Hello and a happy feast of Saint Anthony! How times have changed since Anthony wandered about, crazy!

As usual I continue to meet more and more people from all walks of life and especially gay people.

What is sad as I meet gay people is the general lack of faith. God has abandoned them (in their eyes) and so they have abandoned God in many cases!

The result is a gay lifestyle which centres around sex with no prayer.

They don’t know Jesus, they have never experienced the power of prayer and so their needs for intimacy get sexualized and the rest is history as they say!

So where does it all go wrong? I can only really draw from my own life but from sharing with others, it seems like a textbook case!

Homosexuality was never mentioned as I was growing up. For all intents and purposes it didn’t exist in good catholic families and schools! It may have existed in Dublin, Paris or New York but certainly not in our area!

Anyone with gay tendencies was immediately labelled a faggot in school! Fortunately I escaped this type of bullying as mother nature visited late in my case but that didn’t make me blind to the terrible bullying suspected gays got!

There was no real sex education at the time. The only thing I remember was when I was 12 and a nun came to speak to us one evening!

I don’t remember much only that she said something about sometimes boys being attracted to boys but that it didn’t necessarily mean they were gay and that sometimes these attractions left! That and when one testicle was higher than the other was all I remembered from that talk and I had no problems there!

Now you see the problem so far is that this was an entiely catholic upbringing. The schools were catholic, the bullies were catholic, the teachers were catholic and so to the young gay guy or girl the enemy was catholic!

I guess the teachers were never trained as to how to address these areas nor was the nun I mentioned and so they were not dealt with at all!

Consequently most guys really only come to terms with being gay when they leave home and if they are anything like I was, home or the church would be the last place on earth they’d go when in need of support!

This further alienates them and ultimately they stop believing in God. It’s easier to believe in the energy of the universe than a homophobic catholic God determined to damn them unjustly!

Many gay people are highly spiritual people and so many find alternative spiritualities where they are accepted and not condemned! Indeed before meeting Jesus I was looking for God in hypnosis and Reiki and anything that offered me unconditional love and hope to live!

And so I cast my mind back to that sex-ed class with that nun when I was about 12!

What should she have said about gay teenagers?

What support could have been available?

What could our local priest who represents God have said?

What could our teachers have said?

And closer to home, what could my parents have said?!

In reality they all probably didn’t know what to say but one thing is for sure, the silence spoke volumes to me and to others!

Silence gave birth to crippling shame and anxiety, it brought with it self-hatred, depression and suicide. It fuelled a life of lonliness, lust, pornography and hook-ups. It ultimately nearly destroyed me and many others!

And so in conclusion what is needed?

Proper sexual and spiritual education for gay teenagers and their parents and proper pastoral support and love for gay people in the Church.

So today on the feast of Saint Anthony who was a powerful preacher and teacher I pray for our priests, bishops, pastors and teachers across the world that they will break the terrible silence that leaves so many beautiful young boys and girls in a prison of fear of a God and of a church that does not accept them.

Saint Anthony, pray for us!

Mike

Please pray for us and again if you would like to help contact us directly or visit us at http://www.gofund.com/bridge-of-love