Tag Archives: Coming out

The Religious Value of Coming Out

In the US, October 11th is “National Coming Out Day”. By now, the value to LGBT of coming out is well accepted. It’s valuable to the individual, as good for emotional and mental health – psychotherapists recognise the process as one of psychological growth. It’s also good for the community. As the number of openly LGBT people has steadily increased, the greater visibility has contributed directly to increased public recognition of the need for LGBT equality in law.

What is less widely recognised among LGBT people of faith, is that precisely the same arguments and more, apply to the importance of coming out, in church. Just as psychotherapists acknowledge the process as one of psychological growth, a number of see it as one of spiritual growth. David Helminiak, an academic with doctorates in both psychology and spirituality for instance, describes this in “Sex and the Sacred”. The theologian and psychotherapist Fr John McNeill does so in “Sex as God Intended”, and Fr James Empereur SJ, does so in “Spiritual Direction and the Gay Person”.




Continue reading The Religious Value of Coming Out

LAZARUS, “THE MAN JESUS LOVED”

This morning’s Gospel tells the story of Jesus’ raising of Lazarus from the dead, a familiar tale – too familiar, perhaps, as it contains much that should inspire us as queer Christians, but which we can easily overlook in its over – familiarity.

The Household of Martha and Mary.

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair). (John  11: 1- 2)

These verses remind us of the nature of the household of Martha, Mary and Lazarus – three unmarried people living together in one house. What we easily overlook in the twenty-first century, is how very odd, even transgressive, this would have been to the Jews of Jesus’ day. There was overwhelming pressure on all, women and men alike, to marry and produce children. For women, there was scarcely any choice in the matter: their lives were governed by their menfolk before marriage (either fathers or brothers), and their husbands after. It is true that after a man’s death, his brother was expected to take over the care and control of his widow(s), but this scarcely seems to fit what we know of this household. Lazarus is not married himself, and there is nothing anywhere in the text to suggest that he is in command of the household – quite the reverse. In this household, it is the women who run things.

Although they are described as siblings, several scholars have noted that this could well have been a euphemism, hiding a lesbian relationship between the women, and masking the true status of the single man living with them. Whatever the precise details of the relationships, this is undoubtedly a queer (i.e. unconventional) household, which we should bear in mind as we consider the particular relationship between Jesus and Lazarus, the focus of the story.

“The Man Jesus Loves”

So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick. (John  11: 3).

The story is located in John’s Gospel, which is notable for its several references to the “beloved disciple”. Robert Goss notes that there is disagreement among scholars as to the precise identity of this person:

Scholars have long disputed whether the Beloved Disciple is John son of Zebedee, Thomas the Twin, Mary Magdalene, Lazarus, or a symbol of the community. For some queer writers, the evidence points to Lazarus (WilliamsWilsonGoss). Jennings does not rule out the possibility of Lazarus, but maintains that the evidence is inconclusive. Elizabeth Stuartunderstands that the Beloved Disciple to be representing perfect intimacy with Jesus.

– Goss, in The Queer Bible Commentary

Whoever the unspecified “beloved disciple ” is though, this verse is explicit that if it is not Lazarus, then he can also be so described. The next question of particular interest for gay Christians could be, “What is the nature of this love? Is it intimate, or simply platonic?”.

I cannot think of the raising of Lazarus without recalling a remarkably similar story in the non-canonical fragment known as Mark II, said to have been quoted in an epistle of Clement of Alexandria. This also tells of the raising of a young man (unidentified) from the dead. If this young man is indeed Lazarus, and if there is any basis in fact for the story, then the relationship is anything but platonic. This description of what happened next is about as explicit as it gets, without becoming x-rated:

“And they come into Bethany. And a certain woman whose brother had died was there. And, coming, she prostrated herself before Jesus and says to him, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me.’ But the disciples rebuked her. And Jesus, being angered, went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightway a great cry was heard from the tomb. And going near, Jesus rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb. And straightaway, going in where the youth was, he stretched forth his hand and raised him, seizing his hand. But the youth, looking upon him, loved him and began to beseech him that he might be with him. And going out of the tomb, they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days Jesus told him what to do, and in the evening the youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God. And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan.” (emphasis added)

Early Christian Writing

The Secret Gospel is non-canonical. We cannot evaluate its authenticity, but before dismissing it out of hand, we should also consider its similarity in referring to a naked young man wearing only a linen cloth, to the curious story in the canonical Gospel of Mark.

