Same-Sex Marriage—why it is up close and personal to this celibate Catholic Christian

I am not sure it’s ever going to “get better” for me. I am going on 60 years of age this coming December, and I find myself still filled at times with rage and a deep sense of aloneness within my life as it stands currently. The reason I say so is that I seem to not quite fit the mold, either from a Church or secular standpoint, on an issue near and dear to me. That issue is homosexuality.

The short story is that I, after 35 years of being away from Rome, returned to the Catholic Church in 2005, exactly one decade ago this coming fall, and unlike what some may have believed or assumed, had previously embraced a celibate lifestyle a few years previous to that time. Since the story of my return is in print elsewhere, I will simply link to it both here and at the end of this article.

http://whyimcatholic.com/index.php/conversion-stories/catholic-reverts/60-catholic-revert-richard-evans

I do not, nor will I ever, regret my decision to come back to Catholicism. At moments, however, I have struggled with what I believe are very inconsistent attitudes towards issues on my levels, and in particular with issues that have affected me personally, such as the topic at hand and my place in the Church as an aging (not aged!) man with SSA (same-sex attractions).

Much of my blog and other writings have been devoted to this issue and its impact in my life, and as we begin what is likely the final sprint towards legalized same-sex marriages nationwide, I think it is the right and proper time for me to share my views more fully and articulate my understanding of a topic I have studied from many perspectives.

Many people think that there are only two possible answers to this ever-thornier question—one is either to be “for” or “against” gay marriage on a legal level. Those against it will not even refer to it, on a civil level, as a “marriage,” even though the Church has clearly done so with other irregular living situations such as those married outside the Church or even, in some cases, those who may be co-habitating without a legal license issued by the state. Those for it often come from the opposite extreme, stating that any full equality of SSA/LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) persons must necessarily include the legal right to marry, to adopt children, and to collect governmental benefits such as Social Security when the time comes.

I think that both sides have some merit, and that each side has some peril. I believe so because I am of the opinion, after having often gone all over the map in order to reconcile my beliefs and Church teaching, that there is another answer we may not be considering, and which I, although a non-official theologian, believe is most likely the healthiest approach, as well as the rarest.

I will state here that I support Church teaching as written in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (called going forward in the article the CCC), and do so without reserve. In case you are not aware of that teaching, which is basically 3 short articles in a book of over 2800 basic theological tenets of the Faith, I am reprinting it below for easy reference:

Chastity and homosexuality

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, 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. (2333)

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 fulfill 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. (2347)[1]

In the above doctrinal statement, a number of points are often glossed over or simply re-interpreted, again by both opposing sides, and I wish to make mention of some of these in this article. The first is the term “intrinsically disordered,” from section 2357, referring specifically to sexual acts between those of the same gender, in the traditional sense of the word. The actively LGBT community leadership tends to hate this terminology, but what has been often overlooked by the traditional Catholic and other Christians who use it as a battering ram against SSA/gay persons is why it is so very upsetting to those of us with this characteristic, condition, orientation, or whatever term you wish to use.

I have heard said to others, and also to me at times, that I have the “SSA disorder.” To which I would blithely say bleh. Not so. I have several disorders, in the modern and non-theological sense of the term, such as poor eyesight, diabetes, and some chronic upper GI/gastric issues. However I am currently working 2 jobs, one which is in frontline customer service, something long proven to be one of the most stress-inducing careers that exist, and have done so in one capacity or another for over one quarter of a century now. I am a regular part of my church parish, and involved in community outreach such as block leader in my urban residential area, as well as assisting in some small way at least in dealing with several personal family crises such as my dad’s illness. I was married for 13 years and managed, certainly with the help of God’s grace, to re-establish a friendly relationship with my former spouse. I wear glasses and take my insulin, and have lost 15 lbs. in the last 2 years.

