AFFECTIVITY AND NON-EXCLUSIVE GAY SEX

Hi Project, I’m sorry, but more than an email addressed to you, what I’m writing is a tribute of gratitude to a guy I’m learning to love. I have never appreciated the guys who think too much about sex and I lived more of dreams and tales than of reality, I felt quiet this way, almost detached from sex, then, at 34, things changed for me,

I had never had a boyfriend and I wanted one, I know that it seems like a childish reasoning, but I still thought so at 34, then I met him (let’s call him Mark), he was 11 years younger than me and he was a really beautiful guy, we met by chance for work reasons, then we began to chat on skype. It struck me very much the fact that it was not me the one looking for him but it was he the one who was looking for me.

I wasn’t looking for him because I thought that he couldn’t really care about me but instead it was precisely what happened, I felt courted, wanted, let’s say it: loved. Between us we talked a lot, Mark trusted me and I trusted him, it was a very nice thing, or at least it seemed to me so, then slowly we got to have more and more physical complicity among us even if there wasn’t really sex. When he understood that I would accept it, he told me clearly: “I want to have sex with you and you understand it very well, but I don’t want you to fall in love with me, because I’m not in love with you, you attract me a lot on a sexual level but I’m not in love with you, I want my freedom, I need something else too.”

This speech has frozen me, but anyway we have continued to see each other and talk a lot about very intimate things. He had had and in a certain sense he still had other guys who he sometimes met to have sex, he was also in love with one of those guys, but this guy didn’t appreciate him too much: sex yes, but no couple life.

In short, after putting the cards on the table without hiding anything both from his part and mine, we decided that we could try, I asked him to take the hiv test before starting and he accepted, then he told me: “I will not have sex with other guys for two months, so you can feel comfortable, I would never put you at risk, and anyway I’m cautious … “

We did the test (me too) and then, one evening he came to my house. Well, it was an unforgettable thing, we were perfectly comfortable, we knew each other very well, even at the sex level. I never thought that spending a night with a guy could be such an engaging experience. In the morning I had to go to work and he to the university, I told him a few things that seemed to me to be sweet and he stopped me. “Don’t tell me such things! You don’t have to fall in love with me, don’t forget that for me it’s just sex, it’s real sex, serious sex, but I’m not in love with you, I’m not your boyfriend.” I expected a similar response.

For the two months of which he had spoken to me, we had sexual contacts practically every day, towards the end of the period he told me: “Next Saturday will be the last night I come to you, there is a guy I fell in love with and I want try to see how things can go on with him …” I replied: “Ok, it was in the pacts, but don’t forget me.” He smiled at me and hugged me tight. Then I didn’t see him for a few weeks, but he called me on the phone every two or three days, even if for a few minutes, he didn’t disappear.

The story with that guy went wrong and we started to meet again, he told me that he occasionally went to another guy and that he couldn’t give me the safety of the first time in terms of prevention but maybe he would like, sometimes, to sleep with me, without sex, only with a little intimacy, and so it was, but even so I was fine with him, and I began to feel in love, but he told me: “Don’t tell me sweet words, I’m not your boyfriend, if you fall in love with me you’ll feel very bad.”

We continued these sporadic contacts, we can say “without sex” or with zero-risk sex, then there was another two-month period of exclusive sex between us after the test, it was beautiful, but inevitably came to an end, and he went back to have sex with some of his friends once in a while and sometimes even being with me when he felt the need. In addition, anyway we never lost contact but by now I had very clear the idea that he would never be my boyfriend.

And here begins the second part of the story. I’ve had big problems of which I prefer not to talk. My friends came to see me and repeated the usual speeches of circumstance, some have just turned away and I haven’t heard them anymore.

I hadn’t heard from Mark from a few days, then he called me, I told him how things were and there I understood what it means to have a real friend. I was alone at home and I had not told my parents anything about my problems so as not to make them worry, he came to my home the same afternoon, he immediately realized that the problems were serious and I couldn’t handle them by myself. He moved to my home, put a cot near my bed and slept there. He took care of everything: relationships with doctors, supply and administration of medicines, paying bills, doing laundry, in short, everything.

One day, when I started to feel better, he told me that he had taken the test and that maybe doing a little sex would have been good for me too and that I could feel comfortable because there were no risks. So we resumed having sex and the thing went on quietly for three months, then I told him: “You told me that you were not in love with me …” And he replied: “I’m not in love with you but I love you”

Now I’m much better and I’m autonomous again, he’s come back to his house and every so often he comes to see me “without sex”, he has a guy with whom he seems to have built something solid, I see him calmer, less neurotic . Well, I can say that I learned a lot from him, above all I learned that sex, even it is not the couple one or the one made when you are in love, can have a deep emotional value, and then I found a friend that I think I will not lose anymore.

Mark I love you!

___________

If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-affectivity-and-non-exclusive-gay-sex

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EVOLUTION OF AN INTERGENERATIONAL GAY COUPLE

Hi Project,

I think I’m more or less your age, or maybe I’m a bit older than you, I read some of your very melancholic post. You did a lot, you could have done something wrong, but only those who do nothing make no mistakes. I have never had online sites, such things are not things for me, but somehow I have also spent some very melancholic periods and I have thought several times I had done everything wrong, as you say, that I “have done damage” but then I have realized that it was not like that.

I would like to tell you a story of a relationship, as you call it, intergenerational and I tell you why. Looking for things that talk about intergenerational relationships I came across the forum, I discovered your manual Being Gay and I read the chapter dealing with these things and I was very impressed. However there is an aspect that is practically lacking at all and is that of the evolution of these relationships over time, you speak of the inevitable anticipated widowhood, and you’re right, however, you forget the fact that before you get to that point there are years to live, there is not only the phase of falling in love and that of widowhood but there is a phase of progressive maturation of the relationship and it is precisely on this that I would like to draw your attention, perhaps to exchange with you some ideas and to induce you to expand the discussion on “Being Gay”. This is not a reproach but you, Project, tend to see things with the eye of the younger partner, but a manual dealing with being gay can make sense even for an elder.

