Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Is The Catholic Church Complicit in Anti Gay Bullying

The question is being linked to the Catholic Churh's position on homosexuality and it support of Traditioanl Marriage.

Well I think the common sense answer is no!! However Mirrors of Justice goes into this. See Are we complicit? The real meat is in the comment section.

I am seeing a lot of this and I find it sort of distasteful that people are using a kid's tragic suicide to further an agenda. That is oh look these kids are killing themeselves because the Church opposes gay marriage. (Note I am not saying the Poster at Mirrors of Justice is doing that)

Commenter Dan brings some sanity to this discussion when he quotes an official Church Document:
“It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.”
(Notable, in light of the foregoing, is that the CDF document goes onto to state: “But the risk is great and there are many who seek to create confusion regarding the Church's position, and then to use that confusion to their own advantage.”)
For anyone who is sincerely interested in the appropriate pastoral care for the homosexually inclined, I suggest that he read the CDF document in its entirety and with an open heart. I also suggest David Morrison’s “Beyond Gay.”

Commentor Susan Stabile responds:
However, how many Catholics in the pews have read or are ever reminded of those documents? The only thing people hear from Church officials is that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered, a moral disorder, a major sin, etc. It is not surprising if some of them pick up the message that they need not respect such persons. I know from my expeience as a retreat director and spiritual director that many parents of homosexual parents are not aware of the contents of Always My Children and think the Church is asking them to disown and not love thier children (something that clearly contributes to the despair and depression of some).
Bishops and pastors ought to see themselves as having some obligation to give a fuller message on this issue. Perhaps whenever they make statments talking about the Church position on homosexuality they need to do a better job of conveying what does and does not constitute acceptable behavior toward homosexuals. And the call of some in recent days that pastors spend some time preaching on these recent suicides and the atmosphere surrounding them is one I think should be heeded

Ok lets talk reality. I am in conservative Louisiana. Yet I have never heard a homily that dealt with gay issues where people that had some degree of Same Sex attraction were treated without dignity.

In fact during the 80's and my involvement with Campus Ministry statewide the clergy and the religious were for all practical purposes going against church teaching and saying same sex relationships were no big deal and the Church needed to get with the times. I don't think my experience is isolated.

Also lets talk about the elephant in the room here. It appears for whatever reason that a significant number of gay/ bi men entered the Priesthood. The average person in the pews were often not so clueless that they did not recognize that their priest might have some level of same sex attraction to others. They just wanted him to be celibate.

On the whole from Catholic colleges to elsewhere the outreach to people that have same sex attraction has been so well done that it perhaps has caused confusion about the Church's teaching.

If we want to talk about complicity then the people making this charge should perhaps look at themselves. It seems an enormous amount of people have bought into the logic that a person's sexual orientation is the sum total of their being. Further many people have bought into the logic that a person is GAY or STRAIGHT. There is no in between.

We have now arrived at a place where a young person that is experiencing normal sexual confusion is being told by the world that one same sex sexual experience makes him or her gay!!

Well that is pretty bad science and very bad theology.

Father Paul Scalia did a excellent talk on this subject at a Theology on Tap session. The link to it and a overview of it can be had here at Father Scalia does ToT . He also talks about the huge danger of "Labeling" people and especially kids as "Gay". That talk and approach appears to me to the norm when I have heard the Catholic Church Orthodox teaching given. That is the Dignity of a person with same sex attraction is paramount. Also see his article which is reprinted here A Label that Sticks [Father Paul Scalia on the Gay-Straight Alliance]

Now that does not mean the Church can do better. One thing the Church can do is to actively support the Courage Apostolate in local Dioceses. It appears one reason that does not happen is because of internal oppostions in the Church by some Catholics that disageee with the Church's teaching. Further the already expanding effort to make The Theology of the Body that John Paul the II lefts us needs to become more commonplace in parishes and schools.

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