Being homosexual, celibate, but still having a partner


#1

Hello everyone,
I am a 24 year-old lesbian and a recent convert to the faith. Deciding to become Catholic was a difficult and wonderful process (falling in love with the Faith but also realizing I had to let go of my sexuality). Ironically the person who introduced me to Catholicism was the lesbian woman I was falling in love with. We both new that we had a choice: continue to be sexually active with one another, or commit to and follow the teachings of the Church. As hard as it is to give up the desires of the flesh, we knew by reason and faith that our only choice was to follow God through the Church's teaching. We have both been celibate for roughly a year. We have also been living together as companions (partners if you will). I believe this may be a rare phenomenon and this situation is not something that has been addressed by any church leaders to the best of my knowledge. I did however speak to a nun who said that although we are not committing a mortal sin by living together and loving one another, we may be putting ourselves into an "occasion of sin," meaning we could easily be tempted into sin by our situation. The thing is, I think it would be more of an occasion for sin if I did not have this woman as my partner because she constantly supports me and encourages me to resist sin. If I were alone I would be much more likely to be impure. Plus, like many people I need to be close to someone in a relationship of love, trust, and commitment. I am wondering what other thoughtful Catholics think and feel about this. Please share any comments you might have or questions. God Bless!
p.s. I have two beautiful baby morning doves that have just hatched in a nest on my porch! Cool.


#2

Welcome to the Catholic Church.

It sounds to me like you have found a good friend. :slight_smile: Maybe instead of refering to her as your partner, you could call her your best friend. One thing that saddens me about homosexual attractions is that they add an element of sexuality that complicates same sex friendships. Friendships between people of the same sex are wonderful! I have been blessed with good female friends (I’m female) and know several godly women. We provide help and support for each other to become better people.

I do get the point about what the sister told you regarding the occassion of sin, but I also understand your point of finding support from this person. I’m not you or her, so I can’t really determine which situation puts you (or her) at greater risk. In either case, may God bless both of you and give you strength.


#3

1st half - not interested to know your preferences. 2nd half - may God bless you on your journey.


#4

This is my personal opinion, based on my own experience of living as roommates with someone I was attracted to. It was EXTREMELY difficult for me. We had been friends a long time, he knew I was attracted to him, and fortunately it was not a mutual thing because if it had been, I have no doubt that it would have ended up being a sexual relationship. That said, perhaps I am not as strong as you are. I have tremendous respect for you, for trying to live by the churches teaching on chastity. But I can only think of what might happen if one of you were to find yourself being particularly vulnerable...a comforting hug lasts just a little too long....one thing leads to another... I just think that maybe you're playing with fire by living together. Sorry, probably not what you wanted to hear, but you did ask for our opinions. :o


#5

Actually, the concept of living together but not sexually has been addressed by church leaders for some time. However, it was first phrased in relation to man and wife one or both of whom has/have been divorced and thus the 2nd marriage is not valid until an annulment has been approved or the living spouse of the divorced partner has passed away, leaving the marriage open to be blessed. In that arrangment, the term “living like brother and sister” has been used by Church leaders.

The Sister is correct in advising that “the near occassion of sin” is what we promise to avoid in the confessional when we pray our Act of Contrition. So, you are indeed walking a fine line between supporting each other’s faith and at the same time not tempting each other with nearness given your relationship.

You each have the opportunity to offer “your prayers and sufferings” to God in a great way, that will be pleasing to HIM because your suffering will be great to avoid the temptation of the sin. If you can remain celibate you might be the “image” and “example” that could lead other lesbian and gay couples to GOD, through supporting non-sexual relationships.

I will pray that you are strong and that you continue to put GOD first.


#6

Welcome to the faith!

One of the things I think you need to be mindful of, as others have mentioned, is not refering to this woman as your partner, as it strikes people as a sexual intimacy, unless you're both lawyers or something.

With that said, I think the graver concern is "scandal", where other people might think you two are up to shenanigans, which might not be such a big deal, unless people know you're both Catholics, they may assume you are doing somethign illicit when you live together, may be known as a Lesbian, and refer to each other as partners.

God bless you both, though, for your strength and committement. I know a few lesbians who claim to be practicising Catholics, and they make it quite clear they're practicising something else as well - which has lead to scandal about them.


#7

I would say that if you’re certain that this is the case, go for it.

I know that a lot of men with same-sex attraction can benefit tremendously from living with other men who will provide him with appropriate affection and affirmation as a man. Although same-sex attraction with men is often a lot different of a phenomena than same-sex attraction for women, the same could be true for your case.

