The Catholic Church and gay (LBGTQ) sex

The Catholic Church has been under strong pressure to follow western civilization and normalize moral issues such as gay sexcontraceptionabortionsex before marriage, sex outside of marriagedivorceporn and masturbation, etc. There is not much mainstream debate on these topics anymore and many Christian denominations have followed the culture, only to see their congregations diminish.

The same sex issue is incredibly complex. Here we'll lay out a new way forward. If you are gay or lesbian, God loves you, just as much as he loves anyone else. First let's look at the current model of "coming out" thatnwenfind in the LBGTQ community.

Historical LGBTQ model of "coming out"

Since the 1970's the LBGTQ community and the psychology community have recognized that denial is not healthy. Those who are same sex attracted need to have a place to share feelings and experiences. In the 70s, "coming out right" groups in the LBGTQ community began where people with same sex attraction shared their experiences of telling friends, family, co-workers, and associates about their sexual attractions. These were based on a 5 step model of coming out.

5 steps of coming out at LGBTQ community centers are: 1) Denial that one has same sex attractions 2) Admitting to self that one has same sex attractions. 3) Disclosing to others that one has same sex attractions. 4) Socialization with others who have same sex attactions. 5) Acceptance and integration into the LGBTQ community.

We think the first three steps above are moving towards health, the 4th step is a pivotal decision point, and the 5th step of the LBGTQ model (above) indoctrinates the person into the LBGTQ culture and political movement which we think is currently unhealthy.

The LGBTQ community has a different vision of healthy sexuality than the Church

The Pope made a distinction between people with same sex attraction and the "gay lobby" (LGBTQ community) which is a political entity.

When we encounter a gay person, we must make the distinction between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of a lobby, because lobbies are not good. They are bad ... we must be brothers, this is the first matter. There is another problem, is to form a lobby of those who have this tendency ... This is the most serious problem for me... Pope Francis, July 28, 2013

Many people experience transitory same sex attractions at some point of their lives, or throughout their lives, and may find themselves at various times drawn to the LGBTQ community, which welcomes anyone with same sex attractions.

The LGBTQ community is like a big funnel drawing all those with sexual attractions outside of the norm.

Once someone has identified with the LGBTQ community and begun the socialization process, there is an expectation upon them to accept LGBTQ tenets such as:

  • Anybody with sae sex tendencies should join the LGBTQ community, those who don't are in denial.
  • Same sex attracted people should have sex.
  • There are no rules of sexual conduct except consent, almost anything else goes.
  • Human sexual instinct takes precedence over external (or internal) moral values.
  • Gender is fluid and established by one's personal feelings and/or choice. It's not a God given characteristic with which we are born or with which we must reconcile.
  • An important way to raise your self esteem is to convince friends, family and society that having sex with people of the same gender is emotionally and physically healthy.
  • Never accept outside criticism of the community .
  • Anyone who leaves the community is in denial, and has unresolved psychological problems and/or suffers from religious guilt.
  • Anyone who questions these tenets publicly is a "hater" and a "judgmental bigot" who needs to be socially punished. The term used is that the "hater" should be "cancelled" from any social, or employment status.
  • Parents who attempt to intervene in their child's gender identification or choices, regardless of the child's age, are fundamentalists, abusive, should be disciplined or lose their children. (That is a law in Ontario, enacted under a Premier who left her husband for her lesbian lover.)

Unfortunately, the LGBTQ vision is incompatible with the Catholic vision for a healthy life.

This is how we think it could be for LBGTQ's who pursue Truth

There is a kind of denial which is unhealthier than being "in the closet." It is the denial of God's call to chastity for everyone, regardless of orientation. Chastity in the Catholic Church means not having sexual activity outside of a lifelong marriage to someone of the opposite sex.

In the LGBTQ community, there is a sentiment that anyone who practices chastity is in denial. We suggest it is the exact opposite. It is not internalized homophobia to abstain from unnatural sex. Chastity is total ownership of our human condition, and a total acceptance of our sexuality and God's ability to keep us chaste. He is actually quite good at that and without him it's almost impossible. Here is a modified version of the LBGTQ model above.

the 5 steps of coming out of gay denial towards chastity. Denial that one has same sex attractions., Admitting to self that one has same sex attractions. Disclosing to others who are supportive of chastity, that one has same sex attractions. Socialization with others who have same sex attactions who want to explore chastity.

We modified Step 4, to disclose to others who are supportive of chastity, socialization with other same sex attracted people who want chastity. In step 5, we suggest acceptance and integration into the Church community, rather than the LGBTQ community.

Christians need to provide a clean, welcoming, "no-sex" space, where men and women who have had, or still have, "same sex" attraction can explore God's gift of chastity in an environment that is supporting, loving and free of the "yuck!" factor around sexual issues.

Welcoming people with same sex attraction is the Church's duty and responsibility. We cannot leave this to the LGBTQ community, because paradoxically, sex is not the answer to same sex attraction.

There is a much deeper longing in the human heart than romantic love. St. Augustine said "Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee."

Is Chastity Possible?

There are many reasons why Evangelical "change" ministries such as "Exodus" failed. A fundamental problem was they didn't understand that the individual has to fully accept the truth about one's ongoing attractions and feelings as a basic step toward chastity. Thankfully, the Catholic ministry for people with same sex attractions, "Courage" has not made that mistake. It also stays out of political issues and focuses on individuals.

