Struggles with Homosexual Behavior

One thing must first be made clear: the Church loves people who experience same-sex attraction. This is because the Church, in imitation of Christ, loves all people. It is out of that love for others that she warns them about sinful activities that can harm their souls, like homosexual behavior. If you experience same-sex attraction, there is a way to be in communion with the Catholic Church. Homosexual desires are not in themselves sinful. It is only when a person acts on those sinful desires (or fantasizes about acting on them) that sin enters the picture.

What is homosexual behavior and why is it sinful?

Homosexual behavior involves acts intended to arouse or stimulate a sexual response with a person of the same sex. Homosexual behavior, like any other sinful behavior, is wrong because it goes against the natural and divine laws established by God for our good.

What does the Catholic Church say about homosexuality?

The Catechism teaches, “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC 2357).

“They [those individuals with same-sex attraction] must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s cross the difficulties that they may encounter from their condition…Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection” (CCC 2357– 2359).

Are homosexuals welcome in the Catholic Church?

Some who struggle with same-sex attractions wonder if there’s any hope for them to be welcomed in or back into the Church. The answer to that question is an unambiguous “YES.” God calls each of us, whether homosexual or heterosexual, to chastity according to our circumstances in life. The Church is here to help all of us live in the light of truth.