So, it is possible to read the passage as referring to an erotic relationship between Jesus and Lazarus, but even if we do not, there is an important message for us in the description of Lazarus as the one whom Jesus loved.  For if it refers only to a platonic intimacy, then that can be said to apply also to all of humanity. It is fundamental to the Christian faith that God loves all his creatures (including us queer creatures), and we known from the writers on spirituality, and also (if we are fortunate) from personal experience, that it is possible for us, 200 years later, also to develop through prayer a personal, deep relationship with him. We too, can experience what it is to be “the man Jesus loves”.

Defying the Persecutors

So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

 

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?

It is easy to forget that in this passage, Jesus was not simply returning to the friends he had left behind.  This episode occurs just a short while before the Passion. As the disciples knew, in returning to Judea, he was returning to those who wanted him out of the way, placing himself (and his associates) at substantial risk.  As queer Christians, we are often persecuted by those in control of the churches, but this is not a reason for us to stay away.

It is not just we who have experienced death inside the church. By silencing or driving away some of its members, the Church itself has experienced a form of death. It is incumbent upon us too, to go where we are needed. This includes entering right into the belly of the beast, the institutional church, and restoring it to full, inclusive life.

The Resurrection and the Life

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. (v 25, 26)

Jesus’ promise of resurrection and life, so central to Christian faith, obviously refers to the resurrection after death – but also to more. It is also a promise of a fullness of life here on earth. Individually and collectively, gay men, lesbians and transmen and transwomen often feel that they have suffered a psychic death in the Church, ignored, silenced, and written out of the approved Church histories. However, by focussing our attention on Christ and the Gospels rather than on the man-made and disordered Vatican doctrines, we too can find a fullness of life that the Church attempts to deny us, a genuine human flourishing that is the real point of the concept of “natural law”.




“Come Out”

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

Many commentators have noted the resonance of these words for modern gay men and lesbians. The modern sense, of coming out publicly in open acknowledgement of our sexual orientation, is obviously not what Jesus’ words mean, in any literal sense. However, there is nevertheless a powerful image here that is indeed applicable. In coming out of the tomb, Lazarus is emerging from darkness and death to light and life – and as metaphor, this is precisely how so many of us experience coming out. (For those of us who have come out to friends and family, but not in Church, the process is incomplete. Coming out in Church can represent a further stage in this process of moving from death to life, from darkness to life).

Most interpretations of this as a message about coming out do so with a focus on Lazarus and its obvious connections to gay men. Robert Goss quotes Mona West, who offers an interpretation from a lesbian perspective, by focussing on Martha, and her coming out as a disciple of Jesus:

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>She (Martha) is invited to move beyond a mere confession of faith and to accept the radical fullness of Jesus’ grace. Her conversation with him thus not only forms the theological heart of the story; it is also at the theological heart of the coming out process for Christian lesbians and gay men.

Conclusion

I am left with three overriding commands that I take away from the story of Lazarus, and Jesus’ renowned raising of him from death. Recognizing that like Lazarus, we are all beloved disciples of Jesus, we must follow Martha in accepting and reciprocating that love and grace. Doing so will give us the strength and courage to come out publicly even in the Church, and to face down those who oppose us in the name of misguided religion. This will contribute to our own healing and resurrection in a fuller life – but will also contribute new life to the Church itself.

Books:

Goss, Robert (ed): Take Back the Word: A Queer Reading of the Bible

Guest, Deryn et al (eds): The Queer Bible Commentary

Jennings, Theodore: the man jesus loved

Stuart, Elisabeth: Just Good Friends: Towards a Lesbian and Gay Theology of Relationships

Williams, Robert: Just As I Am: A Practical Guide to Being Out, Proud, and Christian

Wilson, Nancy: Our Tribe: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Bible

Related Posts at QTC:

“Coming Out”: A Gospel Command

A Broken Church, and the Return From Emmaus

I’m the gay son of a preacher man. When I came out to Dad, he was perfect | Chris Godfrey | Opinion | The Guardian

What was your dad like when you came out?” When people discover I’m both gay and the son of an Anglican vicar, the Reverend Ian Godfrey, their response is often a predictable variation of this question.

