John McNeill: Open Letter to Pope Benedict*

This post has moved to my new domain at http://queering-the-church.com/blog

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6 Responses to “John McNeill: Open Letter to Pope Benedict*”

  1. Mark from PA Says:

    This is such a POWERFUL letter. When will the Church leaders start listening. I hope that at least all the gay bishops, etc. can read and digest and understand this. That in itself would be a start.

  2. Mark from PA Says:

    Does the Church encourage young gay people to internalize self-hatred? What exactly does this mean?

    • Phillip Clark Says:

      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.

  3. Phillip Clark Says:

    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!

  4. colkoch Says:

    “…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.

    • Terence@queerchurch Says:

      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.


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