There is a place where even the liberal Catholic press fears to tread. The relative lack of serious discussion about homosexual desire casts into spiritual darkness a tribe of believing Catholic men and women who must fend for themselves in their quest for a serene emotional life, for companionship, and for the comfort of sexual love. For “the teaching church,” the subject is untouchable.

There are few intellectuals, lay or clerical, who will take it on, for it is risky to bring into the public forum the notion that there are Catholics who practice their faith with diligence and who love those of their own sex and have known the joy of that love. I am such a Catholic. I have discovered that such a love is easy to bear, complete, and holy.

So, I will offer some thoughts I have about a homosexual’s life and its difficulties, its spirituality, its struggles with desire and the church’s punitive silence.

If I obey the church, there is only a life of absolute celibacy open to me. I must accept my lot, hope for the best, cross my fingers, and “offer it up.” What “the best” is, the church does not quite say, but it cannot be sexual.

Everything must be avoided that might lead to the discovery of the beloved: no flirtations, no gathering together with other homosexuals, no dating, no risk of arousal. If such constrictions were imposed on...

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