Lesbian/gay community in church?


#1

What am I supposed to think about this?
This is taken from a local catholic churches weekly news letter........

Lesbian/Gay Community – We are exploring the possibility of a Lesbian/Gay Community here at _. In hopes of gauging interest & availability there will be an information meeting on ____. Please come with questions, ideas and any suggestions. All are welcome (all ages, all orientations, all friends). Refreshments will be provided. RSVP to ___ at ________. Even if you cannot attend the meeting but are interested in participating drop _ a line and share your thoughts.

I would be more interested in understanding what the teaching on this is as opposed to
any personal feelings.


#2

[quote="jonobr, post:1, topic:214887"]
What am I supposed to think about this?
This is taken from a local catholic churches weekly news letter........

I would be more interested in understanding what the teaching on this is as opposed to
any personal feelings.

[/quote]

If it's about accepting them and their lifestyle, then it's hardly Catholic!

But, if it's about helping them to deal with SSA and what it means for their lives, that's another matter.


#3

[quote="Alexander_Smith, post:2, topic:214887"]
If it's about accepting them and their lifestyle, then it's hardly Catholic!

But, if it's about helping them to deal with SSA and what it means for their lives, that's another matter.

[/quote]

I agree. This might be an okay idea if the purpose is to help gays and lesbians cope with their disordered urges in light of Catholic teaching. However, there are plenty of very liberal parishes out there that might actually want to promote the gay lifestyle in the name of tolerance and acceptance. If that's the case, I would definitely start looking for another parish!


#4

"Catholic" comes from the Greek word "Katholikos", meaning "Universal". All are welcome, none should be turned away. The Church should have a lesbian/gay community that helps them deal with their daily struggles. It should be akin to a Youth Group---welcoming, speaking about struggles unique to those in the group, developing friendships, and discussing how to deny sin and temptation in favor of God.

[quote="Charlotte1776, post:3, topic:214887"]
cope with their disordered urges

[/quote]

You should be more careful about the terms you use. If you were to say this to a gay person, they'd no doubt be offended and turned away from the Church.

Their urges are crosses which Christ gave them to bear. We all have been given crosses. For some, it's dealing with gluttony. For others, it's dealing with lust (I'm guilty of this one the most). For them, it's dealing with same-sex attraction. All of these are "disordered urges". All are daily struggles of the flesh we must all overcome.

So by saying "their" disordered urge as if someone with SSA was born with an extreme defect is to ignore the non-SSA-related sins we fight in our own lives, which are also "disordered urges".

I don't know, just something about that terminology makes it sound like you meant it this way. If I'm wrong, I'm sorry.


#5

Forward the newsletter to your Bishops office to ensure he is on board with this activity and is not surprised.


#6

It is hardly reasonable to expect that a Catholic with SSA is going to cope with that in isolation. Someone is looking into whether a group is feasible in their parish. If you have concerns, ask the pastor. He would know what the people doing the survey have in mind.


#7

[quote="MarianD, post:4, topic:214887"]

You should be more careful about the terms you use. If you were to say this to a gay person, they'd no doubt be offended and turned away from the Church.

[/quote]

Charlotte is just using terminology that is consistent with Catholic teaching and the CCC. Homosexual inclinations are disordered. There is nothing in this statement that excludes other disorders.


#8

[quote="jonobr, post:1, topic:214887"]
What am I supposed to think about this?
This is taken from a local catholic churches weekly news letter........

I would be more interested in understanding what the teaching on this is as opposed to
any personal feelings.

[/quote]

Here's the first question that occurs to me: is this 'community' an initiative directly linked to the church, or run by the local parish? Or is it non-Catholic?

Of course, if it is in any way associated with the Catholic Church, I would think the conveners would be obliged to make clear the Church's moral teachings on homosexuality.

If the 'community' is purely a fraternal one, for the members to encourage one another in living a chaste life, then I can think of no reason why it wouldn't be perfectly acceptable for the Church.


#9

The Church, all the way up to BXVI and down again, has made it absolutely clear that homosexual people are our brothers and sisters and are to be cherished as anyone else.

