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Why good Catholics are challenging church line on homosexuality

Posted by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 5:11 AM
  • 107 Replies
3 moms liked this

 

The Roman Catholic Church has long been a reliable source for one-dimensional storylines: Victims of sexual abuse call for justice. Parishes close as numbers of clergy plummet. Rosary-clad Catholics protest outside abortion clinics.

Perhaps nowhere has the storyline seemed more clear-cut than with regard to the church’s treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their relationships.

Official Catholic teachings describe gay or lesbian orientation as “an objective disorder” and tell those who love their same-sex partners that they possess a “tendency… toward an intrinsic moral evil.”

Catholic bishops have been public advocates for laws banning same-sex marriage, and some have sought to prevent LGBT Catholics and their allies from fully participating in the Church’s rituals and activities

But neither formal teachings nor bishops’ statements tell the whole story.

A series of recent conferences at American colleges reveals the breadth of Catholic approaches to issues of sexual diversity.

The conferences, part of an effort called More than a Monologue, have happened at two Catholic universities and two non-denominational divinity schools

The events conclusively show that American Catholics are hardly of one mind, nor in lockstep with their bishops, when it comes to same-sex marriage; to rights for LGBT people at home, at work, and in church; or to the ongoing campaign against anti-gay bullying in schools.

At Fordham University in New York, a Catholic school, a proud mother of a grown gay son drew a standing ovation when she told a story about discovering the effect of church teachings on her child.

Here’s that mother, Deb Word, who has founded a group Fortunate Families to help Catholic families with lesbian daughters and gay sons, in her own words:

Fast forward to a family vacation in the Gulf. There were five of us floating—Sean and his wife, Chris, and his dad and me, holding onto each other’s rafts. And I said, ‘I think this is what Heaven is like.’ And Christopher said quietly, “except I won’t be there with you.” “Son, where do you get this stuff?” “Mom, it’s your club. You know the rules.”

And if my cradle Catholic child, growing up in a loving family, got this message, then what does Catholic mean in more conservative homes? … And I wonder, why do I stay in a club that my son says is dangerous to his soul?”

Another panelist at the event described the freedom she feels as a result of living, within the church’s rules, as a celibate lesbian.

A third, a physician in New York City, praised the Catholic tradition for its emphasis on human dignity and social justice, but added: “I am troubled by the fact that I find greater acceptance of myself as a whole person in my professional community as a physician, than I do in the official hierarchy of the church of my family, my childhood, and my life.”
Nationally syndicated columnist Dan Savage may be better known for his very public critiques of Catholic leaders than for the year he spent in a high school seminary, or for his Catholic deacon father, or for the baptism he and his husband sought for their son.
But speaking recently at New York’s Union Theological Seminary, Savage described his Catholic family and upbringing, celebrating parts of his Catholic experience.

At the same time, he refused to let the church off the hook for the part he accuses it of playing in tacitly condoning the bullying of LGBT youth.

Last month, at Yale University, a Catholic layman who teaches psychiatry spoke movingly of his attempt to offer church leaders the wisdom of his scientific field, and of his bitter disappointment when his offers were met with silence.

And at Connecticut ’s Fairfield University, scholars, clergy, and lay Catholics recently discussed the implications for the church of having many gay and lesbian people, both in and out of the closet, in roles as priests and ministers.

These public events have brought into the light the struggles, compromises and choices about meaning and love that many Catholics experience daily.

Poll numbers show that while many of their bishops have been stepping up their rhetoric on the issue, only one-in-three American Catholics describe opposition to same-sex marriage as “very important.” Seventy percent support legal recognition for same-sex couples.

All of us, Catholic or not, LGBT or not, owe it to ourselves and our fellow citizens to keep these new conversations going. Let’s not to settle for only part of the story.

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/08/my-take-how-good-catholics-are-challenging-church-line-on-homosexuality/?hpt=hp_bn8

by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 5:11 AM
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blondekosmic15
by Ruby Member on Nov. 9, 2011 at 7:25 AM

 bumpfor later when I have more time. Sign of the times, Muslimah. The Virgin Mary and many of the Saints predicted a turning away and disobedience to the laws of the Church and biblical teachings. Jesus Christ and the Apostles forewarned of these events. The devil's presence in the world has increased tremendously. When the Church and the world are one...the end is near. When Christian Churches conform to the ways of the world than God will say enough! Good Catholics are faithful to God. They are NOT disobedient!

                                 




           Orkut Scraps - Angel

romalove
by Roma on Nov. 9, 2011 at 7:41 AM
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Quoting blondekosmic15:

 bumpfor later when I have more time. Sign of the times, Muslimah. The Virgin Mary and many of the Saints predicted a turning away and disobedience to the laws of the Church and biblical teachings. Jesus Christ and the Apostles forewarned of these events. The devil's presence in the world has increased tremendously. When the Church and the world are one...the end is near. When Christian Churches conform to the ways of the world than God will say enough! Good Catholics are faithful to God. They are NOT disobedient!

 My husband is Catholic, as is his whole family.  They love the Church and think they are good Catholics, but they don't follow every teaching as they don't think every teaching is right. 

It is between them and God, and not outsiders, how they feel and where they are in their religious path. 

And the Church has made changes over the years as well.  Latin isn't spoken in most churches in America, Fridays are not meatless except during Lent, and there aren't those indulgences anymore.  Things change as time changes, as institutions that are incapable of any change crack over time.

