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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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The Nature of Man Remains the Same

When dealing with the possibility (or rather impossibility) of rewriting Catholic moral teaching, another qualification that I would insist upon would be in the area of Christian anthropology. While we might come to a deeper understanding of what constitutes man, our basic human nature as fallen remains the same.  This is the case despite the irrationality that masquerades as enlightenment in science and the humanities. Homosexuality is disorientation and any subsequent acts violate both divine positive law and natural law.  There are two genders and all else is just a matter of dysphoria.  Marriage is between a man and woman and the marital act must be directed to the fidelity of their union and to the generation of new human life. The sins of fornication, adultery and same-sex intimacies cannot be excused as irregular unions.  They are forbidden, always and everywhere— case closed.  Sexual sins always constitute mortal matter even if culpability can be subjectively mitigated. Why is this? It has to do with the blatant fact that we are our bodies (spiritual-corporeal composites).  Misuse of the sexual faculties is an abuse of oneself and of others with whom relationships are formed. 

Dissenters will Be Disappointed

Many are projecting or lobbying for a change in the Church’s attitude toward homosexuality, however a passive toleration and support for decriminalization is probably the most for which dissenters can hope. Anything more would constitute heresy. Marriage as a natural bond and sacrament between a man and a woman can never be extended to same-sex unions.

The Church can also never turn a blind eye to the sins of fornication and adultery. Similarly, there is no way the Church can retract its teachings in defense of the right to life, no matter how enthusiastically she might applaud the rights of women.

Pope Francis has made inroads into satisfying those who are concerned about the environment, but such must always focus on the place of humanity first and on human stewardship of creation. It would constitute a false religion to divinize nature. Indeed, it would constitute the heresy of pantheism. Such is why orthodox voices were quick to criticize the Amazonian Pacha Mama or Mother Nature. Those who sought to appropriate the Mother of God within the iconography and cult risked distorting Our Lady from a blessed creature into goddess signified by a pagan idol. (I do not think this was ever the intent of the Vatican but rather it was a concession of respect that got out of hand.)      

Infinite Deities for Infinite Worlds?


I have been pondering a question about God. If the scientific theory that infinite realities exist beyond the space-time continuum is correct, does that mean there are infinite gods, one for each reality, or does it mean there is only one God above all infinite realities?


First, the notion of infinite realities is conjecture and the mathematics of the various string theories posit eleven dimensions at last reckoning. The truth be told, there is no certainty about such matters and the universe we know may be all there is.

Second, regardless of the makeup of reality, it is all created by one omnipotent God who sustains the entire created order, both the material (seen) and the spiritual (unseen). God is self-existing and the source of order and life. Created things are dependent upon him and participate or have a small share in his perfections. As the divine author, God is outside of space and time.

Where Might We Find Doctrinal Development?

We like to imagine Church teachings as monolithic and unchanging, and yet from the very beginning there is dynamism to beliefs and discipleship. The first believers in the Jewish church of Jerusalem were still attending the synagogue services and worshipping at the temple. The expulsion of Jewish Christians from the synagogues and the destruction of the temple in 70 AD by the Romans would insure that Christianity would not remain a mere sect of Judaism. The rite of initiation into the faith would no longer be Jewish circumcision but Christian baptism. The Sunday Observance or the Lord’s Day would supplant the Hebrew Sabbath. Similarly, the new economy of images would make itself felt in the abolition of the Decalogue prohibition against fashioning graven images.

The pertinent doctrines that have experienced a definite shift make for a significant list:

01.  Given that the Bible and the Church permitted slavery for many centuries, how is it that the Church condemns such bondage and human trafficking today?

02. Given that even the Papal States enforced capital punishment against murderers and highway bandits, how is it that today the Church demands the universal and absolute abolition of the death penalty?  Indeed, what becomes of arguments that such punishments were necessary to insure the social order, discouraging further crimes and protecting the innocent?

