This post will try to summarize the effects of sexual education on gay sexuality.
First of all it is necessary to define the concept of sexual education. We start from a premise: the development of studies indicates that sexuality has a genetic-epigenetic base which is substantially defined already in the uterus and at most in the perinatal period. This genetic-epigenetic imprint determines not only the sex, that is, gender belonging in anatomical and physiological terms, but also the gender identity, that is, the perception of gender and sexual orientation.
The awareness of sexuality, its models, the more or less repressed manifestations of sexuality over the years, and the consequences on an individual psychological level, are instead largely determined by that familiar and social interaction, which we can call “sexual education” and which is not limited to just a single part of life, but follows the evolution of the individual according to the progressing of age.
The fact that sexuality, understood in its most profound aspects, is closely connected with the affectivity induces to consider sex education as an integral part of affective education.
A concept, in the educational field, should never be forgotten: education acts on the basis of an individual biological genetic-epigenetic substratum but is also linked to the stages of development, to possible pathologies and many other factors. Education means to develop the potential of an individual “respecting first of all the biological identity”. A good gardener knows that by placing an apple tree in the ideal conditions for the cultivation of an apricot tree, not only we will not be able to obtain apricots from the apple tree, but it will suffer a lot and may even die. Cultivating a tree means understanding first of all what tree it is and then providing it with the appropriate care for that specific tree. This is also true for people.
Let’s start from the family dimension, i.e. from emotional-sexual education inside the family.
The family is the first environment in which a child begins to build relationships. In order to begin to feel an affective gratification, the child must perceive the sense of acceptance and affectionate care from the parents. If the child is the subject of confrontation (unwanted children, doubtful parenthood, a child that has become an object of contention between parents and grandparents or between the parents themselves), he easily becomes aware that he’s not the center of family life and begins to experience the sensation of marginality and abandonment yet in tender age.
Perceiving the disagreement between the parents is inherently traumatic and transmits automatically, by imitation, a model of behavior that is not emotional but competitive, stimulates aggressiveness in one direction and sense of frustration in the other. The child also instinctively senses the discrepancy between words and behavior. Cuddling a child for a while and then leaving him alone in the walker or in front of the television not only causes a sense of abandonment but also provides an initial model of falsehood: “I love you so much, but you must keep calm and stay aside because I have other things to do!” The speech is basically inconsistent and false because it brings together declarations of affection and behaviors that show disinterest.
Often the frustrations of parents, their claiming attitudes, their blaming of this or that, their justifying only themselves, transmit to the child the feeling of unreliability of the parent who begins to be a faltering reference point. Nothing is worse than raising your voice to impose your point of view, and I don’t even want to talk about the possible physical violence in the family, which is experienced by the child in a devastating way: a father who tugs at his mother, who slaps her, a mother who plays hysterical scenes and screams at her husband, represent models that the child will certainly internalize, or by imitation or contrast, identifying, according to the situations, as an aggressive person or as a victim, and this will move the child away from the emotional contact, which is the true purpose of emotional education.
There are several other behaviors, apparently neutral, which transmit a sense of insecurity to the child:
1) A parent who speaks in the singular setting himself against the other (“I … while your mother …”) . The use of “we/us” conveys the idea of affective family, harmony and solidarity.
2) To talk too often about money or about who brings home money, or about social hierarchies that don’t see parents at the same level.
3) To speak badly about other people the child knows.
4) To show that it is difficult or impossible to speak with the other parent, that he/she has defects, that doesn’t care for the family and, worse of the worst, doesn’t care for children.
The presence of parents in the life of young children, up to preadolescence, should be constant, affectionate, dialoguing and never abstractly normative.
A particular consideration must be given to managing family conflicts that may arise, and indeed inevitably arise in the family over the years. It can be the conflicts of the parents with other relatives, of between parents themselves and also of the conflicts between parents and children. The management of conflicts must always be discursive and shared, no form of violence, even verbal, can be admitted for no reason. Recognizing the other’s reasons and seeking conciliation doesn’t indicate weakness but the exact opposite. The child must realize that the parent can see things in another way and you can talk to find a point of equilibrium without coming to breakage.
