Questions concerning homosexuality


#1

Hello, my name is Heather, I’m 15 years old, and I am a dedicated Catholic. I live my faith as much as I can. I would concider myself a strong Catholic and loved in the eyes of God. But according to my religion this is all shattered by a single characteristic of mine. I am a homosexual. The Catholic belief on homosexuals is very much that it is immoral. This upsets me very much. I did not make the choice to like other women. If I had a choice, I would probably be straight like everyone else so that I could feel normal again. I have recently found a fellow Catholic who is also feeling the way I am and we are now going out as normal people do and staying chaste and taking things slow. I asked God to send me a sign and he sent me Jackie a few days after I started praying about it. So I have a few questions about this. What are homosexuals like myself supposed to do? Are we supposed to just hide it our whole lives? Live a lie? Are we not to have sex at all? Doesn’t Jesus love all of his followers, even the different ones like me? Answer these questions for me if you can, please. I’m so confused.


#2

Please check out this website www.couragerc.net

Courage is a Catholic organization to help and support those with same sex attraction.


#3

Dear Heather, welcome to the Catholic Answers forums and congrats on your first post! I am glad to hear you are a strong Catholic and know that God loves you. It is difficult to have a really good conversation in a forum like this, but I will try to answer your questions as best I can.

First, I want to clarify about something you wrote, that Catholics belief homosexuals are immoral. People with homosexual feelings are in no way intrinsically immoral–only the acting out on those impulses, actually engaging in homosexual behavior, is actually immoral.

The same would be true for (forgive the analogy) a person with suicidal feelings, or the desire to drink or steal or anything else. The feelings themselves are not immoral. They are just feelings and there are many things in life that are wrong that we are tempted to do. It is only in acting on these feelings that we commit wrong (sin).
It may be true that for a variety of reasons outside your control (your home environment, your genetic makeup) that you are subject to these feelings. However, just because these feelings or impulses are natural to you does not mean they are good or moral.

Consider the person with the genetic makeup that makes him susceptible to alcholism. He may not have known the first time he took a drink that genetically he was predisposed to it, but regardless of that fact, it is not okay for him to get drunk repeatedly and excuse himself by saying he couldn’t help it, he was just born this way.

Everyone, and I mean everyone!, has temptations that they are vulnerable to. Not everyone’s sins are as visible as others’ though.

Now, what does God expect you to do? Assuming of course that your feelings don’t change (they might, you’re only 15) that you desire to be faithful to Church teaching and you want to grow spiritually.

Be chaste.

Chastity for an unmarried woman means celibacy.

Do not allow yourself to slide into sin by making dangerous friendships with other women who are also struggling with the same temptations. Should the alcoholic who’s just decided to quit drinking sit in a bar and tell himself he’s only going to watch other people drink? It invites temptation. That’s what we call “avoiding the near occasion of sin.”

Do not overestimate your power to resist temptation. It is easy to fall into sin and rationalize it away. Instead, go and talk to holy and faithful priest about your feelings and your desire to overcome them. If you are not at this point yet, you can even ask for prayers for you that you would begin to desire overcoming these temptations. You can also call the group Courage and perhaps get a recommendation on a support group in your area to help you through this tough time.

…continued next post


#4

You asked, doesn’t Jesus love me, even though I am different? Yes! God loves all his children and that includes all who have homosexual feelings. Sometimes God allows us to be born with different challenges in life. Your challenge in life right now is no different than someone born with a physical deformity. It is not their fault. Yes, God loves them. No, God did not want them to suffer, but instead allowed this problem to happen to them for reasons that are mostly mysterious to us. Often these challenges are wonderful opportunities for spiritual growth if only we will strive for it.

I understand that the thought of going through life not acting on these homosexual feelings seems like a life of suffering that is being offered to you. It is hard, no one can say that it isn’t. However, it is the right thing to do. Please pray for the strength and courage to find help now rather than continuing to explore these feelings.

