More Than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church is an unprecedented collaboration — 2 Roman Catholic universities and 2 non-denominational divinity schools are coming together to change the conversation about sexual diversity and the Catholic Church.
For too long, the conversation on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in the Roman Catholic Church has been only a monologue — the sole voice being heard is that of the institutional Catholic Church. We must engage in more than a monologue by having a 21st century conversation on sexual diversity, with new and different voices heard from.
This series will show the variety of viewpoints on issues of sexual diversity among Catholics. Each event has a unique focus, and as a whole they will lift up new voices that are rarely heard and raise awareness about the impact of church teachings and public stances of the lives of LGBT people. The goal is to encourage more vigorous, honest, and open debate about sexual diversity within and outside the Catholic Church.
The four events in 2011 are:.......
.....The organizers of this program also claim that “This series will show the variety of viewpoints on issues of sexual diversity among Catholics.” As just pointed out, they also claim that “the sole voice being heard is that of the institutional Catholic Church.”
I wonder if this is an accurate description of the program and the situation which its organizers describe. First of all, many of the currently advertised speakers are well known for their views on human sexuality and their criticism of or disagreement with Catholic teachings. I cannot see how they contend that “the sole voice being heard is that of the institutional Catholic Church.” Moreover, the modifier “institutional” in describing the Catholic Church is problematic. In the hope that there is more to this program than is currently advertised, I realize that there may be other speakers not listed on the web site who may very well explain the Church’s position on these neuralgic issues and why she teaches what she teaches. However, the diverse voices that are currently billed on the website are not really known for supporting the Church’s teachings on human sexuality, yet, as I have stated, their views and their works are well known and well publicized. It is a misrepresentation to imply that their voices are not heard on these critical issues since the only voice heard is that of “the institutional Catholic Church.”
If the organizers of “More than a Monologue” intend on presenting more than a monologue, I look forward to hearing about who will be the speakers scheduled to explain with fidelity the “what” and the “why” of the Church’s teachings. As the program is currently structured, I do not see this being any part of their offer. If I may borrow from Clara Peller, where’s the debate? Is it conceivable that the sponsors are more interested in convincing the audiences that the Church’s teachings are wrong and their challenges are correct? If so, a monologue will suit the cause.
It really takes a lot of gumption to make the claim that the organizers of this conference are making because it's so false. Despite numerous complaints many at our our leading Catholic colleges are in the Church's face in opposition to the traditional teaching. This has been happening now for decades and has been widespread.
Such widely read Catholic publications such as U.S. Catholic and NCR have for now decades have been an outlet for those that oppose the Churches view.
The major secular publications and Newspapers , such as the NYT and Newsweek to name just two, have given wide coverage to Catholic dissidents on this matter.
Catholic Religious that teach in the schools , are in campus ministry, do retreat centers have for the most part been not that shy about hiding their opposition to the Catholic teaching on the matter.
I saw this in my own personal experience in campus ministry in Louisiana during the 80's and 90's. Though a conservative state Catholic Religious and other Campus ministers were quite aggressive in trying to promote an alternative view toward the Church's teaching.
It is only with the generation of John Paul the II Priests , religious , and indeed active lay people that we are now seeing at least some balance in this debate.
Strangely it took another printing press like revolution , the Internet, for the Church's official teaching to get heard and to get a hearing. The internet broke up the monopoly that many "progressive" Catholic periodicals had as to this issue.
No matter what side you are on in this debate it is pretty insane to view recent history as those at this conference seem to do.