This week "The Church" spoketh about our people. Specifically the US Conference on Catholic Bishops channeling God and the will of
the peopleRome, have deemed it acceptable for adopted children of "persons with a homosexual inclination" to be baptized. But, adopted queerspawns hoping to get in your first Sacrament, don't get too excited, because while you can participate in the Church your parents should remain single and celibate if they want join you.
Why I chose to spend my late night reading the official Guidelines for Pastoral Care, you might wonder? Consider it some serious Catholic guilt.
I'll give the Bishops some credit... they try in the beginning to acknowledge the effect that homophobia and discrimination has on people and society.
"We recognize that these persons have been, and often continue to be, objects of scorn, hatred, and even violence in some sectors of society. Sometimes this hatred is manifested clearly; other times, it is masked and gives rise to more disguised forms of hatred....Those who would minister in the name of the Church must in no way contribute to such injustice."
Bold for the Bishops. I give my respect... to a point. Then the statement goes on to describe how God's will for our sexuality is to provide life and that homosexual acts "violate the proper ends of human sexuality." (For the record, masturbation and contraception are also listed as violators. ) The Bishops walk a fine line. Homosexuality is not itself a sin, it's just a bad choice to act on it. Like getting yourself off or using a condom.
Besides the societal homophobia context, none of the Bishops' argument is all that new... except when you get to page 16 when they lay out advice on "pastoral care" for those of us who have a homosexual inclination (or who's parent(s) do.) Some interesting points:
- baptized Catholics with a homosexual inclination, or "WAHI" for short, are welcome to participate in the Church BUT they can be denied certain positions if their "behavior violates [the Church's] teachings"
- leaders of the Church must not belong to any groups that oppose the policy on persons WAHI
- persons WAHI can and should tell close friends, but don't out yourself to the world, or as the Bishops warn: "general public self-disclosures are not helpful"
and in a perfect moment of walking the very fine line between welcoming and condemning:
"the Church does not support the adoption of children by same-sex couples since homosexual unions are contrary to the dive plan" HOWEVER "the Church does not refuse the Sacrament of Baptism to these children, but there must be a well founded hope that the children will be brought up in the Catholic religion."
There's a lot more, including a mention of persons WAHI living their lives in the Church so as to avoid falling into the "gay subculture" and encouragement to reach out to young people before they fall into the subculture. But I won't bore any longer. Go check out the full document and see for yourself.
And now I will return to the gay subculture that I fell into. This second-gen baptized Catholic queerspawn stopped taking communion a long time ago... but with a big ol'Irish-Catholic family it's hard to ignore these missives when they come down. Slainte.