Notre Dame University to Host Controversial ‘Gay in Christ’ Conference for Abstinent Homosexuals

Notre Dame Credit Michael FernandesNOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame University, a popular Roman Catholic institution, will host a controversial conference entitled “Gay in Christ: Dimensions of Fidelity” this week for those who identify as homosexuals but who hold to Catholic teachings on sexuality and marriage.

According to a report released this week by the university, the two-day event is co-sponsored by Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life and Gender Relations Center and will aim to “explore appropriate pastoral strategies for Catholic parishioners who regard themselves as non-heterosexual, but who accept Catholic Church teaching on marriage and sexuality.”

The event is stated to include much of the same discussion that took place during the recent synod of Catholic bishops in Rome. As previously reported, the summit discussed issues pertaining to relationships and families, including homosexuality, and was controversial even among those in attendance as many could not agree on the content of the relatio.

“Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?” the original section on homosexuality read. “Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?”

While retaining its belief that sexual activity between those of the same gender is wrongful, many viewed the document as seeking to be more “inclusive” of those whose lifestyles run counter to Scripture.

“Without denying the moral problems associated with homosexual unions, there are instances where mutual assistance to the point of sacrifice is a valuable support in the life of these persons,” it continues. “Furthermore, the Church pays special attention to children who live with same-sex couples and stresses that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.”

The synod ultimately left the text out of its draft at the conclusion of its two week gathering as a consensus could not be reached about the matter.

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“I think this is timely, given the synod on the family and its attention to such pastoral issues,” John Cavadini, director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life, said of university’s upcoming conference, which will begin on Friday. “The conference is not intended to cover all issues related to identifying as gay and Catholic, but is directed, ultimately, at forming a pastoral strategy for parishes to be able to receive the gifts of self-identified gay Catholics who also adhere to the teaching of the Church on marriage and related issues.”

“Can Church teaching support an ‘exchange of gifts,’ enabling a parish community to receive the gifts that such people bring to us, and, in turn, to make the gifts of ecclesial belonging more securely and fruitfully available to these Catholics? That is the long-term goal of the rather experimental discussions we are beginning here.”

But some state that if persons are remaining abstinent and are rather seeking to overcome homosexual temptation through the power of Jesus Christ rather than embrace sin, then they should not be identifying themselves by their temptations—but rather seeing themselves as simply being in Christ.

“Sexuality is not an identity; sexuality comes from an identity,” Ryan Dobson of Focus on the Family wrote in a post earlier this year. “My identity does not come from my intimate relationship with my wife; my identity comes directly from my relationship (or lack of) with God.”

He told the story of Christopher Yuan, who turned from homosexuality when he realized his new identity as a born-again child of God.

“He says over and over again that giving his life to Christ meant simultaneously accepting his new identity as a son of a perfectly holy God,” Dobson explained. “Following Jesus Christ was a choice, the outcome of which was a new identity in the truths that God teaches. Yuan said, ‘The choice was either to walk away from God and continue with my lifestyle, or to choose Jesus Christ and follow what the Bible says.'”

“Don’t let [people] get away with defining someone based on that person’s sexual preference. Instead, hold up the same standard that God put in place for yourself and everyone else on the planet: ‘Be holy as I am holy,'” he said. “That is the beginning of your identity.”

Photo: Michael Fernandez

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  • Guest

    have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community – See more
    homosexuality is a lifestyle not a gender, it is sexual immorality. no person who practices homosexuality will ever admit that sodomy glorifies God.

  • Guest

    is a lifestyle not a gender, it is sexual immorality. no person who
    practices homosexuality will ever admit that sodomy glorifies God, regardless of how many time they have painted this acts as expression of love.

  • staad

    homosexuality is a lifestyle not a gender, it is sexual immorality. no person who
    homosexuality will ever admit that sodomy glorifies God, regardless of
    how many times they have painted this acts as expression of love.

  • Gee, ya know, my Bible says that Christians are a new creation. The old way of life is dead. I guess by being a “gay christian” you are only half new cause somehow they managed to attached to old clunker car to the new cadillac. What they have is half junk and the new part that will be junk soon because of the junk they added. Confusing huh? That’s exactly what queers want it to be….confusing.

    • KenS

      So, the christian who lies, curses, etc… Are not really a christian as well, is that the message I see you giving here. I think you may want to read I Corinthians again, to see that paul was telling the saints at Corinth that they need to use the Holy Spirit that is in them to battle these sins from their old life instead of living in them still. This article to me seems to be trying to teach these christians the same concept.

