homosexual activity relates to morality, so Sacred Tradition is correct on that regardless of what modern scientists might claim to discover about “sexual orientation” (and science itself is hardly infallible).

                      As I stated above, when Jesus Himself taught about marriage and raised it to the level of a sacrament, He rooted it in the original creation of human beings as male and female (Matthew 19:4-6). He never taught that two men or two women could get married. That is nowhere in the Sacred Deposit of Faith (Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium). So the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, does not have the authority to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. Marriage is what God ordained it to be and no one else has the right or authority to change that.

                    • RelapsedCatholic

                      First, The Bible refers to no less than seven different kinds of marriage, none of which are condemned by Jesus, six of which we would condemn today. The homosexual marriage I am advocating is much closer to what Matthew 19:4-6 and Genesis 2 discusses than any of the other 6 kinds of Biblical marriage. Secondly, Iesus was being asked a specific question about divorce by the Pharisees. Since there was no such thing as same sex marriage amongst the Jews it would make no sense that Jesus would address it. If Jesus had mentioned gay marriage no one would have known what he was talking about, it is a new thing, but not necessarily evil. Jesus never mentioned DNA or the Big Bang, no one would have known what he was saying. Fortunately God has given us a sharp mind with which to learn new things and judge their morality.

                      Because the church says so, is a stance that is dangerous and enabling. I follow, but not blindly.

                    • Rosemarie

                      +J.M.J+

                      >>>First, The Bible refers to no less than seven different kinds of marriage

                      I’ve looked up this claim and all of them involve a man marrying a woman. Sometimes he then marries another woman (as in polygamy or concubinage) – but never do we see women marrying women or men marrying men. Even in polygamous marriages the wives are not married to each other, but each is married to the husband.

                      So while these are various cultural permutations of marriage, they all share in common what is the God-ordained essence of marriage: the heterosexual nature of the union.

                      >>>Secondly, Iesus was being asked a specific question about divorce by the
                      Pharisees. Since there was no such thing as same sex marriage amongst
                      the Jews it would make no sense that Jesus would address it.

                      I never said that He explicitly addresses the matter. Yet what He does say points to God’s order in the beginning, that He “created them male and female” and joined them together in a one-flesh union. God never did the same for two men or two women. Marriage isn’t simply a human institution that we can change on a whim. It is divinely-ordained from the very beginning as being between a man and a woman for the purpose of starting a family. We can’t change that.

                    • Rolland

                      Do you receive Communion? If you say “Amen” it means you follow ALL Church teaching. If you’re not, you’re lying and committing sacrilege.

                      Also, I’m still waiting for that answer about the butt being a reproductive organ.

                    • RelapsedCatholic

                      This is not about me and my relationship to the church/ God. Nice try.

                      As far as it being for reproduction…who knows? I never thought it could be talked out of but then I met you.

                    • Rolland

                      The butt is not a reproductive organ.

                      Sodomy is not marriage. Tell it like it is.

                    • RelapsedCatholic

                      Grow up…seriously.

                    • Rolland

                      You mentioned science before, but the rear-end is not a reproductive organ. You say otherwise?

                    • RelapsedCatholic

                      Your fixation with anal sex is not healthy nor normal for a straight man, seek counseling, or manners.

                    • enness

                      Science does not contain all the truth there is, especially not moral truth; honest science doesn’t even try to do so, at least that’s what they say.

                      I don’t know why we would expect the fallout of the Fall, so to speak, to affect us only. Animals aren’t held accountable. We are.

                      In any case, I think you’ll find the sample sizes of humans to be unfortunately small, and it tends to be a case of “my study can beat up your study.” I usually decline to play that game at all.

                    • RelapsedCatholic

                      Science reveals as much about God’s will in creation as scripture, as He is the one that created it. Ideally it is also free of the biases and prejudices of the writers, which we can definitively not say about the Bible.