Affective education suffers a violent trauma when the parent-child relationship is dominated by the fear of the parent’s violent reactions. Even worse is the idea that a parent invokes the presence of the other parent to induce fear in the children, such in the classic: “I’ll tell your father!”
As one grows, one element takes on particular importance: confidence, which must be accompanied by confidentiality on the part of the parent. If a parent receives a confidence by the child, he must keep it for himself, if he doesn’t, he would induce the child to immediately interrupt the relationship of confidence with the parent that will anymore be resumed. Any attitude that shows the tendency of the parent to abandon himself to gossip, devalues him in the eyes of his son and reduces the possibilities for dialogue.
A general criterion must always be kept in mind: education operates through the example, not through words: children tend to assimilate and imitate parents’ behavior, not to put into practice what parents say in words but don’t do themselves.
What has been said so far, as it is easy to understand, requires from parents a substantial affective maturity that too often is taken for granted, assuming that the parent is always substantially up to the task of education and that at most he needs a training aimed at the conscious rethinking of contents and methods of education. Sometimes however, and not very rarely, these assumptions don’t occur, in some cases because parents themselves have been in turn educated (assuming that this word can be used in these situations) with completely improper and substantially non-educational methods, and in other cases because one or both parents can be psychopathological subjects (for example paranoid or perverse narcissists). While in the first case it is possible with regard to the parent a concrete action (even if of long duration and with uncertain outcome) of reorientation or re-education of the adult, in the second case such action is essentially impossible and the parent-child educational relationship can turn into a framework of family violence and abuse, up to the most extreme consequences. It should be emphasized that violence and family abuse practiced by paranoid or perverse narcissists parents are often not visible on the outside and create very deep suffering in the children with unforeseeable consequences even in the long term.
Sex education of the child
Today, children are bombarded starting from an early age with images more or less erotic and very often begin to take an interest in sexuality in a very abstract way well before adolescence, so they assimilate, in a very tender age, banal visions of the sexuality as a “forbidden game”. Pedagogues have often been concerned with how to convey to children a more correct concept of sexuality: typical is the model of the flower, the pollination and the fruit, but in this way there is the risk, for gays far from being indifferent, to provide only the concept of sexuality aimed at reproduction, this will also convey the concept of sexual role, of the boy and girl as society conceives them, and of typically male and typically female behavior, taking for natural and obvious cultural attitudes often very questionable.
Accustom a little girl to the idea that femininity involves high heels and makeup means distort the concept from the beginning, like to think that the boy should be interested necessarily in football and in certain types of games is in itself misleading. It is very easy to see that in a school class of children who are not yet pre-adolescent, boys tend to play “boyish” games with each other, and girls tend to play “girlish” games with each other and this is the result of an education for sexual roles, how society understands them, starting from an early age.
The child before puberty sometimes shows an embryonal hetero affectivity, which involves interest in being with little girls, talking with them, playing with them, or an embryonal gay affectivity, which involves interest in being with other boys, talking to them and playing with them. These behaviors are the first manifestations of sexual orientation, they are not yet conscious, but they are elements on which we should reflect a lot and to which we should pay the utmost attention, but, I must say very clearly, never a repressive attention. I would like to point out that the transmission of role models deforms and often stifles these spontaneous tendencies altogether and tends to let the tendency towards homologation prevail, based on the fear of marginality within the peer group.
In the memory of many gays, the recollection of the first affectionate friendships with other boys and often the worried attitudes of the parents in front of such manifestations remains well imprinted. We are talking about friendships between children, not yet pre-adolescent who, if not totally conditioned by education, begin to show signs of homo-affinity or hetero-affectivity.
Parents, who often lack a broader horizon on sexuality, consider themselves as the only possible model for the sexuality of their children. The idea that children are not and cannot be a photocopy of parents is still struggling to get accepted. It is precisely for this reason that some children’s behaviors alarm parents and trigger a short communication circuit that ends up disrupting trust and establishing suspicious attitudes.
The child who plays with dolls or puts on his mother’s high heels or wig or dresses up as a woman generally raises questions in the parents, and this happens even more strongly if two children develop a very close friendship. Apart from the fact that these are completely different phenomena, because the first refers to gender identity and the second to sexual orientation, it is very probable that the child experiences in these situations the concern of the parent that manifests itself through limitations, prohibitions or simple removals.
