Pope Benedict and Condoms

With Pope Benedict’s new book being released, there has been some people that feel that a few things Pope Benedict stated are controversial, none more than his mention that in some cases the use of condoms may be a “first assumption of responsibility, on the way to recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed”. Pope Benedict stated as well, “sexuality has an intrinsic meaning and direction, which is not homosexuality”. Pope Benedict also made comments about how he believes the Catholic Church lives within us all and shortly afterwards speaks of the filth within the same Church. How can a leader in a position as important as the Pope makes such bold statements, some seeming to be against what the Church teaches and others that seem to undermined the Church he leads? Let me try to explain how I interrupt his remarks.

But before I get into that, I want to share with you a paragraph from a recent USA Today article in the November 29, 2010 edition. The author, Amy Welborn writes about Pope Benedict:

There is, it seems, something for everyone in this exhaustive interview – something to annoy everyone on every side of these issues, that is as recent events clearly showed. The truth is, though, that for anyone who has been following Benedict and read any of his numerous works over many years, none of this is shocking or a surprise, and it’s all quite consistent.

It only puzzles us when we insist on filtering the pope’s words through our own expectations and ideologies, our own understanding of what religion and rationality and morality must be all about., We’re not starting from the same page, which might explain much of the invective directed at the pope by a curious, but often oblivious, press.

The reason I wanted to point this out is Amy has things right. Too often we get our information from the press and we know the press is focused on one liners and 30 second clips. Not very often do we get all the information from the press on what was really said or occurred. We usually react to the one liner or 30 second clip and too often we accept that as being the entire truth. I just want to say that before you get upset and believe what you read or hear about the Pope’s messages, due your research and take what you know about the Catholic faith and see if they align. Take the time to make your own conclusion on what you read/hear/see in the press.

Now back to the Pope Benedict’s comments. I would first like to say that I am glad to finally hear that the Church may start to teach that under certain situations, condom use is acceptable. In this case, the Pope was talking about a male prostitute who has AIDs. He was explain how in this situation, it may be better to protect the individual the male prostitute is engaging in sexual activities with from receiving the HIV/AIDs virus.

When this comment was made public about a week ago, I recall sitting in my living watching either ABC World News or NBC Nightly News. The report that was compiled to make the final report was of interviewers interviewing people from all over the world on how they felt about this comment. This report lasted for roughly 30 seconds and it seems that the reporters asked the one’s being interviewed about the one line the Pope said “condom use is alright under certain situations”. It was about 50/50 on those that favored the comment and those that seemed confused on why the Pope would make such a comment.

About 8 years ago, CNN run a documentary on people (mostly men) going to other countries to engage in sexual activities with minors. I bring this up because this comment from the Pope reminded me of this documentary. Many of the kids in this story felt they had no other way to make money to just survive. In this documentary, there was a boy who was being sold by his father. The man that was producing the documentary asked the dad why the boy was being sold for sex. The reason that was gave was the family had no other way to make money for just the basic things in life, just as food and water. He was unable to find work and this was the only way he found that he could make money for these things.

I think many times when we hear the word prostitute, we think of individuals whom have drug problems that are out there selling their bodies to make enough cash for their next high. We think that for many of these individuals a life in prostitution is something they have chosen for themselves. However, there are many that are involved in prostitution and are doing so just so they can afford to eat, have clothes on their back and maybe even to take care of their family. In these cases, I would have to say that using a condom to help protect against an STD would be the right thing to do. I do think that to God these situations like the boy’s story are truly saddening to him. The sin may not even fall on the boy, but on the individuals whom pay to have sex with him as well as those that have failed to prevent this from happening (those that know what is going on and do nothing). We do know that in the Our Father prayer, we ask God to forgive us for actions we do not take to help others.

As for the remark that Pope Benedict made about homosexuality not being “normal”, I do not think this should surprise anyone that has read anything the Pope has said/written on this subject. I often wonder if the reason the leaders of the Catholic Church speak in such language about those that are homosexuality is because the majority of the Catholic Church is heterosexual. With the latest estimates of the percentage of the world’s population of those that are homosexual being somewhere between 1% to 3% and the fact that many homosexual seem to go against the Church, the leaders feel they are more able to speak in a negative way about those that are gay. We do know that the Catechism teaches us that we are suppose to have compassion for those “dealing with” same sex attractions, it seems to me that the leaders do not seem to follow how we are taught to deal with those that are gay. But the problem could also be that we are not getting to full story from the press, which seems to like to cause friction between people and the Church (or corporations, the government).

Even though I am sadden by the comments of the Pope and other Church leaders on the subject of homosexuality, it doesn’t live a bitter taste in my mouth. It really makes me want to help out other gay Catholics more. I think the only way that we can get the Pope and other Church leaders to see that gay Catholics are equal to anyone else and that we have the same rights to attend Mass. It will take gay Catholics to stand up and show they have huge hearts, are willing to help the poor, feed the hungry, and offer assistance to anyone that they can. I think the only way we will see any change is to show the leaders of the Church that we are not going to go away, that we are going to be a part of the Church and that we are going to do the work God is calling us to do.

