March 24, 2015 (CanadianCatholic.net) — Do so-called “straight” Catholics need to understand and be willing to talk about homosexuality?
This was a conversation I had with a close friend recently. She was in total agreement with Catholic teaching about homosexuality, but found it to be an uncomfortable issue to talk about in any public forum.
Could I blame her? Not really. At that moment the Dolce and Gabana founders were being attacked (link is external) for stating their belief that children should not be created through artificial means (in vitro fertilization; surrogacy) and that they should not be raised by a homosexual couple, but by both of their mother and father.
For stating a position that any believing Catholic would affirm they were called names and boycotted. And they themselves identify with homosexuality.
If people who identify with homosexuality are vulnerable to attacks (link is external) and boycotts for stating their beliefs, what chance to Christians who don’t identify with homosexuality have?
I don’t know, to be honest. Maybe any of us could be the next Dominico Dolce or Stefano Gabbana or Brendan Eich. Maybe we should all just skip this topic and read up on other aspects of our faith? Why not?
In two words, charity, and truth.
Because if we believe that God revealed the truth to us, in revelation and in the teaching authority of his instituted Church, then we have a duty to propose that truth.
And charity impels us to share the truth because love is desiring the good of the other.
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And charity and concern for the other should be evident in the way that we share it.
So we Catholic Christians all need to understand the Church’s moral teaching in this area and also be able to put ourselves in the place of our brothers and sisters who wrestle with same-sex attraction. We need to love and support them in this noble struggle.
If you do feel uncomfortable about your knowledge in this area, there are a couple of resources I’ve found helpful recently.
1) This article- “I am not gay… I’m David” (link is external)
2) This film- Desire of the Everlasting Hills (link is external) (also this one: The Third Way (link is external))
3) This document- Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (link is external)
4) This apostolate- Courage (link is external)
5) This book- Homosexuality and the Catholic Church: Clear Answers to Difficult Questions (link is external)
6) This podcast- Living with Same-Sex Attraction (link is external)
7) This spoken word- Yes to You
Now I’m not saying that knowing more about this topic will make it easy to have public conversations about it. Obviously, sensitivity and gentleness will always be required.
But with deepened understanding you will be more ready to have an answer for the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15), a hope that every human person deserves to receive.
And if you have struggled with same-sex attraction, brother or sister, and wondered where to find support, please check out the Courage apostolate (#4 above). God bless you!
Reprinted with permission from Canadian Catholic.