MAY 28, 2017, Vol 67, No 11

Supporting Fellow Catholics with Same-Sex Attraction



By Mariel Chee

What is it like to be a Catholic who experiences Same-Sex Attraction (SSA)? My interest in this hidden community within our church led me to embark on an artistic project in my final year of university. As part of the research process, I had the privilege of interviewing 15 female Catholics with SSA in Singapore. Some of them shared their struggles to reconcile their sexuality with their faith, while others did not perceive a conflict between the two. Few chose the path of chastity.

From our conversations, it occurred to me that well-intentioned though our actions may be, they can sometimes unwittingly push our fellow brothers and sisters away. Several women left the church because they felt ostracised by community members. Instead of compassion, they were greeted with “thou shalt nots” or “the bible says this” or some other language that created hostility. Church members did not seem to understand that the condition of same-sex attraction is not a sin; what the church does not condone are homosexual acts.

How do we as a church create a welcoming, loving home for all? I have gathered some pastoral notes based on my conversations with these women, and have observed that everyone grapples with these issues differently. I hope that highlighting these stories, it will nurture sensitivity and engender a more concerted response of love. I hope it will also bring about a shift in our approach when journeying with those with SSA who strive for chastity.
Supporting Fellow Catholics with Same-Sex Attraction



By Mariel Chee

What is it like to be a Catholic who experiences Same-Sex Attraction (SSA)? My interest in this hidden community within our church led me to embark on an artistic project in my final year of university. As part of the research process, I had the privilege of interviewing 15 female Catholics with SSA in Singapore. Some of them shared their struggles to reconcile their sexuality with their faith, while others did not perceive a conflict between the two. Few chose the path of chastity.

From our conversations, it occurred to me that well-intentioned though our actions may be, they can sometimes unwittingly push our fellow brothers and sisters away. Several women left the church because they felt ostracised by community members. Instead of compassion, they were greeted with “thou shalt nots” or “the bible says this” or some other language that created hostility. Church members did not seem to understand that the condition of same-sex attraction is not a sin; what the church does not condone are homosexual acts.

How do we as a church create a welcoming, loving home for all? I have gathered some pastoral notes based on my conversations with these women, and have observed that everyone grapples with these issues differently. I hope that highlighting these stories, it will nurture sensitivity and engender a more concerted response of love. I hope it will also bring about a shift in our approach when journeying with those with SSA who strive for chastity.
CARED FOR IN WAYS UNKNOWN

Since the launch of the GIFT campaign, Catholic Foundation has received many heart-warming responses. Mark Chua, a father of two, shares why he has decided to give back to the Church for the ways his life has been unknowingly touched.



The recent Lenten season of prayer, fasting and alms giving had been a special one for me this year. Today, even as we delve deeper into Eastertide, I would like to share my own experience of alms giving.

Taking a broader view, giving need not be purely monetary, but one can also give time and effort, not only for the poor but also to support other worthy causes. When I was younger, I used to give of my time by singing with the choir at the Church of the Holy Family. Unfortunately I stopped when family life beckoned.

My wife and I were blessed with the arrival of two beautiful children, and then life became, really, very busy! With not much time to give anymore, I started to think about giving more in terms of monetary contributions. Perhaps in different seasons, God raises us and gives us the capacity to serve and give in different ways.
How ABLE provides physical rehabilitation and employment support


Ms Stephanie Yip at a physiotherapy session.

When she woke up one morning feeling weakness in her legs, Ms Stephanie Yip realised she had suffered a stroke. She was hospitalised for a month.

Ms Yip, who is in her early 60s, had been suffering from diabetes before her stroke in May 2015.

The stroke led to weakness in her left arm and stiffness in her fingers which impeded her ability to carry out daily activities, such as bathing and eating, in the initial months.
Moral theologian Fr David Garcia explores the ethics behind this development


Photo of an eight-cell human embryo. Last year, one couple had a baby from a three-parent-embryo procedure done in Mexico.

It is now possible to have children from two genetic mothers and one father. It is popularly known as the three-parent embryo.

In April, 2016, one couple benefited from such a procedure in Mexico where such interventions are not regulated.

Reportedly, the parents had lost two previous babies to a rare genetic disorder called Leigh syndrome, a disease that affects the central nervous system progressively and results in death within two to three years.