Part 2: Vocations to love & relationship for faithful LGBT Christians


#1

BACKGROUND: This thread is based off a similar one, which has essentially been hijacked by off-topic and alarmist tendencies. So let me be clear: This thread assumes that LGBT Christians are dedicated to Christian moral teachings as based in the Catholic Church (and other similar traditions).

(1) Participation necessitates a sympathetic approach. If you are not gay, for example, and aren’t close to any gay people, then please have a listening ear.

(2) In this thread, assume “gay” is equivalent to “same-sex attraction.” Most people who are familiar with the term know that it doesn’t say anything one way or other about a “lifestyle.”

(3) VOCATION in this thread will be especially related to the human and Christian need for love, relationship, community, and companionship. So we’re not talking about lectors, group leaders, or other church roles — nor are we talking about secular careers. Rather…

…MAIN QUESTION:

(4) Gay Christians faithful to the church cannot have typical intimate relationships, like marriage and romance, which are often the chief outlets for human and Christian needs. So what are some Christian alternatives for LGBT people to love, have companionship, and even close intimacy, and how can our churches promote them?


Update: "Alternative Vocations" for LGBT people in the Church
What are your ideas for the LGBT person's vocation in the Church?
Update: "Alternative Vocations" for LGBT people in the Church
#2

The same as any other single person.
(Does this help?)
:slightly_smiling_face:


#3

You might have to re-phrase that in a way that answers the question.

But I understand what you’re driving at. However, that merely sets the question back one step and doesn’t really say anything. Besides, you are welcome to start a thread about single people in the church.

This thread, though, is focused on LGBT people and the particular challenges that accompany them.


#4

Close, loving, deep, devoted friendships.


#5

Father Mike in his videos, book and talks say that in some cases true friendship can be even deeper and more special than that of a physical intimate relationship. He talks about the kinds of love and the friendship kind of love can be “more” than the relationship kind of love.


#6

Great question. Family is important; obviously chastity has to be at the heart of everyone’s life, but I think that one has to realize that we have a spiritual family; Mary is our mother, all the saints our brethren and we are on a pilgrimage passing through thistemporary world on the way home. So a small change in one’s mindset can have a huge impact one’s outlook. The key is to look at life as if today is your last day on earth and there is limited time for you to do what is right.

Here is a great video that will point people with the gay problem in the right direction, especially part 2:



#7

Two aspects to contribute maybe.

  1. It was mentioned that brotherly/sisterly love can be both satisfying, uplifting and very very rewarding. My sis and I live together. All kids and spouses gone. Yet there is a real, and satisfying aspect to the reationship. There is zero sexual element.
  2. In terms of being gay as a thorn in the flesh. Most who I know can’t pray it away. However, turn the problem around. Think of how that tendency can be used in a positive light. Let’s use a different example. How about those gifted with ADD. Can it be a gift? Sure it can. You find those tasks which fit that would frustrate “normal” people. Gay? What other aspect of that condition is an advantage that “normal” people don’t have? Come on. Yes there are. What can YOU do better that those around you cant? Concentrate on those things. Integrate them into your path to Christ. You’ll find the negative aspects drop into the background when you reframe the problem that way.

Prayers,


#8

I won’t hang around, this will possibly NOT be a welcomed post - but I suggest first of all repudiate, reject, disengage from and reject the word “gay” from this thread and the whole issue of homosexually inclined persons seeking to be faithful to Christian moral truths. There is nothing “gay” about the cross of same-sex attractions - except for people trying to hide from any sense of wrongness in fulfilling those attractions. For those who want to be faithful, and heroic in self-denial and self-control, it is not “gay” at all. It is a cross, and on that cross, with Jesus, there is awaiting a deep and quiet joy in the suffering and in the one-day-at-a-time victory.

Lose the phony “gay” descriptor; it ought to be an insult to those seeking to be faithful and holy.