I'm sure this group of Catholics doesn't need to be told ONE MORE TIME that both their orientation and the "gay lifestyle" are considered "disordered" by the Church -- I'm positive each and every one knows it already, unless they've lived in complete isolation the last 20 years.

Why is the formation of a group of gay parishioners so concerning that you even bring this up?

Do we want them to be Catholic? Apparently we do -- or at least, apparently someone in Rome does. In fact, if they are members of or visitors to the parish, we can assume it's through Jesus' grace that they are present.

Do we know what each of them does in the privacy of their bedrooms? No we don't.

Is it possible that these gay Catholics are strugging to conform to the Church's stance on their "disordered" urges? It certainly is.

Are we so sure they are NOT living the celibate life all single people are called to? No we aren't, and neither do we have any reason to "shun" any of them at any time.

Do we know the state of their souls in God's eyes any more than we know anyone else's, including our own? No we don't.

Do they have a right to form a parish prayer/worship/support/social/Scripture or knitting group to share their unique and burdensome situation and to experience Catholic Christian fellowship? And if the answer is no, then why not?

Over and over and over I read on these boards, "love the sinner, hate the sin..." Well, we're ALL sinners, and here's a chance to treat our gay brothers and sisters with the respect and kindness that Rome advises -- and with the love that Jesus commands.


#10

To all , thanks for your posts,
I put this up to learn something, which I most certainly did.

challam2010
A word on internet etiquette,
when you use your caps, your shouting at people.
I dont know you , or anything about you,
I value your opinion and your wisdom, but not your tone.

Everytime I visit these forums i do to try and learn,
however, sometimes when I see the reponses they invoke, I wonder why I bother........


#11

Most of these groups seem to be empowering meetings for them and a bit like a singles group. Unfortunately our diocese supports this, contrary to Catholic teaching of course. A poster was right that they do not want to be called disordered or learn why homosexual actions are evil. They are seeking acceptance of that lifestyle choice. They could create or join a chastity group otherwise. If they already identify themselves as homosexual and not having homosexual inclinations they have taken on an unchangeable identify similar to a race. As in it is something visible that they are and something they must be and act on as a definition of themselves. If they believe this and wish to identify it as a homosexual/lesbian group they are not seeking forgiveness and knowledge of our Lord and the teachings of the Church, but are saying, "We're here, we're ....."


#12

I think before we accept anybodys lifestyle that god says is wrong, we find out wether or not they are BORN that way. I feel terribly sorry for the gays (if they're born that way) that they're not able to fall in love and be physically connected to that person. However I don't think god would be so cruel as to have somebody born gay and then tell them that its an abomination to act on their love with another person. Something about it just doesn't add up. Because I don't think god would mess with somebody like that. However science is now showing that people are probably born gay due to all the studies we have found. So who knows. If they are born gay, then ANY church needs to accept it and accept who they are. If they're not born gay, then we need to try to help them overcome this wrong lifestyle. But if they are born gay, then think of it like a colored person. They can't help that they were born that way, and it would be very painful for a person to hear that they have to be chaste all their life just because they were born in a way god would consider an abomination. Anybodys opinions? Who here thinks people can be born gay?


#13

[quote="challam2010, post:9, topic:214887"]
Over and over and over I read on these boards, "love the sinner, hate the sin..." Well, we're ALL sinners, and here's a chance to treat our gay brothers and sisters with the respect and kindness that Rome advises -- and with the love that Jesus commands.

[/quote]

Dear Challam,

I vaguely recall a saying along the lines of 'it's more important to be right than to be simply correct'.
It is true that homosexuality is no worse than any other kind of sexual sin. Note, I say 'sexual sin' rather than any 'any kind of sin', because Scripture specifies that 'sins against the body' are by nature graver than other kinds of sin.
However, when I hear this argument that 'homosexuality is no worse than...', it more often feels like the arguer is trying to 'excuse' homosexuality than that he is trying to convict his entire audience of their sinful nature.


#14

[quote="challam2010, post:9, topic:214887"]
The Church, all the way up to BXVI and down again, has made it absolutely clear that homosexual people are our brothers and sisters and are to be cherished as anyone else.

I'm sure this group of Catholics doesn't need to be told ONE MORE TIME that both their orientation and the "gay lifestyle" are considered "disordered" by the Church -- I'm positive each and every one knows it already, unless they've lived in complete isolation the last 20 years.

