Why? Well, I must admit that I always feel a surge of resolve and hope whenever someone shares with me how my writing, my sharing of various experiences and insights as a gay Catholic man, has been of help and encouragement to them. In fact, it can even make the late nights and seemingly endless hours of wordsmithing (a wonderfully evocative word, don’t you think?) seem all worthwhile!
It’s also heartening to hear from a young gay Catholic who is forging a life of honesty and integrity, and who not only expresses hope in the Church’s capacity for reform and renewal, but is willing to help facilitate – indeed, embody – such reform and renewal. Phillip is one such young gay Catholic.
And so, with his permission, I share Phillip’s recent e-mail message to me.
My name’s Phillip Clark and I’m 18 yrs old (well, I’ll be 19 next month) and I stumbled across your blog by chance a few days ago. I just want to let you know how great it is to find another gay Catholic voice out there on the web! I greatly appreciate your efforts to make the experiences and the situations of homosexual Catholics known in light of the current climate within the Church.
Myself and my mother converted to the Catholic Church from the Anglican Church during the Easter Vigil of 2007. It was before and during that process that I came to terms with my own homosexual orientation. At first the Church’s official stance on homosexuality seemed to make sense to me, it was more moderate than most mainline Protestant denominations but still clung to what seemed to be openly stated in Scripture. So I resolved to live as chastely as I could. I prayed and tried to resist what I saw as “temptations” for so long but as the older I got the harder it became to commit to living a life devoid of love. During the course of this incredible election cycle I was inspired so much by our now President Obama. His call for CHANGE resounded within my heart and reverberated throughout the entirety of my being. It was then that I realized, why can’t the Church change? If the Church has been able to see that not all non-Catholics or non Christians for that matter are consigned to Hell, and that not everything in the Bible has to be taken as a historical fact, why couldn’t the understanding of homosexuality be reevaluated.
It was then that I discovered theologians like Hans Küng, Charles Curran, Fr. Richard McBrien, Bishop Gumbleton, Bishop Jacques Gaillot and others within the Church who realized that change and reform must take place. I also have been reading the work of many Biblical scholars who think that the instances in which the Bible talks about homosexuality have been taken out of context. In short, the Magisterium is just clearly misguided in its teaching regarding homosexuality, as it is on many other things such as abortion, birth control, and pre-marital sex.
So now, I realize that I can be a gay Catholic, and a Catholic who questions some of the official teachings of the institutional Church and still be faithful. I have come under scrutiny from many already who call me a “heretic” and a collaborator with Satan. But I know this is not the case. Not once throughout the entirety of the Gospels did Jesus mention homosexuality. Now, I hope that as a gay Catholic I can help contribute to and influence the reform in many areas of Church teaching regarding sexuality mortality that needs to take place as well as being actively involved in advancing the rights of all regardless of sexual orientation.
So, I just wanted to genuinely think you for your blog which I hope to follow in the future with frequent interest!
In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Recommended Off-site Link:
“For I Am Wonderfully Made” - Lacey Louwagie (Young Adult Catholics, February 10, 2009).
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Message to a Young Man of Integrity
Our Progressive Catholic Youth
Answer to a Troubled Liberal Catholic
Better Late Than Never
One Catholic Gay Parent Who Isn’t Leaving the Church