The implication that, because I am attracted romantically to men and have been aware of this since before puberty, which is nearly a half century ago at this writing, and have yet been celibate for the last 15 years speaks more of a strength God has given to me, not a weakness. And this is by no means meant to be bragging, since I have certainly failed God in many, many ways, including such things as thought life and custody of the eyes, but rather to point out that I am not some wild young buck looking for a quick hook-up. In short my SSA is not a disorder for me, at least not in the mental health context which is implied by misusing the term as I have unfortunately seen it used by ignorant but hopefully well-meaning believers in the same Lord Jesus Christ who I do.

So where is the “intrinsic disorder” then? I have always loved time travel stories, and for this one you will need to move backwards to the 13th century, and to one St Thomas Aquinas. Much of the writings of this “angelic Doctor” of the Church refer to disorder coming from the original fall of humanity. Since his writings predate Dr Freud by somewhere near 700 years, he was clearly not referring to psychoses. He was talking about the human weaknesses we all share through original sin, and our tendency towards making that sin personal. For some that might be lusting after the opposite sex (the popularity of the “50 Shades” series and movie would be a prime example for women, as well as the Playboy mentality for men which predated this by over 60 years), and for some of us, and as CCC article 2357 rightly explains as well, due to a “psychological genesis (which) remains largely unexplained,” a romantic desire for those of our own gender. One is not worse than the other nor better. But I think it is safe to say that, in the original Eden, there was no confusion of gender. In that sense, and in that sense only, I accept and own the feelings I have in that area as disordered. Another topic for another time is why we with SSA feel as we do, and the CCC again wisely presents it as “largely unexplained.”

Aside from a very few very conservative psychologists and MDs, most would agree that the jury is out as to whether the cause is physical (which by the way is not limited to genetic issues), environmental, or a combination of both factors. What is known, however is that it is not, in and of itself, a form of mental illness, does not cause child molestation, and that there are SSA or actively LGBT persons in every walk of life, whether highly educated attorneys, those in active ministry including priests, and the whole gamut otherwise. We really are “everywhere,” and you rub shoulders with us every day, whether at the supermarket or your parish congregation. And very likely in your own family. A great video, even if you disagree with some parts of the theology regarding this, is called The Bible Tells Me So, which follows several families who have dealt heroically and lovingly with this in their own lives. And before you assume it is only some Nazi/Communist propaganda, at least one of the major families in question are clear that they do not accept their daughter’s lesbian relationship. But they accept her, as well as her partner, and that brings me to the heart of why I write this.

For a long time I vacillated on my views regarding the legalization of same-sex marriage. My next sentence may lose some of my audience but I hope not. I believe, at this time in our history, the legalization of such relationships, whether one calls them “marriage” or sin, or both perhaps, is a social risk we must face and, while not embracing it, accept as part of the social landscape we live in. Why do I think so? As stated above, I believe in Church teaching first and foremost. But part of that teaching, from CCC section 2358, states the following: “They (homosexual persons) must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” Pretty much anyone from my generation, if intellectually honest, can attest to the fact that the above attitude from the Church as well as society in general is in fact rather recent. If I had told anyone in my small rural Minnesota town that I liked men, I would have been, even as a celibate, most likely dismissed from my parish community, made fun of mercilessly, possibly beaten or even killed, and no one from the Vatican to the local police would have frankly given a damn. Most of us stayed in the closet for a long time for a reason. When we today hear of people coming out publicly, (we forget or else never knew) how completely rare that would have been in the 1950s and 60s. It started to occur in the 1970s somewhat, but before that time there was simply no one to turn to with such an announcement. No one. Not friends, not family. And certainly not one’s church for God’s sake literally.

In saying all of this I am not “supporting” gay marriage. I am not suggesting that one must accept everything in the so-called “gay agenda” proposed by some LGBT leaders. But I am saying something more nuanced. I believe that the “marriage equality” movement is filled with messy litigation and at times justified fears in greater society. I am not wishing for a return to polygamy, such as the territory of Utah once allowed before becoming part of the Union, and I do not wish to see business persons violate their consciences. But, more than that, I do not wish to go back to the time when I as a person with SSA must be silent about it, or be afraid as someone approaching my senior years to walk down the street. And, at this point, that is what is likely to happen if our nation and the world forbid such unions. Just a few weeks ago a person in the Middle East was thrown off a building for being homosexual. If that were an isolated incident it might be one thing, but this is a common occurrence in many nations still. That should matter to us as Christians. Yet I hear almost no outrage about it among the more orthodox-leaning Catholic or evangelical Christians. I wonder why? We rightly are outraged, and even in some cases ready to go to war, when we hear of such horrific events as the 21 Christians beheaded by ISIS. But I wonder who would go to war for a gay person? Not many even in our supposedly enlightened age.

