“What is wrong in letting folks know that there is a human face that can be seen in the Church – a face that is gay? Is it wrong to say that one is gay?

Bishop John’s Answer:

My dear friend:

By chance, I have taken note recently of some statements such as these: “No one recruited me, no one ‘brought me out’. I am totally convinced that I was born this way.” And “What gives the people who have the power of thought control over Catholics the right to tell me that I am doing something wrong when it is exactly the way God programmed me to be?”

To admit that one is homosexual — “God created me that way” — is a statement of fact which should not offend adult people who discuss issues and not persons. To admit that one is active homosexual or active heterosexual out of marriage, and to brag about it does cause scandal in a Catholic assembly, and is contrary to two thousands years of Christian tradition based upon the Judeo-Christian ethics. The teaching of the Church is deeply rooted in the Sacred Word of God. It is a fact that in our American society there are many homosexual people, regardless of the controversy whether this condition is innate or acquired, whether it has to be cured or lived with.

No discrimination (and no preferential treatment either) should be practiced against or ln favor of those with homosexual orientation. However, the fact remains, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, that sex out of marriage is gravely sinful, whether it is among homosexuals or heterosexuals. To point a finger at the homosexuals while condoning heterosexual promiscuity is prejudicial and hypocritical. We are all sinners in need of the mercy of God; but we are not allowed to brag about it or to condone it as if it were the right thing to do. The Pastoral Letter on the subject issued recently (1997) by the Administrative Committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops titled “Always Our Children” asks the parents of homosexual children to show them love and affection and not to let their religious conviction spoil their family relationship. However it did not change the stand of the Catholic Church as mentioned above