Comments

shadowlands said…
Beautiful, a testimony to your heart, and your love of neighbour. (although it's also a little sad ( I mean that in the old fashioned sense of the word, not the teenage way, as my son tells me saying something's 'sad' means something else these days)).
No wonder we all misunderstand each other.
Touched by God said…
You received criticism for making an outrageous and unfounded assertion that homosexual males are more likely to abuse children.

In response to this criticism you compare yourself with Morrissey, a notoriously self-obsessed 'homosexual' man who plays coquettishly with the media by refusing to comment one way or another on his sexual orientation while releasing signal after signal hinting at it.

Yes, you're right, there are a lot of parallels between yours and Morrissey's relationship toward homosexuality. Well done
Gay Catholic Doctor said…
Laurence, have you tried watching heterosexual pornography, the ex-gay movement recommend it as part of their 'therapy' (read, reprogramming).
Maybe you can overcome this terrible infliction?

Or maybe, electric shock therapy would be more traditional for you... like when psychiatrists in the past tried to 'cure' homosexuals by electocuting them while showing them images of naked men. It didn't work then and it won't work now!

Quite frankly dear, you're gay so get over it!
Ironic Catholic said…
Playing Morrissey? God, you are a tortured poof!
Gay Confessor said…
You'll be putting up a picture of you on the cross next!
rainbow sash directors said…
Some in the Church attribute the wearing of the Rainbow Sash as a
form of polemic of opposing views. The Rainbow Sash Movement
(RSM) believes there is a deeper meaning to the wearing of the Rainbow Sash beyond confrontation. Instead it is
a direct attempt to have the Rainbow Sash Movement and the Bishops face each other, and attempt to clarify a
misunderstanding based on homophobic notions of LGBT People. Clarification not confrontation is at issue
when members of the Rainbow Sash Movement wear the Sash at Cathedrals. This is done in the absence of any
structures for quiet, peaceful discussions with ecclesiastical authorities, what else are we to do, remain invisible?

We can no longer bury our heads and remain silent on this bipolar matter, nor can we promote the ideal that
somehow our own spiritual comfort is more important than civil rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgender community. Nor will we remain invisible in order to receive communion. Is “passing” – or working
on the assumption that others will assume I am straight grounded in fear or love? The tension between the
Church's sexual ethic and its social teaching only highlights a dilussional hieraichal mindset.

This kind of camouflage in the church, is fundamentally dishonest. Just as dishonest as Cardinal Bertone,
Vatican Secretary of State promoting the idea that Gay priests are responsible for the current clergy sexual abuse
scandal in the Church. One of the key attributes of God, we were all taught, is truth. We believe human dignity,
human rights, and inviolability of the individual conscience as concerns LGBT people is well within the arch of
Catholic moral teaching.

It is our firm belief that justice not homophobia must flow from the Sacred Liturgy.

Pentecost is the Birthday of the Universal Church it is a time to celebrate our diversity as a people of faith with
honesty. All are welcome to join us on Pentecost Sunday, May 23, Catholic or non Catholic and gay or straight.

Rainbow Sash Movement Board of Directors
but church teaching.... said…
The Roman Catholic church considers that sexual acts between two people of the same sex is sinful. This teaching is based on tradition. There is much in church teaching which can be affirming of lesbian, gay and bisexual Catholics. This section looks at church teaching and sexuality.
church teaching said…
As is well known, the Roman Catholic church considers that sexual acts between two people of the same sex is sinful. This teaching is based on tradition, much of which is based on the teachings of the early church fathers such as St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas . Ultimately, the church claims the authority of certain passages in the Bible for this teaching.

Roman Catholics who form lesbian or gay relationships are often asked how they can continue to identify as Roman Catholic since they have adopted a lifestyle which is contrary to the official teaching of the church. It is also commonly believed that all Roman Catholics are by definition opposed to lesbian, gay and bisexual lifestyles and thus cannot be supportive of other gay and lesbian relationships or support legal recognition of same sex couples (as exists in the United Kingdom in the form of civil partnership).