The basic criterion of a good sex education is to promote the spontaneous development of affectivity and sexuality, avoiding a repressive sanctioning behaviors. The parent facing behaviors that are not what he would have expected believes that it is his duty to “correct”, to “guide” the child’s behavior, to “defend” him from dangerous influences, this attitude, which is perfectly understandable, is acceptable , positive and necessary, if “to correct ” means to demonstrate by example how one can have affection and respect for friends, without demanding too much and without running away from one’s duties towards those friends, if “to drive ” means to explain, to make the child understand the meaning of affective relationships even in adult life, for example by receiving friends cordially and affectionately, if “defending” from dangerous influences means to accustom children not to trivialize, not to exploit friendship, to take it seriously and to respond adequately when the need arises, but “to correct” means for many parents only to repress, “to drive” means to remove freedom and “to defend” means to segregate.
I would like to stress that the signs of homo-affectivity are generally very precocious and repressing them means inducing the guilt and submission of the child who begins to consider himself wrong. The repression of infantile homo-affectivity sometimes manifests itself explicitly, and sometimes through a systematic attempt to remove the child from contexts in which that homo-affectivity tends to manifest: if the child has developed a strong friendship towards another child or even towards a boy a little older during the summer holidays at the sea, the next year instead of going to the sea the family will go to the mountains.
A very delicate subject in this area is the prevention of sexual violence and abuse. Clearly, the child’s segregation reaches the goal but at the cost of a total repression of the individual freedom. The real problem lies in avoiding the risks (which are not only fancy) leaving the child a freedom commensurate with his age. Leaving a child (under 12-13 years ) alone for the whole day together with his playmates exposes him to objective dangers, which he may not realize. But if sexual abuses perpetrated by external pedophile subjects are generally the most feared, experience teaches that abuses are practiced only exceptionally by strangers and for the most part they rise from a family environment. Parking children by relatives or friends from morning to night means abandoning them to situations that can be objectively risky.
Before 12-13 years it is good that the child finds its spaces for the most part with the presence of the parents: the parents speak in the living room, the children play in the next room. Parents in this way give their children an example of socializing and leave them freedom spaces according to their age.
Beyond the age of 12-13, the risk of abuse doesn’t cease because abuse can also be committed toward adolescents or preadolescents both by family members and by educators, priests or teachers, especially in contexts where the minor cohabits with other peers for education or care purposes. Particular attention should be dedicated to the education of responsible use of the web for the risks of priming to which minors are exposed on the net. It is important to be vigilant in order to catch any signs of disturbance, alarm or exaltation in children, talk to them about it, if it is possible, and contact the postal department or the local Police Office to receive assistance when faced with dangerous situations. Obviously, the best prevention of priming risks on the net is realized right through risk awareness, the habit of always thinking before acting, and the habit of protecting one’s own privacy and that of others, and on these aspects education has a decisive influence.
When a child manifests the first forms of curiosity in relation to sexuality, it should be taken seriously, avoiding trivializing and manifesting evasive attitudes. It is essential that sexuality is never detached from its affective implications and is not reduced exclusively to procreative purposes. The child must become familiar with the idea of a sexuality that is not a forbidden game but a manifestation of affection for another person. Many parents never show explicit emotional behaviors in front of their children, for example, the father and mother don’t hug each other in front of children and avoid any physical act with each other, even the simple caresses, others instead let themselves go to forms of more or less sexual play in front of their children who in this way feel themselves excluded from the relationship with their parents. Of course
It’s necessary to find a balance between these opposing attitudes: the spontaneous caresses and affections between parents, the cuddles, which end up with the involvement of the children in the affection of the parents themselves are extremely positive in stabilizing the mood and in developing a harmonious character in the children. The double bed must become a non-exclusive environment, reserved for the parents only, but must be an environment in which children can also be admitted. The physical contact with parents, commensurate with the age of children, must lead to the idea of the affectionate embrace between adults, which expresses participation and sympathy.
