1T seems that W. Reeve Brockway, who replied on April 28 to the article by Mr. St. John-Stevas on homosexual law' reform, knows very little about homosexual life. May 1, as a homosexual, present some facts for his consideration—and indeed for the consideration of Society as a whole, for it seems to me that people talk about subjects of which they themselves have no experience.
Many homosexuals wish they were "normal." Yet when they do seek psychiatric treatment, such staterbents as "There is nothing I can do for you; see that your activities are carried out behind locked doors" do not encourage them to persevere. Neither do they encourage homosexuals to practise what element of Christianity they possess.
Homosexuality does NOT grow, though 1 am willing to accept the fact that youth can be corrupted by it, and this is what your correspondent suggests. The homosexual has other problems arising out of his homosexuality—the fear of a prison sentence or blackmail. There is the fear that the people whom he works with or meets will see the flaw in his character—hence a homosexual's full character is never seen.
Homosexuals are continually searching for something— hence they move from job to job. At 32, I am in the position where I have achieved nothing, purely because it is a fulltime job to keep on top of one's homosexuality.
It is difficult to obtain a position when one has no real experience at any particular job, and it is between 25 and 30 that the real trouble for homosexuals starts. This is one of their common and urgent problems—work.
There are established places for drug addiction and alcoholism, and research goes on day after day into these social problems. What of homosexuality? There are no established centres to help them practically (though they can call for advice on Samaritans or go to a mental hospital— or, if they have lost all hope, commit suicide), neither is there any research that I know of being carried out.
I have no private means, otherwise I would try to establish a centre to help homo sexuals in practical ways. Obviously such a centre could not relieve homosexuals of their cross—yes, cross—not "this evil."
When next you pass an obvious homosexual in the street, remember the difficulties this person has to deal with constantly. We are not beyond the love of Christ and His Mother, but we need to be told this often—in action as well as words.
MR. NORMAN ST. JOHNSTEVAS seems to ride comfortably on the crest of controversy and needs no help from me. although I have thought on occasion that he is speedily developing into the one-man Glass family of the Catholic Church in England. 1 am more concerned with Mr. M. Gillies' sweeping denunciation of homosexuals (May 5).
Mr. Gillies states that sodomy is a sin: obviously it is a sin he hates. I wonder if it has occurred to him that many homosexuals, being human beings, are aware that it is a sin and because of the nature of the sin, which they know tragically well, loathe it with an accompanying agony which neither he nor (and thank God for it) I can appreciate.
Because I am a drama critic and because in the acting profession this sin and the psychological condition which often precipitates it are not uncommon I have met more homosexuals than most men : though not. I should add, so many as Mr. Gillies seems to have met. I know the agonies good men beset by it suffer: I know many who use the sacraments, the Mass and prayer to strengthen themselves.
I know how a man may struggle successfully for years against such temptation and, in a melancholy moment, fall, go through a veritable hell on the fringe of despair, then go to one of the good priests who help these tragic sinners, and again begin the fight. There's no end to it.
May I add that I am quite unsentimental about the conscious corrupters and know that such exist and indeed .flourish. But I do suggest that Mr. Gillies' labelling all homosexuals as presenting a moral problem entirely divorced from their humanity and the psychological context which contributes to homosexualism might be thought—and not only by a Catholic Christian— quite wicked.
There are other sinners in hell besides unrepentent homosexuals: stone-throwers, first, last and chronic may be among them. I have the Very Best Authority for the latter suggestion. And womanisers, of course. Does anyone ever write to the Press about womanisers? Someone must explain sometime just how much evil they do and how it lives after them in the broken lives of women and the dreadful burdens many children carry through their whole lives.
I agree with Mr. Gillies' comments on the permissive society: indeed I would go so far as to refuse permission to the self-righteous to speak before they think.
W. J. Igoe Loughton, Essex.
Jews and R.C.s
DURING the last few weeks I have been privileged to be present at two meetings of which the object was to raise money for the Catholic Handicapped Children's Fellowship (Salford Diocese), Some two dozen people are working very hard to achieve a major success for this charity. This does not seem unusual until one considers the object and the composition of the committee.
The committee is comprised of Jews and Christians, the latter being Catholics and nonCatholics. One has to admit that this is a rare event.
I hope, for all the persons concerned, that the All Star Show initiated by the Catholic Stage Guild—which is to take place at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, on Sunday, June 11—will be an outstanding success in every way.
Whatever the result of the effort, my own feelings are that the committee has already achieved a major success, in that Jews and Catholics are united in true charity for those of the community who depend upon the help of others.
John Power, J.P. Chairman, Catholic Handicapped Children's Fellowship (Salford Diocese.) Salford,