Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Third Way


By now I'm sure almost all of you have seen Soul Pancake's interview with Blythe about Catholicism. What a great witness (and joyful explanation of some of our major beliefs!) for the Church, right? If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend taking about 10 minutes to check it out.

Aside from the Soul Pancake interview, I also recently discovered another video treasure that properly (and joyfully!) presents some more of our Church's teachings - specifically in regards to same sex attraction.

I stumbled upon the short film, The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church, because a friend (who has a special part in the film) shared it on his Facebook page. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I watched it with every bit of fervor that I had when watching Blythe's interview!

I feel that the film's presentation of Church teaching on homosexuality is authentic, refreshing, and sheds some much-needed light for all those who may be struggling to understand what the Church really teaches and/or how its approach is one of authentic Love. After all, as the Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said,

“There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”

The first half or so of the video lays the groundwork by having individuals share their stories and faith journeys that led them to the Church. The second half of the video elaborates on Church teaching and - in my opinion - explains everything so eloquently. The filmmakers make sure to discuss chastity and how we are all called to live this virtue - regardless of the orientation of our sexual desires.

How often do we come across people that mistakenly think there are only 2 understandings of homosexuality? That everything is 100% condemnation or 100% do-what-you-want because you deserve happiness? ALL THE TIME, friends. All the time. This video addresses each of the well-known viewpoints then lovingly presents the "third" way - the way of the Catholic Church.

So for those of you that are curious about this "third" way and what it entails - or those of you that are struggling to find the words to share or feel misunderstood when people ask what you believe as a Catholic - this one's for you. In fact, I think everyone should watch this video. And I'm not just saying that because my friend is in it or it was produced by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis (shout out to my Hoosiers!).

Seriously, I'd love for you all to watch it and let me know what you think. 

If you're Catholic: do you think this video does a good job sharing the messages of love, human dignity, and the universal call to holiness? Did the video enhance your own knowledge/understanding of our Church's teachings? Do you feel better prepared to articulate the Church's teachings if/when someone asks you about it? Are you going to share this video with others (and why or why not)?

If you aren't Catholic: do you feel that the video helped you to learn about/better understand the Catholic Church's teachings on homosexuality? After watching the video, do you think this is a teaching you can get on board with? Do you have more questions? Do you feel like you understand how the Church's teachings are unlike the other 2 common approaches towards homosexuality here in the U.S.? What do you think about it? Regardless, I'd love to have a dialogue with you about it.

Okay, enough chatter. I hope you enjoy the video! I highly recommend watching it when you have time to sit through it in its entirety (it's almost 40 minutes long). Skipping scenes probably won't help anyone seeking explanations to absorb the full message of what we believe and why - but if you happen to be a busy mom like me and already know what the Church teaches, feel free to jump to the second half for a nice little refresher by speakers like Christopher West and Jason Evert (and more).


And now for a disclaimer that I have a feeling will be entirely unnecessary (but you never know - it's the internet):

Disclaimer: this is my personal blog and I will exercise my right to delete any comments that I feel are disrespectful or unhelpful in this dialogue. I may also delete any comments that clearly demonstrate a lack of understanding due to not having watched the full video. I do not allow anonymous comments, but please feel free to make up a name or simply email me directly if you do not wish to publish a visible comment for others to read but want to talk about this issue further.

"[persons experiencing same sex attraction] must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 2357

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