The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has just published Pastoral Ministry to Young People with Same-Sex Attraction. With kindly pastoral advice, the document does not shirk from Catholic doctrine but presents it in a balanced way with a view to fostering the spiritual life of young people with SSA.
There are some sensible distinctions in the section speaking of the homosexual condition itself:
To the extent that a same-sex attraction is not freely chosen, there is no personal culpability in having such an inclination. Nonetheless, when oriented toward genital activity, this inclination is “objectively disordered.” This does not mean that the person as a whole is somehow defective or “badly made,” or that he or she has in some way been rejected by God. Inclinations to homosexual acts in no way diminish the full human dignity or intrinsic worth of the person. For many people, same-sex attraction constitutes a trial. They therefore deserve to be approached by pastors with charity and prudence.Answering another objection sometimes raised against Catholic teaching, the bishops say:
A person with homosexual inclinations is not called to a “loveless” life, but to live in the love and grace of Christ Jesus. He alone fulflls our human personalities and lifts them up to the Father. Such a life entails both self-giving and self-sacrifce, the marks of true love for God and one’s brothers and sisters.One of the most important pastoral concerns of the Church should be to protect young people from the strident and aggressive gay culture which is prevalent in many cities. In fact, in their advice to Educators, the CCCB address this question:
We ask you to pay particular attention to guiding adolescents and young adults with same-sex attraction away from two specifc dangers. First, help them see themselves as persons with a God-given dignity and not merely as individuals with sexual inclinations and desires. Second, help them avoid involvement in a “gay culture” opposed to the Church’s teaching, with its often aggressive and immoral lifestyle.I recommend this document for parents, priests and educators, all of whom are addressed specifically, and especially to young people themselves, whether they experience SSA or not, to see what the Catholic Church really teaches as opposed to the malicious distortion of that teaching which itself forms part of the stock in trade of the “gay culture.”