“Homosexuality: A Catholic�s Journey”

The Philosopher Mom directed me to this , three-part series at National Catholic Register. (Unfortunately the three parts don’t link to each other. (That’s the kind of site design oversight that drives me crazy.)

This is perhaps the best piece I’ve seen on the topic. The author, Melinda Selmys, has such great insight into the topic and especially good advice on how faithful Catholics can approach the topic because she has been within the homosexual community and is also now a Catholic convert. Her approach is loving and gentle and very reasonable.

Here are a few excerpts:

from Part 1: Psychology or Genetics:

The first thing that must be understood, is that for all of the misrepresentations and faulty logic employed by gay activist groups, their primary claim � that homosexuality is not a choice � really does reflect the experience of persons with same-sex attractions.

While, as the Catechism frankly states, �Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained,� we do know that there are numerous psychological and possibly biological factors involved that cause a person to feel that they are really, fundamentally and immutably homosexual. This is not simply an excuse used by the gay community in order to give their movement more legitimacy and to generate sympathy for their cause � rather, it is a reflection of their own feelings that this is something that is a part of them, which has always been a part of them, and for which they are in no way responsible.

Essentially, homosexuality seems to be in the same sort of category as something like chronic depression or poor self-image: There may be both physical and psychological components contributing to these disorders, they often arise very early in life, and they are usually the result of factors in early childhood over which the person involved had little, if any, control.

This is not to say that they aren�t responsible for any homosexual activities (although, to quote the Vatican�s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, �circumstances may exist, or may have existed in the past, which would reduce or remove the culpability of the individual in a given instance�), but rather that they are not usually at fault for their homosexual orientation � just as a person suffering from depression is not to be blamed for feeling depressed, but may still be probably morally culpable if he commits suicide.

from Part 2: Evangelizing The Homosexual

This work requires a one-on-one approach � it cannot be done through the mass media � and it cannot be achieved from the pulpit. Most people who have had any success in ministering to persons with same-sex attractions agree that you can�t get anywhere unless you first form a personal relationship.

[snip]
We must be clear on this: Persons with same-sex attractions, even the most strident, anti-Catholic, shamelessly sexualized demonstrators, are not the enemy. They are our own people, who have fallen into enemy hands, and it is our responsibility as Christians to do anything necessary to win them back.

[snip]

We need to bear in mind that many people in the homosexual community feel that they have only ever really been personally accepted by that community � not just because the outside world condemns homosexuality, but because some significant part of the outside world failed to accept their personality even before they had any sort of homosexual feelings.

As a result of this, their genuine personality traits � aspects of themselves that actually are part of the way God made them � are psychologically bound up with their homosexuality. The things that made society (or Daddy or whoever) reject them are a part of their �gayness,� and to reject their homosexuality is, in their eyes, to reject all of those aspects of their personality, as well.

What is necessary, therefore, is to show them that someone can love them, and love all of the things that they erroneously associate with homosexuality, without actually loving their sin. Only when this becomes a practical reality, rather than a theoretical tagline, will they actually believe that it is possible, and understand that they have an identity and a personality with which their sexual desires are not integrally connected.

Since we can�t bring people who identify themselves as �gay� into the Church simply by demonstrating that their actions are contrary to natural law, we need to use another approach.

The one that is most appropriate is, in fact, surprisingly simple: Make the faith appealing. Show them a God who is patient, merciful and loving, a God who brings healing to a world broken by sin. Talk to them about your faith, your experience of God�s healing power and of his forgiveness. Show them that God will meet, perfectly, all of the psychological needs that they have been trying to fulfill through homosexuality.

Part 3: She Helped Me Hear the Truth:

The Church offers all of those who experience homosexual feelings the chance to seek this healing, not because she hates them or wants them to deny themselves, but rather because she knows that in doing God�s will and discovering the incredible depths of his mercy, they will find their life immeasurably enriched.

Well worth reading the whole piece.

 

8 Responses to “Homosexuality: A Catholic�s Journey”

  1. betsy June 26, 2009 at 3:33 am #

    We got an Arms Reach co-sleeper – full size – from my brother and his wife as a baby gift for Claire. We LOVED it! There are others that are more versatile, but this did the job it was intended to so extremely well and the playpen option for later came in very handy for when we had to strip off wallpaper in a the kitchen and as a place to put things we didn’t want Claire to get her hands on while cleaning up.  grin

    It is not a pack and play – rather it is quite a bit more durable, but less practical to transport. It’s collapsible, but it’s mostly designed to stay where it is. We got it up just a few days before Claire was born and she lived in it until she was able to scoot to the edge and try to get out.

