Monday, September 6, 2010

Homosexuality Making Korean Prime Time TV

One of the professors at our seminary, a priest in charge of the marriage tribunal in the diocese, writes in our recent Diocesan Bulletin on the subject of homosexuality, which recently has received a great deal of media attention. A very popular TV drama, "Life Is Beautiful," has a subplot dealing with a sexual relationship between two men. Written by one of the masters of the soap opera world, the drama treats the homosexual theme seriously and with a great deal of sympathy. The drama has become so popular that it has been extended for a number of months. Because of this heightened interest, the priest has been asked by many to explain the Church's position on same-sex marriage.

This is not a topic that our Catholics would be familiar with from the mass media, which has only indirectly touched on the subject, although this is changing. While acknowledging that many nations in the West have recognized same-sex marriages, the priest explains in detail why the Church is against such marriages, quoting from the Catechism of the Church.

He makes clear the concern that we should have for those who are in such a personally demanding situation. We should, he says, rid ourselves of negative attitudes and all forms of discrimination toward those with a same-sex attraction. They are to be respected and given sympathy, and when possible, helped to change.

He goes on to say what we hear little about in the media: depending on their maturity, those with same-sex attraction who have married someone of the opposite sex and have tried to overcome the same-sex attraction often make good parents. However, those who have lived the homosexual life should not be counseled to marry. We have all been called to the life of chastity and those who are attracted to their own sex are not only called to live chastely but to work to change their sexual  orientation.

Those with  this orientation have also been called to carry out God's will--their troubles and pain are  a participation in the suffering of Jesus as are the afflictions of anyone of us. They can even have, because of their affliction, a closer relationship with the Lord.

The feelings expressed in the article may not be the ones we have  come to expect from those writing about the subject, but they are the traditional Christian approach. It will be interesting to see how the society will respond as more becomes known of this controversial minority within the Korean population--a minority that has been unremittingly discriminated against and their existence scarcely acknowledged by society. The recent publicity will do much to get us talking and moving us closer to a better understanding of a minority that has had difficulty receiving help for what we as Catholics would see as a cross. A cross that could be made lighter if more of us would be willing to lend a helping hand.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with this post but want to add that the homosexual minority in Korea is not particularly invisible. It is obvious in Jongno and Itaewon, Sinchon etc. there are many restaurants, pubs and 'other' places where they meet.
    Also, with the internet, it is very easy to live a comfortable and very active homosexual lifestlye in Korea meeting many friends and partners. In fact the scene in Seoul is much more 'active' than in many North American cities.
    However, the only real problem is that there is a lack of a public condemnation of it, and therefore the creation of resources to help those that want to leave the lifestyle. Is there a Courage support group to help gay Catholics, like there are in most North American cities?
    It would be nice to have one in Seoul.
    Perhaps an Itaewon or Jongno RC Church could start one?