A few days ago, I sent an email off to VIRTUS (the org. that manages Protecting God’s Children for the Catholic Church) and several other Catholic organizations. I have received a strong positive response back. I thought you might like to read the email too.
In the email I ask for an expansion of Protecting God’s Children to include Protecting God’s Families. I don’t believe the suggestion is pro or anti homosexual. What I hope comes through is a realization of the need for a program to discuss the harmful homophobic behavior of straight people toward straight people who have homosexual children.
Enclosures: copy of email to VIRTUS
My husband and I took Protecting God’s Children in 2005. I think Protecting God’s Children is an excellent program. I have a positive suggestion I would like to offer. I feel there is a desperate need, in today’s confusing world, for Protecting God’s Children expand to address other issues. My first thought is a program for Protecting God’s Families.
Families have to deal with many issues. Some of those issues, like sexual abuse, are harder to deal with. Homosexuality is one of those hard issues to deal with too. I am not a homosexual advocate. I think homosexuality is wrong. But what I have found, out in the public arena, are methods trying to deal with the issue of homosexuality that are as ineffective as the methods used to deal with sexual abuse before excellent programs like Protecting God’s Children.
I speak from personal experience. My husband of thirty-two years and I experienced the wrath of his family and many in the extended Catholic Community when our oldest child came out as a homosexual.
Mark, my husband, and I believe, even though it isn’t proven, that the cause of our daughter’s homosexuality is a result of the once pent up rage Mark displayed in the early years of our marriage. Something Mark got out of his system, we worked through, but our first child experienced.
The actions we have become painfully aware of are blame, division, and shunning games. I can only speak about our case but we are sure that others are experiencing similar societal reprimands.
In order to Protect God’s Families awareness of these games and their harm need to be brought out in the open like sexual abuse. We don’t use these harmful reprimand measures for parents of children with Downs Syndrome and so forth. We don’t use these measures on criminals who have served their time and have moved on to be productive citizens. The treatment of parents of homosexuals shouldn’t be any different. Like victims of sexual abuse, parents of babies with Downs Syndrome, recently released individuals who have served their time, parents of homosexuals are already experiencing enough difficulties.
In our case, there have been active measures by Mark’s parents, after all our years of marriage, to break our relationship apart since Mark’s family became aware. Others in the Catholic Community have joined in. We legally separated, but once we fully understood how these well intended people were trying to play out our personal relationship and divide us against ourselves, we reunited.
That has only intensified their efforts. Mark says he doesn’t have a blood family. He is hurt and embarrassed in many different ways. We are distrustful of others because we have learned that we get slight of hand poor service too often.
What Mark and I have come to understand is that his family has a lot of pent up hostilities toward me that we were unaware, though we can’t recall a single conflict between me and them; that his family is hurt by this revelation and they are lashing out; and in this situation they are trying to save their son from blame.
Mark and I are hanging in there, mostly because our relationship had grown from a difficult early marriage to a strong happy marriage as the years passed by. We have endured this treatment for a little over three years now and feel we will weather through this, but any efforts you could take to Protect God’s Families would be greatly appreciated. I think it would strengthen the Catholic Community too. Like victims of sexual abuse, we are sure we aren’t alone in this destructive treatment.
Gahanna, Ohio 43230