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Saw this article and thought it was interesting.

This new film on being gay and Catholic just might blow your mind

by John Jalsevac

Tue May 13 12:41 PM EST

The Catholic Church hates gays, right? Of course right! Everybody knows that.

Or maybe not.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen once famously said, “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”

Never has this been truer than when it comes to the Catholic Church’s teachings on homosexuality. On this issue, I wonder if Archbishop Sheen wasn’t being optimistic. Of the million people who hate the Church’s views on homosexuality, I doubt if we could find even 100 who know what those teachings actually are.

It doesn’t much help that Catholics themselves seem so confused about what they believe (or are supposed to believe). And I’m not just talking about the solid majority who see nothing wrong with gay “marriage.” The same goes for the minority who speak knowingly of “hating the sin, but loving the sinner,” but who in practice seem incapable of actually distinguishing between the two.

Joseph Prever, one of the best-known gay Catholic bloggers, talks about the time that he wrote about what it’s like to be a same-sex attracted individual who believes totally in the Church’s teachings and who has therefore chosen to live celibately. The first comment in the comment box under the article? “Repent!!”

Well, alright. It's kind of hard to know what to do with that.


Into this confusion comes a new film by Blackstone Films, called “The Third Way.” The title is obviously a reference to the filmmakers’ belief that the Catholic Church’s teachings constitute a kind of a “middle road” between the bigotry and ignorance that we can easily find on both sides of the debate. The film itself is a compelling, and often exquisitely beautiful, exposition of what the Church actually teaches about homosexuality, and how that teaching is not necessarily a recipe for misery and homophobia, but possibly (as crazy as it sounds) the path to all sorts of good stuff like true intimacy, understanding, spiritual and psychological healing, and authentic joy.

Not that this will appease all the critics, or answer all the questions. Far from it. Gay activists, for instance, will find repugnant the mere suggestion that celibacy is the higher, and ultimately the only moral, response to erotic attraction to a member of the same sex. And some Christians will find unsettling the allegation in the film that the Church has not yet formulated an adequate pastoral response to homosexuality, or that there is room for them to re-examine their "orthodox," but not necessarily helpful personal responses to homosexuality.

Meanwhile, although the film undoubtedly does present a template for a more effective and compassionate pastoral approach within the Christian community, it does little to untangle the many knots Christians must deal with in responding to the phenomenon of homosexuality in the broader culture. For instance, even if we agree that compassion should be a guiding force, what are we to do when the local gay activists go walking in flagrante through our city streets during the annual gay pride festivities? Or when we are forced to choose between violating our conscience or losing our jobs, as in the cases of marriage registrars in states where gay “marriage” has been legalized? Or when our child’s teacher reads him King & King, helps him paint a gay pride poster, or teaches him the finer points of gay sex, without our knowledge or consent? Etc.

The Third Way doesn’t answer these "culture war" questions. And that’s ok. That's not the point of the film. Instead, what it does do is carefully prepare the space for a level-headed dialogue about these more difficult issues, by laying out some pretty basic principles from which we can then begin to extrapolate. I suppose these can be boiled down to the principles of love (caritas) and truth (veritate), and in particular, the often misunderstood intersection between the two.

The film accomplishes this largely by featuring the testimonies of Catholics who have lived the homosexual lifestyle, or experienced unwanted same-sex attraction, but have found real peace in living according to the Church’s teaching. In other words, it turns out that in practice the truth (that same-sex attraction is disordered, and cannot morally be expressed in a sexual relationship) perfectly dovetails with love, rightly understood (authentic concern for the welfare of the other).

In this way the film simultaneously topples the caricature of the perfectly fulfilled gay or lesbian that we find in the media, and the utterly corrupt and unredeemable purveyor of sin that we find in certain Christian circles. Instead, we’re left with the messy stuff of real life: real men and real women who, like us, are sinners, and who, like us, are bowed down under the weight of their particular cross, but who, like us, are struggling to make something beautiful out of the raw material that life has thrown their way.

