“What is a gay Catholic to do?”
“What,” he asked, “Is a gay Catholic to do?”
Introducing his question, Fr Martin began by observing five actions that most people would regard as standard life experiences or choices, but which are prohibited to gay Catholics if they wish to conform to standard Church teaching.
Briefly, these actions are:
- To experience romantic, sexual love;
- to get married;
- to adopt children;
- to seek ordination;
- to take employment with the Church or its agencies.
I’d be interested in your response to his question – what is a gay Catholic to do?
Joe: The short answer is that they can do pretty much what every other Catholic can do; build bridges, run banks or oil companies, collect bins, be plumbers or doctors or lawyers, or whatever their skills allow them. Humans have many ways of defining and expressing themselves, and the Church encourages them to explore all facets of their existence, not just their sexuality.
We are asked to control our sexuality and not be dominated by it (or by any other part of our personality). This is as true for heterosexuality as for homosexuality. Any man that can show he has a commitment to celibacy, of either inclination, would be acceptable for ordination.
Terry: In Genesis 2, the Lord says, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a companion”. St Paul writes, “It is better for a man to marry, than to burn”. So, it is good to share our lives with another. Neither of these says “But not if he’s gay”. How then, do you suggest a gay man or woman should live in loving companionship with another?
Blessed single life
Joe: Paul in that passage makes it quite clear that there are many ways a man can be fulfilled apart from marriage. He also shows that there are trials and difficulties in all states. Life is not easy which ever path we’re on. We’re asked make the best of where we are and who we are, to channel our passions and energies to the benefit of our communities.
There are many ways of living in companionship and community that are fulfilling and worthwhile. When I was a young man, I was to some extent lonely, but found community and brotherhood with friends. For some that is a permanent way of life that is valued just as much as marriage.
Not all paths are open to everyone, but we flourish best when we maximise the potential we can achieve, not what might have been.
Terry: Are you suggesting then, that for a young man bursting with hormones, brought up and socially conditioned to believe that the natural course of human happiness is to marry and have children, he should be content to live alone and seek solace in “friends”?
That’s not very helpful.
When I was young, fresh out of Catholic school, I simply assumed that I was obliged to follow (or attempt to follow) Catholic doctrines in every respect.
The result was that at a far too early age, I married a good Catholic woman with whom I had a strong emotional and intellectual connection – but no sexual spark at all. As it turned out, this was totally unfair on her.
-continue reading at BBC Religion & Ethics, “Perspectives“
Then- go ahead and add your comments, Sunday.
- Pontifical Council for the Family Head: “Vatican Should Do More To Support Gay Couples” (news.queerchurch.com)
- Gay and Christian: Continuing Struggle to Find Home in Unwelcoming Churches (bilgrimage.blogspot.com)
- The Vatican “Mess” Over Gay Mass (queeringthechurch.com)
- Catholic Leaders Step Up Attacks on Gays: Reports from the Battlefronts (bilgrimage.blogspot.com)
- Catholic MP’s Back Gay Marriage (queeringthechurch.com)
- For LGBT Catholics, Will It Get Better After Benedict? An Ash-Wednesday Meditation (bilgrimage.blogspot.com)