I would recommend avoiding emotional dependency though. Be very careful if you think you are, or likely will, become emotionally dependent.


#8

It all depends,
Is your "partner" as new to the faith as you? Because if she isn't, then it would certainly be a near occasion of sin. On the other hand, if she has been Catholic for much longer than you, it's perfectly safe to live with her. There is one thing to consider: Suppose both of you were to experience a "weak moment" at the same time? From your post, it sounds like she's the one keeping the relationship pure, and if she falls, she can pull you down with her.

I'd like to thank you for knowing the truth and following it. Many lesbians know the truth, but ignore it. I have a sister that's a lesbian. I wish she saw things the same way you do.


#9

Thank you for your responses. I am glad to receive such supportive comments rather than hateful ones. There are some people who automatically assume that all homosexuals are destined for hell regardless of what their actual actions are.
This companion of mine is definitely the stronger of the two of us. She was born and raised Catholic and while she did go through a period of time when she strayed from her commitment due to the confusion caused by her sexuality, she now has a very strong resolve. I think that it is possible there could come a time when we both are weak but I really do think that we would be weak much more if we didn't have each other. I know that if I didn't have her, I would fall into impurity with myself or seek out someone at a bar or something. I am a very affectionate person and need to feel that closeness. But with her, we keep it pure and it is more based on spiritual and emotional support. Likewise she says that she also needs that, and her loneliness without me would drive her to impure actions as well. The real problem I think we face is the scandal it could cause. I think a lot of people can tell I'm homosexual by the way I dress in "tomboyish" clothing and when other Catholics see that we live together and spend so much time together, they probably assume we are sexually active. I don't want to cause scandal. I want to do what's right. I hope that more Catholics can be supportive, as many of you seem to be, and I wonder if there is a way to reassure people that we are not living in sin. But its not like you can just go around wearing a sign that says, "don't worry, I'm celibate" or that one would ever want to. It helps to remember that God's judgment is the one that matters. Again thank you for your comments.
Peace!


#10

yes this can be done. i've ben doing it with my partner-( and I call her my partner because we share a house, bills, a business, vehicles,joys, sorrows, etc. etc. etc.-) for over 3 years. After an 8 year "homosexual" relationship together.

I know God brought us together to be sisters in Christ. We got it a little confused at first, but the Holy Spirit wouldn't give up on us. And it is so amazing the way He worked in our hearts together and individually.

Our pastor also warned us about the near occasion of sin. Not much of an issue for two middle aged,perimenopausal, overworked, sleep deprived, financially stressed, women concerned with the well being of aging parents and demanding dogs.Probably sounds like many women you know who aren't "swinging from the chadeliers" !! (in spite of what many want to believe, beinng gay or lesbian isn't necessarily one continuous orgy) any way on a serious note: the occasion to sin is something to be very concerned about. Each relationship and individual is different. Also consider seriously if what isn't an issue for one might be for the other. Remember if you love someone you consider their well being as well.

Also be aware of the possibility of scandal. No not just folks being upset and gossiping. Who really cares. But scandal in the sence of someone not fully understanding your situation, having things appear to them that you are living against church teaching and still receiving the Sacraments and then potentially causing confusion and crisis of faith for that person. YES! WE ARE OUR BROTHER"S KEEEPER.

It takes a lot of work especially for those who've lived openly "out" lives. Everyone is called to build the kingdom by building relationships with other believers. We who have lived openly in sin-any sin- must take on the added responsibility of making sure our repentance and the redemptive power of God is seen in our lives so as not to cause scandal. In a way its part of our reparation for sin.

Finally, we are able to continue living together -AS SISTER's IN CHRIST- because we have the prayerful support of family, Christian friends our pastor and bishops. I don't reccomend anyone try this on their own. --More and more we are meeting "couples" who are hearing the call of the Good Shepherd and are walking away from that "life". Please pray for all like us who are up against many odds but are determined to come home.

OP, I keep you and your partner in my prayers, please remember me in the charity of yours.


#11

There is certainly nothing wrong with you two living together, as long as you do not fall back into old habits. It would be no different than two heterosexuals of the same sex living as roommates. The only difference is there may be an added temptation, something you will both have to work to fight.

I would recommend seeking a Courage group (or similar, faithfully Catholic group) which is a ministry for Catholics with same-sex attraction. Attending meetings like this may help you to keep you focused on your goals and away from temptation, as well as giving hope of success to others who may still be struggling.