Christians tend to like their answers to be clean and simple. The Third Way doesn’t muddy the clarity of doctrine, but it does honestly face the fact that the intersection of doctrine and lived life is not as tidy as we’d always like it to be. We are, all of us, dealing with our own "disordered" tendencies, and our efforts to overcome these will be lifelong. The Third Way makes the point that merely by acknowledging this fact we give same-sex attracted individuals the space and freedom that they need to begin the process of finding healing and peace, and ourselves the awareness that we need to approach our same-sex attracted brothers and sisters with the understanding and compassion that will support them in their journey of healing.

In some ways, despite the moderately grandiose promises of its opening scenes, the film only presents the first step of the necessary response to the behemoth that has become the public debate over homosexuality in the past decade. But in many ways it's the most important step, and certainly a beginning well worth making.
Thank you for posting this article, Fontevrault.  This is an excellent approach.  It's peaceable, respectful and gentle, as St. James tells us "wisdom from Above" always is:
Quote:But the wisdom, that is from above, first indeed is chaste, then peaceable, modest, easy to be persuaded, consenting to the good, full of mercy and good fruits, without judging, without dissimulation.

James 3:17.
Wow. Talk about walking a tightrope or crossing a minefield.
Still, this is something that has to be done, and done well. I know nothing about this film, but I really hope it can deliver. One line that struck me in this article was the following:
"Gay activists, for instance, will find repugnant the mere suggestion that celibacy is the higher, and ultimately the only moral, response to erotic attraction to a member of the same sex."

This raises an important point on Church teachings that no one ever talks about: this applies to married heterosexuals and to unmarried heterosexuals, with a few alterations of context. What is the correct response if a married man or woman sees another of the opposite sex that he or she is attracted to? Same thing in different words. What is an unmarried person supposed to do about being attracted to someone of the opposite sex? Whatever the answer is, it aint "I can do what I want because I am hetero".

There are tough rules in place for heterosexuals too! But the world is so full of divorce and remarriage and shacking up that we don't even realize it. It is sort of assumed that you can do whatever you want if you are hetero, but if you are gay,  you can't. Not so. There are parallel rules on both sides.
(05-16-2014, 12:51 PM)maldon Wrote: [ -> ]Wow. Talk about walking a tightrope or crossing a minefield.
Still, this is something that has to be done, and done well. I know nothing about this film, but I really hope it can deliver. One line that struck me in this article was the following:
"Gay activists, for instance, will find repugnant the mere suggestion that celibacy is the higher, and ultimately the only moral, response to erotic attraction to a member of the same sex."

This raises an important point on Church teachings that no one ever talks about: this applies to married heterosexuals and to unmarried heterosexuals, with a few alterations of context. What is the correct response if a married man or woman sees another of the opposite sex that he or she is attracted to? Same thing in different words. What is an unmarried person supposed to do about being attracted to someone of the opposite sex? Whatever the answer is, it aint "I can do what I want because I am hetero".

There are tough rules in place for heterosexuals too! But the world is so full of divorce and remarriage and shacking up that we don't even realize it. It is sort of assumed that you can do whatever you want if you are hetero, but if you are gay,  you can't. Not so. There are parallel rules on both sides.

This is where you'd normally find a bunch of wannabe-Thomists coming out with their "yeah but a sinful heterosexual isn't anywhere near as bad as a sinful homosexual."

All sin is abhorrent, and should be avoided. You're exactly right in reminding us that celibacy should be the default state of life for all Catholics, and that only changes through the beautiful sacrament of marriage.
(05-16-2014, 01:07 PM)loggats Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-16-2014, 12:51 PM)maldon Wrote: [ -> ]Wow. Talk about walking a tightrope or crossing a minefield.
Still, this is something that has to be done, and done well. I know nothing about this film, but I really hope it can deliver. One line that struck me in this article was the following:
"Gay activists, for instance, will find repugnant the mere suggestion that celibacy is the higher, and ultimately the only moral, response to erotic attraction to a member of the same sex."

This raises an important point on Church teachings that no one ever talks about: this applies to married heterosexuals and to unmarried heterosexuals, with a few alterations of context. What is the correct response if a married man or woman sees another of the opposite sex that he or she is attracted to? Same thing in different words. What is an unmarried person supposed to do about being attracted to someone of the opposite sex? Whatever the answer is, it aint "I can do what I want because I am hetero".