To often it seems that the Church teaching leaves gays out in the cold. If you have ever felt this way, do not think you are alone. Do not become discourage. Look at how many saints have we know have because they have gone the path God has lead them down, even if that path was against the will of the Catholic Church. The saints stayed true to the Catholic Church and to God, just as we should. If you have any ideas of how we can work together to help the Church accept that we are born gay and that we should be treated as equals within the Church, feel free to leave a comment below. Share your thought with others that take the time to read this. You never know, you may just inspire someone to take an action that will have an effect on us all.

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17 Responses to Pope Benedict and Condoms

  1. Mike says:

    Hi Joe,

    Great post as usual, your writer’s skills are awesome, you know how to write an interesting article! That’s a nice talent man.

    My faith is strong and my friendship with Jesus is personal, because it involve too many sensitive spiritual experiences. And that’s what matter about faith.

    But when it’s about the Pope, his comments, his views about the world, and in particular about gays people, I feel that the Pope doesn’t practice compassion, patience and support. The way that the Pope behave, it’s like he think that by talking in a negative way about gay people, that somehow he will be successful at building a familial heterosexual society. It show that he doesn’t understand that gays are born that way, it’s genetics. I also find it surprising that the Pope focus so much on sexuality. I mean, the world is facing so many dangers and there’s an urgent need to address many problems, and it also show a delusional attitude of being self-righteous, as if the few gays that we are, were responsible for the problems of the world, that Pope need to wake up big time and the rest of the Roman Curia with him. The major thing to know, is that homosexuality is not a disease to be cured with medication, it’s the way we are. We have a mandate to love ourselves as Jesus love ourselves, we can’t lack charity against ourselves, otherwise it will reflect on others too. Jesus certainly love us the way we are, and the Pope has no business telling us about that very important part of our humanity. It is how God made us, and it is how He love us. Why? It’s part of His Plan, a plan of love definitively, and how that love has to be communicated? How can we feel valued and welcomed? more importantly, how can we love and be loved back without fear of being persecuted, prejudiced, how can we grow in that love? This is very important I feel because it’s about a very important aspect of life.

    Mike

  2. Norm says:

    Hey, I just stumbled by your site, and I’m not sure exactly where you stand on orthodox Catholic teaching, but I thought I’d just add my thoughts.

    First off, the Pope never said that condom use was acceptable. What he said, when we read through the whole excerpt is that condom use in the instance of a male prostitute may signify a step in the right direction when it comes to moral reasoning. It may show that they are seeing that not everything is acceptable. He continues on to remark that it is still not a morally acceptable way to control the spread of AIDS. The Church still stands by abstinence outside of marriage as the only morally acceptable way to halt the spread.

    The second is for commenter Mike. I’d like to see the research that shows us the gay gene. If you’re not willing or able to provide the evidence, you should clarify that your statement is a theory and not a fact. In addition, the Church does not prevent gays from attending Mass or even taking Holy Communion. It does, however, prevent those who are dissident of official articles of faith from taking. If a gay is actively living with another man and engaging in sexual activity without repentance, they are barred. If another Catholic is vocally and politically condemning the articles of faith, they are barred as well. Jesus’ love is unconditional, that’s true. But its not a free for all where we can do whatever we want. We still must live in obedience in order to be considered followers of Christ.

  3. Cody says:

    That Pope of ours… he certainly LOVES to hammer on homosexuals… It’s quite a pity. Thank you Norm for not condemning homosexuals and their actions in a harsh way. I thank you for politely expressing your beliefs and thoughts.

    I would like to ask Norm: are you gay???
    I am going to assume not, because you seem to not understand what gays go through. I’m not going to go through and try to debate scientific proof and debate whether homosexuality is genetic… but what I am going to say is this: you would probably think differently if you were gay. I understand that you do not comprehend because why would you be able to understand the feelings that gays have if you are not gay??? No one understands what a homosexual goes through unless they are one. That is why the Church is sooo harsh towards us. The Pope will never ever understand totally what it means to have homosexual feelings and he will never ever understand why we gays feel that our way of expressing love is ok. Do you know, Norm, how many homosexuals are tormented by this teaching??? That the Church, who is supposed to have loving and opening arms, is inadvertently chasing those people away??? Do you know how many people probably give up hope on God when they hear this teaching??? I am a Catholic and I love the Catholic Church. I love its rituals and the way I worship. But unlike most priests, who would have condemned me for my homosexuality and would have told me that I must live a life of dreadful celibacy where I couldn’t express my love for another human being in a sexual way, I had one that was different. He looked beyond the jargon of Church official doctrines… and looked into what TRULY mattered: Loving another person for who they are and for how God created them. It is because of him that I am still with the Catholic Church. The Church always complains of not getting enough people in the doors, and maybe this is why.

    I think everyone that is searching for some sort of truth in this matter should read this book: The Church and the Homosexual by John J. McNeil. He is a former SJ priest who provides thorough evidence in challenging the teaching that Homosexuality. Sadly, the Imprimi Potest that was originally granted to McNeil was revoked by the Congregation on the Doctrine of Faith (otherwise known as the CDF). I am saddened by the lack of Roman official consideration and compassion.

