Benedict’s Christmas address to the Curia provoked a firestorm of comment – but the important stuff, buried inside, was ignored.
Yes, the implied criticism of ‘homosexuals’, and more direct criticism of gender theory was disappointing. But the media frenzy overlooked a whole lot of stuff to encourage gay catholics. (Read the whole speech at ‘Whispers in the Loggia”). There was a long riff in the theme of the importance of joy as a sign of the Holy Spirit. Now I don’t know about you, but I have certainly experienced a great deal of ‘Joy’ (which Benedict reminds us is a sign of the Spirit) in physical, erotic love. So, by following the papal argument, I can claim to have found God in sex, gay sex. (No, I didn’t need Benedict to tell me what I already know – but it is good to have the Rottweiler agreeing with me for once.)
There is also more stuff on how Revelation is a continuing process in the modern world. – so there he acknowledged the possibility (I believe the probability) that theology can change to reflect a change in public understanding of sexuality.
In an open letter to the US bishops, John McNeill (writer, psychotherapist and former priest- letter reprined on The Wild Reed) has railed against the iniquities done by the established church to gay and lesbian Catholics. But he also wrote of an emerging ‘Kairos moment’ – a moment ripe for change. He could be right – as gay Catholics, we need to encourage each other, and engage with the positive elements in the faith to force this change.
- The Problems of the Pope’s “Condom” Interview. (Queering the Church)
- Give Thanks For This Kairos Moment of LGBT Inclusion (Queering the Church)
- “Gradualism” in Benedict’s Theology. (Queering the Church)
- Why Does Clerical Sexual Abuse Always Stay At The Clerical Level? (Enlightened Catholicism)
- More on Benedict and Condoms: Shift Occurs, I Remain Underwhelmed (Bilgrimage)