#12

Not only are such relationships acceptable, IMO, but they are exactly what the Church needs to reach out to homosexuals. In my mind, those who say that this is playing with fire are mistaken. Very few would say that a straight couple awaiting the annulment of a previous marriage is courting sin by living as brother and sister. This is no different. If for some reason I found out my wife had a previous, valid marriage, I would live with her forever as brother and sister, and love every minute of it.

Congratulations, good job, and good luck!! :)


#13

It's so strange that you post this because I have a friend in a similar situation, except they're both gay men!
Their story goes like this...my one friend decided he would be celibate, and then he met this OTHER guy who had decided the same thing. They decided that living together was their best defense. Now, the main difference with them is that they are both in their 40s (I bring this up because I think this is easier for them to do in their 40s than for you in your 20s) and though they are both attractive men, I'm pretty sure neither one is the other's 'type' so the attraction to one another I don't think would be as strong as in your situation.
I'll tell you, for them, it is working out AMAZINGLY well!!
Celibacy does NOT equal loneliness. I suspect your particular situation would be tougher, given your history with this woman and your age, but it is by no means impossible.
I admire your resolve! :)


#14

This could work I think, as many here have pointed out. I think it is very important for homosexual Christians, and other single Christians, to be able to have close friendships. Without them it is all to easy to fall into loneliness, or despair, or begin to become a bit unhinged. Single people I know who have done well all have either close family relationships or close friendships.

It would be a good idea to consider what you will do if one of you finds the situation becoming difficult though.


#15

=turtlehawk13;6716431]Hello everyone,
I am a 24 year-old lesbian and a recent convert to the faith. Deciding to become Catholic was a difficult and wonderful process (falling in love with the Faith but also realizing I had to let go of my sexuality). Ironically the person who introduced me to Catholicism was the lesbian woman I was falling in love with. We both new that we had a choice: continue to be sexually active with one another, or commit to and follow the teachings of the Church. As hard as it is to give up the desires of the flesh, we knew by reason and faith that our only choice was to follow God through the Church's teaching. We have both been celibate for roughly a year. We have also been living together as companions (partners if you will). I believe this may be a rare phenomenon and this situation is not something that has been addressed by any church leaders to the best of my knowledge. I did however speak to a nun who said that although we are not committing a mortal sin by living together and loving one another, we may be putting ourselves into an "occasion of sin," meaning we could easily be tempted into sin by our situation. The thing is, I think it would be more of an occasion for sin if I did not have this woman as my partner because she constantly supports me and encourages me to resist sin. If I were alone I would be much more likely to be impure. Plus, like many people I need to be close to someone in a relationship of love, trust, and commitment. I am wondering what other thoughtful Catholics think and feel about this. Please share any comments you might have or questions. God Bless!
p.s. I have two beautiful baby morning doves that have just hatched in a nest on my porch! Cool.

WELCOME HOME!

The advice the nun gave is very solid. My gradpa used to say that "we are far less likely to find trouble if we don't look for it."

While I sincerly commend your effort wonder how long it can be sutained? It would be extremely sad to see yo both lose your faith over a relapse.

May I suggest you both give the issue much prayerful thought.

Love and prayers,


#16

Dear TurtleHawk,

I have only the greatest admiration for you dear! Your inclination tells you one thing....but your desire to please God tells you something different -- and you follow THAT!

You're instincts, in my opinion (for whatever it's worth), are "right on!" I can see the nun's argument -- it holds water, for sure. But, only the two of you can determine if the life you live together will lead you to holiness, and eventually to Heaven itself......or if it will tempt you to go the other way.

Living with the burden of homosexuality is just that.....a tremendous burden -- especially if you try to live it in a chaste and pure way. But, know that even though you are given this burden, God will flower your life with untold graces as you try to please Him, rather than your natural inclinations.

May He bless you always! And may Our Most Blessed Mother -- our supreme model of purity -- guide and protect you and your partner always!

Holy Father St. Joseph -- protect these wonderful girls from the forces of evil. :thumbsup:


#17

Thank you all for your support and prayers. It is so wonderful to connect with you and I hope that if my companion and I face trouble we can connect with some of you via this site/forum to ask for further prayers.
I want to offer up prayers for all people who struggle with homosexuality or any trial having to do with the struggle for purity. Please pray to Our Lady and St. Joseph for me and for all of us. Thank you.

Hail Mary full of grace
Blessed art thou amongst women
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


#18

Thank for giving me hope! I am a new Catholic but long-time Christian who has a sister that is a lesbian. When she first told me several years ago, the one thing that came to mind was that this put her further from Christ than ever - and I'd been praying for years for her to come to Him. These posts give me hope that there could come a day when she finds Him. For my part, I just love and pray for her.


