POPE BERGOGLIO AND HOMOSEXUALS

A few hours ago, Cardinal Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected Pope, under the name of Francis. The choice of the name seems to be a harbinger of change, but if there will be a change, certainly will not affect the relationship between Catholic Church and homosexuals.

Cardinal Bergoglio found himself in a strong disagreement with the Argentine government on the issue of marriage between persons of the same sex. On July 9, 2010, a few days before the discussion of the law on marriage between persons of the same sex, the Cardinal Primate addressed a letter to the Carmelite nuns of Buenos Aires in which he described the law on same-sex marriage as “a move of the Devil” and encouraged to join the” God’s war” against the possibility that homosexuals can marry. Former President Nestor Kirchner has criticized the “pressures” of the Church on this point. The President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner accused Bergoglio in strong terms, judging the position of the Church as “typical of the Middle Ages and the Inquisition.”

I reproduce below the full text of the letter sent by cardinal Beroglio to the Carmelite nuns in Buenos Aires a few days before the discussion of the law on marriage between persons of the same sex. The letter points out that “This is not just a political struggle but an attempt to destroy God’s plan” and judged the project to allow marriage between persons of the same sex as something of diabolical origin, “a move by the father of lies.”

Text of the letter

I write these lines to each of you who are in the four monasteries of Buenos Aires. The people of Argentina will face in the coming weeks a situation whose outcome may seriously injure the family. This is the bill on marriage between persons of the same sex.

What is at stake here is the identity and the survival of the family: father, mother and children. What is at stake is the life of many children who are discriminated in advance depriving them of the human growth that God wanted it to be given by a father and a mother. At stake is a direct rejection of God’s law, which is also engraved in our hearts.

I remember a phrase of St Teresa when speaking of her childhood disease, she says that the envy of the devil tried to retaliate against her family because her elder sister had entered Carmel. Here, too, works the envy of the devil, for which sin entered into the world, trying subtly to destroy the image of God: man and woman who have the task to grow, multiply and subdue the earth. Let’s not be naive: it is not only a political struggle, it’s a claim to destroy the plan of God, it’s not just a bill (this is only the instrument), but a “step” by the father of lies to try to confuse and deceive the children of God.

Jesus tells us that, to defend us against this liar accuser, he will send the Spirit of Truth. Today our country, in this situation, needs the special assistance of the Holy Spirit that places the light of truth in the darkness of error, needs this Lawyer to defend us from the spell of many fallacies with which someone tries to justify this law and to confuse and deceive even people of good will.

For this I’m addressing to you to ask for prayer and sacrifice, the two invincible weapons that St Teresa said to possess. Call upon the Lord to send His Spirit to senators who must give their vote because so they will not be moved by mistake or by particular conjunctures but by what the law of nature and the law of God, tells them. Pray for them, for their families that the Lord will assist them, strengthen them and comfort them. Pray that they do much good to the country.

The bill will be debated in the Senate after July 13. Let’s look at St. Joseph, Mary and the Child and ask them fervently to defend the family in Argentina at this time. Let us remember what God said to his people in a time of great distress, “the battle is not yours, but God’s.” May they help, defend and join this war of God.

Thank you for what you do in this fight for the homeland. And, please, I ask you also to pray for me. Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin protect you.
Sincerely,

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ, Archbishop of Buenos Aires

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-pope-bergoglio-and-homosexuals

GAY SEXUALITY AND ANXIETY

This article is aimed at defining the relationship between gay sexuality and anxiety on the basis of the experience gained in Gay Project.

The issues related to sexuality are dealt in general with specific categories different from that used for all other issues. The first reaction, or rather the first public reaction, is demonstrated by smiles, winks, jokes, all attitudes based on the apparent uniformity of the points of view, which is equivalent to saying that “everybody knows how these things go!”

It is difficult, in public, to go beyond the level of formal uniformity. Sexuality is almost always conceived as a private matter, or in public, as a matter of ideology. Precisely for this reason the serious comparison of experiences beyond the limits of formal uniformity takes place in practice only between two people or in very limited groups. There is still a fear of being judged when it comes to sexuality and that’s why speech is, in public, on a very general level, and only in private can start a serious and useful dialog.

I would say that sexuality is the area in which the uniformity is experienced at the highest level. In a group of one hundred people chosen at random, political and cultural elements of all kinds emerge through discussion, but when it comes to sexuality the group seems made up of uniformly heterosexual persons, you may question some external behaviors but not heterosexuality in itself. I cite a concrete example: in a school with a thousand students there are on average eighty gay guys but no one of them can be identified.

The heterosexuality “seems” to dominate the horizon, but in reality, when you start knowing each individual member of the group, you realize that things are not so, that homosexuality exists and that it is not a phenomenon related to very restricted minorities. If, going into the specifics, we talk exclusively with that 8% of homosexual population, we realize that those people are actually not only very far from sharing the general idea to be straight, but also that sexuality is still considered by them as a kind of taboo to be experienced only in secret and guilt, in essence, you realize that gay sexuality is often experienced with anxiety.

While 67.97% of heterosexual guys responded to the survey of Gay Project that they had never lived with anxiety the issues related to their sexual orientation, only 20.45% of gay guys gave the same answer.