                      Sample sizes are all well within acceptable scientific standards, while they may only make up 3.7% of the population in a nation of 330 million that leaves plenty for study.

                      And yes humans are accountable. So when we demonize, marginalize, and discriminate against one another we should be called out. That is what the church is doing. Marriage does not need defending from homosexuals, it needs to be guarded against materialism, greed, and self-centeredness.

                    • Rosemarie

                      What does Aristotelean Science have to do with anything? Thomisitic Philosophy & historic Christian Philosophy in general is based on Aristotle’s Philosophy and Metaphysics(with some generous helpings of Plato since after all reason is reason).

                      Not his anachronistic primitive scientific conclusions.

                      As even Atheist philosopher Daniel Dennett admits “There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination.”

                      Listening to you prattle on about “SCIENCE” reminds me of a sarcastic quip of Frank Beckwith’s.

                      “1949 just called they want their Positivism back”!

                      Science is about mechanism & has no content beyond that.

                      The philosophical concept of Final Causality OTOH makes Science possible. Naturally a pro-gay activist will want to reject this rational approach to nature & reality to live in unreality.

                      -SIGNED YACHOV BEN YACHOV Rosemarie’s husband.

                    • RelapsedCatholic

                      We agree for the most part about science, however the requirement of the male/ female dichotomy for reproduction is the primary justification of the heteronormative view of sexuality and the heterosexist view of sexual morality. This could reflect the divine plan, or this could merely reflect our evolutionary heritage from early in the phylogenic tree. Why is the female/ male dichotomy considered divine affirmation and not the presence of homosexuals in other animal species? Most would cite scripture or Thomistic philosophy. I find both to be little more than after-the-fact justification of homophobia and heterosexism.

                      The fact is that the Jesus of the Gospels was an inclusive messiah that sided with the marginalized and the least among us. I side with LGBTQ Catholics and non-Catholics because like Thomas I have touched the wounds and placed my hand in their side. The wounds caused by abusive church doctrine are real, the love and committment they have for one another is real and indistiguishable from the love I have for my wife. The mechanics and anatomy of their sex is irrelevant compared to their love and committment they have for each other, God, and thier children. The Church may claim ‘They are all our children’, but their actions speak much louder than their words. You shall know a tree by its fruits, and the fruit of this doctrine is rotted and toxic.

                    • Rosemarie

                      Well first of all if we believe in the classic doctrine of Divine Providence then there is no reason why we can’t believe Evolution is guided by God who intended it to end in a male/female sexual dichotomy for human beings.

                      As for “homosexual” activity among animals most people who make these claims usually employ the anthropomorphic fallacy. That is they read human behavior into brute animals. Two female animals licking each other in the privates becomes “lesbianism” when it merely means grooming.

                      Thirdly love by definition is to will the Good for someone or something. Willing sin for others is not love. Willing they violate the Divine & Natural Law is not love. It is at best very misguided at worst it’s the ultimate act of un-love.

                      signed -_Yachov Ben Yachov Rosemarie’s husband.

                    • Rosemarie

                      additional: Outside of possible acts of homo-sex obviously as far as Gays will the good toward their partners in accordance with Divine Law that is virtuous and laudable & might even flow from supernatural Grace.

                      But the Divine Law is the Divine Law. Don’t have homo-sex & if you do well go to confession & try not to have homo-sex again. Repeat going to confession as often as you sin.

                      -Yachov Ben Yachov Rosemarie’s husband.

                    • Rosemarie

                      Also don’t think that if you by God’s grace resist having homo-sex that therefore means you can ignore the other six deadly sins.

                      _BenYachov husband of the Rosemarie

                • TheodoreSeeber

                  Sex isn’t a part of love. Sex is a part of procreation.

                  • chezami

                    Speak for yourself.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      Who else would I be speaking for?

                • enness

                  We were created male and female with corresponding anatomy for a reason.

                  I am unmarried, therefore I do not act as though I am married. It is not a “rule” imposed, it is living out the understanding I have through the Church about the purpose of sex in God’s design, and not telling lies with my body.

