.- The leader of a Catholic ministry to homosexuals recently recalled his conversion story.
âGod was leading me, through the advice of priests I spoke with, to see that a sexually active life, even with just one person of the same-sex, could not bring me happiness,â Guillermo Marquez told CNA.
Marquez, now the coordinator of Courage Latino in the Mexican state of Queretaro, initially founded a support group that questioned the Church's teachings on homosexuality. He compared his organization to the San Elredo Community in Saltillo, Mexico. Though supported by the local bishop, the San Elredo Community has come under fire for its founder's opposition to Catholic teachings and support of same-sex marriage.
Marquez eventually decided to leave his group after realizing he could not âbe right with God and the Churchâ if he continued the live out a homosexual lifestyle.
His organization âhad become just a social group,â he said. âSame-sex couples were allowed to join and while we werenât encouraged to find new partners, we werenât discouraged from doing so either.â
âThe thorny issues about sexual morality and chastity were avoided to prevent arguments or problems between the members of the group,â he added.
âI slowly began to realize that the longer I went without having homosexual relations, the better I was feeling. I was happier and more stable. And so the life of chastity began to draw my attention and attract me.
âIt has been a long â sometimes difficult â process, but I have matured spiritually and emotionally,â he said.
Marquezâs conversion led him to Courage Latino, which he joined in 2008 after attending a retreat.
âThat retreat was very important for me,â he said. âBecause as I was on a journey of discovering chastity, it allowed me finally to find what I was looking for. An apostolate with people who have the same goals as me, the same aspirations of believing in Christ and of believing Christ as well.â
Through Courage Latino, he realized that âthe Catholic Church does not reject me or abandon me, that homosexuality is not genetic and that nobody is born homosexual.â
âWe are not homosexuals or gays but men and women with same-sex attraction,â Marquez explained.
âI know both paths,â he said, âand I know that the path of the so-called gay lifestyle doesnât make anyone happy.â
âThat path is full of insecurity, fear, dissatisfaction, profound emptiness, anger, and in many cases, promiscuity, sexual addiction, pornography, drugs and alcohol, and the endless search for love through destructive and co-dependent relationships,â Marquez said.
âCourage completely condemns all unjust discrimination, abuse, offense or aggression against persons with (same-sex attraction). This must not be tolerated in any circle, much less among Christians,â he said.
âCourage Latino is faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, but it is not limited to just living chastely. Courage wants us to be better Christians,â Marquez stated. âThe goal is holiness.â