"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

My kid is not disordered.

My kid is not evil.

Many people, parents and loved ones of same sex attracted persons mistake Catholic Church teaching to be saying that the homosexual person is disordered, that homosexuals or gay people are evil.  That isn't true of course, although it can seem at times that religious persons within the Church hate the person as well as the sin.  That really just demonstrates that even faithful Catholics can be misled as well.  Which is why one must always return to the sources of Catholic teaching, clearly defined by the Magisterium.

Lately I have been reading of growing support for gay marriage, even from morally conservative voters.  The main reason being put forward is that more and more parents, brothers and sisters, and others are realizing that one of their loved ones is gay - or same sex attracted.  Hence the responses: "My son is not disordered."  "My Daughter is not evil."  "I want them to be happy and to be able to love whomever they choose." 

The problem for Catholics, as I see it, is the lack of clear, consistent teaching on the issue of homosexuality.  To be sure, the teaching is there and it is spelled out in no uncertain terms.  There are documents to prove it.  Nevertheless, in practical terms there is a lot of leeway given when it comes to 'pastoral care'.

For instance, homosexual acts are sinful, but the orientation itself - though disordered (disorders are normal for fallen man) is not sinful.  "Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder." CDF Letter, no.3

Yet ambiguities continue to abound.  Most recently the Cardinals Of Belgium claiming Church teaching has evolved.  Even Cardinal George has made strange statements.
George said although church teaching does not judge same-sex relationships as morally acceptable, it does encourage the faithful to "respect everyone." 
"The question is, 'Does respect mean that we have to change our teaching?' That's an ongoing discussion, of course. … I still go back to the fact that these are people we know and love and are part of our families. That's the most important point right now." - Cardinal George apology.
With all due respect to Cardinal George, Catholic teaching cannot change - and it is clearly a very important point right now. 

Courage and Cardinal Burke.

Recently I came across an introduction Cardinal Burke wrote to a book by Fr. Harvey, which addressed the difficulty Catholic parents face in accepting and supporting their children who happen to have SSA.  The Cardinal is so humble and charitable in his approach, I will let his introduction speak for itself. 
Some time ago, at the conclusion of a reception following the conferral of the sacrament of Confirmation, a mother approached me and asked whether she could speak with me. She began by saying that, while she did not want to offend me, she disagreed with a column I had written in the archdiocesan newspaper. The column was written at the time that the citizens of Missouri were preparing to vote on a referendum to amend the state constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman – that is, to ban what has become popularly known as "same-sex marriage" or "gay marriage".
This well-spoken mother told me that she was offended because my article implied that her daughter was evil. She went on to explain that her daughter, who is in her early twenties, had graduated from a private Catholic high school with highest honors and with many awards. She has been active in a same-sex relationship for some time. With great emotion, the mother declared her love for her daughter, which, according to her way of thinking, requires acceptance and support of her daughter's same-sex relationship, including welcoming her daughter and her same-sex partner into the family home.
I explained to the mother that I have never thought nor written that persons suffering from same-sex attraction are evil. I went on to summarize what I had written in the column to which she referred, namely, that same-sex attraction itself is disordered – that is, contrary to God's plan for us as male and female; that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil; and that persons with same-sex attraction are our brothers and sisters, whom we are to respect and love. The mother continued to insist that she loves her daughter and, therefore, will support her in her same-sex relationship. 
The conversation in question reminded me of several pastoral situations in which I have found a parent struggling painfully with the homosexual activity of a child. The emotion of the situation can understandably cloud one's judgment. Whereas in the past, such emotion may have led parents to reject a child suffering with the homosexual condition or to pretend that the condition did not exist, today there is a tendency for parents to believe that tolerance requires them to accept the homosexual activity of their child and even permit it in the family home.

 Given the strong public rhetoric favoring the acceptance of same-sex attraction and homosexual activity as an alternative form of human sexuality, the very presentation of the Catholic Church's perennial teaching on the matter is considered, at best, failing in pastoral sensitivity; at worst, hateful toward persons who struggle with same-sex attraction. The theological truth is seen to be somehow antithetical to the pastoral or loving response required. For that reason, Catholic faithful, including the clergy, can become hesitant to present and clearly uphold the Church's teaching on homosexual inclinations and activity. At the same time, the persistent public message about homosexuality – in the absence of a consistent presentation of the Church's teaching – can easily lead the Catholic faithful into confused and even erroneous thinking on the matter. - Finish reading here

Ed. Note: It is 'Gay Pride Month' so I may be posting on authentic Catholic teaching on homosexuality a bit more than usual.  What? 


