Following his talk at the Courage sponsored conference “Accompanying and Welcoming Our Brothers and Sisters with Same-Sex Attraction,” Joseph Prever was interviewed by “Catholic World Report;” he had this to say:
“Many of us emphasize the need to move towards self-acceptance and away from shame. For this reason we often stay away from the language of “disorder” and “brokenness” that often surrounds the issue, even though we understand the reasons for using terms like these.”
I have heard all of this many times before, for this sort of rhetoric comes straight out of the gay playbooks; in fact, two landmark works which I read back in the 1990s, curiously incorporated the two gay buzz-words Prever spoke about in his interview - “self-acceptance” and “shame,” within their titles: “Becoming Gay: The Journey to Self-Acceptance” by Richard Isay and “Coming Out of Shame: Transforming Gay and Lesbian Lives” by Kaufman and Raphael; both published in 1996. First, revolutionary psychiatrist Ismay, who literally wrote the book on modern gay shrink-theory, argued: “Internalized self-hate and homophobia can only be worked through by a process of confrontation of denial, self-acknowledgment, and ultimate self-acceptance.” This sort of gay “self-acceptance” is usually achieved by “coming-out;” as merely partaking in the sex-act is considered entirely secondary and wholly unacceptable to most in the gay community; as I once discovered that the greatest consternation in the gay bars and cruising areas was always reserved for the so-called “trolls’ or straight, often married, men who picked-up gay guys for quick sex. In a rather alarming admission, Prever himself bizarrely marks the anniversary of his “coming out” and observed that: “Well-meaning straight folks who say that Catholics should never come out: may God forgive you for the heavy burdens of shame that you help to bind on your brothers and sisters.” Here, this attitude and reverence for “coming-out” is strikingly similar to that found in the gay community; for instance, actress Jodie Foster was frequently castigated by homosexual groups for her refusal to publicly partake in this ceremony of self-admittance when she repeatedly pass up the opportunity to “come-out.” Only after she did so, though she had been living with another woman for many years, was she finally considered gay. Yet, even then, some didn’t fully buy it: gay columnist Andrew Sullivan took issue with how she “came-out” and that she didn’t explicitly say it as Ellen DeGeneres had done before her: “I’m with Ellen’s courage, not Foster’s retroactive defensiveness. No one needs to know about the details of Foster’s private life, by the way, which she deserves to keep private. All anyone ever asked for was acknowledgment of the public fact of her being gay.” Therefore, it’s not the sexual activity alone which determines the confirmation of the orientation, in fact – its superfluous, but the self-admittance, the act of “coming out” or as Prever says “self-acceptance.”
As for Prever’s second gay buzz-word, Kaufman and Raphael wrote: “Shame is the single greatest barrier to the realization of intimacy. Developing self-esteem and a secure self-affirming gay identity, along with integrating intimacy and sexuality, are central developmental tasks for gay individuals.” Part and parcel with “coming-out” is usually the simultaneous process of throwing off the shame. In my generation, that meant expelling once and for all the guilt we perceived as having originated with our Christian or, in terms of my circle of friends – Catholic, upbringing. In our stance against conservatism, we openly expressed our sexual identity – most flagrantly during the annual ritual of the Gay Pride Parade down Market Street in San Francisco; the first time I attended, at age 18 in 1988, was a dual exhilaration as I was visibly declaring my sexuality in the public forum while joyously celebrating my newly realized identity. Yet, this dropping of shame also left us rather clueless as how to fundamentally manage our lives; for this reason, gay sex quite rapidly descends into the most deviant sub-fetishes as all forms of social and moral constant have been removed which ultimately collapsed into AIDS. In terms of the homosexual inclination shame is a good thing, because, shame serves as the soul’s fail-safe mechanism – signaling to the brain that all is not well; that a wound, or as “The Catechism states,” a “disorder” is unresolved and actively influencing our reactions and desires. Pope Francis recently said: “But shame is a true Christian virtue, and even human…the ability to be ashamed: I do not know if there is a similar saying in Italian, but in our country to those who are never ashamed are called ‘sin vergüenza:’ this means ‘the unashamed,’ because they are people who do not have the ability to be ashamed and to be ashamed is a virtue of the humble…” With this in mind, Prever’s further comments about why he chooses to “stay away” from such terms as “disorder” and “brokenness” can be explained: because, when you have shame you are humble and able to acknowledge your own woundedness and “disorder;” you can also recognize that this disorder is a “strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil.”* So, if you are accepting being gay then you are also accepting an “intrinsic moral evil.” In the end, all you are left with is some confused sense of gratification that you came-out and that you are gay; hence, now voluntarily-imprisoned and locked into the orientation. And that’s sad.
“…the gravitational pull of our lives is weighted by the chains of the ‘I’ and the ‘self.’ These chains must be broken to free us for a new love that places us in another gravitational field where we can enter new life.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI