.- In a new series of guest columns, CNA contributor Patrick Einheber will discuss his experience as a faithful Catholic with same-sex attraction.
“I was born and raised as a Catholic and have experienced same-sex attraction for as long as I can remember being aware of attraction,” said Einheber, a 37-year-old software engineer from Denver, Colorado.
“In college I abruptly and naively came to the conclusion that the Church was wrong about its views on same-sex relationships and marriage,” he told CNA. “I rebelled against the idea that Catholics need to understand and believe everything the Church teaches and so I stopped going to Mass.”
But after college, “I experienced a profound emptiness that God eventually revealed as a longing for him,” he recalled. “When I again sought the face of God and tried to learn why the Church teaches what it teaches, I began to see its wisdom and beauty and have been drawn onward ever since.”
Einheber's column “Before I Formed You” begins on Feb. 16, with an essay on “Same-Sex Attraction and the Choice for the Greatest Good.”
It marks the first part of a series looking at the topic from the perspective of both personal experience and authoritative Catholic teaching.
In his remarks to CNA, the new columnist criticized the media's presentation of a “false dichotomy” between “authentic, traditional Christians” on the one hand, and people who experience same-sex attraction on the other.
These categories are not mutually exclusive, Einheber noted.
“The world needs to know that there are people who experience same-sex attraction and still want to follow Christ on the narrow road.”
“I'm trying to really approach the situation with prayer, study and reflection so that I might truly understand the heart and will of Christ on this subject.”
The column's title comes from the Old Testament Prophet Jeremiah, about whom God declared: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
That verse has long been one of Einheber's favorites – not only for its affirmation of human dignity at all stages of life, but also because of its “profound implications about God's plan for each of us even before his creation of us as male or female.”
In his column's first installment, the guest contributor discusses the desire for love and companionship, and how he “reached the conclusion that God and the Church actually do wish for my perfect happiness.”
The series is not meant only for others in the same situation, but for anyone interested in a thoughtful Catholic take on a sometimes polarizing topic.
“Even people who don't experience same-sex attraction themselves know people who do, and it's important to really understand the subject.”