There are tough rules in place for heterosexuals too! But the world is so full of divorce and remarriage and shacking up that we don't even realize it. It is sort of assumed that you can do whatever you want if you are hetero, but if you are gay,  you can't. Not so. There are parallel rules on both sides.

This is where you'd normally find a bunch of wannabe-Thomists coming out with their "yeah but a sinful heterosexual isn't anywhere near as bad as a sinful homosexual."

All sin is abhorrent, and should be avoided. You're exactly right in reminding us that celibacy should be the default state of life for all Catholics, and that only changes through the beautiful sacrament of marriage.
Not all Thomists are like that, thankfully.
I love the fact that posting this didn't cause an explosion of hateful commentary!  I was nervous . . .
Why should it be attacked as hateful here this is CATHOLIC TRUTH they speak!
There's been a fair bit of ire directed at discussions of SSA and other LGBT issues.  It is a fairly inflammatory issue after all.
Quote:It doesn’t much help that Catholics themselves seem so confused about what they believe (or are supposed to believe). And I’m not just talking about the solid majority who see nothing wrong with gay “marriage.” The same goes for the minority who speak knowingly of “hating the sin, but loving the sinner,” but who in practice seem incapable of actually distinguishing between the two.

Joseph Prever, one of the best-known gay Catholic bloggers, talks about the time that he wrote about what it’s like to be a same-sex attracted individual who believes totally in the Church’s teachings and who has therefore chosen to live celibately. The first comment in the comment box under the article? “Repent!!”

Well, alright. It's kind of hard to know what to do with that.

First, thanks for posting this, F. Sounds like the movie I'd have made about this topic. I mean, really, look at the above exchange. The default mode for some Catholics and other Christians is "Homosexual = Sinner." There seems to be no trust at all that grace exists and that God pours it out onto WHOEVER says yes to it. The nasty talk about homosexuals on the one side, and the watering down of Catholic teaching on the other both have to stop.

Any Catholic who, upon meeting a homosexual, assumes that person is acting on homosexual impulses, is sinning.

Any Catholic who singles out homosexuals as being "worse" than anyone else is sinning.

Any Catholic who goes on about homosexual sodomy while saying nothing about heterosexual sodomy is a hypocrite.

Any Catholic who thinks he needs to go out of his way to preach chastity any time he meets a homosexual, but doesn't feel that same need any time he meets an unmarried heterosexual, is a bigot.

Any Catholic who doesn't treat homosexuals -- active or not -- with charity, love, and respect for basic human dignity, is not following the commands of Christ.

Anyone who goes on about "sins that cry out to Heaven" (which is "the sin of Sodom," which includes, one would guess, heterosexual sodomy) without being equally concerned about murder (including abortion), defrauding the wage-earners, and oppressing the poor is a hypocrite.

Anyone who expects homosexuals to hide in closets, to be ashamed of who they are and for having desires they did NOT choose, is being inhumane and cruel.

Anyone who'd shun a homosexual or kick him/her out of the family just for being homosexual is a) setting a bad example for their kids on how to treat others, b) missing out on an opportunity to help keep that person Christian, c) missing out on what that person has to offer to others, d) doing the opposite of what Jesus would do, and e) setting their kids up to reject that sort of thing later and, likely, throwing out babies with bathwater in the process.

We have to fight the culture war (which we didn't start). We have to try to keep marriage properly defined and to correct folks who try to "normalize" homosexuality or condone acting on homosexual impulses. But if we hate while doing that, if we shun people or needlessly marginalize homosexuals and their families and friends, if we engage in kindergarten name-calling nonsense, we will have failed BIG TIME.

I think some on here see the way Catholics deal with sodomites, homosexuals, lgbt, lgbtq, lgbtqu, ssa...whatever is the term de jure; as nothing more than pandering. However, if one hurls anything that could be taken as inflammatory, if even slightly....it's disapproved.

Also I think most of the "psedo-Thomists" as one poster described them, have left FE for other places.
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