Catholic, Gay, and Feeling Fine


June 14, 2012 by mattfradd

The following article has been written by Steve Gershom. Steve is a pro-Catholic, pro-chastity man with same-sex attraction. 

I personally don’t believe we should use the word “gay” to describe a person. (This article should demonstrate why) However, this is Steve’s article, not mine and I believe that overall it’s a very helpful one which people need to read. Enjoy! 

I have heard a lot about how mean the Church is, and how bigoted, because she opposes gay marriage. How badly she misunderstands gay people, and how hostile she is towards us. My gut reaction to such things is: Are you freaking kidding me? Are we even talking about the same church?

When I go to Confession, I sometimes mention the fact that I’m gay, to give the priest some context. (And to spare him some confusion: Did you say ‘locker room’? What were you doing in the women’s…oh.) I’ve always gotten one of two responses: either compassion, encouragement, and admiration, because the celibate life is difficult and profoundly counter-cultural; or nothing at all, not even a ripple, as if I had confessed eating too much on Thanksgiving.

Of the two responses, my ego prefers the first — who doesn’t like thinking of themselves as some kind of hero? — but the second might make more sense. Being gay doesn’t mean I’m special or extraordinary. It just means that my life is not always easy. (Surprise!) And as my friend J. said when I told him recently about my homosexuality, “I guess if it wasn’t that, it would have been something else.” Meaning that nobody lives without a burden of one kind or another. As Rabbi Abraham Heschel said: “The man who has not suffered, what can he possibly know, anyway?”

Where are all these bigoted Catholics I keep hearing about? When I told my family a year ago, not one of them responded with anything but love and understanding. Nobody acted like I had a disease. Nobody started treating me differently or looking at me funny. The same is true of every one of the Catholic friends that I’ve told. They love me for who I am.

Actually, the only time I get shock or disgust or disbelief, the only time I’ve noticed people treating me differently after I tell them, is when I tell someone who supports the gay lifestyle. Celibacy?? You must be some kind of freak.

Hooray for tolerance of different viewpoints. I’m grateful to gay activists for some things — making people people more aware of the prevalence of homosexuality, making homophobia less socially acceptable — but they also make it more difficult for me to be understood, to be accepted for who I am and what I believe. If I want open-mindedness, acceptance, and understanding, I look to Catholics.

Is it hard to be gay and Catholic? Yes, because like everybody, I sometimes want things that are not good for me. The Church doesn’t let me have those things, not because she’s mean, but because she’s a good mother. If my son or daughter wanted to eat sand I’d tell them: that’s not what eating is for; it won’t nourish you; it will hurt you. Maybe my daughter has some kind of condition that makes her like sand better than food, but I still wouldn’t let her eat it. Actually, if she was young or stubborn enough, I might not be able to reason with her — I might just have to make a rule against eating sand. Even if she thought I was mean.

So the Church doesn’t oppose gay marriage because it’s wrong; she opposes it because it’s impossible, just as impossible as living on sand. The Church believes, and I believe, in a universe that means something, and in a God who made the universe — made men and women, designed sex and marriage from the ground up. In that universe, gay marriage doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the picture, and we’re not about to throw out the rest of the picture.

If you don’t believe in these things, if you believe that men and women and sex and marriage are pretty much whatever we say they are, then okay: we don’t have much left to talk about. That’s not the world I live in.

So, yes, it’s hard to be gay and Catholic — it’s hard to be anything and Catholic — because I don’t always get to do what I want. Show me a religion where you always get to do what you want and I’ll show you a pretty shabby, lazy religion. Something not worth living or dying for, or even getting up in the morning for. That might be the kind of world John Lennon wanted, but John Lennon was kind of an idiot.

Would I trade in my Catholicism for a worldview where I get to marry a man? Would I trade in the Eucharist and the Mass and the rest of it? Being a Catholic means believing in a God who literally waits in the chapel for me, hoping I’ll stop by just for ten minutes so he can pour out love and healing on my heart. Which is worth more — all this, or getting to have sex with who I want? I wish everybody, straight or gay, had as beautiful a life as I have.

I know this isn’t a satisfactory answer. I don’t think any words could be. I try to make my life a satisfactory answer, to this question and to others: What are people for? What is love, and what does it look like? How do we get past our own selfishness so we can love God and our neighbors and ourselves?

It’s a work in progress.

Steve can be found at

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411 thoughts on “Catholic, Gay, and Feeling Fine

  1. Fr. Bob says:

    What wisdom from a young man. I am truly impressed how you have kept things in perspective of all the issues facing gay men. God bless you.

    • Larry Grecu says:

      I have a question or two. In I Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul states, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. AND SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Then in II Corinthians 5:17, Paul states even further: “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he IS a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” How can someone who has become a Christian still be a gay Christian or a Christian drunkard, or a Christian adulterer, or a Christian extortioner? Does this not contradict the plain word of God? I cannot imagine a Christian going to an AA meeting and saying, “Hello, my name is John, and I am an alcoholic.” Where does our faith come in to believe what the Bible teaches, that is, we are new creations, old things have passed away, behold all things are NEW?

      • attb says:

        I will try not to make this long, please bear with me. I saw a picture on facebook today of a man carrying a horse. He was grumbling and saying: “‘take a horse’ they said, ‘it will be quicker’ they said.” at the time I thought that sounded like a parable which I think can be explained thus. When we become Christians we do indeed become new creations but for many of us changing the way we live is not instantaneous, or some changes are but not all the changes we need to make. we have been given the “horse” and told what it does but we have to learn to use it correctly. When we have learnt to ride the horse and not carry it, we may still fall off from time to time. read Philippians 3: 7-14 Paul says he has not yet obtained that which he has been given yet there is a sense that he has been given it (see verse 12b).

        in answer to the question how can anyone be a gay Christian there are two sides to the problem. finding people of the same sex more appealing and attractive (i.e. having gay attractions) is not a sin unless you are lusting after those people. Finding someone attractive does not make you an adulterer, having sex with someone who is not you spouse (or lusting after them as Jesus says in matt 5:27-28) makes you an adulterer. Surely the same applies to people who have same sex attractions. The only real difference is that by the very nature of those attractions they are called by God to be married only to him (or to overcome those attractions and have a marriage with someone of the opposite sex, which can happen as true love is a learnt thing and a decision that will, or at least should, last long after the original attraction fades).