Let’s come now to one of the key points of the speech: how to deal with the issue of homosexuality. The parent who is explicitly dealing such an argument with the child for the first time, must never forget that if one takes for granted that one’s son is hetero, in 8 cases out of 100 he is mistaken. Sending positive messages about homosexuality certainly doesn’t induce heterosexuals to become homosexuals, but can help homosexuals to grow accepting without complexes their homosexuality. Many parents believe that the specifically sexual education of children is not up to parents and should be delegated to school, church, doctors and other educational agencies, as if sexuality were an object of study or a question of faith or health protection. Obviously all these aspects are not foreign to sexuality, which, however, is a very complex reality that cannot be considered only under sectoral perspectives.
Sexuality is a component of the ordinary life of all of us and one of the essential contents of a serious educational relationship. I have been dealing with homosexuals for many years and I have often seen gay adult men, still deeply conditioned by the conflicting relationships with parents due to homosexuality. The vast majority of homosexuals not publicly declared, speak about their own homosexuality just with a few trustworthy friends, while those who talk about it openly in the family are very rare, perhaps today less than ten years ago, but it is still a narrow minority. For a gay boy, talking to his parents and finding their respect and their affection even in an atmosphere of clarity is absolutely essential and stabilizing. On the other hand, misunderstanding and rejection leave deep traces and greatly complicate the achievement of true autonomy on the part of the children.
I add a fundamental thing: a gay boy who feels accepted within the family will not need to go and look for other environments in which to find understanding and tends to develop his affective life without hiding and for this reason objectively also running much less risks. When a gay guy presents his boyfriend to his parents (what was once unthinkable and now becomes more and more possible) he realizes at 100% the dimension of the normality of his affectivity-sexuality. Surprised, reticent, perplexed or hostile attitudes of parents severely undermine their children’s self-esteem and create often irreparable fractures.
I would like to touch on a very delicate last subject. Sometimes the boys who grow up, whether they are heterosexual or gay, find themselves instinctively experiencing drives that alarm them, classics are examples of sexual fantasies about much older people, pedophile fantasies, sadistic or masochistic fantasies and erotic drives addressed within their own family. It is objectively very difficult that topics of this kind enter explicitly in speeches between parents and children regarding sexuality, because if the fear of negative reactions to homosexuality is already strong, the fear of negative reactions to those contents can be much more alarming. The issue of pedophilia can be responsibly tackled by highlighting the very serious objective damage that those behaviors can cause but stressing nevertheless the fact that those tendencies can exist even in very good people who would never put them into practice. If there is an attitude that a parent must show in front of such things, it can only be to clearly distinguish the fantasies that one cannot control, from the actions that can and must be taken under control. A similar argument can be used also regarding sadistic and incestuous fantasies.
With regard to intergenerational relationships it is necessary to avoid confusing them with larval forms of pedophilia, because intergenerational relationships are relationships between consenting adults even if of very different ages.
A correct attitude in the face of all these things helps people feel understood and accepted and enhances their morality and their capacity for discernment and this is the basic premise to accept themselves and to be able to self-control. It should be emphasized, however, that pedophile fantasies, of which people almost never speak in a scientifically correct way, are a reality very complex and difficult to manage. In many cases these fantasies are found in adults who have in turn been victims of violence or sexual abuse. It should be clarified that, although fantasies and actions are distinct things, it happens that fantasies are or may be prodromal to actual or possible behaviors, which, even if only considered merely as hypotheses, can cause levels of profound suffering.
Slipping from fantasies to pedophile behaviors can sometimes become easy and almost obvious. The sex tourism, for example, can lead the adult to look for more and more young partners of one or the other sex, producing a slow but effective slip towards pedophilia. The use of Internet child pornography should be considered as a sign strongly indicative of a dangerous corroboration of fantasies, prodromal to possible pedophile behaviors. According to what I learn from people who experience pedophile fantasies I’m led to believe that slipping into occasional pedophile behaviors, which can be the origin of recurring pedophile phantasies, also of obsessive types, is certainly possible even for people who have never had previously this kind of fantasies.
A person who experienced this kind of fantasies told me: “I had never had such fantasies before, then it happened to me an experience in which it would have been easy to come to the action, but it didn’t happen, but taking a step without return would have been very easy. And since then, such fantasies remained strongly stamped in my mind. I don’t like them, that somehow compromised my sexuality for years because I think that I wouldn’t even talk about such things with my partner, because he would react badly.”
