What does a church open to L.G.B.T. Catholics look like?

Archbishop Wilton Gregory, the Rev. Bryan Massingale, and Katherine Abel (CNS photos).

What would it mean for the institutional church to welcome L.G.B.T. Catholics? What would it mean for church leaders to help L.G.B.T. Catholics feel more at home in their own church? And how can this be accomplished in the context of Gospel values and church teaching? Three recent stories show how: one concerning a priest, one an archbishop and one a parish.

The priest’s story is perhaps the most surprising. The Rev. Bryan Massingale, a highly respected theologian who taught for many years at Marquette University and now serves as professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University, began a recent lecture with these words: “I come to this conversation as a Black, gay priest and theologian.”

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The lecture, entitled “The Challenge of Idolatry for LGBTI Ministry,” delivered at the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics in Chicago, encouraged his fellow L.G.B.T. Catholics to remember that they are “equally redeemed by Christ and radically loved by God.”

Father Massingale’s public statement about his sexuality may seem inconsequential to some in the West. But the number of Catholic priests who are open about their homosexuality (and faithful to their promises of celibacy, of course) in a public way, despite several articles in the last few years, is still infinitesimally small.

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The Fordham theologian said that he was moved by being among so many L.G.B.T. Catholics at the conference who had suffered great persecution in their own countries. He told me in an email:

I spoke to them, not just from my head, but also with my heart and from my soul. I wanted to show them how our faith is not only relevant to their struggles for justice, but a strength for the difficult and often dangerous work that they are doing. To do that, I needed to share my faith story, and how I came to accept myself as being created in God’s image as a Black gay man. I said what I said because people are suffering horribly because of who they are and how they love. And I couldn’t ask them to continue being courageous if I wasn’t willing to be courageous, too.

Such openness makes the church more inviting, especially for L.G.B.T. people who wonder if there is a place for them. Examples like Father Massingale’s help them feel welcomed and loved. As he said, “I didn’t do this to ‘come out.’ But to let God’s love for us all to ‘come forth.’”

“I didn't do this to ‘come out.’ But to let God’s love for us all to ‘come forth.’”

A second gesture came in remarks by Wilton Gregory, the recently appointed archbishop of Washington, D.C. Archbishop Gregory is well known for his efforts to welcome L.G.B.T. people in his former archdiocese of Atlanta, where he supported “Fortunate and Faithful Families,” a group for family members of L.G.B.T. Catholics.

In a “Theology on Tap” event, a person named Rory, a transgender person, asked whether there was place in the church for transgender people. Archbishop Gregory answered:

You belong to the heart of this Church. And there is nothing that you may do, may say, that will ever rip you from the heart of this Church. There is a lot that has been said to you, about you, behind your back, that is painful and is sinful.
And so that’s why I mentioned my conversations with Fortunate Families. We have to find a way to talk to one another. And to talk to one another, not just from one perspective, but to talk and to listen to one another. I think that’s the way that Jesus ministered. He engaged people, he took them where they were at, and He invited them to go deeper, closer to God.
So if you’re asking me where do you fit? You fit in the family.

"I think that’s the way that Jesus ministered. He engaged people, he took them where they were at, and He invited them to go deeper."

It was a wise, loving, pastoral answer reminding Rory, along with all those assembled and the church as a whole, that all Catholics are part of the church. It is especially heartening for transgender Catholics and their families to hear this, since for so long they have felt beleaguered in the church.

Finally, with the approval of the Archdiocese of Chicago, a new ministry driven by Catholics in their 20s and 30s is beginning at St. Clement’s Parish, one of an increasing number of American parishes with ministries for L.G.B.T. people. It is called “Affirmed.”

The archdiocese has sponsored the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach, known as A.G.L.O., since 1988, and St. Clement’s has long been a welcoming parish. But as Michael Bayer, director of evangelization and faith formation, explained, that parish ministry had not been active for several years, and “a group of twenty/thirty something Catholics felt strongly that we needed to be at the forefront of asking how the church can fully integrate, welcome and affirm LGBTQ+ persons and their families.” Mr. Bayer describes the ministry as “lay-led and ground-up.”

