Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Catholic Church's 'acceptance' of gay people...



First, why do I hate writing about gay stuff?

Because no matter what I say, it will be opposed.  I will be accused of self-hate if I refuse to identify as gay.  If I use the word gay, I will be corrected that I need to use the term SSA.  If I say I'm against homosex... well, you know ...  If I question anything the 'new gay and Catholics' write, I'm stuck in a former generational mindset, unduly influenced by Catholic bigotry.  I hate writing about the subject because I'm not scholarly enough, and I can't hold a candle to the experts. I also don't want to offend people who are being called to repentance, or come off like Michael Voris and others even more severe, who insist they hate the sin but refuse to accept the person they deem disordered.  Likewise, the "new still-queer and Catholic" keep coming up with new explanations why gay is normal. And people are buying into it. It's almost as if a new species has been discovered.

Recently, another blogger excused himself from writing about gay marriage because he might lose his straight friends - and gay ones - who approve of same sex marriage.  I laughed to myself because it is not uncommon for formerly active gay people, who return to the Church - to lose all of their gay friends in the process, and have trouble keeping their new Catholic ones - when and if the new friends find out they were, are, or maybe always will be - gay - even if they don't identify as such, or experience the same temptations.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't.  (The same guy has posted snarky comments on this blog.  God love him.)

BTW.  The friends who approve of same sex marriage usually approve of divorce and remarriage, contraception and abortion, euthanasia, IVF, gender reassignment surgey, embryonic stem cell research, and a wide variety of other practices condemned by the Catholic Church.  It's a package deal usually.

The Church's approach to homosexuals.

Cardinal Dolan said we have to do better.  Melinda Selmys says we have to do better.  We must accept people - gay people.  I have said the same thing.  We have to accept the reality we live in a culture that promotes homosexuality as the new normal.  We have relatives and friends who are gay - they are persons.  We are against behaviours and lifestyles that seek to equate traditional marriage with gay marriage, traditional family with queer family.

That's the new reality, not the new normal.  If I were a priest, I'd baptize gay people's kids.  I would accept them in Catholic school.  I would be nice to their parents, but they would know Church teaching.  But I'm not a priest of course - I'm just saying that to demonstrate how far my acceptance could go.  Not many days ago, at the Deacon's Bench, another deacon wrote this about the new Pope:
What Pope Francis will do in the future remains to be seen. What he has already done has generated hope and enthusiasm for the papacy itself and the Church. One person admitted to me recently that, as a gay man, he struggled with many aspects of the church’s approach to homosexuals. I reminded him that he shouldn’t expect the new pope to make any substantive changes to the teaching itself. He readily acknowledged that, but then said something quite remarkable: “Oh, I understand that, Deacon. But you know something? There’s just something in this new pope’s approach that shows me that I am loved by God. If the teaching doesn’t change, I can live with that because I know now that God loves me and that this pope truly cares.” - Link
 
That's the ticket.  You gotta live with that - and I am here to tell you you can.  Celibacy and chastity won't kill you.   It's what I hope Dolan and Wuerl are talking about as well, although something tells me they may be running ahead of Peter on this issue:
(RNS) When New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan told national news programs on Easter Sunday that Catholic leaders need to do a better job of showing that their opposition to gay marriage is not “an attack on gay people,” the nation’s top Catholic bishop seemed to be signaling an important shift in tone, if not policies, that acknowledges two new realities.

One is the election of a new pope, Francis, who in less than a month has demonstrated a clear preference for engagement and inclusion (washing the feet of women and Muslim inmates at a Rome youth prison, for example) rather than the confrontation and political purism that often found favor under his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

The other is the ongoing shift in favor of same-sex marriage in the court of public opinion and — if recent arguments on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act are any guide — perhaps soon in the U.S. Supreme Court. - WRONG Analysis
 Fatal Error!

As Cardinal the Holy Father did not endorse same sex unions.  As everyone knows, same sex union legislation is one short step from redefining marriage - even a grade school kid knows that from watching television sit-coms.  Yet...
Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, and his predecessor, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, were also on Sunday morning news shows addressing the issue of gay rights and stressing that the church needed to be welcoming. As McCarrick put it, the church could be open to civil unions as an alternative to gay marriage. - WRONG Analysis
 
'Welcoming' and 'acceptance' = multiple meanings, depending on who is saying it, when, and on what forum.  Fun with linguistics!

Monsignor Pope on "What does the Catholic Church offer to homosexuals."

Listen, read, what the Monsignor has to say.  It is clear, compassionate, welcoming, accepting, and it is Catholic.  I'll post a couple of segments, but please, go read what he writes.  Pay no attention to me, and little attention to the new online gay-Catholic apologists, or their Savonarola counterparts.  As I always say, don't go to strangers, but solid Catholic priests whom you can trust.
[T]he claim is often made that the Catholic Church has “nothing to offer” Gay persons, homosexuals or the slightly wider group often called the LGBT community.