The reality is that the church does not, and never has, insisted that faithful Roman Catholics assent to every one of its teachings. Although Roman Catholics are united in our faith in such matters as the resurrection of Christ and certain particular dogmas of the church (such as Catholic teaching on the eucharist) individual Catholics can and do take a dissenting line on matters of ethical teaching if they feel on conscientious grounds that they cannot accept the teaching as it stands.

For example, in Western Europe it is so common that married couples choose to use artificial birth control, on conscientious grounds and contrary to official church teaching, that this has become the norm rather than the exception.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual Roman Catholics who choose to be sexually active on conscientious grounds are in a similar position to heterosexual Roman Catholics who choose to use artificial means to control their fertility. Not only is this position commonly taken, but the church teaching on both issues is essentially the same: it is based on the principle which states that sexual activity is sinful unless conducted in the context of sacramental marriage with an openness to procreation.

It is an individual responsibility of every Roman Catholic to inform her or his conscience over such matters. What follows is a summary of the basis of Roman Catholic teaching and the criticisms commonly levelled at it by dissenting members of the church and other commentators. Clearly these arguments are not meant to be exhaustive and views differ considerably amongst the faithful and other experts. Much of the work of the Caucus involves stimulating discussion around this subject.
biblical authority1 said…
The church teaches that there is scriptural authority for its view that sexual activity between two men or two women is sinful. Arguments based solely on scriptural authority (or: "It says in the Bible") are characteristic of Protestant rather than Catholic thinking, but the Roman Catholic church continues to take a position that there is Scriptural authority prohibiting sexual acts between men or between women which is very similar to that taken by conservative evangelical commentators. On this basis, Catholics who wish to inform their conscience on this issue need to understand the scope of Scriptural authority and the meaning of those passages in the Bible on which Scriptural authority arguments are based.

This area is a complex one, and more detailed papers on the subject can be found on the national LGCM website (www.lgcm.org.uk) and through some of the resources on our Links tab. However, the key points to be aware of are as follows:

No Christians, even the most conservative evangelical fundamentalists, take everything that is in the Bible as authoritative. The Bible supports slavery (Leviticus Ch 25 vv 44 and 45, Colossians Ch 3 v22), advocates violence against children (Psalm 137 vv 8-9), advocates discrimination against disabled people (Leviticus Ch 21 vv 18 -23), supports polygamy (Genesis Ch 29 v 28) and glorifies lethal violence (psalm 58 vv 3-10, 1 Samuel Ch 15 vv 32-33) . Violent attitudes towards non Jewish people in the Old Testament are then turned against the Jewish people (and their descendants) in certain passages in the New Testament (Matthew Ch 27 vv 24-25). Each of these views and attitudes is regarded as immoral and uncivilised in modern secular society and by the Roman Catholic church.

In addition, the Bible contains a number of statements and requirements which modern society regards as impractical or meaningless, such as a prohibition on wearing mixed cloth (Leviticus Ch 19 v 19) , a statement that it is sinful to run (Proverbs Ch 19 v 2) and prohibitions on lending money at interest (Leviticus Ch 25 v 35, Ezekiel Ch 18 v 13). The Bible requires that employers pay their staff on each day that they work, and prohibits holding pay over night (Leviticus Ch 19 v13). The Bible also makes clear statements which are contrary to the Christian faith, such as the statements in Ecclesiastes (Ch 3. vv 19-20) that there is no life after death.
biblical authority2 said…
Clearly, the fact that the Bible makes a clear statement about an issue is not, by itself, any indication of Christian teaching on the matter. However, in the context of same sex relationships the argument is exceptionally weak because the Bible has very little to say about anything which modern society would classify as "homosexuality" or "lesbian" "gay" or "bisexual". There is no concept of sexual orientation mentioned anywhere in the Bible. This is hardly surprising because all the historical evidence about sexual attitudes in the societies which produced the Bible show that the idea had not been thought of at that time. Sexual orientation is a concept which was developed in the nineteenth century and is associated with post Freudian psychological models. Analysis of the texts which supposedly cover the subject by modern scholars has shown that the majority of them are not references to gay male or lesbian sex at all and that those that are, or may be, are in no way statements which form any part of the Christian faith.