  1. As the mother of a child with the disorder - you are spot on Terry!

  2. Thanks Jackie, because I know you love your child very much.

  3. Here's what I don't get-- You say that you don't teach that homosexuals are disordered, but then you turn right around and say that they have a disorder.

    1. Alcoholism is a disorder. Anorxia is a disorder. People are people. A person who has alcoholism is a person who has alcoholism. There are not an alcoholic, for that is to limit and label them by a disorder. People are not disorders, they are people. A person who has anorxia is a person who has anorxia. They are not the disorder itself. A person who has cancer is a person who has cancer. They are not a cancer themselves.

      I also think part of the problem is that some do not accept that we are all disordered in one way or another because we are fallen. How that falleness manifests itself depends on the individual. You, Thom, are a great deal better in most areas of your life than I, but you are still disordered because you are not perfect, and those areas of disorder are different than some of mine, and the same as some of mine. Homosexuality is a disorder that you, as a person, carry with you. I carry with myself other disorders that are far worse in some respects. But neither of us is perfect.

      If you cannot get past labels being the same as a person - that we identify by disorder, then I guess you are entitled to call yourself "disordered" because of your homosexuality. You can call yourself a "homosexual" if you want, even though such a thing is clearly a reduction of yourself into one aspect of your falleness. I think that is selling yourself short. If you want to label me, you can call me a drunk or a pervert or a ragaholic. You can call me disordered because of those things if you want. You can refer to me as disordered all day long - and you'd be right because I am fallen.

      Homosexuality is just one way human beings manifest their falleness. It is not any more special, nor any less disordered, than other ways we show our fallen natures.

    2. Hi Thom - I'm not teaching anything or anyone here. I'm repeating Church teaching however.

      I discuss homosexuality as a disorder but I am not identifying the person as disordered. I can judge behavior to be disordered but I am not accusing the person of being disordered.

      Make sense?

    3. Jericho - I like this:

      "Alcoholism is a disorder. Anorexia is a disorder. People are people. A person who has alcoholism is a person who has alcoholism. There are not an alcoholic, for that is to limit and label them by a disorder. People are not disorders, they are people. A person who has anorexia is a person who has anorexia. They are not the disorder itself. A person who has cancer is a person who has cancer. They are not a cancer themselves."

  4. +JMJ+

    It doesn't even have to be a "gay thing." There's something unbalanced about a parent who thinks that the world should reorient itself so that his child can have certain things to which no one is even entitled.

    Remember that weird Audrey Hepburn post of mine that you commented on, Terry? (If you draw me over with Imelda, I draw you over with Audrey. LOL! You're too classy for me, mate . . .) The problem with grasping after something that you think will make you happy, merely because others have it while you currently don't, means that you will never be happy. Because once you get it, the others will have moved on to something else. And you'll want that, too. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    This is all borrowed from TLP, of course. =P

  5. But who is saying the world needs to "orient," itself, and why would it. Gay people have always been here, always will, just as straight people obviously will be. Who is asking anyone to change the world? Because people want the civil right to marry?

    I do have to say, any parent who doesn't fight tooth and nail for their children to have the same civil rights, legal protections, safety and happiness in the world as the next child, should just give up the title of parent..I am referring to your post and your post only.

    1. Mack - gay people already are protected by civil rights - just as any other citizen. You ask,"Who is asking anyone to change the world?" Gay activists are.

  6. If we're all disordered in one way or another -- if we all have some sort of disordered desire (alcohol, drugs, power, money, food, various unhealthy sexual desires), then I'm not sure why homosexual desires are singled out in the way they are.

    Has Cardinal Burke asked parents to refuse to welcome into their homes their contracepting married children? Does he suggest parents may only welcome their obese children into their homes if those children adhere to a specific diet?

    Even the CCC states that gay people are born with a strong tendency towards intrinsic moral evil. Does the CCC state that the rest of us are born with a strong tendency towards intrinsic moral evil? The hot mess this world is in, even the hot mess we've made of sexuality in this world, is not the result of this "strong tendency towards intrinsic moral evil" gay people supposedly possess. It's the result of everyone's disordered tendencies and desires.

    There's something about the way homosexual sins are singled out that still hints at the notion that gay people are themselves somehow intrinsically evil.

    1. Quietcalmspirit - actually, gay activists are the people responsible for "why homosexual desires are singled out in the way they are."

      Gay pride month is kind of all about that - so is the push for gay marriage and stuff.

      Kinda queer, huh?

    2. I don't think so. Homosexual sins were considered somehow "extra" bad or evil or disordered long before there was a strong gay activist movement, or a Pride Week (or month or day or parade, or whatever).