Of course this claim has a kind of rhetorical flourish built in since it would appear that, in order to have “something to offer” we would have to meet a rather specific list of demands, wherein we essentially set aside biblical, theological and natural law teaching, and embrace homosexual activity as natural, normal, and even virtuous.

This we cannot do. And thus, many of our modern critics engage in kind of all-or-nothing approach which demands 100% approval, or by definition we have “nothing to offer.”
“What does the Church offer Gay People?”

To begin, the Church offers Gay people what she offers anyone else: the truth of God’s Word authoritatively interpreted, the Sacraments of Salvation, a vision for life, and the witness and support of the communal life, a communion with those now living as well as with the ancients whose voice and witness we still revere. We also offer respect rooted in truth.
 
The Church can say nothing other than what she has heard from the Lord. And thus we teach:
 
Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (Catechism # 2357) - Please read the entire post here
 
A comment on Courage. 

Courage is an approved apostolate in the Church.  It is a valuable aid to those who feel the need for support and direction in living the life the Church calls us to.  Like other support groups, not everyone sees it as a good fit, nonetheless the research contained in the archives, as well as the spiritual direction by the founders and spiritual directors is invaluable - whether you are a member or not.  It may interest younger readers that the U.S. bishops as a group have never been 100% on board with Courage - years ago they refused to endorse it or recommend it in one of the USCCB statements - although Bishop Fabian Bruschewitz and a few others pushed for it.  May I suggest there is a somewhat remote chance there was a 'conflict of interest' with some of those who opposed it then as some do today?


Editor's note:  If you say bad things about the bishops/cardinals I will delete your comment. 

Song for this post:  "They'll take your soul, if you let them ..."


Now I'll 'duck and cover'.

A couple of other good posts:

Taylor Marshall: Homosexuality: Does the New Testament condemn it?
Frank Weathers: Reason why the Church won't support same sex marriage.
 

28 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Whilst all people are called to chastity, here is the official teaching of the Church regarding homosexuals: "They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard is to be avoided." (CCC 2358) Do you accept this Church teaching or are you the type who picks and chooses while falsely proclaiming fidelity? If you do accept Church teaching regarding the treatment of homosexuals, you need to stop using insulting terms.

      As for the disgusting word, "fag"; the origin is "faggot" which was a bunch of sticks bound together and used for burning people alive.

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    2. And also the German word for bassoon.

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  2. FYI: its not adult stem cell research that the Catholic Church is against ... but embryonic stem cell research.

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  3. Chris - thanks - I knew that - Haha! Fixed it.

    Thanks James.

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  4. In addition to no longer wanting to deal with persecution from my husband's coworkers, I have pretty much made it policy to never again blog about gay anything for every single reason you cite here. And believe me, I have plenty to say. I am more aware of the gay-Catholic conversation and it's nuances than you know, Terry.

    I wish I had the courage to write and publish my story like Melinda. Many people have suggested to me that my story and experiences are indeed publishable. Just not sure if I'm up to ongoing persecution in the face of a losing battle.

    I deeply appreciate everything you write on this subject. And yes, I agree, a person can be celibate and chaste. It's not lip service when I say this. People who claim to be Christian ought to give Christ a try sometime. It's not easy for anyone.

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  5. Char - I wish you'd write about it too.

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  6. But then on the other hand - I totally understand why you don't.

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  9. And it is precisely for your musings on the subject that I read you and appreciate you and your experience (though I originally came for the art). I've read Melinda, Steve, et. al., and can somewhat identify, but only here does treatment of the subject ring true and hit hard and deep. I can get really down about the status quo, but a visit here reminds me I am not alone nor off base. So thanks...

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  10. You do not stink of The Koolaid. You are a breath of fresh air, and I come to your page to cleanse my palate. I don't think you know everything, but you don't sound like everyone else.

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  11. I wish more celibate homosexuals were willing to be open about their faith and conversion. I had a patient last week who converted and is now a devout Christian (too late to save him from HIV unfortunately). I lost almost every single friend I had (including my best friend) when I left our Baptist church and became Catholic so I have some empathy for a tough situation. Really we are all sinners saved by grace and I'll bet the vast majority of us have racked up more than our fair share of mortal sins and repented and gone to confession so none of us has any right to condemn and be harsh to those who have turned to the light. Light, Hope, and Joy draw others in, not darkness and condemnation. The active homosexuals I have been closer to have, in their hearts and souls, been sad and anxious people who take many psychotropic medications. They are not at peace, and certainly not really "gay" (they are not the only ones of course, but they are the ones to whom this post is referring).

