I am absolutely sick to death of Crisis Magazine’s hit-pieces against the small handful of LGBTQ Catholics who are attempting to live faithful lives in accordance with the teaching of the Church, and to defend those teachings in the public square.
Russell cloaks his remarks in a not-very-convincing veneer of obligatory “charity,” but he’s basically sounding a tired refrain: the only people who should be allowed to speak up in public about the Church’s teachings on homosexuality are people who are firmly in the closet, don’t identify as gay, never have any frustrations with homophobia in the Church, never critique discredited psychological theories about the origins of homosexuality, and, apparently, never engage in gallows humour on the internet.
In a single anonymous testimonial, anyone could come across as Deacon Russell’s SSA Catholic dream-child: “seasoned, settled, certain, and integrated…[Embodying] the fullness of the faith regarding SSA.” I know this, because I used to give those testimonials myself. Joe Prever used to give them too. We didn’t stop because we somehow became less mature, we stopped because we became more honest.
It’s this honesty that seems to bother Deacon Jim. A lot of the “scandalous” tweets that he quotes from Prever are just Joe being honest. Sometimes painfully so. What Joe offers, and what Russell can’t seem to stand, is a glimpse of what conservative Catholic discourse about homosexuality looks like to people who are actually gay. His words are a very uncomfortable mirror in which the ineffectual self-congratulation of conservative Catholic “outreach” to the LGBTQ community is revealed.
This is the young man who should be no-platformed by the Church? Umm? Just how small and exclusive does Jim Russell want his echo chamber to be?
Apparently pretty freakin’ small. As Russell writes, “Simply said, being “gay” is not enough; being a “gay Catholic” is not enough; being a “celibate, gay Catholic” is not enough. And even being a “chaste, celibate, gay Catholic” is not enough.” In order to have a public existence in Jim Russell’s Church, you have to be a carefully groomed mascot for Jim Russell’s pet theories about SSA and Theology of the Body. Anything less and you should be silenced – both for the good of the Church, and for your own good.
Photograph courtesy of Joseph Prever
Note: The F word has been replaced with one of its more innocent synonyms as a result of a very reasonable request by a reader. I apologize to anyone scandalized by its use.