The assumption is, of course, that a devout, spiritual servant of God will at the very least have a few reservations about homosexuality. They’re picturing criticism, rejection, maybe even abandonment.

I empathise with the insinuation. The church’s attitude towards the gay community has never exactly been harmonious, and the institution undoubtedly still has something of a homophobia problem.

The division between the two communities resurfaced at the beginning of the month, when the bishop of Grantham revealed he was in a same-sex relationship. In response, more than a dozen clergy – also in same-sex marriages – signed an open letter urging bishops to show greater inclusivity to the gay community, an act that enraged the more conservative elements of the Anglican church.

Source: The Guardian

Coming Out as Wrestling with the Divine

At this time of Pride, marking the 40th anniversary of Stonewall, I wanted to post something on the important legacy of visibilty and coming out. (Now the 41st anniversary – this is a re-post)

After mulling over some thoughts on what to say, I picked up Richard Cleaver’s “Know My Name” for re-reading, and was delighted by the synchronicity of finding that his Chapter 2, “Knowing and Naming”, deals with exactly this subject.  So instead of rehashing or expanding the ideas I presented in my opening post 6 months ago (“Welcome:  Come in, and Come out”), I thought I would share with you some of Cleaver’s insights.

First, Cleaver points out that in addition to the modern association of “coming out” with escaping the closet, there are two other important contexts. It can also call to mind the Exodus story of coming out of the land of Egypt, of escaping slavery and oppression; and it was used before Stonewall to mimic the English debutante ritual of “coming out” into society, of achieving the first recognition as an adult in polite society .  For us then, coming out is both a liberation from oppression and an acceptance and a welcome into a new society.  He then continues by arguing that coming out in the modern sense is an essential first step in hearing the Gospel message of liberation .

To do so, he points to the well-known costs of nto coming out:  psychological self-oppression,  increased suicide risk (especially in the young), and the arrests for sexual activity in restrooms / cottages of men who are usually married or otherwise closeted.  Against that, he contrats the perosnal rewards of coming out.  After speaking the truth to ourselves, the next stage, of meeting with others like ourselves,

“is generally even more of a transforming moment than the private recognition and acceptance of our gayness….Coming out publicly (a continuous process, not a single  event) brings a sense of freedom that must be experienced to be believed.  Coming out is one of our many seasons of joy.”

This is a sentiment which, from my own experience, I heartily endorse, and to which I would add the observation that  ”Joy is an infallible sign of the Holy Spirit.”

He then turns to some possible costs of coming out: active discrimination, including in employment; difficulties in securing adequate access to children; a misguided steering into inappropriate marriage, in the expectation of a ‘cure’;  and finally the hostility or even misguided interference of the churches.  This leads to a stinging repudiation of the Church’s involvement:

“It is no surprise that whether we leave or stay, we react to the church with suspicion.  Something about what the church is teaching, something about how the church conceives itself, is not right.  In the case of the church’s relation to gay men and lesbians, we can dissect out two particular explanations for this suspicion.

First, the church has allowed itself to subordinate the commandment of love to the demands of heterosexist culture, defying Paul’s injunction, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” (Rom 12:2) ……It is.. the result of the church’s long-standing obsession with sexual activity, which leads to a reduction of the lives of lesbians and gay men to the realm of sexual experience.”

“This brings me to my second suspicion about the church, which is why it is willing to accmomodate itself to the mind of the age, to compromise with bourgeois culture:  it hopes to maintain its authority and thus its institutional power in society by preventing lesbians and gay men from speaking about their own experiences. The institution benefits.. from a theology that permits it to hand down decisions without any data even being collected, let alone examined“.  (Emphasis added).

To which I add once again that this is why I am convinced we need to be out and visible in the church.  As long as we remain closeted and out of sight, as long as we refrain from speaking of our own experiences, we are complicit in our own oppression.

Cleaver then goes on to discuss several well-known Gospel stories, drawing from them important lessons for us in the LGBT community.

Reflecting on the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, he avoids some of the better known observations, and makes two other  points.  He notes that while recognising her sexual noncomformity, Jesus notably does not admonish or condemn her, nor does she express repentance.

“Jesus is no welfare caseworker… his goal is to transform society, not to ‘fix’ those who suffer injustice so that the existing social order may run more smoothly.”

