Sunday, August 19, 2012

Catholicism and Same-Sex-Attraction - Part 1 - Our Response

Originally i was planning on writing a piece addressing gay-marriage.  A young friend of mine asked me to explain the Catholic position and I started to write the response there on Facebook.  I quickly realized it was going to be too long for that particular forum.  As the discussion unfolded in my mind i came to believe i was approaching this from the wrong angle.
      For those who don't believe in same-sex-marriage the question revolves around the very nature of marriage.  My first impulse was to build my argument there.  However, for the opposition, for those who believe in and support same-sex-marriage, the heart of the issue is the person.  I fear we occasionally lose sight of that, of the person.  Occasionally, someone will discuss the nature of the homosexual act.  This is closer, but even then i fear we often fail to reflect on the person performing the act. 
      Be sure, i do not mean to say always, nor even usually.  It suffices to say often.  We Catholics have a primary objective, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and perhaps we often fall short of that.  I know we fall short whenever we fail to take account of the person.  I'm not interested in pointing fingers or laying blame, there is plenty to go around.  Perhaps some even falls on me.  At the moment, i'm not interested in the nature of marriage. (I'll get to that in part 3)  I'm also not interested in discussing the nature of the homosexual act.  (I'll get to that in part 2)  For the moment i'm only interested in the person.
      In truth, i'm only ever interested in the person.  I'm so very sorry if i have ever failed to display that.  But this is what i am trying to express here.  This is my love letter to you.  I've not written many, so it may not be very good.  But a love letter it is nonetheless.  To everyone who is not 100% straight.  To everyone who may feel hurt by my actions or my views.  This is my love letter to you.

      You are loved.  Not necessarily the mushy, fluffy love displayed in Hollywood, but the true love of desiring for another that which is best for them.  This love does not care who you are, what you have done or what you believe.  For the sake of this love the Church proclaims, "They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."
      I affirm the love any two people may have for each other.  True self-giving love is the foundation stone of my faith.  I affirm it wherever it is found.  Whether it is Mother Teresa caring for lepers and orphans, or two gay men seeking acceptance.  If this love is self giving, if it desires the best for the other; then this is a love to be affirmed, to be recognized.
      I accept you for who you are.  I accept what you have already done and i don't really care.  We are not defined by our actions, but by the image we carry within us.  Our actions can be forgot, forgiven, they can be cast to the wind.  What matters is not what we have done, but who we now choose to be.  I choose to be one who loves.  I choose to be one who loves you for who you are.  
      I cannot affirm all the choices we make.  I cannot affirm all the responses we choose to all our hopes and desires.  Each of us walks a path of their own choosing, seeking a singular destination.  Perhaps you will let me share my path with you.  In the end, we must each choose for ourselves which path we will follow.  I will love you regardless of the choice you make.  I will love you for as long as you let me.  This is the path i choose. 

                                                                          I sign this with all sincerity,
                                                                                                     One who loves

                                                                                                                        Part 2 >>

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