Many years ago I moved into a cute little apartment building in a charming neighborhood, just two blocks away from the Catholic Cathedral in that city. I was thrilled to start attending the Cathedral, as it is a beautiful church.
A few months later, I saw a notice for people interested in a young adult group at the Cathedral and went to it's very first meeting. There I met a guy who instantly became a friend. I remember that upon that first meeting I thought he was kind of cute, but wondered if he was gay.
We started spending time together within a week. First a bike ride. Maybe a movie. But never dating.
He lived just blocks from me and the Cathedral, in the cutest little Craftsman style house. It was easy for us to get together, and we enjoyed many of the same things.
He had a love for architecture that drew out the same in me. By associating with him, I finally started to understand why I loved what I loved about buildings and houses. I learned the names of certain features and styles.
We both loved everything from the same era. I'd found someone to troll antique stores with.
When my friends met him, they'd ask if he was gay. Because I knew about his interests and attractions - which indicated he was straight - I would say so.
I moved away... and in our communication he shared sometimes that people asked him if he was gay and how frustrated he was by that.
My gay friends met him and declared him, "In the Closet"!
Hearing his frustrations with dating I often thought how much easier it would be for him if he were gay. I've known him for 12 years now and have never known him to date anybody. I've only heard about his frustrations in his pursuit of women.
A few days ago, I noticed his Faceb00k status had changed to 'in a relationship'.
What is this? I asked. Who is this? What is new?
He responded that he had changed teams a year ago and was now dating a really great guy.
I am so relieved and happy for him!
Another friend asked how I reconcile that with my Catholic faith. I know that the Church views Homosexuality as a sin. But I'm not thinking about bedroom activity. I am focused on my friend having a successful, loving relationship that makes him happy. That's what we all want.
I focus more on the Christian duty of loving my neighbor. Of loving my friend and being a friend. God has not put me here to judge. Our Lord will take care of that at the pearly gates. And I feel pretty strongly that since God made my friend, God will understand.
And I'm more concerned about God's view of how I treat those I come to know and care about. I doubt that scorning my friend will win favor with God.
And quite frankly, I'm much happier for my friend finding someone who loves and accepts him- than if he had entered into a marriage denying his authentic self - and deceiving a woman who likely signed up for a heterosexual marriage and all that entails.
How do you reconcile your faith with loving and accepting your friends?