I will not analyze here the possible compulsive aspects of pedophilia but because many men who have pedophilic fantasies are aware of it and are afraid of being able to practice pedophile behavior, in some countries (in Germany, in England and in the US) there are support services who deal with prevention by providing specialized psychological support to those who request it because they experience pedophile tendencies.
At the general educational level there is still an ancestral fear towards psychologists and psychiatrists that should be eliminated, leading people to understand that they are health workers who can provide psychological and even pharmacological support if necessary. Prevention education, which deserves a detailed examination, is not only carried out in providing information on sexually transmitted diseases, but also in the prevention of other risky behaviors for oneself and for others such as pedophile ones.
Certainly less sensitive are the themes related to the couple’s relationship structure: monogamy, indissolubility, socialization and formalization of the couple’s relationship, relationship between friendship and love. Insisting on the legitimacy of a single behavioral model collides with the reality of affective life which is often not monogamous, not unbreakable neither reducible to structure. The meaning of the couple relationship is usually assimilated by imitation already in childhood and, according to the general rule, is transmitted through the behavior of adults and not through their speeches. The relational aspect of sexuality should never be overlooked, according to this relational aspect the fundamental satisfaction in a sexual relationship derives from the realization that our partner is really involved and is in turn gratified by the relationship. Needless to say, these must be relationships that are actually wanted consciously and freely by both partners.
If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gays-and-sexual-education
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:
b) Concerning Unions of Persons of the Same Sex
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.
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)
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.”
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”. 
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.”
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.”
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. “
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.
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.
 “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.”
 “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.”
 “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.”
 “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.”
 “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 .”
I am a closeted thirty-year-old gay guy who lives in a very homophobic town in the rich north-east of Italy. I would like to tell you my story and ask you what you think.
Just a nod on my life until a couple of years ago, at the beginning I used to look for a real love and I never found it, maybe because I looked for it in the wrong places and with the wrong methods, then I started to go not so much for subtlety (Quiet! I have always used all the methods of prevention.)
At the age of 27, I have to say, I was a drifter of sex, in a year I had collected almost a dozen stories, which obviously were not serious things, but in the end they were even frustrating. I would have liked a normal guy who loved me and I would have gladly put the final point to all the whirlwind of my research on the apps.
One day just through an app a guy contacts me, he says he is 26 years old, we talk a bit, he’s polite, seems one not obsessed with sex, he proposes me to meet each other, I think it’s too early and I try to postpone, I expect him to disappear but it doesn’t happen. He asks me for photos but I don’t give them to him, but we keep on talking even in the following days, we talk about everything, even about sex but without overdoing it and always in a very polite way.
After three weeks of online contacts he again asks me to meet him, this time I say yes but since I don’t want problems of any kind, we agree to meet in another city and spend Saturday and Sunday together (I don’t work on Saturday). I decide to go by train so as not to be identifiable even from the license plate of the car. Note, Project, that I had never even seen a picture of him and he had never seen one of me. We meet at the station at 9.00 in the morning. I tell my parents that I have to go on a mission for two days (things like that happened other times).
I do not know who I will meet, but I feel very excited, there is something that tells me that it will not be the usual meeting “escape and flee”. When I get on the train I realize I don’t have condoms with me, but I think I can buy them there too and that they might not be useless. In the place of the appointment he is already there waiting for me, the recognition signal works (a certain newspaper under his right arm). It seems a nice guy, indeed very nice. We leave the luggage at the station depot and we go around, it’s a beautiful sunny morning.
It’s all radically different from my previous encounters, we don’t talk about sex, rather we feel a certain embarrassment, we have breakfast together, we often exchange smiles, he’s a very sweet guy, I would like to know something more about him but asking questions seems inappropriate. He knows the city, even if it is not his city and has already prepared a whole project of things to do and places to go.
I perceived his presence, there were many silences, then I asked him if he felt embarrassed and he replied: “Before seeing you, while I was waiting for you! but not now! Not at all now! And you?” “I … well I’m just fine, no problem.” Then we began to joke, to tell each other jokes. He doesn’t tell sexual jokes and uses a very clean language. We go to lunch together in a restaurant, the climate is very relaxed, peaceful, pleasant.
