IS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH FAIR TO GAYS?

You may remember the Catholic peace activist, James Loney. In 2005 he and his group went to Iraq where he and three others were kidnapped on the streets of Baghdad, held in close confinement under threat of death for four months, when they were rescued by a team of British commandos.

James Loney is openly gay and lives with his partner, Dan Hunt. He is continually sought after by social justice groups to speak of faith, foregiveness and reconciliation. (He has publicly foregiven his captors.)

In this context he was invited to speak at a social justice conference in Winnipeg to be held in a Catholic church. However Catholic Archbishop James Weisgerber of Winnipeg rescinded the invitation because of his past criticism of the Church’s stance on homosexuality.

Somewhat ironically one of the other participants will be able to speak. He is Bill Blaikie, a long time NDP member of parliament, who supports same-sex marriage and abortion.

In your opinion, does the Catholic church treat gays fairly?

23 Comments »

  1. 1
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    I would suggest that all religious bodies everywhere are thorn between treating Gays fairly and keeping in line with the universal traditional belief that they are some kind of abnormal growth on the human race’s face. The individual is tolerated, the phenomenon less so. As in Québec with religion, it has to remain private.
    And the Catholic Church reluctantly admits this reality but its dogmas must not be critisised, at least publicly. Now that this happens in Winipeg, red neck country, should come as no surprise. The Church out there has to keep up with the Evangelicals, so…

  2. 2

    Paul:
    You are so right. It has long been a puzzle to me that people who say they believe in a loving God can in the same breath believe this same loving God can create upwards of 10 per cent of the human race to be “intrinsically perverted.” What rubbish!!

  3. 3
    jeremy Says:

    No, Definitely not. As a member of Dignity I received the report on his dis-invitation. I was astounded. The bishop had a statement on CBC news the other night. Such disgust. That’s why I moved to the Anglican Church.

    He asked the church – Is it because I am gay? NO, they said it is because you are in a same sex relationship!!! What’s the difference???

    The Catholic church is a patriarchy that hides behind its frocks full well knowing that there are gay men as high up as the Vatican in office. That they will never admit to. Yet they exclude at the parish level. It just makes me sick.

    Jeremy

  4. 4
    SUZANNE Says:

    He asked the church – Is it because I am gay? NO, they said it is because you are in a same sex relationship!!! What’s the difference???

    There are people in the world who experience same-sex attraction who are not in a relationship and have no desire of acting on it.

    If he had been one of those AND not opposed Church doctrine, he would have been allowed to speak.

    People are not equal to their attractions or their behaviour.

    The Catholic church is a patriarchy that hides behind its frocks full well knowing that there are gay men as high up as the Vatican in office.

    It’s the gays who hide. The orthodox Catholics want to get rid of them. Stop the gays from entering the seminaries. Unfortunately, there is a lavender mafia in the church, and we have to get rid of them.

    they exclude at the parish level. It just makes me sick.

    Exclude at the parish level? Where!

  5. 5
    Chimera Says:

    “In your opinion, does the Catholic church treat gays fairly?”

    No.

    But as I look at the information above, it seems to me that the archbishop was the one who rescinded the invitation. If someone else had been archbishop, would the invitation still have been rescinded? Or would Loney have been given welcome and allowed to speak on the topics for which the institutional church claims ownership?

    In other words, what part of this hypocrisy can be laid at the doorstep of the individual personality-in-power? And what can be done to prevent further abuses of power in the future?

  6. 6
    Paul Geraghty Says:

    There are no better words than Suzanne’s chilling “we have to get rid of them” to sum up the attitude of the official church towards gay people. It is always so easy to talk about a “them” and so dismiss individuals and their experience as not worthy of consideration.

    James Loney was not invited to talk about the topic of homosexuality but about reconciliation and forgiveness – something he seems more eminently qualified to speak about than many bishops. But because he loves the “wrong” human being he is considered disqualfied.

    Suzanne also maintains that it is “the gays” who hide. I wonder if she would have blamed the Jews for hiding from those who wanted to “get rid of them”?

  7. 7

    Paul:
    “We have to get rid of them.” Chilling indeed. Isn’t thay what Hitler said about the Jews?