    It is attached to the side of the bed via a long anchor strap that goes under your mattress to the other side. When you attach it, you lower the side by the bed so that it is almost flush with your mattress. There ends up being just a small lip separating you two, but i liked that. We ended up adding a bit of extra padding to the mattress insert (which you are not really supposed to do) because Claire just really liked it squishier. We also had her in a sleep positioner pad/wedge which may have been why she liked it squishier. It was still plenty firm. But that extra padding almost brought her up completely flush with the mattress.

    You can also get risers for it if you have a high bed, and a net tent for taking it outside as a playpen. As I said, it is not the mega-versatile pack and play, because it is really designed to do one thing very well. I’ll email you a pic of me and Claire the day we got home napping in our respective spots.

    We loved it and will be putting it up again soon. grin (shhhh – work does not know yet, it’s very early)

  2. betsy June 26, 2009 at 3:42 am #

    and if you are interested – there are fantastic prices on ebay. this co-sleeper is so durable i would have no problem buying one used.

    I’m sure others will have other recommendations too. good luck finding the one for you guys!

  3. Jennifer June 26, 2009 at 3:59 am #

    I’m still holding on to my college notebooks and text books.  And every single piece of paper the children have ever touched.  I commend you clearing out.  I wish I could.

  4. Melanie Bettinelli June 26, 2009 at 5:46 am #

    Betsy,

    I suppose I should have mentioned that the one I’m looking at is the Arm’s Reach Mini. I think the full size would be too big for our room. It’s good to see such a positive review. One of the things making me hesitate is having to buy the risers. It’s a matter of principle more than anything else, our previous bassinet was adjustable and it annoyed me to no end when we were scoping out bassinets at Babies-R-Us that every single model they had on the floor seemed to be made for pygmies and none of them adjusted high enough for our bed.

    I went into my “the world is a conspiracy against tall people” rant and Dom had to drag me out of the store before I did damage to some innocent employees.

    I hadn’t looked at eBay, but the used ones on Amazon weren’t that much cheaper than the full price, so I hadn’t found that option very attractive.

    Jennifer,

    If we had a basement, the box of papers would be sitting down there and nothing could have induced me to sort through it and toss things. But having a house with very little storage and having boxes constantly under my nose in my laundry/sewing room is a great motivator.

  5. Melanie Bettinelli June 26, 2009 at 5:49 am #

    Oh and, Betsy, Congratulations!!!!!  I’m doing a big happy dance for you. Or I would be if I weren’t putting my feet up trying to get these dang contractions to go away. Such very exciting news.

  6. betsy June 26, 2009 at 6:35 am #

    the prices on ebay are great. for us the cosleeper didn’t really come out any further than my nightstand. Although, after a c-section it may be difficult for you to have anything attached. If you have carpet, I would recommend not bothering with attaching whatever you use until benedict is bigger. the carpet will hold anything in place for an itty bitty fine, and for a couple weeks it may help to be able to move it somewhat more often. To get a feel you really need to put something of equal size there. The mini is good too, but i like the playpen option of the original and just the nice amount of space. We were able to fit baby claire, a few changes of clothes and full diaper setup too – it was like baby central. also, it’s made for 30in and higher beds. I don’t know anyone who has used the risers for very high beds, but i understand that Dom is very handy so I’m sure you guys could make anything work with a few adjustments. Perhaps you could add a couple of inches just by picking up some heavy duty locking casters from the hardware store. grin I know it stinks to not have the perfect solution, and you’ve had to deal with the perils of height all your life – if only the solution was just to get a wrench and flip it like the beds in the dorm. grin

    If you’re fairly active in that mom’s bible study at church, you might find someone there who has one you could take a look at.  good luck!

    (March 4th – its VERY early. we are both just gleeful. I can’t wait for my doc appt!)

  7. Melanie Bettinelli June 26, 2009 at 9:47 am #

    March 4…. That’s Sophie’s birthday! So you’re just where I was 2 years ago. Oh what fun!

  8. Sharon June 26, 2009 at 7:15 am #

    This is a great homeschooling blog. If I had ever thought of homeschooling I would have copied this mum until I found my feet.

    http://dawnathome.typepad.com/by_sun_and_candlelight/

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