I start from my personal experience, which follows quite well the progresses of these relationships as you have outlined them. Between me and Leo (this is not his true name, but he would have liked to be called so) there is a huge age difference, 38 years. We met when he still had to get out of the school, I was an old man even then, and I was counting down on when I would retire, I had my friends, obviously I had never had sexual relations with anyone and I had practically archived the problem. My peers did not like me very much, the guys between the ages of 20 and 30 fascinated me but I strongly perceived the generational gap, I practically lived only for my job. I had some friends, work colleagues, actually just a couple, I esteemed them a lot, but they didn’t know anything about me, they had children and grandchildren and sure not enough time to spend for me.

My story with Leo started in an absolutely unexpected way, I was in the car and I stopped at a traffic light when I heard a bang. Leo had crashed with his bicycle into my car, he had also made a little damage on my car but with the blow he had fallen to the ground. I went down and pulled him up from the ground and sat him in the car. He told me that he would pay me all the damage, but I told him: “Meanwhile let’s go to the hospital, let’s see if there’s something broken” He admitted that the fault had been his, but my damage was really minimal. I loaded the bike in the car and went to the hospital, he asked me not to say that it was a car accident but only that he had fallen from the bicycle, when he arrived at the hospital he thanked me, asked me the phone number and gave me his and told me he would call me for the damage. Then he entered the emergency room. I waited for him outside.

He came out after almost 5 hours, I asked him if he had traumas or something broken and he said that there X-rays showed nothing. I told him that I would have liked to take him home, he started talking about the damage and I told him it was a minimal thing and that an extra scratch on my car (an old car) wouldn’t change anything. In the car he asked me if I knew someone who could fix his bicycle and I told him I’d have found someone able to fix the bicycle and I would have brought it back to him. He didn’t know whether to accept, then he told me: “Ok! Thank you.”

Three days later I bought a new bicycle, because it was impossible to fix the old one and I brought it to him. When he saw the new bicycle he immediately told me he couldn’t pay it and I told him that he did not have to pay anything, I thought he would be happy and instead he told me. “No, I cannot pay for it and I don’t want a gift like that.” I felt uncomfortable and didn’t know what to say. I just replied: “Ok, sorry, I didn’t really want to offend.” I reloaded the bike in the car and left. I thought it was all over. After almost a month he calls me, he asks me how much I had paid the bike, I tell him how much, he replies: “Ok, if you like, take it to the pyramid when you can” I took the bike to the pyramid and he gave me the money and told me: “You made me work for a month, but maybe it was worth it.” After the story of the bike we started to hear from each other often.

Then the sexual phase began very gradually, which lasted a little over three years, in practice, I feared that sex could destabilize our relationship, on the contrary I learned from him how much it can be important when it is something really desired by both partners. Then the thing went to fade, it was not completely lost and here began my scruples and the idea that Leo was wasting time because of me. During the university period he lived his stories, he spoke very little to me about such things but none of those stories ended up supplanting our story.

He was in crisis with his family, he spent critical moments with his studies and he has been very close to the idea of abandoning everything, he lost a lot of time, especially at the beginning, then he started to lengthen his pace, he concluded very well his studies and now works in a field that keeps him in tension, in short, he works and earns money but the work is certainly not his realization. He doesn’t have a partner, he has many friends and occasionally, when he can, he goes to visit them in various parts of Italy. Between us we are in a phase that I would call familiar, the relationship between us has nothing to do with a classic gay couple relationship, we are like father and son and it is really a beautiful thing.

Among us sex is a possibility left theoretically open, which in some rare cases is realized, but increasingly rarely and is in practice only a way that he uses to make me understand that he doesn’t feel repulsed by me, but now certainly sex is no longer what sustains our relationship. We often talk on the phone, we also tell each other the deepest melancholies, when he sends me text messages, sometimes (not always) he concludes with “I love you!” And it is not just an expression of courtesy. Now Leo is 32 and I’m really an old man, I turned 70 recently, Leo is quiet, he calls me, he comes to see me, he doesn’t have a stable boyfriend but I see him serene. I can’t deny that I still have a thousand scruples because I think that perhaps I have moved him away from a couple life with a peer and I could even have ruined his life, not by my choice but because I offered him an easy affective reference.

He has never seen things this way, what he tells me about it is more or less this: “I didn’t feel bound by you, I tried to build other stories and a couple of times even with guys I was in love with, but then it did not work with them, while so many years have passed with you and nothing has ever collapsed. You didn’t stop me, you haven’t conditioned me!” In essence, now, Leo considers me a father, when we go around together people always take him for my son. I can say that I like this phase of our relationship very much. It is suitable for my age, it is not a renunciation, it is not at all, I feel in the right dimension. I see him often but not every day, because we don’t live together and also because he must have its freedom, because he could find tomorrow the boyfriend he hasn’t found up until now (and in a sense I hope it happens),
but I feel him close to me all the same, we no longer ask each other questions, everything is spontaneous, there is no longer the risk of making mistakes.

Of course we are no longer a couple for a long time but we love each other. Leo, who is always very serious and almost professional with others, is affectionate, tender, I would say also happy when he is with me, and he seems to me quite serene and I think he feels completely at ease. Seeing Leo serene is a dream that has come true, maybe I would like better to see him happy with a guy who loves him. I think that now I can calmly leave this world too, because I see happy the only guy I really loved and who loved me. I believe that an intergenerational relationship that arrives at this stage gives the best of itself. There will also be widowhood, of course I hope as late as possible, but I somehow realized my dream of being father and Leo found a dad who loves him unconditionally! In practice we have built a family. I am grateful to Leo because he gave a radical change to my life and led me to be a happy man.

Since he was a guy, Leo has sought love and this has not only happened with me. Often people have tried to ask him or rather to impose him some conditions, to create obligations beforehand, to bring Leo back to the more or less classic rules of the couple and it all ended before starting because you cannot take him on a leash, he was born free, he cannot depend on anyone, to love you he needs to feel free. Now I feel a bit like an old dad and I start trusting him more than me, if I have to make a serious decision I consult with him, and he, instead of immediately giving me an answer, makes me speak to understand what I would do, and then, in practice, he always tells me that I’m right. Only on one thing he is a despot, on my health, I spontaneously tend to stay away from the doctors and take a somewhat fatalistic attitude, that’s why he books my visits and takes me to the doctors. I know that these are the attentions usually reserved to an old man, but to an old beloved man. I’ve never fixed the scratch that Leo made with his bicycle on the trunk of my car, when I see that scratch I smile and I feel like a happy old dad.

