What is the role of a homosexual person in the Catholic Church?

I understand and agree with the Church on the issue that marriage is not for homosexuals. To live as a Catholic and a homosexual seems to be a very hard cross to bear. What exaclty is the role of a homosexual in the Catholic Church? I feel the Church has never made them feel welcome or as if they had a place of importance in the Catholic Church.

Dear jck,

The role of the Catholic person with homosexual tendencies is the same as that of any un-married Catholic. First of all, he or she is a Catholic person. This is his or her first identification. Whether one is pigeon-toed, right-handed, brown-eyed or sexually attracted to members of the same sex, these are not one’s primary identity.

While the single person forgoes the on-going intimate companionship of married life, the married person forgoes the freedom and independence of single living. Every vocation has its crosses.

One’s primary identity as a Catholic person means that one’s life is Jesus Christ. For a believing Catholic to look at the passion of Jesus and conclude that one is not loved and is not welcome in the Catholic Church is to miss the whole point of being a Catholic. There is no Catholic Church without the cross because the cross and Jesus are inseparable. “Anyone who wants to follow me must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me (Lk 9:23).” But to have Him is to have all that truly matters. If this is not enough to make one welcome in the Catholic Church, nothing is.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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