  8. 8
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Yes Neil that is exactly what Hitler said about the Jews. That is why I am very much worried by the rise of the extreme religious right, wether Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Islamist, Hindouist and what not. That the most violent commentary came from a woman is also par for the course. In my 40 years carreer in Youth protection services the most violent people I had to deal with were adolescent girls and outraged mothers. Yes 15% of women are victims of male violence, physical that is, but 12% of men, and that is not said very often, are also victims of violence from women, mainly psychological violence.
    , but also physical and the men are to humiliated to complain.
    After a rumble in a detention center the most destroyed scene i’ve ever seen was in an adolescent girls detention facility. Even the one gallon Tempera jars had been reduced to glasspowder and no furniture was left. A hefty former policeman had his arm broken by a 15 year old. As he said to me:” I could have crushed her with one hand, but you do not strike a girl”. That was in 1955.

  9. 9
    Barbara Says:

    We are getting off-thread here… I, too, disagree with Suzanne. Perhaps if she knew some of the priests whom she had admired and learned from in the past were gay, it would not be so easy to dismiss such a group of men from the possibility of ordination. There was at least one priest who was, for me and for others, a profound and sensitive spiritual guide. I know nothing of how well he kept his vows — nor do I know about any heterosexual priests — but I am in debt to him.

  10. 10
    SUZANNE Says:

    We are getting off-thread here… I, too, disagree with Suzanne. Perhaps if she knew some of the priests whom she had admired and learned from in the past were gay, it would not be so easy to dismiss such a group of men from the possibility of ordination.

    Barbara, it’s not about homosexuality.

    The issue is this: a person claiming to be Catholic vehemently opposes a Catholic doctrine and behaves in a manner contrary to the Catholic faith. They therefore cannot be asked to speak at a Catholic Function.

    It’s not that hard.

    You’re making this into a gay issue. If the guy had been straight and he had opposed church teaching on abortion, it should have been the same response.

    If the guy were gay, but not in a relationship and not opposing church doctrine, he would have been allowed to speak.

    It’s not same-sex attraction that was the reason for him not being allowed to speak: it was his doctrinal position and his public behaviour.

    The commenters here make no distinction between same-sex attraction, homosexual behaviour and opposing church doctrine. Same-sex attraction is not the issue. His opposition to church doctrine and his public moral behaviour are at issue.

    The Church can be expected to exclude people based on behaviour it disapproves of. Membership in any group of people requires rules, and James Loney did not follow the rules. If people do not like the rules, they can not follow them, but they’re not entitled to the same privileges as people who do follow them. That’s how it works in any organization.

  11. 11
    SUZANNE Says:

    “We have to get rid of them.” Chilling indeed. Isn’t thay what Hitler said about the Jews?

    Hitler was talking about exterminating an ethnic group from a country.

    I was talking about getting rid of a group of people whose behaviour was contrary to the stated beliefs of an organization. I don’t want them dead, I just don’t want them representing the Catholic Church.

    Really, this is inflationary rhetoric.

  12. 12
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    I am happy reading Suzanne’s last comments. But I still wonder about how the Church deals with dissent by exclusion rather than dialogue. The teaching is that God is clement and accepting. It is said in the Good Book that there is more rejoicing in heaven for one repented sinner than for 99 persistent justs. How can we reconcile the actions with the Word?
    My way or the highway is a dubious way of making friends or bringing back to the fold those, according to some, who have strayed from the path.

  13. 13
    jeremy Says:

    I AM Catholic by birth and I am Gay and I got married to boot in a Catholic space by a United Minister. Some gays do not have to act. Come one do you know how many closeted gay men serve in parish level jobs and extend all the way up through the Cardinalship of the church? or are you that ignorant to think that there are none?

    The Church needs to change, she is hiding more inside her frock and to route out the gays from seminary is just the tip of the iceberg. If the church rid itself of GAY priests in parishes there would be a lot of servant-LESS parishes all over the world.

    I know what I speak with a degree in Religious Studies and major in Christian Papal history. “Oh let’s get rid of them…” Yes, let’s quote Hitler shall we!!

    Suzanne you are ignorant…

    Jeremy

  14. 14
    Chimera Says:

    “Really, this is inflationary rhetoric.”

    Pots and kettles again, I see.

  15. 15

    In the context of this lively discussion I should like to mention that one of the most popular Catholic spiritual teachers of our time, Father Henri Nowen, was gay. How many would have missed so much had he been barred from the seminary.

