Devout Catholic refuses to call himself gay
By Emmanuella Ellis
The conversion story of a previous homosexual lifestyle is being told by Daniel Mattson in a new book titled WHY I DON'T CALL MYSELF GAY: How I Reclaimed My Sexual Identity and Found Peace.
The book contains honest and frank truths about Mattson’s journey to discovering and understanding how he was created and what he was created for. Conflict between his sexual desires for other boys beginning at 6 years old and the teachings of the church as well as his faith in God marked Mattson’s life. Finding the struggle too great, he began a relationship with a man, after making an assumption of being gay and turning away from God in anger. The discovery of his true identify gave him freedom and happiness which was previously absent in his life.
The book can practically be applied to live a chaste life, by those struggling with same sex marriage and individuals searching for pastoral resources. In spite of the thinking that sexual identify is rooted in feelings and desires, Mattson believes he should not be reduced to these “feelings” nor be labeled by a term contrary to God's plan for his life. Thus, the new book provides a clearer picture and understanding of sexual identity in the midst of the obscured thinking on this subject by modern society. He shows that the Gospel includes chastity and, that despite the myths created and maintained by the media, the catholic church welcomes individuals with same sex attractions.
Mattson’s book has received positive reviews from various groups of people including several leading Cardinals and Bishops.
“Daniel Mattson has written a courageous, honest testimony about his struggles with same-sex attraction and his commitment to live with integrity and chastity according to the Church's vision for human sexuality. This powerful book reminds us that we need to accompany our brothers and sisters in their struggles with compassion and love, patience and understanding.” Archbishop José H. Gomez, archbishop of Los Angeles said.
Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York, said that Mattson “Draws upon a wealth of spiritual insights and wisdom from across our deep Catholic tradition, he shares with us how he has come to understand and accept God's loving plan for his life, as well as the beauty and richness of the Church's teaching on chastity. The tenderness and mercy of God is evident throughout and is a powerful reminder for all of us!”
In the foreword of the book, Cardinal Robert Sarah wrote, “I encourage many to read the following testimonial, which ... bears witness to the mercy and goodness of God, to the efficacy of his grace, and to the veracity of the teachings of his Church.”