03. Often associated with the death penalty is the so-called just-war theory of the Church. The earliest of Christians were apparently pacifists who were martyred in the thousands by the emperors of pagan Rome. Many of the pagan leaders lamented that if Christianity got the upper hand then they would be easy prey for their enemies. It was after three centuries of spilling their own blood that believers joined the army of Constantine and fought for a lawful status in the empire.  Which best signified true Christianity? Today, there are many who argue the rationale for just war as well as for the protection of non-combatants and about the moral problem of nuclear weapons. A related question is what are the ethical parameters for self-defense?

04.  What became of the ancient prohibition against usury given modern banking and current interest rates? Was it not this prohibition that steered Jews into banking for Christian Europe and later bred enmity against them?

05.  Church exhortations are bias increasingly in favor of modern democracies and opposed to dictatorships; but is this not an about-face in ecclesial support from what was once given to monarchies?  What became of the “divine right of kings”?

05.  What became of the dictum that “error has no rights”?  Why is it that we demand religious liberty today when Catholicism is marginalized or threatened but have historically oppressed others when we were in control?  Were actions like the inquisition in Spain due simply to civil agents or did the Church have a part to play? Has the Church always truly taught the sovereignty and right or freedom of conscience? 

06.  What exactly is the correct meaning of ecumenism and how does it differ from the past militancy of the Church against the errors of Protestants?  Have we put aside the use of the anathema at the sinful cost of religious indifferentism?  While many argue that ecumenism is merely a church strategy to change the face she shows the world and to cajole Protestants, critics complain that more of substance to true Catholicism is compromised.  Which is it?

07.  What is the proper understanding of “extra ecclesiam nulla salus,” (outside the Church there is no salvation) when we embrace Protestants as our “separated brethren” and pray with them? Do we have to be Catholic to be saved or not? More importantly, how does this jive with our current attitude toward Jews, Moslems and others?

08.  While much is currently made of accompaniment with those in irregular unions, the Church does not have the authority to bless or to sanction adulterous unions.  Applications for annulments are now free and this is the recourse for those in invalid and illicit unions.  However, it must be asked, does the increased number of affirmative decisions mean greater scrutiny or does it mean a compromise against the indissolubility of the marriage bond? 

09.  Do recent concessions made in respect to indigenous people betray in any way the missionary mandate of the Church?  Can we really compare mud huts and cannibalism with the glories of Western culture? Apologies for mistreatment and abuse are expected; but sometimes it seems that churchmen are ashamed of Christ and regretful about the imposition of the true faith.   

10. While disciplines change they take on a whole new level when in reference to the commandments. The invisible God is made visible in Christ and so now graven images are permitted as long as they are not worshipped.  The Sabbath transitions to the Lord’s Day but given that today many work and shop on Sundays, what became of the precept against servile work? We hear conflicting answers.

11.  The social teachings of the Church seem to be the most mutable.  Once Church regulations were heavily weighted toward landowners, especially in favor of church or monastic lands over tenants and those who served their masters— how does that jive with current teachings on land ownership and the rights of workers? Further, that which was once regarded as charity is now deemed a right of social justice, including universal healthcare.

Is the Magisterium Infallible or Not?

We should be straightforward and transparent about all this: “Can the Magisterium promulgate errors that contradict the deposit of faith?” I suspect that part of the problem is that the Church finds herself in an ever-changing world. While teachings about the nature of God, the sacraments, the basic appreciation of the marks of the Church, the saving works of God, etc. are generally fixed; certain moral truths and their practical or subjective application are more fluid given the messiness of human existence and changing culture. Note that except for the Western clarification of the Filioque, the Creed has remained unchanged since the Councils of Nicea (325) and Constantinople (381). The Council of Chalcedon (451) pretty much settled the Christological debates: Jesus is a divine Person with a complete divine and human nature. 