      Gay activism is the response to that singling out, IMO.

      I'm not taking sides here -- there's a lot I don't like about the gay activist movement and, believe me, Pride Week is a pain in the butt, IMO (as if trying to cross Market St. isn't bad enough on a regular day, sigh), but I get why people think the Church teaches that gay people are intrinsically evil.

      Also, why doesn't the Church call out the people who are so intrinsically disordered as to continually misrepresent the Church's teaching on the matter with the same frequency and stridency they call out homosexual sins? Isn't being uncharitable the greater sin in the long run? Isn't a refusal to love the greater sin?

    3. calmgentlespirit - If you say so.

      There's a lot wrong in the world and the Church has missed out a lot in the last half of the 20th century - the powers that be have consistently let slip a lot of bad sins. Negligent Shepherds.

      You are right - being uncharitable is a greater sin. If we all deeply meditate the theological virtue of charity and strive generously to put it into practice, we would understand the chasm which exists between our understanding of love and the immensity of God's love for mankind - a love which wishes all men to be saved.

      God bless you and stay out of traffic on Market St. ;)

  7. FYI readers - I am not a member of Courage - I would recommend it however, although not everyone is suited to 12 step programs. I appreciate the materials Courage offers and I met and corresponded with Fr. Harvey and Fr. Groeschl - but I'm content to be Roman Catholic. I don't really join groups - some people are just like that.

    Roman Catholic works for me though.

    1. Hi Terry,

      Thank you for always faithfully covering this topic from a sound and solid Catholic perspective.

      I just wanted to mention that the 12-step format is only one of several meeting formats that a Courage group may use. Even so, a Catholic with same-sex attraction is under no obligation to start or join a Courage meeting.

      What matters is opening our hearts to continually grow closer to Christ through the sacraments and through the teachings of His Church. To this end, a well-run Courage group is certainly helpful, but not absolutely necessary to living a chaste and faithful Christian life.


    2. Hi Tina - thanks for making that clear - I hesitate to speak for Courage although I am very happy to direct people to the apostolate - there is nothing better in the Church. I'm fortunate to have good Catholic support and direction in my life.

  8. Hey, don't hold Gay Pride Parades against me and I won't hold sick things that straight people do against them.... like Bachelor Parties, (I just went to a buddies a month ago and all those good Catholic boys and what they like to get up to....Catholic Boys Gone Wild) Boring wedding receptions ("This isnt half as much fun as the Bachelor Party was," ) First Birthday Parties with clowns and that weird jumpy thing in the backyard where kids heads knock into each other.and NOW your trying to get Wedding/Baby Showers be Co-Ed..so we can all sit there and watch you unwrap your presents........when will you people give up your sick "activist," agenda!

    1. Don't worry -- anything that ties up any street that I need to drive on annoys me equally. Because it's all about meee! :^)

      I was married long before weddings turned into the bride's personal reality show, so don't blame me for those, either! I agree. I'm more likely to send my regrets along with a modest cash gift to those things. Not my cup of tea, either.

      I don't really mind the idea of a gay pride parade in general, but I do mind that it often competes with the Folsom Street Fair for public disgustingness. Good news is it's a great excuse to head up to Napa or Sonoma for the weekend and indulge in one of the more civilized disorders. ;^)

  9. Ah, you California people...dashing off things like "heading up to Napa or Sonoma for the weekend!" ..that is entirely my Midwestern jealousy thing going..I would much rather sit back with a glass of vino then wear some backless chaps...(and I think the rest of the world would rather I do that too.

    I am so goofy I had no idea what the Folsom Street Fair was but, hey, its a street fair so it has to be wholesome, right? Little did I know how NSFW it was until I clicked on a link of its images! Wow, we don't do those kinds of things in the street in Chicago (granted we are too busy running from gun fire to do them but....)

  10. I think the term DISORDERED means what it says, and it does not help to spin it. As far as I know, homosexuals are the only one given this designation. And as far
    as I can tell, it does not mean they are disordered in their behavior or in their inclinations but are disordered in their person.

    Certain behaviors are wrong always: lust, gluttony, stealing, etc and it does not matter who does it, the behavior is wrong. All humans suffer from concupiscence, the tendency to choose sin in situations. So all humans are wrong if they commit sinful behaviors, and we all have serious problems with concupiscence, but only homosexuals are given the extra category of being disordered in their person.

    If it was just a matter of the sinful behavior, or giving into concupiscence…..those terms would have been used. But instead in the case of homosexuals, a whole new term and category is given: disordered in their person.