      • Larry Grecu says:

        Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I plan on reading the response again and will probably comment later after I have had the time to read what you have said. I do not want to rush through your response, but I did want to thank you ahead of time for taking the time to write. God bless!

      • J. H. says:

        “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

        You have a narrow focus on one passage to explain the entire Christian life, unfortunately it seems to have stunted your maturity in Christ. This brother confesses his sin, and is being purified from unrighteousness. What is your sin brother? Have you confessed it? Do you continually present your flaws or do you deceive yourself to think that because of the promise of sanctification you have attained what the Apostle Paul himself said he had not?

        Why do you point out the stick in your brother’s eye and do not take out the log in your own eye? First take the log out of your own eye then you will better be able to remove the stick in your brother’s eye.

        Also, your reference to AA shows that you have never personally gone to an AA meeting, or had a conversation for more than 10 minutes with anyone and asked what they mean at the meetings when they say “I am an alcoholic”.

        Peace and may God have mercy on you.

      • Larry Grecu says:

        Dear JH,
        You apparently missed my point entirely. I am not talking about sinless perfection. BUT, there must be some truth to what Paul said in his statement (not mine) that some of us have never reached. I have never heard preacher or pastor stand in a pulpit and make such a proclamation. Do you think Paul was being narrow-minded when he made this statement in his epistle? I think he knew something of the Good News that we have not yet grasped AND obviously he had attained to this truth or he would not have written it to these early Christians.

      • Chris B. says:

        Larry, what is your context? What do you bring us about your own imperfections? And how is it that you manage to find Christianity to be mutually exclusive to so many things? And based on a single excerpt from Paul, whose literal words must, certainly, carry all the force of Leviticus? Your criticism of the article is founded on a chapter/verse examination where interpretation of scripture becomes nothing more than a recitation of statutes.

        The tiny god behind your message of quick judgment and complete intolerance is not my God. I suspect you are not Roman Catholic. We who are understand that the Word of God, while constant, may not always be revealed in the same way – and different prophets can endow their teachings with very personal imprimaturs. Francis is different from Ignatius. Both are different from Aquinas. I am glad the Roman Catholic faith has such a robust intellectual traditions. Otherwise, we’d be left with strict constructionists telling would-be Christians how unwelcome they are.

      • Larry Grecu says:

        Dear Chris,

        My question is not related to gay-bashing. What I am asking is this: Is it possible for us to live in the same kind of victory that the apostle Paul lived in, he who himself proclaims that he WAS a blasphemer, murderer, etc. As far as my own sins and sin in the flesh, this is what I know: I have been justified from the guilt associated with my sins through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. I have been crucified with Christ and am dead unto sin – “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” Though I have, according to the Bible, sin in the flesh, this un-redeemed body, I do not have to be dominated by sin, nor do I have to live under condemnation when I see things coming up in me that pertain to the old man (Paul’s Romans 7 dilemma of “Who shall deliver me from this body of death?”). Does this mean I do not sin? No. But it does mean that there is a life that can be lived above sin – “How can we who are dead to sin live any longer in it? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid!”. I think it would do everyone good to recall that we DON’T have to sin! Sin is preceded by temptation, and temptation can be overcome by the blood of the lamb, the word of our testimony, and not loving our lives to the death. In these statements, I am trying to point out just what the Cross accomplished for us and in us so that we don’t have to stay under condemnation, guilt, or hopelessness: “There is therefore NOW no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. We can live in the PRESENCE of God 24/7. I do not have to worry about what I have done in the past; I do not have to worry about what I was or was not. I do not have to worry about what I see in my flesh – “In my flesh dwells no good thing” – because I have been crucified with Christ. Christ has died FOR my sins and has died UNTO sin that I can walk in newness of life. Either this is true, or Paul, who says he was taught by Jesus Christ Himself, is a liar. If this is true, then most Christians are living below what God has promised us in His Word. If you want to call me a non-Catholic for saying these things, I consider that a compliment!

      • attb says:

        Chris: I would just like to draw attention to the fact that that verse in Corinthians is not the only time we are told that people who do certain things will not enter the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:13-26 contains a similar splurge telling us to live by the spirit and urging us do stop doing the things of the flesh (which is a process and for most people isn’t instantaneous just as learning to read is a process or learning how to talk. With God there is always something else to learn, he never stops teaching us until the day we die and often it can be a long or painful process).

        it also appears in Ephesians 5:1-20. and there are other time some things are mentioned but no other list is as long as those three. The idea is never that the christian is perfect. paul was well aware that there is a continual struggle to crucify the flesh and live God’s way instead. he knew that sometimes it is very hard to do so and that it can be the last thing we want to do. every one of us should look at that list and indeed at our selves and ask God to show us where he wants us to change. true change will only come through the holy spirit and at the same time our relationship with God will develop. it is a lot harder to draw close to God when we are willingly living in sin in whatever form it takes be it refusing to forgive someone, stealing, sinning sexually, lying or something else. at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what anyone else says or how they judge you, at the end of the day it is between you and God.

  2. Franchesca says:

    @Francisedward and Peter
    I want to thank you both for your stories/comments here! It truly warms my heart knowing there are others out there like me! I am a Catholic Lesbian. I have been in a committed relationship for going on 3 years now. And She is the love of my life. I love the Catholic faith and I embrace the teachings as a good Catholic should. I go to mass on Sundays, I pray often in fact.
    But like both of you, I am not graced with being able to be ‘celibate.’ It’s not my personal love language. I’d be miserable if I lived the single life. I’ve tried it. And like many of our brothers and sisters in the church, I know i’m a sinner. But I also know i have just as much right to be in church like they do. I’m in the exact same place as both of you and I really wish you all the love and compassion in the world. I am sorry for the hateful comments or messages you’ve been getting. Those people just don’t understand and we should pray for them.
    I also wanted to invite you to continue to discuss this topic further with me on facebook or e-mail. I really am interested in more of what both of you have to say on the subject and how your faith is playing out for you both. Thank you so much and God Bless!

