Well Mark, when the leaders of the Church tell someone with a homosexual orientation that the way there are feeling is a “disordered condition” and that to act upon or express it in any way is “intrinsically disordered” I don’t know what else you would describe it as doing?
You’re telling a person that they’re not 100% ok in the eyes of God because of what particular gender they are aroused by, and as a consequence, they can’t enjoy love–an emotion that all humans have an inate desire for–because of who they are and who they are attracted to.
Thank you Fr. McNeill for this truly tremendous and much-needed letter! I thank you for all that you have done for LGBT Catholics and continue to do through your writing. I only wish that I had been able to discover your works sooner and not have suffered through the self-imposed purgatory on earth I put myself through in order to convince myself I was carrying out the will of God.
Yet, following the election of President Barack Obama the Holy Spirit imparted to me a profound sentiment: if our nation can endure and usher in such a profound change in course why can’t the Church undergo such a phenomenon? It was then that I agreed to disagree with the pronouncements of the leaders of the Church concerning homosexuality and finally accept myself as created–in all aspects including my sexuality–as a child in the image of the living God.
Thank you Fr. McNeill, you continue to remain one of my foremost and meaningful contemporary heroes of the Church today! May the Lord continue to bless all of your endeavors and constantly grant you courage, peace, and fulfillment!
“…the more we learn in a painful way to let go and grow up spiritually”. He calls it “…the blessing of fallibility. We are witnessing the birth pangs of the Church of the Holy Spirit.”
This is precisely what everything that is happenind with in Catholicism is all about. All of it in one way or another is forcing us to grow up and meditate on whether we really need to be subservient to a clerical caste. In this sense the abuse crisis, the abortion absolutism, the gay bashing is our opportunity to make a decision about becoming fully functioning spiritual adults or remaining co dependent children. Waiting for the Vatican to change is a fool’s strategy because it’s not about the Vatican, it’s about us. It’s our time to listen to the Holy Spirit and turn deaf ears to the Vatican.
Thanks for these wise words, Colleen. As John McNeill also constantly reminds us, St Irenaeus teaches that “The glory of God is humans fully alive”. To become “fully” alive implies growth, development, the approach to maturity. Setting aside our critical faculties in blind obedience to Church “authority” is not to be fully alive, and does nothing for the glory of God.
Rev. James Lewis Stoll, who died on December 8th 1994, was a Unitarian Universalist minister who became the first ordained minister of any religion in the United States or Canada to come out as gay. He did so at the annual Continental Conference of Student Religious Liberals on September 5, 1969 in La Foret, Colorado. Later, he led the effort that convinced […]
CHARLES DE FOUCAULD (Brother Charles of Jesus) was born in Strasbourg, France on September 15th, 1858. Orphaned at the age of six, he and his sister Marie were raised by their grandfather in whose footsteps he followed by taking up a military career.He lost his faith as an adolescent.His taste for easy living was well known to all and yet he showed that he c […]
In Catholic spiritual tradition, there is an important and honoured place for the idea of "The Bride of Christ". At one level, we are taught to think of the Church as a whole as such a bride of Christ, and the wedding at Cana as a metaphor for the marriage of Christ to his bride, the Church. At another level, religious women think of themselves as […]
b. May 22, 1930 d. November 27, 1978Harvey Milk became the first openly gay person to be elected to a significant public office when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. He served eleven months before he was assassinated."The important thing is not that we can live on hope alone, but that life is not worth living without it. […]
In Catholic tradition, Longinus is the name given to the Roman centurion at the crucifixion who pierced Christ's side with his spear. Some writers, like Paul Halsall of the LGBT Catholic Handbook, also identify him with the centurion who asked Jesus to heal his "beloved boy", who was ill. It is this second person that I am interested in here. […]
There is an important distinction between "faith", which refers to belief and a relationship with the divine, and "religion", which refers primarily to the human structures which support it, with their rules, rituals, and clerical castes. They are obviously linked, interdependent, and ideally, support each other. There are grave dangers t […]
Sane and rational discussion of the Bible and same-sex relationships are bedevilled by difficulties with language, arising from problems with translations on the one hand, and vastly different cultural conditions which make it difficult sometimes to make sense of the applicability of the words, even where the literal meaning is clear. This is especially imp […]
The Ethiopian Eunuch is our most famous trancestor. However, there are many more scattered through the Bible, both visible and invisible. We shall meet many more later. -Lewis ReayThe Many Eunuchs Hidden in ScriptureThere are numerous trans themes and characters in Scripture. If these are not immediately familiar to us, this is because often, they are simply […]
One of the great paradox's of queer church history is that a period of extreme persecution of "sodomites" by the Inquisition, directly at their own hands or indirectly by secular authorities at their instigation, largely coincided with a remarkable series of popes who had sex with men, who protected family and friends who did so, or spent vast […]
James Alison is another important theologian for gay men, although he described himself not as a "gay theologian", but as a theologian who writes from a gay (male) perspective. He was formerly a Dominican priest, who like Fr John McNeill,, was forced out of the priesthood for daring to speak honestly, in his case about gay priests. He has since cre […]
Yes, really - in a manner of speaking. Browsing through the Catechism section on sexuality, which you will find under the sixth commandment, I was struck by two passages in particular:"Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity." (2333)and"Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological wor […]
At Religion Dispatches Magazine, Louis A. Ruprecht makes an important point: One of the more striking things about all of the ink that has been spilled over California’s now- infamous Proposition 8, and its long legal aftermath, is the almost reflexive assumption on all sides that marriage, somehow, is a norm, a desirable norm. And so the argument swiftly be […]
The five co-defendants sit close enough to shake hands in the Philadelphia courtroom, but they never once acknowledge one another. Father James Brennan, a 47-year-old priest accused of raping a 14-year-old boy, looks sad and stooped in a navy sweater, unshaven and sniffling. Edward Avery, a defrocked priest in his sixties, wears an unsettlingly pleasant expr […]
"A LEADING child protection expert has urged the Victorian government to hold a public inquiry into the handling of child-sex cases by a Catholic religious order after the Catholic Church suppressed a report it asked him to write. Sydney University law professor Patrick Parkinson wrote yesterday to the Victorian Attorney-General, Robert Clark, and Polic […]
The Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin has admitted that "a cabal" protecting clerical sex abusers may be operating at the highest levels in the Catholic Church. Dr Martin said: "There may be a cabal in Cloyne. They may have friends in other parts of the Irish Church. They may have friends in Irish society. There may be friends in the Vat […]