When asked what about the new ministry was noteworthy, Katherine Abel, the new chair of Affirmed, said:

The process of building this ministry has taught me just how exceptionally fortunate we have been to have the support of not only our pastor and parish community, but also the Archdiocese of Chicago. Since many other communities do not have the same support and freedom to create ministries like this, our existence seems to be noteworthy.

Ms. Abel described the reaction to Affirmed as “overwhelmingly positive,” having received “notes of enthusiasm from future participants and notes of gratitude from advocates around the country and abroad.” Her prayer, she said, was that soon this kind of ministry won’t be noteworthy at all, “and similar ministries will be popping up all over the place.”

In such ways, through the work of lay people, priests and bishops, are L.G.B.T. Catholics made to feel the “respect, compassion and sensitivity” that the catechism urges, and the love that Jesus came to share. In such ways are they made to know that they are at the “heart of this church.”

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Antony P.
1 month 1 week ago

Yes, the key words are, as you put it: “natural sexual expression.” And what exactly you think natural sexual expressions are?

Robert Lewis
1 month 1 week ago

"Natural sexual expressions" are more than just for procreation, as Aristotle's benighted and archaic "natural law" would have it. We now know so much more about "nature" than Aristotle or Aquinas did, and we Catholics--as opposed to fundamentalist heretics--understand that science can never oppose Sacred Scripture, and so we are able to learn from science and at the same time remain faithful to "the life and teachings of Jesus Christ"--as distinguished from fallible "Doctors of the Church" and "saints" like John Chrysostum, who urged the massacre of Jews, or like Robert Bellarmine, who presided over Galileo's trial, or like John Paul II, who promoted Marciel Maciel.

Antony P.
1 month 1 week ago

Thank you for your response. However, I think my original question still stands: And what exactly you think natural sexual expressions are? After having read your affirmation that “‘natural sexual expressions’ are more than just procreation,” and your attempt to generously flush down the drain such ‘dilettantes’ as Aristotle, Aquinas, the Doctors of the Church, John Chrysostom and Bellarmine, I still wonder what in your expert opinion, those ‘natural sexual expressions’ might actually be.

P.s., re. Bellarmine: FYI, It is simply not true, it is not the case, that Bellarmine “presided” over “Galileo’s trial.”
Also, it is helpful to remember, that Bellarmine’s main argument was, that there was only “theoretical” (mathematical) and no physical proof of the heliocentric worldview. Therefore, Galileo was free to teach it as a “theory” but not to claim it as physical reality. Indeed, it was not until the early seventeen hundreds, that there were strong enough telescopes which provided physical proof of the heliocentric worldview (that the Earth actually moved around the Sun).

Gabe Reeder-Ferreira
1 month 1 week ago

I thoroughly enjoyed the essay pinned by Rev. Bryan Massingale. I think it speaks to many of us who felt deprived of God’s love because of Idolatry. We miss so much from the Gospels with the nitpicking and obsession with relationships and marriages.

Dionys Murphy
1 month 1 week ago

"What does a church open to L.G.B.T. Catholics look like?" Interestingly enough, it looks exactly like Christ's table.

JOHN GRONDELSKI
1 month 1 week ago

All nice words and we are all sinners, therefore, all members of a Church "open" to sinners. What I want to know in the midst of all this swarmy warmy goo is whether we are going to teach Catholic teaching, i.e., that homosexual actions are intrinsically disordered and that we are all called to chastity outside of marriage (which is a union of a man and a woman)? Or are we going to apply the vow of omerta to homosexual activity that has covered teaching American Catholics about the way of life Humanae Vitae envisioned and expected? Or are we going to "affirm" everything EXCEPT that teaching?

Gabe Reeder-Ferreira
1 month 1 week ago

Im not in union with it. Just because we are called to chastity doesn’t mean any of us took a vow to adhere to it. Who am I to tell anybody what they should do with their body? As a Catholic, I affirm gay relationships and marriages. Trying to teach the LGBT community they are “intrinsically disordered” I think is just stupid. None of us believe it and know better. I also don’t see a problem with same-sex marriage. It’s their choice who they marry.

