Thursday

"Should the Church welcome homosexual Catholics?"

By Paul Dion, STL

The Church is a huge place and in it there are a lot of places to go, a lot of things to see, a lot of ideas to think and a lot of lives to lead. The Church is like a quilt, most of the pieces are about the same shape and size, but they are often of different texture and different color.

The Church claims Unity as one of its marks. It is a mystery how God manages this Unity. How does God keep track of the different kinds of monks and nuns that make up the praying and missionary Church ? How does God manage all the publishing houses that claim to have the best method for teaching this and that about our Doctrine?

There are so many ways to express the Unity of the Church. There are round churches, square churches, wooden churches and stone churches. There are churches with schools and churches without schools. There are priests who are strict, and there are priests who are not. There are Catholics who participate in the liturgy every day; Catholics who only go once per week.

Some participate in the Mass on Wednesday because that's their only day off. Some only come to the front of the church and socialize all morning long, have a cup or two of coffee with a couple of donuts and go home happy because they went to church. I don't have to belabor the point. You get my drift.

Now there are also Catholics who have some much deeper differences than just their style of dress, their ministry or their pattern of attendance at Mass. There are Catholics who differ from one another by their sexual orientation. I don't mean their sex (male or female) but the orientation that dictates how human beings express intimate relationships between themselves.

There are some who are oriented toward the "opposite" sex and some who are oriented to the "same" sex. They are both Catholic. They are both baptized. They are both held to the same moral discipline. They both have the right to come to the same sacraments.

Given all that is said above, we have all experienced the behavior of Catholics toward those of different convictions. Some like to stand all during the Mass; some talk in tongues when they spiritualize their prayer; some lay hands on one another to pray for healing. And for every one of these groups, Catholics have another group who looks across the room with disdain at these weird people who dare call themselves Catholics.

So we have the case of the way the heterosexual (straight) Catholic treats the homosexual (gay) Catholic. We also have the Church as a whole which seems to be uncomfortable in reaching out with all its Spirit given grace to the homosexual Catholic.

The Burning Question is, "Should the Catholic Church welcome the Catholic with homosexual orientation?" Would this or would this not enrich the deposit of grace of the Church? Would this or would this not enrich the Communion of Saints?

Let's discuss this for a while and then we will summarize what we have and apply what the Church has to say about it to the discussion.

Let us know what you think. Post a comment

14 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:54 PM

    My friend is homosexual and is very active in his parish. He is a very devout Catholic. I can not tell what is in his heart but Jesus welcomed all people to the Temple. And Jesus showed that he loved everyone, specially the oppressed and underprivileged. Yes the Church need to welcome homosexual people.

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  2. My Neighbor is Gay10:58 PM

    Being a homosexual is not a sin. Committing acts prohibited by God is what makes it a sin. I guess in answer to your burning question, we should welcome gay people to the Church. Are they sinners? Only God can judge them. Let's leave it up to him.

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  3. Anonymous11:02 PM

    Pope Benedict said this week that the Church is absolutely against gay marriage. Can you explain how he can say this and at the same time make gay people feel they are welcome in the Church? Can someone explain please?

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  4. I hear "love the sinner, hate the sin" a lot... That has some problems theologically... Let's keep this rather simple:

    A person who desires to steal a diamond ring, and doesnt, is not a thief. Likewise, a person with "same-sex attraction" and does not participate in the sexual acts, is not a homosexual.

    The person with a "same-sex" attraction is called to a life of chastity and celibacy, unless he or she can participate in corrective therapy.

    Homosexuality is a sin, because it is defined as one with a "same-sex sexuality", which implies a sexual lifestyle.

    So, those struggling with "same-sex attraction" are welcome to the church, and even formerely practicing homosexuals. But we cannot affirm people in their sins.

    Jesus said to the adulteress, "Neither do I condemn you... Now, go and sin no more"

    A few years ago the Vatican came out with a document on the pastoral care of homosexuals. I think they define the term differently than I do.

    My definition is based on the book I read "Defending A Higher Law: Why we must Resist Same Sex Marriage" by the TFP.

    AMDG,
    Laurence

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  5. Anonymous8:42 AM

    Having homosexual tendencies is not a sin, however being a practicing(one who willfully engages in physical intimate sexual acts with someone of the same sex) is a sin, which means that person is spiritually unpure. We are all called to love the sinner as Christ did and to challenge them to sin no more. If they openly chose to continue to engage with their sinful ways and continue to receive Eucharist they condem their own souls. Knowing this Our challenge is to continue to love them and to pray for a conversion from sin. Free will has a price tag! God's price tag.

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  6. Rob Leanza9:22 AM

    Judging from events in the Bible, it appears that God has some sort of rub with gay sexuality. I believe the press and even our Church seem to be not only accepting, but promoting gay sexuality as an acceptable "orientation". I believe this orientation to be an active decision - not some sort of innate behavior that is beyond our control, as so many would like to characterize it. Having said all of this, I also believe that Jesus would love and embrace each of us - no matter what our sin as long as we are penitent and accept Him as our Lord and Savior. It is NOT in any of our individual places to judge another. We can have opinions on whether a behavior is acceptable, but we do NOT have the right to judge someone else. I DO believe homosexuality to be a sin - but God is capable of anything, so the relationship to salvation is between the gay person and God. Our Church is here to help facilitate the path to heaven - not to judge.