    So the attempt to just say “oh, well we are all disordered” is really a spin and it is not faithful to what is being a said. Eliz Scalia (Terry's new hero?) had a post a month or so ago where she tried to spin it this way, that her struggle with overeating was also a disorder, but that is not how the term is used in the church’s teaching and it is wrong to spin it.

    1. Well-said, Anthony.

    2. Anthony, if that is how you choose to interpret it, that is fine, but you are incorrect.

      I too would have used the eating disorder analogy - it is indeed seen as a disorder - not just for over eaters, but anorexics and bulimics and so on. The inclination is disordered.

      Gay people think they can continually manipulate language to suit their preferences and promote their ideology. I'm sorry, but it gets to be annoying.

      Elizabeth Scalia is a friend whose book I read and recommend.

      You and others may say what you like, but when it comes to spinning Church teaching no one is more adept at it - and in error - than homosexuals promoting the lifestyle.

    3. See, this is where I get how gay people and the families of gay people feel like they're being told they or their loved ones are bad or evil.

      If same sex attractions are merely the same as Dunkin' Donut attractions, then why all the fuss over same sex attraction? Where are the homilies on the evils of gluttony? And don't people who suffer from gluttony and/or sloth always try to twist it to mean something else, like gluttony for something other than food and sloth of something other than the body?

      I know, I'm being obnoxious about it, but I really do get how the Church comes off as if it's saying gay people are something "other", something "less than", something worse by the very nature of their being than all the other sinners.

    4. Maybe 'disgruntled' would be a better term than 'disordered'?

      Oops - I did it again!

    5. Anthony - too bad you left. I want to offer my apologies for misreading you. But you misread what the Church wrote as well. I will try to clear that up once again here:

      The person with homosexual inclination/attraction is NOT disordered, the condition is. The inclination is toward a behavior that is intrinsically disordered. HOMOSEXUAL ACTS are intrinsically disordered. The documents say very clearly that the condition is an objective disorder.

      Some of my readers have been reading it all wrong.

      I'm so sorry I didn't read your comment more closely - but see, it's all good now, because you misread what I wrote as well.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  11. I would take for example the story about the gym teacher that got fired ..somewhere, by a Catholic school. Her mom died and her sibling put the woman's partner name in the obituary, alongside their spouse, as surviving family members. Now I saw a picture of this woman, built like a pit bull, short hair and yea, she is a gym teacher, anyone in their right mind would know what side of team she plays on...yet some parent sees the obit, and anonymously sends it to the principal, who proceeds to fire her. Now I am not questioning the schools' right to fire this poor woman (though I do question how much money the school gets from the state...) but I think it interesting that no one mentioned this petty, mean spirited person who would use an obit to get a woman, whose mother just died, job taken away from her, and what their "disorderd," inclination for being a creep was. From what I can see the woman does not make out with the misses in the faculty parking lot, take her to school functions or sport a rainbow flag track suit but she gets fired. I just have a feeling this person is the first one to take Communion each week and act like they are a true Catholic. I think the Church has engendered this kind of atmosphere with its pushing homosexuality in to a "very special category."

  12. Terry, why is that how i see it? i am not giving my idea. i think i am giving the church's teaching on this. since 1987 when the document from the CDF came out and first used the term "disordered" that is what it means. i am not gay and am not promoting the a life style, just saying not to sugar coat the church's clear teaching on this. if you want to give the church's teaching, then at least be honest and real?

  13. also to use the comparison to eating disorder etc. is not what the document means. eating disorder is coming from american "pop" psychology. the vatican document is a very specific philosophical document that uses terms in a very specific way in moral teaching. it has its own vocabulary that means what it means. it was not trying to give a pop
    psychology definition when it uses the term "disordered". but i am sorry to annoy you and since i see you are not open to real discussion there is no reason to visit your blog again, i will wish you and your blog well and hope you and Elizabeth are happy....just beware of turning self appointed catholic bloggers into a new idolatry!

    1. Hi Anthony - I have been using the Church documents and have been quoting from them too! They are good enough for me. Sorry if other people's analogies seem like spin to you - I'll try to avoid that and let what the Church teaches stand by itself.

      I don't know what I was thinking when I tried to make up analogies or refer to those people who do. Thanks for pointing out my error.

      Bye, and thanks for reading when you did.

  14. anthony...in Terry's defense..it is HIS blog and while he and I obviously don't agree with each other on many, many, many issues, he has always been a gracious "host," and, I can tell he reads what I have written, thought about it and then commented on it and have others here.

    1. Thanks Mack - most people do not read me for very long anyway. I actually like that - it keeps me from thinking I'm somebody.