    There is much anger and sadness towards the CDF and the Pope in my heart and probably the hearts of other homosexuals. It frustrates me that these people will not, under any circumstances, be willing to listen… Isn’t that what the Church should be able to do??? Aren’t we supposed to listen??? The Church still has the power to teach, but, as I quote from McNeil’s book, “We are deeply committed to the right and duty of ecclesiastical authority to teach the truth, but not to the presumption that ecclesiastical authority can create the truth” (McNeil 14).

    I think that any two gay men who are in an active relationship can still receive Holy Communion. If they were not to receive the Holy Eucharist, wouldn’t Jesus, the supreme God of the Universe prevent them Himself from receiving his body??? Would he not allow them to even enter into a church, the place where he dwells??? I will not believe that Man (aka the Church) has ANY right from barring ANYONE from receiving Jesus’ Body and Blood. Who said that we should be able to judge who’s sins are greater and thus are deemed unfit for receiving the Eucharist??? What man on this earth shall bar the Holy One of God, the Only Beloved Son from giving Himself to those that he loves, which is every last soul on this earth??? That man is a foolish one.

    Take my comments as “condemnations of the articles of faith” and believe that I will burn in the fires of Hell for all eternity for voicing my beliefs and going against the Catholic Church (if so I ask that perhaps you may review what really matters in your relationship with God) or take my comments as a “cry for liberation from the uncompassionate and unjust Church Authority on their teachings of Homosexuality.” Either way you can decide. This is the way I lie.

    Yours Truly,

    Cody

  4. Mike says:

    Norm, will you please retract your accusations that I’m not a good follower. It’s not up to you bigot to make statement about the quality of life I have. Look at your own sins before accusing others.

  5. Mike says:

    Two days ago, I was diagnosed with way too high cholesterol and thick blood; there were about 30 people waiting to see the doctor and I’ve been seen first even though I didn’t had registered my name ahead of time. This show the gravity of my medical condition. More blood tests have been ordered because we think there’s more than just cholesterol. Now this is on top of being deaf in both ears, of being gay, of being single and alone, and this is a lot of stress, it harden the arteries and release cortisol in the body.

    It also show that gays, in general, dies young. It’s not a long life. This is for a lots of reasons. There’s a lack of love from others, of affection, and let’s say it, of a healthy relationship.

    And Norm, I know you’re a bigot, you don’t have to tell me. You simply came in here to launch an attack, you have a violent mindset. You’re not much of a peacemaker aren’t you.

  6. Cody says:

    Mike I am truly saddened by your medical condition. I don’t know why your suffering has persisted, but I pray that God may lift you burden. I pray that you find someone to love and spend the rest of your life with.

    However I can not ignore this absurdity in your reply Mr. Mike. We as homosexuals call for understanding and compassion from our Church, our straight brothers and sisters, but how can we ask for it if we do not show it ourselves??? Calling someone a bigot and saying they have a violent mindset is not the way to go about the issue, it just worsens the conflict.

    It is my belief (you may take this however you wish Mike and whoever reads this, whether this statement is true or not) that most people who are against homosexuality and feel that it is a grave sin are, a: not homosexual, b: don’t know anybody who is homosexual, c: and lack a general understanding of what homosexuality is. This lack of being homosexual and knowing someone who is homosexual would cause anyone to feel that homosexuality is wrong. Heck even I thought that homosexuality and gay marriage was wrong when I was a Sophomore in high school… but now I’m a Junior in High School and discovering that I was in fact that “dreaded homosexual”, I’ve realized that homosexuality is not wrong, and it’s a characteristic that I want to be a part of me.

    In the end, we must come to a peaceful resolution about this issue. I apologize if I sounded a bit harsh in my last comment, but I was blowing off some steam through that comment. I understand that being kind and gentle towards one another can be difficult at times, but that’s what Jesus called us to do.

  7. Mike says:

    Cody, I want to thank you for your kind words, and yes I regret what I’ve said to Mr.Norm, but there’s things in life, such as people who dare to attack my homosexuality, which is a very personal aspect of my humanity, that make me upset. We don’t have to justify our existence to anyone, we’re not criminals.

    It’s not easy to carry our Cross, and I know that God want us to be saint and be with Jesus in Heaven, but what kind of life should we have on earth? what kind of friends should we have? These questions, unfortunately, are often complicated by the non-responsive attitude of those who should display qualities of brotherhood and friendship, but it is often lacking because people are quick to judge someone whom is gay, and to isolate him away from the “community”, such treatment is against the Catechism of the Catholic Church and is a flagrant lack of charity and love toward our neighbor, that Jesus asked us to love. If that person is a good man, then people should not be so quick to judge and segregate. This is a mistake.

