Same sex attracted persons told: ‘Find spiritual guides’

Same sex attracted persons told: ‘Find spiritual guides’

Novaliches Bishop Antonio R. Tobias, D.D. in the Magtanong Kay Bishop! episode of Radio Veritas 846AM Hello Father 911, Monday edition on April 9, 2018. In the said episode, the bishop provided a pastoral perspective on same sex attraction, divorce, and the RH Law. MINNIE AGDEPPA

By Minnie Agdeppa

May 31, 2018

MANILA

Speaking in his once-a-month-aired radio program, a local ordinary encouraged Catholic members who are attracted to the same sex to seek spiritual directors to help them discover the beauty of chastity.

“These people need a very experienced spiritual director to guide them when to receive Communion,” said Novaliches Bishop Antonio R. Tobias, D.D. in response to a question raised in a Magtanong Kay Bishop! episode in Radio Veritas’ Hello Father 911 program on May 14.

He also stressed the need for parents to address at the onset and in “a loving way” effeminateness in boys and tomboyish traits in girls.

Attraction and friendship

In a prior episode, the prelate clarified that same sex attraction is itself not a sin but engaging in homosexual acts is.

“So long as [it’s just] attraction and friendship, that’s not a sin yet,” he highlighted in his April 9, 2018 Magtanong Kay Bishop! episode. “Same attraction, so far as [it is] attraction, friendship, for me, we are not yet bordering the area of morality there. But this tendency, this attraction shows a danger sign for a person that person needs to address,” he added.

According to Tobias, “the main principle there is not to give in.” Giving in to the temptation to act on the homosexual attraction, he explained, is when it becomes a sin.

Wanted: Spiritual director

Asked whether or not Catholics who experience same sex attraction and who live together or were “wed” civilly can receive Communion, the bishop clarified that the very union itself is a hindrance to receiving the sacrament.

“It follows that they are in a union that is really immoral and prohibited. While in that union, they are barred from receiving Communion,” he stressed.

Tobias added: “But I would advise that those people should be under the care of a spiritual director. They really need one to guide them.”

He also, however, stressed that homosexual acts done in whatever contexts – whether in a same sex union or not – “is still bad!” He emphasized: “Before having Communion, they should have Confession.”

The said episode was the second in a series of discussions the bishop is holding to address “hot issues” the Church in the Philippines is facing, particularly the divorce bill, same sex unions, and the Reproductive Health Law.