Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blame it on the gays?

In the aftermath of the Monsignor Stenico Vatican sex scandal, the now-expected commentary on homosexuality and/in the Catholic Church is now appearing. Of note is a column by Anglican (I think) priest Martin Reynolds, who lives with his partner and their family in Wales. The heart of his contention is that Stenico represents the double-edged character of the Christianity/homosexuality coin: Gay people (men in particular) are both persecuted and persecutor. A selection from his column in the UK New Statesman:

"The Anglican family of Churches is tottering on its foundations over the place of lesbian and gay people in its hierarchy, divided between those who see homosexuality as an acceptable deviation and no bar to office and those who privately might still enjoy a bonfire or two with gay people as both passive and active participants.

"For let’s be clear gay Christians have not just been the fuel for these bonfires. Homosexual priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes have been amongst the most enthusiastic to set the fires and throw on the victims as an attempt both to disguise and deny their own sexuality. Fr Tommaso’s defense that he met the young gay man "to better understand this mysterious and faraway world which, by the fault of a few people--among them some priests--is doing so much harm to the Church” may be a painful reminder to all of us of this."

I must admit that I have found some of the most violently anti-gay people in Catholicism--both lay and ordained--to at least fit the standard gay stereotypes (on which basis it is, of course, unfair to judge). But there have been no small number of anti-gay Christians who have turned out to be gay themselves, two prominent members of evangelical "ministry" Exodus International (a group that allegedly makes gay people straight in the name of Jesus) being a case in point. (They re-embraced their homosexuality and partnered up.)

With the conflict over homosexuality in the church that complex, no wonder homosexuality has become of late what Rev. Reynolds calls a "first order" truth of Christianity rather than the "third order" issue it probably really is in the grand scheme.



At 3:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

St. Benedict Academy in Manchester, NH had a group of 35 families that bullied and harassed a lesbian couple and their two sons in Kindergarten and 1st grade. The family is devastated. The principal is standing by the parent group stating that they have religious freedom to act this way.


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