The Church differentiates transitory same sex tendencies from deep-seated same sex attractions. It is much more likely that those with transitory same sex attractions will pursue a natural marriage to someone of the opposite sex. For those with deep seated attractions, we don't want to limit God, the Church says this:

...The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (Catechism 2357-2359)

One of our team spent 18 months "Out" in the LGBTQ community and learned from inside, that the gay communities in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Montreal and Toronto are not healthy. After 25 years of abstaining from all relations and serving the poor, he is married to a wonderful woman and has a child. He is healthy, working, and productive, does not take any medications, and experiences much joy in life. He was interviewed on the BBC (2 minute audio).

There are numerous Catholics who have walked this path through the organization Courage.

How does the Church explain same sex attraction? 

The Catechism says:

". . .Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained." (section 2357)

Psychiatrists can't explain same sex attraction. Before "Stonewall" in 1969 1, the LGBTQ community was divided about whether homosexuality is a disability. After much lobbying by the LGBTQ community, including the storming of a 1972 San Francisco psychiatric convention, the Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the DSM (catalogue of disabilities) in 1973. Psychiatrists rightly understood that denial is unhealthy, but they wrongly understood that sex is the answer. Sometimes psychiatrists are wrong, individually and collectively. (i.e., they have among the highest divorce and suicide rates)3 The Catechism says:

Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity (Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10), tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity.

We have a separate discussion on same sex activity as "intrinsically disordered".

"God made me gay, it is cruel for him to ask me not to act it out!"

One of the most powerful lines in the movie "Brokeback Mountain" is when Jack Twist says to Ennis "God, I wish I knew how to quit you!" Then Ennis Del Mar says, "Well, why don't you?" It was heartbreaking because we can see the genuine dilemma of a man who is "in Love" with another man. The movie leaves the question open ended, as if there is no answer. However, there is a beautiful and powerful answer. Unfortunately, Jack was not serious when he said the word "God."

Quitting anything that we are powerfully addicted to is incredibly hard. How many times have alcoholics looked at a bottle and said "God, I wish I knew how to quit you." How many times have smokers looked at a pack of cigarettes and said "God, I wish I knew how to quite you."

Some are born with a "predisposition" to homosexuality. A combination of environmental and emotional circumstances may interact with certain predispositions resulting in what we might call "gay". That is quite a bit different from being born gay as an immutable characteristic such as race or colour. Some people with a predisposition to depression become depressed, some don't. Some become depressed but after tuning their life over to Jesus, experience amazing healing and freedom from depression.

diagram of the four types of love, Agape, Eros, Philia, Storage.

Any disordered affections that interfere with our spiritual orientation and its call to chastity are obstacles to our spiritual journey. If eros is disordered, then God's love can be channeled in another way through Philia and Storage.

The story of Jesus calming the storm (Mat 14:24-33)

When we read this story through a new lens, it provides much hope for those with same sex attraction. Many today think that in order to be happy we need to yield to our passions. Perhaps we can read this passage with the waves being a metaphor for our passions, it shows the supernatural effect Jesus can have on our lives at calming those passions.

Show these bible verses
...the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind,[b] he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God."

When introduced to the idea of Jesus calming our passions, we are afraid it is a ghost (evil). But when we see who it is offering the help, we have an opportunity to walk on water. We sometimes fall in the water from doubt, but Jesus pulls us out and assures us that he will help. Here are some Bible verses on celibacy.

Not all things that feel good are truly good for us

But just because a human feels a certain way doesn't mean we are condemned to act on it. For example, there are studies that say all men are hard wired to have multiple partners. But most of us would agree that it is not appropriate for men to live that out. Most well adjusted and happy men don't. We live in a broken world. Catholics call it "original sin."

Jesus freed the woman who was going to be stoned for adultery, "Neither do I condemn you", but he also said, "from now on do not sin again" (Jn 8:11). Jesus loves us completely. He calls us to a higher standard, and sometimes that feels uncomfortable.

You don't die from not having sex. It's not like food and water. All humans have some sort of sexual struggle. We'd hardly be human if we didn't. The question is, "what are we going to do about it?" Paul comfortingly reminds us:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. ... And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.(1 Cor. 10:13).

Statistics provided by the Gay Community about life expectancy, addiction and sexual health issues

We've moved this section to our article "is same sex attraction intrinsically disordered?"

Interpretations of the Bible that attempt to justify gay "love"

We have moved our section on gay sex in the Bible to its own page.

Isn't Jesus about love and acceptance

Jesus is most certainly about love. He loves everybody in the LBGTQ community every bit as much as he does every person sitting in Church. He loves each of us equally and that is 100%.

Jesus loves us just the way we are -
and He loves us too much to leave us that way!
Love does not always say "Yes".

Anyone who is a parent can understand this idea.

An invitation and sources of help for LGBTQ people who want it

Courage
A Catholic organization that has helped some LGBTQ people who want to explore their relationship with Christ and who want to come into alignment with his will around sex. They are not into reparative therapy or any thing like that, they simply know that with God's love it's possible to live a happy and productive life without gay sex.

Sexaholics Anonymous
A 12 step program which has been successful at helping people maintain a chaste lifestyle free of sexual addiction. Again not into reparative therapy, just simply a way to be free of lust.

God heals our sexuality in many different ways. He has a plan for each person. Perhaps some people will remain celibate, others will feel called to marriage with a person of the opposite sex. Many have had successful straight marriages and have had kids. Some will struggle with same sex attraction for their lifetime and will need much support to remain sexually chaste. Others will be completely freed. There is no prescription. But the common thread is that those who turn to the Lord get an amazing amount of support and freedom. Jesus really does heal. The closer we get to him, the more freedom we experience.

Finally, we leave you with a classic Fulton Sheen talk about a normal and abnormal mind. It starts about 11:32 and should start there on play.

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