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  12. God Bless you.
    I have lived a life that includes many things I now regret. Different circumstances, same origin. Original sin. Pride. Fear. Wounds.
    I started telling my story a few years ago, about my abortion. It is not the hot button issue this is, in fact it is largely ignored.
    But I feel the sameness in some of the things you say. The way the person I am in the depths of my soul is still that Other Person I was and how I continually am amazed and humbles at God's and the Church's love and mercy, for me, a sinner.

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  13. The gay marriage debate, has rightly identified a severe rift between Catholic theology and American Politics, one that is right on the fault line of religious liberty. The correct result would be to eliminate civil marriage entirely and replace it with civil unions. This solution would have three major benefits:
    1. Gets the government out of the churches- eliminating the possibility of lawsuits forcing changes in doctrine.
    2. Shows love for our LGBTQ neighbors- by providing a legal framework for non-heterosexual monogamous households that doesn't discriminate.
    3. Shows love for all of humanity- there are many other religions whose marriage structure doesn't fit either the Catholic Sacramental or the Puritan Protestant Serial Adultery frameworks that could have the same legal protections.

    Of course, to even propose this, I'm an evil Catholic bigot who wants to prevent gays from "getting married" by their standards.

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  14. Terry, I cannot express just how deep my respect for you is. Please never stop writing.

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  15. Springkeeper: rock on!
    Kelly: God bless you, will pray for your healing.

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  16. Theodore,
    I think it would work better to get the churches out of doing civil marriages (all priests, ministers, etc). do both the civil marriage and sacramental one. this way people get their civil marriage from the state and go to the church if they wish for the sacrament of marriage. as long as ministers are into the civil aspect the state always has a door to get involved.

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    1. I even object to the government's use of the word marriage. Using a religious word like that is a violation of the establishment clause, and is highly discriminatory against single people.

      There needs to be a total separation of church and state.

      As for the separation of civil and religious marriage, Oregon already has that. You go down to the registrar's office to get the paperwork done, then you go to the church for your sacramental marriage.

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  17. Purity, modesty, and prudence all contained in the word chastity. The true christian chastity of offering your body as a sacrifice to our Lord. From this beautiful gift comes great wisdom and deep love of Jesus as one aligns their suffering with Him on the cross. One of the many benefits... the a perceptive mind! You see, a pure heart is always always ALWAYS connected to a perceptive mind. A mind that can penetrate mysterious of God that the highest of intellect can not even begin to grasp! Chastity. Only chaste people are happy people.
    Think about it.

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  18. Terry, that was a wonderful exposition on this far too emotionally charged subject. God love you, and all those with similar courage, who will keep spreading truth in the face of the propaganda storm which envelopes us.

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  19. I agree that, while they are a good resource, Courage is not the best fit for everyone. For myself, I find that prayer, fasting, the sacraments and studying the faith are all I need. I did attend a few meetings, and thankfully gained some friendships. But I'm not sure if weekly meetings and regular 'sharing' are useful for everyone.

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  20. If you hate writing about gay stuff then maybe you are Gay? Opposition to homosexual behavior stems from the natural order of things whic means that it is not natural and it is not normal. These persons are a slave to an act of perversion and need help to cast off the chains that bind them. You are free to do this as long as you keep it in private however it should not be taught to children as a normal way of life. With that being said, I would be remiss if I did not include anal sex and oral sex as abnormal and not in the natural order of things as well. The bodies of a man and a woman are designed to be used for replication which provides a never ending chain of humans.

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  21. Catechism of the Catholic Church: “2332. Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It specially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others;” […] the underscored phrases deserve special attention for their proper interpretation according to Jesus’ New Covenant: ‘I give a new commandment: love one another; as I have loved you, you also must love one another. By this love you have for one another everyone will know that you are my disciples.’ Thus, Numeral 2332 describes sexuality in relation to “the capacity to love and procreate” and “forming bonds of communion with others.” The human person described here is the unity of “body and soul,” it has ho gender. In Christ, “there is neither male nor female”(Galatians 3, 28). The capacity to love, to procreate [to procreate Love, as the Virgin Mary did], and to form bonds of communion with others, define spiritual activities and are not of the flesh alone.” (The Virgin Mary’s Revolution, page 159, 160). Gonzalo T. Palacios, Ph.D., CUA, 1970.

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  22. I really believe the healthiest approach is to pray for a sincere spirit of humility and obedience, and to submit ourselves to the teaching of the Magesterium.
    No matter how ingenious we are, our intellects are always susceptible to being clouded by our passions, our depraved culture and the devil.

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    1. Amen to Alex's proposal: Oremus ad invicem. Gonzalo

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