    2. For example, Thom thought I was 'teaching' - I'm not a teacher or an apologist - just a dopey blogger.

  15. I think there's been some dancing around a specific point. First of all, no one, no one propounding authentic Catholic teaching, has said or implied that homosexuals are evil. That seems to be a red herring of a projecting conscience. The homosexual ACT is an intrinsic evil. Flat-out orthodox Catholic teaching.

    That doesn't mean that SSA'd people have to marry (marriage being in its essence a one-man, one-woman, one-flesh union, ordered to the procreation of children and sanctification of the spouse). If marriage is out for them (keeping in mind that some SSAs have married and live maritally chaste, saintly lives), then they are called to a life of single chastity (celibacy in their case, or the case of anyone else who can't or won't marry)....as our Lord said, "eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom".

    While I think that other sinful attractions (like gluttony, greed, etc) can be used as an analogy to a point, the use of the word 'disordered' regarding homosexual attraction, in the ontological sense of Catholic teaching, means that it is in a separate category because it is against the order that God set-up for the proper use of the sexual act (i.e. the conjugal embrace of marriage).

    While gluttony is sinful, it is still ordered to the divinely-designed use of food--thru the mouth to the stomach etc. It is, if you will, a properly ordered sinful excess. If I try to stuff a burger in my ear to get it to my stomach then a disordered aspect has entered the picture...the ear wasn't meant for food consumption.

    Because the union of man and woman in marriage (including the sexual act in that proper ordering and place), is a reflection of the inner life of the Trinity and also the union of Christ (Bridegroom) to His Church (bride), it carries a special distinction and honor. Our Lady said at Fatima that more souls go to hell for sexual impurity than for any other sin. So the 'disordering' of God's order for human one-flesh union certainly is of a distinct and grave category....in fact, it is one of only 4 sins set aside in Sacred Scripture that "cry out to Heaven for vengeance". Sodom was a real place, and it wasn't destroyed for gluttony or inhospitality.

    It is nothing to be taken lightly...it is a call by our Lord, with the help of His grace, to resist a very strong, and yes, disordered, urge. It is no doubt a heavy cross, but a cross that must be carried according to God's design in order to "partake of the divine nature".

    1. Thanks Susan. I think I've been perfectly clear on the issue at hand, while respecting the opposite point of view of the commentators here. I haven't been dancing around on this subject in the least.

  16. Susan,

    How does a gay person who gets married to an opposite sex person (how I feel for that poor person partner who would agree to that oddball arrangement) and who lives a "maritally chaste" life (and apparently becomes a saint as they don't have sex...) "respect " the conjugal embrace of marriage," which according to you is the whole point of marriage? You would seriously support a gay person marrying a straight person ( I am scratching my head on what the straight person would get out of it) That is seriously disordered.

    1. Mack - Melinda Selmys is married and has a family. There is another SSA guy online who is happily married as well.

      I have a few friends who are SSA and are married with children - happily married. A couple have had a few slips and slides along the way, but they stayed married.

    2. But isn't that kind of marriage not a true marriage in the eyes of the Church? The couple isn't giving themselves to each other fully and completely. A gay man cannot give anything but a disordered sexuality to his wife (or vice versa).

      I've known women who married gay men and both marriages ended disastrously and bitterly (with an attempted suicide in one case). The long term emotional damage on the heterosexual spouse and the children is devastating.

      I would not recommend this to anyone.

    3. quietclamspirit, thank you for being more eloquent then I am. I think when people view a persons' sexuality as a "disorder," they think that it can be overcome with hard work and prayer. I can't believe that the Church would bless a union like this (they don't want gay cub scouts but they want some gay husbands to some poor women..no wonder people are confused with the Church.) and I question how a gay, excuse me SSA person would do this, its utterly, utterly selfish...of course I can't believe a woman would agree to do this..walk into this. If you love someone dont marry them go see a chick flick together and go shopping. I wont even mention the selfishness of bringing children into the union and the potential pain that they will feel. THAT is a better life then someone saying, "Hey, Im gay and I love this guy were monogamous and I am living with him and that's that!"

  17. Mack,

    There are many more instances than you might think of SSA'd individuals marrying, loving the spouse they've committed their life to, having children, and fighting against (in many cases successfully overcoming) SSA. I try not to use the word 'gay' in describing a SSA'd person (for many reasons, one of them being that I think it's degrading to the dignity of the person...it defines a person by their sexual urges).

    Depending on how deeply seated the SSA, it may in fact be impossible to marry, in which case the person is called to a life of chaste celibacy, just as anyone else who doesn't, or can't marry. This is where a properly ordered understanding of 'the love of friendship' is vital for a life in communion and support of others....my understanding of Courage is that they stress this latter.