                  They have been killing them with sweet lies for 30 years, you mean. Who cares about “the world” — the world is finite anyway. Souls on the line.

                  • RelapsedCatholic

                    The notion that God created us male and female and therefore that is the only allowable form of sex is presumptuous and ascientific. God also apparently created homosexuals, and placed within them the desire to pair up and bond just as heterosexuals. What can we glean from that?

            • TheodoreSeeber

              Emotion should not enter into morality.

              • chezami

                Sure it should. It just shouldn’t be the sole or deciding factor.

                • TheodoreSeeber

                  If we make transient emotion a factor in objective morality, the morality becomes relative to the emotion. That in and of itself is an error.

              • RelapsedCatholic

                Why would you assume the argument is based solely on emotion?

                • TheodoreSeeber

                  “They are being told they must choose between loving their partner and their God. ”

                  If the argument was based on reason rather than emotion, this choice would be no contest at all.

                  • RelapsedCatholic

                    Of course, but my point is that this is a false choice. One that is unnecessary and harmful.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      Yes, it is. Failing to love God is always unnecessary and harmful, because in all cases, by loving God first, you can show the best love to your friends and family.

                      Loving God inspires you to change your motivation to love from “what is best for me” to “what is best for the other person”, from the meager lust of eros to the sacrificial love of Agape.

                      Mere Worship of the Holy Orgasm pales in comparison to Worship of God.

                      If I saw Gay Pride parades preaching abstinence out of love and a willingness to not harm their partner, I’d be a lot more conflicted about gay marriage than I am right now.

                      If I saw women priests mentioning anything other than how the evil patriarchy wants to keep birth control and abortion from women, I’d be a lot more conflicted about female ordination.

                      If I saw heterosexual men think for one second about the common behavior of abandoning fatherhood and the damage that does to the soul of women and their own daughters and sons, I’d be a lot less conflicted about the concept of civil marriage.

                      Love God first, be patient, and the rest will come.

                    • RelapsedCatholic

                      First, I know many male priests and preachers that speak out against patriarchy, it doesn’t take a vagna to believe in egalitarianism. While I share some of your sympathies concerning abortion and sex, your dichotomy remains false and self referential. There are people that live as proof against what you are saying. Not every gay person is promiscuous, and no more promiscuous than many heterosexuals. If your objection is to promiscuity I am w/ you. If it for forced abstinence and spiritual abuse of gays and lesbians than I will oppose you every day of my life at the top of my lungs.

                      The justification ultimately boils down to ‘the church says’, unfortunately for those in charge those of us that attended Catholic schools were taught to be critical thinkers, and we aren’t buying it. We love God, we read the Gospels, we live them in the real world, we reject your dichotomy.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      Why do you claim feminism is egalitarian? The only egalitarian thing I’ve ever seen feminists do was the Equal Rights Amendment.

                      My suggestion is that every form of gay sex that I’m aware of, and not being homosexual I’m sure there are a few I’m not aware of, is extremely physically dangerous, in and of itself with no religion or any belief system involved. It seems odd to claim to “love” somebody then use sex as a weapon against the very person you CLAIM to love. Has nothing to do with what the Church says, unless the Church has taken over the Center for Disease Control without my knowledge.

                      You apparently haven’t bothered with any critical thinking at all, so your last paragraph seems a bit odd as well.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      Could have sworn I had posted something, but maybe it was too harshly worded, so I’ll try again.

                      Love of God is *always* the proper choice. Love for our families flows most properly from a love of God. It is what changes lust to agape, what changes “I love you because you are good for me” to “I love you because I want what is best for you”.

                      It is in short, what creates the self-sacrifice of a real family.

                      Now I think I’ll go post the harsh portion in my own blog.

            • enness

              Unable, not denied. The desire cannot be satisfied no matter what the law says, because the thing desired – ‘marriage’ between persons of the same gender – does not exist.