I do not believe churches must administer Holy Communion or give leadership positions to openly (and actively) gay members. Nor do I think, quite frankly, that the entire marriage equality movement is without its faults. But I think it is time that the Church recognize her part in causing this entire movement to occur. Usually, and definitely in this case, when a movement based upon those who (rightly or wrongly) believe that they are disenfranchised, it is for a reason. And I do not have time in this one article to name all of those reasons but within the LGBT community there are many, some which I did briefly touch on here and a host of others.

I think it is time to stop fighting, no matter your view, and to find genuine and creative ways to work together, legally and otherwise. This does not mean to stop evangelizing or working for the good of traditional marriage. Not at all. It simply means that the future is not coming. It is here. And souls are at stake on both sides.

My story…

http://whyimcatholic.com/index.php/conversion-stories/catholic-reverts/60-catholic-revert-richard-evans

[1] Catholic Church. (2000). Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Ed., p. 566). Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference.

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7 thoughts on “Same-Sex Marriage—why it is up close and personal to this celibate Catholic Christian

  1. I probably shouldn’t post a response right off the bat – but I skimmed through and I think I get the picture. I probably wouldn’t have articulated my thoughts on the issue in the same manner but I can’t disagree. The reality is that civil ss marriages are legal now – people get married and they adopt or have their own children in some fashion. Personally “I’m against it” as I like to say humorously – but I can’t tell people how to live their lives. I have friends who ‘married’ and they are still the same people – they don’t want to change Catholic teaching – they are not even religious. They just want to live their lives.

    If they did want to come back to the Church – they would have to make arrangements with a priest. If they had kids they want educated in Catholic school I see nothing wrong with that, and so on.

    Although I steadfastly agree with others who are concerned about Catholic education of youth – I think the catechism needs to be clearly taught – and concern has to be for kids who may be experiencing transitional same sex attraction/curiosity.The language of the catechism doesn’t bother me. The objective disorder has to do with natural law and the authentic purpose of sexuality, male female, and so on. Contemporary life has corrupted that and sex for straight or gay is recreational. I also hate it when people compare gay to bi-polar or some sort of mental disorder all of the time. The inclination is just that – an inclination, and attraction, in my experience.

    I have a friend who comments on my blog – he disagrees with me – but ‘accepts’ me, or my way of thinking. He’s married to a man and has a child. He disagrees with Catholic teaching but continues to practice his faith, goes to Mass, etc.. As far as I am concerned – he’s as good a Catholic as the next guy – he accepts Catholic teaching and doesn’t expect the Church to change it.

    This is what it is. As the Pope says – don’t shut the door – don’t kick them out – don’t hide Jesus from them.

    So Richard – if you are getting negative feed back, don’t let it get you down – you are a good man and you’ve been through much.

    Personally – I’m just not the marrying kind and I would never want children. Can’t even begin to imagine such a life. LOL!

    God bless you!

    (I’ll have to check back more often now that you are posting again.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Believe in God

    “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely”
    Proverbs, Chapter 3, verse 5

