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Catholic Church: ACTS HIV Ministry

10 Apr

Pope Benedict XIV in BarcelonaSomebody recently posted a link to the ACTS HIV Ministry in a private group of which I am a member. This ministry is born of the Catholic Church and purports to be an outreach program to “spread the Gospel of Jesus through ACTS retreats to men and women affected or infected by HIV/AIDS.” Sounds honorable, but…

At what cost?

I consider myself a faithful person (so much so that some friends tend to question my intentions when I try to gently remind them that not all Christians are ass-hats whose sole purpose in life is to judge those of us who are gay for being gay).

However, I will be the first to say I am deeply suspicious of anything originating within the Catholic Church as regards homosexuality. While I recognize the RCC has done some good work over the years — its attitude, in general, toward all matters homosexual (and as well, regarding HIV/AIDS) has left much to be desired.

I recently “threw in the towel and ended a friendship” with somebody who is (by ‘his’ own definition) not gay but rather, “suffers from SSA” (same sex attraction). {rolls eyes} The friendship ended not because he is gay — that would be a stupid reason for I too am gay — but rather, because of his general attitude.

His is a journey he has chosen BECAUSE of his (and I imagine his family’s) strict interpretation of what the Catholic Church expects of its congregants who identify as being SSA (or homosexual/bisexual by any reasonable description of one’s sexuality). Not only does he come across as extremely judgmental and self-aggrandizing (both, traits that he and the Church have in common)… He cannot even concede that the intentions of homosexual advocacy groups — the majority of which share only one agenda, which is to encourage open dialogue, acceptance and tolerance of the LGBTQ community — are honorable and noteworthy. Because of his ongoing (and in my opinion, destructive) influence by the Catholic Church, he cannot even find worth in a group such as PFLAG.

There are a growing number of churches out there who DO embrace those of us who identify as LGBTQ; I just happen to question the Catholic Church’s motives and real intent anytime they pretend to be accepting of something they have so clearly stood against all these many years. But that is my opinion and to each their own. Just as I hold no grudges against [other] persons of faith, neither do I have any real grudge against those who consider themselves members in good standing of the Catholic Church.

One’s actions define his or her true worthiness and value as a human being; not necessarily his or her affiliation with any one group or organization.

Namaste,
Michael

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About The Author

51-years old and determined to sail through life with a smile (but sometimes brash as hell). LOL. Born and raised in Carlsbad, New Mexico but having lived more than half of my life in Texas. Raised with a strong faith in God but describe myself more as simply a faithful person rather than a Christian. (Too many people rely on their religious 'beliefs' as an excuse to maintain a closed mind rather than emulate the loving nature I believe Jesus Christ did represent.) Registered as a Democrat but fiscally I'm probably more likely to identify with the Republicans. Am equally disgusted with both parties at the moment and tired of the status quo in Washington, D.C. I'm a spiritualist who believes you should reach for your dreams and believes you can attain them, for the only thing that really stands between you and your goals ... is yourself. Favorite quote of recent is "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, the present is a 'present' (a gift)..." —Author unknown

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  1. Harry Smalley

    October 21, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    I’m a member of the ministry you speak of here, the ACTS-HIV ministry. We hold ACTS retreats once or twice per year. This retreat, the ACTS Retreat for those Infected or Affected by HIV/AIDS, is the most accepting Christian group I have ever met. Every individual I know of has been welcomed with open arms by this group, regardless of orientation or gender status, or disease status. I invite you to come on the upcoming retreat to find out for yourself what the ministry is about. This retreat will be November 29th through December 2nd. Feel free to contact me concerning details concerning this retreat, we’d love to have you there.