LGBTQ and genderqueerness ...
I sometimes read a blog by a former Dominican priest, highly pedigreed by his own account - he has more degrees and knows even more than Fr. Z forgot. (He's a fan of Fr. Z BTW) Anyway, the author of Ex Cathedra is uber conservative and something of a connoisseur/critic of gay whines. That said, it was on his blog that I came across a study estimating the population of GLBT persons. Everyone pretty much knows the long discredited estimate of 10% from Kinsey wasn't good science, and ongoing estimates placed the percentage much lower. The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy at UCLA released a study estimating the percentage of LGBT adults at 3.5% with .3% identifying as transgender - the T in LGBTQ.
The number of those who report any lifetime same-sex sexual behavior and any same-sex sexual attraction are much higher: An estimated 19 million Americans (8.2 percent) report that they have engaged in same-sex sexual behavior and 25.6 million Americans (11 percent) report at least some same-sex sexual attraction. The numbers are useful for guiding public policy and public health initiatives, and gay rights advocacy groups including Equality America have embraced the report's findings.
Understanding the size of the LGBT population is a critical first step to informing a host of public policy and research topics. The surveys highlighted in this report demonstrate the viability of sexual orientation and gender identity questions on large national population-based surveys. Adding these questions to more national, state, and local data sources is critical to developing research that enables a better understanding of the understudied LGBT community. - Source
So what's my point? Not a word about genderqueerness within that study of sexual minorities. Nevertheless, these are astonishing statistics. Imagine - an estimated 3.5% of the population has so much power as to pretty much redefine sexual morality and sexual identity.
A new species, a third way then?
Sexual orientation and gender identity questions are playing a role in how Catholics are asked (by gay-Catholics especially) to relate and minister to LGBTQ-GQ persons who seem to believe that their sexual orientation/condition is indeed a normal variant of human sexuality. Some are challenging and unsettling traditional Catholic teaching on sexuality and gender - hoping to influence a development of doctrine and formulate a special queer spirituality. Some gay Catholics can dismiss, even disregard pastoral considerations and teaching defined in Vatican documents on the subject of homosexuality, suggesting the teaching is out dated, ill-defined, misunderstood, and in some cases offensive. The oft cited, 'intrinsically disordered'* apparently is one of the most offensive statements the Church makes as regards homosexuality and homosexual behavior. One gay Catholic considers it parroting** if a Catholic depends upon using Catholic teaching or natural law to instruct or explain how and why homosexuality is not normal.
In an address from 2004, Ron Belgau spoke of the problems presented by the Church's use of the term 'disordered':
That reminds me of the bishop who said ordinary people would never understand the word 'ineffable' if it was inserted in the liturgy. I disagree with such ideas. The Catechism and Church teaching needs to be taught and explained, that's agreed, that's the purpose of evangelization.And according to the Catholic Church, “As in every moral disorder, homosexual activity prevents one’s own fulfillment and happiness by acting contrary to the creative wisdom of God. The Church, in rejecting erroneous opinions regarding homosexuality, does not limit but rather defends personal freedom and dignity realistically and authentically understood.”Let’s talk about that word, “disorder.” It’s controversial.Here’s what usually happens. A Catholic begins to recognize that he is struggling with same-sex attraction, so he opens up the Catechism, looks for homosexuality in the index, turns to paragraph 2357, reads the phrase, “intrinsically disordered,” and freaks out. “The Church is saying that I’m mentally ill!” he says. “Why is the Church so down on me?”Cardinal George recently observed, “The Church speaks, in moral and doctrinal issues, a philosophical and theological language in a society that understands, at best, only psychological and political terms. Our language is exact, but it does not help us in welcoming men and women of homosexual orientation. It can seem lacking in respect. This is a pastoral problem and a source of anxiety for me.”Part of the problem is that few Catholics know enough about what the Catechism says about human sexuality and the disorder due to sin to be able to place those words in context. - Ron Belgau
On the subject of normal, the more notable writers, intellectuals of the queer-Catholic-community have been directing attention to what they call 'normal' gays. Men and women who appear to have no problem integrating their sexual inclination and a more stable, successful lifestyle. These pioneers in the research and 'rehabilitation' of gay culture give the impression they are more enlightened and/or more well balanced than the average gay. I'm talking about the stereotypical, promiscuous gay who supposedly has been destabilized and tormented by what they refer to as internalized homophobia. These gays would be the subset of what used to be termed a subculture; they would be the type who do all the icky stuff that heterosexuals learned to associate with degenerate homosexual sex. Apparently the well integrated gay Catholic is better than that.
From the sound of it, these internalized homophobic unfortunates are the types who end up being attracted to Courage. Indeed, a couple of writers have explained that is why they don't like the Courage approach, saying such things as, "I don't want to sit around listening to guys talk about how they fell, or how often they masturbated." Hence the desire for a new approach in pastoral care for homosexual persons, better suited to normal gay people.
To be sure, there is nothing wrong with developing a faithful alternative in pastoral ministry for people with SSA. Courage may not be for everyone of course, but it is solidly Catholic and exactly what the Catechism recommends for the pastoral care of people struggling with unwanted homosexual inclination. Naturally, not all people are suited to, or comfortable with support groups - however, the literature and guidance offered by Courage Apostolate is a great benefit to the most solitary of individuals who seek to re-form their lives in accordance with the Gospel.
I'm not saying the efforts of the so-called new homophiles - I prefer gay Catholics - are not sincere, nor am I saying they are not faithful Catholics - I don't know them well enough to make that judgement. I have to agree with those who say some of what these folks write makes one's 'head spin'. Just about every time a couple of them write anything 'ground-breaking' they seem to be challenged by readers as to their orthodoxy. Subsequently they appear to back track and present voluminous explanations of what they really meant to say. Otherwise they can become rather defensive and charity seems but a veneer of polite tolerance of anyone who challenges them.
It goes without saying I do not have the time or intellectual skills to focus my attention on what these folks are writing, but it seems a lot of it ends up being something of a doctrinal shell game. I may be way off base, but it seems to me the underlying intention is to normalize homosexuality and to declare gay is good.
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* The Church's teaching today is in organic continuity with the Scriptural perspective
and with her own constant Tradition. Though today's world is in many ways quite new,
the Christian community senses the profound and lasting bonds which join us
to those generations who have gone before us, "marked with the sign of faith".
Nevertheless, increasing numbers of people today, even within the Church,
are bringing enormous pressure to bear on the Church to accept
the homosexual condition as though it were not disordered
and to condone homosexual activity. Those within the Church
who argue in this fashion often have close ties with those with similar views outside it.
These latter groups are guided by a vision opposed to the truth about the human person,
which is fully disclosed in the mystery of Christ.
They reflect, even if not entirely consciously, a materialistic ideology
which denies the transcendent nature of the human person
as well as the supernatural vocation of every individual. - CDF
**Editor's note: That is language usually used by those who dissent from Church teaching.
The Church defines its teaching after long study and deliberation for the benefit of the faithful.
To rely upon the use of Sacred Tradition - Scripture, the Catechism, and Church documents
to defend the faith and refute errors is never mindless parroting.
NB: The unedited version of the post posted originally.
I had been working with 2 browsers and publishing got mixed up.
This is the edited version of what originally posted. The final edition.