“Fireside chats” give students support and understanding


Caleb Foote

Homosexuality is a long debated topic in the realm of biblical doctrine and the church. Pope Francis
continued the conversation by saying the Catholic Church should concentrate less on same-sex marriage
and conserve their energy for more important issues.

Rev. Roza from St. Margret Mary in Omaha, Nebraska, spoke at a “fire-side chat” in the Barbara
Weitz Community Engagement Center on the role same-sex relationships have in the church and Christian life.

Roza said the topic of same-sex marriage and relationships is difficult to approach and people are very passionate about their opinions. He opted for a different approach to the sensitive topic, one that’s less judgmental and concentrates on the individual being a person.

“Love each person with every talent and gift you have,” he said. There is no greater good than wanting everyone to go to heaven.

Nobody knows the origin of being gay, whether it’s a nature or nurture, Roza said, nobody would
want to choose it. He said being gay isn’t anything to be ashamed of. He believes some people were born
gay or somewhere on the spectrum of sexual orientation close to homosexual It’s insulting for anyone to imply someone would choose to be gay, Roza said.

“However, the church holds up every person as being sacred, Roza said. The act of making another life is considered sacred within the church.”

Marriage is about a union of heart, mind, spirituality and beliefs, Roza said. Marriage is a foundation to
create the new life the church holds sacred.

We are more saturated by sexual imagery than ever, it’s incredibly easy for a person to become addicted
to the sexual imagery,” Roza said. “We’re almost a society of function addicts.”

Roza thinks it’s time we’ve opened up about the sex talk to youth. With complete respect to the people
so incredibly passionate about changing the marriage definition,

Roza said, it is a sign of acceptance and love. It’s not only homosexuals who struggle with sexual issues, Roza said. People struggle with a number of other sexual issues that are hindering their life. People need to
have the courage to admit there’s a problem and begin to change. Two homosexuals are able to have a relationship, live together and build lives together, Roza said. But to remain pure in the eyes of God, they can’t have sexual relations with one another. They’re able to live a life together as brothers or sisters. Roza said.

The ultimate goal of the church is to get everyone to accept him or herself.

“Everyone is passionate about making others happy,” Roza said. “What is our duty? To love everyone.”
Megan McAuliffe is a regular attender of the “Fireside chats.” She’s attended every chance she’s been presented with for almost two years.

“It’s a community of friends coming together,” McAuliffe said. She sees good potential within the
group, they’re a bunch of people who can be trusted and are a good support system within the UNO

“Fireside chats” are held every other Wednesday in the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center in the lower commons lounge and are open to the public. The next meeting will be held is on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015.