So many things to discuss

Firstly, I apologize for the length of this post. I hope you all take the time to read it and participate.

PART 1 (OF 3)

Hello all,
After many months of scanning through many topics of interest (“lurking”, I think is the word), I joined this forum in November. I eventually joined, started a thread regarding my gay son and how to deal with my extended family’s inability to accept him, and received some advice (some good, some not so good).

Since then, I have continued to browse the forum and it’s various topics, primarily focusing on topics that involve anything to do with homosexuality (a topic that I have a particular interest in as stated above). As I may have mentioned in the past, coming to terms with my sons sexuality and reconciling it with the faith I have always stood up for wasn’t easy, but I, along with my wife, have come to accept my son for who he is.

We treat his husband as if he was another one of our sons. I am well aware of the Catholic teachings on this and don’t expect them to ever change. I should also point out I am not looking for ways to end my sons marriage and convince him to live a chaste lifestyle. Catholicism is what I have always known, but I know that my acceptance of my son does not fall in line with the teachings of the Church. I am still in the process of reconciling this with my Catholic Faith.

In my ongoing attempts to make that reconciliation, I have read many comments on this forum that I would like to discuss further. My intention is not to offend anyone. I am also by no means trying to “bash” Catholicism (because, as said before, my Faith is what I know and up until recently I never questioned it). I respect everyone here and truly believe that anything I have read here in the past or that might be said in reply to this thread are done with the best of intentions. I hope to receive the same respect back in regards to my questions.

Bear in mind, some of this may be paraphrasing because it is all from memory. What follows are some of the things I have read and wish to discuss or gain some clarity on.


Same-Sex Attraction Disorder (SSAD)


When browsing some old topics, I came across someone insisting that homosexual people have “SSAD”, emphasis on the “D”. Typically, I see it referred to as simply “SSA” (which is perfectly fine; it simply means "Same Sex Attraction). But this person was persistent, going so far that they argued with another poster about why “SSAD”, not “SSA”, was the more accurate acronym. They then proceeded to explain how homosexuality was a mental disorder, much like autism or bi-polar disorder. I of course understand that the Catholic definition of “disordered” is not the same as the medical definition, but this particular poster (and those who concurred) appeared to use both definitions simultaneously. While I acknowledge the Church regards SSA as disordered, I do not agree it is an actual mental disorder, medically speaking. I’d like to discuss this further.

…cont

PART 2 (OF 3)


SSA is a heavy cross that one must bear, much like those who must carry alcoholism, chronic masturbation, and addiction to pornography as their cross.


Going solely by what I’ve observed here, this appears to be the consensus among devout Catholics, at least on this forum. It’s also something I struggle to accept. I’ve come across many threads that were either started by someone with SSA or were just discussing the topic. Either way, whenever the topic of SSA is brought up, I see many posters telling someone with those attractions (or simply stating in general) that their sexuality is the cross they must bear; it is a heavy cross, and they are told to endure - just like those who have a drinking problem, masturbate, or are addicted to pornography.

This is unsettling to me. An alcoholic brought their condition upon themselves (I understand many consider it a “disease” - I do not, but that’s a conversation I’m willing to have in its own dedicated thread). They consciously decided to pick up that first drink. As for those who find themselves habitually masturbating or looking at pornography…while I wont demean their struggle with those issues, I find comparing them to someone with SSA is, in itself, demeaning to homosexuals. A person who chronically masturbates or finds themselves addicted to pornography isn’t, in most cases, going to struggle through life because of this. Their issues are unlikely to stop them from pursuing things such as marriage, starting their own family, and experiencing intimate love from a spouse who loves them equally.

Again, my intention is not to say these crosses aren’t all that heavy or silly; I’m simply stating that a person who is gay and a devout Catholic is asked to sacrifice much more. I’d like to delve into this more.


Those attracted to the same sex must remain chaste. Those who are unmarried must do the same. The rules apply equally regardless of sexual orientation.


