The Pope’s alleged words came from the testimony of Juan Carlos Cruz, one of the child victims of sexual abuse by Chilean clergy, who visited the pontiff at the Vatican earlier this month.
The Pope has neither confirmed nor denied the veracity of the statement, once again leaving many to wonder if the Church is treading down a path to justifying LGBT identity and activity as fully normal. Left hanging in the air is the suggestion contrary to Catholic anthropology that God ordains some people to be gay, as if it were a divine gift.
LifeSiteNews reached out to chaste Catholics and others who experience same-sex attraction (SSA) but who choose to live according to the Gospel, not their feelings and attractions.
Many recoiled at the Pope’s alleged comments, while others propose that his words were either misreported or misinterpreted.
There is one thing, however, that every single one of these chaste same-sex attracted men and women made clear in their statements to LifeSiteNews: God most certainly did not make them gay.
Thomas Berryman wonders “just how seriously the Holy Father takes the Church’s teachings on this and other issues of sexual morality … It is deeply disturbing to believe that leaders of the Roman Catholic Church are more concerned about winning people’s affection and approval than the fate of their eternal souls.”
“This certainly makes it a lot harder for those of us who are same-sex attracted and trying to obey the Church’s timeless teachings to do so--or even feel like we are truly welcome in the new, paradigm-shifting Church,” said Berryman. “Belonging to a Church whose leaders don’t even believe in its teachings does seem kind of dumb.”
The Pope’s “remark disturbed me greatly because first of all, it's a lie, and second of all, he is deceiving millions of people into hell,” said Anita Angelo, who did not mince words when speaking to LifeSiteNews. “He just told millions of homosexuals that it's ok to stay gay and sold them on the devil's lie. It's not. Sure Jesus said to ‘come as you are’ but He will turn your life around if you let Him. God can and will deliver us from every yoke of bondage if we let Him.”
Angelo said that those who have “itching ears … longing for affirmation” need to know that the Pope’s alleged but uncorrected statement “logically speaking doesn't even make sense.” She asked, “Why would a loving God create someone to be same-sex attracted and then at the same time condemn them to hell? He just wouldn’t.”
“I am very grieved over his remark,” said Angelo. “It actually makes me sick to my stomach because people will stay trapped and not even know it.”
Before he started his outreach in San Francisco to the LGBT community, Catholic Joseph Sciambra assumed his struggle would be with the secular gay community. Yet he found, “Those who stand up for truth … have almost no support from the hierarchy.”
“Over the past ten years, because of this issue, I have teetered every day on the edge of leaving the Catholic Church. Beyond the physical and mental torments I have suffered due to a decade I spent as a gay man, the Church has been my greatest source of suffering,” said Sciambra in a published opinion.
“When I hear those in the Catholic Church say ‘you were born gay,’ I think: My God, they are killing us,” he concluded.
“I think it's unwise to rely on second hands reports,” said DanielMattson, author ofWhy I Don’t Call Myself Gay. “And The Pope has spoken about homosexuality publicly many times, and he has reiterated time and time again that he is a son of the Church.”
“I am glad that we are talking about ‘homosexual people’ because before all else comes the individual person, in his wholeness and dignity,” Mattson told LifeSiteNews. “And people should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies: let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love.’”
“The Church is clear––we are all born male or female, and all of us live with certain disordered passions and inclinations,” Mattson continued. “Same-sex attraction is just one of many disordered inclinations that people can find help overcoming through the sacramental life of the Church. No one is created 'gay' for the simple reason that God does not create anyone with ‘disordered inclinations.”
“It was by connecting the crystal clear dots of Catholic tradition, and of Catholic truth, that many of us were able to turn to Christ and away from the homosexual lifestyle,” Paul Darrow told LifeSiteNews. Darrow is one of three chaste same-sex attracted Catholics featured in the movie,Desire of the Everlasting Hills, produced by the Courage Apostolate. “Because of this, we were able to discover real peace and true freedom. We are now praying that the clergy does not confuse our brothers and sisters with fuzzy dots that will lead them onto a bridge to nowhere.”
