Fear. Anger. Hatred. Confusion.
Many same-sex attracted people are no strangers to the emotional trials of their sexuality.
Six men and women who’ve experienced these reactions to Church teaching on homosexuality gave candid interviews in a documentary called “The Third Way.”
Blackstone Films’ 40-minute video released online in April shares the stories of same-sex attracted people who discovered their emotions were not a reaction to the Church’s true teaching on homosexuality, but what they wrongly perceived it to be.
“Most of the things I heard about homosexuality were not from the Church,” said a man called “Joseph” in the film. “I knew what was prohibited. I knew there was not a future for me like being married to a man. I didn’t know why it was prohibited. It seemed arbitrary and cruel as it does to a lot of people.”
Joseph and the others shared how they discovered the Church’s teachings do not condemn those with same-sex attraction, but rather call for them to be loved and live chastely, as it calls all people in every state of life.
“I find so much comfort in the Church’s teaching regarding same-sex attraction because it tells me that the Lord loves me,” said David, a same-sex attracted man. “I can live, and I do live, a fulfilling chaste life.”
He said he found the term “gay” did not define him.
“I used to think I was gay. I am not gay,” he shared. “I am David, a Catholic man … that is my identity.”
The documentary features well-known Catholic evangelists, including Christopher Stefanick of Real Life Catholic and Jason Evert of the Chastity Project, and religious including Sister Helena Burns, F.S.P., and Father Michael Schmitz, who shed light on the real teaching of the Church.
With the testimony of the same-sex attracted people, the interviewees dispel the common misconceptions of homosexuality and unveil the Church’s compassion.
The men and women share the dichotomy they once found themselves torn between.
“There’s two camps, basically,” David said. “There’s those that say you’re going to hell. God hates homosexuals. … Then there’s people who say, over on this extreme, ‘Oh, you can just live an active gay life. God loves everybody. It’s OK. He wants you to love, too.”
Father Michael Schmitz said the Church offers a third way to treat all people, including those with same-sex attractions.
“We do not want in any way to hate or condemn or fear or want to isolate you,” the priest said in an interview. “At the same time we can’t embrace everything you chose so we’re going to choose this third way, and that third way is love. We’re going to love you.”
Julie, relayed how she spent her time looking for happiness and joy among the gay community, in Protestant churches and with friends.
She began a search for the truth.
“There was never peace, there was never true joy, there was never happiness anywhere I went in the world until I came to the Catholic Church,” she said. “If you’re seeking the truth and you refuse to be satisfied with anything but truth, then you’re going to end up in the Catholic Church.”
That’s where the truth is, she said.
The truth they found is that desire for the same sex is not inherently disordered. The disorder arises when a person choses to act on those desires outside the context of a marriage between a man and woman.
This means they’re called to live a life of chaste love.
“It’s really about saying yes to one thing—yes to authentic love,” Stefanick said.
Evert added that same-sex attracted are called to a life of deep union with Christ and his Church.
“Because these people have these attractions, they belong in the Catholic Church. This is their home,” Evert said.
‘The Third Way’ Film
The documentary by Blackstone Films is free and available online. Visit www.blackstonefilms.org.