    • SFBruce

      I don’t think there’s anything even remotely confusing. While I sincerely wish the RCC were actually welcoming gay people into their congregations, this isn’t happening at all. Instead, they’re welcoming people with same sex attraction who don’t act on those attractions because they think that’s God’s will for their lives. They are, in your terminology, resisting temptation. That isn’t enough?

      • Rose

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but they are still gay. They’re practicing abstinence but they still say that they are gay. It would be different if they were going to church to resist their homosexuality and practice abstinence, but they still admit that they are homosexual. I think that they’re off to a good start by going to church in the first place, but I wouldn’t be able to be friends with a homosexual without telling them with love that what they’re believing is wrong and that there’s a better life for them. The church made a good step forward inviting homosexuals into their churches, because they do need healing, but they’re inviting them in for the wrong reason.

        • SFBruce

          What, exactly, is that wrong reason? Remember, these are gay people who would obviously like to not be gay. The position of the RCC on homosexuality has been, for as long as I can remember, that there is on sin in being gay, but it’s sinful to act on those same sex desires. We simply don’t choose our sexual orientation; it’s not a switch one can turn from gay to straight at will.

          • Oh crap!! Here we go again with that “born that way” mantra. Yes, you can change, I ‘m a peace loving human being but i could become a scary son of a bitch if I wanted to. Nothing stopping me and the only thing stopping most queers from going straight are the rest of the putrid queers who bully and say they can’t change. Some people don’t want to change. They love screwing a sewer pipe. Some actually smart enough to realize they can change and do and never look back. Some try and fall off the wagon. Don’t give us any more of your pitiful “born that way” bull shit. Enough is enough!!

          • SFBruce

            What makes you so certain that sexual orientation is chosen? Did you make a decision to become heterosexual? And keep in mind, this article is not about practicing gay people; it’s about people who are honest about their attractions, and would undoubtedly “choose” to be straight if they could. But they can’t; it’s just not the way sexual orientation is formed. Even James Dobson, who believes that gay people can and should try to change, says, “While homosexuality and lesbianism are not exclusively induced by heredity, it is important to emphasize that it often occurs in those who did not choose it…We can accept them without approving of behavior the Bible condemns.” I’m surprised that there seems to be so much hostility to a group of people doing what I would have thought would be the right thing to do for most of the readers here.

          • Here’s a news flash for the leftist lunatics…..NO ONE and I mean NO ONE is born homosexual or heterosexual. We WERE born male and female. The rest is a choice whether you like it or not. You can deny; you can scream, you can even piss, moan and groan but it WILL NOT change the facts and you know it. So take your f’ing mantra back to your closet and leave it there. And get rid of your useless putrid “pride” parades as they resemble a f’ing circus than something of usefulness. Frankly, you walk around crying every time someone tells you they don’t like your stinking lifestyle. I don’t care anymore. You and your useless band of idiots make me sick. Now be a good boy and go play in the damn traffic or something.

          • Rose

            But you are incorrect in your statement. In Genesis, God made man, and then he made woman. If God didn’t care whether or not if we were gay, he would’ve made man. But he didn’t, he made them separate with separate roles. I don’t quite understand the desire to be homosexual, but I do know that it’s not of God; it’s of Satin. As for the wrong reason, the reason they’re having homosexuals come to this conference is to promote abstinence, not the sin of homosexuality. Like I said, they’re off to a good start, but they do need to address the issue of their homosexuality as well as abstinence.

          • SFBruce

            I appreciate your civil response. I know that the vast majority, if not all, readers of this website believe all same sex sexual activity is sinful. While I don’t agree, I understand that position. What I find puzzling is why celibate gay people are criticized for still being gay. From their perspective, they are resisting temptation. Surely God expects no more than that, does he? Are the only true Christians those that never experience any kind of temptation? And does choice have much to do with those temptations? A recovering alcoholic would be well advised not to hang out in bars, but is he only true to God when and if all desire for a drink goes away? Don’t true Christians not only continue to have temptation, but, at times, yield to those temptations? Unless you allow for that, it seems to me, you’re reduced to the proposition that only those who achieve perfection, an impossibility for us mortals, are true Christians.

          • Rose

            We’re all human beings, and we all experience temptation to the same degree. I do believe that allowing gay marriage to be a thing has a lot to do with temptations, because if people think it’s okay because society says it is, then they get rid of their morals and convictions easier. If an alcoholic wants to get rid of his desire to drink, I believe his first resort should be going to God, because God is the more effective way to escape temptation. Yes even true Christians yield to temptation. The mark of a ‘true christian’ is difficult to describe because everyone grows in their walk with God. There’s no ‘best’ when leading a christian life, there’s only better than what you are today. Do you see what I mean?