The second point is that after the initial exchange, the woman proceeds to put to Him some “theological” questions on worship.  The story, notes Cleaver, is not about promiscuity at all, but about “who is capable of doing theology” .

This point on doing theology is made again when he looks at the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10).  While Martha works, Mary sits and listens to Jesus speak.  Mary complains, but the reply is that Mary  “has chosen the better part”. In Jewish society, women were expected to do the domestic work, only the men participated in religious study or debates, and the sexes sat apart when guests were present for meals.  It would have been unheard of for women to participate in religious discussions, yet Christ not only condones this, he commends her for it.  Jewish women and other social outcasts were expected to be invisible:  but for the Lord, no-one is invisible, all are welcome to join in making theology.

In telling of the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19 -31), Cleaver compares Lazarus with the LGBT community “outside the door” of the church, while the rich man is compared with the institutional church, which even by its indifference  contributes to our oppression.

His final biblical reflection is an extended discussion of Jacob’s wrestling with the angel at Peniel (Gen 32:  22-32). For Cleaver, there arae two important themes in this story:  the wrestling itself, and the act of naming. From this he reflects on the importance to us of naming honestly our oppression.  Noting that

“We learn to name our oppression by struggling with it”,

he insists that we should present ourselves in full frankness and honesty, implying that we should resist the temptation to mimic conventional patterns of morality out of a mere desire to avoid offence:

“The strategy of putting forward only “acceptable” images of ourselves is doomed to failure… We should be forthright about who we are.”

For me, the 3 key lessons from Cleaver, all of which I endorse whole-heartedly, are:

In spite of the obvious dangers and costs, coming out publicly is invigorating, liberating and life-giving;

We need to extend the  ”coming out” process into our lives in the Church, where we should expect to be fully visible, and to speak out frankly and honestly of our views and experiencces;

and that by doing so, we will be exercising our right to share in making theology, in spite of the efforts of the institutional church to exercise a monopoly.

“We must speak with our own voices, in all their imperfections, when responding to God’s overtures.  Moses stuttered;  Israel limped.  What matters is not image but inegrity.  If God calls, we must know who answers. We answer to our true names, because these are the names God calls us by.  The cost of learning them is wrestling with the divine.”

Amen to that.

Related Posts at QTC

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London Priest Comes Out – on BBC Radio!

On Sunday morning 13th April, Fr Kieran Fitzsimons OFM came out publicly as gay, in a BBC radio interview on Radio Essex. On the evening of the same day, Brentwood cathedral was due to host a Mass with a special welcome to LGBT people and their families: in preparation for the Mass, Radio Essex, which covers much the same geographic area as the diocese, invited lgbt Catholics to join a radio discussion during the station’s breakfast show.  Fr Kieran volunteered to join that discussion, and was duly interviewed as a priest of the diocese, and as an openly gay man, As Fr Kieran noted in the interview, his family and friends have known and accepted this for years, but this was the first time he had stated his position publicly. During the interview, Fr Kieran also referred briefly to an earlier time in his life, before entering the priesthood, when he had lived with a male partner. Continue reading London Priest Comes Out – on BBC Radio!

Clerical Pedophilia, Sexual Immaturity

Continuing with my free translation of gay theologian Monsignor Charamsa’s interview in Religion Digital.

Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa
Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa

Do you not think that the Vatican reacted swiftly and drastically with you, while doing the same with pedophile priests?

The reaction was automatic. Legalistic and formalistic automation is the soul of the Catholic Church to one who tells the truth, even though the pope Francisco continually speaks against legalistic formalities.

It is also true that many cases of pedophile priests were and are treated in a different way, not as drastic. Pedophilia is a shame on the Catholic clergy. It is related to the sexual immaturity of its members. It is not influenced by the world, as obsessively stated by the Church . It is the result of an obsession caused by repressed sexuality, sexuality which is rejected,not accepted, .