Why is the formation of a group of gay parishioners so concerning that you even bring this up?

Do we want them to be Catholic? Apparently we do -- or at least, apparently someone in Rome does. In fact, if they are members of or visitors to the parish, we can assume it's through Jesus' grace that they are present.

Do we know what each of them does in the privacy of their bedrooms? No we don't.

Is it possible that these gay Catholics are strugging to conform to the Church's stance on their "disordered" urges? It certainly is.

Are we so sure they are NOT living the celibate life all single people are called to? No we aren't, and neither do we have any reason to "shun" any of them at any time.

Do we know the state of their souls in God's eyes any more than we know anyone else's, including our own? No we don't.

Do they have a right to form a parish prayer/worship/support/social/Scripture or knitting group to share their unique and burdensome situation and to experience Catholic Christian fellowship? And if the answer is no, then why not?

Over and over and over I read on these boards, "love the sinner, hate the sin..." Well, we're ALL sinners, and here's a chance to treat our gay brothers and sisters with the respect and kindness that Rome advises -- and with the love that Jesus commands.

[/quote]

:amen:

Yay that a parish would want to support and help these people in their walk with Christ.

And although it is off topic, to the poster who asked - I think many people are born gay. I don't think that makes it OK for them to live a gay lifestyle. But I do think they need our prayers & compassion. What a heavy cross to bear.


#15

[quote="zdon011, post:13, topic:214887"]
Dear Challam,

I vaguely recall a saying along the lines of 'it's more important to be right than to be simply correct'.
It is true that homosexuality is no worse than any other kind of sexual sin. Note, I say 'sexual sin' rather than any 'any kind of sin', because Scripture specifies that 'sins against the body' are by nature graver than other kinds of sin.
However, when I hear this argument that 'homosexuality is no worse than...', it more often feels like the arguer is trying to 'excuse' homosexuality than that he is trying to convict his entire audience of their sinful nature.

[/quote]

I wasn't going to add to this thread, but you are quite wrong about how sinful homosexual acts are. SSA is not a sin unless acted upon, but ANY homosexual act is a thoroughly disordered act, and is by far worse than most any other kind of sexual sin. Fornication, adultery, masturbation, these are all things that average human beings struggle with. They are repugnant, and morally evil, but they are not at all unnatural the way homosexual acts are.

Fornication, adultery, and masturbation stem from lust. A desire for sexual pleasure outside of proper context, and by itself.

Homosexual acts also stem from lust, but they are entirely unnatural as they come from a desire not just for sexual pleasure, but for sexual pleasure with members of the same sex.

Now, Same Sex Attraction on the other hand, is the attraction (not necessarily sexual) for members of the same sex. There are people afflicted with this, and those that have not allowed it to become true homosexuality should be commended for their bravery.

Those that are true homosexuals should be shown that their lifestyle is not healthy or pure, and they should be reminded that the Church only views their acts as unnatural, not the people themselves, just as much as people with Downs Syndrome are not unnatural. They are hampered to a certain extent, but they are human beings with souls just like the rest of us.


#16

[quote="zdon011, post:13, topic:214887"]

It is true that homosexuality is no worse than any other kind of sexual sin. Note, I say 'sexual sin' rather than any 'any kind of sin', because Scripture specifies that 'sins against the body' are by nature graver than other kinds of sin.
However, when I hear this argument that 'homosexuality is no worse than...', it more often feels like the arguer is trying to 'excuse' homosexuality than that he is trying to convict his entire audience of their sinful nature.

[/quote]

This is so true. While it is true that God does love us while we are still sinners, He also calls us to repentance. Most other people tend to quietly strive to overcome their sins - why do gays request the church to condone their actions and seek to flout a lifestyle of sin which is contrary to the teachings of the God and His church? (yes, the CCC does say homosexuality is disordered)

I think of this analogy: Let's say I am a born alcoholic - I've drank alcoholically since the third grade and from the moment it touched my lips. God's word says drunks will not inherit the kingdom. We then learn that God gives grace to overcome drinking - it does not give me an excuse to wallow in drunkenness saying "I've drunk alcoholically since I first picked it up. God made me mentally and bodily different than others. I will stay in my natural tendency toward drunkenness and insist that the church stop condemning my drunken state as a sin." Isn't this really saying that it's God's fault I'm like this? We can use this rationalization for any sin - after all, He made us born into this body of flesh. :rolleyes:

We should help them remember God's laws, and His mercy, compassion and forgiveness when we fail to live up to them. Someone mentioned it is a difficult cross to bear - crosses do bring us closer to God to display His might and glory.

