Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Courage Apostolate

I've already posted today (see below), but it struck me that I have not stated the obvious for awhile, and it might help someone if I did so: some Single Catholics and other Singles of good will remain unmarried because they are not sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex but to members of their own sex.

Some live this out quietly, firm in the conviction that this is a matter between themselves and God alone. Others feel a need to share this truth about themselves, either solely with people in the same boat or with a wider community. Some do their best to live lives of perpetual continence in chastity. Some do not. Those who do not are unlikely to be fans of this blog, however.

Perhaps because the Catholic faith (and sometimes the ordinary Catholic himself) is so bitterly attacked by self-styled gay activists, some Catholics are deeply confused about how to relate to homosexuality. To assist Catholic parents of children with homosexual tendencies, the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) published a guide called "Always Our Children." I think all Catholics should read it.

There is also an apostolate for Catholics who experience same-sex attractions called Courage. For those who feel a need for the fellowship of people in the same situation, this might be a good organisation with which to get involved.

I regret that tension between the Church and the "gay lobby" makes it very difficult to present special models of holiness to Catholic and other Christian Singles who are sexually attracted to the opposite sex. Some gay activists cynically skim the work of saints like St. John of the Cross and the lives of saints like Blessed John Henry Newman for evidence that they were gay.

These activists have an agenda; I don't have an agenda. But I feel comforted by saints who had struggles like my struggles, and so I think it would be helpful to Catholic singles who are attracted to their own sex to know of famous, faithful Catholics who had the same experience. This is why I have posted the photograph of the great Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. It would surprise me very much to learn that he did not, in fact, experience same-sex attractions.

I do not think the same of Blessed John Henry Newman, whose friendship with Fr. St. John has been sniggered over, and having mentioned them, I would like to state again that many Singles find it irksome to be suspected of same-sex attractions themselves, either because they don't have them or because they do have them, but it's nobody's business but their own. The current social obsession with sexual identity and sexual behaviour does not serve human flourishing and makes some of us very unhappy, to say the least. I hit the ceiling whenever the expression "in the closet" is used to describe anyone I know.

At the same time, the experience and struggles of that very small percentage of Single Catholic men and women (and other Singles of good will) who are not attracted to members of the opposite sex certainly deserve to be acknowledged on a blog for Singles. So here I am, once again, waving from my office, saying "Hello!" to those readers, known and unknown, for whom I especially wrote this post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bravo!!! Thank you so much for writing this blog entry! I am a female with same-sex attraction, and it is a breath of fresh air to be in the category of "single" without seeming weird to others! I cringe at labels, like gay or lesbian, because they are not my defining characteristic, being a child of God is! I'd also like to point out that I look and dress more feminine as I increase in age as an acceptance of myself, but still have Same-sex attraction. So that goes to defy the whole label thing that the gay activists are out to portray, the butch, masculine woman, and the feminine looking guy. Totally not the case anymore. Thanks for your entry, it's awesome!