|Guilt/Anxiety about Homosexual Activity
Dec 17, 1999
I am a Catholic religion teacher (30 year old male) in a Catholic middle school. I have recently begun dealing with my homosexuality and this has led me to about 6 sexual encounters over this past year. Last night was my 6th after about 3 months of abstaining. The day after, the guilt and anxiety are overwhelming--for spiritual and physical reasons. I often think, how can I teach the Catholic faith and then go out and have a one night fling? I don't even feel as if I deserve to be able to go to Mass today. And then, if I have a sexual encounter every few months, what good would it do me to keep going to confession when I am not sure that I can commit to being chaste? Should I continue going to Mass, confession? I love being Catholic and understand the teachings on homosexuality. I really want to live a chaste life as a homosexual Catholic, but I can't seem to do it. What helps others to do it? I do believe that I was born this way, but how can I be celibate and chaste as single, gay male? I don't want to leave my faith, but would rather rise to the challenges of the Catholic Church. I believe in its teachings.
Father, I know that I am rambling, but if you could offer me any insight to any of the issues or questions above, I would appreciate it. My prayer life is horrible right now even though I know that it is probably the exact thing I should be doing. Please help.
| Response from Father DeMartini
Dear JT--Thank you for your very honest sharing. I think that the call to live chastely is a huge challenge today for both homosexual and heterosexual people. It is especially difficult when shame and guilt further isolate a person. I suspect that as a teacher you are caring about the well-being of your students and often help them in their struggle to belong and be accepted. I suspect further that you would advise your students to talk with you or someone they trust when social/peer presure tempts them to make unhealthy or immoral choices. So I encourage you to find someone whose values and morals you trust and who you believe would treat you with respect in your own struggles. This "companion" could offer support so that you don't further isolate yourself. The Mass and sacraments are there for us to grow in a sense of belonging with the community of the Church and to experience forgiveness and healing when we fail. If you would like to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org I may be able to make a more specific referral. You are in my prayers--God bless you, Fr. Rod
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