When we think of the role of the papacy what immediately comes to mind is the declaration of papal infallibility at the First Vatican Council (1869–1870) and the solemn pronouncements that fully fulfill its defined criteria: the definition of the Immaculate Conception (1854), the Assumption of Mary into heaven (1950), and the exclusion of the priesthood to men (1994).  Development on all these themes is evident in the history of the Church and in the piety and faith of believers. The Pope essentially clarifies what is the Church’s long-standing belief. Some wrongly refer exclusively to the two Marian dogmas when speaking about the gift of infallibility given the Church. Most of what the Church believes is not solemnly defined but also irreformable. As proof of this, anyone who would deny that Jesus is a divine Person or that he rose from the dead would commit apostasy against the Christian faith. Jesus is God because we cannot save ourselves; only God can save us.  Jesus is risen or else he is a failed prophet and we will one day merely be the food for worms. The Magisterium is defined as the Pope and all those bishops who teach in union with him.  We are obliged to receive the teachings of the Pope since he is the Vicar of Christ made the visible ROCK of the Church by our Lord. The invisible head of the Church is Jesus. We are even required to give filial assent or respect to the religious views of the Pope that are not solemnly defined. Thus, while we are not required to give a slavish intellectual assent to every opinion of the Pope, this religious assent can be challenging because it requires that we would treat as true even those matters which remain dubious. It is in the grey area that theologians faithful to the Holy See would assist in determining the truth.  This is made problematical when dissenting theologians contradict settled doctrine and take an adversarial stance to both the historical and the living Magisterium. There must always be a profound respect to the sources of Christian doctrine that make possible the deposit of faith.  The Church has long taught that public revelation ends with the death of the last apostle, John.    

Does the Church have all the answers? No, even though all that we need to know for salvation subsists in the Church. Sometimes theories or “our best guess” are taught by theologians as certain. Later, we have to roll statements back. For instance, there is a catechetical inconsistency in the Church’s teaching about the state of children who die before the age of reason or the sacrament of baptism. While many lament the subtraction from the universal catechism of the medieval concept of limbo with its imposed ignorance and natural happiness; we often forget that this theory arose because of an aversion to the earlier patristic claim that unbaptized children were sentenced to hell. Today, while we are hopeful or even optimistic about the Lord’s mercy, there remains an uncertainty on this question.  Thus, the Church still encourages the speedy initiation of the little ones into the Christian dispensation. Along with this, the Church has further engaged in debates about baptism by desire and by blood.  Some of these conflicts have reached into modern times, as in the American crisis with Fr. Leonard Feeney.

The matter of doctrinal development, especially when there seems to be a reversal, is indeed problematical and in need of honest investigation.  We cannot merely resort to the hackneyed qualification “that the Church has always taught such and such” when this is clearly not the case. All this might sound controversial but religious thinkers on the right also find themselves engaged with developing or changing teachings.  We need to ask what must stay the same (definitive) and what is privy to legitimate expansion (not definitive).

The Development of Doctrine & Unchanging Truths

Has such a teaching as on capital punishment truly changed or is it the backdrop that frames it and thus changes the question? Those who are politically more liberal seem to give little to no concern about ecclesial precedents. Their agenda is formed more by the fads of the day than by the sources of Christian doctrine.  Voices on the right would place greater weight in the testimony of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Both groups can inadvertently undermine the Magisterium, but only the conservatives feel bad about it. 

It is imperative that there be historical and intellectual integrity. Capricious statements that would require clarification or retraction as well as any subsequent duplicity or subterfuge undermines the authority of the Magisterium to demand assent. Essential to this discussion is the notion of doctrinal development championed by Cardinal John Henry Newman and yet poorly or incorrectly defined by many. As a basic premise, the shift in doctrinal understanding must necessarily be “organic” in its development even if the historical progression is sporadic.  Complicating matters, it has to be admitted that sometimes Church teachings are poorly formulated or complicated by a preponderance of anathemas. It is always important to appreciate the actual core teaching and that which might only be hyperbole. While we can all admit that men make mistakes, what is at stake in the discussion is the protective and guiding movement of the Holy Spirit in the life and preaching of the faith by the shepherds of the Church. I am no great theologian or philosopher, despite the thousands of books I have read. As a simple parish priest, my theological insights are those of a hack. Nevertheless, I place great confidence in my trust of two essential themes:  the dignity of persons and the sanctity of life.  I would also add the qualification that God’s gift of life to us has an incommensurate value— despite our many practical efforts to stick a price tag to it.