    I have heard from quite a lot of people in my town, that being straight is just as the same as being gay: WRONG. It’s not the same at all, because loneliness is, I feel, experienced more sharply by gays people in general due to bigotry and ignorance, and the Pope is certainly guilty of this. I have a problem with the way he talk about gays, because it seems like he think we’re criminals. Yet there’s so many heinous crimes perpetrated in the world by all kind of graves injustices that cry out for an immediate action from public officials such as the Catholic Church. I think we’re attacked because we’re an easy political target and we’re a minority, I do think they’re playing cheap political football with the gay issue, they forget that we’re people, not data or statistics. It’s a shame, and our need are not addressed at all, because they don’t understand how gays feel, and they don’t want to give gays any kind of help because they simply think that we’re depraved and sinful. It’s like they don’t think we’re endowed with a strong faith, qualities, values, etc. It’s also a direct attack on the very plan of God on us, because God intended for us to exist and to have a life with purpose and love. To deny that to a human being, is to contradict God Himself, and also the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    When you’re single, you only have yourself to think about, and nobody want to be self-absorbed, we want to love & matter to someone, share faith, love, joy, sorrow, passion. Although I am convinced that the single life is a call, the fact is that we’re not called to be totally and completely alone, disconnected from others and out of touch from what goes on in life. We do need some kind of intimacy, it can be platonic but still it can be fulfilling. But it’s important that this is approached with a lot of honesty from the start and sincerity.

    I’m going to pray a lot for this intention, because I feel it’s an injustice done against men and women around the world. And I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about intimacy. I want to make this clear.

    Mike.

  8. Cody says:

    Mike, I totally know what you mean… Someone coming out right and attacking homosexuals and not offering any thoughts of compromise is truly upsetting. I know it aggravates me as well, to the very depth of my soul, but as a great mentor to me once said, and still says to me: Patience. Let’s try to have patience, the both of us, with people who don’t understand… because if they see that there is good in us, in our patience and in our works, then perhaps they won’t judge us as harshly.

    To your questions, I think that we should have a good life. Full of happiness, joys, trying time, passion, sorrows, and forgiveness. I know not everyone may have a good life… and I don’t know why some people are created the way they are. I don’t know why we are made gay or why we are to suffer such strife from the world, even from our own beloved Catholic Church.

    About friends, I think that everyone deserves good ones. I think people need good friends who accept you for who you are and not because of a label… I know I am blessed with many good friends who know of my homosexuality, but still treat me the same way. They still accept me for who I am. I don’t know if this is because they knew me before they knew I was gay, or what, but I wish for that you have somebody that is willing to be there for you, whether as an intimate friend or as an intimate partner.

    You know about the Catholic Church, their teachings about homosexuality, I don’t what they mean to you, but in my heart of hearts I know that it is not the way it was meant to be. Their teachings are wrong. I can not accept the teaching that homosexuality is an “inclination to evil” and is “intrinsically disordered” and be expected to accept the teaching that God is a loving God and that he is a merciful God. I don’t care what “Nit-picky Catholics” think about me not accepting Church Doctrine and telling me that I can’t receive the Eucharist. As I stated above, I do not think that any man can prevent another from receiving the Eucharist.

    About loneliness and love, I can honestly say I have no idea, no experience of being rejected and looked down upon (except the time I tried to tell my parents I was gay…but now they think I’m straight… long story…maybe one day to tell). I feel for you. I pray that you find someone to love, to hold, to cherish, and that you are somebody’s everything. I pray that I find someone too… I’m not at that stage of really looking (small town, people don’t know that I’m gay, and I’m going off to college in a couple of years… so yeah… I got more life to experience yet before I get there). As I read yours and Joe’s comments about being alone and unloved, I am troubled that I might find the same fate. I pray that I don’t, but something bugs me about that… not knowing if I will find someone.

    I think the single life is a calling, but it is a calling that I hope not to accept. You know, I had a sister tell me this: If you think about the callings in your life, priesthood, single life, married life, etc., and you find a specific happiness through one of the callings or think you would be happy through that calling, that’s probably what God is calling you to. God will not call you to something that you do not find joy from. I hope that you find a calling that you find yourself happy in.

    Now of course, while I believe God can do some of the work on finding someone to understand you, someone to love, I still believe that one has to be proactive about their search. You just can’t pray one night saying: “God send my a lover!!!” and expect to find one sitting on your doorstep the next day… oh no… it doesn’t work that way. (wouldn’t it be great if prayer worked like that??? 😉 We must also be proactive about it. We must try searching for relationships that could deepen… how we go about that, I don’t know. How we find love, whether through people at work, in the town, at the gay bar (even God works in bars), or online… is up to our own decision and that is something that is beyond my knowledge. I don’t know, from experience, how to find love… because I’ve never been there. I am sure that you have Mike, and I am guessing that you are being proactive about your search, but like anything, you get tired with searching… you get distressed when things don’t come together right away. For example, it took me 10 months, maybe more, to figure out that God has never abandoned me. For 10 months I knew God was there, but I couldn’t see him. I wanted his love so bad, and I cried out for answers about my homosexuality. He made me wait 10 months to figure it out. And I did, following some very interesting series of events. I know 10 months doesn’t seem like very long, but it was EXTREMELY long for me, because I am an extremely impatient person. (this may not seem apparent, but I am).

    I hope that you do not despair; I pray that you find love; I pray for you and my other homosexual sisters and brothers that they may find purpose in life. Although I probably can’t be a friend in the physical sense, I can be a friend in the virtual sense… I know its not the same, but it is better than nothing.

    God Bless!!!