We walk until evening, we have dinner together, then it’s time to go to the hotel, he says: “Do you mind if we take two single rooms?” I say no, but that request cools my enthusiasm a lot. He is glad that I didn’t insist on taking a double room. We go to the hotel but there are no single rooms, he looks at me and tells me: “What can we do? Is it okay for a double room?” I spread my arms and make a sign that it’s okay too, since there’s no other way.
We enter the room, he is very embarrassed and tells me: “Now what do we do?” I tell him that I would like to have a bit of sex, I would really like it but I don’t have condoms with me and ask him if he has any, he tells me: no, but he adds that there are also the non-dangerous ways of having sex and that he especially likes them. The room is very well heated. Project, I spare you the details and I just tell you that I had never had sex like that with a guy, just mutual masturbation and a lot of physical intimacy, but it was something unique because I saw him involved in such a total way that I wouldn’t have imagined that it could even exist. It was just an exciting thing at levels I had never tried. At the end we fell asleep in each other’s arms.
In the morning we didn’t have time to repeat the experience because we had to leave the room before 10.00 o’clock. We spent the Sunday morning joking and playing with each other, then we went for lunch together and I started asking him when we could meet again. He looked at me a little embarrassed and then he told me: “There’s one thing I didn’t tell you, I’m engaged!” I felt very uncomfortable and I told him: “But how is it? You have a boyfriend and you don’t tell me?” He replied: “You didn’t understand, I have a girlfriend …”
I told him that there was something strange according to me because he didn’t seem to me a straight guy looking for distraction, he told me: “I know I’m gay, I was fine with you and I would always stay with you but I cannot, because I have a girlfriend for years and now she is part of my family and I think that in a year at most we will get married” I looked at him with a perplexed air and I asked how the sex went with the girl and he replied: “Well, somehow it works, she never noticed anything but when I do it I think about something else, I’m not straight, there’s nothing to do, if it were for me I would never have sex with a woman, when I’m there, anyway, it works all the same but it is something that I do because I must do it, and then with her I could never speak clearly because she would feel betrayed, now we are in front of everyone a very solid couple and she believes it too, I don’t think I could avoid marrying her, by now I’m too far ahead with that story, she’s a good girl but I’m not interested in girls.”
I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get him to think, but he felt trapped and had threw in the towel, he felt resigned to being a good husband at home and a good gay, maybe with me, some Saturday nights at the hotel. He told me that he had to break away from me, that I put him in crisis, I put him in front of the responsibility of his choices but that now the choices were made and there would be no chance to go back. We took the train and we went back home.
He disappeared for two weeks, he didn’t answer to the emails or the phone, then he contacted me again, we met one afternoon and he seemed really shattered. This is what he told me:
“Here they are just caging me, I cannot stay out of it, it’s all a trap, I had to go with her for eight days in a resort abroad, all paid for by my parents! And it was a shocking thing, she was happy, I could not stand her anymore but she was the victim and I had to console her, I was forced to make love with her because otherwise she ended up in depression. She really didn’t understand anything. I thought to speak clearly but I didn’t dare to imagine her reaction and then I pretended to be worried about work reasons. I thought that in the resort we would be alone and instead her parents made us the nice surprise that they were there also them! I cannot stand it anymore! I have to go out of the cage but I don’t know how. If I said I’m gay, nobody would believe it …
“What could be done to resolve the situation? In the end we thought something that could work, he would go a couple of times to an andrologist, perhaps the first time accompanied by the girl, accusing pain in the testicles and then after the second examination it should have said that he had to do the seminogram and a few days after that the result was that he could not have children, anyway, as a gay, he would certainly not have had children from another woman.
He didn’t want to accept the whole script, it seemed to him a real hoax, but then he was aware that the alternative would be the wedding therefore he came to a milder attitude. He didn’t know whether to speak clearly with his parents, but when your parents don’t even realize that you are not well with your girlfriend and force you to go on holiday with her … to speak clearly would mean just throwing open a pot without knowing what’s inside.
