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Open and Honest Dialogue

As I have said before, many people today have some knowledge of what the Catholic Church teaches on various topics without knowing why the Church teaches it. Helping people understand not just what the Church teaches but why is at the heart of what I feel called to do in my ministry, especially here on my blog and and my website. For example, it is the reason I did my series, Sacraments: Channels of God’s Grace, and my series Uncovering the Treasures of the Mass.

These were noncontroversial topics. I am about to finish my series, Treating Life with Dignity and Love, on Catholic Pro-Life teaching. Topics of abortion, the death penalty, and euthanasia can be more controversial but it is still important to talk about them in a way that shares both God’s Truth and his mercy (compassion and forgiveness).

With this in mind, recently I have felt called to write on another controversial topic, homosexuality. It is a difficult topic, especially when we have a family member or another close acquaintance who is homosexual. Later in this article I will share the link to this new article with you but first a few words to consider as you read it.

First, it is not written to judge anyone. It is written to help us know what our Church teaches and why. It is not written to be shoved in the face of individuals who are homosexual to convince them of their sin. It is written in the spirit of 1 John 5:1, “My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.” The second sentence is as important as the first. God wants us to “not commit sin” but when we do, God offers us forgiveness. God is merciful. We need to do the same.

Much of what is said about the way in which we treat anyone, with dignity and compassion, may also apply to people living in other types of sin. With this in mind, we must also be willing to admit our own sins as we see the sins of others (see Matthew 7:1-5).

Lastly, it is a lengthy article at seventeen pages. I made it a PDF so you can print it out and read it in stages to digest and reflect on it. Please do not be discouraged by the length. I did not set out to write some much but I found it necessary, in the way the Holy Spirit led me, to even begin to adequately address the topic. If I made the article shorter, it would either miss some of the truth and understanding or some of the compassion.

So, with the above in mind, here is my new document, “Towards Dignity and Truth: Compassionate Dialogue on Homosexuality” (http://nebula.wsimg.com/fd32eb99faa2f3fe5e6f8b9c0446eb78?AccessKeyId=F465FCE598BCE1CD661B&disposition=0&alloworigin=1).

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

P.S. I would like to take a moment to thank the three people whose help was vital in proofreading this document and in helping make sure God’s compassion and love was evident so that we might treat those who struggle with homosexuality with dignity and love as well as understand the topic a little better.

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