A major impediment which has historically restricted the ability of the Catholic Church to properly implement it’s own instruction to treat gay and lesbian people with “respect, compassion and sensitivity” has been that far too long, bishops have refused even to meet with our people. There is abundant evidence that is now beginning to change.
The importance of this is that it is impossible to show genuine compassion or sensitivity for any people unless you understand the realities of their lives – and it impossible to acquire that necessary understanding unless you speak to them, or to people who share their experience. Far too often in the past, we’ve read of embarrassing apologies from people insisting that words they may have said “were not intended to offend” – which immediately displays their lack of sensitivity, arising from ignorance of how the words would be heard.
Fortunately, there have been numerous examples in recent years of lesbian and gay Catholics in many regions of the worlds having discussions with local bishops and cardinals, and even with some highly influential members of the Curia, and with at least two members of Pope Francis’ “inner cabinet” of nine cardinal advisors (Cardinal O’Malley of the USA, and Cardinal Gracias of India).
Some of these have been publicly reported, some have not. It is clear though, that the number of such meetings has been increasing, and are being held with increasingly influential figures. The latest of many such reports comes from Ireland, where the Primate of all Ireland, Archbishop Eamonn Martin, met with representatives of three different gay faith groups. Continue reading “Don’t Talk About Us, Unless You Talk With Us”: It’s Happening.