              Love is not love which does not lead the beloved (and the lover) away from sin and closer to God. If you want a litmus test, there it is. You cannot truly love a person by engaging in an illicit romantic liaison with him or her.

              • RelapsedCatholic

                Claiming a thing does not exist, when it clearly does, is the intellectual equivalent of shoving your head into the sand. Which has been very costly to Catholics in the past.

        • Rolland

          So you can’t get over the whole “want to ejaculate in a man’s anus” thing, huh?

          Seriously semen does not belong with poop. This is very basic.

          • enness

            Dang Rolland, that was highly unnecessary.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Sex is for procreation. There is no force, just an acknowledgement of fact. I’m not interested in any discussion with anybody who denies that fact.

          • RelapsedCatholic

            Sex is about far more than procreation, anyone that says otherwise has never experienced it.

            • TheodoreSeeber

              Procreation takes 18 to 35 years. Anybody whose sex takes less than that, isn’t doing it right.

              • RelapsedCatholic

                Complete non-sequitur. Yes procreation takes time, that doesn’t mean it remains the sole purpose.

                • Rosemarie

                  +J.M.J+

                  It’s not the sole purpose but it is the primary end of conjugal relations and the other purposes (mutual aid and remedy for concupiscence) cannot be used as an excuse to thwart that primary end. There is a certain harmony among the ends of the marital act; a wholeness that is fractured by various forms of sexual immorality.

                  • RelapsedCatholic

                    Except the Church does not ban post menopausal women or people w/ known fertility issues (someone that had an early historectomy for example) from getting married. We understand that sex is an important aspect in the bonding process that keeps two people together. So it seems it only matters if there is the correct anatomy within a marriage. And before you respond with infertility being about the failure of organs not the misuse of their purpose let respond that view fails to take into account the brain’s role as a sexual organ. The penis and vagina are not the only organs involved in sexual attraction and intercourse. Just as the church allows to people where procreation is not possible to get married there is no solid reason why they should forbid ir for gays and lesbians.

                    • Rosemarie

                      Rather the penis and the vagina are necessary for natural sex. Infertile couples have the right equipment. Two dudes with each other & or two chicks do not. The brain has nothing to do with it. A natural organ that has lost it’s natural ability to function reproductively with it’s natural counterpart is not the same as two organs that have no natural function together at all. The exception might be a sex organ that cannot function at all or is missing due to mutilation. The Church does not marry persons who are of the opposite sex where one or both are missing their genitals or there is functional impotence.

                      -Yachov Ben Yachov -Rosemaries’ husband.

                    • Rosemarie

                      additional. Relapsed you clearly have a utilitarian philosophical approach to this. Why should anyone here accept that philosophy over and against the natural philosophy of Aristotle?

                      _YACHOV BEN YACHOV

                    • RelapsedCatholic

                      I am no utilitarian sir, that is the path to hell in my eyes. The most good for the most people is a stones throw from the ends justifying the means.

                      And BTW nice to meet you, your wife is sharp as a tack and I have enjoyed our back and forth. I may disagree, but I do respect her.

                    • RelapsedCatholic

                      If you suggest the brain has nothing to do with sexual desire or reproduction you need a biology lesson, not a philosophy/ theology. The brain is intimately tied with sexuality & reproduction as it is the brain itself that initiates the orgasm contractions. And you are wrong about the church, I know personally a girl that had both ovaries and uterus removed from a childhood cancer. She was married three years ago and they have adopted a beautiful boy this years. Their family is perfect. And any church doctrine that would deny its existence needs to die a long overdue death.

                • TheodoreSeeber

                  Anything else is sex done WRONG, is my point- empirically and objectively, it does more harm than good to the person you are having sex with.

                  And thus isn’t love, and isn’t good.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          It also occurs to me that you just decided homosexuality is entirely about sex- completely in opposition to Benjamin above.

