The passionate and committed Catholic Joseph Sciambra has a vitally important (one of many, actually) column on his website, also reprinted on LifeSiteNews. All Catholics should listen. Excerpts:
"Yes, the Catholic Church should apologize to gays. But not for the reason you think.
When I was a conflicted and scared boy growing up within the confusing confines of the post-Conciliar Church of the 1970s, I needed someone, anyone, to teach me and to tell me that Jesus wanted to be more than just my friend, that He wanted to be my Savior – that He wanted to save me from myself. I knew, even from a young age, that something was going incredibly wrong within me – I was terrified and I needed help. However, the Jesus they offered was a mere historical figure; a guy who meant well, but who was dead and distant; he was the hippie-Christ from “Godspell” in a Superman shirt – with the Bible as a superhero comic-strip.
When I was teenager, quickly swerving towards homosexuality, a few noticed, but did nothing to help. At school, a sort of pandemic relativism was extolled as an individual rule of life: custom-made for every human person on earth. The detached Jesus from my youth cared little about our daily drudgery or our personal proclivities.
On the verge of accepting my homosexuality, I was told by a Catholic priest that I needn’t worry as every homosexual is born gay; he sent me on my way with a socially responsible warning about the dangers of unsafe sex.
In the near devastation of AIDS, and my own worsening realization that gay wasn’t what I hoped it would be – the sole Catholic presence in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood was the hotly affirmative parish of Most Holy Redeemer. Although the priests who were stationed there kindly buried the lifeless and wasted bodies of our friends, in an age when few were willing to do so, they confused a compassion for the sick and the dead with a total renunciation of any semblance to Catholic teaching about homosexuality. They wanted to be our friends, not our Fathers...."
Mr. Sciambra concludes:
Recently, during one of my several outreaches to the “gay” community in San Francisco, I spoke with a young Catholic “gay” man about my life after homosexuality; we discussed how and why I left gay and the contentment and happiness I experienced when I embraced chastity. He immediately said, “Oh no, but that is not what they tell us at Most Holy Redeemer.”
Therefore – Dear Pope Francis: apologize for bad catechesis, for bad pastoral programs, for bad priests, and for the apathetic Bishops who do nothing to correct them. As for the long dead who passed from this life, far too young, because no one ever bothered to tell them the Truth – no amount of apologizing will ever bring them back."