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  7. The thing I love most about our Church is that it is CATHOLIC which means that anyone is welcome to pray with us, even tax collectors, prostitutes, etc. the very same people that Jesus welcomes. The Pharisees did not think that they should be welcomed and would not welcome the homosexual either. I think that the person who has no sins can throw the first stone. Norm

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  8. Evelyn11:14 AM

    My 8 yrs old boy, have a type of syndrome (that occurs 1 in every 500 boys)where the chromosomes in his body are xxy.That means that he likes a lots of things that girls like.
    He goes to R.E. classes and mass on Sunday.The Church is what I have to reinforce my believes and the princilpes I teach my boy.
    I thin the Church should welcome homosexuals, because God created us all, and His love have no preferences.

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  9. "Deep-seated homosexual tendencies, which are found in a number of men and women, are also objectively disordered and, for those same people, often constitute a trial. Such persons must be accepted with respect and sensitivity.
    Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. They are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may
    encounter"
    (CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION Instruction)

    Homosexuality is not a sin. Homosexual activity is a sin.
    It is possible for a person to be a homosexual and not indulge in sexual activity. There is no clear, official,last-word Church definition of homosexuality.

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  10. Anonymous1:11 PM

    Yes! Please be friendly to those rejected by society and many Catholics!

    I live in a very "don't ask, don't tell" Catholic world. I have many friends in my parish, and I must wonder if they suspect anything about a happy 37-year-old never-married guy. I get a lot of "Anyone in your life?" or "Why aren't you married?" questions. Am I living a lie?

    I have kept this secret my entire life since childhood, and believe me it is not a choice, and I was not molested ever, and my parents are very loving, and my mom was not domineering or those other hypothesis that people have. Honestly I think it must have something to do with hormones while in the womb, or some genetic trait. It has been a great trial for many years, but we all have a cross to bear in this life.

    I have to hide in my house most of the time to avoid the temptation of meeting someone like me and falling in love. Once in a while I meet someone like me, and we both figure out who we are, but I shy away so to not fall into sin. The other person is often hurt by my rejection. Is that love?

    I do volunteer work to make my life worth while, and I spend time with my loving parents, sisters, nephews and nieces, but I am afraid I will never have a family of my own, but that is okay. There are non-gay people that cannot have children, and several really sweet single people I know that never found a spouse, and of course our celibate priests, sisters and brothers. We are all children of God.

    My close companions are God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, my Guardian Angel, and the Saints. If I can get to daily mass or at least read the daily gospel, I find that I can avoid temptation easier, and I feel complete.

    I would like to share my secret, but there are so many conservative, narrow-minded, judgmental friends that do not try to see things as God sees. They do not even accept liberal Catholics, so why would they accept a gay one? I also would never touch or hurt a child, but so many people think gay people would do that, when it is a different kind of problem.

    God created me for a purpose. I am very smart and creative, and I try to help people as much as I can. After much thought I think my purpose is to bring God's joy to others, and I have been told that is something I have done.

    Wish I did not have to live in the closet, but I accept the fact that many in our church are simple sheep, and would never understand someone as complex as me. Peace to all that are going through a similar hidden struggle in their lives! God will reward you in heaven someday.

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  11. Anonymous9:47 PM

    The church should welcome homosexual Catholics. We are all united as Children of God. HE fairly loves us, whatever and whoever we are. Being a homosexual is not a sin and is not even by choice. It is a given life by God and it is beyond their control. We have no right to judge them. As loving and forgiving as He is, God does not discriminate nor judge anyone who comes to His temple. On the contrary, the gay marriage should be a different issue. And it may be a good next burning question as, "Should the Church welcome gay marriage?"

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  12. Anonymous7:37 PM

    After having read all that this particular article had to say about the diversity of callings within the Catholic church I must comment on the fact that my first born, and only son is homosexual. He has been "different" his entire life. I couldn't ask for a more obedient, loving, compassionate son, faithful friend, and brother to my three daughters. He was baptised, made his First Communion, and Confirmation in the Church. He served his country faithfully for ten years in the U.S.Navy, and he made a pilgimage to Rome. Unfortunately he is a practicing homosexual, and therein lies the sin. Were he celebate, went to confession, and received communion all would be well, but such is not the case. I pray for him everyday, and trust in God's forgiveness, and mercy towards him and all homosexuals. He does not, however believe in gay marriage. Our mission should be to pray for God to change their hearts, have mercy on their souls, and lead them back into the Church.

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  13. To the question of "Why is the church against Homosexual Marriage?"
    It is important to remember that the sacrament of matrimony is essentially oriented to the preservation of the human race by providing the foundational unit of such, the family. Since homosexual unions to not have the possibility of reproducing other human beings, the sacrament of matrimony cannot exist in a homosexual household.
    Finally, as sexually oriented as our society is, it does appear that the majority of humans relate to the natural law about marriage, that it is by definition an heterosexual union. That is the reason why there are so few states and so few countries that produce legal changes in their outlook on marriage.

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  14. I am gay, Catholic and Jesuit wannabe - so its pains me that the Church keeps on insisting that homosexuality is a disordered orientation. But I am extremely happy that the Church is able to differentiate acts and orientation making it possible for Catholics to continue practicing their faith. In the end, the call to holiness is universal - even to homosexuals.

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