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John Smith wrote:

Hi, guys —

Hello. My name is John Smith and I live in Massachusetts. I'm a 19 years old homosexual male.

I was raised an Atheist, but I feel like Catholicism is the true way.

How do I go about joining the Church?

I'm aware that my sexuality may be a problem, but I do pray regularly for forgiveness for my acts.

I'm also in love with a very extreme fundamentalist.   It worries me, partly because:

  • he doesn't understand the right way, and
  • his family doesn't understand; they're fundamentalists as well.

On a different issue, I have friends who are extreme atheists. I'm pretty sure there's no way
I can get them to see the light by justifying and explaining Christian principles to them because they have such a vicious hatred for all forms of religion.

So, what should I do?

John

  { I'm a homosexual male but feel like Catholicism is the true way. }

John replied:

Hi, John —

Thank you for your question.

To be a Catholic one must embrace as true and submit to 100% of the Church's Teachings in the area of "faith and morals".

You said that you pray for forgiveness for your sinful acts. That's good, but you might also try praying that God deliver you from these sinful acts. You need to take steps to avoid them. We are all sinners and most of us habitually commit the same sins over and over. Nevertheless, some sins are easier to avoid than others.

You said you are in love with another man. Well you can't continue maintaining this relationship with him while at the same time asking forgiveness for sinful acts. If you can be his friend without expressing your affection for him in a sexual manner that's fine, but you can't plan on continuing to sin. It's one thing to fall into sin, it's another, to plan on falling into sin. In that case, you are adding the sin of presumption to the sins of homosexual acts.

If you are truly interested in joining the Church, you need to enter a good RCIA program.
They typically start in September and run through Spring.

In that regard, I can help you since I run an RCIA group in Watertown which is about 6 miles away. If you want to come and check it out, I'd be happy to have you join us. We meet on Sunday nights. You would be more than welcome to stay through the rest of the season as well, if you like it;
you just wouldn't be able to be confirmed with this years group. We could also put you in touch with some good priests that could give you spiritual direction. Given your struggle, I'd highly recommend it.

By the way, most of the team is located here in Massachusetts, so I'm sure I speak for all in saying, we'd love to be there for you, if you are serious about becoming a Catholic and dealing with your same-sex attraction.

We certainly aren't here to condemn you, but you know the Truth, so you need to allow God's grace to help you walk in it.

If we can help, let us know.

John D.

Mary Ann replied:

Hi, John —

Find your local group of Courage, and they can advise you very well. There is no barrier to a homosexual becoming Catholic, but the homosexual would have to practice chastity, as all Catholics do, which means the right use of their sexual faculty, in marriage being open to procreation.

As for the Fundamentalist, you could give him the book, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, by
Karl Keating, but if he is an extreme fundamentalist and is a homosexual, he is deeply conflicted.

You see, Catholics know that being a homosexual is not a sin, though homosexual acts are — just as kleptomania and pedophilia are not sins, but stealing and sexually abusing children are. There is a difference between a condition and acting it out. A person can be born with a strong temper, and he has to learn to control it. A person can be born with strong urges this way and that.

One task in life is to rule our passions with reason and love according to God's plan.

Mary Ann

Mike replied:

Hi, John —

I just wanted to add to the excellent comments from my colleagues.

I'm glad your wrote to us, as I sense the Holy Spirit moving in your life.

It's good and healthy that you are conscience of this spiritual battle present in your life between the flesh and the spirit.  Many don't even recognize this.

With prayer, the Lord can and will assist you in your current struggles. We all struggle with sin and will continue to struggle until we are 6 feet under the ground : )

I personally believe in praying the Rosary because of the spiritual damage it can do to the evil one.

When Mary, Our Lord's Mother gave the Rosary to St. Dominic she said:

"Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?"

"Oh, my Lady," answered Saint Dominic, "you know far better than I do, because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation."

Then Our Lady replied, "I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon has always been the Angelic Psalter (the Rosary), which is the foundation-stone of the New Testament. Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter."

As my colleague John implied, I would recommend networking and getting to know solid practicing Christians. You can probably do this in an RCIA group.

Here is a web page the explains the family process of joining the Church
http://www.askacatholic.com/_WhatsNew/myfavorites/BecomingCatholic.cfm

It's also important that you know your faith.

I used to run a free program that sent Catechisms to seeking Protestants and non-Christians but no longer have the financial or operational means to do this anymore. Nevertheless, if you wish to go deeper, consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as Catholics.

In order to assist you in answering the questions from your very extreme atheists friends,
I recommend this book:

"Handbook of Christian Apologetics" by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli.

You can find a local chapter of Courage here:

Hope this helps,

Mike

John replied:

Thank you very much for all your replies, especially Mr. Humphrey.

I hope I get this right. It means a lot to have all of my questions answered, and not simply the ones about my sexuality. There are many other aspects of my life, some far more important.

It means a lot to have them recognized.

John

Mike replied:

Hi John,

Thank-you for the kind words.

I'm fortunate to have a solid team of Catholic defenders who are compassionate yet hold to the teachings of the Church.

Tell your atheist friends about our site. Although I still highly recommend that Christian Apologetics book, It may save a lot of time for YOU, if you just redirect them to the site.

While they are asking us questions, you can be reading about the proofs for the existence of God and more. : - )

Take care,

Mike

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