Here is an interesting clip about this very topic.


#17

[quote="Alexander_Smith, post:15, topic:214887"]
I wasn't going to add to this thread, but you are quite wrong about how sinful homosexual acts are. SSA is not a sin unless acted upon, but ANY homosexual act is a thoroughly disordered act, and is by far worse than most any other kind of sexual sin. .

[/quote]

Regarding it being worse than any other kind of sexual sin.. is it worse than adults having sex with children? Is it worse than rape? It it worse than bestiality? Is it worse than married couples who routinely get together to "swing" (have sex with each other - sometimes as groups)

Where is this list of of sexual sins with consensual homosexual sex listed as by far the worst?


#18

[quote="MagsM, post:16, topic:214887"]

I think of this analogy: Let's say I am a born alcoholic - I've drank alcoholically since the third grade and from the moment it touched my lips. God's word says drunks will not inherit the kingdom. We then learn that God gives grace to overcome drinking - it does not give me an excuse to wallow in drunkenness saying "I've drunk alcoholically since I first picked it up. God made me mentally and bodily different than others. I will stay in my natural tendency toward drunkenness and insist that the church stop condemning my drunken state as a sin." Isn't this really saying that it's God's fault I'm like this? We can use this rationalization for any sin - after all, He made us born into this body of flesh. :rolleyes: /QUOTE]

So, if you're relating homosexuality to alcoholism, would you be opposed to a group of alcoholics meeting in a parish setting?

Is there a negative reaction to a group serving single heterosexual Catholic men and women? But... heaven help us... what if they are not actually living a chaste single life? Bar the doors!

Every time I read one of these anti-homosexual threads on CAF it makes me just a little crazy. Pope Benedict has spoken out more than once -- here, for instance:

[Homosexuals]*'must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided'. They are called, like other Christians, to live the virtue of chastity. The homosexual inclination is however 'objectively disordered' and homosexual practices are 'sins gravely contrary to chastity'.
*

As I stated in my first post, we don't and can't know the state of anyone's soul.

We don't know if the gay people who may be asking to form a parish group are engaged in an active sexual life or not. Even if two people of the same sex share the same address, we don't know that they are not just roommates. (The same way that two hetersexual people of opposite sex can be just roommates -- it happens, it's possible. Chastity and celibacy depend on the commitment to the state and are not necessarily endangered by propinquity.)

Do you know if the publicly engaged couple sitting so close in the pew in front of you on Sunday do or don't have a rollicking sex life? Nope, you don't. Do you assume they are living chastely as the Church requires?

Do you assume that two people of the same sex who sit together actually are homosexual? Do you then assume they are living unchastely? That's an awful lot of assumptions for something that is really none of your business.

The state of someone's soul is between them and God alone -- or with a confessor, if he/she includes one.

Do you also assume that gay people who seek a parish fellowship group are part of the "gay agenda?" Do they have a ballot box hanging around their neck or posters in their hands -- "gay rights for all?" Or is it possible that they seek to share their journey as cross-bearing Catholic Christians with one another, leading one another closer to Christ?

Jesus made it clear during His lifetime that we are called to serve "the poor" and that what we do with, to and for "the poor" we do directly to Him.

We are all "the poor" in some way. We all live with propensities to one or another grave sin because we are human. Wouldn't it be just so ironic if the people of this century were to be judged on our charitable treatment to the "homosexual poor"?

