Sunday, August 15, 2010

Archbishop Chaput's Catholic News Agency Slams Sr. Jeannine Gramick and Her "Dissenting Outreach Effort" to Gays

One day, both Sr. Jeannine Gramick and Archbishop Chaput, with whom Catholic News Agency is closely associated, will stand before the Lord at the end of their lives (as will I).  And, as with all of us, they will each answer to the Lord for what they have done and left undone.

It is clear to me that one of these two Catholic leaders of our period will be able to bring to the Lord a history of healing, reaching beyond boundaries, loving the despised, bringing the outcast into the Body of Christ, welcoming the stranger, and defending the oppressed.

It is less clear to me that the other will be able to bring such a history to the Lord.

Publishing articles like this, which describe the ministry of merciful outreach of Sr. Jeannine Gramick as "a dissenting outreach effort to homosexual persons," does nothing to clarify Archbishop Chaput's record for me.  Or his right to set a moral example to the Christian community.  Or to teach the Christian community.

In Jeannine Gramick, I see the light of Christ shining bright.  In her life and ministry, as a gay Catholic who continually experiences ugly repudiation by many of my church's pastoral leaders, I experience mercy.

In Archbishop Chaput, I continue to search for Christ's light, while I feel used as a depersonalized and dehumanized thing in political battles that have little to do with me, turned into a despised object to be punted about for the political gain of this and other Catholic pastoral leaders.

I have every confidence that the Lord will be nothing but mercy to both of these Catholic leaders at the end of their lives, as I hope He will also be to me, a sinner.  I cannot and will not look into the heart of either of these brothers and sisters and pass judgment on the state of their souls.  That right belongs to God alone.

But, having said that, I cannot close my eyes to the fact that, here and now, one of these two embodies Christ for me.

The other does not.  And therein lies the tragedy of the pastoral leadership of the Catholic church at this moment of history.