You've got to have friends.
Friends of Joe Prever feel he was 'picked on' for his tweets at a recent Courage sponsored conference in Detroit. I wrote about that here.
That is what happens when we discuss same sex attraction, gay and Catholic stuff. Clarity on Catholic teaching is a necessity. Perhaps that was mentioned at the conference - I'm sure that was the expectation. Candid, albeit public tweets by participant and invited guest Joe Prever concerned some people and an online discussion ensued. That's good - because, as I say, clarity on Catholic teaching is a necessity. (As for infiltration of the Church by gay activists - that already happened and has been the case for decades. Dignity, New Ways Ministry, and others have influenced Catholic teaching and pastoral care on the parish and scholastic level for years.)
The Spiritual Friendship model has been invited to the table.
Joe Prever is a work in progress, as we all are. There is nothing wrong with challenging a public speaker. That said, his message is out there. What it amounts to is very similar to discussions within Courage groups - honest, forthright, discussion regarding the difficulties involved in dealing with same sex attraction, isolation, loneliness, temptations against chastity and so on. Prever discusses the need for friendship and support - disinterested friendship - meaning without inordinate attachment or affection. Not mixing it up with sexual fantasy or neurotic fears of 'an occasion of sin' in having a 'guy' as a close friend and confidant. When we talk that way - sometimes it sounds like we are trying to find a way to have a lover, or boy friend friendship, or partner-type intimate friendship. And so that is why public speakers and authors find themselves challenged.
Prever's presentation is getting more press, which affords a different perspective on the intent and purpose of his presentation at the conference. It's helpful to consider his POV within the context of his experience.
True friendship is vital in helping young people who are struggling with same-sex attraction but trying to live a chaste lifestyle, said a prominent gay Catholic blogger.
“We love when we make ourselves vulnerable,” said blogger Joseph Prever who writes under the pseudonym Steve Gershom for a blog with the tagline, “Catholic, gay, and feeling fine.” Prever was speaking at an international conference on pastoral care for those experiencing same-sex attraction, organized by the Catholic ministry Courage.They're here ... and you know ...
In his talk titled “The Curse of the Ouroboros: Notes On Friendship,” he explained how close, chaste friendships can help young people experiencing same-sex attractions escape a self-destructive cycle that can result from an excessive inward-focus.
“A lot of people struggle with being sort of inward-turned, sort of self-enclosed, sort of unable to engage people in actual person-to-person relationships, because you’re so concerned with maintaining your own self-image, maintaining your image in other people’s minds,” he said in an interview after his talk.“So for me, the struggle has always been learning to sort of unknot that knot, and a large part of the way that has happened in my life has been via friendships, both in learning to let other people see into my interior and to sort of help me when I was not quite willing to be helped,” he said.“And also learning to reach out and help other people who are in even worse, or just different, spots.” - CNA
The Spiritual Friendship Movement has achieved recognition by many Catholics, and their representatives are invited to speak here and there, while their writings are being read by Catholic clergy and laity. So I'll reiterate, it is entirely appropriate for Catholics to challenge these spokesmen whenever there may be some confusion regarding Catholic teaching, pastoral care, or conscientious objection to the notion that gay is a third way. Nothing wrong with that. God bless those courageous enough to act as 'devil's advocate' in these contentious times.
These people are criticized right and left - as most gay people are. In September Ron Belgau will be speaking at Philadelphia's World Meeting of Families. LGBT activists do not think it's enough, nor do they think Belgau is relevant since he represents the tiniest minority of LGBTQ Catholics in this country.
See. That's part of the problem folks... LGBTQ activists will tolerate those who choose celibacy - but don't force it or even propose it for the rest of them. Hence the confusion. Which is exactly why concerned Catholics and clerics need to clarify what 'gay-Catholics' are attempting to 'teach' and 'propagate'? Oh - so you are worried such discussions will turn people away and not attract them to the Church? It doesn't deter me. Anyway - the Holy Spirit attracts people - not to worry.
Don't forget, LGBTQ and gender issues are huge issues threatening the Church and family and they should be the concern of parents and clergy alike.
Yeah, so toughen up.