“As a young Catholic woman who loves Jesus and daily lives life to follow Him it makes my heart very sad to believe that the Pope would say what he allegedly said to this young man with same-sex attraction,” said Kimberly Zember. “I know personally, from my own life, that same-sex desires are real desires that can be from a very young age, but to say that “God made you that way” without any further discussion leads one to believe if ‘God made you that way’ then there is nothing wrong with living out (sexually) the way God made you.”
“Furthermore, [this leads] one to gather that homosexual relationships are not only accepted by God but planned by God and should be lived out,” Zember told LifeSiteNews. “If we human beings were to act on every desire that we were “born with” this world would be a scary place to live. I pray we all get back to the Gospel Truth and not our own truths or feelings. Why would God call us to live in something that He died for?”
“The Pope and liberal ‘Christian’ theologians/teachers have done more damage to LGBT individuals by poisoning us with their lies, pushing us into further bondage and rebellion against God,” said George Carneal, Author ofFrom Queer To Christ. “This destroyed my peace of mind and I attempted suicide over the despair.”
“God is not the author of confusion,” continued Corneal. “He would not make me gay and then condemn it in His infallible Word. When God opened my eyes to the deception and gave me the healing I needed, I was able to finally walk away from that life. I choose to listen to God, not the Pope.”
“I believe that after the fall sin entered the world & we’re all born in sin,” said Adonis Bemish. “Regardless if God made me this way that’s not an excuse to pursue my fleshly desires even if there is some gene that decides our sexuality.
“God calls us to walk in holiness towards Him regardless of one’s struggles (1 Thessalonians 4:7) & to lay aside our fleshly desires to pursue more of Him,” 29 year old Bemish told LifeSiteNews. “Ultimately the Pope isn’t God & just because he now makes this statement doesn’t dictate for me the truth of God’s Word.”
Ron and Fetima McCray are a young married couple, who were formerly active members of the gay and lesbian world.
“If the Pope truly did make such a claim, I would say it is heartbreaking to say the least,” said Ron. “While homosexuality is not the ‘worst’ sin, it is still a sin all the same. Jesus came to die for the sins of the world (Jn. 1:9) — that we might be reconciled unto God, not so that we can freely live in sin.”
“Had the church told me Jesus accepted me as a gay man, they would have robbed me of the life I now live today,” continued Ron. “I have been joyfully free from homosexuality going on 9 years, and joyfully married to a woman of almost 3 of those years. I would have never learned of my true identity, had the church sold me this lie. I would have never experienced God as a healer and a strong deliver! Truth is what makes us free, not deception, and not twisting scripture to fit our lifestyles.”
“In response to the Pope’s alleged comments on being gay, I say this,” said Fetima. “Regardless of how you were born––as we were all born in sin and sharpened in iniquity according to Psalm 51:5––we MUST BE born again (John 3:5). Once we are born again we mortify the deeds of the flesh, or the ‘old man,’ (Roman 8:13) … Once we are born again, we are no longer slaves to sin but slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:18) that we might show forth the praises of Him that has called us out of darkness [and the bondage of our sinful flesh] and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
“While living my homosexual life I definitely believed God made me that way,” said Bob, who preferred his last name not be used. “The feelings were real, and why would I choose such a difficult path? But then I met Jesus and my eyes were open to my need for a Savior in all areas of my life. I realize now that it was influences and circumstances that likely caused those feelings to develop and I pursued what felt ‘normal.’ Now married with kids and 18 years freed from that lifestyle I can honestly say it is finally at this stage of my life that I am living the truth: “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
“I've had same-sex attraction since I was a boy, and from time to time became involved in gay sex starting when I was 12. Even though I've struggled with this, I've tried to follow Christ as a disciple,” said Jeff, a Catholic man who wants to remain anonymous. “My walk with the Lord has enriched my life. I really can't imagine that Jesus would say ‘go for it.’
“Scripture and natural law, and thus Church teaching, show us another way,” he continued. “Despite the struggle, and at times falling, I've been most fulfilled as a man (and as a husband and father) as I've sought the grace to live as the Church teaches. I experience a mystical relationship with Christ. It is a challenge at times, and at other times not a big deal. Walking with Christ has been more fulfilling and I think it is he who has blessed my attempts to avoid same sex relationships.”
Thomas Berryman spoke for many when he said, “Personally, I believe that the Holy Father said what Mr. Cruz says he did. I just don’t want to believe it. It is possible to comfort someone without validating his sinful behavior.”