Christ’s Queer Family

This week, the Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family – so often an occasion of trial for those Catholics who are not living in officially approved families of Mom, Pop, kids, pets and picket fence. Subjected year after year to the same -old, same-old shallow sermons on the joys of family life, single people, the divorced, childless couples and queer Catholics can easily find that this Sunday is a very pointed reminder of how easily and thoughtlessly we can be excluded from the Church community. Most of the standard preaching on the Holy Family though is entirely misguided – the true nature of the Holy Family is very far from a celebration of the modern, but inappropriately named,  “traditional family” .

Not a

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Doing Christmas Theology at the Met.

How much do you like Christmas “crib” scenes, those cutesy 3-d  representations of Christmas card scenes, with an angelic baby Jesus in a stable, surrounded by a beaming Mary and Joseph and a few token shepherds, angels, and possibly completely three anachronistic “Kings” from the East?

You’ve guessed that I am deeply ambivalent.  They are all an important part of the Christmas message, but too often, like the soppy, sentimental and inappropriate carols all around us, they can too easily demean the real story of Christmas to nothing more than a nice children’s story, which we unpack somewhere around early December and put away again after New Year.

Fortunately,  not all exercises in Christmas cribs, nor all Carol Services, get it wrong.  Read the rest of this entry »