MANILA, Philippines – An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has weighed in on the recent “coming out” of Charice, saying that the Filipina international singer is “experiencing an identity crisis.”
In an interview with the Manila Bulletin newspaper which was published on Monday, Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said the public should not “pre-judge” Charice and instead “guide her with her sexual orientation.”
“In this time of her life that she is experiencing an identity crisis regarding her sexual orientation, we would rather not pre-judge her,” Castro told the newspaper.
“Let’s hope that there will be people out there that will help guide her with her sexual orientation called same-sex attraction,” he added.
While the Catholic Church in the Philippines does not condemn homosexuality, it does not tolerate homosexual acts.
Castro said people should make Charice realize that “having a same-sex attraction does not mean that she has to engage in a (homosexual) relationship.”
“This is I think where her family and friends should come in and intervene to help her,” he said.
In an exclusive interview with Boy Abunda on the ABS-CBN entertainment talk show “The Buzz” that aired on Sunday, Charice admitted that she is a lesbian, clearing speculations about her sexual preference.
“Gusto kong humingi ng patawad sa mga hindi nakaintindi. Sa mga hindi makakaunawa, sa mga hindi ako matatanggap, sorry po. Naiintindihan ko po kayo. Pero sa mga tanggap ako, maraming, maraming salamat po,” she said.
Several Internet users took to the microblogging site Twitter moments after Charice’s interview was aired to express their support for the singer.
Can one overcome homosexuality?
Can Charice be “guided” with her homosexual orientation, as Castro suggested?
There is a continuing debate over the cause of homosexuality – whether it is a natural occurrence, or an individual choice. Some people believe that homosexuals will remain such for the rest of their lives, but others think it can be changed.
Among those who believe the latter is a former gay comedian who claims to have become a straight man with the help of his religious faith. Anthony Roquel, formerly known as Tonette Macho in the 1980s sitcom “Iskul Bukol,” said in a previous interview that he decided to “switch” genders at age 32.
Now, he spends the rest of his life as a conservative, believing that God only created men and women, and not homosexuals.
“Homosexuality is a change. It’s a choice. If you want to get out of it, you really have to make a choice,” Roquel, who pointed to an absentee father as one of the reasons why he grew up gay, said in a radio interview last year.
“Hirap na hirap ako. Hindi ito overnight na pagbabago. Faith ko ang kinapitan ko,” added the former gay comedian, who is now a Born Again Christian.
But Heart Diño, a the first transgender student head of the University of the Philippines, believes that God created homosexuals, too.
“Sobrang powerful niya (God), kaya niyang mag-create ng gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders. Ang Diyos ko po ay mapagmahal at ‘di siya marunong manghusga,” Diño said in a previous interview.