Ex-Catholic

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ex-catholic

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As my user name should suggest, I am an EX-catholic. 6 months ago I would not have imagined I would be saying this but, in the here and now, I am. I have lost faith in the catholic institution, not my faith in God. There are many reasons. The biggest reason, and one that has got me in to a lot of hot water, is that I am fully support my best friend who is gay. He told me about 6 months ago. We grew up together and he is like a brother. People from our church have been downright mean (putting it VERY mildly) with regards to his homosexuality. I believe him when he says he was born that way as he has no reason to lie to me. I see no reason for the chuch to take such a stern position and condone his sexuality. I do not believe it to be a sin. I think the fact that he had the courage to com out speaks to his strength of character and determination to make the most of his short time on this planet. Whether or not homosexuality is wrong is up to interpretation. In this day and age I do not think it is up to the church to dictate morals or the way a person is to live his or her life. In this day and age, I think the church should be here for moral guidance and to help in building a relationship with Our Lord. Most people that I know do NOT agree with my views. Although I think I know what kind of response I will get from this forum, I would still like to see how other people that I do not personally know, think of this.
 
Hello ExCatholic. Being a homosexual is not necessarily a sin, however, the homosexual act is. The Church speaks out against the act of homosexuality because the bible speaks of it as an abomination against God.

I’m sorry that you’ve encountered “mean” parish members towards you’re friend. This is not how we are to treat one another. Love the sinner, hate the sin. God loves your friend, as he loves you, but if he is partaking in homosexuality, the sin is an abomination in God’s eyes.
 
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ex-catholic:
In this day and age I do not think it is up to the church to dictate morals or the way a person is to live his or her life. In this day and age, I think the church should be here for moral guidance and to help in building a relationship with Our Lord. .
CCC 2357-2359 explains that homosexuality closes the sexual act ot the gift of life. It also states that people with homosexual tendencies need to be treated with respect, compassion and sensitivity, as they are facing a trial.

The Church do not dictate morals, she only preaches what Jesus taught His successors and us.

The people from Our Church who have given grief to your friend should be ashamed of themselves, as the Church does not teach this.

However, you should pray for your friend, that he will one day see that his acts are displeasing to God, and I will pray for you that you will return to Home soon.

Love Kellie
 
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ex-catholic:
I see no reason for the chuch to take such a stern position and condone his sexuality. I do not believe it to be a sin… …Whether or not homosexuality is wrong is up to interpretation. In this day and age I do not think it is up to the church to dictate morals or the way a person is to live his or her life.
First off I would like to say that it saddens me that you have left the church, having been gone for a while myself I know what you will be facing, not fun. You will soon find in society that there is no hope at all in anything.

Concerning your friend I disagree with how he was treated by the members of your former congegation, how they treated him was un-christian and shouldn’t be accepted. But try to understand them that they are human too and can fall into sin just as easily as anyone of us. I am sure that alot of us have alot of pent up energy about this gay marraige issue and your friend was probably used as a steam valve on peoples anger, as incorrect as that is.

What you said about the church is incorrect, the chruch doesn’t dictate what morals we are supposed to follow Christ did. Homosexuality is condemed in the bible (the word of God) and therefore is condemed by the Church. Let me clarify, the homosexual act is condemed in the bible and by the church, not the homosexual person. You friend has been given a huge cross to carry, I don’t envy him, but he needs to have courage. He also needs to live a chaste life, and **can not ** engage in a homosexual act or it will be a mortal sin. I am sorry that this is the way this is, its not fair by any standard of society but this is the word and will of God and that is who we have to follow. Please rethink you position about the church, and private message me if you want my insights about life on the outside, or any other questions. Peace!
 
Ex-Catholic… first, let me offer up my thanks to you and to God :gopray: for sharing and being willing to explore the possibility of holding onto your faith despite what you have encountered in the world. I too have many homosexual friends, some of whom are deeply Catholic, and chaste as a consequence of their choice to remain faithful to God through obedience to the teachings of the church. It is a long process, and many of them left the church for a while before realizing that it was indeed home and God was in fact more important than sex :eek: . Keep in mind that it is no different for those of us who are single. We must remain chaste simply because of our vocation. His singlehood and my singlehood are not different in what it means for our sexual chastity. That he is being discriminated against is appalling :mad: , as his courage to acknowledge his cross publicly should be greeted with sincere charity, especially in this secular world where the idea of homosexuality being accepted as an alternative to heterosexuality as a viable form of life-partnership makes it much more difficult to discern God’s teachings. I do not disagree with you that it is a cross he was given, he would not choose it if he could choose to be otherwise, but he does have a choice over his actions, and if you and he both attend the same church, perhaps both of you together could try to find a more charitable one.
 
