What does it mean to ‘accept’ persons with same-sex attraction?

Let’s start with the words from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 2358:

‘The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.’

To accept a person means that we love and welcome that person with all their strengths and weaknesses. When we come to know another person’s weaknesses, we should be sensitive to their vulnerabilities and show compassion. If others mock or misjudge someone for their weakness, we must be the first to come to that person’s defense.

Acceptance of another human being does not necessarily mean that we will agree with all his/her decisions and life-style choices, and sometimes love requires us to make our disagreement known. For example, if two same-sex attracted people are having a “wedding/commitment” ceremony, a practicing Catholic cannot in good conscience attend that ceremony. This doesn’t mean you don’t love or care for the individuals involved, although some will accuse you of this.

There are many opportunities to reach out and show others we love them and care about them, even when their lifestyles or beliefs differ from our own. The more time we ourselves spend in prayer and strive to grow in our relationship with Christ, the more the Holy Spirit will fill our hearts with love, understanding, and patience.

God accepts us with all our weaknesses. His generous love and mercy inspires us to strive anew each day to live with greater faithfulness and obedience to the Truth, through His grace and strength. May our own example of love and acceptance of others draw those around us to the joy of salvation we have found in Jesus Christ and in the teachings of His Church.

Published with the permission of Courage http://couragerc.org/