Homosexuality is not a topic you see discussed in the Korean press with any depth but with the recent Synod on the family, the Peace Weekly brings the topic to the attention of the readers. The columnist mentions the film Philadelphia, a bombshell in Hollywood in 1993 when it was released. A story of a homosexual who suffered brutal prejudice and contempt worse than death filled the screen: human dignity was trammeled. The film made a big impression on the columnist.
Twenty years have passed, and each nation will have different circumstances, but he doesn't think much has changed. Those with this orientation have a difficult time within society. The Church has acknowledged this difficulty in the Catechism of the Church. "They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided (#2358).
However, the Church's voice on the ordeal of the homosexual person and raising the volume on what it has to say is difficult. The way society has accepted homosexual love and marriage has put a big burden on the Church and the reason the Church will be seen as passive in speaking about homosexuality. The columnist feels there is still some distance to go to overcome the animosity of society and the negative feelings of the homosexuals towards the Church.
He mentions the first preliminary position paper that showed compassion and understanding for the homosexual, but in the final paper some of the inviting language was changed which was not received well by the homosexual community. In the final paper the 2/3 majority was not achieved for the paragraph on homosexuality but the majority did accept what was written.
Some years ago there was a drama that showed the difficulties of the homosexual in Korean society. The son came out as a homosexual to his parents and the mother said to her husband crying: "she wanted to die. We don't want our child to be out in the middle of winter with a cold wind blowing without clothes, let us be a warm stove to him.... " It is clear our mother the Church needs to have this kind of mercy.
Homosexuality is contrary to natural law, a teaching of the Catholic Church and this we don't want to weaken. However, those who are suffering, the Church has to embrace and help heal their wounds, this is the self evident mission of the Church.
This is not only an issue with homosexuality. The Church's mission is to be pastoral and the Holy Spirit will show us the way to go. Pope Francis said the Church is like a field hospital and the columnist would like to see this mercy expressed to all who are in need of mercy.