This is a big one that has been bothering me and weighing on my conscious and I hope to hear your thoughts…

I’ve seen when either a gay person or someone who appears to support a gay person expresses their wishes to experience romantic love and sex, they are called to chastity, just like all people (regardless of sexual orientation). I do not disagree that this is indeed what the church teaches, but I’d be lying if I said that I think this call is applied disproportionately or unfairly.

Let’s take Howard - a single, unmarried man. Now, let’s take Robert - also a single, unmarried man. Both are called to chastity until they marry, but there is a difference. Howard is heterosexual, while Robert is homosexual.

-Howard meets Susan at some point. He courts her and eventually proposes. The happy couple marry and are now permitted to have sexual contact, sin-free (provided they are open to children, of course). They live happily ever after.

-Robert meets Tom at some point. The two develop romantic feelings for one another. However, Robert may not pursue this. Robert is to remain chaste.

The same rules that applied to Howard also apply to Robert. Neither were permitted to pursue a romantic relationship, let alone act upon it sexually. Both have the same requirements: wait for marriage. The difference is that Robert, in following the teachings of the Church, cannot get married. Robert may not date Tom. Robert may not marry Tom. At best, the two can be chaste together…provided of course they don’t risk an occasion of sin. All the while, Howard is happily married to the person he loves.

I know many on this forum say the call to chastity is equally applied, but in reality, it isn’t. For Howard, this calling has an endpoint if he wishes. It is simply a transitional phase between the time he develops the need for intimacy with another person until he marries someone. His chastity ends when he marries Susan. But for Robert, his call to chastity is not transitional. There is no endpoint. Because he has SSA (which, I hope most of us agree, cannot be prevented or “cured”), he cannot “date”, let alone marry. He cannot have romantic relationships. Sure, he’s told his relationship is with God and that is enough, but I think many of us fail to grasp just how big of a sacrifice Robert is asked to make.

It’s a huge sacrifice, and an incredibly heavy cross to bear. While one could argue both Howard and Robert received the same calling, it seems like most Catholics here fail to acknowledge the difference. Howard’s calling is likely to be temporary, unless he chooses to remain chaste. He has a choice. Robert does not.

This is another thing that has me questioning my faith. Howard’s call to chastity is just that - a calling. Robert’s, on the other hand, is more than that. Considering he gets no choices, it is more like a sentence. Howard can meet the requirements to end his chastity. Robert cannot. He is disqualified because he has SSA.

…cont

PART 3 (OF 3)


Promiscuity is an open secret among gay couples, including couples that have become married under civil law.


I see this said a lot, along with other comments that cite some example of one or maybe even several instances of something those with SSA have done/are doing. These comments are generalizations.

One example I’ve read is that gay people, with an emphasis on gay men, have an “open secret”: they often bring another person into their bedroom, especially when they’re a couple that have been together for a considerable amount of time (many years). While I’m not going to sit here and deny this happens, I do not agree that it is an extremely common occurrence, let alone an “open secret”. There simply isn’t any real evidence for it. Sure, you could site some study claiming otherwise, but for every study claiming something, there’s another one claiming the opposite. I think personal knowledge is more credible.

In my experience, (and I’m not including my son and his husband because I don’t want to seem bias), the kind of relationship a gay couple has simply depends on the two people involved, their age, the duration of their relationship, and so on. I know and have met many same-sex couples, mostly male. I’ve met the younger couples, who sometimes don’t seem quite as committed, although many do (the same can be said for young heterosexual couples). I’ve met couples in their 30’s or older who are extremely stable (just like their heterosexual counterparts) and have been together for years.

Of course, I don’t ask them “So, are you monogamous or open?” because that’s clearly no ones business, but I feel confident in saying I’d be extremely surprised if they weren’t truly committed. I suppose one could argue I’m presenting anecdotal evidence, but what exactly is it that separates anecdotes from surveys and studies? Studies are just a (controlled) compilation of anecdotes.

My point is that we shouldn’t be generalizing those with SSA based on anecdotal evidence. I do not believe all gay couples are monogamous and committed to one another, but I also don’t believe they are all promiscuous, either. That same statement could be applied to heterosexual couples. I feel that when Catholics make sweeping statements that they apply to all homosexual people, they are fueling the negative attention the Church sometimes receives.