Lastly, I would warn you not to put too much faith in signs. “Do not put the Lord your God to the test” is a frequent warning in the Bible. It means, don’t demand signs like “God, show yourself!” when what is required is faith, not miraculous signs. God already has given you what you need to begin your journey to holiness. Jesus died and rose from the dead! Thus we know that all sin can be defeated. Is what you face any harder than what he faced?

With God’s help and the intercession of Jesus, Mary and the saints you can live a whole life in which you do not feel deprived of love but instead find good and holy ways to express it.

I am sorry if I did not answer your questions fully enough. I’d be happy to tackle some more questions if you’d like.

Peace & good will,
LeeAnn
The Hidden Life


#5

Heather,

I am a 58 year old man who suffers from what you will learn to call Same Sex Attraction (SSA). I have been in recovery for a little more than a year.

Imagine how much of my life I have lived in sin. Please don’t follow me. I had my first SSA experience when I was 16 and got caught up in the lifestyle, I pray that this will not happen to you.

The longer you identify yourself as a homosexual the harder it will be to accept your natural orientation. I describe myself as a HETROSEXUAL man who suffers from SSA. It is not shameful, just who I am.

Most people accept and respect people who join AA, perhaps the day will come when you and I can gain that same respect.

CHASITY IS A LIFESTYLE

I pray that you can find your true self and grow into the woman He made you to be.

John


#6

Hmmm… thats a pretty big cross to bare. No bigger however than being born blind or deaf or with a terrible deformity which we see all of the time. No one knows why God would impose these crosses on people but he does.

So I have a few questions about this. What are homosexuals like myself supposed to do? Are we supposed to just hide it our whole lives? Live a lie? Are we not to have sex at all? Doesn’t Jesus love all of his followers, even the different ones like me?

Hide and live a lie?.. NO you are who you are.

No sex at all?.. NOT homosexual…that would be a sin.

Doesn’t Jesus love all of his followers?.. Yes all of them!

What am I suppose to do?.. Pick up your heavy cross and carry it.

God bless you and stay faithfull to the Church!


#7

I don’t feel qualified to offer an opinion on this thread, but I can offer my love, support and prayers.

God bless and good luck!
:blessyou:


#8

God bless you for your honest search for the Truth. I have heard great things about COURAGE.

Is never having sex your whole life an unfair burden? I don’t think so. There are many people who are called to virginity. Consider all the heterosexual people who do not marry. I’m sure most of them have to resist temptation as well, but those who are true to their faith and their God will not be sexually active. Perhaps the fact that you have same-sex attractions is a sign that you are one of these people called to the single-virgin life.

Is it possible that the entrance of this girl into your life is a sign from God that it is ok for you to pursue a romantic same-sex relationship? No, I don’t believe so. One way I might look at it is as a temptation from “you-know-who”, after all satan does try to confuse us to get us to sin. Another way to look at this, is here is another person who can relate to your challenges. Perhaps you could both look into COURAGE. Much like other alcoholics can support each other in AA, I’m sure other people with same-sex attractions can do the same for each other. Of course, this is assuming that maintaining a friendship with her does not provide too much of a temptation for you - in that case, it may be better to keep your distance. After all, as someone else already said, alcoholics do not meet in bars to support each other.

As Catholics, we know that Christ gave us His Church so that we would not have confusion over what is right and wrong. Our Church, because of the power of the Holy Spirit, knows and teaches us that homosexual activity is sinful. It may not make sense, it may be confusing, it may seem horribly unfair. But we are called to be obedient to these teachings.

Just like the toddler who doesn’t understand why he cant put his finger in the electrical socket, we Catholics often don’t understand why the Church teaches what it does. But just like the parent who teaches that toddler not to do this before he can ever understand, the Church does the same for us. It is not to be mean or unfair, but because God (and the Church) loves us and knows what is best for us.

