Seriously. A commentor, ck alerted us to a very sensitive study from the Catholic Medical Association on the subject of homosexuality, appropriately titled Homosexuality and Hope. I will reprint a couple of points that are important to consider in examining this issue - especially for parents, whose children are at risk due to enormous social and cultural pressures.
NOT BORN THAT WAY
Catholics believe that sexuality was designed by God as a sign of the love of Christ, the bridegroom, for his Bride, the Church, and therefore sexual activity is appropriate only in marriage. Healthy psycho-sexual development leads naturally to attraction in persons of each sex for the other sex. Trauma, erroneous education, and sin can cause a deviation from this pattern. Persons should not be identified with their emotional or developmental conflicts as though this was the essence of their identity. In the debate between essentialism and social constructionism, the believer in natural law would hold that human beings have an essential nature --either male or female --and that sinful inclinations --such as the desire to engage in homosexual acts --are constructed and can, therefore, be deconstructed.
It is, therefore, probably wise to avoid wherever possible using the words "homosexual" and "heterosexual" as nouns since such usage implies a fixed state and an equivalence between the natural state of man and woman as created by God and persons experiencing same sex attractions or behaviors.
SAME-SEX ATTRACTION AS A SYMPTOM
Individuals experience same-sex attractions for different reasons. While there are similarities in the patterns of development, each individual has a unique, personal history. In the histories of persons who experience same-sex attraction, one frequently finds one or more of the following:
•Alienation from the father in early childhood, because the father was perceived as hostile or distant, violent or alcoholic, (Apperson 1968 17 ; Bene 1965 18 ; Bieber 1962 19 ; Fisher 1996 20 ; Pillard 1988 21 ; Sipova 1983 22 )
•Mother was overprotective (boys), (Bieber, T. 1971 23 ; Bieber 1962 24 ; Snortum 1969 25 )
•Mother was needy and demanding (boys), (Fitzgibbons 1999 26 )
•Mother emotionally unavailable (girls), (Bradley 1997 27 ; Eisenbud 1982 28 )
•Parents failed to encourage same-sex identification, (Zucker 1995 29)
•Lack of rough and tumble play (boys), (Friedman 1980 30 ; Hadden 1967a 31 )
•Failure to identify with same/ sex peers, (Hockenberry 1987 32 ; Whitman 1977 33 )
•Dislike of team sports (boys), (Thompson 1973 34 )
•Lack of hand/ eye coordination and resultant teasing by peers (boys), (Bailey 1993 35 ; Fitzgibbons 1999 36 ; Newman 1976 37 )
•Sexual abuse or rape, (Beitchman 1991 38 ; Bradley 1997 39 ; Engel 1981 40 ; Finkelhor 1984; Gundlach 1967 41 )
•Social phobia or extreme shyness, (Golwyn 1993 42 )
•Parental loss through death or divorce, (Zucker 1995)
•Separation from parent during critical developmental stages. (Zucker 1995)
AT-RISK, NOT PREDESTINED
While a number of studies have shown that children who have been sexually abused, children exhibiting the symptoms of GID, and boys with chronic juvenile unmasculinity are at risk for same-sex attractions in adolescence and adulthood, it is important to note that a significant percentage of these children do not become homosexually active as adults. (Green 1985 57 ; Bradley 1998)
For some, negative childhood experiences are overcome by later positive interactions. Some make a conscious decision to turn away from temptation. The presence and the power of God's grace, while not always measurable, cannot be discounted as a factor in helping an at-risk individual turn away from same-sex attraction. The labeling of an adolescent, or worse a child, as unchangeably "homosexual" does the individual a grave disservice. Such adolescents or children can, with appropriate, positive intervention, be given proper guidance to deal with early emotional traumas. - Catholic Culture
Art: St. Louis King of France: along with St. Joseph, he is a patron and model for dads.
From a letter by St. Louis to his son:
My dearest son, my first instruction is that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your strength. Without this there is no salvation. Keep yourself, my son, from everything that you know displeases God, that is to say, from every mortal sin. You should permit yourself to be tormented by every kind of martyrdom before you would allow yourself to commit a mortal sin. If the Lord has permitted you to have some trial, bear it willingly and with gratitude, considering that it has happened for your good and that perhaps you well deserved it. If the Lord bestows upon you any kind of prosperity, thank him humbly and see that you become no worse for it, either though vain pride or anything else, because you ought not to oppose God or offend him in the matter of his gifts. Be kindhearted to the poor, the unfortunate and the afflicted. Give them as much help and consolation as you can.
Thank God for all the benefits he has bestowed upon you, that you may be worthy to receive greater. Always side with the poor rather than with the rich, until you are certain of the truth. Be devout and obedient to our mother the Church of Rome and the Supreme Pontiff as your spiritual father. In conclusion, dearest son, I give you every blessing that a loving father can give a sons. May the three Persons of the Holy Trinity and all the saints protect you from every evil. And may the Lord give you the grace to do his will so that he may be served and honored through you, that in the next life we may together come to see him, love him and praise him unceasingly. Amen. - Air Maria.
Please remember to pray for parents.
Thanks to ck for the link to Catholic Culture.