____________

If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-evolution-of-an-intergenerational-gay-couple

A GAY SON PROUD OF HIS FATHER

Hi Project,
I am a 55 year-old parent, unfortunately a widower for five years, who found himself in these days to discover that his son (his only child) is homosexual. If I still had my wife I could discuss with her, but unfortunately this is not possible. I have practically no knowledge of what homosexuality is and on what it may entail and I cannot talk to anyone about it because then they would ask themselves why I talk about it and I would risk to undermine my son’s privacy. My son is 21 years old, he has always been an exemplary guy, studious but also cheerful, sporty, I would say happy with his life. He never had a girlfriend, this is true, and I probably underestimated it, but he had female friends who came home to study with him, in short, it didn’t occur to me that he could be gay, he never had any effeminate attitudes, physically is a nice guy, normal and nobody identifies him as gay, at least according to what I think.
You’ll wonder how I got to know he’s gay, since he never mentioned it. I never spied on him, I would never have done it, but I didn’t even really have any reason to do it. One day when I had to work in the afternoon, I see Matthew go out to go to university. I go to the kitchen to prepare a cup of tea, before entering the kitchen I see a piece of paper on the ground, or better a note of those accompanying the gifts, there were a few written words: “You’re my sweet puppy!” [The reader must keep in mind that in Italian, the language of the author of the email he’s reading, the masculine nouns are easily distinguishable from the feminine ones and the adjectives must be used in the masculine or feminine form according to the nouns to which they refer. In Italian, if you are addressing a man or a guy you have to tell “Cucciolo docissimo”, if you address a woman or a girl you have to say “Cucciola dolcissima”, in English it would be said in both cases “very sweet puppy”.] The thing that came absolutely spontaneous to me was to think that Matthew had a girl and that that note was a note that the girl had sent him, then I looked Attentively at the writing and I said to myself: “But this is Matthew’s writing!” Instinctively the first thing that came to my mind was to put everything back exactly as I had found it and leave the house, because I would never have wanted my son to feel embarrassed, and so I did, I returned late in the afternoon, when I knew that Matthew had to go to swim, and I noticed that the note was no more on the ground, evidently Matthew had returned, he had found the note on the ground and had reassured himself. But I was totally upset. I considered all of the possible hypothesis, but the ticket didn’t allow other interpretations: Matthew had written it for a guy! It didn’t seem likely that it was a joke, in short, the conclusion could only be that my son was gay. But how could such a thing be possible, he has missed his mother since he was 16, his father has always been present and even too present. I was comforted by telling myself that anyway the note was the only clue that led me to that conclusion and that it was a weak clue, but a minute later it didn’t seem so weak to me. I didn’t say anything to Matthew and everything between us continued exactly as usual. I had the idea of spying on him, but I put it aside immediately, because it seems to me an unworthy behavior, I know that the best thing would be to talk to Matthew and tell him exactly what happened and tell him that the note I had put it back on the ground after reading it because I felt agitated and embarrassed, but taking a step like that is not easy because Matthew could also feel embarrassed, and then I started trying to get an idea of what the homosexuality is. At the beginning I was literally upset by what I found on the net. I’ve read about some apps that allow gays to recognize each other, I read something about dating sites, but they were upsetting things. The biggest fear was for the HIV because I read that the risk of HIV for a homosexual is much higher than for a heterosexual guy. After a bit of research I arrived on your forum and read a few testimonials from parents. I must say that finding Gay Project has comforted me a lot, but unfortunately sites like your forum are a very rare and on the contrary there are a lot of risky situations. In short, I think you can give me some useful information on how to behave with Matthew. I’m not homophobe, I would like to help my son be gay but I don’t know how to do such a thing, I would like him to understand that I just want his happiness, I don’t want to make him straight, I just want him to be happy with his father.
I thank you in advance.
Guido
___________
 
Hi Guido,
I think that Matthew has every reason to be happy with his father! It would be very nice if there were many fathers like you! I understand very well that a father who doesn’t know the reality of homosexuality, can remain doubtful and agitated in discovering that his son is gay. If the writing is really that of your son (more than likely, because usually guys speak in the family of their girlfriend and don’t speak at all about their guys) there is no doubt at all, but the content of that note, even if very short, makes us think of a serious relationship, that is, of a relationship that has at its base a form of affection, of tenderness. The fact that your son is calm, has a good relationship with you and has never had problems with school or university suggests that he is a prudent guy and also aware of the risks that sex can involve and anyway, certainly  a guy doesn’t write: “you’re my very sweet puppy!” to a guy found in an erotic chat! So, instinctively, I would say that Matthew knows what he does, I could even be wrong but he doesn’t have the attitude of the guys who end up in trouble. What to do? You found the solution yourself: talk to Matthew, tell him exactly how things went, I don’t think he can take it badly. He is a guy, yes, but he’s also an adult and you have to treat him as such and then, from what you write, there is no doubt, you love him. Don’t be afraid of your son! And above all, be sure that he will be proud of you! A hug!
Project
 __________
 
Hi Project,
I spoke with my son last night. When I finished telling him about the note, he opened his arms, smiled and added: “I was afraid you would have taken it badly, oh God, I’ve had the idea of telling you that but I thought it would upset you … , but now the problem is over.” Then he told me about the guy, who is a university colleague who has also come to our home and met me sometimes and that I always thought was a very special guy. I told Matthew that I wrote to you and he stayed there wide-eyed, he said: “Did you write to Project? But do you know that I know him in person?” And then it was my turn to stay wide-eyed. He told me that he wrote to you several times (signing as Matthew97) and he met you in person with two other guys of the forum). I feel very reassured and then what you said to me happened: he patted my cheek and told me. “Fathers like you are few!” I don’t hide that I was happy.
Guido
___________
If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-a-gay-son-proud-of-his-father

GAYS AND THE SYNOD OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE

In October 2014, just four years ago, at the conclusion of the Synod on the family, I wrote an article entitled “The Synod on the family and the gay mouse“. The title alluded to the fact that after the great expectations raised by the “Instrumentum laboris”, that is from the preparatory document, the “Relatio post discerptationem” had greatly reduced things, and the “Relatio Synodi”, the final document, had definitively mortified any expectation, limiting only to the material repetition of the contents of the “Considerations regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons” signed by Joseph Ratzinger, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in June 2003. The mountain, after a long and stressing labor had given birth to the mouse but the Synod fathers had remained so terrified to hurry up to devour it before it left the Synod hall. But “Sic transit gloria mundi!”
 