    • Franchesca,
      Blessings to you!
      Just want to acknowledge this so you have accurate information about the Catholic faith and teachings.
      A primary teaching in the Church is that one has a contrite, repentant heart regarding their sin. I’m not comparing you to anyone else in the pew because I don’t know where they stand regarding sin and the Church teachings.
      The question is, are you seeing living out the homosexual tendencies as sinful? If you see it as sinful and confess it, you should have a contrite heart of trying not to sin again.
      If you don’t see it as sinful, you are not living the teachings of the Catholic Church. I wasn’t clear on where you stand in your post. You seemed to say both.
      I would say the same thing to a heterosexual who is having premarital sex, or masturbating; or a married person who is not living the married life chastely.

      • Franchesca says:

        Dear Deep,

        Blessings to you as well!
        I can assure you my dear, I have FULL respect for the church and it’s teachings. I graduated from a Catholic college that I chose to attend. I’m fully detailed on why the Catholic church is the way it is.
        As for what it is you’re asking of me. Well, that’s the whole subject at hand isn’t it? For those of us who are homosexual and still choose to believe the Catholic faith. It’s a difficult road but one that it sounds like not just myself? But others walk none the less.
        What I was saying was to my fellow men who are homosexual with partners and still are active in the Catholic church. It sounds like they understand where I’m coming from and go through the same struggles. As for the man who wrote this article? Good for him for being able to live the single life. It is a grace. But not one that many possess. All i was saying is that I live my life the best that I can and work with what I have.
        I, like Peter, don’t believe i was made to be on my own for the rest of my life just because I’m gay. And also like him, I believe that just because we love someone of the same sex, it doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to practice our faith in the Catholic church. He mentioned he was active in the church and sounds like he volunteers his time. That’s a beautiful thing for anyone to do. We can all agree he’s a good person and has a good heart. So why then, should he not be allowed to love who he loves?! To share that beautiful heart with someone who appreciates it and accepts his love in return?!
        I was simply saying I know where he’s coming from.
        God Bless

      • J says:

        There is a group called Exodus International that converts gay people to straight. I might also add that I’ve heard sin described as “missing the mark”. Is it possible that those with gay desires are missing the mark? I do believe that satan will use whatever tactics to plant thoughts in our minds to cause us to miss the mark. There are people who are attracted to all kinds of things they should not be and vehemently compelled to behaviors that are harmful to them. Heck there are even people that are so compelled to cut their own limbs off to achieve what they believe is happiness. I’m serious about that. (Google “body integrity disorder”). I don’t know if you’ve read any of Joyce Meyers but in Battlefield of the Mind (for instance) she references multiple bible verses about what our thoughts are and how we should be paying attention to them. We are to take every THOUGHT captive that goes against the will of God. My guess is that in your thought life, you are thinking a lot about how much you love sex with this man, or how much you love this man etc. Satan convinces us in the first person, He’s not a cute little red cupid tempting you to have another cookie. He is cunning and he is probably implanting thoughts that are harmful to you. Those kinds of thoughts being “i love this man’s this or that” or whatever. As far as being born gay, I have checked into this and have found no study that really shows this to be true at all. (any more than those attracted to their mothers are born that way). I really did study them with an open mind and couldn’t see anything remotely convincing that this type of attraction takes place via genetics. Simon LeVay is often attributed to finding the gay gene, however he denies this. , I personally know a man who wanted to become a woman. He was very convinced that this was his destiny and that this was his key to happiness. I knew after talking him that he was deluded, however he told me that he would have to go for counseling for a year before he was approved. I figured “well if I can talk to him for 2 hours and figure out he’s deluding himself, a trained professional will also quickly see this,. However, low and behold, this man WAS approved for the operation. It wasn’t until after he was approved (and had grown boobs with hormone pills) that he decided against it. He is today a happy man and glad he did not go through with the operation. There are many who have gone through sex changes and realized it was a mistake. Google “sex change regret” . Again, I go back to satan convincing us that something of something that we want, that is actually harmful and really won’t bring peace and happiness. I also want to comment to the writer of the article. If you are not having sex with men, why ‘come out’ to family and friends at all? Why not work on your own thought life? Joyce Meyer says to ‘pay attention to your thought life” and to cast out thoughts contrary to scripture. If we continue to do this, the evil thoughts will eventually diminish. To conclude, we dont’ have to have these labels and miss the mark. Any kind of change is hard, but it is possible and it is rewarding.

  3. J. says:

    Well said. You just said what I’ve been feeling. I, too, am attracted to men and very much wish I wasn’t so I could lead a normal, heterosexual life. For me, I am a Latter-day Saint (Mormon) and I strongly believe that God never intended lasting emotional and spiritual benefit to occur from a homosexual relationship. In many ways, this challenge keeps me turning back to God. I am very grateful that I have a trial that keeps me praying. Sure, it’s tough, but I learned from Christ’s example that my same-sex attraction, in comparison to His life’s challenges, is very manageable and will eventually lead me down a better road if I remain faithful. Thank you.

  4. Glen says:

    The mind is very powerful. People can convince themselves of anything, even the will to live can be overridden with thoughts of suicide. Educated, thoughtful, reasonable adults can become mired in their own thoughts of hoarding. The claim is not that “I am gay”, but rather that “I think I am gay”.

    • MC says:

      Just like you ‘think’ you’re straight? That is one of the most ignorant remarks on this page. Thank you for demonstrating your lack of intellect to the world.