Robert Lewis
1 month 1 week ago

Protestant and secularist marriages are, and have been, for a very long time, no more than the "civil marriages" of the Jews and the Muslims--because they allow for divorce and are dissoluble. The Catholic Church in the West has never had sufficient courage or intellectual integrity to tell the truth regarding the INNOVATION that Jesus Christ made in marriage theology, uniting the couple to Himself in His birth and His death, and thereby making Christian marriage INDISSOLUBLE. "Gay marriage," like Protestant companionate marriage and secular marriage--in our culture little more than serial monogamy--is no threat whatsoever to Catholic sacramental marriage, and is, because of the Enlightenment principles that control our American system of laws, a CIVIL RIGHT of an essentially pagan society, not to be interfered with by the Catholic and Apostolic Church, which lives by theological lights whose anthropology is entirely different from that of the so-called "Enlightenment." For the Catholic Church to attempt to intrude upon or dictate to a society that cannot and never will live by her theological premises is an act of presumptuousness and cruelty--and, ultimately, of extraordinary imprudence. Let the Catholic Church in this pagan society be a light onto a world increasingly plunging into darkness, but let it not attempt to use force to impose upon what shall not be imposed upon!

JOHN GRONDELSKI
1 month 1 week ago

Most of the things you "affirm" have nothing to do with being Catholic.

Robert Lewis
1 month 1 week ago

Indissoluble sacramental marriage has EVERYTHING to do with being Catholic--at least for being a heterosexual Catholic. For homosexual Catholics I recommend adelphopoiesis.

L Hoover
1 month 1 week ago

If we view Catholics who happen to be homosexual as "intrinsically disordered", we further marginalize them in the eyes of believers and nonbelievers.

Will Nier
1 month 1 week ago

We sang the hymn " All are Welcome" this Sunday at Mass. I wonder if they truly are!

Tim O'Leary
1 month 1 week ago

Sadly, Fr. Martin is all about welcoming and good feelings and being nice and tolerant (except for those despicable deplorables who must not be tolerated) but never about what is needed to be saved. Ironically, a new documentary on a Satanic Temple - Hail Satan? - has just been released in the UK (link below). The Satanist-in-Chief, Lucien Greaves, prides himself in being especially welcoming to those in the "LGBTQ" community. Perhaps, the temple does get good or even excellent marks on the welcome front. But, surely, the teaching is important, just a little bit?

Now, I know the leader of the Jesuits has just come out claiming Satan is not even a person. How intolerant to act as if he/she doesn't even exist!

Here is a quote from Greaves, on how welcoming his temple is: "It would be a conservative estimate to say that more than 50 per cent of our membership is LGBTQ. I think that’s because they feel disowned and disenfranchised from the traditional religious institutions. So, you have a population willing to embrace a religious identification that is boldly willing to speak out to the contrary. From the start, when one of our early actions was the Pink Mass, a lot of LGBTQ people were looking for another community that didn’t see them as defined by their sexual orientation."
https://www.attitude.co.uk/article/the-satanic-temple-in-the-us-vows-to-fight-for-equal-rights-for-the-gay-community/21661/.

Frank Elliott
1 month ago

And you’re about being a singularly-gay-obsessed troll.

L Hoover
1 month 1 week ago

If we view Catholics who happen to be homosexual as "intrinsically disordered", we further marginalize them in the eyes of believers and nonbelievers. We erode their confidence in self and undermine their ability to live well, and bear good fruit, in spite of their natural leanings.

I do not wish to hold discriminatory thoughts about individuals different from myself based on their sexual orientation. Rather, I wish them well. I hope they are loved and find happiness and joy as they struggle through this life.

In sum, there is sin...and then there is sin. I consider judging and knowingly causing harm to people based on such differences, by the doctrinaire with an affinity for certitude, as the greater sin.

Tim O'Leary
1 month 1 week ago

Hoover - see my note above on Lucien Greaves regarding the dangers of not putting truth above wishing people well. In any case, you are wrong about what the Catholic Church teaches. It is never the person who is "intrinsically disordered" but the homosexual acts that are such. They are disordered because they cannot accomplish what God designed the body for. He made us in His image, male and female. By the way, masturbation is also intrinsically disordered, so heterosexuals are equally subject to the proscription. Furthermore, the recent massive study (over 450k people) on a investigation into the genetic origins of same-sex behavior (link below) found minimal evidence that same sex behavior is in anyone's DNA. The specific genes that reached statistical significance accounted for only 1% of the correlation. Their documentation of a rise in same-sex behavior - it is very steep, quadrupling in 40 years - confirms the activity has an overwhelming environmental or cultural genesis. My point is people may not be free to determine their desires. They have the human dignity to resist desires that are contrary to God's design. Keep in mind the Lord's words “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jn 8:31-32.

