Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Update on Yesterday's Post

In yesterday’s post on Archbishop Nienstedt, I mentioned Fr. Michael O’Connell being interviewed Monday on Minnesota Public Radio.

Families Like Mine author Abigail Garner has contacted me to let me know that she has posted on her blogsite Damn Straight the LGBT segment of this interview. It’s definitely worth taking a look at, and I appreciate Abigail’s commentary on the wider issues at stake for LGBT people.

Writes Abigail:

I recognize that Father O’Connell is limited in what he can say, and I doubt he would think it some great revelation to hear me say that the key to “dignity” is not that tricky. Stop the spiritual violence. Stop the conditional love that hangs over the heads of LGBT people when they step into a sanctuary.

Sadly, the Basilica’s website has removed specific references to “Boulevards” (the LGBT outreach/support/social group) and only has a phone number for you to call for help to meet with someone to “grow in knowledge and understanding.”

At some point, even the most patient and faithful LGBT people grow weary of “dialog.” At some point, LGBT people want communities of faith that will move beyond the presumed “pain” and re-frame their faith community as a place where everyone can bring their joy, too.

Also worth reading is Mary Lynn Murphy’s article “The Fear Factor”, over at The Progressive Catholic Voice.


Denis said...

"At some point, LGBT people want communities of faith that will move beyond the presumed “pain” and re-frame their faith community as a place where everyone can bring their joy, too."

This disingenuous claim does not ring true. The fact is I can name several Catholic parishes within your Archdiocese where this is taking place.

The extremists however are not content with simple inclusion as anyone should seek from his or her parish.

Instead they seek- and have been effective in more than a few parishes- to completely transform the notion of a Catholic parish so that it the worship there is no longer recognizable by Joe or Jane Catholic (regardless of whether they have sex with joes or janes).

If your place of dialogue starts from a place that requires the very institution to change -just so that you can be 'comfortable' you are participating in an environment where dialogue will remain difficult to impossible.

Thank God for those who choose not to live in the extremes- who participate in the liturgies of our church in their parish communities without expecting the whole worship experience to transform to meet their individual need. These individuals are accepted by the vast majority who worship with them as they are with their gifts and their pain.

Michael J. Bayly said...


Until you can name a Roman Catholic parish (in this archdiocese or any) where the joy of a gay couple's union can be openly acknowledged, celebrated, and blessed then it is your claim that such parishes exist that rings hollow, not Abigail's.

You seem to be saying that as long as a gay person doesn't attempt to alter in any way the institution and/or the liturgy than they'll be welcomed with open arms. This is simply not the case.



Denis said...

I was speaking of individuals, not couples.

You are fond of speaking of the situation at St Stephen's (although you rarely speak of them by name). Clearly, that community is going through their difficult time not over homosexuality but over liturgy.

Pax Christi in Eden Prairie, St Thomas the Apostle in Minneapolis, Transfiguration, Christ the King, St John Neumann in Eagan- I could go on - all are openly accepting of all people. I have never taken a census but I would guess that their are gay or lesbian couples in these communities who are quite content with their situation.

Many a person can tell tales of the uncle or aunt, who never married. These people have also been quite consistently active in their churches, schools and other areas of public life. Some may have wished for it to be different but they found a way to worship in their particular situation.

I have no problem with anyone who wants to share the pew with me and have never once taken a survey about their individual sexual practices and preferences. It has never crossed my mind to do so.

I would be uncomfortable, however, if I went to Mass on Sunday and those same private matters were openly discussed including during the homily where Christ should be central.