    • m_gagnon says:

      It is very easy for those of us who are not gay to think that way because we haven’t had to live with that impulse. But I think if someone like Steve is really trying to resist temptation and even goes to a priest for help, it isn’t fair for anyone to judge that way. Maybe there are some people like that, but there are many people who legitamately face the struggle of gay feelings.

  5. Joseph says:

    I must disagree with you and your view that homosexuality is a burden (written in the third paragraph). I am a homosexual, and my homosexuality is, above all, a blessing.

    • Anthony Charles says:

      Thank you so much Joseph for being frank about how you feel but please try to start on a journey with and to our lord Jesus. May his Grace and Holy Spirit accompany you. Trust me if ever you try and pray to understand what Steven is trying to say… it will one day be made clear to you. that’s the Promise Jesus made to all seek and you shall find…

  6. James says:

    Hey Matt- You’ll find that Steve agrees with you about the the usage of the term gay. This was the beginning of a post on his blog: “My dear friend A. recently revealed to me that she’s bisexual, or whatever you want to call it — I’m no more comfortable with that term than I am with the term “gay,” but you know what I mean.” I think he uses it to reach a greater audience.

  7. […] else that doesn’t fit the unserious nation’s narrative: a gay Catholic man who supports his Church and fellow […]

  8. tylnsh says:

    thank you so much.

  9. David McCabe says:

    I am just writing to say thank you for your comments and insights. I am not homo-sexually inclined but I have been waiting a number of years to hear a genuine, realistic dialogue from someone who considers their Faith and their sexuality seriously.

  10. Jerry says:

    Thank you Steve and Matt!

  11. Bill Rich says:

    I applaud your courage, morality, and maturity. May God bless you.

  12. Stefano says:

    Your idiocy is offensive. Surely you’re not paid to write such ludicrous and ridiculous articles? Really!?

  13. […] this end meet Steve Gershom, a pro-Catholic, pro-chastity man with same-sex […]

  14. Theresa says:

    This is probably the most inspiring and honest article I have ever read. It really puts things in perspective for the life of a homosexual. I cannot agree with you more on everything you have said. Thank you very much for sharing your spectacular story with everyone. God bless!

  15. […] with love that Christ calls us to live out our lives as Christians. As a Catholic blogger wrote, “So, yes, it’s hard to be gay and Catholic — it’s hard to be anything and Catholic — […]

  16. Noori says:

    Very admirable….(:

  17. Linda says:

    Love the Catholic Church, love this article and love you for your openness and willingness to share. God bless!!!

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  20. Nancy says:

    This is by far one of the most beautiful things I have read about this subject, what wisdom and so inspiring for all of us to want to live with such love for the Lord.

  21. AJ says:

    “If you don’t believe in these things, if you believe that men and women and sex and marriage are pretty much whatever we say they are, then okay: we don’t have much left to talk about. That’s not the world I live in.”

    I admire your clarity and intellectual honesty, even though I think you’re 100% mistaken about the nature of… existence, basically.

    Oh well, I’m sure you feel the same way about me. Best of luck to you in your journeys.

  22. m_gagnon says:

    Wow… that is such incredible insight! God has a very special place for you in His heart, Steve, I’m sure! I hope this is a lesson to everyone to know that everyone has different kinds of sinful desires that we have to fight, so we cannot judge people by that. We all have faults and only God is the judge. He will judge us not by our faults, but on how hard we tried to resist temptation, fix our problems, and live for Him. Way to go, Steve!

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  24. […] should also read Gay, Catholic, and Feeling Fine, and Gay Marriage: Our Agreements Solve Our […]

  25. mithriluna says:

    Oh my gosh. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Sandy says:

    Good read. Thank you for explaining this from a gay, Catholic man’s viewpoint.

  27. Johnny says:

    It was really good. But its not that easy. I am a gay and Catholic. I pray to be a better man, but I´m not strong enough. I just cant imagine my life living in celibacy. I think its impossible. I admire you…

    • Larry Grecu says:

      Dear Johhny,

      Christ died for us when we were yet without strength, when we were sinners, and when we were ungodly. After we have accepted this evaluation and realized that we can do nothing to become righteous before God, God imputes righteousness (justification of life) to us. Then we become new creations, able to do, THROUGH THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, given to us, what we could not do before. Think of Paul, David, and Peter and the things that they did before experiencing the grace of God. Paul was a blasphemer and murderer; David was a liar, an adulterer, and a murderer; Peter was a denier of Christ. All three of these men definitely changed, and I believe that God has not left you or me out of that grace. If we live by what we see or feel IN ourselves, then we are of all people most hopeless. But if we believe what Christ has said has been accomplished for us, then we are not without hope! I have been doing a lengthy study of the Book of Romans, taking my time reading it and digesting what Paul had to say about what we were before Christ and what we are in him now. It has really been a blessing to me because it has made me look past the feelings and myself and look to the Lord and His Holy Spirit in my time of need. May God bless you exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ask or think! God bless!

    • attb says:

      You are right,you are not strong enough, none of us are. On your own you can never be strong enough BUT Jesus is strong enough and if you long for it and chase after him, you will eventually become the better man you long to be. Consider king David the murderer and adulterer who was called a man after God’s own heart, and he was called that after he had died. He messed up, he wasn’t always the man he knew he should be and God disciplined him but he also forgave him and promised him that because David loved God so much his royal bloodline would last forever (fulfilled in Jesus) and God never left him.

      Read 1 Corinthians 10:13, if you seek God in earnest he will give you a way to obey him. So be encouraged, the God who made the universe is with you. Everything that our Lord asks us to do he also helps us to do no matter how impossible it seems or even if it is the last thing we want to do. May the desire of your heart be to honour and love God with all you are and to be close to him, and if anything needs to change he will bring it to your attention and help you change it no matter how long it takes.

