Avera Maria Santo is same-sex attracted. And, she’s a devout Catholic who desires to embrace and consistently live out her faith in all areas of life. As a blogger, she’s been vulnerable, inviting others into her very real struggles. As a struggler, she’s all of us. Everyone of us has our own thing or things that gnaw at us. . . constantly reminding us of our brokenness, depravity, and need for God. It’s not easy. As a same-sex attracted struggler, her vulnerability speaks generally to all of us, offering theologically sound insight into sin, grace, and obedience. Her vulnerability speaks specifically to those among us who deal with all types of sexual brokenness and the resulting struggles. . . which in actuality, is all of us.
I recently ran across Santo’s letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on homosexuality and youth which was reprinted in the Winter 2018 edition of Salvo magazine. It was so compelling that I read it several times over. And, it was so compelling that I pass it on to you below. As a deeply broken human being myself, I was struck by several phrases that remind me of the true cost of discipleship and what it means to be confronted by the truth no matter what the nature of our “thing”. . . “I’ll admit it, I didn’t like what I heard, but I knew it was what I needed to hear. . . Man is only truly free when when he can choose to do as he ought, not simply as he wants, for the things that we may want aren’t always good for us.”
Here’s Santo’s letter. . .
Dear Bishops of the Holy Catholic Church,
When I was made aware of the efforts being made by pro-LGBT groups trying to persuade Catholic Bishops to change Church teaching on homosexuality, specifically at this year’s Youth Synod, it devastated me.
As someone who has not only grown up in the Church, but has also come to love her and her teachings for myself, I would hate to see her teachings altered in any way, especially in a way that could cause such a grave amount of damage.
I wish then to lay my heart bare, and to share some of my story and my convictions with you, dear Bishops of the Holy Catholic Church, and plead with you to keep the Church’s teachings on homosexuality good, true, and beautiful.
I am a 22-year-old young Catholic woman that experiences same-sex attractions. While I was growing up, I heard very little, if anything at all, on homosexuality, even though I attended Catholic school from Pre-K – 12th grade.
When I finally came to terms with the fact that I was romantically interested in other women, it terrified me. I didn’t know where turn, who to speak to, or if I could speak about it at all! The fear paralyzed me into silence for quite a while.
As time went on, I began to learn more and more about the teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality, and for some time, I didn’t understand them. I wasn’t sure what the words “objectively” and “intrinsically disordered” meant, and truth be told, I had the feeling that I didn’t want to know. It wasn’t until I was around the age of 20 that I finally began to understand.
I’ll admit, I didn’t like what I heard, but I knew it was what I needed to hear.
Continue reading here.