In my constant search for understanding, I have joined a Catholic forum. Here is my query, and the very kind Fr. Vincent has replied so quickly.
sydcatholic80 May 25, ’08 11:54 pm
How does a Catholic with same sex attraction cope with loneliness?
I have done much soul searching, and reading on the internet.
I accept what the Catholic Church says through the Catechism on this issue. I can accept that in upholding my faith, the Catholic Church teaches I must be celibate (as is the case for anyone who is not married). This does not trouble me.
What is troubling me, and there does not seem to be answer on this point, can two Catholics who are homosexual live together in a relationship that is celibate, but filled with love and closeness? Is this sort of relationship acceptable?
It is a frightening thought to have to spend the rest of my life alone, and I am praying hard. Is my outlook so bleak? Did God intend for me to have to live my life alone?
Any guidance is greatly appreciated.
Fr. Vincent Serpa May 26, ’08 1:12 pm
Re: Being Catholic and Homosexual
That’s a great name you have there! The Church would frown on two people of the same sex with same sex attraction living together because it could easily be an occasion of sin for them. It would be safer it one of them did not have same sex attractions. But living with someone is no guarantee against loneliness. One can be surrounded be people and be lonely. On the other hand, one can live alone and not be lonely. The key lies in the difference between loneliness and solitude. People try to flee from loneliness, but actually seek solitude.
For the Christian, solitude is not just the absence of the commotion and activity of the crowd. It is the state of being alone while realizing that one is not alone. It comes from confronting loneliness by going inside and finding that God has been there all along. This is what the contemplative does. Reflecting on Good Friday and confronting the pain that our Savior endured for us is to begin to know what it means to be loved. It is to know the Companion of our lives who never leaves us excluded and alone. I encourage you to spend time before the tabernacle in His Eucharistic presence. You may contact me privately here by clicking on my name if you want to discuss this further. You are in my prayers.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.
I can understand the points he has put to me, and I plan to reflect on this. I notice, just like in my last post, that there is no scriptural basis, or Church law that prevents two people to live chaste lives together.
It might be “frowned upon”, but the Church leaves room for ones own conscience for guidance in matters where there is no explicit direction.
I have also seen reference to creating scandal. I must say, why do we worry what our neighbour does? We cannot see into his heart and mind to know what their intent is, so how can we judge them? Should we be judging them? God is ultimately our judge. Jesus also said, remove the stake from your own eye, before removing the splinter from your brothers eye. If two people are living together, we shouldn’t be presuming sin. Even the law of the land has a presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
Life is a constant battle with sin and temptation. In reflecting on my life to date, this is very true. Now with my eyes more open than they have been for some time, I am more aware of myself, and I pray each day to remain in a state of grace.
I know I have the internal fortitude, and with my prayers, and those of my friends, family and church community, and knowing the love of God, I can overcome my temptations.
I believe though, that love is something God gave us all, and Jesus demonstrated that love repeatedly while on this earth, and through His ultimate sacrifice for us. I do not believe that my love for another is sinful. And I don’t believe He would lead me into a life of loneliness. My own conscience tells me I am capable of loving someone deeply in a chaste way. My own conscience tells me two people can love and support each other in this way. This world does not care for those who are alone, how is it fair to expect someone to then to have to live alone? I don’t believe God would condemn me for seeking out a companion for life.
I’m not trying to be provocative, nor disrespectful or disobedient to the Catholic Church and Her teachings, but I am merely trying to raise some discussion on a point, and discover the answers to my questions.
I think debate is a healthy mechanism in discovering the truth.
Well those are my thoughts for today. Always happy for comments.