On August 28th of this year I wrote another article “Pope Francis does not know what homosexuality is” when Pope Francis, on his flight back from Dublin, speaking informally, as he usually does, answering a question about the attitude that a parent should take in front of the coming out of the child, expressed himself this way:
 

“In what age does this concern of the child manifest itself, it is important, one thing is when it manifests as a child, there … there are so many things to do … with psychiatry or …, or … to see how things are. Another thing is when it manifests a little after, twenty years or something …

I was amazed that the Pope had absolutely no clear idea of what serious Psychiatry says about homosexuality, even if, objectively, homosexuality doesn’t appear and certainly is not the fundamental theme and even least the obsessive thinking of Pope Francis. It should be noted, however, that apart from this sudden nod, in the personal attitudes of Pope Francis the tones of the anti-gay crusade typical of Benedict XVI are absent, attitudes to which the Synod on the family of 2014 was also inspired.
 
From a few days the Synod on young people has concluded and I will try to follow its development on the theme of homosexuality.
 
The pre-Synodal Final Document, expresses itself on the theme this way:
 
Problems like pornography distort a young person’s perception of human sexuality. Technology used this way creates a delusional parallel reality that ignores human dignity.
 
“There is often great disagreement among young people, both within the Church and in the wider world, about some of her teachings which are especially controversial today. Examples of these include: contraception, abortion, homosexuality, cohabitation, marriage, and how the priesthood is perceived in different realities in the Church. What is important to note is that irrespective of their level of understanding of Church teaching, there is still disagreement and ongoing discussion among young people on these polemical issues. As a result, they may want the Church to change her teaching or at least to have access to a better explanation and to more formation on these questions. Even though there is internal debate, young Catholics whose convictions are in conflict with official teaching still desire to be part of the Church. Many young Catholics accept these teachings and find in them a source of joy. They desire the Church to not only hold fast to them amid unpopularity but to also proclaim them with greater depth of teaching.”
 
“We, the young Church, ask that our leaders speak in practical terms about controversial subjects such as homosexuality and gender issues, about which young people are already freely discussing without taboo. Some perceive the Church to be “anti-science” so its dialogue with the scientific community is also important, as science can illuminate the beauty of creation.”
 
I would like to focus on each of these points in particular.
 
It is a clear fact that pornography distorts the perception of sexuality and not only that of young people, but the Church also condemns the undistorted representation of sexuality as pornography. I have often insisted on the fact that pornography doesn’t represent sexuality correctly but I believe that a realistic representation of sexuality, which doesn’t trivialize it and doesn’t reduce it to mere performance, is not only useful but necessary to understand that sexuality can be expression of a profound affectivity, but it can also be lived in a light way but respectful of the other, and can even turn into a form of abuse and violence and this is true both in gay and straight field. I hear many gay guys use expressions like: “I prefer a thousand times to see a gay love story with a little sex than a porn, which in the end makes no sense and was built for commercial purposes only.” We should meditate on the idea of a sexual education (also of adults) built on reality to leave no room for the sole exploitation of sexuality, but on this ground the Church has never expressed itself seriously.
 
Regarding the disagreement among young people, both inside and outside the Church, on issues that are now particularly debated, among which there is also the homosexuality, it must be said that the disagreement doesn’t exist only among the young people but also among persons of mature age and even within the same hierarchical Church. When the preparatory document speaks of “young Catholics whose convictions are in contrast with the official teaching of the Church, who wish nevertheless to be part of it” it affirms that one can feel Catholic and at the same time contrary to the official teaching of the Church and this happens precisely because it is believed that this teaching is not in conformity with the evangelical spirit and is vitiated by prejudicial visions, by legacies of other eras that should be radically revised in the light of a vision scientifically founded on reality, for this purpose I remember that the Catechism of the Catholic Church and papal documents concerning homosexuality speak of “grave depravity”, “fatal consequence of a rejection of God”, “lack of normal sexual evolution”, “pathological constitution”, “intrinsically bad behavior from the moral point of view”. Saint Pius X, in his Catechism of 1910, classifies the “impure sin against nature” as second by gravity only to the voluntary homicide, among the sins that “cry revenge in the presence of God”.
 
All these things, besides being dangerous, are even ridiculous for those who have a minimum of knowledge of the reality, such judgements are very distant from scientific objectivity, are the result of pure prejudices and should be radically reviewed with intellectual honesty. The idea of homosexuality as “guilt” or “pathology” is a legacy of the past and has been archived by the scientific community a few decades ago. The statement according to which “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered“, contained in the art. 2357 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church strongly clashes with the statement many times repeated by the World Health Organization, according to which homosexuality is “a natural and non-pathological variant of human sexuality”. 
 
The preparatory document states that the Church’s doctrine is for many Catholics a source of joy. From what I see every day among young gays, the Church’s doctrine on homosexuality is one of the basic motivations for which gays abandon the Church, sometimes migrating to other religious confessions. Young gays abandon a Church that condemns them as severely depraved, as people who pay the fatal consequences of a rejection of God, as sexually non-normal individuals, pathological cases that put into practice intrinsically bad behaviors from the moral point of view, of such gravity that only voluntary homicide is worse! I wonder how it is possible to feel joy in the face of these statements that are not only dangerous and violently homophobic but radically anti-Christian. 
 
