Monday, January 3, 2011

For Catholic Voices Speaking Out vs. Anti-Gay Injustice: Gratitude

To balance what I wrote earlier today: I stated,

It is scandalous in the extreme that so many influential Catholic thinkers and journalists in the developed nations today continue to be utterly silent about the painful disconnect between what the Catholic church proclaims about human rights and its approach to gay and lesbian persons. 

But while the influential thinkers and journalists of the Catholic center continue to give cover to the U.S. Catholic bishops as the latter promote discrimination against gay and lesbian persons, some Catholics do speak out.  Some Catholics do stand in solidarity with their LGBT brothers and sisters, and give those brothers and sisters a voice in ecclesial dialogues.

As Eugene McMullan notes at Religion Dispatches yesterday, when the U.S. Catholic bishops maintained a shameful silence in face of the suicides of a number of gay youths due to bullying this past year, the National Coalition of American Nuns called the bishops to task for that silence.  After the bishops met in Baltimore and said not a single word about bullying of gay youths resulting in suicides, NCAN wrote,

The annual meeting in Baltimore of the US Catholic Bishops offered an opportunity to decry these horrendous events. Instead, the bishops chose to discuss “the defense of marriage,” their well-funded attack on same-gender couples. They fail to see that the Catholic community is embarrassed by their silence in the face of brutality and incensed by their push of a political agenda against marriage equality—all at a time when their credibility on sexual matters is at a record low.

And as Kate Childs Graham reports today in National Catholic Reporter, when she invited Catholic friends and acquaintances to send her new year's resolutions for the Catholic church, she received, among other statements, the following resolution from friends:

That dialogue on all fronts will ensue and that LGBT individuals will be treated as legitimate human beings - made in the image of God.

Some Catholics do speak out.  Some Catholics do have the courage to stand with their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as the latter experience oppression.  Unfortunately, all too often, Catholics of the powerful intellectual and media center in the U.S. stand, instead, with the bishops--in their silence.

For the former, I am deeply grateful.

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