To the poster who wants to wait to see if the homosexual state is genetic -- science has been addressing that for some years now -- years that gay people have been looked down upon, considered as less-than, treated as spiritual lepers in a Church that has been called to embrace and cherish all with respect and dignity. Here's a clue about the gene connection -- many, many gay people say they knew from early childhood (four or five years old) that they were "different" -- that they had a strong connection to their own sex. Whether or not the condition is genetic, or possibly caused by hormonal influences during gestation or later parental behaviors, it certainly isn't a choice that a five-year-old makes, or a fifteen-year-old. Google the number of recent suicides by gay teens and tell me it's a choice.

For the record, I'm not gay, I have no gay family members and no gay friends. My only interest in clearly discriminatory threads such as this on CAF is that they are so blatantly un-Christian, controverting everything Jesus asks of us along with the Church's clear direction.

Protest and march against gay marriage -- I don't believe in it either -- but don't slam the church door against those who struggle to live up to the Church's requirements and who are, by right and by grace, members of the Church. "They" are beloved sons and daughters of Christ, just as you are -- and "they" are possibly carrying a larger cross throughout their entire lifetime than you.

I pray that you will all look into your hearts and gauge your reactions to this simple parish request against the standards of who Jesus wants us to be, and whether our Church, strengthened by the blood of Jesus and martyrs, will be a Church of inclusiveness to all sinners who have been called to be here -- or exclusivity because of who they are in one aspect of their lives.

[/quote]


#19

[quote="challam2010, post:18, topic:214887"]

So, if you're relating homosexuality to alcoholism, would you be opposed to a group of alcoholics meeting in a parish setting?

[/quote]

No, I would not be opposed, as long as it was geared to recovery and abstaining, not to getting drunk, or encouraging others to lead a lifestyle of drunkenness, or telling others that it is ok to do continue in their drunkenness and that it is not sin when God's word says it is :)

...

We are all "the poor" in some way. We all live with propensities to one or another grave sin because we are human.

....
I pray that you will all look into your hearts and gauge your reactions to this simple parish request against the standards of who Jesus wants us to be, and whether our Church, strengthened by the blood of Jesus and martyrs, will be a Church of inclusiveness to all sinners who have been called to be here -- or exclusivity because of who they are in one aspect of their lives.

I appreciate your spirit of mercy and humiilty Challam, it is refreshing. We are poor sinners indeed, and God's mercy is very humbling. We are to extend that mercy to others for sure. But His mercy does not give an excuse to continue in sin, much less convince others that it is not sin when it is. It may lead others to fall into the same ditch at the expense of their souls. Apostle Paul says it best in Rom 6:1-2 "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid."

I completely agree with you in that we should not shun or condemn those who are struggling with abstaining and fall. We should encourage them to confess it as sin and keep abstaining, no matter how hard it is. Pretty much the same as we would encourage a recovering alcoholic to keep abstaining even after he picks up a drink. But to continue the analogy, if the alcoholic does not want to quit then let them drink, but do it elsewhere so that he does not corrupt the rest. I think again of Apostle Paul when he says to hand over a unrepentant sinner to satan for destruction of the sin nature so that the man's soul would be saved in the long run. (1 Cor 5:5) When the drinker finally becomes ready to stop (repents) welcome him back and encourage him. Of course remind him of God's mercy and love. I think of 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

God is an awesome God, but I need always remember that He is holy, He is king, and He sets the rules, not me. I am to conform myself to His Son's image, not the other way around :)


#20

[quote="jonobr, post:1, topic:214887"]
What am I supposed to think about this?
This is taken from a local catholic churches weekly news letter........

Lesbian/Gay Community – We are exploring the possibility of a Lesbian/Gay Community here at _. In hopes of gauging interest & availability there will be an information meeting on ____. Please come with questions, ideas and any suggestions. All are welcome (all ages, all orientations, all friends). Refreshments will be provided. RSVP to ___ at ________. Even if you cannot attend the meeting but are interested in participating drop _ a line and share your thoughts.

I would be more interested in understanding what the teaching on this is as opposed to
any personal feelings.

[/quote]

Just my two cents: If, as some have suggested, it's merely a support group to help them deal with SSA and live in chastity, that's great. However, nothing in the wording of the announcement implies that it's just a "chastity support group." Perhaps you could contact whoever is in charge of this group and find out what their purpose is. Obviously, if the group condones a homosexual lifestyle, then that is against Church teachings; and those in charge of the group should be confronted about it.


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