Whatever Your Cross, Follow the Church

Editor’s Note: The following was originally published Dec. 18, 2011 at www.stevegershom.com. The letters “SSA” stand for “Same Sex Attraction.”

Last night I received this comment on an old post. Read it, friends, and weep:

God loves you fully for who you are – your sexuality is an expression of the love in your soul and heart and God does not require that you repress it unless you really want that (i.e. as a monk)…brother you are trying to be accepted by the church but the true acceptance comes from God – the church’s reasons to oppose gay love are history, fear, self-repression and bigotry–the church has got it wrong and in time will correct it – in the meantime
are rejected and treated as half people – please promise you will try to talk to somebody more open – perhaps Jesuits- please realize God made you as you are and loves you—
– another Gay Catholic who is a practicing Catholic and has a loving partner.

So much compassion, and so much confusion. The author appears to assume the following things:
• – That I don’t believe God loves me, SSA and all.
• – That all sexual feelings are expressions of love.
• – That the only way to be celibate is through “repression”.
• – That rejecting the behavior of gay people (or anyone else) implies a rejection of the people themselves.


So many Catholics have been tricked into believing that they can take the parts they love about Catholicism and leave the parts they don’t. This would be the case if the Church were a philosophy, or a political creed, or a theory. The Church is none of those things.

The Church is — among other things — the instrument by which God communicates His truth to the world. Like Christ, she is both human and divine. Her humanity means that she is full of knaves and imbeciles1 as well as saints, just like the rest of the world. It means that her members, who of all people should know better, have often done unspeakable and horrific things, and often done them in the name of Christ.

But she is also divine, and because of this, there is one thing she has never done: she has never erred in her official teachings on a matter of faith and morals, Nor has she ever changed one of these teachings. I challenge you to find one instance, just one, of such an error or such a change. (Citations required, please.)

This unchangeability is our salvation. As soon as we begin to sift through Catholic moral teaching and select the ones that please us, we have ceased to believe in the Church as she has always been understood, and have replaced her with something that is designed to suit us. We have changed her foundation from rock to sand.

We have, in short, set ourselves up as the ultimate authorities. I’ve lived with myself all my life, dear readers, and by this time I know very well that I’m not an ultimate anything. Thank God for the Church, my compass, my anchor, my North Star. However far I wander, she will always leads me back to sanity; because she does not move.

Please pray for this man and all those like him, who have been led so far into the wilderness that they no longer know they are lost.

1 q.v. Hilaire Belloc: “[The Church is] an institute run with such knavish imbecility that if it were not the work of God it would not last a fortnight.”

Joseph Prever


Joseph Prever graduated from the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts with a bachelor's degree in English and a penchant for romantic existentialism. He now lives in Massachusetts, where he works as a web developer and freelance writer. He blogs at gaycatholic.com, under the semi-pseudonym of Steve Gershom, about issues of faith, sexuality, and mental health. Michael Chabon is his favorite living author, and Dostoevsky is his favorite dead one.

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