A round up of the reaction to the unraveling of Joseph Bottum can be found here.
Whether acquaintance, neighbor, friend, relative, we all know and love people who are sexually attracted to the same sex, or know somebody who does.
The teachings of the Church and our convictions are difficult and painful for them.
They may distance themselves, confront us and we may even lose those relationships.
We are supposed to be witnesses to the love of God.
In that witness, the LAST thing we can ever do is witness that acting upon their attractions is not sinful.
That is an outlandish lie.
It is difficult for most of us reading here to imagine wanting anything badly enough that you concoct a lie to persuade them to do something that would rob them of their salvation.
Every one us who are living the dream of keeping ourselves in a state of sanctifying Grace every day or every hour, sins.
Most of the time, they are impulsive sins that are symptoms of our weaknesses and character flaws.
If we don't stay on top of those and take them to the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist, the effects of those sins eat away at Sanctifying Grace and the tools that help us resist temptation and sin.
Living in this state, we graduate to mortal sin. Knowing something is sin and instead of calling upon Christ, Mary, the angels, saints - we commit a sin that just involves us.
Maybe we miss Mass on Sunday.
Then we graduate to hurting or tempting others.
That's what Joseph Bottum is doing and what he is instructing others to do.
That's what the Fr. Unni's and Garritys and Flemings and Coyne and Josomas do.
They are causing people to sin.
That is a hell of a lot more serious than falling into the trap ourselves.
Christ says several things to people who hand over or cause other people to sin.
He told Pilate - who actually sentenced him to Crucifixion - that the people who handed Him over were the people guilty of the greater sin. The Chief Priests and Judas.
He said people who cause others to sin would be better for them to have never been born off or to have a millstone around their neck at a bottom of a river.
In today's Gospel, He tells them all the 'good works' they did - teaching and feeding the poor or whatever have you - He has no recollection of them, calls them evildoers and to get away from Him.
Acting on sexual attraction outside of marriage (and for Catholics that means the Sacrament of Marriage) is a behavior. It doesn't matter who you are and what you are attracted to - it is a sinful behavior.
As Catholics, we can't tell anyone, anything that contradicts Church teaching.
It is a delicate walk.
When confronted in anger or in question, IMO, the best approach is to humble yourself as one who struggled and struggles with sin to explain the context of the teaching.
I usually have plenty of ammunition. LOL.
Women who take contraception have the exact same reaction homosexuals do to the teachings of the Church. I know because I was once one of them. It was my waterloo. It pained me to know that the Apostles saw me as an unworthy person and my actions as an obstacle to my salvation. It caused me to put great distance between Christ and His Sacraments and myself. I know I said things about the old goats and know nothings who don't have sex, don't have to earn a living, don't have to put food on the table or a roof over their children's heads - etc., etc.
I explain how I read the Humanae Vitae and John Paul II writings - and I asked to please let me see and know the truth because above all else I did not want to hurt Him.
I thought I was fighting a battle against people who were hurting His Church. I turned over every rock on the teaching of the Church on contraception. And, the more I read, the more I knew I was the one hurting His Church and people.
I have yet to have a person become unglued when I come from this perspective.
Bottum's asinine thesis was bought and paid for by the same people who fund SEICUS. His actions are reprehensible.
If you are struggling with what to say in this period in the history of our Church, there are gentle ways to stand firm in the witness.
Everyone has a story they can share with a struggling person. Put yours together and have it ready.