Will my gay son go to heaven?

I raised my son Catholic but he has left the Church and joined an Episcopal Church because he is gay and his Episcopal Church teaches that his lifestyle is OK. He feels very welcome there and believes he has a close relationship with God.

My Catholic friend told me that a gay lifestyle is not sinful for my son and he will go to heaven because he truly seeks God in his life and he is following his conscience which tells him that living his gay lifestyle is alright. His pastor and his Church confirm this for him. But I think, rather than seeking truth, my son has simply found a way to justify his behavior.

I know that he can’t help his homosexuality but I also know that living a gay lifestyle is wrong. I believe he is called to chastity as the catechism says. I pray for him often.

My question is this – since living a gay lifestyle is grave behavior, but my son thinks it is OK, if he dies unrepentant can he go to heaven? And if your answer is yes, then where does God draw the line? What if my son had been a rapist and believed that lifestyle to be OK? Or a pedophile? Or a serial killer? I could go on and on! And my son could probably find Churches out there supporting every one of these behaviors. Isn’t this moral relativism?

Dear C,

I don’t know if your gay son will go to heaven or not because God is not finished with him yet. I do know that if he is refusing to look at the truth, he is only fooling himself. He is not fooling God. As a single person whether gay or straight, he is not allowed to engage in genital behavior with anyone. Scripture makes this clear as does the teaching of the Catholic Church. At this point he doesn’t seem to be interested in what is objectively true, but in what will give him what he wants. Let us pray that before he dies, he will recognize that what he really wants is to submit every aspect of his life to the God who held nothing back when He died for him. It’s not easy to live the life of a Christian; it always means the cross. But to die with our Blessed Lord is to also rise with Him! There is no other way…

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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