Serious doubts about Church teaching on homosexuality

Okay, so here it is. I’m twenty-three and grew up in your perfect traditional Catholic family. My parents were loving and religious and great. I believed wholeheartedly what I was taught and adored it. And yet, before I even know what homosexuality was (because, like as good like Catholic girls, I was very sheltered), I began to feel romantic urges for girls. This began to creep on me as I grew older and by the time I was seventeen I knew, with some horror, that I had gay feelings.

I can already anticipate your reactions. No, there were no examples of homosexuality in my life. I was not sexually abused. I have healthy, normal relationships with men. You can’t pin this on anything environmental. If I had any choice at all I would have wanted to be straight. You cannot imagine the pain and suffering this has caused me, as a Catholic who wants desperately to be the daughter her parents wanted.

I spent most of my teenagerhood terrified of having close relationships with other women and suffered socially because of it. I tried desperately, and totally alone, to “pray away the gay”. My parents, who are wonderful in every way, didn’t even consider that this could happen to their children. I had no support. I was scared shitless, thanks to some very graphic church sermons and comments dropped by my family, that if anyone found out, I’d be kicked out of the house. Even if I kept my family’s love, there was no getting around that this would change things forever.

Eventually I realized, quite frankly, that my efforts were ********. It was clear that I am who I am. I cannot control my sexuality any more than I can control my love of hip hop, or the color of my eyes. We are born with some preferences, for different flavors of ice cream, and for some genders. I am not a pervert. My feelings for women are as pure and lofty as any my heterosexual friends have.

The more I prayed and tried, desperately, to understand why I am the way I am, the angrier I became. I am angry at my parents and my Church, who created a world of fear. I have spent so much of my life terrified of judgment. I have had no role models, no community, and no compassion.

The Church makes its views on homosexuality very clear. And for all you may claim to love the sinner, hate the sin, you all cannot deny that a Catholic congregation is an unfriendly place for even a celibate homosexual. You cannot deny that being open about who I am would be inviting gossip and cruelty, no matter how closely my life follows Church teachings. It would be like living under a microscope.

I’ve read this community’s responses to questions about homosexuality. I’ve read how, at the first mention of a gay man, you pry into his sexual history.

Imagine telling me at sixteen, a young girl who loved romcoms and longed for romance, that she could never have an intimate relationship. That celibacy for her was not a calling, or a vocation, but a sentence. Heterosexuals choose celibacy and it is a beautiful thing, but homosexuals have no choice. They are slated into one path and let’s be honest here. It sucks.

So yes, I’m angry. It makes it hard to go to Church, to have meaningful relationships with my family. My prayer life is strong and I try to follow God’s teachings, but I feel as if I’m hitting brick walls. I am tired of being told that my soul and body are an abomination and that I am incapable of giving romantic love.

The Catholic Church is scary for me. I wish it wasn’t.

I don’t know quite what I’m saying here, only that the more time I spend with Catholics, the more cruel comments about homosexuality slip, and the more I feel like this isn’t the place for me. This forum feels unsafe for me.

I don’t know what to do.

Have you ever seen the short movie The Third Way? You can watch it for free online on vimeo dot com. Forty minutes in length.

I’m bisexual myself. Born this way too. It’s just part of the way I am and I don’t try to change it and feel that the ministries that try to make gay people pray away the gay are sometimes downright degrading. We live in a fallen world, some people having disordered sexuality is part of the consequences of original sin. I deal with my disordered inclinations the same way I deal with my desires for people of the opposite sex. I am single and so I am celibate, and so looking at any man or any woman in a lustful way is not right. So, if I (a female btw) see any man or any woman who might cause me to lust, I look away. Practice custody of the eyes, and mortify your imagination. It is not a sin to be gay. It is a sin to be disobedient to the Church. Being obedient despite our desires is exactly the self sacrifice and dying to self so often talked about in Catholicism. It’s doing what God, who is Love itself, would have us do, and we know what he wants us to do through the teachings of the Church, even when it doesn’t make us feel good. This is what will make us saints. To totally die to self. Giving ourselves over to Christ in every way. Giving him the good in us and also the bad. Put your hand in Christ’s hand, close your eyes, and walk forward with the faith of a child. He won’t let you down.

naomily #1
you all cannot deny that a Catholic congregation is an unfriendly place for even a celibate homosexual.

That is not necessarily true.

homosexuals have no choice. They are slated into one path and let’s be honest here. It sucks.

The choice for everyone is to understand one’s situation correctly and to live chastely.

Is Homosexuality a Choice?
Answer by Fr.Stephen F. Torraco (EWTN) on 27/6/2008:

“The hypothetical question that you have a homosexual ask you is faulty. The question presupposes or implies that heterosexuality and homosexuality are on the same moral plane. They are not. Heterosexuality is the design of the Creator. Homosexuality is a disorder. You don’t choose to be heterosexual, but you do choose whether you will live it chastely.

