at First Things:
Or I think of a story I’ve heard Shane Claiborne recount, in which a frustrated young lesbian woman confided her discomfort with traditional Catholic sexual ethics to Mother Teresa. Afterwards, the young woman came to Claiborne beaming. What had Mother Teresa said to cause such joy? Claiborne wondered. It turned out, instead of rebuffing the woman’s questions or offering an easy solution to her uncertainty about whether or not to embrace celibacy, Mother Teresa had mostly listened—and then asked the young woman to take part in the public reading of Scripture at morning prayer the next day. What if, following examples like this, Christians were known more for nurturing the gifts of gay and lesbian believers in their churches, known more for seeking any and every place in the church where gay congregants’ participation might be encouraged, rather than (as has been the case in my experience) pointing over and over again to the line at which that participation must end?