I’d encourage you to pray, especially the rosary. If I were in your shoes I might say: “Lord, I don’t understand. Help me to at least believe you and obey even though this doesn’t make sense. Please help me understand.” God Bless you, you’ll be in my prayers.

TKC


#9

A person who desires to steal a car, but does not do so, is not a thief. So a person with same-sex attractions who does not act upon them is not a homosexual. You did not choose your same-sex attractions, but you were not born with them.

These sites have a lot of good info on homosexuality:
couragerc.org
lovewonout.org
narth.com
pfox.org
family.org

There are many more, if you’d like to get the links just send me a private message and I’ll reply ASAP.

:blessyou:

With prayers,
JMJ_Pinoy


#10

Heather,

Praise be to God you are seeking the Truth and remaining a dedicated Catholic despite your affliction. I’m a member of Courage and I wish I could describe for you all the blessings God has given me through trying to live a chaste life.

You are so loved by God. He is loving you in ways you don’t even know as we speak. Homosexuality doesn’t shatter that at all. We are all afflicted, and not just those of us with SSA (Same-sex attraction). Every member of the human race is wounded and broken in some way and is in some stage of healing and reconciliation. And God loves all of us more than we love ourselves.

Like you, I did not choose to be attracted to people of the same gender. But, since learning about Courage and trying to live a chaste life, I can choose to follow Jesus. Before, I was not free. I was controled by my lust and wrong-thinking that I had to have sex to be a normal and fullfilled person.

I can’t speak directly toward your relationship with Jackie. I have many friends with SSA and we help and encourage each other to live chaste lives and grow closer to Jesus. I would caution you though, Jackie may not be an answer to your prayers, although she could be. If you think that God sending you Jackie is a sign that it’s “okay” to have a genital relationship then that is definitly not from God. But, if your prayer is to grow closer to Jesus and you think Jackie was sent to help and encourage you on your journey then that could be.


#11

Now for your questions.

What are homosexuals like myself supposed to do? Are we supposed to just hide it our whole lives? Live a lie?

No. If you mean, white knuckle it and ignore it and hope it goes away, then no. Although, you don’t necessarily need to tell everyone you know or anyone for that matter. You certainly do not hide it from yourself or from Jesus. As I’ve tried to understand and cope with my own condition, I’ve grown so much closer to Jesus. There are a few close friends who know my struggle, but the general public does not know. And I don’t feel like I’m ‘lying’ to them or pretending to be someone I’m not. I’m a child of God like everyone else. My sexual orientation does not define my personhood and isn’t an intrinsic part of my being. My identity is in Christ. I’m a Christian. I have laid my life down at the foot of the Cross, homosexuality and all, and asked Jesus for mercy and healing. I am not hiding it; I’m asking Jesus to heal me from it. The healing I’m describing is not necessarily that I’ll be attracted to the oposite sex one day. I’d be most grateful for that, however that is not the final end I seek. The healing I’m seeking is to be free from lust and sin and free to love Jesus with all my soul. The disordered attraction might remain, but if I have purity and chastity, that is the healing I seek.

Are we not to have sex at all?

Yes and no. First I want to make sure you understand the difference between celibacy and chastity. Celibacy is abstaining from intercourse. Religious, most priests, and consecrated laity, are to be celibate. This however is always a choice the individual made when they took their vows. Everyone is called to chastity. Everyone, regardless of their orientation or state in life. Chastity is abstaining from any sinful sexual act. All sexual acts outside marriage are sinful. Marriage is one man and one woman. Married people are chaste so long as they only have sex with their spouse. So any homosexual act would be sinful since it cannot take place inside marriage. So in that reguard no, we can have no sex at all (this does include masturbation). But many people with our condition do get married (to a member of the oposite sex of course). In that case sex would not only be permitted, but encouraged and yet another means to grow closer to Jesus. However, the majority of people with SSA are not called to that and remain celibate. It sounds like we’d be missing out or getting the short of the stick somehow. I wish I could explain to you how that is not true. Chastity is a great gift.