Which points of reference can have a gay guy in terms of sexuality? The answers seem obvious, first the parents, then the peer group, then the educational system, etc. etc. . In fact it is already difficult for a straight guy to talk about sexuality with his parents, but for a gay guy the problem is often unsurpassable, not only he wouldn’t probably find on the other side a competent answer but he would face a significant risk of being rejected by his own family. The same could happen with the peer group (classmates, friends, etc.).

The education system in most cases is totally unprepared to provide serious answers in these areas. There are notable exceptions in the countries of Northern Europe but in southern European countries, mostly the United States and in almost all other states, not only there is no form of sex education that includes seriously also homosexuality, but in practice projects are reduced to convey some notion of reproductive physiology leaving entirely aside the emotional dimension and the psychological problems related to sexuality. I had to consider some of the projects of sexual education presented in Italy, aimed at young people aged 16 to 18 years, and I found not only the total absence of any reference to homosexuality, but even the total absence of any reference to masturbation, which is then, today, still a taboo also in the straight field.

To get a detailed picture of the situation we can use the statistics of Gay Project.

The following table compares the percentage of gay guys and straight guys who have never used sex chats or have never used dating sites.

                                        straight            gay
never sex chats             80.47%        61.14%
never dating sites         84.38%        53.14%

It is clear that gay guys do more use of gay sex chats and dating sites than straight guys but the reason does not lie in a greater propensity toward sex as fun or toward quick sex, it is instead a reaction entirely predictable to the marginalization to which gays are forced.

Another significant difference is in the reaction of gay guys and straight guys to the discovery of masturbation:

                                    straight           gay
I didn’t tell anyone       58.59%      80.57%
I told friends                35.94%      15.43%

It is clear that for a gay guy to talk about sexuality is much more problematic. The confidence in the group of peers for a gay guy, on average, is less than half of that of a straight guy.

A similar situation is found with the question “Have you ever told anyone that you used pornography?”

                                      straight        gay
I haven’t told anyone    36.72%    64.00%
I told friends                  56.25%    25.15%

Very significant is the comparison of the number of those who have never had sexual intercourse

                                         straight        gay
I’ve never had sex          32.03%     46.29%
mean age                       26.23         26.25

The overall picture shows that a gay guy has a lot more problems than a straight guy in talking about sexuality with his parents, with peers and at school, and then turns to sex chats and dating sites much more than a straight guy the same age, and also that a gay guy has much less chance to have sexual experiences compared to a straight guy.

Unfortunately, even though it is disheartening, the first source of information on sexuality, for gay guys, is the internet, and especially pornography and the environments of erotic chats and dating sites, which provide images that are often very far from the reality of the life of the vast majority of gay guys. Internet affects gay guys much more than it affects the straight guys. All this makes sexuality a taboo subject for gay guys much more than for straight guys.

I often talk in chat with gay guys having a picture of reality derived entirely from the internet, which means almost exclusively from pornography, sex chats and dating sites. Often these guys are not absolutely at ease with the models they have learned from pornography or chats and end up considering their attitude as something abnormal and deviant to be corrected and for this reason they strive to change their point of view. But if they knew the reality of the lives of other gay guys, they would realize that there’s nothing to fix.

About issues related to sexual performance, anxiety is still common among gay guys and erectile deficit is often considered by the guys themselves as their own personal problem to be solved through the complete acceptance of a pattern of behavior that falsely they consider as the rule of the gay world, but that is far from reality and instead derives almost exclusively from pornography.

There are guys with excellent level of culture and remarkable intellectual gifts that are dominated by anxiety related to the idea of having a small penis or of having problems with sexual response, things that doesn’t exist at all, except as a result of an attempt to integrate at any cost, that is forcedly, in a particular gay scene that they consider to be the typical expression of homosexuality.

There are guys who never use the word gay and avoid all matters relating to physical sexuality. The idea that gay guys can talk seriously even about oral sex or masturbation is still very scarcely spread. In reality, these things should not be considered in any way as a taboo because sexuality is an essential part of life for all guys. A good guy is not just a good student who will make his way in life but to be a good guy should not have sex or should largely suppress his sexuality, no! A good guy is obviously (and it would be absurd to think otherwise) a guy who has his sexuality and has every right to live it in any way he likes, with the only limit of the respect of the freedom of others. A good guy lives his masturbation and couple sex when he has a partner, and it is essential that he lives these things with confidence and in a relaxed manner, without stupid conditioning, because sexuality is one of the pillars of well-being. In sexuality, more than in any other issue, the restriction of freedom has an impact heavily negative.

The idea that sexuality is a normal reality of life for all of us, that is nothing to be ashamed of and that we can speak seriously of sexuality as we speak of all other things, is almost completely lacking, especially among gay guys.

In situations of isolation, that is in a condition where it is not possible or is very difficult to talk about contents related to sexuality, the anxious reaction prevails and behaviors can become risky. The self-esteem itself of a gay guy is often heavily influenced by the perception of his own sexuality as something that he can’t even speak about.

Addressing seriously the issues related to sexuality, putting aside the anxiety, means regaining self-esteem, reducing problems and maintaining a peaceful contact with reality, that is, in short, feeling better about themselves and others.

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-sexuality-and-anxiety