Saturday, November 21, 2009

WHAT IS A GAY CATHOLIC TO HOPE

ADVICE FROM JOHN MCNEILL
on the publication of the 1992 Vatican document,
"Some considerations Concerning the Catholic Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-Discrimination of Homosexual Persons."

My only consolation at this time lies in three profound hopes. First I pray that the very absurdity and hateful spirit of these documents will lead the Catholic lay person to refuse to receive them and to discern spiritually  the contradiction between these documents and the spirit of Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels. 
Second I hope that the Church will proceed soon to call together a third Vatican Council which will change radically the way authority functions in the Catholic Church. The current structure that produces documents such as the 1992 directive is rapidly undermining credibility in the Catholic magisterium, while the world desperately needs the credible moral authority  of the Church. This third Vatican council, among other tasks, should create new structures that will allow a democratic  process in which what the Holy Spirit is revealing  in the lives of people can be heard by an enlightened hierarchy. 

Meanwhile, I hope that my lesbian sisters and gay brothers will be able to draw on all the good things the Church has to offer them for their health and holiness in its sacramental life, while protecting themselves against the poisons of a pathologically homophobic religion.
 (Taken from Freedom, Glorious Freedom, page 60)


Prophetic words uttered seventeen years ago and we now see a further entrenchment with the recent US Bishops' pastoral letter on marriage. The pathology and homophobia have deepened as has the crisis of credibility surrounding the magisterium. Perhaps that is the lesson the Spirit is teaching us so painfully, that credibility and moral authority are not to be vested in the magisterium at this point in history, but to be found elsewhere, in the wisdom of the whole community called church and expressed through its holiest and most sensitive, prophetic members, many of whom are women, many of whom are openly gay, most of whom are on the margins, few of whom are official authority figures. How to gather together that collective wisdom is the question, but somehow the present dysfunctional structures of authority must be sidestepped for the health and well being of the whole community.

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