          • SFBruce

            I think I see exactly what you mean. And it seems to me the celibate gay people referred to in this article are following exactly the kind of path that you described. I raised the questions I raised because I was surprised that so many who’ve commented here seem to think these folks haven’t done enough yet. I know we probably disagree about much, but I very much appreciate your thoughtful responses to my comments.

          • Rose

            Happy to help. It’s nice to have a civil conversation about things like this without people getting personal.

        • jmichael39

          I think we’re splitting hairs here. Paul talks about this issue from both ends of the spectrum. In Romans he talks about it:

          Romans 6
          13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

          Presenting illustrates what these Christians are doing and not doing. They ARE presenting their bodies as instruments of right living and not as instruments of sin (gay behavior). Simply because they also won’t lie and say they are now, somehow, attracted to persons of the opposite sex doesn’t make them any less righteous before God. In fact, I dare any Christian to identify their sin weaknesses and do the same thing in regards to those activities. Lying…cheating…stealing…gossiping…coveting…jealous…envy..
          Keep going.
          I profoundly respect these Christians for identifying the sin in their lives and making the willful choice to buffet their bodies and make them THEIR slaves so that they might finish the race before them for the Glory of their Redeemer….who lives in them.

          • Rose

            You must mistake me. Getting real with God is a very important thing to do, and recognizing your weaknesses will help you grow stronger. I’m proud of these people going to church to be abstinent, but if they’re gonna address the issue of abstinence they should also discuss the issues of their homosexuality. If you’re going to get real with God, you’ve got to address all sin, not just the ones you want help for. You know?

          • jmichael39

            I don’t think you can judge whether they are “addressing” their homosexuality beyond their choice to not commit the sins associated with being a homosexual. But let’s be clear about something, we’re all….some sort of adjective sinner. Alcoholic….drug addict…sex worker…liar…fornicator…whatever. We all have our addictive sins.

          • Rose

            Yes but as Christians living life with the holy spirit, it’s our job to keep our witness and admit to God when we do sin, and work to try to do better. And through God we can ditch our addictive sins and accept that we did those things, and move on. Tell me if I’m wrong, but it seems that you believe that homosexuality is genetic, which in my belief it’s not.

          • jmichael39

            You’re not saying anything different. It is purely semantics. There’s nothing to say they aren’t doing the exact thing you’re saying, but speaking it in different words. It sounds very much the same to me.

          • Rose

            And that is your opinion

          • jmichael39

            Gee, thanks I didn’t realize that.

          • Rose

            Just saying. It’s an opinion that also doesnt effect me

  • ajmhn

    Your either of God or of the world. You cannot be both!!

    • James Grimes

      So true. It’s not surprising that a large number of people will try to legitimize an illicit lifestyle. The Bible is very clear on this topic. There is no confusion. Just because 500,000 people (or whatever number) says it’s OK, it is still an abomination to God.

    • alnga

      Of course when ever we say something like this we must be careful to note that God is opposed to all forms of sin and that confession and renewal is a daily thing for all believers..

      • KenS


  • SFBruce

    This isn’t as dramatic as it might appear. Yes, the language is less harsh than before; for example, even recognizing that LGBT people are capable of worthwhile contributions is new. But the RCC certainly hasn’t changed it’s basic doctrine, which is that the only acceptable sexual behavior is between one man and one woman who are married. The only gay people the church is welcoming are those who don’t act on their gayness.

    • KenS


  • James Grimes

    Any institution is in trouble when it feels the need to have an “Institute for Church Life and Gender Relations Center.” Enough said…

  • Mary Taylor

    Next the Church will say we should embrace Satan, after all he was a creation by God. Never mind Satan had a will and he could choose to follow God and His morals or go his own way. God has not changed. To make Him into a god of your choice, is not the true God.

  • ian

    Wait a minute. How ass backwards are u people? You’re ok with having gay priests who molest little boys who are then protected by the church but u have a hard time with this? Are u in therapy for stupidity yet?

    • Rose

      Who said we were okay with gay priests who molest little boys? Remember we’re not a catholic news network, this is a christian news network. You want to fight the priest who molested children go and call him stupid.

  • Sean

    The Bible states clearly that homosexual ACTS are sinful, NOT the feelings. Therefore, this is an appropriate meeting.

  • Reason2012

    “But some state that if persons are remaining abstinent and are rather seeking to overcome homosexual temptation through the power of Jesus Christ rather than embrace sin, then they should not be identifying themselves by their temptations—but rather seeing themselves as simply being in Christ.

