Monday, October 05, 2015

"Trajectory is More Important Than the Current Status"

. . . So says Frank Cocozzelli in response to an article I shared yesterday on Facebook. It was an article about how Pope Francis, at the opening of the Synod of the Family, had, "reminded everyone that the Catholic Church is against gay marriage."

As I mentioned on Facebook, it would have been more accurate to say that the pope reminded people that the Catholic hierarchy is against gay marriage. This hierarchy, of course, is not "the church." No, the church is much bigger that the Roman Catholic clerical caste. And in many parts of the world, Catholics very much support marriage equality for their gay loved ones. It's a support that is growing. Yes, the trajectory of the Catholic faithful is more important than the current entrenched status of the hierarchy.

And this trajectory is for greater recognition, acceptance and celebration of God's loving and transforming presence in the lives and relationships of LGBTI people. It's thus the trajectory of the sensus fidelium, the "sense of the faithful" – a sense that's already far ahead of the bishops, mired in their erroneous and dysfunctional understanding of both gender and sexuality and thus, as Jason Steidl reminds us, the "systematic sin and injustice" that is institutionalized homophobia.

Yet I believe that even the bishops will, in time, join us in the holy journey of ever-expanding consciousness and inclusion.

And I take heart in the words of Buffy Sainte-Marie, who in an interview earlier this year, shared the following insight:

Everybody's always waking up. . . . We're all ripening every minute, all of us – even the guys that we think are the "bad guys." They too are evolving. So for me the whole idea is being willing to mutate, in a good way, and recognizing in other people that each of us is evolving, ripening, growing in our own way. That is very good news.


And it's this same generous and hopeful insight that Buffy expresses in her song "We Are Circling."

We are spiraling, spiraling together;
Onward, inward, creature to creation.
Holy Mystery, Mother Earth – Child Birth;
This is Mother Nature, this is sacred.

. . . We are ripening, ripening together;
Babies, elders, bozos and angels.
This is how we grow,
this is how we get to know;
This is celebration, this is sacred.

Related Off-site Links:
Pope Opens Synod; Calls for Welcoming Church But No Gay Marriage – Philip Pullella (Reuters, October 4, 2015).
Pope Francis Opens Roman Catholic Synod Amid Gay RowBBC News (October 4, 2015).
Rainbow Catholic Network Launches as Pope Condemns Same-sex Marriage – Nick Duffy (Pink News, October 5, 2015).
Pope Francis’ Actions May Speak Louder Than His Words on LGBT Issues – Francis DeBernardo (Bondings 2.0, October 4, 2015).
This Pope is Keeping Hope for Change Alive – Margery Eagan (Crux, September 16, 2015).
The Pope's Encore: Reforming the Church – Mary E. Hunt (The Baltimore Sun, October 2, 2015).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Remembering and Reclaiming a Wise, Spacious, and Holy Understanding of Homosexuality
The Onward Call
Good News on the Road to Emmaus
Celebrating Our Sanctifying Truth
Marriage: "Part of What is Best in Human Nature"
A Head and Heart Response to the Catholic Hierarchy's Opposition to Marriage Equality
Catholic Hierarchy Can Overcome Fear of LGBT People
Progressive Catholic Perspectives on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 Marriage Equality Ruling
Singing Their Own Song in Ireland


Mary Lynn Murphy said...

Wish I could believe that trajectory is more important than current status. That trajectory has been a mighty long time in coming, and probably extends WAY out into the future.... long after any of us are still living, and long after any changes could affect the hearts, the spirits, the self esteem, the self actualization of today's Catholic women and gays.

It isn't the evolution of the church itself that concerns me. Fifty years from now the church could be just ducky, but all of today's and yesterday's spiritually-injured people will be long gone ... buried with their church-inflicted sorrows and scars. I hate to say this, but this dynamic is like an abusive family system, where injury is inflicted and tolerated generation to generation in hopes that someday it will all get better. It just might get better, but it seems to me that self-loving people have a responsibility to themselves and to their loved ones to save themselves TODAY if they possibly can.

There are so many open, affirming, and wonderful faith systems out there if religion is your thing. The Old Catholic Church, whose motto is "Radical Hospitality," seems like a great place to start looking for a healthy, humane alternative to Roman Catholicism . . . right now today. But if, despite your hurt and frustration, you choose to remain Roman Catholic, but do NOT work for church reform, you will probably have to get comfortable with the pain, perhaps for a very long time.

McAuley Hentges said...

The president of my college used to say a similar thing about the documents of Vatican II. "What is the thrust of the document?" While I'm not crazy over that wording, I think with an institution as old and as laden with inertia as the Catholic hierarchy, what's important to ask is "What is the new idea or new direction?" Then push as hard as you can for the change you envision.