Everyone seems to be hitting on the right notions here. Homosexuality in itself isn’t a sin, but the act of engaging in sexual behavior with someone of the same sex is sinful.

Example from scripture:

Leviticus 20:13–“If any one lie with a man as with a woman, both have committed an abomination, let them be put to death: their blood be upon them.”

The ACT is a sin. Actually, any sexual act outside of marriage is a serious sin whether it be between people of the same sex or of the opposite sex. Even lustful thoughts (of anyone other than your spouse) are adulturous, whether of someone of the same sex or opposite sex.

Also, any act that separates the two elements of sex (procreation and pleasure/bonding) is a sin also, whether it be between married or unmarried couples. This is one of the reasons why artificial contraception is wrong-because it take the procreation part of sex out of the picture. Conversely, this is one of the reasons why cloning is wrong and donating sperm or eggs is wrong…they take the bonding/pleasure part of sex out of the equation.
 
I don’t think this thread should be about homosexuality, but rather the Church’s authority to to expound what is or is not sinful with regards to morality.
 
  1. No one is born homosexual, just as no one is born an alcoholic. There may be a genetic tendency toward homosexuality in some people, just as there seems to be a genetic susceptibility to alcoholism among certain ethnic groups (such as the Irish, Scandinavians, Russians, and American Indians).
  2. Your friend says he always sensed that he was a homosexual, but his “always” would not have extended backward past puberty. Pre-adolescents, almost by definition, are unaware of internal sexual impulses. At best your friend has retrojected his present state into his earliest years, in order to justify himself.
  3. Your loyalty to him is admirable. Your uncritical loyalty is not. You do him no favor by lending tacit approval to sins he may commit. That is the opposite of true friendship.
  4. As another poster mentioned, but not precisely enough, the state of being homosexual is not a sin–just as the state of being an alcoholic is not a sin. But drunkenness is a sin, and homosexuals acts are sinful. Again, you do your friend no favor by letting him think otherwise.
  5. You imply that many people at your parish were persistently rude to your friend. Frankly, I find this unlikely. While I can imagine one or two people in a parish snubbing a homosexual or giving him sour looks, my own observation is that most people who dislike the “gay” lifestyle try to distance themselves from people they perceive as “gay.” It isn’t that they interact rudely with them; they do not interact with them at all. You need to consider that your friend might have a tendency to overstate what went on, and, out of sympathy to him, your own observations may not be balanced.
  6. Even if your parish were a social house of horrors, that would not justify your leaving the Church. It might be a good reason to find a different parish, but abandoning the faith? That indicates you hardly had much faith to abandon. Someone with a strong faith would say to himself, “I’m in a parish filled with boors. I’m going to Mass across town from here on out.” I have known people who left the Church upon discovering that a priest could (and did) commit a sin, but I never have known a person with substantial faith to do that–such people are not surprised by the human condition.
 
I think the Church only has the right to suggest what is or is not sinful with regards to morality. Not to flat out tell people what is or is not sinful. Given that everything in religion is open to interpretation, I do not see how the Church can take a hardline stance on so many issues and then, on top of that, TELL people what is a sin and what is not. I will admit that, given that I am less than happy with my church right now, I am biased but I feel justified in my bias. I have realized that the church has been controlling me and that I am the one in charge of my life and it is up to me to determine what I think is sinful and what is not. I have left the church because I do not like being dictated to based on a bunch of old guys views on the world and our places in it.
 
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ex-catholic:
I think the Church only has the right to suggest what is or is not sinful with regards to morality. Not to flat out tell people what is or is not sinful. Given that everything in religion is open to interpretation, I do not see how the Church can take a hardline stance on so many issues and then, on top of that, TELL people what is a sin and what is not. I will admit that, given that I am less than happy with my church right now, I am biased but I feel justified in my bias. I have realized that the church has been controlling me and that I am the one in charge of my life and it is up to me to determine what I think is sinful and what is not. I have left the church because I do not like being dictated to based on a bunch of old guys views on the world and our places in it.
Forget what the church says, think about what God Himself says about homosexuality. Sexual activity between members of the same sex is universally condemned in Scripture. Male homosexuality forbidden by law and punished by death (Lev 18:22; 20:13). Male and female homosexuality condemned (Ro 1:26). With other sexually immoral persons excluded from the kingdom of God (1Co 6:9-11).
 