The Church’s Vacillating View on Capital Punishment

I have long insisted that the matter of the Church’s teaching on the death penalty, past and present, will divulge a sensitive point of contention and vulnerability to critics of the Church’s charism of infallibility. Prior to the contemporary debates, the crisis point was arguably the Church’s diminishing toleration for the institution of slavery.  I suspect the answer to understanding the one will come with insights at how the Gospel of Life was played out for the other.

Politically conservative Catholics are at odds with Pope Francis on a number of matters, especially his heightened concern about the environment and his absolute stand against the death penalty. The text upon the latter subject in the universal catechism has been revised three times, first by Pope John Paul II. Of course, the late Pope arguably urged putting aside capital punishment given that those who enable abortion and further a culture of death against the innocent forfeit any moral and civil authority to take the lives of the guilty.  While I have no problem with a moratorium on executions, at some point we need a clear and thorough rationale for such a doctrinal shift that conflicts with the rendering of scholastic or Thomistic theology and previous magisterial statements.

Look at the trajectory of this teaching in the Church: 

The Catechism of the Council of Trent (1566 AD) asserts:

Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the Commandment is the preservation and security of human life. Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence these words of David: In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord (Psalm 101:8).

 It would imply that mercy to the guilty would inflict harm or risk the lives of the innocent. 

The first draft of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992 AD) would affirm the traditional teaching (section 2266):

Legitimate public authority has the right and the duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the crime, not excluding, in cases of extreme gravity, the death penalty.

The Holy See was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with this teaching and sought to restrict this power of the state with a revision in 1997:

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.

Pope John Paul II had known civil oppression inflicted first by Nazi occupation and later by the Communists. Such no doubt made him wary of giving the state the authority to take human life.  Just as certain people centuries ago suffered death for heresy, he had known political dissidents who have been imprisoned and executed as political enemies of the state. How does one rein in such terrible authority? Again in 1997, Pope John Paul II, in light of his encyclical, Evangelium Vitae, would clarify section 2267:

If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

As we can see the door to any possibility of capital punishment was left open a crack by the Holy Father’s prudential qualification of Church teaching on this matter. There was no way to evade the evidence of support from the Church found in Scripture and in natural law. There were four clear rationales for such punishment: (1) the harsh and irrevocable nature of an impending death would likely move the condemned to repentance and conversion; (2) the absence of this person would protect society and the innocent from any further harm from him; (3) the terrible punishment would instill fear and act as a deterrent to others contemplating similar crimes; and (4) just as with temporal punishment due to sin, all faults cry out for retribution or punishment. Given that the Christian’s spiritual compass is more attracted to the Divine Mercy than to the Divine Justice, social retribution would likely be the weakest of the four grounds.  Traditionalist critics would heavily lay claim to the second in arguing that the death penalty best protects the innocent from the guilty.

The writing seemed on the wall for some time.  The American bishops protested the use of the death penalty long before Vatican II, distressed at the discrepancy between the rich and the poor in mounting a legal defense. Pope Francis seems to have closed the door with his revision of section 2267 to the universal catechism:

Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good. Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption. Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that ‘the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,’ and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.

This caused controversy in some circles because while there was a qualification of “more effective systems of detention,” it implied that the Church was previously wrong on the matter at hand. Remember these words were published not just in any catechism but in the official compilation of the teachings of the Catholic faith.  Pope John Paul stated upon its initial release that it was “a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion.” If there were vacillation in any part of it, what else might be up for grabs?

While I cannot speak to what is in the mind of the current pope, we may still be dealing with a prudential opinion. Can civil officials and their judgment be trusted in life or death determinations over criminals when their support for abortion and now legalized euthanasia undermines the sanctity of life and “the inviolability and dignity of the person”? I suspect that even many of the pre-Vatican II popes might say no. 

Reading the Transcripts to Catholic Confessions

A message from Louise . . .