It is also true that at various levels of the Church pedophilia continues to be protected to save face and to avoid compensation for the damage caused. I’ll give an example. Late last summer the Polish Vatican nuncio, Archbishop Wesolowskiin died in prison, after conviction by the Congregation as a pedophile. This man had a funeral that lasted ten days, between the Vatican and Poland. 10 days’ burial for a prisoner who has already been tried by an ecclesiastical court for pedophilia abuse. The funeral began with a Mass celebrated by the Pope’s closest collaborators and ended ten days later in Poland with a reading of a letter it was said that the Dominican Republic accusations of pedophilia were merely Mafia inventions . The Vatican allowed all this show, rather than thinking immediately about how to compensate the victims of that pederast bishop. Seeing all this, one can conclude that there is a pedophile lobby in the Vatican. Yes, many pedophile priests and bishops have special treatment and many continue to be free from any penalty..

In this light the Vatican’s reaction to a gay priest who tells the truth is shamefully automatic. But this is the logic of the Church: all must remain hidden “for the good of the Church”. While hidden, nothing happens. For the Church “the devil” is the priest who tells the truth, which comes to light, the coming out of the closet.

See also the full series:

 

Charamsa on Gays in the Curia, Gays and the CDF

Continuing with my free translation of gay theologian Monsignor Charamsa’s interview in Religion Digital.

Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa
Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa

Do spirituality and sensitivity attract gays to the altar? Are there more homosexuals in the Church than in other social institutions?

I am personally sure that is so. Often in the past, for a gay man to be a priest was a way to hide his homosexuality and make it socially. Today, probably it is only a functional reason in homophobic and backward societies. I imagine that in my country, Poland, it is still working well. I think today it is much more common that a gay man with his sensitivity and openness to the transcendent and the divine, wants to be a priest.

And in the Curia, are there many gays? Is there really the Vatican gay lobby that is often spoken about?

In this area also I can speak only of my experience. We have no studies on the presence of homosexuals in the clergy, because it is a taboo, a topic that should not be discussed. In the Curia there are many gays. Many of them are good priests, if they are not homophobic, if they do not think only of their career, if they do not care only money and power. The problem occurs when gays have internalized homophobia. In the Catholic clergy there are many homosexuals who, repressed by their own orientation, hate those who are gay like themselves.

The other issue is the gay lobby, which I have not come across. I read something about it in Italy, but I have not had any experience. It may be that there is this lobby, as there are Italian or Polish lobbies in the Vatican. The Vatican, the heart of the Church, is a blend of power struggles, politics and money. I also think that the Vatican is itself an Italian and international lobby imposing ideas that have  never been seriously studied.

Is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith particularly homophobic? And its top leader in the Congregation, Cardinal Müller?

Yes,the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the heart of a paranoid and irrational homophobia. In it there is no possibility of understanding and dialogue. It works by stereotypes.I had the impression that in the Congregation, faith in God was not promoted, we do not concern ourselves with Christology or Mariology, we only battle against gays and other sexual minorities. It is an obsession. This is our real faith: anti-gay paranoia. That’s all. It’s our favorite subject. There are meetings in which, of every three cases we discuss, two are against gays. We have invented an imaginary enemy and battle against it with all our strength. We call it “our war on gender”. There can be no discussions, we think that this gender can only promote sex changes. That is the level of paranoia which prevails in the Congregation..

Cardinal Müller has promoted all this ignorance, this extremism, this obsession among the top staff, without any reasoning. Instead of promoting studies, the Congregation is a political agency to sabotage the pontificate of Pope Francis and his synodal discussion. It is the agency that fights gender, which it doesn’t even know how to define. What is of importance is to use the word gender in ways that frighten people, no matter who has not read a single book on gender studies. Obsessive homophobia and misogyny (the real feminofobia, a hatred of women) are a drama for this congregation, whose members are not all heterosexual. As everywhere, there are homosexuals. The reality is that the Congregation hates gays, even though it is known that there are homosexuals among its members.

See also the full series:

 

Charamsa on the Church, “Mercy” and LGBT Persecution

Continuing with my free translation of gay theologian Monsignor Charamsa’s interview in Religion Digital. In this second extract he contrasts Church preaching of “mercy”, with its record of active persecution of homosexuals.

Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa
Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa

The Church preaches mercy, but continues to persecute homosexuals?

Yes, there is real persecution by the Catholic Church of both individuals and of the LGBTI community in general. It is persecution of sexual minorities that do not belong and can not belong to the heterosexual majority. It is an ideological project of the Church. My Church allows itself to say  that we must fight against gays like we fought against Nazism. It compares us with the Nazis, the enemies of humanity. This statement has come from the mouth of African Cardinal Sarah in the middle of the synod, a pace which instead should be thinking about mercy for families. The Church is obsessed with homosexuality, just as with human sexuality in general.