    Yours Truly,

    Cody

  9. Mike says:

    Hey Cody,

    I’ve read your email and as you can see, you’ve been blessed in many ways, with friends, with a healthy social life, and your friends seems to like you for who you are. That is a blessing, because if it wasn’t about your friends, you would find life complicated, and that’s not fun. At high school, I had no friends and I certainly had no joy at all from attending school. I survived all that. And I went to University in Political Science. It require a lot of faith.

    I believe in the Dogma of the Catholic Church, there’s no debate there. But the teaching about homosexuality can indeed change, because it is an interpretation, that mean if later on, they find out that scientifically there’s such thing as a “gay gene”, then the Catholic Church will reverse it’s teaching about homosexuality. But the fact will remain that gays can’t marry because it’s not life giving, meaning they can’t procreate. That’s what they says, but they’re quiet about those who re-marry simply because they want companionship (my grandmother married 3 times), it wasn’t for the kids, it was because she wanted a husband, so right there, it contradict the Catholic Church that those who marry has to marry because they wants kids. That’s simply not the case in many marriages.

    What is so different from liking a girl or liking a guy? Who can tell what is right? Why love would be more justified if it’s girl-guy, but wrong if it’s guy-guy? That doesn’t make any sense to me at all, because I believe sincerely that I’m gay because God want me to be gay. In fact, Jesus Himself told me that being gay is not wrong. He said “Don’t feel guilty, don’t underestimate yourself, it’s not your fault, you’re an ok guy.”; I once asked Jesus to change the Catholic Church policy on gay people, and He told me “You’re asking me a lot”; I know so many priests and more and more priests (discretely) believe that gay are made that way, it’s just the way we are. Why? well that’s the Plan of God, we have to know that God is love, and I can tell you that the only way to be happy is by being ourselves.

    Just because Jesus told me that, it doesn’t mean that I’m perfect, I have my emotions and I’m human, and sometimes I’m impatient, and I’m tired of this gay stuff.

    Mike.

  10. Cody says:

    Mike,

    I am too finding out how blessed I really am. I’ve been noticing things that I’m grateful for more often, and I thank God every day for the things he has given me. I though worry that perhaps that there is a catch to all these blessings… am I someday going to find myself “running out of luck” essentially???

    I understand the Church’s teaching about homosexuality and marriage and how gay people can’t marry because they can’t be procreating. But does that mean you believe that Dogma??? Or are you just stating the Dogma of the Church??? I agree that the teaching should be changed, and I hope that may be during sometime our life times. I accept all Dogma of the Catholic Church, except for a few things that I don’t think the Church has got it right. The Church can claim that I can’t receive the Eucharist if I don’t believe every single Magesterium or Document that they publish, but that isn’t going to stop me from receiving Jesus. (and neither is that going to stop Jesus from giving himself to us). Because if you think about it, Jesus is in the Eucharist. He is present in the Body and Blood. Jesus is also the King and Creator of the Universe. He has all the power in the Universe to stop me or anyone else from receiving the Eucharist. So if we think in a logical and perhaps theological way, wouldn’t God then do something about it, if I was going up the Communion line and he didn’t want me to receive it? So then why do we dare say that humans can prevent another human from receiving the Eucharist???

    You know I don’t think there is much a difference between liking a girl or a guy. I don’t think we humans, really understand what is right or wrong. So I was thinking about this when I was in my intellectual mode of trying to figure out my gayness back a couple weeks ago, and I thought of this Philosophy. (bear with me, this is going to involve with Math… I hate math, but math is logical). The Pythagorean Theorem, the theory that in a right triangle the variables a^2 (a squared) + b^2 = c^2 This is the Pythagorean Theorem in its standard form. So what if we decided to use different variables such as x^2 + y^2 = z^2. They are the same Principle: two legs in a triangle squared (the a,b,x,y squared) equal the hypotenuse (c and z squared). So why don’t we move this same principle into a social context. What if the Pythagorean Theorem was about love. What if the Pythagorean Theorem equation equaled love??? What if we took a^2 + b^2 and substitute them for man^2 + woman^2 = love^2. Then couldn’t we also take x^2 + y^2 and substitute them for man^2 + man^2 = love^2??? They are the same principle and they still equal the same thing: love. Now I understand that x and y aren’t the same variables, but it points out that: love can be expressed in different ways, more ways than one.

    Here’s another math example (I don’t know why I use math, I do the worse at math in school…). 3+1=4 and so does 2+2=4. They are two different ways to express the same idea, 4. Man + Woman = Love and so does Man + Man = Love. I think that’s how my intellect was able to accept that fact that homosexuality is ok… because for me, my intellect, my mind, took the longest time to accept that I was homosexual and that homosexuality was ok. My body was totally accepting and had no objections to homosexual feelings, but my mind tried to rationalize my situation and try to come up with so many reasons to prove that I wasn’t homosexual. But I later found out, just by looking at all the evidence that I had presented myself, how could I not be homosexual.

    I have a priest that believes that homosexuality is just a part of humanity. If it wasn’t for him, and him accepting me for who I was, I don’t think I would be as psychologically stable as if I had a priest that was not so gracious.

    It’s going to take a lot of time and patience to change the Catholic Church’s policy on homosexuality. And you know what? We are going to have to work for that change, because I think that’s why God created us: to challenge the world and the Church on what love really means.