In the end we have agreed all the details and all the preparatory speeches. I realize that, seen from the outside, all this seems like an expedient of the lowest alloy to avoid the coming out, but a coming out in a situation like that would have been ruinous. To realize the whole project, a low level staging, it is true, but perhaps the least traumatic solution, it took more than a month.
When he went to the girl and told her that he could not have children, the girl expected it and the recitation of the great pain had been well prepared by her family and ended with the promise to remain friends, but he wanted to return all gifts and said he preferred to permanently close an experience that had ended up being traumatic.
I summarized the whole story in a few lines but it was very demanding, stressful and even risky because, if our trick had been detected, for him it would have been a disaster, but it went well! From the following Saturday we started our meetings in the hotel in the nearby city and I think our story will continue. We’re all right together and we’re planning to change both our jobs and to move both of us to that city, away from prying eyes, he too thinks that coming out, even just in the family, is certainly inopportune. Among other things, his parents know nothing about the andrologist’s story and think that their son, the poor guy, will never marry because he cannot have children and it is good that they continue to think so.
Project, don’t look bad at me, the coming out in certain situations is not really thinkable. So we rest assured and the girl can make her life with someone who really wants her and his parents have put their soul in peace and at least there is no gossip about homosexuality because the story is all straight! Could I send him to the marriage slaughter? No! Should he expose himself to a destructive coming out? No! At least, so they are all happy and we first of all.
Let me have your news soon.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-a-gay-guy-goes-to-the-andrologist
I noticed that the statistical sites show the constant presence of readers who get to Gay Project, through the Google search engine, using keys like: ”married gays”. The problem exists and it is not statistically irrelevant as usually believed.
I try to summarize here some of the fundamental elements that emerged from the Gay Project experience with regard to married gays. Among the absolutely fundamental elements in determining the path that leads gay guys to marriage, we must remember:
1) The idea that being gay is a “choice” that is somehow modifiable or a “vice” that can be prevented or corrected.
2) The idea that sexuality is a marginal reality that, for a heterosexual, must be exclusively instrumental to the creation of a family and procreation and, for a gay guy, must in any case be sacrificed in the name of the family and children.
3) The idea that a gay guy can be fully realized, that is can be realzed at the family level, because the true realization is only that, exclusively through the denial of his sexuality and that this denial will be, after all, painless because compensated by the family affection. In essence, the instinctive affectivity, connected with sexuality, is radically denied in this way. Cardinal Lajolo, in an interview in March 2014, declared, as if it were obvious, that “Gay marriages cannot fail to disappoint those who make them”, in reality, if we consider the constant decrease in the propensity to marriage, the exponential increase in “femicides” and the constantly increasing percentages of divorces and separations (in Italy 50% of marriages end up in divorce or separation), what emerges is the substantial separation of society from the Catholic model of marriage and family.
4) Proposing to a young heterosexual the traditional family as a condition of happiness means to deceive him, on the contrary, it would be useful to induce him to reflect on the problems and uncertainties that marriage can bring and actually brings with itself, given that 50% of marriages end up in court. Proposing heterosexual marriage as the only possible option for a homosexual means even laying the foundation not only for the failure of an entirely artificial family union, which will inevitably weigh on children, but also means condemning a gay to a life entirely against nature, i.e. against his nature, and condemning a woman, who would have every right to have a husband really in love with her, to live in a state of great uncertainty and total dissatisfaction not only sexual but, in almost all cases, even emotional.
5) The idea that the “sacrifice” is a value in itself. Too often guys tend to see the renunciation of their spontaneous sexuality as a merit in the name of the ideal of the family. In reality, when a gay gets married he is convinced that accepting the sacrifice of his sexuality is something high and noble, but in no case self-repression leads, in the long run, to positive outcomes, and the “sacrifice” accepted by the gay, it actually ends up being a violent conditioning imposed on the life of a wife who often isn’t event aware.
6) The idea that conformism to traditional values is always positive, even for those who with certain traditional institutions, such as marriage, have nothing at all to do. Families rarely appreciate freedom and often tend to believe that what is socially accepted is, for this only reason, the best path to follow for everyone and in every situation.
7) The idea that obedience is always a virtue and the free of the single person must be systematically sacrificed in the name of socially accepted general rules.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-critical-points-of-the-path-of-a-gay-guy-towards-heterosexual-marriage