    Dear Richard,

    I feel truly blessed to be able to participate at the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass as often as I possibly can and I try to daily. It is very important to thank God for all He has given us and continues to give us. I am grateful to God for being able to get up in the morning and to breath and appreciate that He has given me life and that it is only through His grace and mercy and forgiveness, that I can live freely and in peace. None of my accomplishments are of my own doing, but dependent upon His grace. In addition to receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, I am supported and encouraged in my faith and to trust in God by praying the Rosary, knowing that Mary’s prayers always reflect God’s Will. My prayers may not always reflect or be directed to His Will. Also necessary in nurturing my relationship with Jesus is kneeling humbly before Him in Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament – as often as it is made available but at least on the first Friday of each month, which is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Also extremely important to nurturing my relationship with Jesus is receiving His mercy, compassion, forgiveness and grace in the Sacrament of Penance/Confession. Through this Sacrament, Jesus heals my soul, gives me the strength to live out my faith and better hear His voice love Him and my neighbor the way He loves me by obeying His commandments 🙂

    I feel truly blessed to be able to receive Jesus, who is present in the Holy Eucharist because this helps me to better understand what Jesus’ forerunner, John the Baptist meant when he said, “Jesus must increase, I must decrease.” John prepared the way of Jesus and told us to prepare for His coming. He always made Jesus the center and focus of his speech. By nature, we are inclined to always be asserting ourselves, making ourselves the center of attention. If we want to find God, we must be constantly undergoing an interior conversion, turning around and moving in the opposite direction. (Swimming against the current.) Remember this: when John was arrested—and then martyred— King Herod did not demand John deny anything he believed. He simply demanded John keep silent. King Herod and his wife did not want to hear that they were committing adultery. We too, do not want to hear that we are offending God, and especially in the area of sexuality. We believe that we own our bodies and therefore can decide how and what we will do with them. But the truth is: we come from God and return to Him. Pre-marital sex, abortion, adultery, masturbation, incest, rape, pornography, being sexually intimate with someone of the same sex, using artificial birth control instead of husband and wife responsibly expressing their love physically and in so doing, being open to the gift of life, which God creates through this intimate sexual act, are ways in which we are not honoring God with our bodies. Let us remember what Jesus answered when asked about adultery and remember that this addresses marriage and sex relations before marriage as well: “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH ‘? “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Christ’s death brought us out of the slavery of sin and set us free forever. And as our bodies are God’s temple, we are to use them to glorify God, not to glorify/satisfy ourselves.

    For the second time in a row, Pope Francis called the faithful to “24 hours for the Lord” on March 13th and 14th. This 24 hours for the Lord began at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 13th and ended at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 14th. The initiative was for Churches to remain open for 24 hours to underline the need for prayer, contemplation of Jesus’ presence in the Holy Eucharist (in the Sacrament of Holy Communion and in Adoration) and give the faithful the opportunity to go to confession. I experienced God’s grace by spending time in Jesus’ presence on the altar during Adoration, confessing my sinfulness in the Sacrament of Confession and by receiving His body and blood in the Holy Eucharist. I also receive His grace when praying for those who are seriously ill, suffering and dying and those I have promised to pray for as well as praying to better love Jesus by obeying His commandments and therefore better loving my neighbor. And I can best do this by obeying God’s commandments, statues and decrees. In this way, I am doing God’s Will. If I want to love like Jesus loves, I have to follow Jesus’ example by obeying His Father’s commandments and doing His Father’s Will.

    Jesus was born into this world to teach us how to love as He loves and to die for our sins and thus free us from the bondage of our sins. This is good news folks. Let us not get so wrapped up in ourselves, what we want, what we think we need, thereby forgetting that if we allow Jesus’ to increase in us, little by little, we will experience the true freedom that only Jesus can give us! Jesus’ death did not mean sin was removed from the face of the earth, but when we are honest with God, tell Him that we have sinned (through the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession) and are truly sorry, He forgives us and give us the grace and strength we need to fight off our sinful natures/urges. This is a lifetime process. We are sinners in need of God’s mercy, compassion and forgiveness. Jesus loves us and wants all of us to live eternal life with Him in Heaven, but He does not force us. God gave us free will and this free will remains even at the moment our souls leave this world.