    Cody

  11. Mike says:

    Hey Cody,

    I don’t want to keep posting on this topic because I don’t want to sound annoying, but I’ve read your post and it show how mature you are intellectually. I guess from what you said, all this thinking and conversation you had with your priest has made you aware that love is just love, it doesn’t matter if it’s a girl or a guy, and it certainly doesn’t matter to Jesus if we’re straight or gay, I mean, people can be so stupid, they think that Jesus is going to love us more, if we becomes straight, Jesus love us totally and unconditionally.

    About the Dogma of the Catholic Church, yes I believe it, I told you. But there’s a difference between the Dogma and a papal opinion. A Dogma is when the Pope speak to the Roman Catholics in Ex-Cathedra, that mean we have to believe it 100%.

    About the Eucharist; just because a guy is in line to receive the Eucharist, it doesn’t mean that he’s in a state of grace to receive it, even if he believe in Jesus and pray a lot. It also depend about his soul, his intentions, it depend about a lots of things. Most of the time, I think people get in line for the Eucharist unaware of what they’re doing. Such is the case of people who attend Mass like twice a year or less. So only Jesus is able to really tell what bother a guy and what kind of guy he is. I mean, people judge so much by the cover of a book, I see this all the time at Church gathering and nobody really know what is going on, some people feel ignored at the detriment of more “important” people, and it’s not right. I also see priests who pray at Mass, and they says “For those who are lonely and suffering, we pray to the Lord Jesus”, but after Mass they don’t care to say a word of kindness for those who are actually lonely. They gives all their attention to these popular power couples (wife/husband active at the Church)

    I have a priest that I have known for about 15 years, and I think to date he has given me about 900 messages of Jesus. All of them happened. I think this priest saved my life in the sense that I’ve made my peace with being gay and not being bothered by what people says. But, it’s a delicate wound, and sometimes I’m upset like I have been with Mr.Norm last week, and it show that there’s still work to do to repair, heal these wounds.

    I have to deal with people who are ignorant about gay, disability (I’m deaf), about a French accent (many think that only English should be allowed in the world). Ignorance is due to a lack of education.

    Mike.

  12. Cody says:

    Mike,

    I don’t think your annoying. I am not quite sure what you mean by annoying (my fault, not yours)… If you don’t want to continue this conversation that’s fine, but I have a few more words.

    Enlighten me about your full stance on the homosexuality issue, Papal opinion, and Dogma. I’m trying to understand, and it’s my fault for not being able to understand (so much for a mature intellectual… 😉 ). Because as I try to understand what you have written, it seems to me that you are being contradictory… you seem to say one thing, but then say another. I am just confused about your exact stance on the whole situation. I understand that you believe Church teaching on homosexuality is incorrect and can change… but then you go on supporting the Church’s teaching of procreation and marriage… so I’m confused. Please enlighten me. (I’m sorry if this frustrates you).

    As far as Eucharist goes, let me express this idea: I’m not still quite sure exactly what to make of it… but it’s something to think about. WE as humans don’t deserve anything.We are sinners and everything that God has given us, we have no right to. They are all gifts from God given to us because God wants us to have them. So in a sense then we don’t deserve to receive the Eucharist (in fact we say that every time we go to mass: “Lord I’m not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed” Despite we not being worthy to receive Jesus, he STILL gives us himself. He gives because he wants to. There is nothing that can change that… no sin, no human, etc that can prevent Jesus from giving of himself. Now I understand that we should know what we are doing, and that we should have the right intent to receive the Eucharist. I am all for that. I also agree one should be in a state of grace when receiving the Eucharist, because it makes it all the more meaningful. But what I’m trying to point out is that Jesus is still going to give of himself even though we may not know what we are doing, even when we are receiving the Eucharist for perhaps the wrong reason, and that we may not being in a state of grace, Jesus is still going to give of himself in the Eucharist, and I don’t think any human being should be able to stop that.

    I know we can get upset with people who are ignorant about homosexuality. I guess maybe I don’t know totally about the sufferings of being a gay, because nobody, except some of my closest friends know that I’m gay. If it was common knowledge in this small town that I was gay, oh that would be bad. I don’t think people could look at me the same way. That’s why I’m silent about it. I don’t want to put myself through that pain… at least not yet. I hope and pray people will be more accepting in college… I hope. But those who know me now as the straight Cody might not be able to look at me the same… I know one of my closest friends had a bit of a hard time looking at me the same, but he has gotten over it, which is good.

    Ok… if people are going to think that only English should be allowed in the world, then they are stupid. That is a stupid thing to discriminate people against for. (I’m not saying a French accent is stupid… actually I think it is pretty cool… it has the touch of the language of love in it. :) I don’t have a cool accent, I just have the Midwestern, Wisconsin Bubbler-is-a-word accent…Btw no where in the world do they call a drinking fountain (like in schools) a Bubbler but Northeast Wisconsin. I just thought you might want to know what a Bubbler actually is. You know I also think, (and I mean this in a loving way, not hurtful) that people that feel like that, you shouldn’t be bothered by it. I think its one of those trivial things that people like to pick on other people for. and it’s wrong… but some people you just can’t let them bother you.