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      And there’s no reason why they can’t have close personal (yet platonic) friendships with members of the same sex. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. The Church isn’t telling them they can’t love, just that they can’t engage in sexual activity with members of the same sex. She says much the same thing to unmarried people in general.

    • Stu

      Seems like calling SSA “disordered” to be accurate.

    • enness

      Sorry, but in short: romance is tied to mating which is necessarily tied to sexual connection. Otherwise, you’re what most people call friends.

  • Irksome1

    Good article; dismally predictable comments.

    • Rachel K

      No kidding. I don’t know why I ever wade in on these things. When I use terminology that the “ZOMG you’re approving homosex!” crowd will understand, the “ZOMG you hate the gays!” crowd comes in and tells me how brainwashed and self-loathing I am. If I used terminology the “ZOMG you hate the gays!” crowd understood, the “ZOMG you’re approving homosex!” crowd would probably tell me that I was just staying Catholic because I was hoping they’d approve SSM. The joys of being the middle ground . . .

      • chezami

        Yeah. I felt for you. On the bright side, when you are hated by all people for diametrically opposing reasons, that nearly always a good sign. It’s only when everybody hates you for the same reason that you should like assume you are the problem. :)

  • Gresu

    Who will make reparation for the new barbarians being raised in the U S
    bishop’s schools, Mark Shea? Students are exposed to the pornographic series “Growing In Love” with imprimatur?. G I L teaches that each student has a right to their own choice of sexual gratification and homosexuality is an acceptable option. See http://www.motherswatch.ne

    Catholic doctrine is being destroyed in parochial schools. Our Pontiffs have
    warned us of the responsibilities we have to preserve the integrity of the
    Catholic Faith. Sex education in class rooms has been condemned. It is
    spiritual disobedience.

    It is rebellion against God. It influences activities against virtues. Who will
    atone for the assaults against holy innocence in parochial schools? God has
    given you the talent to write and to speak. Will you begin the crusade, Mark Shea?

    • Irksome1

      Perhaps you are unaware of Mark’s oft-repeated advocacy for homeschool?

      • Gresu

        I’ve know parents who had to take their children out of the parochial schools in the ’70s because of the materials youth were being expected to read. The only way these sacrileges schools are going to be changed or shut down (and so many of them have closed because of Vatican II’s new religion) is for the funding to stop. Each dime in the basket should trigger guilt for ruining the Catholic education our youth desperately need and the U S bishops refusal to give them. Who appoints these men and allows them to destroy the True Faith? Are their any men of valor to defend our youth?

        • Rosemarie

          +J.M.J+

          You didn’t exactly answer Irksome1. Are you interested in a discussion or do you just want to harp on one subject?

          (A subject only tangentially related to the topic of the post, I might add.)

          • Gresu

            Rosemarie, I find openings where I can on the tender subject that youth’s minds and education are being destroyed in U S bishop’s schools. Veil of Innocence is another website to view on this important subject. The SILENCE is crushing Catholicism. If you visit the site: http://www.motherswatch.net you will see that the subject of homosexuality is a major indicator of parochial education. So, the Growing IN Love series must be raised in these kinds of discussions. Sexualized catechetics is dangerous…….let’s talk about it.

            • Rosemarie

              +J.M.J+

              Actually, I’ve visited that site before and agree that sex education belongs in the home (I also homeschool my youngest child). If Mark wishes to talk about that subject then he can post it on his site and it will be a topic for discussion. But this particular thread is about something else so bringing that up here is going off-topic, which is not good netiquette.

              • Gresu

                Rosemarie, It is not ‘good etiquette’ to destroy the minds and wholesome character of our youth, our most valuable resource.
                This discussion is a clever distraction. The men who impose sexualized catechetics have turned their backs on blessed Pontiffs, Virgins, Martyrs and Saints.

                The Decree of March 21, 1931,
                Congregation of the Holy office forbidding sex education: Question: May the method called ‘sex education’ or even ‘sex initiation’ be approved?