This is in contrast to large numbers of clearly anti Semitic statements in the gospels (particularly the gospel of St John) and the Acts of the Apostles, which were for many years used as a justification for vicious attitudes and violence towards Jews. The Roman Catholic church has, by the grace of God, abandoned its use of the Bible to justify such atrocities and recognised anti Semitism for the evil that it is. It is intellectually unsustainable to use a handful of unclear and prejudiced statements in the Bible as a basis for condemning same sex relationships when the far clearer and more frequent anti Semitic material is given no authoritative status.
natural law said…
The concept of natural law has its origins in Greek and Roman philosophy and is essentially an idea that human beings have a natural inclination to what is good and that there is some form of law which all human beings aspire to which is based on this innate sense of what is right. Thomas Aquinas describes this concept as follows: "Man participates in eternal reason through which he possesses a natural inclination to a fitting act and end. Such participation on the part of a rational creature in the eternal is called natural law." Attempts to state what the actual rules or principles of natural law are have, however, proved futile. The result is that natural law arguments are circular: it is necessary to make assumptions as to what is right and wrong in order to formulate the principles of natural law, based on those assumptions. In the days when society consistently condemned same sex acts natural law arguments were used to justify that social view. In a society where such relationships are valued, and discrimination is considered immoral, natural law arguments tend to point in the opposite direction.
Ascetic Dualism and Concupiscence said…
Certain of the early church fathers were influenced by philosophical thinking known as "ascetic dualism" ultimately traceable to certain works of Plato, which continued through later Greek Stoic philosophers and was prevalent in Imperial Roman society. This thinking created a strict division between body and soul, and regarded truth as an objective reality which philosophers were searching for. It was linked to a psychological model in which reason was expected to dominate the mind (in fact, to have complete control over the emotions) and much that people have always valued, such as beauty, poetry, pleasure and emotional satisfaction were regarded as distractions from the path to the truth. The body and the emotions were considered to be inferior to the soul and to reason, and virtuous people were supposed to have complete mastery over their feelings in all contexts. Feeling, and in particular, sexual feeling, was labelled "concupiscence" and regarded as sinful.

This approach is completely alien to Judaic culture, and therefore sits uncomfortably with the Hebrew scriptures and much of the New Testament. In addition, it is a style of thinking which has long been severely criticised in Western culture. Not only are pleasure, feelings and, above all, love, valued in modern society, but modern psychological models hold that it is not healthy or even possible to try to subject all emotions to the control of reason.

The implications of this thinking during the early years of the church were, of course, to create hostility against all sexual activity, and particularly heterosexual activity. The church was, until the seventeenth century, extremely hostile to marriage. Entry into marriage was fatal to any aspirations to an ecclesiastical career and a complete bar to sainthood. The leading proponents of this kind of thinking, such as Tertullian, St Augustine and St Jerome all show in their writing an irrational hostility to women, and an obsession with women's sexuality. Modern readers will tend to see this as the effect of an unhealthy attempt to suppress their own sexual feelings towards women. These kinds of attitudes are considered unacceptable in modern society and are in sharp contrast to the respect for women shown by Jesus Christ as he appears in the gospels.
changes in church teaching said…
The Roman Catholic church is a dynamic, living organisation and consequently church teaching has changed dramatically over time in response to social changes. For example, current church teaching on marriage reflects the needs of the ruling classes in Europe in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. This was a change from the church's earlier hostility to marriage. It is neither true to the teaching of Jesus Christ or reflective of the society in which we now live. Similarly, the church (both the Anglican and the Roman Catholic church) turned against slavery, an institution it once supported strongly on Biblical grounds, in the late eighteenth and the nineteenth century in parallel to secular social developments which began to see slavery as morally wrong and led eventually to its abolition by law.