  18. As a mother and grandmother, it grieves me that so many parents and friends have become apologists for sinful behavior. Would they do the same thing if their kids or friends were drug addicts?

    The parents' job is to do their best to help their children get to heaven. Enabling immoral behavior does just the opposite. Think of how severe God was with the priest Eli for not reining in the sinful behavior of his sons.

    And then there are the parents who love their children enough to tell them the truth. I remember reading about a lesbian who began her journey to repentance when her Christian mother said, "I'm afraid when I die I'll never see you again." That mother truly loves her daughter!

    The ear ticklers sadly are thinking more of themselves and their own comfort than the children they say they love. They might as well hand their children cyanide capsules. In fact physical death is less serious than spiritual death!

    The only thing that matters is going to heaven and unrepented mortal sins kill grace in the soul. If a person dies in that state, he or she will go to hell. God is merciful, but He said not everyone who says "Lord Lord" will make it to heaven. Sinful pleasures just aren't worth it.

    1. Because Mary Ann maybe they see their kids are in healthy happy relationships and see they aren't like "drug addicts" or wish a life of being a neutered being on the children they truly love. Maybe God sent those kids into their lives to open their hearts and minds. Maybe they see a Church run by humans who create the doctrine people who shape that because of their own personal feelings. Or maybe they aren't fanatics. Do you know any normal gay people in relationships?

  19. Let's talk in ten years or so and see how happy they and their poor spouses are. Especially the ones getting caught with their pants down. And bringing kids into that freak show!And who would marry someone that is whatever you want to call it..a homo?And the Church supports this and promotes this?That would be like me marrying a lesbian...tho I could use someone who could change my oil!

    1. Mack - I know you mean well, but I haven't given you all the information on my friends. The men I know have been married for 30+ years and have adult children. They truly love their wives. They fell into sin, repented, and the marriage held together. We are all sinners. You must be aware of the fact most gay relationships - between men at least - are rarely ever monogamous - if they are not 'open' relationships some one is usually cheating or stopping off at the park on his way home.

      The Church supports natural marriage between a man and a woman. The Church has the sacrament of penance for those who commit sin.

      Mary Ann is right - in the end it is all about the salvation of one's soul.

    2. Terry, but your friends are not everyone. The two women I know who married gay men have totally different experiences.

      "Natural" marriage is not a gay person and a straight person. There's something deeply emotionally unhealthy about a straight woman marrying a gay man. The two women I know who did it had extremely low self-esteem. A strong woman with a strong sense of self does not marry a man who is, to say the least, not that into her.

    3. Hi quietcalmspirit - It is true my friends aren't typical, but the wives knew the whole deal before marriage, and really are very strong women - in fact without them, the guys would probably be a mess - but they do very well. The guys really fell in love. They really wanted to be married and have a family. They are much more normal and successful than I am - I promise you.

      I know it's weird - but the guys do not identify as gay. Melinda Selmys and the other blogger I reference do identify as gay, but they are happily married.

      I don't know what else to say.

      Not all people can be married, and the Church doesn't ask gay men to become straight men - just to live chastely and strive for holiness - but you know that.

      I'm not recommending getting married in any case.

      I don't know what else to say.

    4. If they don't identify as gay, and if they fell in love with women, and if they primarily wanted to be married to women and have families, then they're not gay. Maybe bisexual, or "pansexual" (whatever that is...I can't keep up anymore...)? And maybe the women are somewhat asexual (my husband has a sister like this, although she never married).

      It's like this weird girl I met once who kept identifying herself as a lesbian who happened to be sexually attracted to men, not women. Um, huh?

      Sometimes I think there's a cachet or attention-seeking thing about identifying as something outside the norm going on in some of these cases.

      Dunno. These complicated sexual situations and complicated sexual labels people choose for themselves always make me feel even older than I am. Sigh.

    5. Of course I said I am gone and then I start reading quietcalmspirits posts. I agree, its weird the labels put on oneself. I don't personally know her but Melinda Selmys..if she is the person I am thinking off, reminds me of one of those "weird," girls (and I don't think she would deny that label really intelligent quirky, eccentric girls (lit or science major??) who experiment in college with lesbianism and go on to a straight life. They actually aren't gay, but do have attractions to women. So perhaps there is some merit to saying someone is SSA (I originally thought, what is this goofy thing all about) instead of being "gay." I am gay in that I am not only sexually attracted to men exclusively (well, there are some pretty sexy women out there but I only like to look at em!!) but also emotionally attracted to men exclusively...i could not LOVE a woman other then platonically.