L Hoover
1 month 1 week ago

I encourage America subscribers to read this article from the New York Times that addresses the complexities involved in interpreting results from the recent study, Many Genes Influence Same-Sex Behavior, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/29/science/gay-gene-sex.html Many investigators feared the results would be misinterpreted.

You are correct, the fact of having homosexual leanings is not the sin according to Catholic doctrine. The sin lies in the act. But then, if this is true, and almost nobody knows if Catholics who identify as homosexuals are active…..why would we question whether or not homosexuals should be welcome in the Church? Why would certain Church leaders insist on the firing of successful but homosexual teachers/professors if they don’t know what is going on in the privacy of their homes? I wouldn’t make such assumptions. The other question of course is, aren’t we all sinners?

Similar to other sexual “sins”, we generally don’t know what other Catholics are doing in private. I, for what it's worth, choose not to care. With real evil in the world causing much harm (such as the separation of children from immigrant parents, putting them in cages, pretending there is no such thing as climate change, and trying to replace a once-functional democracy with an authoritarian form of government, and making an enemy of the truth that is of Christ), ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ is my mantra. I vote that we go after the truly evil and threatening to our well-being, of which there is plenty, and let the rest of humankind bumble along, trying and sometimes managing to do good.

Your views have a place at the table, for sure….as do mine. Homosexuals belong there with us. It is as God intended. There is the risk of giving emotional support above the truth. However, what is true? If His words were supposed to be understood in just one way, he’d have set forth scripture with greater clarity.

Tim O'Leary
1 month 1 week ago

Hoover - the Church doesn't ask people what their desires or orientations or recent sins are when they enter any Church. All are given the benefit of the doubt and their private sins are expected to be between their confessor and their conscience. It is a different situation when one makes a public declaration, or takes a stand against the teaching of the Church. So, if one joins an atheist advocacy group, or an abortion enabling group, or engages in a public activity like a gay marriage or is in a public adulterous relationship, or publicly denies some serious aspect of Church teaching, like women priests, or gay marriage, or sex-change operations, then a line has been crossed. Marching in a Pride parade or declaring oneself "gay"is borderline. The Catholic Church is not the Episcopal Church, where anything goes, doctrinally. Religion means to bind oneself to a set of beliefs, practices and authority. It is dishonest to pretend to be a Catholic if one doesn't believe what She teaches. It contradicts the meaning of the Church as described in Acts. It sows discord and seduces people away from the truth.

As to the recent genetic study, the key new finding was that the genetic correlations were rather weak, partial and inconsistent. It greatly strengthens the arguments for environmental, psychological and cultural causes. The morality of the acts are not influenced by the cause, but by the effects. Some other interesting findings from this study - the largest ever. Link to science article is below.
1. The heterosexual definition was a little unusual, as it excluded even 1 same-sex partner (SSP) (irrespective of age).
2. Even with this, 94.4% were heterosexual. Only 0.9% had exclusively SSP.
3. The SSP group correlated with more sex partners, "openness to experience" some mental disorders, marijuana and smoking, and risky behavior.
4. The SSP group correlated with a reproductive deficit (less kids): direct quote: "even for individuals reporting only a minority of same-sex partners. This reduction in number of children is comparable with or greater than for other traits that have been linked to lower fertility rates. This reproductive deficit raises questions about the evolutionary maintenance of the trait, but we do not address these here."
5. The general rise in same-sex experience (fig 1) is consistent with the politics: Males from 2% --> 8%, Women from 0.5% --> 6% (again even just 1 SSP)
6. This study did not comment on bisexuals or other parts s of the LGBTQIA acronym (the self-identifying trans were excluded)
7. The "gay gene" theory of Dean Hamer is proven false. No sex chromosomal difference at all.

Here is the link to the actual study. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6456/eaat7693?ijkey=a2a2bd8ddafe89d64350fa9bebe0fff1deaae444&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

L Hoover
1 month 1 week ago

Tim O'Leary, I accept that this is how you embrace Catholicism but advocating for the Church's rules that define sin is not where it's at for many honest Catholics I know. Catholicism can be foremost about deepening relationships with God, but not necessarily about believing that Church doctrine is always right.