    For example, I am an accompanist at my church and there is one accompanist who thinks he knows everything and should dictate how I play, and be the Liturgist for the parish, and I do not like him at all. He bugs the crap out of me… but I can’t let what he sometimes says get to me… because if I do, I become unhappy and agitated. So for my sake, I don’t let him bother me. I just say ok… and take his words with a grain of salt.

    I hope this isn’t going to be our last conversation… it has been good. If you do decide to comment back, that would be great. I may not get around to replying for a few days because my computer is going to Hell and I am going to resurrect it this weekend… hopefully. If all goes well, then I hope to be back to commenting sometime this weekend.

    Stay strong through the hard times in life… don’t give up on Jesus, or love.

    Cody

  13. Jacob says:

    I am questioning being gay myself and have been facing a hard time and I want to thank you both immensely for your inspirational words.I believe that God is all that is kind, compassionate, and understanding in the world a i’ve always fealt that it can’t be wrong just to love another equal, regardless of gender. It was considered evil to be of color at one point, but that didn’t make it at all wrong.

  14. TK says:

    I just happened to stumble across your blog and found it interesting to read. I found myself going through the same struggles that many have expressed as a gay Catholic. My pastor was a great inspiration and help in accepting my homosexuality….and no my priest is not gay; however, he did mention that there were several bishops and priests that were gay, but I digress. My pastor told me that there is no shame in being a homosexual and that I should embrace my God-given sexuality. He explained to me that the Catholic Church in due time (like a 100 years) will come up with doctrine that fully supports homosexuality as a natural part of the human condition, unlike what is stated in the current Catechism written by Benedict. In his words, Benedict XVI wrote (then Cardinal Ratzinger) that homosexuality acts are disordered and immoral and go contrary to natural law. Are homosexual acts immoral if you love someone much like Christ so much loves the Church that he compares the Church as the Bride and He Himself as the Bridegroom? That he so much loves us that this expression of love is the same love that is expressed between a couple in the most intimate form, and that the fruits of that love shared between a heterosexual couple is procreation and that the fruits of that love between a homosexual couple is creation (the beauty found in one’s own creativity with subject matter such as the arts). My pastor explained that the Church follows and not necessarily leads. It will take scientific evidence, of which the Church is a strong supporter of the sciences that will prove and verify that homosexual tendencies are genetically predetermined at birth. He mentions that the scientific community is barely scratching the surface with studies on homosexuality and that it will take several more decades before research is conclusive on this subject matter. It will be only then, that the Church will recognize that homosexuality is part of God’s plan and design. However, one must not lose faith in the Church, as the Church is our Mother and would we abandon our own Mother’s? I would never abandon my own mother, so why would I abandon my Church? The Catholic Church is the one true holy apostolic church founded by Christ who is both Devine and Human. Christ taught us two great commandments: Love God with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. In order for us to love another human being, we must love ourselves first. This took me several years to understand until I discovered my sexual identity and recognized that this is who I am. I am a homosexual who is Catholic. To think of the shame I felt for so many years and the many missed opportunities that I could have had of loving another individual, even my own family members. That closeness of physical touch or kissing made me uncomfortable and undeserving. I did not feel love; hence, how could I give love back to someone else? It was only after several consultations with my spiritual director (my pastor) that I for the first time understood that God loves me so much that he would never abandon me. As my pastor put it so eloquently, “GOD does not create junk.” It was a huge watershed moment in my life. I could finally embrace my sexuality and accept me for who I was. I’m me and God loves me. After recognizing that God loves me, I could finally love myself. It was like the spirit moved me and filled me up with God’s mercy, love, forgiveness and compassion that I was overflowing with the peace of Christ and that I began to love everyone that I came in contact with. I was mentally, physically, and spiritually nourished by this new realization that God wants me to be in a loving relationship much like Christ loves his Church, that intimate love for one another, and that means in a loving relationship with another gay man. So as I embraced my sexuality, does this mean that I have sexual relations with any gay man that finds me attractive? Put it this way, the short answer is no, but there is a period of time that I had to discover this sexual identify out for myself and find out who I am attracted to and would want to be partnered with the rest of my life, God willing. Again, I have put it in God’s hands because its God’s will not my will to desire another man. Therefore, it is important as a Christian to live the life of a Christian and be a witness for Christ, which means putting God at the center of a relationship, and that means in a partnership with another gay man in my situation. Is it difficult especially with the challenges in today’s “it’s all about me” culture? You bet, but that doesn’t mean one should give up hope and give into their own sexual desires and give into the worldly view “because everyone is doing it” attitude. Our bodies are spiritual temples as such we are not to destroy it with the sin of lust. This is very difficult for any person because our minds say one thing and our hearts and souls say something completely different. It is only when the heart and mind and soul are led by the gifts of the Holy Spirit that the sexual act is an outward sign of God’s love for another human being. This is the part that many Catholic men I believe are wrestling with. Must we live in fear the rest of our lives assuming that we are going to Hell for this “grave” act of sinfulness? We must ask ourselves what is a sin and see if its passes the litmus tests as being grave, serious, and immoral in the eyes of God. Does it offend or displease God? It’s important that when sorting out these questions that one goes through the process of discernment and asks why am I here? According to the old Baltimore Catechism the reason why God made me is to know, to love, and to serve Him. So am I serving God by loving another human being, in this case another man who happens to love me? If the answer is yes, how can this be considered morally wrong? Because the Bible says so right? But the Bible also talks about divorce and that a man should not commit adultery, but yet the Church has an annulment process to invalidate a marriage based on extenuating conditions that the marriage was not a true marriage from the start. So does that mean the children of an annulled marriage are illegitimate and should be treated as such? Not loved? Again, we cannot naturally assume a “one size fit all” immoral judgment on homosexual acts. Let’s get back to why I love the Catholic Church and why I would never leave Her. As I said earlier it is because she is like my Mother. The Church as a central element that is unlike any other Christian denomination and that is the Eucharist. This is key to why many people belong to the Church. Any Catholic that has a firm foundation in their faith formation knows that the Eucharist under the appearance of Bread and Wine is Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity poured out for us as spiritual food for the journey. By His own humanity of dying and suffering on the cross he shared with us His unconditional love for us through His divinity. Without His Body and Blood we are deprived of this essential food for the soul, and we are lost without it. Christ said he who eats of my flesh and drinks of my true blood will have eternal life. So as a gay Catholic, I need to partake in mass as often as I can to receive this spiritual nourishment else I die, much like if I do not drink water I will die physically. That spiritual food rests in my tabernacle: my body that is made in His likeness and image. I am Christ’s tabernacle for one another: to my gay and straight brethren. To deny myself communion either intentionally, or being forbidden would be against what Christ teaches: He is the vine and we are the branches from whom all good things stem from. Therefore, to deny a homosexual couple Holy Communion is not what Christ would permit. And if I was denied communion while attending mass at a Catholic Church, does that same denial extend beyond the Church and forbid me of receiving his body and blood through a spiritual communion? Did you ever notice that Christ hung around the outcasts of his time: the prostitutes, tax collectors, and the lepers shouting “Unclean, unclean!” not necessarily the Pharisees or Sadducees? Why do you think this was the case? Think about it…those that were marginalized from society needed to know that God’s love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness is limitless and unbounded. The Sanhedrin was made up of very religious men who lived by the law, but Christ challenged them like he challenges us to live according to God’s law. Chris was the fulfillment of that law. Same thing is true with men with homosexual tendencies. Jesus is calling us home and not to abandon him. Read the story of the Prodigal son (my favorite story in the Bible). Choose Christ! Put on Christ! Do not abandon Him or your faith, but embrace it, much like your sexuality. God LOVES you! May the peace of Christ’s outpouring love be with you ALWAYS! Alleluia!