In the preparatory document we read: “ We, the young Church, ask that our leaders speak in practical terms about controversial subjects such as homosexuality and gender issues, about which young people are already freely discussing without taboo.” I stop on a single element whose presence is surprising: the “gender”, a modernized species of “Arabic phoenix” of metastasian memory, something that everyone talks about but that no one has ever seen! Benedict XVI speaks about “gender” in an insistent manner, and this doesn’t surprise too much, but even Pope Francis has expressed some concern for the theory of gender, that anyway has no scientific evidence, neither Sociology nor serious Psychiatry have ever spoken of this phantom topic and even less in the absolutely improbable manner described by the acts of the catholic Church. The so-called gender theory is an invention of Mons. Tony Anatrella. “The “gender” theory prepares us for a world where nothing will be perceived as stable,” says psychoanalyst Tony Anatrella. «The damages caused by the divorce are nothing compared to those that can cause the LGBT ideology» (https://www.tempi.it/e-vietato-dirlo-ma-col-sesso-non-si-gioca/#.WBRzvPmLSUl). I add only by the way that Mons. Anatrella is accused of sexual abuse and Mediapart’s article: “De nouveaux témoignages accablent Mgr Anatrella et ses thérapies sexuelles” provides ample information about it. I wonder how it is possible to give space to the extemporaneous theories of Mons. Tony Anatrella neglecting all that the World Health Organization has been repeating for several decades. And one should be amazed that someone can accuse the Church of anti-scientific attitudes? Galileo docet: “the wolf loses the fur but not the vice.” [an Italian way of saying that reminds us that what happened once will most likely happen many times] 
 
I now come to the examination of the final document of the Synod on the parts concerning homosexuality. 
 

I start with an observation: in the final document all references to the theory of gender are completely omitted, and it is a big step forward, like saying that the fight against witches has stopped! 

I must add that the full reading of the document, which requires time and attention, leaves the reader with some impression of novelty. The references to the magisterium of Benedict XVI are rare, the underlining of the intangibility of the doctrine is replaced by some timid openness to the need for a deepening, the tendency is to dialogue and not to castling, the document doesn’t identify an enemy in those who don’t share certain elements of Catholic morality, but an attempt is made to keep a dialogue open.
 
The Vatican has also published the results of the voting on the individual articles of the document. It is significant that the art. 149 and 150 that deal with sexuality have registered the highest number of non-placet in the Synod. Art. 149, which deals with sexuality in a generic way has obtained 214 votes in favor and 26 against, the art. 150, which deals more specifically with homosexuality “without tones of crusade” obtained 178 votes in favor and 65 against, the maximum number of votes against among all the articles of the Synod.
I remember that to be approved an article must get 2/3 of the votes. Article 150 has passed but with the minor quorum compared to all the other articles.
  
There are some references to the dark side of the web: “a channel for the dissemination of pornography and exploitation of people for sexual purposes or through the game of gamble.”
 
The reference to sexual abuse and sexual scandals within the Church, which could provoke controversy, hasn’t been omitted.
 
It is  stated that “Along with the persistence of ancient phenomena, such as the precocious sexuality, the promiscuity, the sexual tourism, the exaggerated cult of the physical aspect, today we see the pervasive diffusion of digital pornography and the display of one’s own body online.” Church therefore becomes aware of objective and objectively dangerous things. 
 
It is possible to note the embarrassment of the Church in presenting and defending its own sexual morality and it is stressed that: “In fact, sexual morality often causes misunderstanding and estrangement from the Church, as it is perceived as a space of judgment and condemnation. Faced with social changes and ways of experiencing affectivity and the multiplicity of ethical perspectives, young people are sensitive to the value of authenticity and dedication, but are often disoriented. They express more particularly an explicit desire for confrontation on issues related to the difference between male and female identity, to the reciprocity between men and women, to homosexuality.” And here too there are no judgments.
 
The mention of authenticity as the underlying value of sexuality had never been present in the official documents of the Church. 
 
The final document refers to sexual exploitation, to rapes of war, that are deeply considered by secular morality. In essence, the distance between secular and Catholic morality seems to shrink at least marginally and perhaps not only, because many of the great Christian values are also great secular values.
 
I quote hereinafter in full the art. 149-150 which are more closely related to homosexuality:
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Sexuality: a clear, free, authentic word.
 
Art. 149. In the current cultural context, the Church struggles to convey the beauty of the Christian vision of corporeity and sexuality, as emerges from the Holy Scriptures, Tradition and the Magisterium of the last Popes. Therefore, a search for more adequate methods is urgently needed, that can result concretely to the elaboration of renewed training paths. It is necessary to propose to young people an anthropology of affectivity and sexuality capable of giving the right value to chastity, showing pedagogically its most authentic meaning for the growth of the person, in all the states of life. It is a matter of focusing on the empathic listening, the accompaniment and the discernment, on the line indicated by the recent Magisterium. For this reason it is necessary to take care of the formation of pastoral workers who are credible, starting from the maturation of their affective and sexual dimensions.
 
Art. 150. There are questions concerning the body, affectivity and sexuality that need a more in-depth anthropological, theological and pastoral elaboration, to be carried out in the most convenient modalities and levels, from local to universal. Among these emerge in particular those related to the difference and harmony between male and female identity and sexual inclinations. In this regard, the Synod reaffirms that God loves every person and so does the Church, renewing its commitment against any discrimination and violence on a sexual basis. Equally reaffirms the determinant anthropological relevance of the difference and reciprocity between man and woman and considers it reductive to define the identity of people starting only from their “sexual orientation” (CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Letter to the Catholic Church Bishops on pastoral care of homosexual persons, October 1, 1986, No. 16).
 
There are already in many Christian communities accompaniment walks in the faith of homosexual persons: the Synod recommends encouraging such paths. In these ways people are helped to read their own story; to adhere freely and responsibly to one’s baptismal call; to recognize the desire to belong and contribute to the life of the community; to discern the best forms to make it happen. In this way we help every young person, no one excluded, to increasingly integrate the sexual dimension in his personality, growing in the quality of relationships and walking towards the gift of oneself.
 