      Maybe that's the case with all those online guys who hook up (yes, even some "good," Catholics on the outside) with men on the side. I personally think most of them are deluded gay guys (or sex addicts and will do anything) but maybe some of them really are bi(whatever they are they need to be staying at home and truly living the life they say the are.)

      Its all so complicated and odd and yes, not only makes me feel old but makes me want to run home, baracade the door, turn off the TV and computer and hide from the gay activists, religious fanatics, left wingers, neo-cons etc.

    6. Exactly -- and to take it out of the realm of sexuality, I recall reading a piece written by a woman who, after indentifying as an alcoholic for years and being caught up in a 12-step program, finally realized that she wasn't an alcoholic. She'd done her share of binge drinking in college and had been dragged to an AA meeting by a friend and sort of got sucked into the whole 12-step thing and the identity that came along with it.

      And isn't there a joke about how girls who experiment with same sex hook-ups are college students, but if a guy does the same thing, he's gay, and stuck with the label for life?

      These days anyone can identify as anything. Men can "identify" as women, have their sex listed as "female" and get a free pass to hang out in the ladies' restroom.

      BTW -- that girl, the weird one, not only was she a lit major, but she went to the LOTR movies in a costume. Mack is totally right about that!

    7. quietcalmspirit - you crack me up. You guys should read Selmys - she is strange to be sure, but she remains or identifies as a lesbian - not an ex.

      Remember Brideshead? The college gay experience was played out there. But I digress.

  20. Terry..I am wrong to judge your friends relationship s no matter how odd they seem to me. I just wish you would recognize that not all gay relationships are the same you observed. As studies show a hell of a lot of straight married relationships involve infedelity.. Does that make them invalid. I think its scary when someone couples a hard line religious stance with "nothing is more important then getting to heaven" its not that far from hurting people for Allah.

    1. Mack, I'm so sorry, I didn't say that to hurt you.

  21. Mack,

    The kind of people I'm speaking about are people who would never consider calling themselves 'homos' as you say. They would call themselves children of God who carry, or have carried a cross of disordered attraction. They see this as one small aspect of who they are as a person; it does not define and dictate who they are and what they call themselves.

    Some of these individuals are highly motivated to change this disorder into the order God established, and as a result of putting God always first, their spouse second, family third; committing to the magnificent (nearly forgotten) practice of custody of the senses (particularly the eyes); fleeing occasions of sin as though from the plague; and most importantly living a life of prayer and the Sacraments, they have been very successful. Through methods of conditioning and retraining pleasure pathways in the brain and psyche, sexual attraction can be redirected for some, not for all, but for some.

    In my own little personal sphere of the world, I know 2 such couples...28 and 30 yrs. married; joyful, committed, in love in the fullest 'agape' sense of the word. It hasn't been easy for either...no marriage is. But love, and how we live it, is an act of the will, not an act of the glands....the latter is lust, and is too often confused for the former in our sad culture.

    As for the Church supporting this, I don't know if they formally do, and I never claimed they did. It's my understanding that the Church approved ministry of Courage doesn't even attempt conversion therapy. Rather they help SSA'd people live lives of chastity and joy, helping them to understand the true love of friendship, without sexualizing relationships; again thru prayer, the Sacraments, custody of the senses, and living the Moral and Cardinal Virtues.

    There are two paths here; the latter is the more common--probably also the safer, but for the SSA'd person, these are the 2 choices if you want to be a Saint.

    Your obvious disdain and antipathy for people who desire something transcendent that you might not think is possible (or even desirable) is sad. There is heroic virtue here, and much strength to be found in the help of God...believe it or not, some people make it through their whole lives without "getting caught with their pants down", cause they don't take their pants down when they're not supposed to. It is a dying to self, putting God and neighbor first, rather than putting one's private part where one wants to put it when one wants to put it there, no matter the ill consequences. It is a mastery of self for the love of God, with the help of God, having the will as the handmaid of the intellect (proper hierarchy); rather than the slavery of desire and the fire of addiction that the homosexual lifestyle actively lived-out is...the intellect becoming the handmaid of the will (improper hierarchy).

    Having said all this, is there room for error?...of course. That's why Christ gave us Confession...but that Sacrament can never be used as a revolving 'get out of jail free card' for a life lived purposely and continually against God's will and design...a purpose of amendment has to be present.

