“Celibacy and chastity won’t kill you”

This may be the most clear-eyed and honest piece on homosexuality and the Catholic Church that you will read…

…or at least, that you will read this week.

Terry Nelson knows whereof he speaks.  From Abbey Roads: 

The friends who approve of same sex marriage usually approve of divorce and remarriage, contraception and abortion, euthanasia, IVF, gender reassignment surgey, embryonic stem cell research, and a wide variety of other practices condemned by the Catholic Church.  It’s a package deal usually.

The Church’s approach to homosexuals.

Cardinal Dolan said we have to do better.  Melinda Selmys says we have to do better.  We must accept people – gay people.  I have said the same thing.  We have to accept the reality we live in a culture that promotes homosexuality as the new normal.  We have relatives and friends who are gay – they are persons.  We are against behaviours and lifestyles that seek to equate traditional marriage with gay marriage, traditional family with queer family.

That’s the new reality, not the new normal.  If I were a priest, I’d baptize gay people’s kids.  I would accept them in Catholic school.  I would be nice to their parents, but they would know Church teaching.  But I’m not a priest of course – I’m just saying that to demonstrate how far my acceptance could go.  Not many days ago, at the Deacon’s Bench, another deacon wrote this about the new Pope:

What Pope Francis will do in the future remains to be seen. What he has already done has generated hope and enthusiasm for the papacy itself and the Church. One person admitted to me recently that, as a gay man, he struggled with many aspects of the church’s approach to homosexuals. I reminded him that he shouldn’t expect the new pope to make any substantive changes to the teaching itself. He readily acknowledged that, but then said something quite remarkable: “Oh, I understand that, Deacon. But you know something? There’s just something in this new pope’s approach that shows me that I am loved by God. If the teaching doesn’t change, I can live with that because I know now that God loves me and that this pope truly cares.” - LinkThat’s the ticket.  You gotta live with that – and I am here to tell you you can.  Celibacy and chastity won’t kill you.

There’s a lot more, with contributions from the likes of Msgr. Charles Pope, Taylor Marshall and my Patheosi sibling, Frank Weathers.  Read it all.

Meantime, the news this morning brought this tidbit: 

As Catholic leaders try to signal a new tone of welcome for gays in the church, fresh evidence emerged Wednesday (April 3) of the hurdles that remain: a Long Island parishioner was booted from his church posts after an anonymous letter writer told the local bishop about the man’s marriage to another man.

Nicholas Coppola, a parishioner at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church in Oceanside, said he had been out to his parish and pastor for years and was active as a religious education teacher, lector, altar server and visitation minister for shut-ins.

But after he and his partner were married under New York’s gay marriage law last October — a service attended by several other churchgoers — someone wrote an anonymous letter to Bishop William Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre complaining that Coppola was unfit to serve as a church teacher.

In January, Murphy’s top assistant sent the letter and a note to Coppola’s pastor, the Rev. Nicholas Lombardi, stating that while he didn’t want a “witch hunt,” he did think “it would be of concern to you if a catechist were, in fact,’married’ as described.”

A few things should be clarified.

It doesn’t appear that the guy was “booted” for being gay.  He was removed from ministry as a catechist—a teacher of the faith—for marrying another man.

It is one thing to welcome homosexuals and love them as fellow sinners plodding along the road to salvation.  It’s another to endorse and give tacit assent to homosexual sex, which the Church has always taught is gravely sinful.  The Church can and does do the former; it can’t do the latter—which would be the case by giving a man in a same-sex marriage a leadership position as a catechist or lay minister in a parish.

It’s a little hard to teach a catechism that you publicly and persistently ignore—or that you evidently don’t really believe.


  1. [...] people…Taylor Marshall, Homosexuality: Does the New Testament Condemn It?Deacon Greg Kandra: Clarity on an important news item. /* /* Filed Under: Culture, Living, Working Tagged With: Cardinal Newman, Hell, Pascal, Pope [...]

  2. [...] Deacon Greg Kandra says this post at Abbey Roads, which looks decidedly like panic and frustration to me, is “the most clear-eyed and honest piece on homosexuality and the Catholic Church that you will read…” [...]