Just as we see the most homophobic statements and behavior coming from closeted Republican politicians - many of whom deservedly get "out" - we see the same behavior among the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. In my view the homophobia stems from a mix of (i) brainwashing during ones youth, (ii) terror over facing the prospect that what one was taught was a lie, and (iii) lashing out in jealousy, if not near hatred, at those who have had the courage to embrace who they are and reach out to find happiness. By many reports the Vatican is full of gay clergy who rather than have fulfilling relationships with those to whom they are attracted have opted instead for power and control of others on whom they wish to visit their own misery and psycho-sexual hangups. The Advocate looks at the accusations made by former Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa. Here are excerpts:
The Roman Catholic Church is “frequently violently homophobic” and makes LGBT Catholics’ lives “a hell,” says a priest who was fired by the Vatican after coming out as gay.
Krzysztof Charamsa, who held a post at the Vatican until early October, expressed these sentiments in a letter to Pope Francis, written the same day as his coming-out announcement, the BBC reports. Charamsa provided the network with a copy.
In the letter, he takes the church to task for “persecuting” and bringing “immeasurable suffering” to LGBT Catholics and their loved ones. After a “long and tormented period of discernment and prayer,” he wrote, he decided to “publicly reject the violence of the Church towards homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual people.”
He denounced the “homophobic hate of the Church, the exclusion, the marginalisation and the stigmatisation of people like me,” and said that while there are many gay people in the church, including clergy, the institution is “frequently violently homophobic.” He urged “all gay cardinals, gay bishops and gay priests [to] have the courage to abandon this insensitive, unfair and brutal Church.”
Charamsa thanked Pope Francis for some of his conciliatory remarks about LGBT people but said they will be meaningful only if the church reverses some of its attitudes. The priest condemned a statement by Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, that homosexuality is “a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil,” and he said the church should nullify its policy barring men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” from the priesthood.
As the recently concluded "Synod on the Family" demonstrated, despite Francis' less hateful rhetoric, nothing of substance has changed in the Church's condemnation of gays despite the hopes of many (hopes that I always believed would be disappointed). The Guardian has details. Here are highlights:
After a three-week marathon of Vatican talks on family issues, Roman Catholic bishops voted on a summary document which decided against overhauling the church’s teaching on gay Catholics but paved the way for greater openness towards divorcees.
A push for more welcoming language was evident, but the final text was by no means a triumph for progressives. Although bishops agreed that people should be treated with respect “independently of their own sexual tendency”, the reference to gay Catholics was viewed in terms of “accompanying the families in which people with homosexual tendencies live”, rather than accepting same-sex relationships.
The bishops also criticised international bodies they said were pushing poor countries to introduce same-sex marriage laws with the promise of aid.
There was, however, a greater openness towards Catholics who divorce and remarry outside the church, who under Vatican teachings are excluded from receiving communion. Bishops agreed divorcees must be “more integrated in Christian communities”.
The bishops also paved the way for clergy to decide whether to allow divorcees to participate fully in church life: “It is to be hoped that in the dioceses paths of discernment and involvement of these people will be promoted.”
My advice to gay Catholics is to walk away and to stop being masochists. Moreover, as gay Catholics exit the Church, they need to convince their friends and families to do the same. Dwindling membership - and more importantly, dwindling money flow - are the only things that have ever forced the Church to change. Until such change happens, the Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church offer gay accepting alternatives with all the ritual of a Catholic mass, but without all the hate and hypocrisy.