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‘Any good ideas?’, you ask. Don’t know how ‘good’ these ideas are, but here are a few to consider.

From what you’ve written, it seems that the first step would be to pray for the strength and courage needed to start attending services regularly and get to know some of the other regular attenders.

Although homosexuality and abortion seem to be the *only* sins people harp on these days so our sense of guilt and unworthiness may be greater than others’, everyone comes to services knowing they are a sinner just like all others in the room. (Though it might be good to check the readings beforehand and avoid days when one of the ‘clobber passages’ is going to be read out.)

Before attending a congregation, you might want to have a look at their website. Obviously whatever is up will state official Church position, but it’s sometimes possible to judge the congregation’s unofficial position from tone, what isn’t said or links to other sites.

Once you’ve found a suitable congregation, if you take part in the life of that church community long enough you may hear the occasional comment that will let you know how open you can be with other parishioners or Father X. Of course the ideal situation would be to use your ‘gaydar’ and find out about others’ experiences if that’s possible.

In many churches there is no particular pressure on anyone to stand in the communion line every Sunday. Although it may feel like everyone is looking at you if you don’t join the queue, they are not. So there is no need to go to confession until you feel ready to do so. Of course that is the only way to re-establish your full participation in the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection. So although the potential risks of confession are great, so are the potential rewards.

In my view, anyone who slams the church door shut in the face of a sinner banging on it to get in has committed the greater sin. But that’s just my opinion.

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