So that’s that. My intention is not to offend. My intention is to talk about all of this. I’ve always considered myself Catholic, and I would be lying if I said that my experience with my gay son hasn’t contributed to my doubts of the Church. I do not wish to leave the Church, perhaps even because I’ve called it Home for so many years, but the more I read on these forums and the more I hear from other Catholics in the real world, I am finding it harder and harder to maintain my loyalty to it.

I don’t expect anyone to agree with me. I simply want to have a civil, hopefully friendly discussion on the matters above. I hope you’ll participate.

Also, I expect this thread to get many, many replies. I will do my best to respond to all of them; I know I’ve brought up a lot of topics!:stuck_out_tongue:

Well thank you for the long explanation. I wanted to just share a few thoughts.

First as to SSA or SSAD, I don’t think we need to worry one way or another. I personally believe their is sometimes a form of mental illness involved, but the psychological community won’t treat it so it’s really a moot point. I wish it was still looked at as a possibility for helping some people, but as I said it’s neither here nor there.

You are right to love your son. You can love him despite his choices not because of them. You can accept his partner, but I’d encourage you to find a way to love your son while standing firm for the faith. If your son loves you he will respect your faith and appreciate you loving him while understanding your beliefs.

As to the chastity, don’t short change your son or people in general. People can live happy chaste lives and do not need to be slaves to our physical sexuality. Our faithful priests are perfect examples of this.

Another would be the situation I find myself in. I am divorced without an annulment. As such I am not free to date or marry. And I don’t. It is a big cross but the benefits in my spiritual life have been incredible. In time it has grown easier. Your son is fully capable of doing the same. Many homosexuals live chastely.

Anyway, you shouldn’t have to compromise your faith…you aren’t the homosexual one and you can love your son while standing firm in the faith.

He is s grown adult and can make his own life.

God Bless

Finite,

Thanks for your voluminous thoughts! With all due respect, I think your problem isn’t so much with posters, although I certainly know posters here can be rude and badly informed. I think your problem is with God. Let me explain.

Suppose that God approves of gay relationships, in the same way that you do. Now, under that supposition, we have a theological problem, don’t we? Because God made gay people unable to have children with one another, even though most of them want children. Is that unjust? You bet it is! It makes God out to be cruel. Does God have a grudge against gay folks, so that he penalizes them in this way?

What’s the other alternative? That God loves gay people just as much as He loves us all, but that He may gay relationships fruitless as an indication that they are not the same as male/female marriages. When gay people see this indication, they will follow a different – more rewarding – path than gay relationships.

I hope I’m making sense here. My point is that God either (a) does not exist, (b) allows gay sex but penalizes it, or © made reproduction as an indication that same sex relationships are not like marriages. Which option do you choose? Once you answer, then we’ll be able to get down to clarifying the theological landscape we’re dealing with.

Sorry if I’m getting to philosophical here; I’m a philosopher. But accurate thinking does matter. When our thinking is inaccurate, we have a hard time recognizing error.

OP, I have much sympathy for you and your son. I can understand your strong desire to rationalize your son’s behavior. I have great sympathy for those with SSA.

However, the fact that a very small percentage of people have disordered sexual desires, e.g., towards the same sex, towards children, or animals does not normalize such acts.

Don’t speak of “the Church” teaching on homosexual acts as if this is some theological development or mere legalism. The Bible teaches the intrinsic immorality of homosexual acts. The Church has no option in this matter.

It is not a matter of fairness. There is no guarantee that we will have our desires satisfied in this life.

You can love your son and his partner without rationalizing them as a married couple. You can pray for them to accept Christ’s Gospel, you can pray for God to forgive their invincible ignorance. Leaving Christ’s Church would be the very worst thing you could do for them, and for yourself.

Finite,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us in a way that’s positive and charitable! Oh, that this subject could always be handled so well!