                Answer: “No. In the education of youth the method to be followed is that hitherto observed by the Church and the Saints as recommended by His Holiness the Pope in the Encyclical dealing with the Christian Education of Youth, (Divini Illius Magistri) promulgated December 31, 1929…”

                Bishops of the U S issued a Statement of November 17, 1950 regarding the role of parents in the instruction of children on matters relating to sex……”We protest in the strongest possible terms against the introduction of sex instruction into the school!!” (their emphasis not mine)

                Pope Pius XII, Address to the French Fathers and Families on September 18, 1951 on the matter of sex initiation and propaganda, “……..procreation and education of children are the serious duties of married couples……Fathers of families.. Unite and to stop and curtail these movements…..”

                Pope Pius XII in his address of April 13, 1953, states that personal sex instruction of children and youth in the home should place special stress “upon self mastery and religious training.”

                see Randy Engel’s book page 58-59 “Sex Education The Final Plague”.

                • Rosemarie

                  +J.M.J+

                  FYI, this is called ‘hijacking the thread” and it is bad netiquette. However, I am inadvertently feeding this activity by commenting on it, even if to instruct. So I guess I’ll bow out and just allow the monologue to continue.

  • Gresu

    Read “Rite of Sodomy” by Randy Engel. She explains how the Roman Catholic Church knew exactly how to handle the issue of those who were disobedient in the
    disorder of homosexuality. In the past years the ‘church’ claimed Catholic has turned its back on sound teachings, relaxed its position, given homosexuals
    personhood and teaches that it is an optional right of gratification.

    Also, ““Vatican II, Homosexuality & Pedophilla” by Atila Sinke Guimarâes
    Is a must book to read.

    • chezami

      Um, homosexuals *are* persons.

      • enness

        Seriously. God gave them personhood.

  • W. Randolph Steele

    Face it, the only people THE CHURCH wants are “shiny, happy, people”. Anyone else MIGHT be tolerated, but never accepted and it’s always been that way. In the pre Vatican II Church that I grew up in, conformity was the expected norm. Afterall, “Sister Mary …… explains it all for you”. At least that’s the way my five brothers and me experienced it. For ME it was being color blind and left handed, neither of which the nuns accepted. They WERE able to switch my writing hand, but took great pleasure in deriding my art projects. After many years of depression, bad marriages etc. They made my school life a living hell. “Why can’t you be like the others etc” “You aren’t working up to your potential” etc. I finally went for counseling at my local Catholic Social Services in 1990, who helped me repair the damage done to me then AND who urged me to go to our local University Medical School for neurological testing and they found other “brain anomalies” that included “visual spacial deficits and very slight, odd dyslexia. At the meeting to discuss the results, the first word out the chair of the department of neurology were” When you were in school did your teachers say that you could do so better than you are?” When I asked how she knew that, she said “It’s all right here in your tests. Catholic Schools then did a lot of damage to children like you were”. I felt relieved, liberated, validated. My gut feeling that I WAS “different” was right. I stayed in counseling until 1996. I remarried happily in 2003( in the church I might add). Yes, I’m straight, but I know how it feels to be treated as “the other” and that’s why I posted here. I know many gay people of both genders and I’ve heard them say the same things I’ve said, only in a different context. Now, I still go to Mass at very progressive parish where ‘m welcomed every week, but I take Churches views on sexuality with a LARGE GRAIN OF SALT. There many like me, I was surprised discover when I attended reunions of grade and high school graduating classes. I struck by how of my former classmates, many of them women, left the church because they felt weren’t accepted for who they truly were and it rarely had anything to do with sexuality. Many had been deeply devoted to the church as well, especially in my minor seminary class as well. You can patronize and ignore us, but we’re still here , at least for awhile and we support our gay brothers and sisters because we have some idea of what’s like to be “the other” in eyes of the Church. Finally, m
    ost of what I’ve read here is about as important to me and those like as all those angels dancing on the head of a pin.