  15. Ck says:

    Hi all,

    I have took a while to read through most of the comments before I provided my opinion.
    OK, so, I am a gay man in my late twenties. I am catholic.
    The churches teachings on sexuality is quite clear. It teaches that engaging in homosexual activity is a sin. It is not a sin to be gay, as you are born this way.
    Now, because i am aware of the churches stance then I have two options.
    1. Accept my sexuality and live a good, peaceful life with a partner
    or
    2. Offer my sexuality to God and accept that this as a cross He has given me to bear.

    The church states that we must choose option 2. Which I accept.
    Guys this is a very difficult choice to make and a hard life to live. But we are only denying ourselves of a life partner not love. Apart from that we are the same as everyone else. We must pray to the Holy Spirit to give us contentment in our hearts and to give us the courage to bear this cross. I promise you this, that If you live a celabte life and have a personal relationship with God then you will be remembered for eternity. This journey is short. We are like lay priests, that is our calling.
    If we do not follow option two then can we really call ourselves catholics? The same teachings are taught in all christian religions. So then can we really call ourselves christian?
    We can not change to parts of the church doctrine that do not suit us or that we do not like.
    I agree that the church could be more inclusive and church leaders could be more compassionate in their minstry in order to make all gay people welcome instead of them feeling marginalised. That is what we can do. Work with our church leaders to bring forward a movement of change. To remove the fear that the church has had of being openly welcome of gay people. They have been afraid that their credibility and reputation will falter.
    We have seen recently the mistakes the church has made with the sexual abuse of children, where they did not act appropiately with the priests who carried out these crimes. Again because they were afraid.
    The church is made up of people. Men and women who are human like us. At times they will make mistakes. But as long as we can move forward and accept our failures and mistakes then we can truly evolve into a church that is universal for all, irrespective of our sexuality, race, creed, or imperfections.

  16. jose says:

    I have read most of the comments here and just wanted to comment about me. I left the homosexual lifestyle because God told me it was a sin. I struggle with this , but choose to carry my cross. The Catholic Church is 100% right. I don’t mean to offend anyone, just telling the truth.

  17. Bent Benny says:

    Hi,
    I’d point you to Cardinal Basil Hume’s (deceased Archbishop of Westminster) letter on the pastoral care of homosexuals – circa 1988 – which you should be able to google.

    As the letter says, all love whether between a man and woman or two people of the same sex, comes from God. He is also very clear that gay people are yo be respected and there is no room for homophobia within the church.

    God blesst

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