Saturday, May 15, 2010

JOHN MCNEILL ON BENEDICT IN PORTUGAL

Once again, John McNeill has posted a very wise, compassionate and insightful response to Pope Benedict’s recent oblique reference to gay marriage as one of ‘the greatest threats to the human race.’ John reminds us that ‘gay marriage’ isn’t just about fairness and justice for gay people, it constitutes an essential gift to the culture at large by helping to heal the imbalance and defects of patriarchy. Therefore, gay people have an ethical responsibility to press for  equality of marriage that goes beyond our own personal needs and rights. We are called to offer a new paradigm of human relationships, one that is more human and fulfilling because both partners remain in touch with the masculine and feminine aspects of their psyches. Against all of the opposition and hatred, intolerance and bigotry, LGBT people must offer a service of love and justice to a wounded, confused and imbalanced world. However, as Terence Weldon reminds us frequently with his numerous stories at Queering the Church, LGBT are making advances each day in the most unlikely of places. The tide is turning and from the point of view of history, the recent intransigence of Church leaders towards gay marriage, however painful to contemplate, is just one small bump on the road.

Below are three paragraphs from John’s inspiring article, the beginning, middle and end. Please go to John’s website to read the whole article: John McNeil: Spiritual Transformation

On his recent pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, Pope Benedict XVI used the occasion to announce that he thought the greatest threat to the human race, apart from abortion, was gay marriage! To my knowledge no mention was made of the nuclear arms race; no mention of the destruction of the environment; no mention of disease, poverty and starvation which afflict the vast majority of humanity; no mention of the decrease in respect for the sacred value of the human person which has led to a remarkable increase in genocide, violence, murder, torture and enslavement. Which leads me to wonder what alternate universe the Pope lives in; what alternate reality is he dealing with? ….

Jesus Christ’s message of equality and love has been contaminated by the institutions of patriarchy, male privilege, and the repression of the feminine. The time has come for the Church to cleanse itself and throw off these aberrations. Gay spiritual groups, I believe, are leading the way for the whole Church to bring about this transformation. The primary example of this liberation can be found in gay marriage. ….

Which brings us back to the question : Why is Pope Benedict XVI so consistently over the top with his homophobia and so out of touch with the reality of the LGBT world? He was willing, at least unconsciously, to destroy the celibate gay priesthood by forbidding gay men the right to ordination. The only explanation I can reach to understand the ferociousness of Benedict’s attack on the LGBT community is that unconsciously he is a self-hating gay man who projects out his fear and loathing on the gay community at large!

5 comments:

Glorfindel said...

Do you think of the Pope as being the Pope? Or do you just think of him as being one man with his own opinion?

Jayden Cameron said...

Glorfindel - if you mean do I think the Pope is infallible as defined by Vatican I, when over half of the bishops walked out in protest over the vote, then no, I don't. My position is closer to that of the Old Catholic Church, which respects the Petrine office as a symbol of the unity of all Christians, but does not recognize the Pope's absolute jurisdictional authority over the whole church, let alone see him as a divine oracle with a straight line to God. As the long sorry history of the Papacy has made only too clear, Popes frequently go astray and mislead the flock and then must be brought back to some semblance of Christian truth. Beginning with St. Paul, this sometimes entails the Pope having to be reprimanded by his sisters and brothers in the faith. I do believe that the Community called Church stands in the truth of Christ over time, meaning that the Spirit - gently, patiently, and infallibly - leads the community towards the truth and corrects errors and distortions that may have entered in the Christian culture. But it is the whole community, through the sensus fidelsium, the sense of the faith of the whole community, which accomplishes this process, not one single man. Is the Pope a part of this spiritual leadership? Undoubtedly, but just as frequently, Peter stumbles and falls. We must not turn him or his office into a superhuman idol.

colkoch said...

Well said Jayden.

Jayden Cameron said...

Thanks, Colleen. Reminds me of B16's visit to Prague, when I was conscious of the holiness of the office (provided it's kept within it's proper limits) next to the folly of the man and his gorgeous secretary.

colkoch said...

Oh yes, monsignor ganswein does have a sort of universal appeal of his own.