Please note that I have had a few comments about the manner in which some go after people commenting on this blog rather than addressing issues in a charitable way. Please do not attack persons or comments, but feel free to critique comments in light of Catholic faith and resist critiquing commenters.
Is this openness better
Than this closeted approach?
Mercer University, a Baptist University, but quite liberal, held a "common ground" panel discussion on homosexuality. Our own Father Dawid Kwiatkowski was the Catholic representative. There was the Baptist chaplain of the school, very liberal, a Protestant Evangelical, very conservative, a homosexual Episcopal deacon at one local Episcopal Church in a publicly known "partnership" with an Episcopal priest at another local Episcopal Church, so the deacon was liberal to say the least! The Episcopal bishop of Atlanta is fully aware of the arrangement and approves as do the two local Episcopal congregations. Although the priest told me that his congregation had one member who asked if there would be public displays of affection as that might be more controversial, but other than that, she was good with the two of them partnering.
So, this is where we are in our culture and in a rather sleepy, conservative southern town comprised predominantly of Southern Baptists and other fundamentalist protestants.
To say that there has been a major shift towards tolerance of homosexual behavior even between Protestant ministers, is an understatement.
From what I understand, Fr. Dawid did a wonderful job of upholding the Catholic Church's teaching on human sexuality and that we are defined more by who we are rather than our genitalia and the desires of the flesh. He did so in a kind non vitriolic way.
Of course he had to answer one of the questions about why the Catholic Church is so hateful to homosexuals and the transgendered community.
Certainly we must recognize that with most of secular culture at one time, Catholics were and are obnoxious in their disdain for the sins of homosexuals but seem to turn a blind eye towards the sins of heterosexuals who can also have unnatural sex.
Our Church has always taught the old adage to love the sinner but not the sin. I think that is quite healthy.
What so many are asking us to do and what the Episcopal Church has fallen victim is that godless secularism with a veneer of Christianity wants us to love the sin and the sinner and elevate both to sainthood.
So the question is how to hand on our Church's teaching on sexuality based upon Scripture, Tradition and Natural Law which always redounds to chastity before marriage and chastity within marriage (fidelity) which both are meant to be a sign of our fidelity to God. Is it hateful to tell the people the truth and the possibility of damnation or is it loving to teach the truth and lead them to Christ and eternal life in heaven rather than in hell. Should the Catholic Church give way to the theology of love as "enablement?"
Can we promote the Church's teaching and still have a pastoral approach to those who struggle to live chastely, either homosexual or heterosexual or do we give them license to disregard God's law out of an "enablement" view of love?
Of course, there are many married persons who are closeted when it comes to having lovers on the side. Would it be better to okay multiple partners in marriage and have clergy model that too?
I try to adhere to Cardinal Weurl's understanding of the Church and her teachings when he says: "You have to. Our job is to bring people to Christ, to hold them as close to the church as we can. That means working with people who are making their way, hopefully in the same direction. That’s a great challenge today, but it’s always been the challenge. We have to work with people. In the pulpit we’re supposed to present the teaching with all of its unvarnished clarity, but when you step out of the pulpit you have to meet people where they are and try to walk with them."