Good afternoon from London,

A few days have settled since the Vatican’s letter on same sex unions and I’ve had time to listen to opinions out there and indeed better formulate my own.

The general feeling is one of great hurt and perhaps this sums it up:

How sad!

However that aside there are a few issues worth discussing!

Recently a friend of mine showed me a report written by a gay Christian group, the report centred around gay sex and tried to demonstrate why it is not a sin.

As this has never been my belief, I was uncomfortable reading the report which hardly had a mention of Jesus, of prayer, of sin or indeed of any spiritual transformation at all.

It left me feeling empty and seemed to suggest that God is happy with us the way we are and that there is no real call to more.

For someone like me who has given my life to prayer and to the transformational power of the Holy Spirit, this type of theology is an insult.

Now fast forward to the latest Vatican letter. It’s the other extreme in that sex is utterly prohibited but it does share one common element with the first report that I mentioned!!

Did you figure out what it is?

Neither place Jesus and the transformational power of the Holy Spirit at the centre and so they seem more political and theological than anything else.

The result is a battle of two extremes:

CHASTITY V CHARITY

Without a middle ground.

So what is the middle ground?

The middle ground is the battleground!!!!

Telling most gay guys that they must live chastity is like teaching someone to ride a bike and telling them that they can’t fall off! It’s impossible.

Being too rigid on chastity simply fills people with fear and leaves many a gay catholic depressed, lonely and isolated.

On the other hand, not talking about chastity and saying that having all the sex in the world is certainly not a better answer and the amount of guys that finish up with depressions, addictions and all sorts of sexually transmitted diseases isn’t small.

So surely there must be a pastoral approach to this issue where just like learning to cycle a bike, with time and with prayer and with support, gay couples can learn to live intimate, loving, prayerful and chaste relationships.

Now I’m talking about this because this is the story of my life and it’s where Jesus is bringing me.

Now if such a gay couple on a journey to holiness wished to get a blessing from the church, I don’t see why not!

Even if their relationship wasn’t 100% squeaky clean, so what? Isn’t holiness a journey and how many straight couples enter marriage nowadays and are still a long way from christian perfection?

And so to generically say “we can’t bless sin” is very cruel and very inconsiderate for catholics like me and others who haven’t left the church and who tirelessly pray and witness Jesus to others.

It would seem that a bunch of old men got together in the Vatican, wrote some mumbo-jumbo without consulting a single gay person and then sneaked it past a busy Francis while his attention was divided.

It lacks any pastoral sensitive or even acknowledgement of the ‘gay catholic experience’ not to mention the countless testimonies such as mine and others.

Yesterday a priest asked me how I felt about it. My answer surprised him!

“It hasn’t affected me because I’ve come to expect nothing from the Vatican”.

He was a bit startled but it’s true! After multiple nervous breakdowns and fighting suicide for years, I finally learnt my lesson: God loves me and they don’t!

And so you can imagine how happy I was yesterday when a beautiful prayerful lady who met me in Ireland only a few years ago as I was recovering from the last breakdown sent me this message:

“I can see that having Rayne in your life has enriched you. Listen to your own heart Michael, it’s the best barometer”.

And so as Fr James Martin put it as he spoke to the LGBT community: “God loves you, the church is learning to love you”.

Now speaking of Rayne, I’m outside and it seems like it’s going to rain so I better finish up!

Thanks for reading and on this feast day and year of St. Joseph may we hand this big issue over to Him and pray especially for all those people deeply hurt and wounded by this letter and who may be thinking of suicide.

Bless,

Michael