They talked about boobs and asses all the time. I felt weird, embarrassed. They were all thinking and talking about girls and I felt different. So I started searching the Internet to understand. George, however, claims he always found other boys interesting and preferred to spend time with them.
As a teenager he decided he ought to have a girlfriend, but found this experience unsatisfactory. Later, he visited gay clubs and dated boys with whom he established intimate relationships. I felt weird in those places [clubs] as it was completely new to me, but week after week I began to get used to that environment. Later on I even began to date guys and have, you know, hanky panky.
Other participants claimed they were unaware of their sexuality for a long time. Interestingly, four of them reported studying the Bible even more in adolescence because they were seeking answers to existential questions or to feel closer to God. Matthew said a befriended priest suggested he might be gay, and Arthur recognized his gay desires when he fell in love with a man. All participants experienced at different moments of their lives intense conflicts between developing sexual awareness and needs, and their religious beliefs and aspirations.
Homosexual inclinations were threatening because they were seen as sinful, disappointing to family, and put them at risk of social discrimination. Participants highlighted that although the Catholic Church officially does not condemn homosexuals as people, intimate behavior with same-sex was regarded as a sin against God. Gays were expected to keep sexual abstinence, even when living in a loving relationship with a partner.
Internalization of religious principles made participants feel extremely guilty and fear eternal condemnation.
US bishops cancel votes on tackling sex abuse after pope intervenes
On the other hand, being unable to satisfy their needs for love and intimacy evoked frustration and anger toward the doctrine. Those who confessed to having an intimate life with another man often heard it was sinful and immoral. Borys described a confession that he found traumatic. I confessed everything to the priest. When I started to say that I had a partner and we engaged in sex, the priest said I had to stop, because God did not like that. He said this sin was worse than murder. At that point I decided not to go to confession anymore.
Sylvester, Adam, and Matthias had similar experiences and felt guilty for not getting absolution. Sylvester was also angry at one encounter which led to him avoiding discussing his personal life with priests. I had problems with confession especially when I felt bad about something. Once I talked to a priest at the famous Luminous Mount monastery, but he really discouraged me.
I left the confessional before getting absolution. The priest called me a pervert or something.
Receiving a sacrament of marriage, conceiving offspring and rearing them according to Catholic norms was highly valued. Fear of disappointing loved ones was often an obstacle against coming-out described in Theme 5. They wanted grandchildren. That would destroy their dreams. While concerns or disappointment Radek attributed to his parents may be typical of any family irrespective of religious background, he and Arthur also discussed religious consequences.
Both were convinced their mothers would wonder if they could meet in heaven. Participants claim that concerns about the afterlife are crucial for all believers. He was ashamed about disclosing his sexual orientation and anticipated rejection when religious teachers, nuns, or priests made negative comments about gay life during classes or sermons.
I felt rejected during religious lessons, even though the catechist was not directing his comments to me. Obviously, no one knew I was gay. I was 13 then, and you know… faggots, dykes, etc. No one would officially admit being homo. When people made jokes about gays it really hurt.
Now, when I listen to what priests say about gay people I feel like standing up and shouting that it is not true. Look at me and my boyfriend! He thought people ascribed to the LGBT community all kinds of sinful qualities they would not like to find in themselves.
All participants tried to resolve inner conflicts between their religious values or aspirations, and growing gay identity. Participants said they were frustrated and angry, and felt guilty and rejected by the Catholic Church, because its doctrine forbids homosexual love and relationships, treating these as sinful actions.
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Five participants gradually withdrew from religious practices and attending church, because they felt unwelcome. Radek talked about his disappointment and sadness:. We are not openly invited.
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We feel excluded, like sinners. Matthias maintained that the negative attitudes of the Church toward homosexuality were based on the Old Testament, which he saw as irrelevant in modern times. He was convinced that there were no direct references in the New Testament that would condemn homosexuality as sinful behavior. There are so many things in the Old Testament that are impossible to apply in our Catholic faith. That was a completely different world, so it was also written in a specific way.
Adam said he was once verbally attacked and thrown out of confession, but he admitted to teasing the confessor, despite knowing he would not agree with his views. I was angry when I went to see him and tried to challenge his views. I told him I was in love with a married guy and that Jesus also had a special relationship with some of his students. He screamed at me and threw me out. Another participant belittled priests as moral authorities.
Catholic Church and homosexuality
He was convinced they themselves committed sins by engaging in inappropriate sexual relationships. He claimed that one of his confessors was overtly interested in hearing details about his masturbation and intimate contacts and was convinced the priest was aroused by those stories. This disgusted him and he felt they had no right to tell him what behavior was virtuous and what was sinful.
This helped him cope with anticipated critique and rejection.
Catholic Church and homosexuality - Wikipedia
It really bothers me to think where that priest has put his hand before touching the holy host. I stopped going to confession. Why should I confess to a stranger who may be a greater sinner than me? Because that does happen. Who is he to tell me how to be a good man? Three participants felt awkward about being homosexual. Instead, they found themselves confronted with conflicting needs and desires.