Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Catholic Church and Gays

Via The Wild Reed ( I came across an interesting column that looks at the Catholic Church's abuses towards and persecution of gays. As a former Catholic, obviously, I can identify with much in the article as well as the full column that it links to and the reflections of the mother of a gay son. Throughout the column, focus is spotlighted on the Church's inconsistency and hypocrisy. The following are some selected highlights:

The objective immorality of gay sexual expression in all circumstances, along with its logical correlative, the “intrinsically disordered” character of the homosexual orientation itself, form the core of current Vatican teaching [on homosexuality]. So great has been the investment of church authority in these claims that one cannot imagine them being changed in the near future.

Where the human voice and the questioning intelligence have been silenced, it seems that blood has to speak instead. I am thinking not only of the blood of Italian men but of the many gay teenagers who have been pushed to suicide by the failure of parents and clergy to speak a word of acceptance.When the Vatican formulated its official apology for the Inquisition this year, the multitudes burnt as heretics and witches were duly remembered. But no mention was made of the thousands of gay people burnt directly by the Papal States down to 1750 and executed in other states with papal approval.
The Catechism denounces “unjust discrimination” against gay people, but the Vatican nonetheless defends what it calls “just discrimination”. This category can justify any form of anti-gay legislation. Instead of being a Christlike friend to gay people, offering richer and deeper models of community, she has all too often shown herself their devilish foe. It may well be asked how Christ could allow his Church to be involved in the judicial murder of gay people over hundreds of years. I do not know the answer to that question.But the human mechanisms of this betrayal of the Gospel can be reconstructed. A key factor has been clerical hypocrisy.
We stifle the healing words we could so easily speak, because the Moloch of clerical conformity speaks more loudly than the blood of adolescent suicides, or than the tears of those whose lives we have poisoned by our doctrines, doctrines we refuse to discuss with them or even among ourselves. The role of hypocrite is a comfortable and polished one. But it has brought endless torment to faithful Catholics struggling to carry the burdens we so calmly lay on them.
No doubt it was because he foresaw this that Jesus spoke so fiercely against the well-meaning scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23). When moral teaching becomes in principle a one-way communication, when it is couched in a condemnatory tone, and marked by a phobia about face-to-face discussion with the people addressed, then we are in a “pharisaical” situation.

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