Being Celibate, Christian and Gay…

Some bits of an online discussion.

Earlier this month, Patrick Gothman published a piece in Medium on “What It’s Like to be Celibate, Christian, and Gay.” He writes about his attempts to live up the Catholic Church’s teachings while not hating himself, trying to contribute to the life of the Church while hiding his sexuality from his community, and how he ultimately couldn’t reconcile his Church’s teachings and his sexuality. He concludes:

“We are not so incapable of humanity that if we fall in love we must commit some herculean act of charity to convince God not to abandon us forever. To know us is to realize this can’t be true. To read the Gospels is to know this isn’t true. Some may choose celibacy if they feel called. But to demand it of us, even if you believe it is the most compassionate, Scriptural thing you can do, is to ignore the reality of our lives played out before you. We are your sons and daughters, your friends and neighbors, your pew companions whose hands you shake and whose personal lives you discreetly avoid. But to ignore us is to lose us. One way or another.”

I was involved in a discussion with Catholic young adults about this piece. After some discussion, I shared: Continue reading “Being Celibate, Christian and Gay…”

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The Damn Cereal

Roommates are very important to me. I need people who regularly impinge upon my life, who inconvenience me in unexpected ways on a daily basis. I don’t mean “inconvenience” in a purely negative way. Inconvenience evidences community. The emotional roommate that comes into your room randomly to talk, the last-minute airport ride, the cereal that’s constantly on the kitchen floor and occasionally on the floor in the other areas of the house… These all remind me that I exist among others and that I am called to love them. Continue reading “The Damn Cereal”

If A Guy Asked Me Out…

Some old(ish) reflections on gay Catholic dating…

As it stands, I don’t see anything inherently wrong with two gay Christians going on dates, at least under official Catholic teaching (i.e. catechism). Of course, one can present the presumptuous dating-is-for-marriage-and-gay-marriage-isn’t-real argument, etc., etc., etc. Unfortunately for this argument, dating is a modern institution developed to have a variety of purposes, one of them being to discern whether someone might be a suitable life partner, one of them being to just get to know someone better, and one of them to discern whether someone is a good marriage partner. For my purposes, I’ve been calling dating “data collection.” Continue reading “If A Guy Asked Me Out…”

My Benedict Option?

I recently had lunch with a friend, and we discussed “The Benedict Option.” He asked me, “Isn’t that basically what your house is doing?”

For those of you who don’t know, my house is named “The Station.” It’s a duplex with an upstairs and a downstairs apartment. For almost ten years, the upstairs apartment has been occupied by various women from the University of St. Thomas Catholic Studies program. The downstairs apartment had had a variety of occupants, until I moved in with four Catholic men.

When I moved in, I was close friends with the entire house. Seven of us had lived together as undergrads in the Catholic Studies Rome program. So when we started “The Station,” we had already had four months’ experience living in community together (when I say “living in community,” I mean living in that community; I’m not sure there’s such a thing as “living in community,” only living in communities). And over the next couple of years, the house solidified into a pretty dynamic place to live as a young Catholic.  Continue reading “My Benedict Option?”

Audio: My current research on marriage, love, and friendship

This week I complete my M.A. in Catholic Studies, with my Master’s Thesis titled: “It Is Not Good for Man to Be Alone: Love, Marriage, and Friendship in the Catholic Tradition.” The paper is still undergoing major revisions and additions, but I recently gave a brief presentation on my work. If you’re interested, you can listen to the audio from my presentation below. Continue reading “Audio: My current research on marriage, love, and friendship”

The End of an Era

With a smile on her face, I recently saw a bright young woman go straight to Professor David Solomon and hug him. I’ve seen this happen with many of Professor Solomon’s former students. They return to campus and light up when they see him, almost as if they are seeing their father after a long absence.

When I entered Notre Dame in the fall of 2009, not much time passed before I sat in his office with a couple of other freshmen and had a conversation about how we wanted to write tracts about what it means to be a Catholic university. I think starry-eyed students like us helped Professor Solomon to be ever-creative in his efforts to promote Notre Dame’s Catholic identity, from founding the Center for Ethics and Culture to beginning the Fund to Protect Human Life. I wonder if students have been doing this since he joined Notre Dame’s philosophy faculty in 1968. Continue reading “The End of an Era”

Forgiveness and Friendship

Last year, I worked as a student attorney defending the underprivileged in my community. A few had committed heinous crimes. People ask me how I could defend someone convicted of sex trafficking, drug trafficking or murder. Continue reading “Forgiveness and Friendship”

The Pain of Parting

Michelangelo began sculpting the Pietá when he was about 23 years old, about a year older than most of the students who will soon graduate from Notre Dame. His Pietá was a novel piece among Italian art representing Our Lady. The artistic tradition had previously maintained a Mary who stood strong at the foot of the cross and who neither trembled nor wept upon her Son’s death. This tradition had stressed a kind of devotion to God that neither swayed nor sorrowed at times of loss or pain.  Continue reading “The Pain of Parting”