  16. 16
    SUZANNE Says:

    If we got rid of all the gays, vocations would flourish, because finally the people who prevent orthodox people from acceding to the priesthood would leave.

    I AM Catholic by birth and I am Gay and I got married to boot in a Catholic space by a United Minister.

    If you do not follow the teachings of the Church, you are Catholic in name only.

    And I have a degree in history too, and have reads lots on religion, so don’t think you’re all high and mighty with your degree.

  17. 17
    Chimera Says:

    “If we got rid of all the gays, vocations would flourish, because finally the people who prevent orthodox people from acceding to the priesthood would leave.”

    Why don’t we turn this around?

    If we got rid of all the homophobes and anti-gay activists, vocations would flourish because finally the people who prevent human beings from acceding to the priesthood would leave.

    “If you do not follow the teachings of the Church, you are Catholic in name only.”

    Who died and left you in charge? Girl, I would really hate to have your nerve in a toothache.

  18. 18
    SUZANNE Says:

    If we got rid of all the homophobes and anti-gay activists, vocations would flourish because finally the people who prevent human beings from acceding to the priesthood would leave.

    The thing is, Chimera, that’s the state of affairs in the Catholic Church right now in North America.

    That’s been disproved by experience.

    “If you do not follow the teachings of the Church, you are Catholic in name only.”

    Who died and left you in charge?

    Christ died, rose again and left the popes in charge. They have taught that a Catholic is obligated to obey Magisterial teaching. The logical conclusion then, is that if you don’t, you’re Catholic in name only.

  19. 19
    Chimera Says:

    “Christ died, rose again and left the popes in charge.”

    Well, that’s the current mythology, anyway. But that only explains the popes.

    My question was who left you in charge? You’re the one who is trying to tell Jeremy that he’s not a “real” Catholic.

    How dare you?

  20. 20
    SUZANNE Says:

    How dare you tell me what my religion is. You do not know my religion. You do not have the right to criticize. My Church says what I say: that a Catholic has an obligation to pay heed to Church teaching. Logically someone who says he is a member but does not do that is a member in name only.

    If I join the Conservatives, but espouse many doctrines that are contrary to core philosophy, wouldn’t that make me a Conservative in name only?

    It’s the same thing in the Catholic Church.

  21. 21
    Chimera Says:

    “…a Catholic has an obligation to pay heed to Church teaching.”

    It says “pay heed” not “follow blindly without questioning.”

    I know your religion well enough. Half my family is Catholic, and none of them can agree on everything, so what makes you think you’ve got the whole truth of it when none of them agrees with you?

    I know some priests, some brothers, a nun, and an archbishop that do not agree with you.

    And I absolutely do have the right to criticize. What are you afraid of?

  22. 22
    SUZANNE Says:

    “…a Catholic has an obligation to pay heed to Church teaching.”

    It says “pay heed” not “follow blindly without questioning.”

    One or the other, but it has to obey.

    I know your religion well enough. Half my family is Catholic, and none of them can agree on everything, so what makes you think you’ve got the whole truth of it when none of them agrees with you?

    Most Catholics are poorly instructed, so having a family of Catholics doesn’t mean much. They don’t have to agree on everything, just church doctrine. What makes me think that I know better is what’s written in Magisterial documents, and plain old common sense.

    I know some priests, some brothers, a nun, and an archbishop that do not agree with you.

    Yeah, there are clergy, right up to the bishops, who are dissenters. They’ve existed before, but the history of the Church shows that those who oppose the Church on a matter of doctrine that is decided have always been on the wrong side. They always end up the losers, because the internal logic of the Church is such that obedience to settled doctrine is a requirement and eventually dissenters are either defeated or leave.

    And I absolutely do have the right to criticize. What are you afraid of?

    You’re trying to tell me how my religion is run or should be run.

  23. 23
    Chimera Says:

    “You’re trying to tell me how my religion is run or should be run.”

    No. I’m trying to stop you from telling everyone else how their lives should be run.

    You only get to make decisions for yourself. You don’t get to make decisions for anyone else. I don’t care who you say it is that gives you “permission” to do so — be it pope, cardinal, bishop, or your god himself, in whatever form he takes for you. If you’re content to let others do your thinking and deciding for you, that’s fine. I’m not gonna stop you. But you must back off other people’s lives and quit trying to force them to live within the narrow, reactionary confines of your world.


RSS Feed for this entry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: