The New Homophiles

Wisconsin Ave. Protest

Reflections on Pro-Life Protest Rhetoric

I teach first-year rhetoric and composition to freshmen at a fairly large university squarely in the center of the American Midwest. In September, as part of the introductory unit, we cover some basic rhetorical concepts, including the famous “triangle” of rhetorical appeals: logos, ethos, and pathos. Logos, I explain, is the appeal to reason: does [...]

Spiritual Friends on Chastity, Romance, and Freudian “Sublimation”

A half-dozen of the usually non-monolithic Spiritual Friends have joined forces in an educational project that, unfortunately, will probably bring more confusion than clarity to Catholics seeking to understand what the Church has to say about same-sex attraction. The website—a chastity-education project from a Yonkers, New York group called the St. Augustine Foundation—invites people [...]

A Word of Caution for the Spiritual Friends

Melinda Selmys thinks that I have entirely missed the point of Spiritual Friendship, the blog to which she contributes, along with several other same-sex attracted Christians. Her response to my essay (found in this now-available volume and profiled here by Austin Ruse) declares that I am quite wrong to suppose that she, or her fellow [...]

An Intellectual Challenge to the Spiritual Friends

Two years ago I began to notice regular columns in First Things from those who identified as homosexual, chaste and supportive of Church teaching on marriage and human sexuality. It became immediately clear there was a movement afoot, one that I hadn’t noticed nor had anyone else outside of a small bubble, but that it [...]

Reflections Inspired by the Courage Conference in Detroit

Modern times being what they are, it can be quite difficult to have a civil, Catholic discussion of same-sex attraction. People who experience it are sometimes reluctant to speak out about their experiences, which is understandable considering that those who do speak open themselves to criticism from many directions. For those who are not same-sex [...]

Obergefell and the New Homophiles

The New Homophiles were largely silent post-Obergefell and the few published responses were disappointing for anyone who believes the same-sex “marriage” decision was anything more than ho-hum. The New Homophiles are a school of writers who identify as same-sex attracted but still remain faithful to Church teaching on sexual ethics and are otherwise known as [...]

The New Homophiles: Muddying the Meaning of Family

It’s an oddly timed realization—here in the shadow of the looming Supreme Court decision that could have the effect of redefining marriage (as though that were possible), I’ve come to the conclusion that the New Homophiles seem to be engaging in an effort that would have the effect of redefining family (as though that were [...]

The New Homophiles vs. St. Aelred on Spiritual Friendship

“Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.…” When Humphrey Bogart’s character Rick closes the classic film Casablanca with these memorable words, there is no mistaking what he means. Rick and Louie anticipate a mutually respectful—and beneficial—relationship, arising from their past shared experiences and based upon continuing common interests. Perhaps that’s enough [...]

Gay & Catholic Lands at Life Teen: A “Yes” or a Mess?

“These days I go back and forth on how well I think I grasp the theology behind the Church’s sexual ethic.” —Eve Tushnet Eve Tushnet, author of Gay & Catholic, gives this candid self-appraisal early in her recent post at the Life Teen youth-ministry apostolate blog. I’d like to hope that the following commentary, sincerely, will [...]

Is “Gay” Just Another Adjective?

In the current debate about the wisdom of the proposals being made by those who call themselves “gay celibate Christians,” many find a problem with their self-identification as being gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer or anything other than their God given male or female natures. The usual response they give to their critics is that those [...]

The Strange Notion of “Gay Celibacy”

Of late, much attention has been given in both the secular media and Christian media to those who call themselves “gay celibate Christians.” As a man attracted to men yet committed to traditional Catholic teaching on human sexuality, I find the notion both of being “gay” or “celibate” strange. Indeed, in the context of what [...]

The Church Needs the New Homophiles

There is a group of Catholics who experience same-sex attraction. They accept the teachings of the Church on sexual morality. They do not act on their same-sex desires. They are chaste. They live lives of prayer, brotherhood and friendship, along with a sexual chastity that is proper to their station in life. You might think [...]

Fifteen Minutes for the New Homophiles

It was all but inevitable. The New Homophiles have finally made the big time, the front page of the Washington Post Style Section, above the fold no less. Eve and Josh sit fetchingly on a couch, Josh’s legs crossed exactly precisely just so, Eve’s bare feet, Josh’s dirty socks, lips pursed, college text books prominently [...]

Can Some Same-Sex Attractions Not Be Disordered?

Are there some same-sex sexual attractions that are not disordered inclinations? Melinda Selmys, among those dubbed the “new homophiles” by Austin Ruse, seems to think so. At the “Spiritual Friendship” blog, Selmys presents this thesis under the title “Still Looking to Desire.” Now, I consider Melinda and everyone at the “Spiritual Friendship” blog to be [...]

The New Homophiles: Some Reasons for Concern

 "We think primarily in earthly categories." These words from John Paul II’s 1985 Apostolic Letter Delecti Amici, addressed to the Youth of the World best sums up criticisms over the group of authors Austin Ruse has recently dubbed the “New Homophiles”: concerning sexual identity, they think primarily in earthly categories. In the same Apostolic Letter, [...]

The New Homophiles: An Incomplete Apologia

Choosing how to respond to the recent articles by Austin Ruse on what he calls the "New Homophiles," and about the reader responses, feels like weaving the rope I am to be hanged with: however far I get, I always wish I could make it a little longer. However, since there is only so much [...]

The New Homophiles and Their Critics

This new school of writers and thinkers that I have called the New Homophiles are not without their critics. How could they not be? After all, while they want a warmer embrace from the Church, they want more than that and some of it seems at variance with the wishes and perhaps even the teachings [...]

The New Homophiles: A Closer Look

Ron Belgau delivers lectures, publishes essays and letters and generally enters into very public debates supporting the Biblical injunction against homosexual acts. In fact, he studied ancient Greek for two years in college to better understand his faith but also so he could better understand a single Greek word, arsenokoitai. There are two lists in [...]

Homosexuality and Friendship: A Response to Austin Ruse

 They are the New Homophiles and they accept the Church’s teaching that sexual activity can only occur between married men and women. They oppose a redefinition of marriage... They are fine … with living celibate lives. They do not want to stop being gay; they don’t believe they can or even should. They believe God [...]

The New Homophiles

Never before has a devout, vocal, and coherent group of educated, thoughtful, and orthodox gay† Christians sought to articulate what the Church’s teaching might mean for someone who is not attracted to the opposite sex. Chris Damian wrote that in the blog—Ideas of a University—he ran at Notre Dame University where he took an undergraduate [...]