Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Same Old Slap-n-Tickle

Posted By on Sat, Oct 25, 2014 at 8:12 AM

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OMG, I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself! A council of Catholic bishops has suggested in a just published a 12-page report that LGBTQ folks may actually be worthy of respect and acceptance!

“Even though this is an interim document, it represents a revolution in the way the church speaks about our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters,” author and Jesuit Priest James Martin tells the New york Times (10/13/2014). "The Church turns respectfully to those who participate in her life in an incomplete and imperfect way, appreciating the positive values they contain rather than their limitations and shortcomings.”

Wow, crack open the Cristal! We’ve graduated from perverted and immoral to incomplete and imperfect!

Progress, right?

NO!

Sure, the report recognizes the Rainbow Tribe has “gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community,” but then in the next breath it goes on to say, “unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between a man and a woman.”

Don’t be fooled, kids; this “revolutionary” document is nothing more than the same old slap-and-tickle the Church has been administering since Pope John Paul II declared that only the “practice” of homosexuality is a sin.

I usually have an optimistic outlook regarding LGBTQ acceptance and rights, but when it comes to the Holy Mother Church I’m not expecting a miracle anytime soon. I spent the first 25 years of my life as a practicing Catholic — and the last 25 recovering — so I think I have a pretty good perspective. The Church will never condone our so-called sin, we will always be flawed or lacking in moral purity.

It just kills me when gay Catholic organizations get all twitterpated anytime something like this patronizing and condescending document comes along.

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, says these recognitions “are total reversals of earlier church statements which labeled such an orientation as ‘objectively disordered’ and which viewed gay and lesbian people in faith communities as problems and suspect persons.”

True, it’s fabulous that the church has evolved to the point where they no longer burn we pesky queers at the stake, but to call this report a “total reversal” and a complete about-face is just ridiculous. You can’t tickle us with one hand then slap us with another and call it progress, and as for “imperfect and incomplete,” all they need to do is look in the mirror.

My favorite part of the report is when they ask whether or not the church is capable of welcoming “these people” and “accepting and valuing” our sexual orientation. (What a great question — I’m glad they asked.) But they already answered that question by claiming our relationships and lives are not on the same footing as straight folks.

Presbyterians have been marrying and ordaining queer folks for years. But when it comes to Catholicism, we’re still sitting in the back of the bus and that’s not gonna change anytime soon.

All in all, this seemingly positive rhetoric means nothing more than a dying church's way of trying to fill its emptying pews and pockets.

If they're really serious about welcoming us with open arms, they can re-write their outdated doctrines stating homosexuality is a sin, stop denying us the sacrament of Holy Communion, and marry us in their churches. It took them over 2,000 years to go from treating us as pariahs to seeing us as merely imperfect. How many thousands of years will it take before they accept us as whole and complete?


Christopher Curcio has lived in Colorado Springs for over 35 years and is employed by Colorado College at Tutt Library. In his spare time you will find him sleeping, napping, dozing while reading, napping while dozing and nodding off while watching America’s Test Kitchen.

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