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      I’m sorry to hear how you were treated when you were younger. It was wrong.

      We who post here regularly are well aware that some people feel alienated from the Church for various reasons. Some of us were in the same boat at one time or another in our lives. I pray the Holy Spirit will help such Catholics reconcile with Mother Church one day. Because that’s the way it has to happen. Not by the Church compromising on the moral teachings she has received from Christ Himself through the Apostles, but by the Holy Spirit gently showing them the truth.

      That’s how I was able to accept the male priesthood and the ban on contraception, by the grace of God. Yes, I once dissented on those matters, too. Don’t think for a second that we don’t struggle or have to endure cruel priests or nuns and all that stuff. Don’t think that none of us have felt like “the other.” Yet by God’s grace we were finally able to accept the Church as she is, and we hope and pray that the same will happen with all alienated Catholics.

      • Rosemarie

        +J.M.J+

        Just a few more thoughts:

        >>>Face it, the only people THE CHURCH wants are “shiny, happy, people”.

        Then what in the heck am I doing here? :-)

        So what’s up with the confessional, then? Y’know, the place where all those messy, unhappy people get cleaned up so that they… we… can try again – over and over and over? Apart from Blessed Mother, every member of the Church since Pentecost has been a weak, faltering sinner. Yet Mother Church still clasps them to her bosom and transforms many of them into saints. The Church clearly doesn’t only want “shiny, happy, people,” otherwise there’d be not a single Catholic in the whole world.

        Don’t mistake the cruel sisters of your childhood for the whole Church. Many nuns back then joined a religious order because women’s career options in the world were severely limited. A religious order could give a Catholic woman the training to become a teacher or nurse if they couldn’t afford higher education. They may have had a calling to teach or care for the sick, but how many of them actually had a vocation to religious life is hard to say. Which would explain both their unhappiness and the mass exodus of nuns during the 1960s and 70s when career opportunities for women in the world opened up wide.

        At any rate, it was a Catholic Social Services group that ultimately helped you discover your condition. That’s part of the Church as well. So you have been both hurt and helped by fellow Catholics – as have we all, BTW. And I’m glad you’re welcome in your current parish, filled I’m sure with messy, struggling Catholics like myself and everyone in my parish and all the Catholics the world. Even the Pope goes to confession so that should tell us something.

        • W. Randolph Steele

          Rosemarie,

          I was referring to parish culture, which I’ve found pretty much everywhere except for a very few parishes in my area and mine. It is multicultural and it is known for being on the radical fringe, just the way I like it. You also should know that as a former seminarian, I’m pretty well connected so I know where the bodies are buried and then some. I had 2 aunts who were nuns and 6 cousins who were or are nuns. My uncle was founding pastor of a parish here, dean of his area, monsignor and close advisor to the bishop. Another classmate, who married my wife and I has close connections to the Marriage Tribunal and yet another is head of the priests personnel board so I hear plenty. My youngest brother also a former seminarian and who I met my wife through, worked for the church for many years, finally had had enough after dealing with his 3rd abusive pastor and congregation. My wife is the first African American pastoral associate in our diocese and the parish she works at is an example of what I’m talking about -rich, white and entitled. In fact, it’s the wealthiest parish in the diocese. She endured plenty and not just overt racism although that’s happened, It’s more “Do you know I am ? Or, do you my dad is? O,. be careful how you deal with so and so, they’re big contributors”. Or sure, you’ll see lots of people at confession, but NOTHING changes nor is it likely to. I know for a fact that the pastor, who was Vicar General got the parish as consolation prize for not being named auxillary bishop and that he doesn’t like Pope Francis. Is it different in other parishes? In a few yes. In many, more, no and I’ve been to many.