    “Sexuality is not an identity; sexuality comes from an identity,” Ryan Dobson of Focus on the Family wrote in a post earlier this year. “My identity does not come from my intimate relationship with my wife; my identity comes directly from my relationship (or lack of) with God.””

    Exactly. This seems like a thinly veiled attempt to promote the false claim that homosexuality is genetic. Adults continue of their own accord to permanently turn away from homosexuality proving it’s not genetic but just another sinful lust that some are afflicted with. To try to claim to be a “homosexual Christian” is contradiction. You’re either a sinner, or a Christian – no such thing as a “sinning Christian”, just like there’s no such thing as a “homosexual” as if they were born that way.

    • KenS

      you may want to reread I John 1:8-10, He specifically states that a christian does and will sin until the rapture or death. The difference is that we are to strive not to sin and when we fail, we are to ask for forgiveness , not try to stay in that sin.

      • Reason2012

        You are correct: Of course people will strive not to sin and will still stumble and sin and try not to stay in that sin. A “homosexual” Christian or “adulterious” Christian and so on, as I was explaining, would be a person who feels it’s just fine to live in that sin and is not striving against it, which is the problem with what’s being suggested here: that there are “homosexual Christians”. And homosexuality is not genetic, which is what they’re trying to imply. Sorry for the confusion.

        • KenS

          Im sorry but the statement that they are staying abstinent and denying their urges seems more to the contrary to me. I may be mistaken.

          • Reason2012

            That he’s calling them “homosexual” Christians is the problem: It’s just as wrong to call someone an “adulterous” Christian and claim they are just abstaining from adultery and that’s why we call them that, and so on.

          • KenS

            I think that they are only calling them that to identify what sin it is that they are struggling with, what their begetting sin is.

          • Reason2012

            Hello. They are struggling with many sins same as everyone else. Calling them “homosexual” Christians completely sounds like they are claiming the person is born that way and that they are possibly still homosexual. Just like calling someone an “adulterous Christian” would sound.

          • KenS

            Really, Christians that have a drinking problem are called alcoholics all the time, where is the difference there?

          • Reason2012

            (1) They’re not called “alcoholic Christians”
            (2) Christians are freed from alcoholism when they are born again and are hence former alcoholics, not “alcoholic Christians” which implies they’re still getting drunk whenever they want b/c they can’t help it and do not care.

          • KenS

            I know of plenty of Christians that are still struggling with the sin of alcoholism as well as many other Christians that are struggling with sexual immorality of any kind and smoking, lying, stealing, etc…They are still called alcoholics and are still considered Christians even though they are struggling/battling that sin. That is the whole point that the Apostle Paul makes with his I Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul is pointing out that these carnal Christians that have gone back to these sins that he mentions in verse 9, need to realize that they have the Holy Spirit to help them have the victory over these sins. I believe that this program this article is referencing is trying to help these Christians that are struggling with their sin to realize that the Holy Spirit is able to help them overcome that just as Paul s aid in God’s Word. The fact that they are abstaining, tells me that they are not still sinning and that they do care…….

          • Reason2012

            Hello. But they’re not called “alcoholic Christians” any more than we’re called “lust Christians” even though we struggle with lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and so on. So to call them “homosexual Christians” is a farce.

            And Christians are given the power to overcome sin – to imply we cannot overcome some sins and hence must just resign ourselves to indulging in them is false.

            Yes, we want to help sinners, but we do not help them by identifying them as “alcoholic Christians” or “homosexual Christians” which is the point.

          • KenS

            I do not think that is what they are doing here in this case, otherwise, they would not have said that they are abstaining from sex, I think that they are trying to help them to understand how to have the victory using the Holy Spirit, if that is not the case, then I totally agree with you.

          • Reason2012

            Hello. I believe the “intent” is irrelevant. There’s no intent that makes it logical to call someone a “lusting Christian” or an “adulterous Christian”, nor is there any intention on using any other sinful name in the title. A person is either a Christian or they are not – and if they are, they no longer identify themselves by their sin but instead they identify themselves as being in Christ. Thank you for the posts!

  • Peter Castle

    Homosexual behavior is incompatible with being a Christian. But homosexuality – like any other sin – can be repented of, forgiven, and overcome. The problem is with those who embrace the gay agenda, substituting inclusion for righteousness.

    See “Vicky Beeching and the Lesbian Gospel” at

    • Absolutely. Healing is available through Jesus’ shed blood, repentance and baptism. I know this first hand.

      No one can even truly claim “Christian”. We are just saved people with a big hashtag.

      • Demmi Greene

        ”Healing is available through Jesus’ shed blood, repentance and baptism.”

        Amen. Jesus raised dead people,….Healing homosexuality is not a ”heavy lift” for him.