  22. mary ann is right. the most loving thing my family did for me was stay strong in the faith and not compromise the truth, no matter how hard I tried to 'educate' them back in the day. they never banished me from family functions, even when I flaunted my proclivities in their faces. how shame-faced I now am.

    striving every day to live chastely is not easy, but I have a heck of a lot more peace and interior joy now than I did in the days of living w/the boys (that's a euphemism encompassing a whole lot of stuff). not every actively gay person is drug addicted or hangs out in parks and some are even downright boring. that doesn't make them right. the Church teaches the truth about the meaning of the human person. and through study and reflection, prayer, and just living the Catholic life, interior freedom is possible over time.

    susan, you've eloquently amplified things. what more can be said.


  23. I just saw the prior two comments, and your saying this:

    "As studies show a hell of a lot of straight married relationships involve infedelity.. Does that make them invalid. I think its scary when someone couples a hard line religious stance with "nothing is more important then getting to heaven" its not that far from hurting people for Allah."

    "Straight" people who commit infidelity (adultery) commit mortal sin. The marriage isn't invalidated; it is wounded in a big way and sin is brought into the relationship by the offending partner. The marriage is still perfectly valid as a man-woman one-flesh union, but it needs to be healed...there needs to be repentance, forgiveness sought and given, and Sacramental reconciliation.

    and having a problem "when someone couples a hard line religious stance with "nothing is more important then getting to heaven", is at its core having a problem with Christ...that's pretty much a summary of His teaching. And it has nothing to do with, nor any relation to "hurting people for allah". Hurting people for allah is a false gospel given by a false prophet. Christ's teaching on the narrow path to the Kingdom of Heaven (including His teaching on sexual morality) is the doctrine of the Son of God, and the only way to eternal life. We dismiss any of it at the peril of our souls, and to say so is a simple act of charity. "Preach the Gospel in season and out of season"...no matter how inconvenient or unpopular.

  24. ...and doughboy, God bless you. You're exactly the kind of awesome I was talking about.

  25. Terry,

    No problem you did not hurt me, I was referring to something else but it was rude so...and I hate this phrase...my bad.

    Susan, I have never shown disdain or antipathy to anyone on here or elsewhere. I have lived life and I will freely say that I find a marriage a gay person (call it what you will) and a straight person as odd and unhealthy for both of them..especially the poor straight person (as you said, marriage and relationship is hard enough, without that hurdle..) people bringing children into that I think is sad and strange...they are playing house to me. However, to say that is EVERY couple and every instance including your friends...no..that is as bad as saying every gay person is a truck stop Mary and every relationship is"open," . Its strange to me but luckily we live in a country which is not a theocracy and where people can choose their life path and as my Mom would say, "God made all kinds!!!!"

    I do know and agree that a great many gay people (as many straight people ) are addicts, either to booze, or drugs or to sex. Where that came from, a life time of being told you are less then others that you are sinner simply for your sexual preference, who is to say (I just thank God that I am not one of those people, there but for the grace of God I go.) I do know that a great many addicts switch one for the other, they are obsessive compulsive people who go overboard in everything and I am concerned that these people are the type of people attracted to Courage and "changing their lives totally around." If it works for them..great...but I hope they don't "fall off the wagon."

    Peace and love to you all. I came here reading about Engelman Ivy and started reading other posts and had some good discussions with some very intelligent, eloquent people. I feel frustrated that "some," people close their minds off and simply say ..Ill use this for you Terry, SSA is bad because the Church tells me so, and that is it. But..I know you are all frustrated with me.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to talk to mean and being polite about it all. Your clubhouse is all yours again and I just ask that you don't shut out a loved one in your life and be so dogmatic that you can't see they are loving good people too. Humans run the church and politics have run the Church for years and both are sometimes wrong and change.

    And I am still jealous of Terry's Ivy!

  26. And thanks Terry for being a good "host," you are a kind and caring soul and I wish you nothing but happiness whatever road you choose!

    1. The same to you Mack. Keep praying, keep listening, and as the Pope said today, 'let yourself be loved by God'. Be the very best you can be - I know from what you write you are committed to that. God loves us so much - let's pray for one another to be able to let ourselves be loved.

      The priest who had Mass said today that we must not walk away from one another.

      I wish you much love and peace. Thanks for being so charitable and kind towards me.

    2. I almost forgot - thanks for being so patient and understanding as well.

  27. Hey and I almost forgot..(God, I am like an obnoxious guest at a party...Good Night, Good Night, yea, can you just leave now!) that I hope I didnt offend you with my calling Melinda Selmys "weird, " or "odd," or whatever intelligent word I used. I ment that as a compliment as she is quit interesting in a way the world would see as "weird." Thanks for turning me on to her (no not that way) I like reading her stuff even if I don't agree..she is both intellectual and has the best spirit of Christ in her and her dealing with the whole gay thing.


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