Here are a few of my thoughts as I read through your posts…

Hmm… your assertion that ‘accepting’ your son doesn’t fall in line with the teachings of the Church doesn’t make sense to me. We’re all called to ‘accept’ all persons, regardless of who they are! Of course, the fact that you see a problem with this leads me to ask: what do you mean by ‘acceptance’, then? After all, accepting that he has SSA is simply a matter of reality. Accepting that he has decided to ‘marry’ a man, likewise, is a matter of simply accepting a real situation. Or, do you mean that you approve of his decision to express his sexual orientation through a lifestyle that includes homosexual sexual activity?

While I acknowledge the Church regards SSA as disordered, I do not agree it is an actual mental disorder, medically speaking.

Right; I don’t think that the Church is making a medical statement, per se, by calling homosexuality “intrinsically disordered.” On the other hand, you are aware that, up until the 1970’s, the official designation of American psychologists and psychiatrists was that homosexuality was a mental disorder, and that the change in classification did not proceed from any clinical evidence to the contrary, but rather, a simple assertion that it was not so? In any case, perhaps this rather recent change in medical opinion still lives on in the collective memory of Americans?

hey are told to endure - just like those who have a drinking problem, masturbate, or are addicted to pornography.

This is unsettling to me. An alcoholic brought their condition upon themselves (I understand many consider it a “disease” - I do not, but that’s a conversation I’m willing to have in its own dedicated thread). They consciously decided to pick up that first drink.

This is quite an interesting approach; and perhaps you’re right – perhaps a thread dedicated to this question is best. Yet, in an attempt to briefly respond, I think I would say that I disagree. I think it’s necessary to make an important distinction in order to understand why this is so. “Having a drink” is not the same as “alcoholism”. “Having a drink” does not carry with it any implications that a person suffers from a disorder. No one who “decides to pick up that first drink” does so with the expectation that they will become an alcoholic… and so, we cannot say that alcoholics “consciously decided” to be an alcoholic. The difference between someone who has a drink and someone who becomes an alcoholic is in certain ways dependent on circumstances beyond the alcoholic’s control. However, at some point, every Catholic alcoholic (in one way or another) realizes that their behavior has crossed over into sinful activity; at that point, their ability to stop may have been compromised, but there is still the call to avoid sin. Now, unchastity is sinful in a way that having a beer is not; yet, it would seem that the same line exists: at some point, the alcoholic realizes that he is failing to control his sinful behavior. If you assent to the Catholic teaching that homosexual intercourse is sinful, is there not the same line for the person who decides to enter into a style of life that includes homosexual intercourse?

Along the lines of your other question – about ‘permanence’ of chastity – an alcoholic is challenged to recognize that there is something that others can enjoy which he, given who he is, is unable to enjoy without falling into sin. Are we to simply proclaim, “no! others can enjoy alcoholic beverages! Why must be expect that he abstain, given who he is (through no fault of his own)?”. I think we are not – we expect alcoholics to avoid sin; we expect those with SSA to avoid sin; we expect all people to avoid sin – even if it means that they must abstain from a good which others can experience. Does ‘romantic love’ get a pass from the norm that we are to avoid sin? If so, why?

I don’t see a theological problem. We know why same-sex relationships cannot produce offspring. However, if we did not know, then we would merely have a gap, and God is not a temporary placeholder to explain gaps in our knowledge.

Suppose that a 60-year-old straight man is not sterile, and has the option of marrying a 30-year-old woman, marrying a 60-year-old woman, or remaining unmarried. He contemplates the options and imagines that two of the three choices will not produce offspring. Can he conclude that God wants him to marry the 30-year-old woman?

I was impressed by Prodigal sons reply because it leads people to really think about their choices. It’s hard though when it is your own child to not want to listen to reason and just want to believe it’s okay God will have mercy on them. Many of us are touched by people who accept gay marriage especially as we are seeing it approved in many states and we know people who are gay. It puts people up against their beliefs, but those who are truly strong in their beliefs need to be strong, try to teach the faith in a gentle loving way in hopes to bring their loved ones to the truth. I believe it’s not about what the Church accepts, it’s what God accepts so if a person is drawn to the truth by growing in their faith rather than to continually tell them what they are doing is wrong. So continue to live as an example to them and share what you like about your faith with them so they might get closer to Jesus and pray themselves. Have they read the bible to hear the good news? Talk about your life with God and pray with your son. Bless them and share your faith with them and help them with their faith. Pray for them. I think of the woman who was about to be stoned and Jesus told them men to cast the first stone if they were without sin. Telling them they are wrong just may drive them away, but hold your ground when it comes to your beliefs because you should be an example to them of Christian life not anyone else on a blog or elsewhere.