There is a book that compiles transcripts of confessions recorded with a hidden microphone and without the confessor’s or the penitent’s knowledge. It is from the 1960’s and the people confessing are left anonymous. I am awfully curious about it but it feels wrong to read it. Would it be sinful to read such a book?

My response . . .

I am appalled that such a book was ever written and published. While I do not know the work in question, I can answer your question quite bluntly— do not purchase it, do not read it and if by accident you own it, throw it where it belongs— into the trash.  Regardless that the names of penitents remain anonymous, the fact remains that both priest and penitent were unaware of the recording and did not give permission. The one who made the recordings and the subsequent book committed a grievous sin. Those with a prurient interest in the sins of others would better be concerned about their own failings and need for mercy.  Not only are we talking about a violation of the seal of confession but what is arguably a criminal act. Would it be sinful for you to read such a book? Really, you have to ask? You would make yourself party to the sinful acts of others.    

An Article So Stupid It Made My Brain Hurt

Trying to compare the efforts to change Catholic doctrine under Pope Francis with Pope Benedict XVI’s devaluation of Limbo is absolutely ridiculous. While Limbo was taught in many catechisms, it was always at most a scholastic theory and our best guess to keep unbaptized babies out of hell.  We must remember, that many early churchmen, including St. Augustine thought that children who died with original sin on their souls went to hell (even if it should be the luxury suite in perdition).  Indeed, Limbo which is defined by ignorance of God and natural happiness, is still arguably a type of hell because we are made for God and his absence for all eternity is an essential component of hell even if minus the pain to the senses or hellfire. 

The shift against the theory began under Pope John Paul II and the promulgation of the universal catechism (1993), long before the publication of the International Theological Commission’s report in 2007. Further, if one looks closely, the possibility of Limbo is not utterly taken off the table, just arguably unlikely.  We must accept that we have no certitude on this question, even if we are optimistic that a compassionate and loving God might make some special provision for the little ones.  Many other theories have been put forward, even when Limbo was the reigning presumption. All of them are somewhat problematical. Some argued that the unbaptized children might be given a moment of enlightenment to make a judgment about their eternal orientation. Others would suggest that the desire of parents or of the Church for their salvation might suffice to save them as they have never committed personal sin. It was along these lines that the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen penned a prayer of spiritual adoption for children in danger of abortion.  

The article also confuses the teaching about the Limbo of the Innocents with the Limbo of the Fathers. It is wholly different from the certain abode where the righteous dead await the coming of Christ. After the descent of our Lord into hell or unto the quick or to the dead, he would translate the just, including all the patriarchs and prophets into heaven. This likely included good St. Joseph.  This place for the dead no longer exists. However, this is not the hypothetical Limbo of the Innocents or Children.  Despite the article’s assertions to the contrary, most old popular catechisms suggested that it was eternal— sharing a natural happiness as in the primordial garden but knowing nothing of supernatural happiness and seeing God.

The teaching of Limbo made it into the catechisms because given mortality rates, the Church felt the need to say something to calm the fears of parents. Indeed, even the current universal catechism counsels urgency in getting newly born children baptized. Failure to do so endangers their salvation. While the prospect may be unlikely, Catholics are still free to hold a view in favor of Limbo.

The report of the commission echoes the catechism that we have “strong grounds for hope” that infants might be saved— but this hope is not absolutely certain.  We may have shifted away from Limbo, but we are unwilling to dismiss the need for faith in Jesus Christ and for baptism. The Church teaches that baptism with water and in the name of the Trinity brings spiritual regeneration. Original sin is washed away. We are given sanctifying grace. We are made adopted sons and daughters of the heavenly Father and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven. We become temples for the Holy Spirit. We are made members of the Church or mystical body of Christ. All this is the core doctrine involved and it is here that nothing has changed.  The assumption otherwise in the article is a lie and is propaganda for revisionists who care nothing about babies— as they are frequently the same voices that place the selfish and fearful whims of women over the right to life of their children.  There has been absolutely no movement on moral teachings like the indissolubility of marriage or the evil of sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage or the heinous wrong of abortion.  The article is comparing apples and oranges.