#9

I have to question why there needs to be a differentiation between SSA people and single people. Those who are not married are called to be chaste regardless of their sexual inclination. Why should there be a separate “vocation” for those who are SSA?

All non-married (whether never married, widowed, or divorced) are called to the same thing, chastity. Yes, I do understand single folks who are not SSA may be called to marriage at a different point in time, but there are plenty who never are.


#10

Even married people have to live chastity…


#11

https://couragerc.org is an option. I’m sure if we open up more Courage Chapters then that would be great :smiley:


#12

Just a few ideas come to mind for these folks who want commuity/companionship and maybe need ideas on finding it:

  1. Focus on their family relationships…make these as deep and intimate as possible

  2. Join a religious commuity…I think this is an excellent option for many to feel that close-knit sense of commuity, whether they feel called to a life of prayer or a life of service

  3. Develop close, intimate, brotherly friendships. Having an adult fellowship group at the parish that discusses these issues could be very helpful in welcoming those with SSA into a chaste, fruitful Catholic life. In addition, they can:

    • Start Catholic young adult groups at parishes and college campuses that cater especially to those who identify as gay. Make it a safe space that emphasizes correct teachings and chastity and long-lasting friendship

    • Start weekly home Bible study groups. Deep friendships can come from these and a small sense of community that is lacking at the large, more impersonal Mass

    • Volunteer in active minstries, like St. Vincent de Paul, soup kitchens, or in RCIA. Active, long-term work can develop into strong bonds of friendship

    • When they make friends in the community, through common interests/hobbies/work/sports teams, emphasize the value of these friendships and work on cherishing them but not compromising on the call to chastity

I don’t know if any of that is helpful or relevant…just my thoughts after reading the OP.


#13

You don’t seem to understand language.

When people use “gay” today, they are not saying “I’m happy!” – at least not the context that this thread is speaking to. So your point is kind of ridiculous.


#14

Ok, I should have said celibate.


#15

I don’t want to have to deal with the “gay vs single people” over AND over again, so let me say a few things:

— (1) If anyone has issue with this being focused on LGBT people, fine. No need to tell me. Start your own thread if you wish to help foster the single life in general in the church.

— (2) Now, if you remain adamant that there should not be differentiation, fine: Let’s hear your ideas for all single people. For often the people who complain don’t have much to say, anyways, other than “remain celibate.” See above, for example. Not much beyond:

All non-married (whether never married, widowed, or divorced) are called to the same thing, chastity.

:roll_eyes: :roll_eyes: Did this person even read the OP?

— (3) However, there is good reason to focus on LGBT people. Because whether you like it or not, these people often have shared experiences and struggles that are peculiar to them. Sure, they overlap with SOME struggles other single people have. BUT THIS IS NOT THAT THREAD.

Gay people, for example, need to be able to discuss and encourage each other in the Christian life. And I can tell you that, as a gay person, it is VERY difficult to talk to other gay people about life in the Catholic Church because — GUESS WHAT — there’s not much direction other than “don’t get married, don’t have sex, be celibate, don’t become a priest.”

Gay people often find support in other LGBT people. But what is lacking there is often a genuinely Catholic presence. There is no path for them other than celibacy. But this simply DOES not address their questions and needs: Tell a 20-year-old gay kid that he can’t love the man he’s fallen in love with; he can’t ever act out on his sexual desires; he can never get married; and see how much he’ll be open to Catholicism. If that’s all you got, good luck.

— (4) If you’re still not convinced, at least have an open ear from a fellow Catholic who happens to be gay. I am gay, I am Catholic, and I started this thread out of real concern. The fact that I take time to go on a Catholic forum, which is often hostile to all things LGBT, should tell you that I am being honest, sincere, and wanting direction and dialogue.


#16

Yes, all of these are helpful.

Intimate (close, committed) friendships are particularly needed today. Eve Tushnet points out how the Bible offers models of same-sex love (not sexual of course). But these examples are often not expressed in modern friendships. Think of Jesus and John and the other Apostles. John even rested on Jesus’ chest. Today, no straight would do such a thing for fear of being gay.