Thank you for allowing us to share your feelings and for your courageous, positive post.

My views are well known from other threads. I honestly believe that what takes place within a loving, adult, consensual relationship is nothing to do with our Catholic Faith and should remain private. Despite frequent challenges from posters who label me as a dissenter, cafeteria catholic, heretic - whatever… I am a practising Catholic and proud to be so.
I applaud your love and support for your son. It’s a precious gift, as is your loving acceptance of his husband into your family. God bless you all.

Hopefully you will find the answers you seek from other, far wiser posters. Personally, I trust absolutely in the fact that we are all equally loved by the God who created us. :slight_smile:

Greetings,
Finite thank you for sharing. I sense the anguish you must feel-not from who your son is but from how you possibly feel torn about whether to leave a tradition you love and has been your rock. I will keep you and yours in my prayers and meditations.
Next I would like to say that a belief that homosexuality isn’t normal happens in other traditions as well. In the Buddhist tradition( I’m not Buddhist so if any read this and I’m wrong please correct me) there are 5 precepts to help one to become enlightened or I suppose saved in Christian terms. The first precept is to try to refrain from harming living creatures-the second is to try to refrain from taking that which is not freely given-the third is to try to refrain from sexual misconduct- the fourth is to try to refrain from incorrect speech- the fifth is to try to refrain from intoxicants that cause heedlessness.
As to the third precept I remember reading something that the Dalai Lama had said or written that basically said that homosexuality is a form of sexual misconduct. That is one man and may not be the general belief of all Buddhists.
I practice yoga and once read an article by the Guru of my teacher. I don’t remember whether the Guru wrote the article or was interviewed but at one point in the article he says that the male ejaculate is only for making babies.
I’ve known a few gay and lesbian folks in my life. As a matter of fact I had an older cousin that I didn’t know who died of Aids some years ago. The folks I’ve had the pleasure and opportunity to know and interact with are wonderful folks and in no way to me seem disordered any more than the rest of us with our dysfunctional families and dis-eases.
May you be filled with loving kindness
May you be well
May you be peaceful and at ease
May you be happy

Blessings to you and yours.

I’m glad that you give a reasonably sophisticated response. Please understand, though, that I am not appealing to a god of the gaps argument. Let me break it down as formally as I can, in the short time I have to write.

Start with

  1. God made man and woman for each other, and made their lovemaking fruitful as a manifestation of His love for them.

You can reject this premise, but I doubt a practicing Catholic would reject this premise. It’s elementary Catholic theology. Now move to

  1. All healthy human couples desire their lovemaking to at least have the *potential *to be fruitful.

This is a basic fact about human psychology, a fact about the way God made us. The desire to be sterile, for its own sake, is a very unusual and disturbing desire. Lots of people want to be sterile for other reasons, but I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be sterile for its own sake. That would be an outright rejection of masculinity or femininity. Talk to some gay people – they usually want children, and they don’t reject being male or female.

Given #2, we can infer

  1. If God made man and man for each other, then their sexual lovemaking would have the potential to be fruitful.

But the consequent of #3 is false. Therefore

  1. God did not make man and man for each other.

This argument is based on premises that most Catholics – liberal or conservative – would immediately accept. Isn’t it? :shrug:

Suppose that a 60-year-old straight man is not sterile, and has the option of marrying a 30-year-old woman, marrying a 60-year-old woman, or remaining unmarried. He contemplates the options and imagines that two of the three choices will not produce offspring. Can he conclude that God wants him to marry the 30-year-old woman?

I have no idea what you’re talking about here. I never said a person should make choices in life that lead to children, and I certainly didn’t say that trumps all other considerations.