[I translated the text from Italian, because the official English translation is not yet on line]
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I limit myself to observe that the reference to the Letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church on Pastoral care of homosexual persons, drafted by Ratzinger in 1986 is purely in style and cites one of the less substantial elements of that document of the most radical obscurantism, which aroused, to say the least, big perplexities. The final part of the art. 150 contains a deliberately neutral formula of openness, addressed to all, no one excluded, that doesn’t point out any condemnation or exclusion.
 
In summary, the final document of the Synod seems, at least in language, and perhaps not only in language, to contain some opening towards a way not only more scientific and objective but also more evangelical of conceiving homosexuality. It is still true that a swallow doesn’t make spring and that the wind (even that of the Spirit) blows where it wants and could always change direction, but it seems that the yeast is beginning to ferment all the dough, or at least good portions of it. Time will allow us to understand if it is only an episodic event or it is really the beginning of an opening, on which I still maintain all my reservations, because common sense and experience lead to restrain enthusiasm and follow the example of St. Thomas.
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THE SYNOD ON THE FAMILY AND THE GAY MOUSE

This article is dedicated to the examination of the discussion and of the Final Report of the recently concluded Extraordinary Synod on the family, regarding the theme of the relationship between church and homosexuals. I published it in Italian on the Gay Project sites on October 19, 2014.

I must dutifully acknowledge Pope Francis that he has allowed all those involved to follow the work of the Synod, allowing the publication of the documents prepared during the Synod itself, as well as the voting results on the final deliberations. It is a criterion of transparency that on such delicate issues is a must, but it should not be forgotten that the publicity of the documents is also aimed at avoiding gossip both inside and outside the Vatican.

I invite the reader to arm himself with good will to follow the path of the Synod with me from the beginning.

After a considerable work of consultation and coordination of the indications emerging from the individual local churches, in view of the Synod, the Instrumentum laboris “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization” was published by the Vatican, which in Part II, Chapter III, letter B, concerning unions between persons of the same sex, is expressed as follows:
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b) Concerning Unions of Persons of the Same Sex

Civil Recognition

110. On unions of persons of the same sex, the responses of the bishops’ conferences refer to Church teaching. “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family. […] Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided’” (CDF, Considerations regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons, 4). The responses indicate that the recognition in civil law of unions between persons of the same sex largely depends on the socio-cultural, religious and political context. In this regard, the episcopal conferences describe three instances: the first exists when repressive and punitive measures are taken in reaction to the phenomenon of homosexuality in all its aspects, especially when the public manifestation of homosexuality is prohibited by civil law. Some responses indicate that, in this context, the Church provides different forms of spiritual care for single, homosexual people who seek the Church’s assistance.

111. A second context is one where the phenomenon of homosexuality is fluid. Homosexual behavior is not punished, but simply tolerated until it becomes visible or public. In this context, legislation on civil unions between persons of the same sex does not usually exist. In political circles, especially in the West, however, the increasing tendency is to adopt laws providing for registered partnerships or so-called “marriage” between persons of the same sex. People argue non-discrimination to give support to this idea, an approach which is perceived by believers and a good part of the public, in central and eastern Europe, as an imposition by a political and foreign culture.

112. The responses describe a third context, one where States have introduced legislation recognizing civil unions or so-called “marriages” between homosexual persons. In some countries, the situation reflects a real redefining of marriage, where the couple is viewed only in legal terms, with such references as “equal rights” and “non-discrimination” without any thought to a constructive dialogue in the matter based on the deeper anthropological issues involved and the centrality of the integral well-being of the human person, especially the integral well-being of the children in these unions. When legal equality is given to heterosexual and homosexual marriage, the State often allows the adoption of children (biological children of either partner or children born through artificial fertilization). Such is the case, particularly in English-speaking countries and central Europe.

An evaluation of the particular Churches

113. Every bishops’ conference voiced opposition to “redefining” marriage between a man and a woman through the introduction of legislation permitting a union between two people of the same sex. The episcopal conferences amply demonstrate that they are trying to find a balance between the Church’s teaching on the family and a respectful, non-judgmental attitude towards people living in such unions. On the whole, the extreme reactions to these unions, whether compromising or uncompromising, do not seem to have facilitated the development of an effective pastoral programme which is consistent with the Magisterium and compassionate towards the persons concerned.

114. A factor which clearly has an impact on the Church’s pastoral care and one which complicates the search for a balanced attitude in this situation is the promotion of a gender ideology. In some places, this ideology tends to exert its influence even at the elementary level, spreading a mentality which, intending to eliminate homophobia, proposes, in fact, to undermine sexual identity.

115. Episcopal conferences supply a variety of information on unions between persons of the same sex. In countries where legislation exists on civil unions, many of the faithful express themselves in favour of a respectful and non-judgmental attitude towards these people and a ministry which seeks to accept them. This does not mean, however, that the faithful give equal status to heterosexual marriage and civil unions between persons of the same sex. Some responses and observations voice a concern that the Church’s acceptance of people in such unions could be construed as recognition of their union.
Some Pastoral Guidelines

116. When considering the possibility of a ministry to these people, a distinction must be made between those who have made a personal, and often painful, choice and live that choice discreetly so as not to give scandal to others, and those whose behaviour promotes and actively — often aggressively — calls attention to it. Many conferences emphasize that, due to the fact that these unions are a relatively recent phenomenon, no pastoral programs exist in their regard. Others admit a certain unease at the challenge of accepting these people with a merciful spirit and, at the same time, holding to the moral teaching of the Church, all the while attempting to provide appropriate pastoral care which takes every aspect of the person into consideration. Some responses recommend not using phrases such as “gay,” “lesbian” or “homosexual” to define a person’s identity.

117. Many responses and observations call for theological study in dialogue with the human sciences to develop a multi-faceted look at the phenomenon of homosexuality. Others recommend collaborating with specific entities, e.g., the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy for Life, in thoroughly examining the anthropological and theological aspects of human sexuality and the sexual difference between man and woman in order to address the issue of gender ideology.

118. The great challenge will be to develop a ministry which can maintain the proper balance between accepting persons in a spirit of compassion and gradually guiding them to authentic human and Christian maturity. In this regard, some conferences refer to certain organizations as successful models for such a ministry.

