All Mixed Up On The Gay

Just one roundup on the Religion News Service‘s daily feature and the LGBTQ stories are all over the place. No wonder people who were never near the closet are totally confused. Would you ever think it was a single unified Church with this gamut of approaches?

Thumbs-up for the pastoral provision for gay Catholics in London. From the archbishop:

As we approach the fifth anniversary of the establishment of a pastoral provision for Catholics of a same-sex orientation at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, I would like reaffirm the intention and purpose of this outreach.

Thumbs up for (presumably) the sex part which nobody ever talks about, but thumbs down for the actual civil commitment. I have to note yet again that unlike a Church marriage which is presumed consummated, a civil marriage or union makes no such presumption. It’s a legal agreement between two parties. It doesn’t mandate immoral sex. Is it any less moral a contract that, say, a diocese hiring a gay lawyer, or a divorced-and-remarried auto mechanic for the bishop’s limo? Thumbs up from the parish and school, and why not? They get the (temporary) services of a gifted teacher. Thumbs down from the chancery when it gets involved.

I’m still confused myself on this one. Four years of knowing a teacher is gay and obviously involved publicly with gay organizations, and living with a partner. But that’s all okay with the pastor and the principal. It’s only not okay when the archdiocesan employees find out. Even to impressionable young minds, that whole set-up seems rather … opportunistic, shall we say? Essentially, this parish and school used a fine teacher, then wrote it all off when the branch manager learns of the joke. And guess who gets punched out?

And there’s no end, it seems to these stories of “Gay Music Director Fired.” At some point, given the inevitable resolution in these stories, do we wonder if there are there any people of integrity left in these misadventures? If I were gay, I sure wouldn’t want to be used in this way. Please enlighten if there’s something in the meta-story I’m missing. Because it sure seems to me as if these “enlightened” pastors and principals are far from being authentic allies to LGBTQ folk.

And more on that funeral fiasco from NCRep. Barbara Johnson, the disinvited:

So many people have said to me that now they’ll never go back. That would break my mother’s heart.

[My family's] mission is not to divide the church. Our mission is to receive an apology from Fr. Marcel.

And more:

My family will continue to urge for more awareness until this man is removed from parish life and has apologized to my family. Our mission is to make sure no other family will experience this kind of tragedy.

One good dis-invite deserves another, I suppose. The hermeneutic of subtraction rides triumphantly into the sunset. Only from my vantage point, including literally, the sun hasn’t risen yet.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Church News, Hermeneutic of Subtraction, Ministry, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to All Mixed Up On The Gay

  1. I don’t know how it is with Iowa U’s relationship to your chancery, Todd, but our here all “supervisor level” staff are mandated by our diocesan HR directives to take a course on workplace issues which include hiring, firing in addition to workplace harassment policies. This program puts the diocese and its agents (us) supposedly in compliance with all EEOC federal statutes. The very actual and immediate connundrum you mention I believe will remain a quandry ad infinitum, with outcomes that are based more upon local expediency than general fundamental laws and justice.

    • Todd says:

      “The very actual and immediate connundrum you mention I believe will remain a quandry ad infinitum, with outcomes that are based more upon local expediency than general fundamental laws and justice.”

      Perhaps. But in many situations, this could well be judged a sin, an unrepentant sin. And if we know the consequences for one such sin, why would that not be extended to others who also sin against the standards of law and justice?

  2. crystal says:

    It is a kind of double-speak to on the one hand say gays and lesbians should be treated with respect, but then to act towards them in ways that disrespect them. I think most people aren’t confused about the church’s stance …. actions speak loujder than words.

    • Fair enough Crystal, but the reality is that each diocese is very different, well potentially different than the next. Add to that what is bloviated and what is lived.

      As for double standards and hypocrisy, sadly – and I am not a cynic – there are few institutions and quite a number of humans that live that way. Like most of us if we are truly honest.

      This is not a slam at you, but just an observation.

      • crystal says:

        Hi Fran,

        No, I understand :) I do tend to see things from a cynical point of view when it comes to the church, I’m sorry to say. I think that comes from not being raised in any church – I had a pretty unrealistic idea of what church people and church leaders would be like … kinder, more honest, more motivated to be good and do good. When I hear the church say gays and lesbians should be treated with respect and then I also see them spending zillions to ban civil marriages of those same people, or refusing to sign UN declarations on equality for them, I feel a kind of biiter sadness. I just hoped for more from the leaders of a church whose ways of proceding are said to be based on the gospels.

  3. Jimmy Mac says:

    I could rant and rave, scream and holler – as I have been known to do more than once – on these matters.

    However: Blessed are those from whom you expect nothing: you shall not be disappointed.

    I ceased to expect little to nothing good about anything dealing with LGBT matters from the institutional part of this church. Lots and lots of individuals, on the other hand, never cease to amaze me with their common sense and sensibility.

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