The intrinsic infertility of homosexual pairings gives us an indication that they are not theologically normative. It does not tell us that an infertile male/female coupling is wrong. Similarly, the intrinsic nature of cantaloupe makes it edible for human beings, but that doesn’t mean that a person allergic to cantaloupe is any less a human being.

To use Scholastic terms, the infertility of a male/female coupling is an accident – the byproduct of something that has either “aged out” or gone wrong. The infertility of a female/female coupling is an essential truth.

I’ve worked in the design industry now for 15 years- which is dominated by either women, or gay men it seems. I’ve made friends with some of them and have pondered some of your questions over in my head so many times. I wish I could offer you some deep advice, but I am too confused about it in the end to say much. What I will say is this:
Hold on tight to your faith in God. Pray often. LOVE your son and his partner, because we all deserve love and acceptance. Jesus asked us to love one another and not to judge anyone. I think that’s all anyone can do in the end. There are some issues that are beyond our control- and when they reveal themselves, it’s up to us to take those concerns and offer them up with prayers to our Lord- for only he can handle them.

Jesus has your back, just put your trust in him

I respectfully disagree. I do not think it is a moot point. I think the fact that there are people running around saying it is some kind of mental disorder is damaging. I think of teenage kids, trying to make sense of their sexuality, and reading something like that online. I simply don’t believe that homosexuality is a mental disorder. If we were to say it was, then it would be so for every other mammal on the planet that demonstrates homosexual behavior.

You are right to love your son. You can love him despite his choices not because of them. You can accept his partner, but I’d encourage you to find a way to love your son while standing firm for the faith. If your son loves you he will respect your faith and appreciate you loving him while understanding your beliefs.

Of course I love my son for who he is, the same way I did before I learned of his sexuality. But again, I am not here to discuss my son. My relationship with him is rock solid. I am not trying to find a way to accept and deal with my son’s sexuality; on the contrary, I seek to make sense of the Catholic faith with the knowledge I now I have.

As to the chastity, don’t short change your son or people in general. People can live happy chaste lives and do not need to be slaves to our physical sexuality. Our faithful priests are perfect examples of this.

Oh, if I gave the impression that all of those who practice chastity are unhappy, I apologize! That is not at all what I am saying. I believe that many people, even some homosexuals, can lead a very happy, fulfilling life while remaining chaste. My point is that, according to church teachings, a homosexual person doesn’t get to make that choice. It’s be chaste or, well, hell.

Another would be the situation I find myself in. I am divorced without an annulment. As such I am not free to date or marry. And I don’t. It is a big cross but the benefits in my spiritual life have been incredible. In time it has grown easier. Your son is fully capable of doing the same. Many homosexuals live chastely.

That is wonderful you have found happiness in chastity and I applaud you! However, I am not looking to break up my sons marriage.

Anyway, you shouldn’t have to compromise your faith…you aren’t the homosexual one and you can love your son while standing firm in the faith.

Of course, I would always love my son no matter what happened. If I had chosen to do what Catholicism teaches I would still love my son, and I have no doubt that he would accept my stance (as he did before I reached the point I am now at). But I could never refuse my son’s partner over for dinner while allowing his brothers wives. I could never refuse to attend my sons wedding (and I didn’t!). I understand that I am going against what the church teaches, and I do not take communion.

He is s grown adult and can make his own life.

God Bless

And make his own life he has, and I couldn’t be prouder!

I’d like to remind everyone, with all due respect, my son is not the subject at hand.

Perhaps you can briefly summarize your ideas of what the church’s stance on homosexuality is and also what you’d like because I sm not sure if we are giving you the support you are looking for.

But a couple observations.

  1. chastity does not mean abstain from sex. It means allowing sex to be used appropriately and as designed. So, really sex is made for marriage between man and woman who are married only.

  2. no where does Catholicism teach that you should not have dinner with your son and his partner. No where does it say ostracize. No where does it say to cut ties etc.

So the idea of being in relationship with your son is not incompatible with your faith.