If you define as dishonest and kick out everyone who approaches their faith life in ways you and others consider incorrect, the Church would be so much smaller than it is today. And then where would we be? Where would we be?

To me, it's sinful to overlook the fact that each person on this earth has a different story. They put their life goals, embrace values and views, approach their spiritual lives and religious involvement, in decidedly different ways than just the one “correct” way you describe. They can't all be, or any of them be, just like you or me. Perhaps God did not intend that we should be the same. That is my experience: that God respects us in profound ways and assists us on our journeys. He seems to respond well to honest effort. He especially seems to like it when we ‘judge not’.

Tim O'Leary
1 month 1 week ago

Hoover - If you read Tim Donovan's eloquent reflection on his encounter with the Truth in the Catholic Church, you might get an idea that it is really possible to be a saint no matter what one's temptations or desires are. We all have wrongful desires, of a great variety. We struggle with the daily challenges and setbacks. The Church doesn't have doctrinal "rules" as you call them, as if they were man-made and amendable to fit the fashion of the age. We Catholics truly believe the words of Jesus that He is the only way to the Father, and NO one comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ. The Church is His mystical body, His presence on earth, always holy and truthful. No matter how many weak popes and sinful priests and backsliding pilgrims, and pernicious pedophiles, power-grabbers and pettifogging bloggers, She remains holy and protected by the Holy Spirit from teaching error and leading her flock astray. Only she has the fullness of the faith, only She can offer a sure repentance of sins and divine nourishment. Even Jesus speculated that many might leave His Church (Luke 18:8): "However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” - Better a tiny Church that is true and holy than a big tent that has lost its ability to save souls.

Robert Lewis
1 month 1 week ago

If you want to closely ascertain how far Mr. O'Leary's homophobia goes--despite his hypocritical crocodile tears about "loving the sinner, but hating the sin"--consider THIS statement of his: "..Marching in a Pride parade or declaring oneself 'gay' is borderline." In his world of brutal repression of "same sex love," you don't even get to "come out" to your straight brothers and sisters as being attracted to members of your same sex, and appealing to them to help you "bear your cross" and live a chaste life, in conformity to the antiquated sexual morality of the "natural law." Instead, you are doomed to remain in the "closet" all of your life, and forbidden to have any lifelong companion, no matter how sexless the relationship is. God forbid that HIS is the "face" that the Church shows modern youth, because if it is there will soon be no Catholic and Apostolic Church left on the North American continent!

Jorge Rebasa
1 month 1 week ago

X

Tim O'Leary
1 month 1 week ago

Jorge Ribasa - the gay ideology is the only one I know of that thinks the best insult it can muster is to call someone homosexual. Imagine if a fundamentalist screamed like you do that all his opponents must really be secret fundamentalists. It is very revealing how insidious this ideology is. Perhaps, there's a gene for that.

Frank Elliott
1 month ago

Tim O’Leary,
I’ve heard the same thing from straight Catholics who tell gays that the reason gays argue with straight Catholics is that gays believe that Catholic doctrine on homosexuality is true.

Their intent was to instill shame. Indeed anyone who believes that homosexual orientation is a tendency toward great moral evil should be deeply ashamed for driving gay adolescents to despair and suicide.

Tim O'Leary
1 month 1 week ago

Lewis - You really are something. You brim with prideful intolerance that you only see in those who hold to the truth of the Scriptures. Nothing I said differs from what St. Pope JP II or Pope Francis said about the gay pride parade (link below) or what the Church teaches regarding the use of "gay" for homosexual. The gay ideology is an invention of the 20th century, as you have concurred in the past. You cannot see the difference between "coming out" as you say and boasting about it in scantily-clad exhibitionism. No doubt you miss the irony that the parade is named after the deadliest sin. If there were a parade for divorce, or abortion, or the joys of masturbation, or you joined a fascist or communist cause, it would similarly call into question one's vocation in a Catholic organization. Read Tim Donovan's post before you make the same presumptuous mistake again.

