The Curé of Ars church in Merrick, which recently was host to the heart of a French priest who died more than a century ago, is in the news once again. Newsday reports that the church received complaints regarding a pamphlet displayed in its literature racks titled “Homosexuality & Hope”. According to the brochure, homosexuality is a disorder that is preventable with psychotherapy and lists possible causes of homosexuality in at-risk children.
Father Charles Mangano, the same priest who was so thrilled to have the heart of Father Vianney in his bedroom as he slept, said he had ordered the pamphlet from the Catholic Medical Association in response to “a parishioner seeking guidance during a sexual identity crisis.”
"The content of this pamphlet was intended to offer direction to those who are struggling with their sexual identity and those seeking guidance and conformity with the teaching of the church," Mangano told Newsday. In response to the complaints received, Mangano pulled the pamphlets from the church’s literature racks.
As a former Catholic and current atheist, I am of two minds on this issue. I believe the church was wrong for displaying the “Homosexuality & Hope” pamphlets. Yet at the same time, the Catholic Church is what it is. Those who belong to the Catholic Church believe that it embodies the teachings of Jesus and the will of God, and that God’s truth is contained in that collection of books known as the Bible. The teachings and commandments of the church are not like a cafeteria menu where you can pick and choose which ones you will accept and obey and ignore the ones that go against your values. The same holds true for any other Christian church, as well as religions such as Judaism and Islam.
Face it, if you are gay and consider yourself to be a Catholic, then you have a problem. The Catholic Church considers homosexual conduct to be a sin and an abomination, and that homosexuality is a disorder that is treatable with psychotherapy. Either you choose to be a Catholic and not engage in homosexual conduct, or you really need to reconsider if the Catholic Church is for you.