Some other problems from today, besides lack of close friendships, are:

(1) Idolatry of sorts of romance and marriage. This is often seen as the only vocation in secular society. Everyone should be able to get married, so the thought goes. That the US decided in favor of same-sex marriage should be no surprise, if in Western society one must marry to have any kind of meaningful relationship!

(2) Individualistic society. At most, we are in single-house family units. But that’s the extent of our “community.” Maybe church on Sunday. But there is no pressing need to extend ourselves, to live community. But this is what the early Christians were doing!


#17

I have heard good things about the Courage chapters, I think people with SSA that really want to be faithful Catholics, would find a great vocation in this ministry helping others out of the lifestyle and into the sacramental life.

Unfortunately, today every discussion about “LGBT” and “Catholic” must have a sobering disclaimer and warning about the phony groups that have made their way into Church ministry, peddling false ideas. here is a short video that speaks about them:


#18

@Gab123 I see Courage as one method of asking and dealing with the sort of questions in this thread. But some churches are too small for a whole Courage chapter. So it’s not just about re-directing the question to groups that already ask the same questions, it’s about concrete solutions to how gay people/SSA people can find alternative ways of love, community, etc. (alternative to marriage).

Of course, Courage may be one expression of community. Not denying that. But I don’t want people (on this thread or in general in church life) to simply say “well, we have a ministry for SSA already.”

That’s true enough, but it doesn’t mean it’s directing LGBT people to vocations of the sort this thread is asking about.


#19

Look at it from the other side of the picture—our side. We want to help you, we want you to feel welcome, we want you to be a faithful practicing Catholic but we can’t tell you anything different than what the Church says. We are devout practicing Catholics and we must follow “the rules” ourselves so how can we tell you any different. I can talk with you all day long about the Catholic Faith that I DEARLY LOVE but I can’t as a straight married woman and mother of 2 grown sons KNOW exactly what to say to you about being gay and wanting to be in the Catholic Church except take up your cross, follow Our Lord, offer it up, pray Unceasingly, frequent the Sacraments, participate actively in the Mass and in your Parish, live the life a Catholic should live and offer up your hardships. There is no one size fits all solution except to do as Our Lord asks us to do----easy, NO WAY,O but possible. Whether you believe it or not single devout practicing Catholic gay people are no different than single devout practicing Catholic straight people. It’s a cross and yes it’s a burden. A Catholic friend of mine who is gay didn’t want to hear me say it’s a cross for him. He didn’t think being gay was a cross for him to bear. He felt like being gay was a part of what made him who he is and he didn’t see it as a cross. So we are at a loss too. We in the Catholic Church don’t have any more answers than you do except for what we’ve all told you. We can love you, we can listen, we can offer suggestions or help, we can steer you to the Courage website but we don’t have the answers for you. Our Lord NEVER ONCE said following Him would be easy but He did say He would be with us every step of the way and it would be worth it in the end. I pray for you and all here. We are a Catholic family and we all need and want to be loved and welcomed in Our Catholic Church. May Our Lord bless you and may He help you find the answers for what you are seeking. PLEASE don’t ever leave the ONE HOLY CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC Church that was founded by Jesus Himself where we not only hear His word spoken but we actually RECEIVE OUR LORD HIMSELF Body Blood Soul and Divinity. Why leave this and go to anything else.


#20

So start something. Why wait for others to do something you think there is a need for?

Frankly, I think if you’re bent on not finding a cute gal, settling down and having a family and taking on the tough responsibility of raising children, then find some pals, take up a hobby, and grow old with all your extra time ministering to those in need who are suffering; the sick, the poor, the downtrodden. then you will find true happiness when you are helping others. the key is to not feel sorry for one’s self; then your reward in heaven will be great, if you do things with a pure intention, with humility, and out of love for God…


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