  28. Chris B. says:

    Well, the premise was promising – gay, Catholic and feeling fine, and then the article descended into homosexuality as disordered and, in the end, loathsome. In the eyes of the Church, the homosexual is a special needs child. Handicapped, deformed, and capable only of self-denial if the triumph of salvation is to be enjoyed. Look at the comments – if they’re not hidebound (the chapter and verse citations are always a clue), they’re painful pablum designed to deaden rather than enliven.

    Franchesca has it right. She correctly grasps that the Christian life is a struggle for humble, imperfect humans. She presented as the most wholesome, the most human, the most in touch with her humanity as servant of the divine.

    The others? So many poor souls who have been misled into thinking that they’re a mistake, that they cannot love, and must not love. They must lead lives of denial, and de facto penance simply for being born the way they are.

    As someone educated entirely in schools of the Roman Catholic Church, I believe I have a fairly firm sense of what Christ would have to say about all of this. I suggest he’d find Franchesca to be refreshing and humble. I believe he’d warn others not to deny their or others’ humanity – and to stop creating victims by your unrelentingly harsh judgments.

    The Church through the ages failed to condemn slavery, either the ancient or the modern versions. The Church partook in the sins of the Inquisition. Popes sinned grievously. Peter denied Christ.

    All was forgiven.

    In this milieu, we are going to isolate homosexuality and create a complete theology around it, identifying gay men and women as disordered and wrong, required in their view of faith to stand in daily defiance of their own humanity, God’s great gift?

    Give me a break.

    • M. B. says:

      Chris, what is love? My definition of love is selfless giving/denying oneself for God and neighbor. Your definition is sex. And guess what, the Catholic church teaches that premarital sex, masturbation, adultery, etc.. are all disordered – so do they fit in your handicapped & deformed group? Don’t think that homosexual acts are being singled out. The media and other communities try to make it seem that way. We must ALL strive to love – to be selfless, giving and to find the strength to overcome our weaknesses. We all have our problems, but none of us are mistakes.

    • Corita says:

      The huge mistake in your theology here is to identify “special needs child” as something deformed and loathsome. YOU did that; the Church does not. Jesus sees absolutely no child as deformed. Our physical form is not ever the issue: our actions are.

  29. Lily says:

    I really really enjoyed reading this, I know exactly how you feel about your love for the Catholic church. As a senior in high school, the church is sometimes hard to understand… but I would trade my Catholic upbringing for anything. I have the up most respect for you and I will be praying for you. God Bless!

  30. Kelly M. says:

    I’m not going to quote scripture or cast any stones. The bottom line is that God loves each and every human on Earth equally. He shows us all mercy because we are all sinners. As a Christian I know that all human souls possess the ability to love. Gay or straight, God does not turn his back on anyone. Our God is a loving God. It is impossible to truly comprehend the notion that we as humans can attempt to show even a fraction of divine love for each other equally. Compassion is sometimes difficult to show, but we are all destined for the Kingdom of Heaven. If Gay people are condemned to Hell, then we are all doomed as sinners. So just think the next time you’re going to basically tell someone whose gay that they’re not going to heaven. Respect others. We all share the same right to worship and have a relationship with God. And yes there are Gay people in heaven.

  31. “How badly she misunderstands gay people…”

    That should be spelled “She,” capitalized.

    “Are we even talking about the same church?”

    Church, not church.

  32. guitaristbl says:

    A big thumbs down to yet another religious sugarcoating hatred piece I read. Yes you have been forced to believe that you are not worthy of a loving relationship with a person you are naturally attracted to because you will suffer in some “afterlife”. Good for you (or bad rather)…Do you have to post it really ? Yes I know you have freedom of speech of course…But only the thought that a struggling gay teen may read this and feel even worse about himself, or even worse follow your example and stay miserable for the rest of his life against his natural inclination to love and be loved as he should makes me so angry and frustrated.

    Thankfully the majority of people now see the truth your diminishing religious community cannot see : The fullfilling love two people of the same sex may enjoy in an intimate romanitc relationship is no different from their heterosexual counterparts. Not at all. It’s their natural destination. They get married in more and more places and raise beautifully children in their families. And in all your self rightousness you cannot understand that because you are falling deeper and deeper in the dark pit of judgement based on your (out of touch with any human reality beliefs).

    You constantly claim how gay people despise the catholic church. Your problem is that you cannot co exist with different people without denying them their rights or constantly judging them. You think you speak some “truth” based on a 2000 year old collection of books. I respect all that. As soon as you try to impose that on others we have a problem. And as soon as you present yourself as some kind of example for gay teens especially.

    I truly wish someone who really cared about you as a person would be there for you when you needed it and you would’t have ended up there damaging not only yourself but others as well.

    Your post makes it clear : The LGBT community has to be more vocal than ever, to save every single teen who happens to grow up in an environment like yours from following your example. They have to know that they are not dirty, nor any deity wants them celibate. They are beautiful human beings worth of a relationship with the gender they are naturally attracted to, they are worht of finding romantic love and one of its most intimate expressions – the sexual one like any other human being. They are worth of having their relationship and family equally recognised and protected.

    They are worth to live as the natural human beings they are, not tortured by some man made fiction whose only purpose is to control the masses through putting on them the concept of “sin”.

    For any LGBT teen that stumbled upon this article : This is NOT what you have to do or what you are supposed to do. You can be spiritual and religious and not go against your natural sexual orientation. YOU deserve your spirituality as much as you deserve to love and be loved in a romantic way. You and your life are precious. Don’t waste it on self hatred (and don’t be fooled by any siren who will tell you about the “satisfaction they find in their relationship with god while being celibate”. If you truly believe in a higher spiritual being do you really believe he would torture you through the most beautiful human feeling – romantic love ? You do not deserve it.

    Your family may discourage you and tell you how “sinful” you are for just being who you are : Tell them that you love them, you truly do and will always do but you have to be you. Try to explain to them that it is not your choice and that as every human being you do not deserve to go through some “struggle” because you love in a different way than the one they may understand. Most change of heart comes when someone puts a face on an issue. Many parents when they have seen how joyful and how fulfilled their children were when they found their same sex partner and formed a relationship and eventually a family understand how wrong they were to condemn their gay child. Change comes when you show that being who you are is the best thing for you. If they still do not accept you continue to love them, unlike they may not love you (they may think they “love” you in their own way when they are actually harming you based on their religious dogma) but try to keep them in a distance from your personal life. Eventually their hearts might soften when they see that being who you are makes you a complete person.

