Author to LGBT community: Church is only place for you

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Daniel Mattson likens his life experience to that of the Prodigal Son. As a young adult, the author allowed a same-sex attraction to distance him from the Church. Later, he came to an entirely different conclusion about the institution. 

In his latest book “Why I Don't Call Myself Gay,” Mattson has a message for anyone experiencing a similar internal struggle. 

Author, “Why I Don't Call Myself Gay”
“There is only one place for you to be, and it's in the Catholic Church, guided by her teachings and helped along the way through the grace of the sacraments, especially reconciliation and the Eucharist. You will be happier than you ever have been, and you'll have peace and joy. All that you've longed for is residing there.”

Mattson is in Rome presenting the book's Italian edition, a memoir that also reflects upon the Catholic catechism's teaching on homosexuality. 

The Church's position is one commonly misconstrued, as some clergy and laity alike interpret it as being unaccepting of those with same-sex attractions. Thus, Mattson urges Catholic leaders to increase engagement with the LGBT community. 

Author, “Why I Don't Call Myself Gay”
“The key for us as a Church is to follow the example of Christ with the woman caught in adultery. 'There's no condemnation. You're a beloved son or daughter of God, but if you want to have a happy life, now go and sin no more.'”

The author says this happiness can only be attained by abstaining from same-sex relations, as God made us solely for union between man and woman. 

However, Mattson assures that, just because someone may not be fit for this, it doesn't mean he or she is deserving of the numerous social labels thrown around – hence the book's title. 

Author, “Why I Don't Call Myself Gay”
“I run into young people who feel that they're trapped in these identities, and I want to be a sign of contradiction to the world. We're called to be that way by Christ. I don't call myself gay because it's not true. I want to be a voice that says, 'No, you're a son of God made in his image and likeness.'”

Mattson is committed to remaining outspoken for those with same-sex attractions and being a source of inspiration. As a former “Prodigal Son” himself, he encourages others to “come home to your Father.”

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