Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality
By Father Louise J .Cameli
Endorsed by Father Pat Lee (back cover of book) Moderator of the Chicago Archdiocese Gay and Lesbian Outreach Ministry.
Rainbow Sash Movement
In his book “Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality” Fr. Cameli begins by speaking about his pastoral concern for others. He sites people he has known who are deeply troubled in attempt to legitimize his position that all homosexuals are deeply troubled. That LGBT live cosmetic lives of normality.
When he refers to “homosexuality”, he betrays his objectivity by describing “homosexuality” as a sad zone. This is also the position of the Church’s dysfunctional teaching.
That teaching basically says “Who you are most certainly is not evil; however, the expression of who you are is.”
This is the sign of a dysfunctional theology that only confuses the pastoral response .
Cameli sees homosexuality tied to “confusing, disruptive, and dispiriting ” lives.
He appears to want the reader to accept him as competent in the question that surrounds his less than objective view of homosexuality.
The book is an attempt to promote both shame and the necessity of closet mentality. This is a classic example of the type of clericalism that has major currency in today’s Church.
Camellia wants to rap his form of bigotry in words that sound nice such as love, and hope but they ring hallow by his focus on gay people as a class being singled out by his brand of judgementalism.
Something I would point out to the reader that even Pope Francis does not agree with that position.
Cameli appears not to believe our sexuality is gift from God and goes to great length to try keep his homophobia in the closet.
He claims he wants to help and then acknowledges that “I can give them the basic moral Teaching of the Catholic Church, but freely admits “any genital activity outside of the marriage relationship must be open to life” a neat hook to hang your homophobia on. He continues “it is morally disordered” and freely admits that the teaching is not helpful to homosexual people.
He then cuddles the reader with references to the diversity of society as if to infer that he understands the diversity he speaks of. He calls into question our experience with homophobia as if he and the Church are innocent bystanders. He does not seem to recognize LGBT people part of the people of God as if we do not have the imprint of God within us.
Clearly Cameli does not want to consider the part he plays with the publication of this book when he says “How exactly does difference acquire such power to move people down a path of segregation , than discrimination coupled with hatred, and ultimately destruction. How can any reasonable person agree with such a preposterous position?”
He than goes on to quote the Catholic Catechism. “The number of men and women who have deep seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided (CCC, 2358).”
This is I believe to be the crux of pastoral confusion on the part of priests. Cameli, and Fr. Pat Lee the moderator of the Archdiocese Gay and Lesbian Outreach Ministry who wrote a glowing endorsement on the back of the book. Such an observation shows an immaturity of intellect.
Clearly the book represents old wine in new wine skins. Cameli promotes the idea that as long as LGBT people hide their lives in shame the dilemma the Church finds itself in will be satisfied to welcome us.
Clearly the Church is out of touch with the sense of faithful, as poll after poll has found. The most recent being reported in Time Magazine is the survey by the US-based Spanish-language network Univision of Catholics in 12 countries found that those most likely to support Church teachings are married men and women 55 years and older who attend Mass frequently and live in rural areas.
The Church is losing the battle it currently faces with the whole issue of gay rights. It is time for sincere dialogue. Are people such as the author of this book up to that task, only time will tell.