    Like

  3. Believe in God

    “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely”
    Proverbs, Chapter 3, verse 5

    Dear Richard,

    I feel truly blessed to be able to participate at the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass as often as I possibly can and I try to daily. It is very important to thank God for all He has given us and continues to give us. I am grateful to God for being able to get up in the morning and to breath and appreciate that He has given me life and that it is only through His grace and mercy and forgiveness, that I can live freely and in peace. None of my accomplishments are of my own doing, but dependent upon His grace. In addition to receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, I am supported and encouraged in my faith and to trust in God by praying the Rosary, knowing that Mary’s prayers always reflect God’s Will. My prayers may not always reflect or be directed to His Will. Also necessary in nurturing my relationship with Jesus is kneeling humbly before Him in Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament – as often as it is made available but at least on the first Friday of each month, which is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Also extremely important to nurturing my relationship with Jesus is receiving His mercy, compassion, forgiveness and grace in the Sacrament of Penance/Confession. Through this Sacrament, Jesus heals my soul, gives me the strength to live out my faith and better hear His voice love Him and my neighbor the way He loves me by obeying His commandments 🙂

    I feel truly blessed to be able to receive Jesus, who is present in the Holy Eucharist because this helps me to better understand what Jesus’ forerunner, John the Baptist meant when he said, “Jesus must increase, I must decrease.” John prepared the way of Jesus and told us to prepare for His coming. He always made Jesus the center and focus of his speech. By nature, we are inclined to always be asserting ourselves, making ourselves the center of attention. If we want to find God, we must be constantly undergoing an interior conversion, turning around and moving in the opposite direction. (Swimming against the current.) Remember this: when John was arrested—and then martyred— King Herod did not demand John deny anything he believed. He simply demanded John keep silent. King Herod and his wife did not want to hear that they were committing adultery. We too, do not want to hear that we are offending God, and especially in the area of sexuality. We believe that we own our bodies and therefore can decide how and what we will do with them. But the truth is: we come from God and return to Him. Pre-marital sex, abortion, adultery, masturbation, incest, rape, pornography, being sexually intimate with someone of the same sex, using artificial birth control instead of husband and wife responsibly expressing their love physically and in so doing, being open to the gift of life, which God creates through this intimate sexual act, are ways in which we are not honoring God with our bodies. Let us remember what Jesus answered when asked about adultery and remember that this addresses marriage and sex relations before marriage as well: “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH ‘? “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Christ’s death brought us out of the slavery of sin and set us free forever. And as our bodies are God’s temple, we are to use them to glorify God, not to glorify/satisfy ourselves.

    For the second time in a row, Pope Francis called the faithful to “24 hours for the Lord” on March 13th and 14th. This 24 hours for the Lord began at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 13th and ended at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 14th. The initiative was for Churches to remain open for 24 hours to underline the need for prayer, contemplation of Jesus’ presence in the Holy Eucharist (in the Sacrament of Holy Communion and in Adoration) and give the faithful the opportunity to go to confession. I experienced God’s grace by spending time in Jesus’ presence on the altar during Adoration, confessing my sinfulness in the Sacrament of Confession and by receiving His body and blood in the Holy Eucharist. I also receive His grace when praying for those who are seriously ill, suffering and dying and those I have promised to pray for as well as praying to better love Jesus by obeying His commandments and therefore better loving my neighbor. And I can best do this by obeying God’s commandments, statues and decrees. In this way, I am doing God’s Will. If I want to love like Jesus loves, I have to follow Jesus’ example by obeying His Father’s commandments and doing His Father’s Will.

    Jesus was born into this world to teach us how to love as He loves and to die for our sins and thus free us from the bondage of our sins. This is good news folks. Let us not get so wrapped up in ourselves, what we want, what we think we need, thereby forgetting that if we allow Jesus’ to increase in us, little by little, we will experience the true freedom that only Jesus can give us! Jesus’ death did not mean sin was removed from the face of the earth, but when we are honest with God, tell Him that we have sinned (through the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession) and are truly sorry, He forgives us and give us the grace and strength we need to fight off our sinful natures/urges. This is a lifetime process. We are sinners in need of God’s mercy, compassion and forgiveness. Jesus loves us and wants all of us to live eternal life with Him in Heaven, but He does not force us. God gave us free will and this free will remains even at the moment our souls leave this world.