The author goes so far as to make a comparison of the slow death of Limbo as a theory to the fate of the traditional Latin Mass.  Again, there is no comparison as a medieval theory to save a few cannot be compared to a liturgy with apostolic roots where we have certitude of its efficacy in terms of the re-presentation of Calvary and the real presence of the Eucharist. 

The Bible says we should not call our brother a fool and so I will not speak further about the article’s author.

Can a Gay or Bi-sexual Person Be Close to God?

A message from Lucinda . . .


I am a young girl who wishes to be closer to God, but I am unsure if I can be because of my sexuality. I am bisexual. I feel attraction to both men and women. Many say this is a sin, but I would like to ask a priest for an opinion. I do not wish to sacrifice my happiness, but I want to be closer to the Lord. Is being gay a sin?

If being bisexual is a sin, what shall I do? How can I repent from this? What do I do to stop myself from being attracted to women? I’m unsure if it is possible, as being bisexual is more than a label; it is a part of who I am. Perhaps God has made me this way – does he accept that I am gay? Or does the Lord wish for me to repent and reject these feelings?

I would really appreciate some help. Thank you.   

My response . . .

First, we need to be aware that we live in an eroticized culture where we are saturated with immodest images and fed the lie that only those who are sexually active can be happy and fulfilled. 

Second, only you can get into your head and heart as to how you know yourself and in how you feel about people and the world around you.  Are you truly bisexual or just conflicted as a youth? It is not for me to say. However, so as to respond to your inquiry, I will take what you say at face value.

Third, both the Scriptures and the Church teach that sexual activity (the marital act) is reserved to married men and women. The sexual powers are directed to the unity of spouses with the accompanying goods of fidelity and procreation. Same-sex relationships are not capable of a sexual act that is open to the generation of new human life. 

Fourth, while the catechism will speak of same-sex attraction as disordered, it is not in itself sinful. However, the acting out of same-sex intimacy would constitute serious sin. It should be noted that heterosexual sexual relations outside of marriage also constitute sin. Men and women are made for each other but relations should be within the covenant or sacrament of holy matrimony.    

Now, how do I respond? It is crucial that you do not simply identify yourself by the single characteristic of sexual attraction. You are so much more than this. I have known heterosexual men and women deeply wounded in spirit and personality because they narrowly define themselves and their happiness by the exuberance of their carnal lives. One poor woman I counseled decades ago was deceived into thinking she only had worth when men wanted her and were regularly taking her to bed.  Behind the lust and fleeting excitement, she was very unhappy and frustrated. She told me that she felt as if she was being pulled apart and in different directions. Such a lifestyle made it impossible for her to be whole. The fruit of such a life was not a family and a home but a long string of abortions and a sense of abandonment. 

There is a deception that many buy when preparing for marriage. We often hear spouses say such silly things as, “I am only half a person without him or her.” The truth says different— married or single— we must be whole and complete in ourselves.  It is this appreciation that allows a celibate priest or brother or nun to be happy. We can have many friends but we do not need sex to be complete or to know joy.  If you are truly bi-sexual then it is possible that you might find a young man to marry and to have a family. If not, you can still be rich with love and friendship, albeit without sexual congress. Do not buy the lie that love must always be expressed sexually or genitally.  I know many men and women who love each other in an intense but brotherly or sisterly manner. 

However you feel about your identity, if you are serious about being holy, then God will give you the grace to do so. The Gospel of Christ promises us the Lord’s friendship and a share in his risen life.  However, there is also the command to take up our crosses and follow him.  We cannot have everything or everyone we want in this world.  The love that Christ would have us know is inherently sacrificial. We seek to be good and holy while trying to bring others along with us in the pilgrimage of faith. God forbid that we should turn away from the Lord or lead others into sin because of our selfishness.

Who are you? While gender and attraction are part of the equation, you are so much more. Look beyond it. Make an assessment of your gifts. Discern your calling and move forward as a child of God.