Pope Francis rocks the faith by acknowledging and promoting civil union for LGBQT people. Backlash is certain as traditional conservative Catholics will run to argument that this position tacitly approves “disordered relationships.”
Our church does not possess the answer as to how to hold this position given that science and psychiatry have no evidence to define LGBQT as a moral choice. Evidence points in the other direction. LGBQT presence is universal and historical.
A disordered thread of specific bible verses sewn into the traditions of the church and societal bias has created a view of humanities sexual orientation being narrowly defined to the detriment of LGBQT people and historical reality.
LGBTQ people simply do not fit into the procreation narrative. For that matter, nor do straight people who whatever reason, do not engage in procreation. The Old Testament and the Gospels did not define a role for LGBTQ people. They were simply invisible. Perhaps the closest documented utility for people not meeting accepted straight men-women relationships were Eunuchs. Eunuchs were people who performed various roles in society first documented at least two hundred years before Christ. They were considered effeminate and often had great responsibilities or duties. I do not have sufficient detail here on how a person became a Eunich. I assume some were born without external genital, others were castrated. And variations are present in different cultures including women and men.
The idea though is people existed and served a utility other than procreation. This is a brutal example. I wonder if gay men were victimized based on effeminate presentation and forced to be Eunichs? Some reader will know the history. I think this reference identifies how brutal and bizarrely humanity treated people historically and how stigma and persecution can live legitimatized by institutions. Like it or not our faith is a religion ensconced in an institution rife with human error.
What did the Pope say? He said: “Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it. What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.” News coverage link below.
Note he did not legitimize LQBTQ as a Catholic union or sacrament. He simply acknowledged our church traditions and sacred text do not support LGBTQ union spiritually. The history of this well defined Catholic position is too rich to cover here. See my post “An incomplete look at Homosexuality and Catholicism (unfiltered)” at https://retsamsghost.com/2018/09/26/an-incomplete-look-at-homosexuality-and-catholicism-unfiltered/.
Richard Rohr wrote once that “sola Scripture” has left many at the mercy of their own cultures, their own limited education, their own prejudices, and their own selective reading of some texts while avoiding others. Partly as a result, slavery, racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia, and homophobia have lasted authoritatively into our time – by people who claim to love Jesus.” He was criticizing Protestants here but had equal related criticisms of Catholics.
He referenced Merton saying “it is dangerous to put scripture in the hands of people whose inner self is not yet sufficiently awakened to encounter the spirit, because they will try to use God for their own egotistical purposes.”
A clever orator can use the Bible selectively to make the case for anything to suit there position. How often have we seen this from politicians, religious leaders, lay people, and perhaps within our own families?
The instinct of Catholics and most people is to attack a message that is inconvenient to our strongly held worldview. It attacks our identity and our pride. We can be guilty of putting ideology or faulty cemented theology above the living, moving word of God – above a spiritual calling to continue to transcend and evolve.
Pope Francis News article:
*Pictures from article “Daniel and the three young men: God rescues Biblical eunuchs, affirming LGBTQ people of faith.”
When will we learn that when we are most confident and assured we should be cautiously optimistic that we may still not possess the ultimate truth…life is an ever unfolding revelation. I will not judge LGBTQ civil marriage either way here. To do so would be to invite controversy rather than invite introspection.
My view is after all, inconsequential in view of I am neither an LGBTQ individual suffering discrimination and spiritual oppression or a self-defined vanguard of Catholic Theology. What about you?