Friday, March 7, 2014
He wrote: I read your blog Enhanced Masculinity and try to live as a practicing Catholic. I do love man sex. There is beauty and passion in experiencing it. The Church's Catechism identifies these acts as disordered. Your writing gives hope that our God is not condemning us.
My reply: “Thanks for writing and sharing. I like your statement about mansex, that there is beauty and passion in experiencing it. I think you should thank God for that positive insight.
About confessing sins. You have first to make up your mind, form your conscience, on whether you consider an act a sin or not. If you can say that you think these acts are good, despite what the Catechism says, that the Catechism has not got it right, not moved on with modern sociological and psychological insights, then those acts are not sins for you. We only sin knowingly in the eyes of God. Doubts about whether a thing is right or wrong are not yet sins. I do not know how old you are, but the big turning point for Catholics learning to live with their conscience rather than doggedly following what the Church said was the time of Paul VI's encyclical "Humanae Vitae" on artificial birth control. In the aftermath, one priest who heard lots of people's confessions said to me: "I am sure they are all practising birth control, but they are just not mentioning it in confession." So I think it should be. You do not need to mention in confession what you do not regard as a sin. But you may have real sins to confess. I never mention my sexual encounters in confession, or my masturbation, or use of pornography, but I still go to confession a few times a year, trying to focus on how I mistreat others, like by talking about them behind their back. Actually, way closer to evangelical living than, for example, avoiding jacking off.
I suppose I do see my blog as a ministry. I also see the porn as a way of getting guys out of their inhibitions and helping them to appreciate what I consider the true dynamic of mansex. And to just get over that down on porn that the Church preaches, in my opinion so ignorantly.
I think the idea of remaining faithful to the journey is an important one. We believe in Jesus as our Saviour and stay close to him. There is no need to move out of the Church because we believe also in the value of mansex. We can even integrate our mansex, even casual, into Jesus' supreme command "That you love one another", on the simple grounds that it is very difficult to see how we are doing any harm to each other by simply having sex man to man.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express these things and I hope it helps. I shall probably use elements of our exchange in a very anonymous way to make a post for my blog.
Let’s pray for each other,
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The interviewer asked Don Andrea Gallo what he would ask from the Church with regard to Italian homosexuals. His answer was first of all, respect. Absolute respect. He took his inspiration from the incident of the woman caught in the act of adultery, in the gospel.
Don Gallo points out that when Jesus met up with her and they were wanting to stone her to death because she had broken the law of Moses, Jesus simply told her to go her way and to the rest he said, “Whoever is without sin let him throw the first stone.”
Don Gallo commented: this refraining from judging on the part of Jesus is enormous. Jesus says I am giving you the example. I propose certain things to you and I want you to grow. But the choice is yours. For Dom Gallo Christians cannot use laws to impose a certain type of behaviour. This Dom Andrea emphasises is absolutely not Jesus. Jesus stands for freedom.
We have just begun a new season of Lent, may it enable us to grow in freedom in every dimension of our lives.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
The Pope told the new Cardinals that they had not come to join a royal court but the Church of Rome. He told them they had to be guides not bosses. With that he really put his finger on the problem. Relative to gay matters we have seen men who think they have to insist, dictate and lay down the law. If ecclesiastics came down off their pedestal and just guided, we would have a whole new Church.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
The question was put bluntly to Don Gallo whether if a gay man came to confession he would give him absolution. Don Gallo’s reply was “How can I judge?” Which is strikingly like Pope Francis’ approach to gays: “Who am I to judge?” Could Don Gallo have influenced Pope Bergoglio? Or could they have a common source of inspiration? Or is it just two men who know how to live the gospel?
Don Andrea Gallo goes on to point out that God is love and infinite mercy. That, says, Don Andrea means more than saying God is broad-minded. He says that the Christian religion teaches that God does not condemn. However, he says, the infinite mercy of God is not an invitation to permissiveness and resignation, it is a stimulus to form your conscience in sound principles and real values.
He sees the choice as either sticking with the error that can be of no benefit, that gives no zest to life and no balance, no calm, or, the alternative being in peace with your conscience and with the father and mother who are in Heaven and who love you and have given you life so that it can be developed. I think it is that dynamic of development, of moving onward, that we really need.