St. Pope JP II on the anti-Christian nature of Pride marches: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/flashback-st-john-paul-ii-called-pride-celebrations-an-offense-to-christian-values.
Pope Francis: "Homosexual priests, religious men and women should be urged to live celibacy wholly and, especially, to be perfectly responsible, trying to never create scandal in their communities or for the holy people of God by living a double life," the pope said. "It would be better if they left the ministry or consecrated life rather than live a double life."

Robert Lewis
1 month 1 week ago

Once again, you accurately characterize your own vicious homophobia with your choice of the cruelest possible language to refer to those who love their own sex passionately, e.g. "..trying to never create scandal in their communities..." Your evil inference is that to tell one's friends and coworkers and parish members that you are gay is to "create scandal." You wish to doom gay folks to be solitaries, companionless recluses--just as that heartless organization called "Courage" does. Here's an example of someone who is a far better Christian than you are, but who refuses to live the wretched existence you'd doom him to: https://www.stevegershom.com/

Tim O'Leary
1 month 1 week ago

Lewis - the words you describe as viciously homophobic are Pope Francis' words (notice the quotation marks & see link below). You impugn not only him but all recent popes, the many saints, the Holy Scriptures and the Catechism with your hysterical outburst. Such intolerance - akin to the Westboro Baptist Church, who, like you, include orthodox Catholics in their long catalog of people to hate. I do not hate anybody (even you're sorry self) or wish to doom anybody, and it is evil for you to say so. I want the opposite - salvation. You call Courage heartless without ever walking in their shoes in their outreach to people with homosexual desire who desire salvation even more, such as elegantly described in the profound introspective movie "Desire of the Everlasting Hills" (https://everlastinghills.org/) - described on their site as three intimate and candid portraits of Catholics who try to navigate the waters of self-understanding, faith and homosexuality. May the Lord rescue you.

Pope Francis article with his quotes: https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/signs-times/pope-gay-priests-be-celibate-or-get-out

Gabe Reeder-Ferreira
1 month 1 week ago

I’m not gay or didn’t marry my spouse to take some sort of stand against the church. People aren’t gay because they are protesting church teaching. I was Catholic before I ever came out of the closet. We also still know how to make babies too, in a very orderly way. So you are mistaken that our behavior is intrinsically disordered because it doesn’t lead to procreation. Many of us do have children with or without the Catholic Churches support.

Tim Donovan
1 month 1 week ago

I'm a Catholic who's gay, and certainly experienced a fair amount of animosity growing up. As a child, I wasn't athletic (I simply wasn't very coordinated, although I did enjoy street hockey) so I was often called a sissy. One boy was particularly hateful towards me, each day at school belittling me so much that I began to feign being sick so that I could stay home as much as possible and avoid the emotional abuse. When I was about 12 years old, a boy one grade below me spit on me in front of a group of students. In fairness, he did apologize, perhaps because. I was visibly distraught. Some other students laughed, however. As an adolescent, I turned to writing essays and short stories for enjoyment, as I thought it best to remain quiet. I was frequently "made sport of" because I had a high voice, and was often called the hurtful term "faggot." At age 1 9, I got a job working with disabled adults, and found much meaning in my life.
I returned to college and became a Special Education teacher who instructed children with brain damage, some of whom were physically disabled and/or had behavior disorders. The work was challenging but enjoyable, but after a year sought counseling by a,therapist because of depression due to being gay. However, I didn't reveal my sexual orientation to the therapist (I was too ashamed) so naturally therapy was unsuccessful. In 1994 at age 32 (following the death of my Dad) I revealed my sexual orientation to my family, friends and co-workers. I was very fortunate that with few exceptions people responded with love and acceptance. I continued to remain celibate, and found meaning in life both by helping to care for my nieces, nephew, and friend's children, and continuing to work in various capacities with disabled adults. I'm now 57, and many years ago I gave into temptation and for several years had sex with men, including with a man who was (and still is) a friend. However, I regretted my acts, and found forgiveness and consolation through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I certainly believe based on my painful experiences (and recognizing that many gay people have suffered far worse than me) that people should be treated with respect and compassion regardless of their sexual orientation. However, I do believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. I believe that the Church should both retain its teachings regarding sexual relations, but as Pope Francis has encouraged, be more welcoming towards people who aren't heterosexual.