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  4. I appreciate your reflection as always Richard. I think you offer us some challenging things to consider and respond to. I will say right away that I do not agree with the idea of accepting the marriage equality movement and just allow it to come about without a continue response. I also want to say I agree with many of your concerns though. You are absolutely right in saying that we should in no way return to the time when people are fearful of being honest about who they are and what they are going through. It is abhorrent what the radical islamists are doing in many countries. And we as Christians need to be more vocal on how there is no difference between the killing of Christians and those who experience SSA. These are heinous acts against human life and human rights. I recently read an article by a member of the Courage Apostolate titled “I am not gay…I am David.” I posted it on Facebook and thought it was a very powerful and courageous piece of writing. I think the Church does need to respond when the country’s justice system oversteps their role and either creates or enacts an unjust law. But, I think what I would encourage you with is that while the Church will need to respond, we also need to be charitable and thoughtful with how we respond. We should not respond in a way that will instigate less theologically formed Christian groups into a hostile posture toward persons who experience SSA.. I think the Synod on the Family coming up this fall with the Pope actually visiting our country will be a real important moment for the Catholic Church in America. I have already started praying for it. I believe the timing of that coming right after the likely judicial action this summer is something only the Holy Spirit could be behind. But while the Holy Spirit may have opened a door for us to address persons and pains like Christ, we need to be mindful of how many times we have easily screwed up opportunities the Holy Spirit affords us. We still have the messiness of free will and sin to contend with. Anyway, this has become a long comment box for you to read. I really like your writing Richard and I think you approached this piece from a very good place of intention and motivation. I would just come to a slightly different conclusion. A lot of that actually has to do with something I recently read toward the end of the book Theology and Sanity by Frank Sheed. “We may take one further instance of a sin which seems to hurt no one. A man marries a woman whose husband has already left her. Who is damaged and how?…(skipping forward) the law of monogamy is as real a law as the law of gravity, and whether we know it or not, to break a law of reality is to suffer damage….to allow that a particular marriage may be dissolved is to assume that marriage as such is dissoluble; and everyone’s marriage is thereby weakened.” This comes from the second to last chapter titled “The Landscape of Reality”. I’ll look forward to dialogue with you further Richard!

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    1. Good thoughtful response also, Michael. I think possibly you may be missing one key point, in that I am not saying so much to give up the fight as to change the focus. The focus in the last 10 years has been to stop this from coming. I believe it is coming. What we now have is such a terrible fracture between actively LGBT persons and the Church that there needs to be repair work done and a lot of it. Fighting someone legally can make them feel, or believe, that they are also being fought against in more of a personal way. That is what is a huge damage here, and my concern is that we as Christians, particularly Roman Catholic ones, need to lead more clearly in the protection of LGBT persons. As you stated, it is certainly possible that this next Synod on the Family will assist in this task. I truly hope so. I would not have wished this entire thing to come about through a movement which eventually morphed into a “marriage equality” legal battle. But I think that the Church brought that on in many ways, and I do not mean Catholics in particular but Christians in general, in very sincere zeal for the truth about marriage and its sanctity, have unintentionally (or in a few cases intentionally sadly) pushed away those of us with SSA, and even more so those actively in the life. So that is where I am coming from. In a way I liken it to abortion. I am not against fighting Roe v Wade but that change will not make the most difference even if and when it is reversed. Far more effective is sidewalk counseling and providing safe shelter for women in unexpected pregnancies. And of course prayer to be sure! But it does not have to be an either/or. In either case. Hope that clarifies.

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    2. Another point I might mention here is that I wrote this in an attempt to begin an authentic dialogue (i.e. not suggesting what all of the answers look like, because I am the first to admit I do not know that fully by any means) between those who are rejoicing in what is almost certain to happen in our nation this year and those who have fought it with every fiber of being. Both groups have good and thoughtful people in them, and that dialogue is at this time utterly crucial. That is the bigger point of this article. I am most likely going to be adding to this topic as time continues. But I do think it is time we aim our concentration on how to work with each other more than simply deciding we cannot do so.

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