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Saturday, November 14, 2009

What Should a Gay Catholic Do?

Fr. James Martin SJ has an excellent post at America magazine's blog - What Should a Gay Catholic Do?. Here's most of it, but best to read it all, of course ....


Here's a real pastoral question to consider: What place is there for the gay person in the Catholic church? With the warning from the archdiocese of Washington, D.C., that it would pull out of social services in the city rather than accede to a bill that would afford benefits to same-sex spouses, a question, too long neglected, arises for the whole church: What is a gay Catholic supposed to do in life?

Imagine you are a devout Catholic who is also gay. Here is a list of the things that you are not to do, according to the teaching of the church ......

1.) Enjoy romantic love. At least not the kind of fulfilling love that most people, from their earliest adolescence, anticipate, dream about, hope for, plan about, talk about and pray for. In other cases, celibacy (that is, a lifelong abstinence from sex) is seen as a gift, a calling or a charism in a person's life. Thus, it is not to be enjoined on a person. ("Celibacy is not a matter of compulsion," said then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.) Yet it is enjoined on you. ("Homosexual person are called to chastity," says the Catechism, meaning complete abstinence.) In any event, you cannot enjoy any sort of romantic, physical or sexual relationship.

2.) Marry. The church has been clear, especially of late, in its opposition to same-sex unions. Of course, you can not marry within the church. Nor can you enter into any sort of civil, same-sex unions of any kind. (Such unions are "pseudo-matrimonies," said the Holy Father, that stem from "expressions of an anarchic freedom") They are beyond the pale. This should be clear to any Catholic. One bishop compared the possibility of gays marrying one another to people marrying animals.

3.) Adopt a child. Despite the church's warm approval of adoption, you cannot adopt a needy child. You would do "violence," according to church teaching, to a child if you were to adopt.

4.) Enter a seminary. If you accept the church's teaching on celibacy for gays, and feel a call to enter a seminary or religious order, you cannot--even if you desire the celibate life. The church explicitly forbids men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" from entering the priesthood. Nor can you hide your sexuality if you wish to enter a seminary.

5.) Work for the church and be open. If you work for the church in any sort of official capacity it is close to impossible to be open about who your identity as a gay man or a lesbian. A gay layman I know who serves an important role in a diocese (and even writes some of his bishop's statements on social justice) has a solid theological education and desires to serve the church, but finds it impossible to be open in the face of the bishop's repeated disparaging remarks about gays. Some laypeople have been fired, or dismissed, for being open. Like this altar server, who lives a chaste life. Or this woman, who worked at a Catholic high school. Or this choir director.

At the same time, if you are a devout Catholic who is attentive both to church teachings and the public pronouncements of church leaders, you will be reminded that you are "objectively disordered," and your sexuality is "a deviation, an irregularity a wound." .......

Is this what God desires for the gay person?



Blogger PrickliestPear said...

That's a great piece. I think Fr. Martin's conclusion, not quoted in your post, was right on the money: "Officially at least, the gay Catholic seems set up to lead a lonely, loveless, secretive life."

I wondered what kind of response that would provoke from the right. One wrote, "Any 'gay' person can marry and have children. They just have to do so with someone of the opposite sex."

Another asked, "Is hewing to a passing, faddish and silly ideology (i.e., "gayness") more important than gaining eternal life?"

Are these people serious?

Poe's Law: sometimes you can't tell the difference between the fundamentalist and a parody of the fundamentalist.

2:14 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Poe's Law :)

I think people on the right's response to the idea of gay Catholics leading lonely, loveless and secretive loves would be less than compassionate. Those examples you quoted seem to illustrate that. I fear most conservatives believe the Church's negative speil on gays because they already are disposed to dislike gays.

2:51 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Typo ... I meant to say "lonely, loveless and secretive lives"

2:53 AM  
Blogger victor said...

Dear crystal,

If you're wondering whether or not you're a Catholic Christian, I would suggest that you look into your sincere heart but for what "IT" is worth, I think you are.

I'm not saying that I agree with a lot of the stuff that you still honestly believe in but no matter what our thoughts are, we're still in The Body of Christ and all we can really do in many case is keep an open sincere heart that Jesus will hopefully set U>S straight in this life time cause I believe that Jesus truly Loves everybody and dare I say any cells who truly want to follow Him should cause His LOVE is never Endless.

I don't want this to sound like I'm preaching or that I'm holier-than-thou and sinner vic is starting to remind me that I'm sounding like that right now so I guess that even sin is good for some things!:)

I could go on and on fire talking about "The Body" and all "IT"'s parts and how we need them all but what good would "IT" do?

sinner vic now believes that every one of our cells have the ability to travel a human body during the pass present and future. He also thinks that some of these cells will experienced many lives and have chances of being called peter the master and others may even be called Annoying Super Sinners. Some may even want to worship these A.S.S and any of these countless cells will have the ability to take over peter and team UP and marry each other in order to worship their god for Eternity and "IT" would be a kind of a blessing but sinner vic won't allow "IT" for ever. He thinks that "IT" is wrong to think that "IT" is ok to convince other human cells to Bait The Master of the flesh in any ways. He goes on to say that to corrupt any of peter's body will not make "IT" OK in Our Father's Eyes so let's stop "IT" for Pete sake!

I'll close by saying again that God's LOVE is Endless and He could never accept any peter to worship Annoying Super Sinners and even less of blessing their marriages but that's another topic all together and besides that's The Good Lord's business and not mine and definitely not sinner vic's.:)

God Bless


4:17 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Victor, :)

6:15 PM  

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