Prodigal,
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to respond. I know I wrote quite a novel there! :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, you’ve actually demonstrated quite well a question I once asked myself. You presented options A, B and C. I don’t think it’s that black and white. The fact of the matter is, homosexual couples CAN have children. Can they do it biologically together? Well, of course not, but I don’t see that as an indicator of God’s Will.

Several years ago, my sister needed a liver transplant (at no fault of her own; she wasn’t a drinker or anything like that). She went on to a waiting list, and spent the next two years just waiting around for an organ that would save her life. Eventually, it came. She is now healthier than ever.

The best of my knowledge, the church permits organ donation. But what happened to my sister is completely unnatural. Nature intended for her to die. Man (well, I say it was God) stepped in. An organ from a complete stranger, a totally different person, was placed inside of my sisters body, and now it sustains her.

I know, I know. Odd comparison. My point is that God has a way of working around nature, using his children as instruments. Can my son and his husband biologically create a child together? Of course not. But they are both fully capable of creating a child. They are also both capable of adopting. For all any of us know, that little girl who was abandoned by her biological parents and left to the state was put in that position so that Jennifer and Theresa down the street could take her in and give her the life she deserves.

(I am not trying to get into a debate about same sex couples adopting, or raising children; again, that’s a topic for another thread that I am more than willing to participate in).

Hi Paul,

I fail to see how my sons sexuality can be placed in the same category as pedophilia or beastiality. In fact, I will not even address it.

I am not “rationalizing” my son and his husband as a married couple. They are, in fact, a married couple. Do I understand that, according to the Church, they are not? Yes. That’s one of the things that I disagree with, but I don’t expect it to change. But in my eyes, my family’s eyes, the governments eyes, and “I” believe in Gods eyes, they are equal to my other sons and their wives and equal to me and my wife. They vowed themselves to each other, for better or worse, in sickness and in health. I respect their union.

You might disagree, as is your right, but once again - I am not here to discuss my son, let alone his marriage.

I applaud your openness. I also understand your wanting to support your son. No one knows how they are going to react to these types of situations until they have experienced them so no one should should judge you. I also, know some people on this forum can be insensitive. I apologize for that.

That being said:

Make no mistake homosexual acts are sinful and the Church can in no way condone them. It is not the churches job to make up morality, but to defend it.

The cross a person with Ssa has to bare seems unfair and disproportionately heavy to you. I agree.

You say a homosexual union is no more likely to be “open” then a heterosexual one. Ok, I’ll take your word for it. It is also irrelevant. A strictly monogamous homosexual relationship is no less sinful then a promiscuous one. If this upsets you don’t blame the Catholic church, blame God. He is the one who designed it this way. One only needs to look at our biology to see that homosexual acts are not normal.

Why some people have them I don’t know. But, that too is irrelevant and doesn’t change the fact that homosexual acts are a sin.

I feel for you. Again, I don’t know how I would react in the same situation. So I don’t judge you

Hello Finite,
I want to respond first to your spiritual problem. Please do not let this current conflict that you feel cause you to leave the Church, or to have any effect on your faith. Your faith is the most important thing you have!

There are lots of times when the contradiction between what society teaches and what the Church teaches causes conflict in a person (I suffer from this myself!), and I have also seen how the ideas of one’s children can cause parents to let go of what they believe (either spiritually or not) because they want so very much to continue to accept their children. I saw this especially with the generation which raised those who came of age in the late 60s and 70s.

And I don’t know how to give really good advice about this except to hold on to God as if you were a child who had just been lost and found again. I don’t think that you need to figure out the answer to how to solve this conflict: God Himself knows the answer and will let you know when the time is right. Part of the way to hasten that moment’s arrival is to keep close to Him in prayer and to make sure that you are open to what He might have to say. It may be that you are not trusting Him right now, or it may be that He feels resistance on your part, or it may be that He is using this time of doubt to strengthen you for the answer (which is *not *to say that you will not like the answer).

So my main and most important advice and thing to say is to stick with God, and while what I and others have to say may be valuable, I do not think you will find your ultimate answer from humans, because I think your questions are those you need to ask God and listen for His answer.

And, as Pope Francis pointed out recently, God is a God of surprises–He will really take care of you in this.

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