Singles told: ‘Your sexual attraction doesn’t define you’
Courage – Philippines president Edwin Valles gives the “Courageous Love: Helping persons with same sex attraction” workshop on the second day of the CFC – Singles for Christ International Conference 2018 at Our Lady of La Paz parish, Makati, Feb. 17, 2018. NIRVA DELACRUZ
MAKATI City – Speaking to delegates of the CFC – Singles for Christ International Conference 2018 Saturday, Feb. 17, a lay speaker stressed that contrary to popular notions, a person is not defined by his or her sexual attractions.
“What the world would want us to believe [is that] one’s identity is based on one’s sexual attraction. Nothing else matters but their sexual attraction. But the Christian view [says that] our identity is based on how God created and saved us,” said Edwin Valles, president of Courage – Philippines, a Catholic apostolate that supports persons with same sex attraction, during the “Courageous Love: Helping persons with same sex attraction” SFC ICON workshop at the Our Lady of La Paz church.
He explained that the Christian view revolves around the person and his being a child of God, made in the image and likeness of God as either male or female.
He explained that this is also the reason why the Church prefers to use the term “persons with same sex attraction” as opposed to “gay”, “lesbian,” or homosexual, because the stress is on the person not on his or her sexual attraction.
Proper response to every person
According to Valles, this is at odds with the three concepts of personhood being pushed by the LGBT community, namely: biological sex, male or female; gender identity, a person’s personal view of himself or herself as either male or female; and sexual orientation, one’s object of attraction.
The Church sees beyond which specific gender a person identifies with and to which gender he or she is attracted to, said Valles.
“The response of the Church … is the person has to be loved. The right response to the person is love…Our brothers and sisters with SSA are sons and daughters of God,” he added.
Pastoral care for persons with SSA
According to him, on the other hand, the Christian view sees three components at play in a person: his being made in the image and likeness of God; inclination or tendencies of attractions and feelings; and action or choice of behavior. “[In] every action, there’s a choice involved. This is part of the dignity of a human being. All of us have freedom to choice to act one way or another. Because we have freedom, we have responsibility for that action.”
Valles has been giving talks on same sex attraction in different SFC areas all over the country since last year, in line with SFC’s thrust to intensify its pastoral care of persons with same sex attraction.
Some 7,000 singles from countries like Canada, Australia, the U.S., Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, among others, gathered at Circuit Makati for the SFC ICON 2018 which carried the theme “Relentless: 2 Timothy 1:6”.
This year, SFC also celebrated its 25th anniversary, having been founded in 1993. CBCPNews