Further Comments on Vatican Ignorance and Homophobic Teaching

Yesterday we responded to the shocking news that today’s Vatican cannot break from Augustine’s ignorant and dangerous teachings about the “sin of homosexuality.”  Has the Vatican learned nothing about sexuality in the last 1600 years?

“Two Giraffes.” Giraffes have more male-to-male couplings than male-to-female. See a full list of animals displaying homosexual behavior HERE. Photo taken on safari in Kenya by a relative of Brandt Luke Zorn, most likely his father. On Wikimedia Commons.

My Bible says that ‘God is love,’ not just heterosexual love.  From the 1970s on, science has made clear that 8-10% of any human population anywhere is going to be gay.  It took the church 450 years to apologize for its opposition to Galileo.  Must we wait 450 years for this apology also? 

I know very few gay couples willing to postpone their weddings for 450 years.  Do you?

Many years ago, Sister Jose Hobday, a Franciscan sister who was also a Native American Seneca woman took me aside and said to me:

What is it with white people who condemn homosexuals?  People like myself who know our traditions before the white people came to our shores know that all the spiritual directors to our great chiefs were gay.  We know that gay people bring more spirituality to a community than straight people do. When I do retreats with only gays and lesbians we go deeper much faster than when I lead retreats for general audiences. 

The “Two-Spirit Nation” was a recognized and honored voice at the international indigenous protests at Standing Rock. Photo by Phila Hoopes

I have researched this subject and found similar teachings among Celtic peoples and African peoples as well.  This is just one reason why gay and lesbian people are drawn to religious ministries.  It follows that a society or community that worships a homophobic Deity is shooting itself in the foot because they are losing lots of spiritual energy. 

And, of course, hypocrisy reigns in such a sad situation.  Read Frederic Martel’s book, In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy or my lengthy review of it HERE to see the sadness and hypocrisy at work. 

I find it amazing that conscience is so compromised at the Vatican that there appears to be no sign of shame on the part of the law-makers there even after the revelations in Martel’s book.  How deeply self-hatred lies in the gay hierarchy who rant against gays and want all gays to live celibate lives apparently–unlike a high percentage of them who actually take vows of celibacy!

“Curses Against the Pharisees.” Painting by J.J. Tissot, Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum; Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2007, 00.1. On Wikimedia Commons.

Jesus called religious hypocrites “blind guides” who ignore the weightier issues of “justice, mercy and good faith.”  And “whitewashed tombs that look handsome on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of corruption.”  Again, “serpents, brood of vipers, [who cannot] escape being condemned to hell” who “load on men burdens that are unendurable.” (see Mt. 23: 26-39; Lk 11:36)

A poem entitled “Pater Noster,” written early in the twentieth century by a Celtic poet, pictures the Roman Catholic church as a giant sailing vessel that sailed for many centuries over treacherous seas through storm, gale and hurricanes weathering it all.  Then, in the twentieth century, it crashed against a giant rock, splintered into pieces and sank.  And the name of the rock was: Sex. 

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Confessions: The Making of a Post-denominational Priest, pp. 259f. 

See also Matthew Fox, Letters to Pope Francis, pp. 35, 132f.

Banner Image: Czestochowa Pride Parade, 16 June 2019. The artist who created the painting of the Madonna was arrested as the Polish LGBT rights movement is targeted by hate speech and a fear-based government campaign claiming LGBT rights threaten families and society. Learn more HERE. Photo by Silar on Wikimedia Commons.

Do you recognize that homophobia is still raising its head in culture and some religions?  Did you think that time was behind us?  What are you contributing to truth telling and truth acting to support your gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and yourself if you are gay?

Letters to Pope Francis

Matthew Fox challenges the new Pope to live up to the promise of his namesake St. Francis and reshape a church that has been mired in corruption and bereft of authentic spirituality and rigorous theological debate. Former Dominican priest Matthew Fox presents a series of heartfelt letters to his brother in Christ about the great challenges facing the church today, drawing from the deep spiritual and theological sources that have been suppressed since Vatican II, and implores him to restore the sensus fidelium (the sense of the faithful) and reshape a church with justice and compassion.

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

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4 thoughts on “Further Comments on Vatican Ignorance and Homophobic Teaching”

  1. Avatar

    All the questions that plague us in the human family are answered in Divine LOVE. We are not called to judge, but to love, in doing so, the questions no longer matter. }:- a.m.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      I agree with you Patrick, “all the questions that plague us in the human family are answered in Divine LOVE.” The only problem to this is the elaborate systems of thought that have been developed around love that have made it so hard to find. I am currently studying the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH–it presents one with an elaborate systematic theology that takes over 800 pages to lay out (in my edition), and by the end of my study I come away with some things good and some things that are not helpful as far as I am concerned. But that’s just the problem with so much of this–“as far as I’m concerned” means nothing to the Church. And the Church even gets in the way of how love is expressed physically–even in the privacy of a married couples bedroom (i.e. the ban on contraceptives, etc.)

  2. Avatar

    In all of the stories about Jesus demonstrating love and compassion, stressing the importance of the great commandment of love of neighbor, self, and God, never once has he set about establishing a new church or religion. He appears to have lived and died as a Jew. Even what we proclaim to be the last supper was part of Jewish ritual. Nowhere did he instruct his followers to leave the Jewish faith and form a new church, Rather, he instructed his followers to go out and spread the Good News. The stories even indicate that he was opposed to the structure of the Jewish hierarchy and the burdens they placed on the people by making all of the structured laws. The Catholic church and other Christian churches that have evolved over time appear to have reverted back to a similar structure of control rather than focusing on demonstrating and spreading the good news of love. I have often thought that if the person of Jesus were to suddenly appear on the streets of today, his first comment would be, “What the hell happened here?” I seem to also recall another comment attributed to Jesus in the gospel stories, “Judge not, lest you be judged”, and another about removing the beam from your own eye before being concerned about the speck in another’s.
    I work at doing my best to show respect and send love to all people who come into my awareness, but I do not have to respect or love their actions.

  3. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Bob. You are right, Jesus never was about starting a new religion. He was a Jew but he was also opposed to the structure of Jewish hierarchy which Jesus saw as oppressive. And you are also right that both the Catholic and Protestant Churches as well have used oppressive structures rather than focusing on preaching and teaching the simple gospel–Good News–and Good News is just what the world needs right now !!!

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