Doesn’t Jesus love all of his followers, even the different ones like me?

Yes! We’re all different in our own ways. Having SSA doesn’t make us fundamentaly flawed any more than anyone else. Everyone suffers from the effects of sin. Our sexual orientation may not be normal, but on the whole we’re just as normal as anyone else.

Also, you are only 15. If I knew then, what I know now, there is high, high probability that I would be married by now. I would have had an opportunity to be saved of years of depression, perversion, alchoholism, and other addictions. Please check out the resources on www.CourageRC.net. There is a message board there; one specificaly for women. You will find there many people who can give you great advice and support. Some books you might find useful are “Out of Egypt” and “Beyond Gay”. The first is specificly for women, and the second is meant for both genders, but applies more to men. There’s also a lot of good things at www.theologyofthebody.com. This stuff is not specific to SSA, but it is about the Gospel message of human sexuality and that is for everyone.


#12

I don’t like the analogy too much of people who where born blind or deaf. I don’t think I was born this way, but the analogy does fit in that it is a cross to bear. And I can tell you that it is making me a holy person. Without it, I would have likely stayed lukewarm and never started really giving my life to Jesus. It is a cross, but it’s not more than anyone else has to handle. Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. If our cross is heavier it’s only because God’s given us more strength to bear it.

If, after a few years you still have attractions to women, don't take that as an instant sign that you are called to the religious or single life.  It very well could be, but first seek direction from people in Courage, a good confessor, and a good spiritual director.

 You are only 15.  You've been given a great grace to be able to avoid falling into a very big hole.  Please pray the Rosary and ask for guidance and strength and the courage to do what is right.  What you are feeling now in now way means that you are 'gay' and does not have to define the rest of your life.  Please seek guidance from the ladies of Courage.  Find a good priest in your area that will lead in the path of holiness.  It may only be a matter of months before this is no longer a problem for you since you are so young.  A caution though; if the priest you find seems to be telling you that homosexual acts can be 'okay' in some circumstances, RUN from him.  Sadly, some priests, in an attempt to be loving and accepting give people bad advice in this area.  Anyone telling you that homosexual acts may not be sinful, despite their good intentions, will be leading you to hell.
 
 I hope I haven't made things more confusing for you.  If so, please give me the chance to clarify.
 
 Pax et bonum

#13

Wow Heather, I truly hope you see the love and care in these posts. You are not alone, we all love you and will pray for you. Luke, that brought tears to my eyes. Bless you.
May the peace and love of our Lord, Jesus the Christ, be with you,
Tom


#14

ChildrenofGod37, johnjster, and Luke2219 – my heart goes out to you in admiration for your courage and for the beauty of your witness.

All Catholics who live their faith to the full must choose from an extremely limited menu of options concerning sexual expression. Every time we choose Christ over our own flesh we take a step towards our destiny in God. May God reward you for your integrity.


#15

Thank you for your encouragement Mercygate!

I do want to clarify one point.

All Catholics who live their faith to the full must choose from an extremely limited menu of options concerning sexual expression

We have an extrememly limited menu of options concerning genital sexual expression. But we have many licit ways for sexual expression in general. In our culture we tend to limit sexuality to the genital act, but that is false. Even giving someone a hug can be an expression of sexuality. With pure motives, that is a very good and healthy expression. It should also be noted that in this context I’m talking about sexuality as that of male or female, not heterosexual or homosexual. A hug between two men, if it is chaste, is an expression of sexuality. It can be affirming each other as men.

The Church does not want to repress sexuality (manhood or womenhood), but wants us to use it properly to grow closer to Jesus. Properly ordered sexual expression is very good. To be properly ordered, genital sexual expression can only occur in marriage.

Pax et bonum


#16

I think it took a lot of courage to say what u said and to come out as who u are, not someone u feel that u are forced to be. I am also a cathloic, but I also view homosexuality as somthing that u are, not somthing u become like so many catholics beleive. Be true to urself.

