Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Remain Closeted and Celibate? No Thanks.

"The nation's Roman Catholic bishops, meeting in Baltimore, declared Tuesday that Catholics who minister to gays must firmly adhere to the church's teaching that same-sex attractions are 'disordered.' Catholics with 'a homosexual inclination' should be encouraged to live in chastity and discouraged from making 'general public announcements' about their sexual orientation, the bishops said." - Washington Post, November 15, 2006

The U.S. Catholic Bishops are trying to be welcoming of gay and lesbian persons even as they judge them to be disordered. But I don't think anyone will truly feel welcomed if they are told that who they are is innately flawed.

Whereas I am glad to see an attempt to soften rhetoric against same-gender loving Catholics and I realize that the institutional Church is a powerful and ancient entity that makes change difficult, I all the same regret that the Church remains unable to affirm the sacred value of its lesbian and gay members.

It is not pastoral to ask people to live closeted lives of loneliness and dishonesty. I continue to be grateful for all worshiping communities that affirm same-gender love as being part of the beautiful diversity of creation.

Religious homophobia is toxic to both our society and to the same-gender loving individuals it targets. I continue to believe and affirm that same-gender attraction is healthy, holy, and perfectly ordered as part of a vast and glorious universe full of amazing possibilities.

The bishops may claim to have the “true teachings,” but any truth that is a tool of oppression is not true enough.

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