Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A Catholic SSA Person

Following posts with speak about homosexuality I inevitably get comments and emails from all kinds of people; be they active homosexuals; homosexuals who are not active for reasons of Faith, and people who have not been able to make the distinction the Church makes between the person and the homosexual acts they feel attracted to engage in (it is only the acts which are wrong; the Church recognises that it is quite possible to love someone deeply and have a solid friendship with them without sex entering into the relationship, be you homosexual or heterosexual).

I received an email recently that speaks about the struggle to remain celibate as a homosexual Catholic, and I have permission to share with my readers (I am withholding the name of the writer for reasons of privacy). It serves a reminder to heterosexuals not to think that all homosexuals are engaging in disordered acts and disregard the Faith; it also serves a reminder to homosexuals not to claim they are judged and rejected as people because of their homosexual desires...thank you to the writer for allowing me to share it. 

When I first became aware that I was attracted to other women I thought I wouldn't be able to attend church; believed that I wouldn't even be welcome in a Catholic church and scared that I couldn't receive the sacraments.  I spoke with the priest in my local parish church and I was reassured that the loving itself was not wrong it, was physically acting on the feeling would be the sin, just as it would be with heterosexual couples if they had physical relations outside marriage

There are things I do to try and make it easier(!) to avoid temptation: 

Avoid conversations that potentially raise the subject of sex
Sleep in separate rooms if my friend is in my home, or separate beds if we are elsewhere
Limiting physical contact to a hug
Not watching film/TV where there is graphic sex as that encourages sexual thoughts 
Avoid reading literature which describes sexual acts and have courage to stop reading it
To attend Mass together (she is also Catholic though she only attends when I'm with her)
Go to Mass and Confession as often as possible to receive the graces which come from them
Pray to the Holy Spirit that He might help us both to stay strong.

These are some of the things I feel help me keep me in touch with my faith (though I struggle every day). They may be helpful to your readers.

Thank you for sending me this, and thank you for allowing me to share it with readers. I assure you that any comments which come in that fail to show you respect will not be published.

11 comments:

  1. How I agree Father Gary. I have said that I don't have a problem with a celibate Catholic priest as, if I did not, I would equally need to say that I had a problem with any priest who was celibate. Surely if a person is celibate they have not, as you clearly state, committed sin. Equally if a priest is not homosexual then he must be heterosexual and, unless he is celibate, he is committing sin.
    The only problem I have with homosexuals is with those who push their orientation to the disadvantage of others.

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    1. Thank you, David.
      Yes, be it homosexual or heterosexual, sex outside of natural marriage is what is wrong, not the person. It is naughty for homosexual lobbyists to present the Church as saying otherwise.
      Pushing the homosexual orientation onto society for recognition as 'natural' when it is clearly a misdirection of the procreative faculty, is to engage in the building of a social construct; the male/female relationship is biologically and psychologically complimentary and establishes equality of the sexes via interdependence.
      I am very grateful to this lady for allowing us to hear her story and learn from her safety mechanisms.
      God Bless you and yours.

      Delete
    2. Just to clarify, Father. What I should have said, as you seem to realise, is that "I don't have a problem with a celibate priest who is homosexual" as, if I did, I would equally need to say that I had a problem with any priest who is celibate". Of course the point I was making (which again you understood) was that unless a heterosexual priest is celibate his sin would be as great as a homosexual priest not being celibate.
      Sorry for any misunderstanding

      Delete
  2. What constitutes an act in two teaching of the Church when it speaks of homosexuality? Is it only anal sex?

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    1. Thank you, Frank.
      Homosexuality is the orientation of being attracted to members of the same sex; it is only homosexual acts that are rejected, and these include all kinds of genital and penetrative acts.
      God Bless.

      Delete
  3. Father thank you for this post and thank you to the lady who allowed her writing to be used. I found this most helpful I pray for her continues strength to keep strong in the faith God Bless

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    1. Thank you, SallyAnne.
      God bless

      Delete
  4. Melissa Witten1 May 2014 23:02

    Yeah but be honest Father, this lady's account is totally fictitious, entirely fabricated to support your arguments.

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    1. Melissa,
      Thank you, but I do wish you had simply asked if this was fictitious instead of presuming it to be. Your assumption does this lady an injustice in the battle she is undertaking to live by The Faith, and may be quite wounding to her, for which reason I almost did not publish your comment. However, she is an educated young lady who I am sure will understand that accounts of SA persons seeking to live by the Faith are so uncommon that they will will be seen as fictitious in today's society, so your comment is welcome.
      God Bless.

      Delete
  5. In “A Homosexual Pastoral Problem” (2 July 2012) you had a conversation with the son of a devout Catholic parent.

    “Thus began a discussion of the meaning of authentic sex as opposed to sexual acts; on Truth and subjective ‘truth’, and on what Jesus really meant when He said ‘Do not judge’. In my most mild tone of voice I explained that the person is not judged, but the act must be -and for the sake of the person’s union with God. He then asked, “So if the Church says only the act is wrong, does that mean I can have a relationship as long as I don’t have sex?” Strictly speaking the answer is yes, which I gave. But his next question was more difficult: “So can we share a home if we don’t have sex?” This answer is, as I explained, a qualified yes since it puts one in a situation where sin is all but facilitated, could cause scandal, and would require heroic virtue. “Yes, but it’s possible isn’t it? And I could still go to Communion.” I had to answer, “With the grace of God, yes it’s possible, but not ideal: it’s like putting a kleptomaniac in a shop all alone –can you tell me nothing is going to happen? I have to remind you it takes heroic virtue, and while you might think you can do it sitting here, the reality of it might be very hard”. Sadly I believe he left holding onto, “I can have a relationship and even share a life with someone as long as there is no sex”, not with an understanding of homosexuality”

    In the present case of this young woman and her friend who “[s]leep in separate rooms if my friend is in my home, or separate beds if we are elsewhere” why aren’t you giving her the same pastoral advice about “a situation,” “not ideal,” “scandal,” “heroic virtue” and “a kleptomaniac in a shop all alone?”

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    Replies
    1. Dain,
      I am not giving the advice because I was not asked for it on this occasion. The lady who wrote the email has been advised by a priest elsewhere and emailed me out of the goodness of her heart so as to help other homosexual people find ways and means of living with their sexuality and their faith as successfully as she is managing to do. Had she asked me I would have been advising separate rooms at all times so as to avoid the near occasions of sin.
      Can I say that your comments are more in the line of extended debate, and if you want to discuss this issue and have all your questions responded to by me, you might want to try using the email address on my profile page. I doubt I will satisfy you with my responses, but I am willing to try.
      God Bless.

      Delete

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