          When my wife and I kissed at the sign peace at the very small town parish in the southern part of our state where dad’s ancestors first worshipped when we got engaged, not only did we get stares, but a “kindly gentleman” tapped me on the shoulder and said “we don’t do that here”. We took the hint and left right after communion.when we’re down there now,we go to a different parish further

          My brother simply told me that he’d given up and left. My loves the Church and endures. These days, I go to Mass mostly for her. But for her, I’d have left a long time ago. If I could, I’d love to worship the way Christians did at the time the Didache was written.

          The gay thing? According my friend in personnel, that’s one of his biggest headaches because it causes so many problems. He had to cover up a beloved priests mugging at known gay beach in Florida among other things. One of the others are the straight guys who have someone on the side, however discreet they are.

          Rosemarie, the closer one is to “the inside” you realize that there more phony’s, careerists, nutjobs and slackers there are in the hierarchy and plenty of good, decent guys who stay even though they think the “rules” are nuts. The way the Church is now, you can’t be who you really are. A couple of the good guys I know are just biding their time until they can retire. But on the outside, we’re all normal, happy, people.

          Well, I’m done now and I’ll stay with my radical, “nun’s on the bus” parish.

          • Rosemarie

            +J.M.J+

            Oh, I’ve heard my share of stories about the bad apples in the hierarchy, various diocesan bureaucracies, etc. I have a sordid tale I could tell about our diocesan choir from about ten years back, if I were inclined to gossip, that is. Doesn’t surprise me because I don’t expect Catholics to all be living saints. My grandmother always said that the Church is a hospital for sinners not a museum for saints. It’s hard not to almost expect that kind of behavior after the whole molestation scandal, all the revelations of cover-ups and priests shuffled here and there. Yet none of this changes the fact that this is the Church Christ founded.

            Not sure what you mean by “The way the Church is now, you can’t be who you really are.” That’s not my personal experience, but maybe my diocese is different from yours. My husband and I kiss at the Sign of Peace and no one has ever said anything about it. Heck this whole diocese is very multicultural. I’ve had plenty of discussions with people on this blog who talk about all the horrors they’ve experienced in churches in their area, and all I can say is, “I’ve never experienced that here.” Maybe it all depends on where one lives.

    • enness

      Another look at today’s gospel may help?

  • Roland

    What gets me is that there are many more of us with disordered sexual appetites who do not have same-sex attraction. We’re not throwing parades or seeking approval. Homosexuality is not special.

    • Brian_Joness

      If you understood what sexual orientation is, then maybe you could get the difference. Straight, gay , bi, they all have different ‘sexual appetites’ but that is no the issue. Meaning, no matter what orientation you are, fetishes still exist and they are a whole different thing. I know you don’t understand that, but hey, why not state the obvious for those who do.

  • Paul H

    “. . . half my audience seems to think I am a “homophobe” while the other half
    seems to think homosexuality is no big deal. I can’t seem to get people
    to grasp . . .”

    For what it’s worth, I think you expend too much energy and concern on how people react to your writing. (But it’s hard not to do; I know from experience.)

    • Paul H

      I would also point out that half of the commenters is not the same thing as half your audience. I would guess that probably less than 10% of the people who read one of your blog posts write a comment on that post. This is just a guess, but you could estimate the numbers for yourself by comparing the number of unique page views with the number of comments for a particular post.

      But for the sake of argument, let’s say that 10% of your readers leave a comment on any given post. That means that you are hearing from the most vocal and outspoken 10% of your readership, and most likely from the 10% who disagrees with you the most strongly, since people tend to be more motivated to comment on things they disagree with than on things they agree with. So it is quite possible that 90% of your readers could be nodding their heads in agreement, and then happily going off to read something else, while you mistakenly think that half your audience thinks that you are a homophobe.

  • Brian_Joness

    Let’s just understand that the “holy spirit” is just something to control people. Yes, we can believe in the trinity but when you start pulling out the “holy spirit” then you stop following the Bible and only following the man who is telling you that. Go back to the Bible folks and stop cold when anyone tells you what the “holy Spirit” has to say. You are the only one that can truly hear the holy spirit for yourself.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X