Jorge Rebasa
1 month 1 week ago

Re: the recently published genetic research paper published in the journal Science: Some conservative news sites are running with the headline, “there is no gay gene” which is dishonest because there are many genes . Quotes from the Science article speak abundantly clear. Those claiming otherwise are being dishonest.

CONCLUSION: Same-sex sexual behavior is influenced by not one or a few genes but many.
Discussion
We identified genome-wide significant loci associated with same-sex sexual behavior and found evidence of a broader contribution of common genetic variation. We established that the underlying genetic architecture is highly complex; there is certainly no single genetic determinant (some-times referred to as the “gay gene” in the media). Rather, many loci with individually small effects, spread across the whole genome and partly overlapping in females and males, additively contribute to individual differences in predisposition to same-sex sexual behavior.
Although we emphasize the polygenicity of the genetic effects on same-sex sexual behavior, we identified five SNPs whose association with same-sex sexual behavior reached genome-wide significance . Three of these replicated in other independent samples whose measures related to identity and attraction rather than behavior. These SNPs may serve to generate new lines of enquiry. In particular, the finding that one of the replicated SNPs (rs28371400-15q21.3) is linked to male pattern balding and is nearby a gene(TCF12) relevant to sexual differentiation strengthens the idea that sex-hormone regulation may be involved in the development of same-sex sexual behavior.

Our findings provide insights into the biological underpinnings of same-sex sexual behavior but also underscore the importance of resisting simplistic conclusions (Box 2)—because the behavioral phenotypes are complex, because our genetic insights are rudimentary, and because there is a long history of misusing genetic results for social purposes
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6456/eaat7693

Tim O'Leary
1 month 1 week ago

Jorge - you need to come out of your dishonest closet. Here is the title & subtitle in Nature: No ‘gay gene’: Massive study homes in on genetic basis of human sexuality: Nearly half a million genomes reveal five DNA markers associated with sexual behaviour — but none with the power to predict the sexuality of an individual (link below). Similarly, Scientific American: "Massive Study Finds No Single Genetic Cause of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior:
Analysis of half a million people suggests genetics may have a limited contribution to sexual orientation" Note the "none with the power" and "limited contribution.

Even your own quote includes the following: "there is certainly no single genetic determinant (some-times referred to as the “gay gene” in the media)." Even the polygenic contribution to "the predisposition" can account for only 8-25%. In other words, 75-92% is, by their projections, due to non-genetic factors. SciAm quotes Eric Vilain, a geneticist at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the study.
“It’s the end of the ’gay gene.” Hard to let a useful fiction go.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02585-6
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/massive-study-finds-no-single-genetic-cause-of-same-sex-sexual-behavior/

Frank Elliott
1 month ago

Hard to let useful fictions go? Like the Sodom Myth? Like the lie that the fictitious attempted gang rape of angels is somehow is equivalent to conssensual sex between adults? Like the Eden Myth?Like Original Sin? Like the idea that a celibate man would found a fertility cult?

Andrew Strada
1 month 1 week ago

Empty.

Frank Elliott
1 month ago

Empty.

No sane gay layman would willingly play the role of scapegoat for clerical sexual abuse.Most of us who went to Jesuit high schools had to endure that starting at a very young age. We were treated like pariahs, but you Jesuits did nothing to help because you thought that helping a boy who was called “gay” would ruin your reputations,

Now the heterosexual laity are baying for blood because many of the clergy and the hierarchy either sexually abused their boys or covered for such abuse.

My alma mater, Jesuit New Orleans, was hit particularly hard with 1/3 of reported offenders having worked there.
(https://wgno.com/2018/12/07/14-priests-and-brothers-who-served-at-jesuit-high-school-in-new-orleans-on-list-of-sexual-abusers/). I was invited for my fortieth reunion this year and responded that I wouldn’t be caught dead there.

C Jones
1 month ago

There is no sense in continuing a state of denial. Leviticus condemns such behavior. Jesus taught that we shouldn't throw stones, but we should acknowledge our own sins and sin no more. That's the rub. Clergy and laity seek means to justify our sins or justify our religiousness. Jesus praised the poor sinner who acknowledges their fault over the sinner who is in denial.
Cor 1 chapter 11 warns against receiving the Eucharist in a state of sin. The clergy should be careful not to lead their flock over a cliff.

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