“The hypothetical response to your answer to his or her question is also faulty. As I stated before and you have repeated, there is no scientific evidence that anyone is born with the homosexual disorder. A person who is homosexual because of a disordered upbringing did not choose homosexuality; but they were not born with it.”

“There is a whole way of thinking and feeling that occurs long before the inclination to genital acts with persons of the same sex arises in the heart…the disorder itself is rooted in unhealthy emotions.” [Fr John A Harvey, *The Truth About Homosexuality, Ignatius, 1996, p 154-5. Also Elizabeth Moberly’s Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic, and Gerald van Aardweg’s Homosexuality and Hope, for an analysis of such emotions].

tangerines #2
It is not a sin to be gay. It is a sin to be disobedient to the Church.
Giving ourselves over to Christ in every way. Giving him the good in us and also the bad. Put your hand in Christ’s hand, close your eyes, and walk forward with the faith of a child. He won’t let you down.

Excellent counsel.

This is precisely what real Catholics follow:
CCC 2358: “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”

Bless you and you are very brave for coming here and telling your story.

Firstly, you are who you are and that is homosexual. Ignore the idiots that automatically assume it must be a lifestyle you have picked up somehow. While I do think there are SOME homosexuals who it may be about nurture rather than nature this is NOT always the case and many homosexuals like yourself are born that way. You cannot change being homosexual. You will not be able to pray away being Gay. You are homosexual. We all have our crosses to bear, some are harder than others and it looks like this may be yours.

BEING homosexual is not a sin, ACTING on it is.

The problem is we live in a highly sexed culture where “sex” has been twisted completely out of its natural form and people expect to be able to have it where, when, how they want.

Yes heterosexuals can choose to be celibate (and will be obeying God either way), you still have a choice but one way obeys God and the other doesn’t.

My nephew has just been diagnosed with epilepsy, when he is older he may not be able to drive. Non epileptics get to choose, he won’t… However people are never as bothered by driving as sex.

People are born with mental health problems, deformities, no limbs all the time. There are many crosses which people have to bear. Homosexuality is no different. These people are who they are, they can’t change that.

I’m sorry your family have acted the way they are and you feel unsafe at church. They should love and respect you as a sister in Christ just like anyone else. People are mean, but that doesn’t make heir behaviour acceptable.

Imagine a baby who contracts HIV from his mother…should they live a life of celibacy or do as they please and risk passing on the virus? It’s not the child’s fault they have HIV? They didn’t ask for it, they didn’t choose it.

I guess what I am trying to say is don’t be ashamed of who you are, ignore the idiots who make you feel like you should be and it’s up to you if you want to obey God or not. It’s easy to “question” a sin when that sin affects us personally. I disobeyed God on sex before marriage but Gods law cannot be changed, it is what it is. We have free will, we decide whether to follow or not.

You are no different to any of us!

Please read this and watch the video, the Third Way offers hope for many who feel the way you do. It is impossible to know what you have experienced from others but I truly believe that our Church does have a place for you.
brandonvogt.com/third-way-homosexuality-catholic-church/

*thanks to some very graphic church sermons *

Hi, please could you tell me what was said during the homily? I’ve never yet heard a priest speak of homosexuality during a homily.

Thanks.

One more thing…your soul and body are not an abomination to God. He loves you no different to the rest of us sinners.

Naomily,

Cool name! Hi there. :wave:

A little about myself: I grew up with the same terror you had, since I realized I was attracted to men when I was about 11. I did not feel welcomed by the Church, and I felt the terrible urgency that I had to hide. Over 10 years later, through God’s intervention no doubt, I talked to my brother about my homosexuality (or rather, bisexuality) and he responded wonderfully – though afterward, there were some hard moments, for sure. Right now, I’m married to a woman who knows all about my attractions and isn’t terribly bothered by them.

I’m not going to “give you advice” unless you ask for it, but I will say that the Church is getting better about this. People in the Church are beginning to realize that gay people really do need close and intimate relationships with people of the same sex (EVERYONE, gay or straight, needs close friendships with same-sex friends).

It’s not like the Church can simply change its teaching on the morality of gay sex, though. The Bible and tradition are very clear about homosexual sexual activity being wrong. The temptation toward homosexual activity, though, is not wrong. Temptations are NEVER sins. If anyone suggests it is sinful to be gay, you would be doing the Catholic thing if you rebuked them soundly.

I have one question for you: how many family members and/or Catholics know about your being a lesbian? A lot of times, when we hide these things, we imagine responses much worse than reality.

Also, a recommendation: patheos.com/blogs/evetushnet/. Eve Tushnet is a lesbian Catholic who submits to Church teaching – though she does it with her own style and flair. Highly recommended. patheos.com/blogs/evetushnet/resources-on-god-and-homosexuality

God bless you!
Prodigal

Either we have principles to live by or we fall for anything. I sympathise with your situation, but you are trying to blame the Church for your sin. As a serial masturbator, I fell into the same trap. I tried to blame the Church for my weakness. I understand that you were born the way you were, but as someone else said, it is acting on it that is the problem.

