Sunday, November 06, 2011

Thomas Fox: "Our Gay and Lesbian Brothers and Sisters Have So Much to Teach Us"

Thomas C. Fox, editor of the National Catholic Reporter, published a powerful and timely editorial on November 5. It's entitled "LGBTQ: Gifts from God," and is reprinted in its entirety below.

If you are on this Web site you are probably aware of the flap coming out of Boston where a bishops' advisor was forced to resign after suggesting some satanic involvement in the births of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. This kind of nutty nonsense is not church teaching, but is a product of an outdated theology. It can also be traced back to a lamentable episcopal utterance of then, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and now Pope Benedict, who wrote that the homosexual inclination itself "must be seen as an objective disorder."

Let me suggest another way to look at our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, without trying to add even further burden on their weary shoulders. It is to say that they are special human beings and that they bring special gifts to the human family, gifts we need for material and spiritual fulfillment and, perhaps, even for the preservation of the human family itself. While recognizing the obvious shortfall of lumping large groups of people into a single category, I feel I need to point out the obvious, and that is our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters have so much to teach us, so much to give us in so many ways. I'd start with characteristic sensitivity, insight, compassion and joy. The list could go on.

Until we recognize that all of us – no exceptions – are gifts and that our LGBTQ brothers and sisters are among some of the most special of these gifts, offering us so much that enlarges our spiritual visions, so much that speaks of God's love for us, then we are missing the proverbial boat.

For many of us, the linkage of gay and lesbian to "objective disorder" has been an offensive insult from the outset, the product of another time and an outdated theology. [For theologian Mary Hunt's take on this "theology," click here.] For many that time has passed; for others it is passing; for a few, it still needs to pass. Let's pray the day comes quickly when stragglers, including some of our church's shepherds, catch up with the flock.

That day couldn't soon enough for the sake of the precious mission of our church.

– Thomas C. Fox
National Catholic Reporter
November 5, 2011

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Gifts of Homosexuality
Francis DeBarnardo: "The Church is Better Because of the Presence of LGBT People"
LGBT Catholics Celebrate Being "Wonderfully Made"
Celebrating Our Sanctifying Truth
A Gay Catholic Man's Testimony of Courage and Grace: "God Made Me and Loves Me Just As I Am"
Coming Out: An Act of Holiness
Gay People and the Spiritual Life
Catholic Theologian: "Heterosexism, Not Homosexuality, is the Problem
The Challenge to Be Ourselves
Getting It Right

Related Off-site Links:
Bishop Aide Resigns Over Gay Devil Column
Associated Press (November 3, 2011).
Incarnational, Except When It Isn't?
– Thom Curnutte (Faith in the 21st Century, November 1, 2011).
The Gays + the Devil: More Resources about Boston Catholic Controversy (with Theological Reflections) – William D. Lindsey (Bilgrimage, November 4, 2011).

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