“The Church has modeled her attitude to the Lord Jesus that in the boundless love he offered to every person without exception (MV, 12). To the families who live the experience to have within them the homosexual person, the Church reaffirms that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation, must be respected in their dignity and welcomed with respect, with care to avoid ‘any brand of unjust discrimination’ (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, 4). To reserve a specific attention to the accompaniment of the families in which they live homosexual person.” – From the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family
In all our dealings with those who suffer from same-sex attraction, with those who have been duped and deceived into thinking they are “gay,” and with the wider homosexual community as a whole – there must be a constant, thoughtful, and vigilant determination to balance mercy and justice; St. Thomas Aquinas wrote: “Mercy without justice is the mother of dissolution; justice without mercy is cruelty.”
With families, especially if a son or daughter “comes-out” as “gay,” the contemporary American advice, backed up by numerous academic articles, is that any sort of family rejection will cause serious adverse mental and emotional problems in the child; but, what these studies often fail to mention is that the rates of mental illness are already very high among all “gay” men and women – no matter the circumstances surrounding the apparent acceptance or rejection of their homosexuality by various family members. (See notes 1-3) Consequently, these emotionally disturbed and sick children grow up to be equally maladjusted and self-destructive adults; hence, even in some of the most “gay” approving societies in history, for instance New York City and the Netherlands, gay men still have a 140-fold higher risk for newly diagnosed HIV and syphilis compared with heterosexual men, primarily due to a continued and rampant epidemic of highly dangerous sexual practices by young homosexual men, and that “gay men were three times more likely than heterosexual men to report a mood disorder or anxiety disorder, and ten times more likely to report suicidal thoughts.” (See notes 4-5) Therefore, homosexuality cannot be treated as an indelible part of the person, as an in-born trait, or even conversely – as a certain failing (weakness) in an otherwise good person, but as a serious mental condition that of course also has a spiritual component. Then, like all those who are ill, of course we would never reject them, but we certainly would not idly stand by and let them suffer; but, that is precisely what happens – because, the demonic side (or spiritual component) of homosexuality is that Satan has been very effective in convincing not only those who suffer with same-sex attraction, but also those around them, that being “gay” is perfectly normal and acceptable.
In my experience, those whom I knew, that had the most accepting and oftentimes silent families, with regards to their homosexuality, were always those who never got out of the lifestyle; repeatedly, they were also the ones who most quickly died of AIDS. Why? Because homosexuality became incredibly comfortable and then they became complacent; there was no reason to ever question the status quo. Conversely, those, like myself, who had disapproving or, at least non-supportive families, were the only guys that I later met who had survived the “gay’ horror show of the 1990s and were still alive, and, many times, out of the “gay” scene. Again: Why? Because, those of us who got into homosexuality as young and stupid boys, often after a wasted childhood in Catholic parochial schools, emerged into adulthood without an even partially informed conscience. During those years, for the most part, our families were our conscience: telling us to get out of the house when we showed up back home with our freaky boyfriends; inviting us, but not our significant others over for a visit; and, always giving us a hug when we left, but also telling us how worried and saddened they were with our choices. Only, most of us put up with this sort of treatment for a short while; at the time, it didn’t make sense to put up with being reprimanded when we had an entire community back in the gayborhood who unquestioningly supported our every move; hence, sooner rather than later, we lashed out, and then dumped those who did not completely get onboard the “gay” train; typically, refusing to speak with our parents was their punishment for not accepting us. Sometimes, it would work, and, in order to maintain “peace,” or to reestablish contact – parents and family members would respect their child’s relationships – marked by the all-important duel invitation for Thanksgiving or Christmas, that also included a place at the dinner table for the boyfriend. At that point, I never once witnessed a “gay” person waking up to the reality of their situation while inside such a silent and or tolerant family. Because, there is no reason to do so. For the most part, reality is on check. On the other hand, a family or friend who constantly pushes back – they become our only links with sanity. For, in the “gay” world, even in the midst of AIDS, it’s always business as usual. Our disapproving families were our only route out. Because, who did we return to after waking up to discover that we were sleeping with pigs? To our family.
With that in mind, there is certainly no mercy exhibited by those who watch and do nothing while their family members slip further and further into the “gay” life. Therefore, there is no justice, without explicitly and bluntly explaining to a son, daughter, brother, sister or cousin why they cannot be supported, accompanied, or even respected for the horrendous and ultimately life-threatening decisions they are about to make; if, ideally, an intervention is done at a young age, when the first signs of homosexuality occur, perhaps – the mental illness can be healed or alleviated to a certain degree that an ultimatum becomes irrelevant. But, with those who persist, and refuse help, give them their inheritance and say goodbye; in their absence, pray unceasingly, and, one day, by the grace of God – they will return.
While a certain amount of accompaniment is actually commendable with regards to family members who are in a sinful heterosexual relationship, because the union of man and women, although at times twisted and perverse, is always ultimately redeemable; that cannot be stated for any homosexual association. Therefore, approaches to homosexuality are in no way comparable to those towards heterosexuals.
“While any one of us is engaging in destructive behavior, we are incapable of seeing and thinking clearly and fruitfully, and, as such, we are incapable of understanding the nature of our wrongdoing and the causes for its presence and power in our lives. We remain blinded and bound by our actions, which preclude any constructive conversations about them. To talk with an alcoholic who is actively drinking, for example…or a fornicator who is fornicating, is a waste of time and energy that cannot possibly bring fruitful results. The first talking, therefore, and the first goal of counseling, always had to do with actions, not attitudes. It’s about behaviors, not beliefs.” – Father Thomas Hopko
1. “Across the nine sites that assessed sexual identity, the prevalence among gay or lesbian students was higher than the prevalence among heterosexual students for a median of 63.8% of all the risk behaviors measured, and the prevalence among bisexual students was higher than the prevalence among heterosexual students for a median of 76.0% of all the risk behaviors measured.”
“Sexual identity, sex of sexual contacts, and health-risk behaviors among students in grades 9-12–youth risk behavior surveillance, selected sites, United States, 2001-2009.”
Kann L, et al.
MMWR Surveill Summ. 2011 Jun 10;60(7):1-133.
2. “Lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) youth reported significantly higher rates of substance use, victimization, and suicide risk-related outcomes than heterosexual youth.”
“Impact of victimization on risk of suicide among lesbian, gay, and bisexual high school students in San Francisco.”
Shields JP, et al.
J Adolesc Health. 2012 Apr;50(4):418-20.
3. “LGBQ students reported worse depressive symptoms, higher levels of perceived stress, considered themselves less attractive, and were more likely to be overweight. LGBQ students were significantly more likely to report histories of affective, substance use, and certain anxiety disorders as well as compulsive sexual behavior…”
“Mental health and clinical correlates in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer young adults.”
Grant JE, et al.
J Am Coll Health. 2014;62(1):75-8.
4. “Men who have sex with men have a 140-fold higher risk for newly diagnosed HIV and syphilis compared with heterosexual men in New York City.”
Pathela P, et al.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2011 Dec 1;58(4):408-16.
5. “Exploring a Dutch paradox: an ethnographic investigation of gay men’s mental health.”
Aggarwal S & Gerrets R
Culture, Health & Sexuality 16:105-119, 2014