From The Washington Post’s PostTV “On Background”
National Catholic Reporter correspondent John Allen gives a first-person account of the pope’s in-flight news conference, and discusses the church’s outreach to millennials and the LGBT community with Current TV’s John Fugelsang, Catholic University professor Chad Pecknold, and Call to Action coordinator Ellen Euclide.
Nia: Joining us now from Chicago is Ellen Euclide, she’s a coordinator with Call To Action, an organization pushing for equality in the Catholic Church. And we’ve also got John Fugelsang, he’s with us from New York, he’s the host of View Point on Current TV. And he says that he’s the son of a nun and a Franciscan brother. I don’t know how that happens, but we’ll have to get to the bottom of it. And we’re joined here in studio, he’s getting settled now, here Chad Pecknold, he’s a theology professor at Catholic University here in D.C.. Thanks Chad for joining me. Ellen, I’m going to go to you first, because you have green hair and uh, so you win. I wanted to get a sense, you were in Brazil, with the pope, why were you there, and what was your reception like when you went there?
Ellen: Thank you. I was in Brazil with a small group of pilgrims who were sent by the Equally Blessed coalition, which is a coalition of four progressive Catholic organizations that work for LGBT inclusion in the church. And so six of us went down there just to talk to people and to spread the message that there are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender Catholics in all parts of the Church, worldwide at every level, and that they are valued members of our church. And also that their allies, their straight allies, are also welcomed, and valued, and that their opinions matter. And so we just went to talk to people, hear their stories, share our stories. And, I think we were surprised by how positive the reaction was. We were just really welcomed by the vast majority of the young Catholics that we met from all over the world – we talked to people from every continent. We had some tough conversations, we went to hear from people who disagreed with us just as much as people who did. But overall, very, very positive, welcoming message from young Catholics – which is so opposite what we hear from the hierarchy.
Nia: And one of the things that we have heard from the church hierarchy, flashback to 2005, the previous pope, a very different sense in terms of the way he talked about homosexuality, he said that homosexuality is quote “a more or less strong tendency order toward an intrinsic moral evil, and thus, the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.” Chad I want to bring you in here, where do you think we are in the Catholic church now? Is this some sort of inflexion point in terms of history and theology?”
Nia: Ellen I want to go to you on this, because it is personal for you in a way that it isn’t for Chad and John here. Do you still sort of…Where are you in terms of your journey, in terms of being gay and reconciling that with the Church’s teachings?
Ellen: Well I really see no contradiction between the two.
Ellen: To me, we are called to be honest, full people as God created us. And we are called to love each other. Many, many people are called to be in relationship, others are called to single life or to vowed religious life. And I just don’t see that there is a need to deny a piece of who I am. Of course, everyone has a journey their entire life figuring out how to be the best version of themselves, and how to be a full human person living as they were created. And I am on that journey just like any other person, straight or not. But yeah, I really see no contradiction because it is really about being your true self and celebrating that God has made us all as children and that we are all called to do our best to live Christian life.
The Washington Post, July 31, 2013