Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, said: “If there’s no repentance, there’s no mercy.”
Famed “gay” essayist and novelist Andrew Holleran wrote this about the uneasy relationship between homosexual men and their fathers: “Our fathers remain the family Zeus; a creature on Mount Olympus who’s capable of throwing lightning bolts. Our fathers are our progenitors; we fear (or want) their judgement. We often don’t even know what that is, because most of the time our fathers die without our ever explaining ourselves to them, or vice versa. This unfinished business, this gap, becomes eternal, perhaps a template for the estrangement we feel from all people.”
I would argue that homosexuals who approach the Catholic Church, with a set of demands, specifically that “…previous Vatican documents referring to LGBT people as ‘disordered’ [are] to be rescinded,” and or with their “gay” orientation wholly and stubbornly intact, are not seeking mercy, but approval; they have shifted their desperate need for love and acceptance that they never got from their biological fathers, to the priest as Father – and to the Pope and the Church: the biggest fathers of them all. It’s the same sort of psycho-tragedy that I saw play out almost everywhere when I was in the gay lifestyle; back in the 1990s, amidst countless deaths caused by the still rampaging AIDS virus, I was perplexed by the homosexual obsession with gays in the military. But, at the time, they needed that approval – from the authoritarian symbols of masculinity that became concentrated in their minds with the military. Now, all of that neediness for love has been transferred to everyone in society – through the relentless push for “gay marriage.” Only, they are still left inevitably unsatisfied, for – the world is not enough, and the acceptance from millions of strangers cannot replace the pain of rejection from the one that mattered. Today, they have set their sights on God; He must now be “gay” affirmative too.
In my experience, and of innumerable others, when a true homosexual penitent approaches the Church, we do so as broken and beaten men and women; we are usually physical wrecks, diseased, and psychologically damaged, not so much by what happened to us as children, but by the hell we had to endure in the “gay” lifestyle; as for me – I crawled back to Christ completely humiliated: suffering from a severe prolapse, anal fissures, and several untreated STDS. I couldn’t have been proud and demanding if I wanted to be. Yet, I had once been proud – and incredibly so. It’s tough to admit, but I think I needed to collapse at the door of hell before that pride left me…then, I was willing: to accept Christ and to repent of it all. After over a decade as “gay,” I suddenly came to realize what a big flop the whole experience turned out to be: trying to placate my feelings of inadequacy and alienation by having sex with more men then I could remember. I was literally the prodigal son that slept with pigs; I knew, and it happened the night of my conversion, that I could not possibly go any lower; I was an animal writhing in their own excrement and filth; yet, Christ still wanted me; so, with my heart falling out of my chest – I turned towards home. And, I really didn’t know what waited there…and, I am still amazed that the Lord welcomed me back.
St. John Paul once wrote:
“…to become reconciled with God presupposes and includes detaching oneself consciously and with determination from the sin into which one has fallen. It presupposes and includes, therefore, doing penance in the fullest sense of the term: repenting, showing this repentance, adopting a real attitude of repentance- which is the attitude of the person who starts out on the road of return to the Father.”
I was not noble because I repented, I was just more desperate. I had tried everything in the “gay” world; and, nothing worked. I had been a hustler, porn actor, warlock, bondage master, and human urinal, afterwards – none of those things were radical anymore; yet, in the universe of my own making: full submission to Christ was a completely bizarre scenario. Although I had been with thousands of men, I never felt truly loved – or even truly held by any one of them; what Christ gave to me was immediate – it was the fullness of His body: that day, and when I finally was able to receive the Eucharist again; then, I wanted nothing to do with swallowing down those little bits of candy-coated death; I abandoned it all, and wanted only Him.
From a 2007 homily from the Pontifical Household preacher, Capuchin Father Raneiro Cantalamessa:
“Jesus does not deny the existence of sin and sinners. This is obvious from the fact that he calls them ‘sick.’ On this point he is more rigorous than his adversaries. If they condemn actual adultery, Jesus condemns adultery already at the stage of desire; if the law says not to kill, Jesus says that we must not even hate or insult our brother. To the sinners who draw near to him, he says ‘Go and sin no more;’ he does not say: ‘Go and live as you were living before.’”
At my conversion, the Christ I met was not trepidatious, nor was He worried about what words to use, He simply said: “Go and sin no more.” Maybe some did not fall as far as I did, but it happened, and many that I knew fell so far that they crashed directly into the grave; not everyone needs the gentle Jesus, some urgently need the Righteous Judge – therefore, those of us who are the most hard-headed, obstinate and perverted – Christ became the Father we secretly yearned for: calling us out on our sins and naming them for what they were – and using much harsher language than “disordered;” wiping away or iniquity; and remaking us into true men in the image of God. But, He was no substitute father; He was not a figure-head that I was looking towards for approval – He was my Father and I was His incredibly errant child; I needed a severe scolding and I needed explicit direction, and, I needed Love. He gave all of those to me – but I was only able to receive them as a penitent sinner; for, I came to Him with nothing; and, I left with everything.