    Stay strong gay teens. Soon you may not have to endure through such damaging propaganda.

    • Brian Kerzetski says:

      You give a very passionate viewpoint, and I appreciate that, but I feel you didn’t explain why acting on homosexual desires is okay. Would you please provide support for your argument? Also, your whole argument seems to be that everyone should be free to act on their desires because that is what they were born to do. Do you believe pedophiles should be allowed to have relations with children, a zoophile be allowed to act on his desires for animals, someone with homocidal tendencies be allowed to murder others? That seems to be in line with your thinking. If those situations above is not acceptable, would you please provide justification as to why that is the case? I hope to understand your position better.

      • guitaristbl says:

        The usual argumentation from the anti equality side. The concept of consent has never really bothered you did it ? If you think about this concept a bit you may understand the difference between two consenting adults having a loving relationship and the abuse of children or animals. As for the murder part again the concept of consent or the fact that it actually ends the life of another person (thus infringing upon his freedom in the most profound way) may give you a hint.

        Really only the very fact that you draw a comparison between the loving romantic relationship between two people and murder shows that you really know little about the human nature.

        Living your life as nature intended you to live it (as a gay person – an actual sexual orientation unlike the ones you mention which are rightly categorized as paraphilias – for the obvious reason that they cause social and personal harm to the people involved unlike homosexuality) is self explanatory on why should a gay person seek to love and be loved by a significant other in a romantic and as a result a sexual way. It is as fundumental in the human nature as the need to feed ourselves or to protect our loved ones from danger.

        The human nature is something not only religion has never been able to understand but has always tried to restrict it to unprecedented limits by imposing on people the silly concept of “sin”. And I am not talking about crimes like murder. The very fact that another person’s freedoms are limited in a profound way shows why this is outlawed, no religious belief is needed to point out it is wrong.A humanistic approach is adequate to show it. I am talking about practices and thoughts which not only do not harm the person but only benefit him or her. Emotionally stable people are known to perform better in every aspect of their lives.

        By imposing the concept of “sin” on gay people who seek and have a romantic relationship religion is harming them in a degrading for the human being way, leading to depression or even suicide at times (not to mention the horrible practice known as “conversion therapy” – junk science debunked by every major medical association known to cause mental and sometimes physical harm to gay people).

        This universe was created in the way it was created thanks to a perfectly orchestrated natural harmony that is embodied to every aspect of its creation. You choose to call this natural harmony and order god. I, as a physicist prefer to call it well, physics and science. This natural harmony though and order could not care less what the result of a very coincidental and highly rare evolutionary procedure, the human being does in his/her personal life. Gay people do nothing more than abide to the same nature that straight people do. The fact that some people have been unfortunately brainwashed to go against their personal fullfilment and happiness due to some dogma that wants to control them is sad. Thankfully this has started to change.

        Just a while ago I was watching this beautiful video :

        These simple moments that show what pure love is like are changing minds and hearts. And when people are exposed to this reality (that love between two people of the same sex is just as normal as the love between two people of the opposite sex) your rhetoric that compares these people to pedophiles, zoophiles or murderers seems even more unfortunate to the large majority of people.

    • Brian Kerzetski says:


      For some reason, I cannot reply to your response to my reply, so I am providing it here:

      I was making no argument, I was only asking you questions to better understand your viewpoint. You have gone on at length in both posts about how important it is to act on natural desires. You went on to lambaste me about assumptions you have made about my views and criticize others acting on their natural desires because of some seemingly arbitrary restrictions you have placed on their actions. This type of writing will close many minds to what you are trying to say.

      I was hoping to have a discussion with you to further understand your viewpoint, but it appears you are not interested.

      • guitaristbl says:

        I think I explained my viewpoint thoroughly on what seperates people “acting on natural desires” as you put it when I explained the concepts of consent and personal freedom and what restrictions these put.

        “You went on to lambaste me about assumptions you have made about my views and criticize others acting on their natural desires because of some seemingly arbitrary restrictions you have placed on their actions”

        Your views are evident by the time you draw a comparision between gay people and zoophiles or pedophiles. I did not criticize anyone. You have put homosexuality in comparison to certain acts that violate the aforementioned, fundumental for the survival of an intelligent being such as the human, concepts of consent and personal freedom. When this concepts are violated the results are not sustainable or positive in anyway. A woman who was raped suffers from post traumatizing mental experiences which may lead to further action (suicide, clinical depression etc). A group of people living under an authoritarian regime will sooner or later revolt since their personal freedom of thought and action is violated. These are unnatural situations for a being gifted with intelligence and judgement such as the humans. On the other hand homosexuality violates neither of this two principles. It is the consensual act of two human beings who have BOTH expressed romantic feelings for each other in a other than that identical social concept as heterosexuals, something not zoophilia nor pedophilia can achieve. Not even incest (considering the vast scientific data that incestuous relationships during adult life are often the result of abuse during childhood).

        That seperates homosexuality from the aforementioned concepts : it respects the concepts of consent and personal freedom that the actions you mentioned violate. Not to mention that they do not even consist a “sexual orientation” in strict terms. A sexual orientation identifies the gender of attraction and consists of a gay to straight spectrum.

        Honestly it feels strange to have to explain such self evident stuff..But I guess that’s the case with some people.

        “This type of writing will close many minds to what you are trying to say.”

        Not to a person who understands the fundumental differences between the aforementioned concepts. It takes a person who simply knows a gay man or woman to answer your questions most probably.

