Ask Father Josh (Your Catholic Question and Answer Podcast)

Baptisms with Same-Sex Parents, Helping Family Understand Church Teachings, and Overwhelming Guilt

July 30th, 2019

Fr. Josh answers questions about how to respond to a same-sex couple who wants their child baptized, how to help family understand Church teaching, and how to stop feeling guilty about sins from the past.

If you have a question, comment, or response for Fr. Josh, email us at [email protected]. You may hear your question or comment in an upcoming podcast episode!

Snippet from the Show
“God, help me to see myself the way you see me. God, help me to love myself the way that you love me. God, help me to forgive myself the way that you forgive me.”


Glory Story (1:03)
Fr. Josh is writing another book! Stay tuned for more details :)

Listener Feedback (4:53)
Prayer from Thomas Merton: "My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."

Baptisms with Same-Sex Parents (9:59)
I love your podcast! I look forward to listening every week. I've always been very fond of how you truly try to respond with the love of Christ while still remaining aware of your broken human nature. I pray for you, my man. (Pray for me too!) On to my question, this last Sunday my parish held a baptism for a child of a same-sex couple. While on the one hand, obviously it's not the child's fault that their parents are living in a sinful relationship, and they deserve the sacrament just as much as any other child. But, I do really wonder how our response as a community should be. Certainly these men should be allowed in our church and should be welcome to listen to the liturgy of the word so they may be touched by Jesus, but they partook of the Eucharist. How do I respond like Jesus here? I want to love them as Christ loves them, but what does that look like? I'm really struggling with how to process this and could really use some guidance.

Helping Family Understand Church Teachings (22:14)
First, I heard you speak in Houston at Cafe Catholica, and I have to thank you because you spoke about focusing on God's mercy when it comes to our vices, rather than focusing on our anxiety and why we're not conquering our sins. I've been seriously struggling with my anxiety about that recently, and you help reorient my attention to the Lord, rather than being distracted by Satan. Second: My husband is a Catholic convert; he converted right before we got married. He comes from a completely nonreligious family. I'm not sure what, if anything, they believe. So my husband struggles with some of the Church teachings because it is so far from what he experienced for most of his life. He struggles, in particular, with Jesus' presence in the Eucharist and the teachings on sexuality (every sexual act must be unitive and procreative). He also doesn't understand the big deal about skipping Mass occasionally. So I guess my question is two parts. One, how do I encourage my husband to embrace Church teachings without lecturing him and making him feel inadequate? And two, how can I encourage my husband's family to be open to the Lord, also without lecturing them?

Overwhelming Guilt (27:50)
Father Josh, Thank you so much for your podcast. I’m enjoying listening frequently. I’m new to the faith and currently in RCIA and will be baptized this Easter vigil. I’m really new to any faith. I was an atheist since around the age the of 13. Unfortunately I let people turn me off to faith including my own father who claimed to be a man of faith but had no love for me. After God blessed me with my daughter 4 years ago I felt a love that I knew had to come from somewhere greater than myself. I began to study different religions and found myself coming to Catholicism through reason and now by faith. My family and I have been going to Mass for almost two years and thanks be to God I’ll able to receive the Eucharist this Easter along with my wife. Often times I have an overwhelming feeling of guilt for decisions I made as a nonbeliever and for denying God for so long. I know that God has forgiven me but how do I manage this guilt? Thank you for your advice, I appreciate it and your ministry is in my prayers. God Bless.

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