More on “Welcome” in Church.

The Church claims to be a welcoming space for all, including sexual minorities. Some would disagree, but I do not wish to go into that here. Instead, I want to draw your attention to a piece written by Deb Word, for the newsletter of the Catholic Association for Lesbian & Gay Ministry, Winter 2010. (CALGM is an association of diocesan, parish and campus-based ministries and those involved in these ministries, under the leadership of the US bishops).

This piece is about the work of the writer and her husband as individual Catholics in providing a welcome. But here’s the key passage, as it applies to the institutional church in the USA (as far as I know, it is much the same everywhere else):

When you are working with a population that is prone to suicide1, you need more than band-aids.  LGBT homeless kids attempt suicide at a rate of 69%. Why, as church, are we missing this? A search for a model of Catholic Charities reaching out to homeless LGBT kids comes up empty.

Now read the full article, which I have taken from an email :

Surely you can set one more place at the table… please.

By Deb Word

Read the rest of this entry »

Suicide, Abuse, and the Catholic Church

One of my earliest memories from primary school religion lessons is that suicide is a grievous sin, one of the worst of all. If that is so, how serious is it to be responsible for another person’s suicide? And how serious is it if that person is a representative of the Catholic Church, or indirectly, the whole impersonal structure of the Church itself?


The Church has by now become accustomed to being sued by survivors of clerical abuse, of boys, girls, and adults alike. It is also now accustomed to paying out large sums, as the result of court judgements, out-of court settlements, or (in some cases) plain hush money, all for abuse. Read the rest of this entry »

Lessons From a Four-year Old (He is what he is).

“I am what I am” has so long been a queer slogan that it has almost become a cliche, lost its meaning.  But when we really think about it, the words still have power to move – certainly for me and Raymond – probably also for others of our generation.  But I wonder:  how long did it take us before we could embrace the words for ourselves – and how fully?  I doubt if there has ever been a child this  young, with parents wise and supportive enough to enable him to be who he is.

Sam is a 4-year-old boy who likes dressing up.  So do most young kids, both boys and girls. He has a special dressing up box: again, pretty common.

Sam likes pink clothes.  So do a lot of girls – boys, not so much.       But his folks are willing to go along with this, because it’ s what he likes – as long as it’s not too outlandish.

Sam likes a lot of frills, and gauze, and tulle. So do a lot of girls – boys, not so much.       But his folks are willing to go along with this too, because it’ s what he likes – as long as it’s for the dressing up-box, in domestic privacy.

Sam likes to wear dresses. Read the rest of this entry »