An Open Letter To The Gay Community - From A Catholic

Dear Gay Community,
I am sorry. I am sorry that members of my Catholic Church (and other Christians) have not treated you with the love and respect you deserve, because we don’t agree with you on same-sex marriage or other issues. Because we disagree, that isn’t a reason to lash out at you, be triumphant, castigate blame, be divisive, or fail to love. Truly, I am sorry.
I am sorry that sometimes Christians have questioned your intent, as if you really are out to destroy the world or something. Yes, we disagree about some pretty important things – marriage, raising kids, sexuality, etc. But, you wouldn’t be asking for something if you thought it was going to ruin our culture or society.
I am sorry that we haven’t give you the Good News you deserve. Too often our faith comes across as one big “NO”! No you can’t get married. No you can’t have sex outside of one man and one woman who are married. No. No. NO! But, in truth, that isn’t what we are about. Our faith is really a “YES” and that makes all the difference. Yes to loving Jesus above everything else. Yes to loving others, even when it costs me something and even if they don’t like me or love me back. Yes to following our conscience, our teachings, and our Lord’s words. It is true that when I say “yes” to one thing I have to say “no” to others. But, that doesn’t mean the “no” is bigger than my “yes”.
I am sorry that so many of us live our lives like everyone else. If Jesus is who we say He is – God, Savior, Lord – then my life should be modeled on His and so should the rest who take on His name as Christ-ians. Yet, for the most part, our community mirrors society. Our divorce rate, use of porn, sexual addiction rate, and even beliefs about God are almost identical to the rest of our country. I am sorry for this.
I am sorry our leaders haven’t been better at leading the sheep. While the vast majority of our leaders are very good Christians, the real scoundrels – the ones who hide sexual predators or are concerned more with their image than doing God’s will – are a true scandal for the Church. With the amount of media attention given to Catholic scandals you would think all our leaders are like this, but this isn’t the case. The good thing is our leaders are getting better every year of doing the right thing and really do give of themselves in service to the Church and the world. Furthermore, no human can replace God, who is the only one truly in charge. He is the one who makes the Church beautiful – not us sinners in the pews or the sinners who are in charge.
I am sorry that your community has suffered at the hands of Christian persecution through the ages. It is not only a historical reality, it is an evil thing and we need to call it what it is.
I am sorry we haven’t really explained the freedom and happiness that come in a life given to Jesus. Because when you see it from that perspective, chastity isn’t an impossible imposition upon us, rather it is a life-giving way of freeing ourselves from the lusts that keep us from being able to make a complete gift of ourselves to another person. Thus, it frees us to truly love.
I am sorry that we haven’t lived out our sexuality well either. All of us have sexual imperfections, because all of us are sinners. I have never met a man or woman who didn’t have some issue with their sexuality. This comes in all forms – lust, pornography, body-image issues, fears, etc. On top of that, we haven’t addressed the sexual issues with a boldness and gentleness that it deserves. Sex is a powerful act shared between persons and should not be taken lightly. But, too many Catholics have an attitude that it shouldn’t be talked about at all. This is the wrong way to go about things.
I am sorry for the many couples and individuals who use contraception. Because it has a big part to play in where we are today in our understanding of sexuality. Since contraception came along, sex became less about babies, love, and spousal union and more about pleasure. Once these things are separated – then pleasure becomes the norm. We see Catholics use contraception as much as any other group. This article links the contraceptive problems to today well.
I am sorry you haven’t received the message you should have and it is this:
I know you want to be accepted for who you are. But, who you are isn’t defined by your desires or actions. In fact, if our identity is rooted merely in what we do – then there are a host of problemsthat could arise. There is something deeper in this issue to consider here. There is a truth we need to tap into. What is the truth about you and I?
It is that each of us are created in the image and likeness of God. Big deal, you might think. But, it is. It is our identity. We are made to be part of the family of God (the Trinity) and to partake in the very being of God. This means we are caught up into God’s love for us, by choosing to say “yes” to Him. Notice this is an act of God, but it requires our consent – through faith. God will never force us to participate in following Him.
If we do choose Him, a new-found identity in Christ means we can no longer look at ourselves or others in the same way. This is why our Church teaches:
“Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear.” -GS 22
If we want to know who we are, who others are, and the answers to the other questions that have been planted deep within us, then we need to understand who Jesus is and who we are in light of Christ. When God became human, He didn’t lower His divine nature, which is impossible – because God is unchangeable, rather He raised up our human nature!
This is our “supreme calling” – to live out this identity in Jesus. To live fully in the Fathers’ love, truth and grace. This is what we were made for.
This is the truth about the mystery of humanity. We were made to live this way, and called to find this truth. When we do so, we discover what real human “dignity” means. When we do not live in this truth we can bring great suffering upon ourselves and others. To many Catholics haven’t lived out this high calling and so many have suffered. You have suffered.
But this isn’t the end of the story because – You. Are. Loved.
God is a God of true, lasting, fruitful, free, faithful, and total love.
Every human is made with a desire to be accepted and loved by God and others. We all want to be accepted, because we want others to truly value us. We want to be valued, because we want to be loved.
When we feel loved, we find our worth. Yet, the only one who can love us fully and perfectly is God. So, the search for acceptance is ultimately a search for God to love us.
Yet you don’t need to be accepted by any other human for God to love you. He already knows you and loves you. But, it is up to you to allow His love into your heart. Attention, glory, pleasure, or mere acceptance (without true love) can’t fulfill your deepest desire for love. We need God – who is love itself.
I love you. God loves you. Sorry if we haven’t said that or shown that love more often.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” -1 John 4:7
Peace be with you. I love you. God loves you.
Marcel

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NOTE – To my Catholic brothers and sisters. Yes, we fully support the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexuality and marriage. This post is not about the details of the teachings as much as it is a way of understanding our duty to love everyone fully, regardless of any other consideration.
Also, you are free to comment and dialogue, but no comments that are considered hateful of either side will be allowed.

NOTE #2 – To non-Catholics who support gay marriage. Loving you and following the teachings of the Catholic Church are not contrary items. It is possible to do both. Our love of you is not contingent upon us always agreeing.
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UPDATE – for those Catholics who don’t know why I would post such an article, why I wouldn’t clearly “call out” the sin of others or warn them of what they are doing – that would certainly be another approach. But, one that hasn’t won the hearts or minds of our culture. Condemning another’s sin is a very delicate thing to do. Even Jesus told the woman caught in adultery he didn’t judge her, but to go and sin no more. Then with the woman at the well, he built a bridge of trust, loved her, and then called her to repent. Thus, the aim at this post is not to rebuke sinners, make a doctrinal claim, or judge someone’s soul. The point is to build a bridge of trust so that we can start a relationship. Our Popes and Bishops talk to Political and cultural leaders whom they radically disagree with. Our Lord ate and hung out with the worst sinners of his time. We too are called to love others where they are at. Furthermore, our Holy Fathers and the Saints have apologized for the sins of the Church again and again. This is the point of this article. We have other articles talking about the Catholic case against same-sex marriage and more – but that is for another time. This post was brought about because of the angry and ugly responses some Catholics have had in response to a decision of the SCOTUS. Was that decision wrong? Yes. But, is anger and ugliness helping anyone? No. Showing that the Catholics are responsible for the mess we are in might actually turn an ear or two toward our doctrines and teachings. Telling someone they are “going to hell” isn’t going to.
TEXT TAKEN FROM aggiecatholicblog.org

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