Catholicism, Pornography, and Homosexuality

Four additional points, following up on yesterday’s post

[1] I say “certain experiences” of art, relationship, and prayer are needed for the maturation of one’s erotic life because not any experience will suffice. Continue reading “Catholicism, Pornography, and Homosexuality”

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From Pornography to Persons

I worry that we frequently confuse the longing for beauty (which includes the longing for another’s beauty) and the sexual urge which ultimately seeks orgasm through the use of anther. One way in which this confusion occurs is the way in which we think about pornography. We frequently think of the longing for and use of pornography as solely one’s expression of the sexual urge, but I believe it is often much more a complex coping with one’s unlived erotic life.

In my own experience, the longing for pornography isn’t simply a voyeuristic desire to facilitate the activities of sexual organs. The contexts in which such a desire arises and is pursued suggest something else. Continue reading “From Pornography to Persons”

Catholics Discuss: Can Gay Catholics Hold Hands?

Last week, I had a post on Catholicism, homosexuality, teleology, and holding hands. The post generated a discussion among some friends, and I thought I’d share it (to begin, you should probably skim the post here).

The cast of characters:

What Good Does a Good Need?

I was recently trying to work through the Church’s teaching on homosexuality with a few friends. A classic example (or test case) among my peers came up: two gay men holding hands. [1] They presented a common concern among many Catholics:

“When two people of the opposite sex in a romantic relationship hold hands, the handholding is directed towards marriage; the holding of hands has the conjugal relationship as its ultimate ‘end.’ But what’s the ‘end’ for two men holding hands?” [2]

Continue reading “What Good Does a Good Need?”

But what if celibacy harms my mental health?

Several weeks ago, I was asked in a facebook group whether mental health was a good reason for a gay person to set aside a commitment to celibacy. A young man wanted to know, more or less, whether it was “better to need medication for mental health issues than to stay committed to a traditional Christian sexual ethic.” Here’s, more or less, what I had to say… Continue reading “But what if celibacy harms my mental health?”

Catholic Young Adults Discuss: Homosexuality

I recently attended a discussion with Catholic young adults on homosexuality (another in the series of discussions which have included topics such as chastity and masculinity/femininity).

For background, the organizer sent us a few short readings:

I had a group of about six people: a seminarian, a former seminarian who now teaches theology, a young married couple (both grad students), and two women who work in youth ministry. Continue reading “Catholic Young Adults Discuss: Homosexuality”

What to Expect with Heartbreak

A while ago, I had a friend going through his first major heartbreak. This is what I told him to expect:

First, you’ll feel like a crazy person. You’ll have this fog that you’ll be swimming through, and it’ll be like you’re wading through a thick water that’s filled your head, and you don’t know how to get it out so that things can be clear again. Continue reading “What to Expect with Heartbreak”

Rereading the Bible

The first time I went to the Easter Vigil Mass, I’m pretty sure I fell asleep. I was a freshman in college, and my friends and I had sat on the steps outside Notre Dame’s Basilica for hours before rushing in to get seats. Then Mass began, and I saw in my booklet that the Mass would have a handful of readings, rather than the usual two before the Gospel.

This year, sitting in the Cathedral of St. Paul, the purpose of these readings suddenly dawned on me. Maybe everyone else already knows this–maybe I knew this at a certain level–but I suddenly realized that the Genesis 1 of the Easter Vigil wasn’t the Genesis 1 before it. Continue reading “Rereading the Bible”