I will post some excerpts over several days.
|Saskatchewan author, Ryan Willey|
The Christian sharing circle was told that there would be a talk in a Roman Catholic Church which apparently was going to be something positive towards gay and lesbian people. It sounded appealing to us and we attended.
We met in a room with couches and sat around in a circle for this unique gathering. We were left in the dark that there was a man who would be sharing his story and he was very involved in “Courage”, a Roman Catholic support group which promoted the practice of disowning homosexual desires.
He touched on some sexual abuse which happened to him as a child and began talking about “wisdom” that only the Roman Catholic Church obtained. Thus stating that as Roman Catholic people they were to abide by their catechism which states:
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 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. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them 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 fulfil 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.
2359 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.
Obviously this theory on homosexuality is outdated and inaccurate. For example when it says that tradition has always viewed homosexuality as disordered, it only pertains to the culture in which this was written. There were Pagan cultures in which members would celebrate same-sex relationships and even went as far as to ceremonially officiate their relationships. To say that homosexuality has always been viewed as “disordered” is nothing but a fabrication and surely we can’t take what the catechism says as a science or “God breathed” for that matter.
We called him out on what he was saying. Some of the people in our group were in college to become ministers and therefore had a few facts to bring up which contradicted what the catechism says. I, however, did not care much about what the catechism says because it has been modified before in regards to divorce...except they do not call it divorce, they call it an “annulment” which apparently isn’t divorce to them. The difference to them is that a divorce is a civil proceeding whereby money and property are divided up, legal rights are established, and child visitation schedules are established. A Catholic annulment is when a husband and wife simply decide to split up. So let me get this straight... because of money and legal rights an annulment is not a sin? That doesn’t sound very “righteous” if you ask me.
I mentioned that there was no point in following the catechism word for word since the church always comes to some sort of change after so many years and the catechism gets revised. It’s happened before and it surely will happen again. There is hope for Roman Catholic family and friends after all.
This event ended with total disagreement between our group and this fellow telling his story and promoting disowning one’s same-sex desires. There was nothing more to be said as he closed the talk and some of the members of the Christian Sharing Circle were very upset. Those negative echoes hit a very personal note with us who embrace intimate love with the same sex. We were always going to hear them from people outside of our group, and this little event only prepared us for another event which was similar but much more public.
Stay tuned tomorrow for another excerpt of his book.
You can purchase the book Becoming the Devil They Fear from McNally Robinson. They ship books as well. I will post the details when the book is ready