        “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27

  • Poor choice of title. Abstinent homosexuals are no different than abstinent heterosexuals. If we continue in unrepentant sin we are simply not Christian.

  • Naiko

    RCC does not regard the Bible as the supreme authority of faith and moral. Instead the church is the supreme authority with pope as the final decider. In this case the church can randomly at will create room for homosexuality, scientific evolution, big bank or any prevailing opinion to maintain the status quo without loosing the flock to any invading ideology and trends. The church is liberal, can adjust, reform theologies and abrogate scriptures as it claims to be the author and custodian of the Bible.

  • jared states

    I got saved Dec 2012 from 29 years of Homosexuality, addiction to pornography, and feeling that i was Transgender. The night b4 i broke up with my partner (Which was the hardest thing to do at the time) i told Jesus Christ, i’d do it for him, because i want to serve him, and if that means me being single the rest of my life, then so be it. Little did i know that in the next 3 months my heart and desires would be Re Newed! I no longer was attracted at all in any way shape or form to the same sex, i no longer looked at the same sex with Lust, i No longer felt transgender and stopped dressing as the opposite sex. I completely was Re Newed. I no longer was addicted to pornography, and don’t have any feelings of wanting to watch it. Nothing was forced on my part. This all came naturally over time. I didn’t “Pray The Gay Away” either. I just would wake up in the mornings and notice desires changed, and then eventually gone little by little within that 3 month period. I knew that the lifestyle i was living was wrong, and my eternity would be away from God, in Hell. No matter what i did, the thought was always in the back of my mind, and the Holy spirit was working on me convicting me. Thanks be to God! Hallelujah. I gave my life to him, and when he saw i was Truly Genuinley willing to come to him, he Saved me, and gave me a New Heart. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a NEW Creature. Old things are passed away, behold all things have become NEW!” I don’t agree with how the world bashes Homosexuals, since we are ALL SINNERS, and ALL SIN is the same in the eyes of God. Not to mention we are to Love The Sinner, but Hate the Sin! However i pray that these People come to the Lord Jesus Christ, i mean REALLY come to him with their sins, and lay their sins at his feet and repent, and WANT to serve him, and give their life to him. Sin is Sin, and shouldn’t be supported. Also as a Christian, i don’t appriciate the Catholic Church calling itself Christian. They are Not Christians, but instead possibly The Whore of Babylon. As time goes on that’s what it looks like more and more to me.

    • Reason2012

      Amen! Thank you for sharing that!


    You will know them by their fruit… Matthew 7:20.

    Many that claim YHWH as their Father are nothing more then unsaved people thinking there saved but have never even heard the Voice of YHWH calling them. They want you to cleave to their belief that they belong to the same YAH that Abraham Isaac and Jacob believed in but this is not the truth or a fact, this is nothing more than satan using them to destroy the Word of YHWH and His true People that understand and follow His Ways, Torah!

    YHWH won’t allow them into Heaven so why would those claiming YHWH as their Father all fellowship with such a people bent on their ways and NOT the ways of YHWH? The devil sure is tricky and many follow his ways.


    By their fruit you will know them and it’s where you STAND, that determines WHO KNOWS YOU.



  • Paul Kidd

    There is NO SUCH THING as a Christian sodomite, PERIOD!!! I don’t care how many so called “Christians” try to spin, that it is now acceptable. God is The Same yesterday, today and FOREVER! He DESTROYED the sodomites in Sodom and Gomorrah.!

  • See who is really behind the homosexual agenda:

  • Twixtwilight

    The only issue that will be encountered is if/when the RCC recognizes
    same sex unions/marriages. Sex outside of marriage is a sin. Same sex
    unions are illicit. So anyone engaging sexual activity outside of
    marriage are by Catholic definition sinning, i.e sinners. A celibate
    priest is sinning against his vow to God not to engage in any physical
    expression of sexuality. The pedophilia scandal is a crime and a
    horrible corruption of spiritual authority that if there truly is a
    hierarchy of sin would have to rank with a pact with the devil. Two
    consenting homosexual adults one of whom is a priest is a sexual sin but
    not a crime as is a a heterosexual sin between a priest and a woman or
    a married man and a woman (but not to each other), married or not
    according to the church. Or for that matter a divorced but not annulled
    married man and woman including a divorced Catholic who, for instance,
    marries his Protestant bride in a non-Catholic ceremony is committing
    the sin of adultery. Also masturbation is still considered a grave sin
    by the RCC. Any one of the issues is more controversial than if a single
    “gay” man or woman remaining celibate because they can’t be married in
    the church is a sinner because of the subjects of their affections.