        Also I am interested in discussion. I just don’t believe one can really occur when we begin from the basis where gay people are compared to animal or child rapists. I believe the basic understanding of at least the concept of consent is essential for any further discussion or we can end up talking about how legit rape is when a man rapes a woman because it is a “natural sexual act between two people of the opposite sex”.
        I do hope you understand my objections as well on whether further discussion can occur under our current differences on what a consensual sexual act means. If we get beyond that we can discuss of course.

        P.S. I believe that no matter what argumentation I provide if people don’t have personal experience, meaning knowing same sex couples and more ideally same sex families, little can change. Personal contact with the up to know vague idea of what gay people are breaks all the stereotypes and propaganda one has in their mind in my opinion.

      • guitaristbl says:

        Oh and since I am not sure you understood another point from my initial comment I will point it out here as well :

        “Why people should act on homosexual desires ?”

        For the same reason straight people act on heterosexual desires. Consenting relationships between adults in an identical cultural and social concept with the exception of the gender with all respect to human principles as they have been thoroughly analyzed. Having a romantic relationship with a person you are attracted to (and of course the attraction is mutual) is a stabilizing factor for a human’s mentality, gay or straight. Emotional stability produces happier and more productive people thus benefits society longterm and short term. And since many are good at finding loopholes at the “happier” argumentation – happier in a way that does not harm them physically or emotionally or the society or other humans individually in any way (like drug addiction or pedophilia).

        People often mention the fact that same sex relationships do not produce offspring. Heterosexual people in today’s society have sex in their lifes for reproductive reasons very few times compared to the whole number of times they have sex in general so that’s unlikely an argument against gay people (not that there is anything bad in having sex for personal pleasure – there is nothing wrong with that of course). Other than that gay people consist and will continue to consist a minority but they will continue to exist throughout nature. So reproduction is not any danger I can assure you as long as straight people reproduce.
        And finally even if after all that the argument of non production of offspring still exist we can point out the vast number of same sex couples already raising children either through adoption or artificial insemination (children proven to be raised as well as those raised by opposite sex couples).

    • Brian Kerzetski says:

      It seems this comment system seems to only allow up to two comments deep. Oh well.

      You again make many generalized assumptions about my beliefs, none of which I have revealed, nor are they relevant to the discussion. If you would please keep the generalized attacks out of the discussion it would be appreciated and greatly limit the size of your posts. Attacks do nothing to further your argument and severly reduce any desire for one to continue the discussion.

      Your argument hinges on the necessity of one to act on his natural desires. Yes, you have added consent and freedom as requirements for the other party involved, but it does not support your claim that natural desires must be acted upon for on for one to be healthy. In fact, they seem to contradict your claim. So, if natural desires must be acted on for one to be healthy, how does one who has the actions on his desires restricted live a healthy life?

      • guitaristbl says:

        You keep claiming I attacked you in someway when what I was just doing was either quoting you or answering to the claims made to those quotes. You probably seem them as hostile because the way I form my objections, based on facts, discomforts you ? Anyway that’s not the point.

        “So, if natural desires must be acted on for one to be healthy, how does one who has the actions on his desires restricted live a healthy life?”

        And should the actions of a person in order for them to be healthy (there is no proof that people who act on paraphilias are in anyway healthy – the sole concept that they need to abuse another being contradicts the whole claim actually) that infringe on the health and well being of another being be considered in the same concept as the ones of people who cause no personal discomfort to anyone else ? I am afraid it makes little sense. A person’s well being sacrificed on the basis of another person’s “well being” (many quotes here since as I said nothing healthy stems from the very train of thought of the acts you compare homosexuality with). The result is two incredibly miserable people actually. While the result of a homosexual union benefits both gay people immensly as members of the society and on a personal, emotional and psychological level (again something proven – gay people living in accepting environments with a significant other have much less of a chance to harm themselves or show any sign of mental disturbance).

        “Yes, you have added consent and freedom as requirements for the other party involved, but it does not support your claim that natural desires must be acted upon for on for one to be healthy. In fact, they seem to contradict your claim.”

        I am sorry but I feel like you read little or nothing from my comment. Most certainly it supports my argument that gay people should be encouraged to seek their significant other. I fail to see where you even saw a contradiction really. Maybe I should state it again to make it more clear to you ? Human being as a biological being with natural desires : Acting on them leads to mental and emotional balance for the person (suppresing is well proven not to achieve any of that). Human being as an intelligent form of life : Concepts of consent and personal freedom indeed restrict the limits of such expression of natural desire, a restriction based on those concepts. A human is a combination of a being that has natural needs and an intelligent being, able to avoid causing harm to others who,as intelligent beings as well, indeed suffer from actions who restrict their freedoms as a result.

        So the very concept that differentiates and yet connects the humans to every other form of life on this planet shapes the desires a person should act upon. It is simple mathematics, simple calculus. Two functions with different restrictions when combined to one function are under a whole new set of restrictions as formed by the restrictions of the two functions combined. These functions here are the two sides of the human being.

        You can see these crossroads of the two sides on other things as well : Humans eat because it is a natural survival instinct. They act on this need to be healthy, to stay alive. Humans on the other side do not practice cannibalism for instance as many other beings throughout nature because as intelligent beings they have placed the aforementioned restrictions, because as intelligent beings they understand that this concept offers them nothing in their strive to survival.

        Humans have created through evolution of each civilization the very concepts (the main two beign mentioned throughout of my argumentation as the pillars of the human civilization nowadays) that put restrictions on their natural desires. Homosexuality is well in these bounds as, as I already said, they are socially identical interactions of those of heterosexual couples. The concepts you proposed are not.

        I hope my further analysis will avoid any further questions of “why should not everyone act on their natural desires if it makes them healthy ?” since I think this have been thoroughly explained…

      • guitaristbl says:

        “…because as intelligent beings they understand that this concept offers them nothing in their strive to survival.”

