January 10, 2006

our secret

A great letter from the editor on Busted Halo by editor Bill McGarvey. I'll include a teaser below, but it's worth a read in its entirety:

When I was in my early twenties I remember visiting my spiritual director ... I don’t recall what I said specifically, but during a private talk with my director, I made an offhanded, homophobic joke about a number of the seminarians whom I suspected to be gay. After a momentary pause, he said “You know Bill, you’ve been ministered to by gay men your whole life, you just didn’t know it.”

That really cuts through the crap. You can intellectualize and analyze the recent Vatican instruction all you want. You can conjecture about what it means. But know this, you too have been ministered by (celibate) gay men all your life.

Chances are that your favorite priest, the guy that was there for you when your mom died or whose homilies also spoke to you at just the right moment is gay. "So what" you think? You may not care personally what the sexual orientation is of your gay priest, but the Church with a big C does. And has made it clear that "those people" are not welcome.

The big C Church is taking a big risk here I think. Would you stay somewhere you weren't valued? Would you stay at a 24 hour a day draining job where all your work and contributions are dismissed based on something you're not actively doing but can't really help. No matter that you've been faithfully celibate? No matter that you have woken up every day to serve God's people. The Church has effectively put up a big "Irish need not apply" sign.

I think it's clear what I think about this issue. But I think Bill McGarvey makes a good point. We are the church, and if we value the wonderful ministry done by our priests, some if not many of whom are gay, what responsibility do we have to stand up for them? To value them? To appreciate them?

And what will we do if one day we wake up and they couldn't take it anymore and are just gone?

(cross posted on musings of a discerning woman)