From gay to Catholic brother: Dear Church, you owe me no apology
Dear Catholic Church,
As a former homosexual man who came back to the church seeking God, I want you to know that you owe me no apology. Never, not once in my 43 years in the homosexual lifestyle did I feel marginalized by the church. The church never abandoned me. I abandoned the church. Never did I feel like an outcast. It was I who outcast myself. Not once did I feel jilted by the church or as if I had no place. Your door was always open to me. It was I who walked past that door.
You need to know that there was not one day in my 43 years that I did not recognize how offensive my behavior was to God. Looking back, I can honestly say that the wedge that I placed between God and myself was one of my greatest sufferings. What kept me away from the church was my stupidity and guilt. You gave me the truth and I rejected that truth.
How could this have happened? Very simple. I used the excuse card. Insisting I had no self-control over my sinfulness. I reverted into a mindset that maybe, just maybe a loving God is okay with me. Whatever the actual reason, I found it all far much easier to tuck all my guilt into the far corner of my conscience. And so for 43 years all that sin and guilt remained unrepentant and cluttered with dust.
You owe me no apology. It was I who offended God, His church and His teachings. You did your part. You proclaimed the truth in charity and I ignored you. I own and take full responsibility and accountability for my sinful ways. It was I who rejected the many crosses that God gave me. It was I who faced my demons. It was I who rejected the salvation you offered me.
Throughout my 43 years away from the church, God gave me one cross after another and I rejected all of them. It was only until 2008 when I contracted AIDS that the floodgates of my conscience opened. It was that day when I realized how much I needed you. It was time for me to drag all my dusty sinfulness through that open door that had been open to me for so many years.
Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for giving me the courage to proclaim what you had been teaching me all along. You don't owe me. I owe you.
You see, the church does not owe homosexuals an apology. The door is open. Accept the truth in charity and know that God will always help you carry your cross. Pick up your cross as I did. God is waiting. Do not be afraid. The church is not your enemy.
I am old now and battered with health issues. Barely able to carry my cross. But I am where I want to be. Close to God, close to His church and cherishing the truth that I rejected for so many years.
The church, however, must apologize for their pro-homosexual priests and bishops who are placing the souls of homosexuals in grave danger for failing to give them the truth in Gospel.
Br. Christopher Sale
Founder of the Brothers of Padre Pio