        A further explanation on this : Part of the survival of a being that has been gifted (or burdened if you want) with intelligence and is able to develop feelings is their mental and emotional well being, it does not only have a strictly carnal aspect. And yet this part of the survival concept is here crossed again by the human intelligence : causing harm to another human being offers nothing really..Personal satisfaction ? probably. At a cost. Healthy mental situation ? Most definately not. The personal satisfaction of two gay people being together has no cost to any other person. What a brilliant occurence the human being is really.

        Anyway, since I have started to repeat myself, I hope everything is much more clear now.

        Also if you would be kind enough do explain your views than blaming me on guessing them or attacking you all the time. It helps for a beneficial and productive debate really..

      • Brian Kerzetski says:

        My views are not relevent to this discussion. You are the one who is making accusations. Therefore, you are the one who must justify his position. I understand you are extremely passionate about supporting homosexual activity, but your lengthy and intellectual essays are not moving us forward toward a mutual understanding. They just tend to cause my understanding of your viewpoint to be muddied.

        Again, you said, “Human being as a biological being with natural desires : Acting on them leads to mental and emotional balance for the person.” Either this is true, or it is not. Your whole premise appears to be based on how a person’s actions affect himself and that he should act on his natural desires to be healthy. You seem to contradict this premise when you state these desires should not be acted on if they negatively impact others.

        I guess it would help me if you could state concretely whether you believe acting on natural desires is necessary for a person or not as you seem to go back and forth on this.

      • guitaristbl says:

        Unfortunately I don’t think there is anything further to discuss since your inability to understand what I am saying is more than obvious I am afraid.

        You either can’t understand (unlikely) or most possibly you do not want to.

        “You seem to contradict this premise when you state these desires should not be acted on if they negatively impact others.”

        What’s the contradiction ? what do you fail to understand on the lengthy analysis I made on the human nature and intelligence ? I am afraid you fail to read my comments as a whole or you might have some comprehension issues. What is so unclear to you on “acting on natural desires that do not cause harm to others” ? Or the fact that “causing harm to others driven by natural instinct does not benefit neither party in this interaction” ? Is it such an out of this world concept to you ?

        “I guess it would help me if you could state concretely whether you believe acting on natural desires is necessary for a person or not as you seem to go back and forth on this.”

        I am not going back and forth, I brought concrete and rational argumentation to support a position and a concept you fail to understand. To you everything is black and white. Homosexuality is the same as pedophilia because both may come from natural desires ( which of course we could say it is highly doubted on the 2nd case as nothing like a sexual orientation directed to certain age groups such as infants has been proven or found by any medical association). You choose to throw away those elements that make the human being special in the animal kingdom we are living in and you try to bring this conversation down to your comfort zone and level of understanding. You throw away intelligence, concepts of consent and personal freedom, you ignore their presence in my argumentation and bring everything down again and again to the same position you have been repeating.

        I will try to bring it down to your level once more in hope you may understand (I don’t keep high hopes since I said I believe you do not want to understand most likely) :

        Yes a human being should act on his natural desires in the frame human intelligence has formed for him, a frame whose main barriers are CONSENT and PERSONAL FREEDOM.

        I can’t believe we can continue a conversation where I bring complete and rational facts on the human nature and you continue to fail to grasp the main concepts and elements described in my analysis.

        Please do read my comments again and try to actuall understand what I am saying.

        It may help you treat your fellow LGBT citizens with some more respect than bringing them down to the level of animal and child rapists.

        “I understand you are extremely passionate about supporting homosexual activity”

        I am passionate and that’s why I have arguments to support my position. And I am not supporting “homosexual activity” (I doubt you would refer to heterosexual relationships as “heterosexual activities”). I am supporting the right of two consenting adults who love each other in a romantic way to be able to express that love for their well being and the societal well being as a whole.

        Anyway, unless you are able to understand my argumentation (as I said do try to read my comments again and it will answer every single one of your questions) I believe we have nothing more to discuss. Please do come back to further this discussion when the concepts that differentiate homosexuality and pedophilia in a human societal frame and the the fact that acting on natural desires should be done in a concept where no harm is caused to other beings or ourselves (because as I clearly wrote NO EMOTIONAL OR MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL BEING IS BROUGHT TO THE PERPETUATOR OF CHILD OR ANIMAL ABUSE apart from the damage done to the victim) are actually well understood by your side. To be honest this conversation made me realise why the pro equality side is winning this battle now, it is indeed the fact that there is rational argumentation to support my (and the one millions hold) position.

        Until my argumentation is well understood, farewell and take care.

      • guitaristbl says:

        P.S. I am making accusations ? Who is accused ? Why does bringing forward facts about humans, supported by science equals accusation ? I would ask to take that back please, I know some facts are hard to handle especially from a religious point of view but I am far from accusing anyone. If I wanted to accuse I would go on and on on how the catholic hierarchy has tried so hard all these years to keep same sex couples and families away from achieving their legal rights and protections because it does not abide by their opinion on morality (all that in a democracy mind you).

      • guitaristbl says:

        I am reading through you answer again in case I missed something..Nope. Not really. You just don’t understand. It is profoundly worrying that a real human being that interacts with other people fails to understand the concept of consent. It’s worrying really.

        “desires should not be acted on if they negatively impact others.”

        Exactly. That’s what common sense says, that’s what the human nature is about. What’s the contradiction, again I…I just fail to conceive that a real person just can’t grasp that..It’s unreal truly..

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  34. Interesting read. Also interesting was the September comments. Interesting to the point that it immediately preceded the pope stating an improper obsession with Gays, Abortion, and Contraception. Also interesting is that in the second to last paragraph he mentions God waiting in the chapel for him. Something the NY Times article finishes with in the last paragraph.

    All this about a month before I would say his first Gay statement came out in July:
    “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

    Next, a meeting on a future to heal “Church Reform” “The gang of eight” meeting Oct 1-3. Will this lead to vatican III and a new rewrite of the catechism? Going back to a July headline: “…No Change in Doctrine”

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  37. […] what it must be like to be both a faithful Catholic and a person with same-sex attraction? Read Catholic, Gay, and Feeling Fine by Steve […]

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