Something that I am asked over and over again: “My brother/sister/uncle/aunt/cousin is gay, what do I do at family functions?” My first response is always that every action must come from a place of love and charity, never from anger, frustration, or hate. Second, we must never forget that God loves all His children, even those who are most lost; therefore, we must remain as a beacon of light in the darkness of the present age. Thirdly, we accomplish this by living a truly Catholic life which not only accepts the Teachings of the Church, but also upholds and promotes them: “Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine.” (2 Tim 4:2)

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexuals Persons” stated very clearly the obligation of all Christians concerning homosexuality: “Moral conscience requires that, in every occasion, Christians give witness to the whole moral truth, which is contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons. Therefore, discreet and prudent actions can be effective; these might involve: unmasking the way in which such tolerance might be exploited or used in the service of ideology; stating clearly the immoral nature of these unions; …and, above all, to avoid exposing young people to erroneous ideas about sexuality and marriage that would deprive them of their necessary defenses and contribute to the spread of the phenomenon.” Within the Domestic Church, the family and home, this directive is imperative for the lay faithful – Love, but never accept; never shut the door to the earnest and the honestly confused; to the flagrant and the blasphemous – extreme caution. Entertaining a single person who is thoroughly enmeshed in homosexuality must be thoughtfully approached and backed-up by massive amounts of fasting and prayer; discretion should always be strictly adhered to when inviting such visitors who are openly gay to your home: young children ought to never be present, although the person must be treated with respect and kindness – (beforehand) they need to understand exactly and simply what are the teachings of the Church; then, unless the person is seriously contemplating leaving the gay lifestyle, this will most likely be your last contact with them. Only, this initial rejection of you is not necessarily a bad thing.

Another matter entirely, as opposed to having over a single homosexual person, is inviting or allowing a same-sex couple into your home; again, the situation is rather different if the two people are asking for personal or spiritual advice. In a casual circumstance, such as a family dinner, holiday, or birthday party – same-sex couples are never to be invited. Heartless? On the contrary, refusing to partake in the physical and moral destruction of another human being is a basic Christian principle. Here, oftentimes, the line between a personal affection and kinship with the same-sex afflicted person is confused with the fact that he or she is partaking in a lifestyle that Scripture condemns as a “serious depravity.” To acquiesce, even silently at a social gathering, or to merely look the other way, is to give the person over to the powers of hell – without even a fight. Furthermore, your example, or lack of one, especially if you are publicly known as a practicing Catholic, sends a strong signal to everyone. Hence, when invited to someone else’s home and a same-sex couple will also be in attendance, politely decline.

Why cause all these bad feelings? Why upset the relatives? Or ruin Christmas dinner? Better to have a few empty places at the dining-room table than to later attend the funeral of someone who died of AIDS or anal cancer, or liver failure. Because every lost soul needs someone in their lives that is a bright light. When I was lost in the fantasy of homosexuality, I could never see beyond the limits of the Castro District. My childhood had been marked by a series of horrendously inept and poorly catechized priests, sisters, and religion teachers. As an adult, my own family had drifted away from the Faith, and, I literally had no one to turn to. It was only through the Grace of God and the immense pity He took upon me – that I was saved at all. Though, all around me, friends in similar situations fell into the grave. Yet, if every gay person knows that they have someone – a man or woman that at one time told them the Truth, that they then lashed out at, and quickly banished from their lives; if that person was always waiting for them to return – then, they will have a safe place of refuge. For, there are many of those trapped in homosexuality, who cry themselves to sleep every night – they are scared and alone, and they need our help.

Author’s note: In April of this year, I gave a talk in San Francisco where I warned those in attendance not to entertain same-sex couples in their homes. I posted an audio-version on YouTube and immediately started receiving feedback. The reaction was rather zealous; those that had previously supported my work – suddenly turned against me. They said I was bigoted, hate-filled, and narrow-minded. For most, what I said hit a bit too close to home: for years they had smiled and carried on polite conversations with friends and relatives, and their homosexual partners, at various functions and family get-togethers – then, afterwards, lambasting the current push for gay marriage. Many have called me to share their disappointment with what I said, even more – paid a visit to my shop to say what they thought of me. I said, well – It’s easy to be a Catholic when you never have to stand for anything.