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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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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.   

2 Responses

  1. Very nicely put Father. “The love Christ would have us know is sacrificial.” True that.

  2. Simply and kindly put.

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