The Ultimate Rebels: Queer Catholics

Crucifix and crowd
Image credit: Shutterstock/The Advocate

If you are an LGBTQI Catholic, you are a movement. I admit this sounds counterintuitive. Aren’t movements about a lot of people, not just an individual, creating some kind of impact or momentum toward a desired good or response to injustice? So let me explain.

At a recent holiday gathering, an attendee who identifies as a Catholic gay man spoke about how he thinks the Catholic Church is moving in a positive direction. He even identified some local church leaders as examples of individuals with whom he has had deep conversations about gay sexuality and inclusion in the church, and he named a local archdiocesan LGBTQI outreach organization as an example of progress.

When I called attention to the fact that the cited organization was founded on an expectation that its members would accept official church teaching (i.e., being gay is morally disordered and intrinsically evil) and expected its members to be celibate, he responded, “No one asked me to do this.”

Not to be too hard on this individual, whom I respect and who has many gifts to offer to our community, but I was taken aback by his lack of knowledge and understanding of what it truly means to be LGBTQI and a member of the Catholic Church. In reality, this person’s experience is not the experience of many other LGBTQI Catholics, and I felt called to respectfully point this out.

Whether you know it or not, just by being fully and openly LGBTQ or I and Catholic, you are part of a long and vital effort to effect change in the largest, most powerful institution on the planet. Each of us is a movement.

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