Unfortunately, at this time of the church there is nobody able to open a serious discussion, free from all dictatorial ideology. The intellectual and spiritual level of the Pastors is generally not very high. So,there is a lack partners whom we could face up to in the Church. This is my experience in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: a cold, blind indoctrination, an automatic legalism, full of callous self-righteousness. With whom in the Church could we debate these human questions if the Church allows the words of Sarah? He should be denounced for the defamation of a social group. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith thinks like Sarah. They are obsessed with homosexuality.

A few days ago, Cardinal Kasper said that “the homosexual is born (that way).” It was the first time I heard this from a hierarch of the Church. How about you?

Yes, it is true, I think it is the first time. Cardinal Kasper is one of the few people in the Church who think. I do not share his position on moral judgment regarding homosexual acts by homosexual persons  following their own nature. I think he says, on the one hand you are born homosexual, but at the same time he excludes these same people from the possibility of love,  a possibility reserved only to heterosexual creatures. It is contradictory. In other words, if it is true that “one is born homosexual,” as he says, then Catholics have a problem with the homosexual issue. They should think again about the whole issue of sexual orientation, and then review the moral doctrine in light of this reflection.

However, with this sentence it seems to me that Cardinal Kasper continues the unfortunate theory of male-female complementarity. This approach is a truly Catholic mental construction, which has already been examined and is theoretically weak, if not false. Unfortunately, the term “complementarity” has become a slogan with which the Church wants to eliminate the discussion about gay people as God’s creatures looking for love. Thus the Church also promotes a homophobic false image of homosexuals, as people.naturally incapable of love  In this way it promotes hatred in the public mind against LGBTI people, who are presented as abnormal. This is an ideological position of a church that is afraid to think. I’m sure this will happen in the future and the Church will ask forgiveness for this delay. These types of errors have been repeated in the history of the Church

Returning to Cardinal Kasper. He is a believer who continually thinks, with whom you can discuss. There are also others like him: as Cardinal. Schönborn, Cardinal. Marx, Archbishop Monsignor Forte or Archbishop Monsignor Bonny, to name a few, and not forgetting Pope Francis. They are men of God and the Church, sensitive, faithful, capable of meeting humanity and talking to her. But most are obsessed, unable to think and to love, as Cardinal. Sarah. Stigmatization promoted by the majority is a weapon.

See also the full series:

 

Msgr Charamsa’s Damning Indictment of the CDF

Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, the Polish priest and theologian who came out as both gay and partnered on the eve of the Family Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, has inside knowledge of the workings of the Vatican, and of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in particular.

monsenor-charamsa-con-su-pareja

In a lengthy interview with the Spanish Religion Digital, he has delivered a damning indictment of the Vatican culture, of CDF machinations to undermine Francis’ papacy, of compulsory clerical celibacy, of Church persecution of the LGBT community, and of closeted, gay priests, who take out their anger and self-loathing in hatred of openly gay people.

The interview is well worth reading in full, but is available only in Spanish (here).  In the absence of a complete translation, I present below, a summary helpfully provided to me in email correspondence. Continue reading Msgr Charamsa’s Damning Indictment of the CDF

The Vatican’s Gay Anxiety  

David Berger is a Catholic (lay) theologian who was fired from a prestigious teaching post because he is openly gay. As such, he has a special insight into the significance of the Vatican theologian Msgr Krzysztof’s coming out as gay and partnered. He shared his views in an interview with Frankfurter Rundschau.

This is my own free translation:

The Catholic Church can no longer avoid the debate over gay priests. 

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The gay theologian David Berger talks in an interview about the outing of gay clergy Krzysztof Charamsa and about homosexuals in the Vatican. However, Berger leans against blessings for homosexual couples.

Mr. Berger, the Vatican summarily dismissed – in secular terms – the gay theologian Krzysztof Charamsa after his coming out . Was this grasping at crisis management?

In an attempt to demonstrate strength, the apparatus showed in truth its weakness and its vulnerability. The great legal tradition of the Catholic Church, of which we might actually be proud, in this moment is worth nothing any more, after the outwardly hostile attitude towards homosexuality is exposed as living a lie.

Continued at The Queer Church Repository