Ex-Catholic:

Since I don’t know what it is you do consider authoritative, may I ask what would we have to do to show you that the Church does speak on God’s behalf on matters of sexual morality?

And, Mr. Keating: Excellent post! You’re right on the money! Seldom have I seen so much common sense distilled in a single post on a message board! Bravo!
 
KARL,

For the record, I have not abandoned my faith I have simply redefined it in order to exclude the catholic church. I cannot belong to a Church with such hardline stances and self serving agendas. Perhaps I’ll take a look at the protestant church, not that It will be any different (At this point I should mention that I am the son of a Roman Catholic father and Protestant mother).

I also dont feel I am being a poor friend in that I no longer think that homosexuality (or the act) is a sin.

but thank you for your (name removed by moderator)ut, you have given me some things to consider.
 
How is everything in religion open to interpetation? And how has the Church been controlling you? And the Chruch is not made up of just old guys there are many young guys in the church, have you ever visited a seminary? You might want to one day it is really uplifting to see young men making a commitment to Christ, next year I might be one of those “old men” in the church and if 19 years is old, what does that make people like you and Karl? 😃

The church can take hardline issues on morality issues because the basic morality hasn’t changed, you notice that the ten commandments have stood for a very long time. Society has just found new ways to challenge the morals of our faith. Please don’t let the homophobia of some God fearing people destroy your faith in the Truth. There is only one Truth and that is held by the Catholic Church, our religion is not open to interpetation like many would like to believe. Hate the sin and love the sinner is the position of the Church.
 
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ex-catholic:
I think the Church only has the right to suggest what is or is not sinful with regards to morality. Not to flat out tell people what is or is not sinful. Given that everything in religion is open to interpretation, I do not see how the Church can take a hardline stance on so many issues and then, on top of that, TELL people what is a sin and what is not. I will admit that, given that I am less than happy with my church right now, I am biased but I feel justified in my bias. I have realized that the church has been controlling me and that I am the one in charge of my life and it is up to me to determine what I think is sinful and what is not. I have left the church because I do not like being dictated to based on a bunch of old guys views on the world and our places in it.
I am so glad that you are here you will help us all.

Why were you Catholic in the first place??

What if anything do you see as important about the Church?

Again thanks for being here and for being you. Also let your friend know he has my apologies for what happened to him in the Church, many times people that care get confused about things and judge the person not the sin, and that can hurt.

God Bless and I look forward to talking more with you soon.
Scott
 
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ex-catholic:
I think the Church only has the right to suggest what is or is not sinful with regards to morality. Not to flat out tell people what is or is not sinful. Given that everything in religion is open to interpretation, I do not see how the Church can take a hardline stance on so many issues and then, on top of that, TELL people what is a sin and what is not. I will admit that, given that I am less than happy with my church right now, I am biased but I feel justified in my bias. I have realized that the church has been controlling me and that I am the one in charge of my life and it is up to me to determine what I think is sinful and what is not. I have left the church because I do not like being dictated to based on a bunch of old guys views on the world and our places in it.
  1. The Church never has “suggested” what is right or wrong. It always has stated very bluntly that some things are meritorious and other things are sinful.
  2. In doing this the Church hasn’t acted arbitrarily. It has passed along the teaching of its Founder and the truths of natural law.
  3. You will find no Christian writer (well, at least none before the twentieth century, when things really started to collapse intellectually among Christians) who said the Church’s role was to suggest but not to define.
  4. It is not so much that “everything is open to interpretation” but that “everything is open to understanding.” You need to understand what is true, even in morality, and then you need to accept it, precisely because it is true.
  5. The Church obviously is not controlling you. You are controlling yourself. If the Church were controlling you, you would not have the freedom to leave it.
  6. It is not up to you–or to me–to determine what is or is not sinful. It is up to us to accept that some things are sinful and other things are not. We are to take reality as it is, not to fashion reality to our own preferences.
  7. Would you have stayed in the Church if those “old guys” hadn’t “dictated” to you but instead had “explained” to you? Would you have stay in if the “dictating” was done by “young guys” instead of “old guys”? See how inane this kind of discussion sounds? What does it matter whether what you were told came from guys who were old or young? What matters is whether what you were told is the truth. If it is the truth, you should conform yourself to it, even if that is inconvenient or uncomfortable. If it is not the truth, you should distance yourself from it, even if that means leaving much you hold dear.
  8. You seem to be trying to justify to yourself an action (leaving the Church) that you know is unjustifiable–but you won’t admit this is what you are doing. You are erecting a facade of excuses, each one of which is weak and no combination of which is enough.
 