In the mediaeval and renaissance periods the Roman Catholic church prohibited the lending of money at interest. This meant, for example, that the Medici family (early examples of bankers in the modern sense of the word) had to make their fortune from trading in currencies rather than in the extension of credit. However, the church was eventually forced to recognise that the provision of credit at interest was an essential element in the rapidly developing economy and ceased to oppose the practice. In fact, the church now requires its organisations to place their funds on deposit, in direct contravention of its teaching during the mediaeval period.

There is much in church teaching which can be affirming of lesbian, gay and bisexual Catholics. Attempts to impose a nineteenth century morality of sexual behaviour are not convincing and are demeaning to the church and to its faithful. At the heart of Christianity and specifically Catholicism we find the unconditional love of God for all of his creation, and a repeated theme of reaching out to those who have been marginalised or victimised. Lesbian, gay and bisexual Catholics are ready to take their place as much loved members of the Catholic church and to engage with the real issues which face religion and humanity in the twenty first century, in which Catholics of all sexual orientations, whether sexually active or celibate, can celebrate our togetherness.
'Lesbian, gay and bisexual Catholics are ready to take their place as much loved members of the Catholic church and to engage with the real issues which face religion and humanity in the twenty first century, in which Catholics of all sexual orientations, whether sexually active or celibate, can celebrate our togetherness.'

The Catholic Church is not a celebration of ourselves. It is the Body of Christ which is redeemed by Christ, nourished by Christ and is indeed the Bride of Christ.

It is God who is worshipped in the Mass, not ourselves. The Mass is not about us, it is about God.
The Laurence Heresy said…
Yes but the Church is a community - the whole doctrine of Paul was about unifying the body and soul of believers in a single community; the Church. Therefore the celebration of Christian togetherness IS the celebration of God, it is through the unification of believers that we express God's will on Earth.
'Yes but the Church is a community - the whole doctrine of Paul was about unifying the body and soul of believers in a single community; the Church. Therefore the celebration of Christian togetherness IS the celebration of God, it is through the unification of believers that we express God's will on Earth.'

Didn't St Paul say something about there being no 'slave, greek or jew', only the Faith of Christ. In Christ there are no distinctions. Today, maybe he'd say there was no gay, straight or bi, only the Faith of Christ.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the exactly what the Church says it is, the Sacrifice of the Mass. If there was only one person at Mass, it would still be Mass - it isn't based on us - it is Him.
The Laurence Heresy said…
"Didn't St Paul say something about there being no 'slave, greek or jew', only the Faith of Christ. In Christ there are no distinctions. Today, maybe he'd say there was no gay, straight or bi, only the Faith of Christ."

Precisely - there are no distinctions relevant to a community of believers since such a community forms a totality. A Greek, Jew, or homosexual should not be prevented from participating in the communion, since the communion of all different types is what makes the Chruch the Church.

Secondly, imagine there are two churches. In the first, there are 100 people, in the second, there only one person attending mass. I would say that it is implicit in Paul's teaching that the person in the second church should join the first, since a Church is not, in Paul's theology, *just* a symbolic act relating man to God, but is a *practical* and concrete entity in which the body and soul are unified on Earth, adumbrating the higher union of Heaven. Therefore the strength of the Church comes from its unity, not its divisions.

Given that there is no theological sanction for precluding homosexuals from this community, you seem to be ignoring Paul's teachings
Liturgical Historian said…
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the exactly what the Church says it is, the Sacrifice of the Mass. If there was only one person at Mass, it would still be Mass - it isn't based on us - it is Him.

''Wherever TWO or THREE are gathered in my name, I am there'' - not one person (the priest) on his own. It has always been a tradition of the church that the priest is prohibited from celebrating the eucharist on his own. The tridentine rubics specifically state that there must always have been a least one server present (to repersent the community responses). Priests saying mass with no-one present are a post vatican2 mis-development and a rupture of continuity in the chrch's practice.
Same with several priests celebrating mass individually in the same place. Totally prohibited up until around the council of trent and made necessary by the move away from ceremonial necessary for more solemn concelebration.