Like someone said, we all have crosses to bear. As a masturbator, I have to avoid communion. But I don’t gripe about it or blame someone else. It is my crime. my fault. I just try to get on with life. Suck it up, as the marines say.

Best wishes,
Padster

“Suck it up” is not the Christian response to suffering. :nope:

Nor is it clear that the OP is trying to blame the Church for her own weakness. It is possible to honestly doubt Catholic teachings.

It works for me. Is there another way?

Best wishes,
Padster

How terrible that a young person feels driven from the Church she loves.
But that’s exactly what we do. As a society and a church, we judge and we condemn: precisely the things Jesus told us not to do.

Now, lest anyone retort that it is simply the command of scripture that homosexuality is forbidden, I’d add that the Bible says all kinds of primitive and frankly stupid things, for nomadic, tribal people to obey in a time of widespread ignorance, illiteracy and superstition.

Leviticus teaches that menstruating women are ritually unclean, not to be touched.
Exodus teaches that we are to put a sorceress to death.
These are clearly ancient edicts, ridiculous in the modern era. If a woman menstruates, it’s quite okay now. We don’t regard her chair as ritually unclean. We understand about hygiene and feminine health.
If someone wants to be a sorceress, no-one really cares any more.

If we’re going to resort to the OT in our condemnation of homosexuals, we might as well adhere to all the OT laws.

by applying a little of empathy I consider your response very UNHELPFUL. she is trying to understand what her vocation should be. Should she marry a male she is not attracted to? Get a gay marriage? Accept a ‘sentence’ of compulsory celibacy?
Your SUCK IT UP response obviously did not answer any pertinent question. And how on earth did you reach the conclusion that she is blaming the church?

St Francis de Sales said a judicious silence is better than a truth said without charity. But I need to add that a judicious silence is better than a statement lacking both truth and charity!

st Paul outright condemns it in the new testament.


If you don’t mind I would like to post this thread about charitable responses. While using the term “suck it up” might be common with some people it just doesn’t seem appropriate in this situation. Please reconsider your remarks and try to make your point in a kinder way.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=132852

My 26 year old daughter is living the gay lifestyle. She is engaged at this point to her “girlfriend” and planning a wedding which obviously her Dad and I will have no part of in any sense or way. I wish I had known when she came out at about age 16 what I’ve learned since. You were NOT born gay–no matter what secular society tries to feed you–and you CAN change–but only if you really want to! I don’t want to sound mean spirited, but aside from being a plain old mom of 5 kids, I’m a women’s health nurse practitioner. There is no “Gay Gene” No matter what your friends or society tries to feed you, nobody is born gay! That is, frankly, a crock of cr#p!. You may not know off the top of your head what happened that caused these feelings, but if you want to find out and become heterosexual, you can. There’s a wonderful Catholic organization called COURAGE that can help you. Some parishes have groups of this in them but it’s fairly new and all parishes don’t. If your parish doesn’t offer this group, then I want you to know that there’s a huge online group if you plug it into your search engine and they are amazing. There’s also a support group for the parents and family of those with SSA called ENCOURAGE. It’s helped me a lot. Good luck and make your choices wisely. Do you really want to walk the path of homosexuality all your life with all it entails? If not, I suggest that you at least give COURAGE a try.

Hello. I admire both your courage and your honesty.
The Lord knows the innermost secrets of all our hearts. He made us and He loves us with a love that transcends all human understanding. Trust absolutely in Him.

My personal belief is that the Church should exemplify uncritical love - As Jesus does.
It is sad that anyone should ever feel alienated.

I truly believe that whatever way love is expressed between two consenting adults is entirely their own business and that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Catholic Church. God is love and we are all His beloved children.

Yeah, I’m a bit skeptical of this post, but I do hope that all answer with love, compassion and mercy. Homosexuality is a difficult cross to bear.

Yes, Pacomius. He does.

In the same sentence, he condemns fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers.

I have no problem with the condemnation of these. None of these are admirable. I just think that well-meaning gay people are cut out for a particular type of hatred.

What gay or straight people get up to in private is nobody’s business except the Lord’s. It’s up to the person if they attend church or receive sacraments. It’s exactly the same with thieves and idolaters, greedy people and drunkards. A sin is a sin.

hi padster.
to save you the stress of reading the link by Mountee, I post the content here.

There is an expectation here at CAF
that we all should behave with civility.
In practice this means striving to
deliver our comments here with as
much charity as we can muster.
Some Catholics who are going through
a renewal of their faith can take on a
somewhat strident tone. Having re-
discovered the truth of their faith, they
then proceed to jump on a soapbox
and start proclaiming the truth as they
see it. Fellow Catholics, priests,
bishops, even the pope, are subject to
“correction.” Perhaps they do not
realize that this behavior often comes
across to others as trying to use
doctrine as a weapon.
Here are some quotations from Church
leaders to consider closely:
Quote:
“Win an argument and lose a soul.”

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