DominvsVobiscvm

The church only speaks God’s words on morality when it suits their purposes. The most recent issue I had with the church was simply the last straw. I can understand their stance on sexual morality, after all I was raised with the Catholic church. But, their responses to people who have differing view points are not acceptable. I am at odds with my church because I can no longer sit silently while they preech about things that I can not agree with.
 
The church only speaks God’s words on morality when it suits their purposes. The most recent issue I had with the church was simply the last straw. I can understand their stance on sexual morality, after all I was raised with the Catholic church. But, their responses to people who have differing view points are not acceptable. I am at odds with my church because I can no longer sit silently while they preech about things that I can not agree with.
Based on your very words in this post, who’s the one who’s morality merely “servers their purpose”? The Catholic Church, or you?

Do you adhere to any objective standard of truth other than your own persoanl feelings?

I don’t mean that disrespectfully. I’m really curious. What eactly would someone have to do to show that the Church can, and does, speak authoritatively on such matters?
 
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ex-catholic:
DominvsVobiscvm

The church only speaks God’s words on morality when it suits their purposes. The most recent issue I had with the church was simply the last straw. I can understand their stance on sexual morality, after all I was raised with the Catholic church. But, their responses to people who have differing view points are not acceptable. I am at odds with my church because I can no longer sit silently while they preech about things that I can not agree with.
I have one other question

Who is God and what does he mean to you?

And if you care to answer another after that.

How do you know you are following God’s will if that is important to you?

Hope you can find the time to help me understand.

God Bless and Be Safe.
 
Please try to understand, the church is not there to hurt you, but to help. It may seem harsh, but then so were the teachings of Christ. Many questioned his authority openly in the gospels. Your questioning of the church is the same pricipal.

We know that Jesus was the truth walking amongst us. The question that remains is where do we find the truth after He is gone (not really gone, but not walking among us). Scripture tells us in 1Tim 3:15 that the CHURCH is the pillar and foundation of the truth. The church, when it teaches on faith and morals, is speaking with the authority of Jesus (the truth), no matter how harsh it seems. We are not allowed to our own interpretations (See 2Peter 3:16, 2Peter 1:20). We see an example of someone with with apostolic authority helping to interpret scripture in Acts 8:27-32.

We are all sinners!! We all have different weaknesses. The sacraments help us on our journey to deal with these weaknesses. Please, Please do not turn your back on God’s mercy and grace. This world is full of suffering for all of us. We need to embrace it and know that through the suffering we shall obtain eternal love. We ,as humans, are not necessarily built to always understand why God has given us certain crosses to carry. We are built to be able to carry them.

God Bless you and your friend.

Chad
 
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ex-catholic:
I have realized that the church has been controlling me and that I am the one in charge of my life and it is up to me to determine what I think is sinful and what is not. I have left the church because I do not like being dictated to based on a bunch of old guys views on the world and our places in it.
It sounds to me like you are using your friend’s coming out as an excuse to leave the church. This isn’t really about the church dictating what is right or wrong with regard to homosexuality, this is about not understanding where the authority of the church arises. If you believe in God, and you believe that Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God, then from there you should examine what else you believe. Do you have trouble following the churches morals because they are difficult to adhere to or because you don’t think they have the right to tell you how to behave? If it is because they are difficult to adhere to, welcome to being human. 😦 We all sin. That’s what the confessional is for. If it’s because you think they are random, spend some time on your knees in prayer and with the ten commandments (Exodus 20:2-17 and/or Deuteronomy 5:6-21). That should help convict you that they are not “man-made” rules. Once you begin to recognize the validity and authority of the church comes from Christ himself, and the guidance of the church is through the Holy Spirit, it really does make it easier to accept the authority She has over our moral consciences. It doesn’t make it any easier to be human :rolleyes: , but it makes it easier to try to approach holiness one day at a time.
 
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