#19

[quote="turtlehawk13, post:1, topic:200856"]
I did however speak to a nun who said that although we are not committing a mortal sin by living together and loving one another, we may be putting ourselves into an "occasion of sin," meaning we could easily be tempted into sin by our situation. The thing is, I think it would be more of an occasion for sin if I did not have this woman as my partner because she constantly supports me and encourages me to resist sin. If I were alone I would be much more likely to be impure.

[/quote]

She is correct partially. She is correct that your living together constitutes a near and voluntary occasion of sin. She is incorrect in saying that by putting yourselves into that situation you do not commit a mortal sin. If someone puts himself into a near and voluntary occasion of sin, he commits a mortal sin because he is willing to fall into mortal sin.

There are two things that are necessary for a near and voluntary occasion of sin. It must be a near occasion, that is, it must be an occasion where a person would generally fall into sin. This character of being a near occasion of sin can be general or particular. Living together with someone to whom a person is attracted (generally, with the opposite sex at all, in your case, with your former partner) is always a near occasion of sin generally. That is, it applies to everyone.

The sin also must be voluntary, that is, it is not absolutely necessary. While examining a female patient may be a near occasion of sin, a doctor must do so out of necessity, so he does not commit a sin in doing so. By continuing to live with this woman, you are putting yourself in a near and voluntary occasion of sin.

You should not spend time in private alone together or eventually you will fall back into sin. I am not saying that as a judgment against you or your personal sanctity. It just is a fact, which is why a confessor is not to absolve someone who continue to live with a person he has or is having illicit sexual conduct with. Even if he were to absolve the person, God would not forgive him because he continues to live in a near and voluntary occasion for sin.

There is a story of a very holy woman who cared for the bodies of the martyrs under the Roman Empire, treating the bodies and burying them appropriately. One day she came across a young man who was still alive, though barely breathing. She took him home to take care of him. During his illness and even as he recovered strength, they spoke continually of the things of heaven and how they could become holier and grow in their love of God. Over time, this holy friendship, on account of their voluntary occasion of sin, grew to become more and more carnal, until at last, these two saints fell into sins of impurity and finally abandoned the faith.


#20

[quote="IntegraCatholic, post:19, topic:200856"]
She is correct partially. She is correct that your living together constitutes a near and voluntary occasion of sin. She is incorrect in saying that by putting yourselves into that situation you do not commit a mortal sin. If someone puts himself into a near and voluntary occasion of sin, he commits a mortal sin because he is willing to fall into mortal sin.

There are two things that are necessary for a near and voluntary occasion of sin. It must be a near occasion, that is, it must be an occasion where a person would generally fall into sin. This character of being a near occasion of sin can be general or particular. Living together with someone to whom a person is attracted (generally, with the opposite sex at all, in your case, with your former partner) is always a near occasion of sin generally. That is, it applies to everyone.

The sin also must be voluntary, that is, it is not absolutely necessary. While examining a female patient may be a near occasion of sin, a doctor must do so out of necessity, so he does not commit a sin in doing so. By continuing to live with this woman, you are putting yourself in a near and voluntary occasion of sin.

You should not spend time in private alone together or eventually you will fall back into sin. I am not saying that as a judgment against you or your personal sanctity. It just is a fact, which is why a confessor is not to absolve someone who continue to live with a person he has or is having illicit sexual conduct with. Even if he were to absolve the person, God would not forgive him because he continues to live in a near and voluntary occasion for sin.

There is a story of a very holy woman who cared for the bodies of the martyrs under the Roman Empire, treating the bodies and burying them appropriately. One day she came across a young man who was still alive, though barely breathing. She took him home to take care of him. During his illness and even as he recovered strength, they spoke continually of the things of heaven and how they could become holier and grow in their love of God. Over time, this holy friendship, on account of their voluntary occasion of sin, grew to become more and more carnal, until at last, these two saints fell into sins of impurity and finally abandoned the faith.

[/quote]

Interesting how little faith you have in people and assumes that a person with same-sex attractions (hereafter, SSA) will be unable to control themselves. What is your solution for a person with SSA? Are you saying that people with SSA are supposed to live all by themselves and apart from any community in their own home?

IMHO, it is this kind of opinion that pushes me, a person suffering with SSA, further and further away from the Church instead of drawing near to God, Who, apparently being represented by people like this, I can't see accepting and loving me in spite of my imperfections and regardless of any desire I have for healing from SSA. Instead, this demonstrates the idea that that God doesn't trust people like me or want to heal people in my situation and that people like me have to be isolated and live a completely different and much more difficult and harsh life than the rest of the Catholic Church, pure and holy as they are.


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