I dont see any reason that u can not have a fullfilled life of love and respect with ur partner female. It’s false for people to say ‘u will grow out of it’ it’s not the right message to say, they should say, find urself. I also beleive god thinks of everyone equal, and that beacuse ur homosexualy doe snot mean god loves u any less… and u should not have to pray for forgiveness on somthing that u can not control and what u are. u should not have to say sorry for who u are.

good luck.


#17

[quote=ChildrenofGod37]Hello, my name is Heather, I’m 15 years old, and I am a dedicated Catholic. I live my faith as much as I can. I would concider myself a strong Catholic and loved in the eyes of God. But according to my religion this is all shattered by a single characteristic of mine. I am a homosexual. The Catholic belief on homosexuals is very much that it is immoral. This upsets me very much. I did not make the choice to like other women. If I had a choice, I would probably be straight like everyone else so that I could feel normal again. I have recently found a fellow Catholic who is also feeling the way I am and we are now going out as normal people do and staying chaste and taking things slow. I asked God to send me a sign and he sent me Jackie a few days after I started praying about it. So I have a few questions about this. What are homosexuals like myself supposed to do? Are we supposed to just hide it our whole lives? Live a lie? Are we not to have sex at all? Doesn’t Jesus love all of his followers, even the different ones like me? Answer these questions for me if you can, please. I’m so confused.
[/quote]

Well Heather, I can relate, I myself am bisexual. I often wonder what God and Jesus think of me being the way I am. Recently I have come to the conclusion that God loves all his children, after all, he created us in his image, which must mean that we’re exactly how he expected us to turn out. I was lying to myself for a long time about this. Jesus does love everyone, don’t let anyone tell you different.

Some people say that Homosexuality is a choice, but think about it, why would people choose that life, to be picked on constantly and bothered about it.

If you ever would like to talk and my user name hasn’t scared you off, PM me ^^;

-Senator Kerry


#18

[quote=luke2219]…Properly ordered sexual expression is very good. To be properly ordered, genital sexual expression can only occur in marriage.

[/quote]

I couldn’t agree more. Our society is constantly sending the message that unless it involves genital sex, then you are missing out. What’s missing is the BIG picture. There are many ways people can show love for one another. Love is not bound by genital sexual expression (no matter what the media tries to tell us). People live very complete lives when they love others. Genital sexual expression isn’t a requirement of this love.


#19

Well Heather, you have a lot of good people praying for you, me included! :slight_smile:

I have nothing new to add since just about everyone has done a really good job of expressing the Catholic position on this issue. I pray that you find the strength (in Christ), to avoid temptation and the courage to live your life in Truth. Actually I pray this same thing for everyone, myself included. We should all avoid sin and live according to the truth, we are all in the same boat when it comes to sin. The trick is to not allow yourself to be fooled into thinking that some particular sinful act is not sinful, that is a lie that we try to tell ourselves and most of society is more than willing to fascilitate the lie.

All I can say is do not lose your faith over this, remember that this life will pass away, it is the next life that we should be most concerned with!
:blessyou:


#20

[quote="johnjster, post:5, topic:7680"]
Heather,

I am a 58 year old man who suffers from what you will learn to call Same Sex Attraction (SSA). I have been in recovery for a little more than a year.

Imagine how much of my life I have lived in sin. Please don't follow me. I had my first SSA experience when I was 16 and got caught up in the lifestyle, I pray that this will not happen to you.

The longer you identify yourself as a homosexual the harder it will be to accept your natural orientation. I describe myself as a HETROSEXUAL man who suffers from SSA. It is not shameful, just who I am.

Most people accept and respect people who join AA, perhaps the day will come when you and I can gain that same respect.

CHASITY IS A LIFESTYLE

I pray that you can find your true self and grow into the woman He made you to be.

John

[/quote]

So true, if only many more would listen,
God bless you and praying for all who suffer with SSA


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