Last night I went to the prayer group “Pure at heart” where we mad adoration, a cup of tea and a wonderful talk on ‘friendship with Jesus’.

During the tea break a lady came and was asking Séamus and I about being gay and catholic. She mentioned the usual things like conversion therapy and also the LGBT agenda in schools.

I guess what hit me from talking to her is that people have become so used to seeing the crazy promiscuous side of the gay world that they are afraid that if they accept gay people into the church that this is what will happen.

People aren’t so much homophobic as homo-afraid!

It’s also true that the relatively small number of gay people that seem to be even looking for God feeds into this. I meet a lot of gay people who live lives of a lot of promiscuity and sometimes I ask myself the question “do they ever ask themselves if it’s ok, if there is a God, if there is another way?”.

And with a lot the answer is no and many will just block you on social media once they find out that you don’t want to have sex with them.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect and have indeed committed my fair share of sexual sins but I never accepted it as good or normal nor did I ever stop going to confession.

Perhaps that’s the difference between the Christian and the unbeliever, not so much that we don’t sin but we don’t make sin a way of life and say that it’s good!

And this is what’s known as the ‘gay agenda”.

It’s to say that gay is good, that gay sex is good and anyone who says otherwise is intolerant.

Of course the ‘gay agenda’ could also be said now for straight people. Straight is good, sex with whoever you want and whenever you want is good…..

So in truth the real agenda is a secular one. Do what you want and be happy, there is no such thing as God.

Clearly any catholic would be petrified is this entering catholic schools….unless it’s in there already?!

I went to catholic schools all my life and none of us took any notice of catholic teaching.

In all honesty the way the faith was presented to us was so distant and abstract that by the time we left school and went to college it would have been more likely for us to still believe in Santa and the tooth fairy than Jesus and Mary.

The schools were catholic by name but that was about it really and once people went to college all restrictions went out the window…and I’m talking about straight people and not gay people!

Now going back to last night’s prayer meeting, the subject was ‘friendship with Jesus’ and it hit me that this simple thing is exactly what we had never learnt in our catholic schools.

We learnt about Jesus and the 10 commandments but we never learnt how to just be his friend.

Nobody ever taught us how to pray and how to let this ‘God friend’ love us and help us.

And so is it any wonder that after leaving school for college we all stopped going to mass and were putty in Satan’s hands as the worlds of sex, drugs and money opened up.

And so you see the real threat to catholic schools isn’t gay people. Gay people need love and support too and they need to find that in school and discover that they too are a friend of Jesus.

The real agenda is the inability of catholic schools to bring their pupils into a loving friendship with Jesus regardless of whether they are boys or girls or gay or straight and we cannot blame anyone for that only ourselves.

Personally I get tired of hearing these stories about this agenda and that agenda and blaming one or other group of people for the problems in the world as if we Catholics were innocent little lambs.

As Catholics we must be humble and acknowledge where we have failed to love people and bring people to a friendship with Jesus and as mother Theresa put it, if we want to change the world then we must start with ourselves!

So let’s not be afraid of gay people or somehow think that they are the devil but rather let’s take up the challenge to love them and teach them how they too can be friends with Jesus.