A question of identity, chastity for homosexual Catholics

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  • June 18, 2010
Bishop Thomas CollinsTORONTO - The Church has never called homosexual people objectively disordered and does not regard homosexuality as a sin, Archbishop Thomas Collins told the young adult group of St. Michael’s Cathedral.

“Since it (homosexuality) is not something chosen, it’s not a moral issue,” said Collins, speaking at an SMC Alive faith formation meeting June 13.

While being sexually attracted to people of the same gender is not a sin, turning that attraction into an all-encompassing identity and entering sexual relationships based on same-sex attractions directly contravenes the Christian value of chastity, said the archbishop. Same-sex attractions, which the Church calls objectively disordered, are a struggle and not an identity, he said.

“What I am is precious in God’s sight. To say you are one of your struggles — no, no, no. Do not let yourself be put into a box,” said Collins.

Gemma Duarte told the group about her own struggle to exit a gay lifestyle and how the Catholic support group Courage has helped her embrace chastity.

Prayer and Confession have been keys to finding a new way of living, Duarte told the group.

“I thought I could never get out. I was so addicted to the life,” she said.

Duarte grew up a small-town Catholic girl in Colombia, but from adolescence felt out of place in the Church.

“As a Catholic I never felt accepted,” she said. “I felt, for a long time, judged.”

Only when faced with a proposal of marriage from a woman she was in a relationship with did Duarte decide she needed to find a new basis for her life.

“I was desperate. This woman wanted to marry me,” she said. “I couldn’t comprehend in my head and my heart what it is to marry a woman.”

Getting out of the relationship meant also questioning her gay identity.

“I don’t want to live in that scene any more,” she said.

When homosexuality becomes a public issue, Christians often torpedo their own arguments by speaking without compassion or charity, said columnist and television personality Michael Coren.

“If you have any hatred in your heart on this issue, then shut up,” said Coren.

But Christians should not accept being marginalized in public debate simply because their opinions are unpopular, he said.

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