119. Sex education in families and educational institutions is an increasingly urgent challenge, especially in countries where the State tends to propose in schools a one-sided view and a gender ideology. Formation programmes ought to be established in schools or parish communities which offer young people an adequate idea of Christian and emotional maturity to allow them to face even the phenomenon of homosexuality. At the same time, the observations show that there is still no consensus in the Church on the specific way of receiving persons in these unions. The first step would be a slow process of gathering information and distinguishing criteria of discernment for not only ministers and pastoral workers but also groups and ecclesial movements.

The transmission of the Faith to children in same sex unions

120. The responses are clearly opposed to legislation which would allow the adoption of children by persons in a same-sex union, because they see a risk to the integral good of the child, who has the right to have a mother and father, as pointed out recently by Pope Francis (cf. Address to Members of the International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE), 11 April 2014). However, when people living in such unions request a child’s baptism, almost all the responses emphasize that the child must be received with the same care, tenderness and concern which is given to other children. Many responses indicate that it would be helpful to receive more concrete pastoral directives in these situations. Clearly, the Church has the duty to ascertain the actual elements involved in transmitting the faith to the child. Should a reasonable doubt exist in the capability of persons in a same sex union to instruct the child in the Christian faith, proper support is to be secured in the same manner as for any other couple seeking the baptism of their children. In this regard, other people in their family and social surroundings could also provide assistance. In these cases, the pastor is carefully to oversee the preparation for the possible baptism of the child, with particular attention given to the choice of the godfather and godmother.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/…ia_en.html
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I don’t intend to comment on this text by entering into the merits, I limit myself just to underline the breadth of expectations that could arise from it in so many faithful and not.

After the beginning of the Synod, the Relator General, Card. Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, presents his “Relatio post disceptationem” on October 13, 2014, a document that is a kind of draft of the final document, which expresses itself in this way regarding homosexuality:

Welcome homosexual people

50. Homosexual persons have talents and qualities to offer to the Christian community: can we welcome these people, guaranteeing them an area of fraternity in our communities? Often they wish to meet a Church that is a welcoming home for them. Can our communities be able to accept it and evaluate their sexual orientation without compromising the Catholic doctrine on family and marriage?

51. The homosexual question challenges us in a serious reflection on how to develop realistic paths of emotional growth and human and evangelical maturity by integrating the sexual dimension: it therefore presents itself as an important educational challenge. The Church also affirms that unions between persons of the same sex cannot be equated with marriage between men and women. It is not even acceptable that pressures are exerted on the attitude of pastors or that international organizations can condition financial aid to the introduction of regulations inspired by gender ideology.

52. Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it is noted that there are cases in which mutual support until the sacrifice is a precious support for the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church has special attention towards children living with same-sex couples, reiterating that the needs and rights of children should always be placed first.
http://press.vatican.va/content/salastam…03037.html (My translation)
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As we can see, the “Relatio post disceptationem” very strongly restricts the scope of the “Instrumentum laboris”, but also contains some elements that do not speak of openness but of respect at least towards homosexual persons. From the point of view of a lay man who sees things from the outside, however, with the “Relatio post disceptationem”, the mountain of expectations has given birth to a skimpy little mouse. The press, however, welcomes the Relatio as a great opening of the church towards homosexuals. However skimpy, the gay mouse is around the Vatican but the austere Synod fathers are not intimidated by that mouse and armed with their age-old wisdom, are ready to catch it before it escapes officially from the Synod hall. Here the minor circles sharpen their weapons:

This is the expression of the French-language circle “A”, of which the Eminent Card. Robert SARAH is moderator and S.E. Mons. François-Xavier DUMORTIER, S.J. is speaker:

“As for the reception of homosexual persons, it seems clear to us that the Church, following the image of Christ the Good Shepherd (John 10, 11-18) has always wanted to welcome people who knock on his door, a door open to all, people that must be received with respect, compassion and recognizing the dignity of each one. To accompany a person pastorally doesn’t mean to validate either a form of sexuality or a form of life.”[1]

The French-language Circle B, whose moderator is Cardinal Em. Card. Christoph SCHÖNBORN, O.P. and Speaker S.E. Mons. André LÉONARD, expresses itself as follows:

“5. We reiterated our respect and our welcoming towards homosexual people and we denounced the unjust and often violent discrimination that they suffered and still suffer, sometimes, even in the Church, alas! But this doesn’t mean that the Church must legitimize homosexual practices, much less recognize, as some states do, a so-called homosexual “marriage”. On the contrary, we denounce all the maneuvers of some international organizations to impose, through financial blackmail, to the poor countries some laws that establish the so-called homosexual “marriage”. [2]

The English Language Circle B having as a Moderator the Card. Wilfrid Fox NAPIER, O.F.M. and as a Speaker S.E. Mons. Diarmuid MARTIN so expresses itself:

“On the theme of the pastoral care of people with homosexual tendencies, the group observed that the Church must continue to promote the revealed nature of marriage as always between a man and a woman united throughout life in a life-giving and faithful communion.
The group encouraged pastors and parishes to take care of people with the same sex attraction, providing for them in the family of the Church, always protecting their dignity as children of God, created in his image. Within the Church, they should find a home where they can listen, with everyone else, to the call of Jesus to follow him in fidelity to the truth, to receive His grace to do so, and His mercy when they are wrong.”[3]

The Report of the Italian Language Circle “A”, having as its moderator the Cardinal Fernando FILONI and as Speaker S.E Mons. Edoardo MENICHELLI, expressed itself as follows:

“With regard to the pastoral care of homosexual persons, we have directed ourselves towards the proposal of a single statement in which it was emphasized both a commitment to proximity oriented to evangelization and the style of the Church, as an open house, enhancing the gifts, the good will and the sincere path of each one. It has been reaffirmed that unions between persons of the same sex cannot be equated with marriage between men and women, expressing the concern to safeguard the rights of children who must grow harmoniously with the tenderness of their father and mother.”