Dzyre1115
by Gold Member on Nov. 9, 2011 at 7:45 AM
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 I don't understand the obsession with changing the beliefs of the Catholic Church, no one is bound to their religion in this country.  If the religion does not suit you and your life and you cannot live by it's guidelines then you're not of that religion.  Trying to oppress the religious beliefs of a person or group is no better than said religion's people trying to oppress lifestyle choices of gays and lesbians.  You can't have it both ways!

Suzy_Sunshine
by Silver Member on Nov. 9, 2011 at 7:52 AM
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I don't agree with the author's general approach because for me the church's position on homosexuality (and a multitude of other issues) disqualifies it as a moral and upstanding orgranization. I don't believe that an ongoing dialog will result in a timely change to the Catholic Church's policies. However, this is a strikingly well written piece.

romalove
by Roma on Nov. 9, 2011 at 7:53 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting Dzyre1115:

 I don't understand the obsession with changing the beliefs of the Catholic Church, no one is bound to their religion in this country.  If the religion does not suit you and your life and you cannot live by it's guidelines then you're not of that religion.  Trying to oppress the religious beliefs of a person or group is no better than said religion's people trying to oppress lifestyle choices of gays and lesbians.  You can't have it both ways!

 This is about people within the religion trying to make changes to the religion because they think some things are wrong.  No one is oppressing anyone, unless you want to say it's OK for the Catholic church to take such a hard stance on homosexuality that it drives people who otherwise believe and love the church away from the church.  Most Catholics that I know use birth control, which is also against church teachings. 

Suzy_Sunshine
by Silver Member on Nov. 9, 2011 at 7:53 AM

To be clear, this is about discussion within  the church. I agree that if you don't agree with the precepts of the Catholic Church you should disassociate yourself and move on but this is not a case where outsiders are trying to oppress anyone.

Quoting Dzyre1115:

 I don't understand the obsession with changing the beliefs of the Catholic Church, no one is bound to their religion in this country.  If the religion does not suit you and your life and you cannot live by it's guidelines then you're not of that religion.  Trying to oppress the religious beliefs of a person or group is no better than said religion's people trying to oppress lifestyle choices of gays and lesbians.  You can't have it both ways!


Dzyre1115
by Gold Member on Nov. 9, 2011 at 7:56 AM

 That's my point, if you disagree with the precepts you are an outsider whether you disassociate or not.

Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

To be clear, this is about discussion within  the church. I agree that if you don't agree with the precepts of the Catholic Church you should disassociate yourself and move on but this is not a case where outsiders are trying to oppress anyone.

Quoting Dzyre1115:

 I don't understand the obsession with changing the beliefs of the Catholic Church, no one is bound to their religion in this country.  If the religion does not suit you and your life and you cannot live by it's guidelines then you're not of that religion.  Trying to oppress the religious beliefs of a person or group is no better than said religion's people trying to oppress lifestyle choices of gays and lesbians.  You can't have it both ways!


 

Suzy_Sunshine
by Silver Member on Nov. 9, 2011 at 7:57 AM

Cafeteria Catholicism is the norm in the US, where rules like the prohibition of birth control are almost universally disregarded. I think it has done the church and it's followers a huge disservice. If you are not willing to follow a church's tenets and dictates, why not find one that works for you. In the particular case of Catholicism it is easy to find alternatives that don't include the rules people don't feel they should follow.

Quoting romalove:

 

 My husband is Catholic, as is his whole family.  They love the Church and think they are good Catholics, but they don't follow every teaching as they don't think every teaching is right. 

It is between them and God, and not outsiders, how they feel and where they are in their religious path. 

And the Church has made changes over the years as well.  Latin isn't spoken in most churches in America, Fridays are not meatless except during Lent, and there aren't those indulgences anymore.  Things change as time changes, as institutions that are incapable of any change crack over time.


Suzy_Sunshine
by Silver Member on Nov. 9, 2011 at 7:58 AM

I can get behind that idea except that the church wouldn't exist in the US if we hold to it. Sounds like a great idea!

Quoting Dzyre1115:

 That's my point, if you disagree with the precepts you are an outsider whether you disassociate or not.

Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

To be clear, this is about discussion within  the church. I agree that if you don't agree with the precepts of the Catholic Church you should disassociate yourself and move on but this is not a case where outsiders are trying to oppress anyone.

Quoting Dzyre1115:

 I don't understand the obsession with changing the beliefs of the Catholic Church, no one is bound to their religion in this country.  If the religion does not suit you and your life and you cannot live by it's guidelines then you're not of that religion.  Trying to oppress the religious beliefs of a person or group is no better than said religion's people trying to oppress lifestyle choices of gays and lesbians.  You can't have it both ways!


 


romalove
by Roma on Nov. 9, 2011 at 7:58 AM

 

Quoting Dzyre1115:

 That's my point, if you disagree with the precepts you are an outsider whether you disassociate or not.

Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

To be clear, this is about discussion within  the church. I agree that if you don't agree with the precepts of the Catholic Church you should disassociate yourself and move on but this is not a case where outsiders are trying to oppress anyone.

Quoting Dzyre1115:

 I don't understand the obsession with changing the beliefs of the Catholic Church, no one is bound to their religion in this country.  If the religion does not suit you and your life and you cannot live by it's guidelines then you're not of that religion.  Trying to oppress the religious beliefs of a person or group is no better than said religion's people trying to oppress lifestyle choices of gays and lesbians.  You can't have it both ways!


 

 You think you must agree with every teaching of a religion or you are not a member of that religion?  It isn't possible to try and get a different reading of scripture and effect change as you see it's needed?  It's all or nothing?

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