Catholic Catechism does not deal with homophobia–Why???

The teaching of Catholic Church on the subject of homosexuality is caught in a paradox theologically. Is being LGBT a curse or a gift from God? The Catholic Catechism of the Church reflects what I refer to as the Mr. Hide and and Dr. Jekyll syndrome.

Before going any farther let us be perfectly clear on what the Church Teaches in this matter. The pillars of support are captured in the two documents issued by the Teaching Magisterium. I am specifically referring to the 1975 document Persona Humana. Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics, and in 1986 a Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexuals. This document was the first time “moral disorder” was used in reference the LGBT people.

Clearly the first document in 1975 references the fact that the causes of homosexuality for both male and female is unknown. Yet does this document base itself on the knowledge of the day or is it caught up in the homoerotic clerical culture which is based on a closet mentality that promotes a “don’t ask don’t tell policy” a policy that is clearly unjust to most reasonable people.

The thinking of this clerical caste is that when you promote tolerance you become locked on a slipper slop to acceptance. They see the difference between homosexuality and heterosexuality not based on the ancient Church Teaching that we are all children of God, but rather that LGBT people are the lesser children. Perhaps this was the Achilles heel in their argument against LGBT Civil Rights, and one of the reasons they are loosing the debate in the public square.

The Church feels LGBT Rights should be a private matter and kept away from public view or even discussion. In other words even discussion with any who would identify proudly as LGBT people is strictly forbidden by this overriding clerical mentality. To even discuss homophobia in the Church is to set yourself on a heretical journey.

If Pope Francis is concerned about reaching out to LGBT people in and out of the Church he must be able to confront this unreasonable situation that infects so many bishops in the Church. To elevate silence as a response to the discussion of homophobia for fear of losing control is at best unchristian, and worst anti God that is if we believe we are all his children.

We hear much now about religious liberty as if Gay Rights is not only lesser child of God, but also lesser child of the US Constitution. Also, we are witnessing how legislation such as ENDA passed by the Senate is still waiting for a vote house. However, this legislation now becomes useless with all the religious exceptions built into it with the amendment process is useless for working class people and the poor. The Rainbow Sash Movement is glad to see that the majority of LGBT political leadership has pulled their support for this legislation based on the fact the we believe in Equality without Exception.

So the real question becomes is the current leadership of the Church able to deal with such a theological blind fold when it comes to homosexuality, or will it have the courage to honestly face this clerical mantle of homophobia and risk for the truth? In my opinion, this is what the Bishops Synod in the Vatican, about the family in October 2014, will tell us. Is there really anyway of resolving the conflicting message of love Vs. homophobia when it comes to expressing one’s gay identity.

Certainly we have learned from the Nazi experience when we make procreation a central identity of marriage we engage in purity of identity, and that the punitive measures presently used in the Church can only lead to more radical ones thereby upsetting the common good. 

As for the Rainbow Sash Movement we will continue to promote dialogue as long it is based in reason, without claims from either side that they need not listen. The only resolve to situation is honest dialogue. Entering into meaningful dialogue with LGBT Catholics who do not bye into the current don’t ask don’t tell policy of the Holy Office of the Doctrine of the faith is the only reasonable road ahead.

Clearly lay people in the Church are clamoring for both reform and change.

Bill O’Connor
Rainbow Sash Movement

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