The Report of the Italian Language Circle C having for Moderator S.E. Mons. Angelo MASSAFRA, O.F.M. and for Speaker, Fr. Manuel Jesús ARROBA CONDE, C.M.F., expresses itself as follows:

“In this regard, the fathers pointed out some more specific aspects to enrich the proposals formulated in the text: an express mention on family movements; a special number [statement] on the adoptions; an invitation to study new presences in the educational field; a return to the texts of the instrumentum laboris about homosexual unions; an appeal to institutions to promote policies in favor of the family.”

The Report of the Spanish Language Circle A with the Moderator Card. Francisco ROBLES ORTEGA and the Speaker S.E. Mons. Luis Augusto CASTRO QUIROGA, I.M.C. expresses itself as follows:

“As for n. 50, it has been observed that we should not talk about homosexuals almost as if homosexuality were a part of their ontological being, but of people with homosexual tendencies. It was requested to replace the text of this number with the following:. “Sexuality that makes us exist as a human being as a male and a female is an essential value in anthropology and Christian theology. It makes us exist reciprocally not in indistinction but in complementarity … even people with homosexual tendencies need guidance and support to help them grow in faith and to know God’s plan for them.”[4]

The report of the Spanish Language Club “B” having as a Moderator Card. Lluís MARTÍNEZ SISTACH and as Speker S.E. Msgr. Rodolfo VALENZUELA NÚÑEZ so expresses its opinion on the Relatio post dissertationem:

“We believe that there is a lack of emphasis on important issues such as abortion, the attacks against life, the large phenomenon of adoption, the decisions taken by spouses in conscience, as well as greater clarity on the issue of homosexuality. “[5]
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Evidently, the gay mouse has sown panic among the Synodal Fathers, but they have finally managed to capture it.

The following is the paragraph of the “Relatio Synodi”, that is, of the final document of the extraordinary synod on the family, concerning the relationship between the church and the homosexuals:

Pastoral Attention towards Persons with Homosexual Tendencies

55. Some families have members who have a homosexual tendency. In this regard, the synod fathers asked themselves what pastoral attention might be appropriate for them in accordance with Church teaching: “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.” Nevertheless, men and women with a homosexual tendency ought to be received with respect and sensitivity. “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, 4).

56. Exerting pressure in this regard on the Pastors of the Church is totally unacceptable: it is equally unacceptable for international organizations to link their financial assistance to poorer countries with the introduction of laws that establish “marriage” between persons of the same sex.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/…ia_en.html

It should be emphasized that point 55 was approved without the qualified majority of 2/3 but with a simple majority, however very strong and very close to 2/3, of 118 in favor and 62 against.

As is evident, the mouse was happily devoured before being able to leave the Synod hall. The initial “instrumentum laboris” was reduced to the material repetition of the contents of the “Considerations about the projects of legal recognition of unions between homosexual persons” signed by Josepf Ratzinger, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in June 2003.

Frankly I don’t understand the homosexual Catholics who hope to find a respectful reception by the church. Other Christian churches have taken on decidedly more evangelical positions.

Just today, 18 October 2014, the Mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, ordered to register 16 homosexual marriages celebrated abroad in the official marriage register of Rome.

Thus L’Avvenire (the newspaper of the Italian Episcopal Conference) of October 18 begins its comment on the fact: “”An ideological choice, which certifies an unprecedented institutional affront” based on a “mystification supported at the media and political level”: so the editorial of Angelo Zema, on Roma Sette, the magazine of the diocese of Rome on newsstands on Sunday with Avvenire, defines the transcription of marriages celebrated abroad by some homosexual couples operated by the mayor of “Roma Capitale”, Ignazio Marino, in the municipal registers. The editorial speaks of “illegitimate” choices in a “context with a Hollywood tone” and “with a clear demagogic flavor”.

When the Synod was over and the gay little mouse was no more wandering around the Vatican, the CEI (Italian Episcopal Conference) immediately warned another reason for alarm: there are many gay mice, too many gay mice, just outside the Vatican walls! Fortunately, the world goes his way, even if the church goes somewhere else.
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[1] “Concernant l’accueil des personnes homosexuelles, the nous semble clair que l’Eglise, à l’image du Christ Bon Pasteur (Jn 10,11-18), a toujours voulu accueillir les personnes here frappent à sa porte, porte ouverte à tous, here sont à accueillir avec respect, compassion et dans la reconnaissance de la dignité de chacun. Accompagner pastoralement une personne ne signifie valider ni une forma de sexualité ni une forme de vie.”

[2] “5. Nous avons redit notre respect et notre accueil aux personnes homosexuelles et avons dénoncé les discriminations injustes et parfois violentes qu’elles ont subies et subissent encore parfois, y compris dans l’Église, hélas! Mais cela ne signifie pas que l’Église doive légitimer les pratiques homosexuelles et encore moins reconnaître, in the font certains Ettats, a soi-disant «mariage» homosexuel. Au contraire, nous dénonçons toutes les manœuvres de certaines international organizations visant à imposer, par voie de chantage financier, aux pays pauvres des législations instituant un soi-disant “mariage” homosexuel.”

[3] “On the subject of the pastoral care of the family, the group noted that the Church must continue to promote the revealed nature of marriage as always between one man and one woman united in lifelong, life-giving, and faithful communion.
The group encouraged pastoral care for children with same sex attraction, providing protection in the family of the Church. They say they are in the same place, they can be found in the church, they hear the call of Jesus to follow Him in fidelity to the truth. His mercy when they fail.”

[4] “Pasando at n.50, if you have observado que no if debe hablar de personas homosexuales cases como el homosexualismo fuese part of su ser ontológico, sino de personas tendencias homosexuales. If solicitó sustituir el texto de este número por el siguiente: “the sexualidad que nos hace existir como humanidad en masculino y the femenino, es a valor irrenunciable en la antropología y en the theología cristiana. Nos hace ser los unos para with los otros no en la indistinción until en la complementariedad … Las personas with tendencias homosexuales tambien necesitan de acogida y acompañamiento que les ayude a crecer en la fe y a conocer el plan de Dios para ellos.”

[5] “Consideramos que faltaron en el mismo énfasis sobre temas importantes como el aborto, los atentados contra la vida, el amplio fenómeno de la adopción, las decision-making en conciencia de los exposos, así como a mayor claridad sobre el theme de la homosexualidad .”

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