When it comes to gays and Cardinal Ratzinger, I recall the time when I was invited to speak to a gathering of Dignity members (Dignity is an organization of gay Catholics) in a Catholic Church in San Francisco (I was still a Dominican priest in good standing at the time).
Part of my preparation for my talk was to read Cardinal Ratzinger’s two documents about gays where he says such things as “homosexuality is an intrinsic moral evil” and an inclination to homosexuality is an “objective disorder.” And more.
Feeling kicked in the gut by the ugliness and the venom in his writing, I sat down and asked myself: “What am I feeling?” The reply that came was this: “I feel like whoever wrote this wants to see gays locked up in concentration camps.” Then it hit me, “Oh my God, that is exactly what the Nazis of Ratzinger’s childhood did!”
In neither of these ugly documents is there a single citation from science–citations from his catechism abound however.
Yet homosexuality is a scientific issue, not a religious one. Condemning gays in the name of religion reminds one of the church condemning Galileo in the 17th century. Ignoring science once again, apparently, Pope Benedict learned nothing from that episode of ignorance.
Science declared in the 1970’s that homosexuality is not a disease or a choice, that about 8-10% of any given human population on earth will be gay or lesbian whether religions like it or not. And 464 other species have been discovered with gay and lesbian populations. So I guess it’s “natural” after all, albeit for a very special minority.
I call it a “special minority” because Seneca woman and Franciscan Sister Jose Hobday taught me years ago that in her indigenous tradition “it is well known that all the spiritual directors of the great chiefs were gay.” That gay people bring more to the spiritual table.
If this is so, any organization that oppresses gays is shooting itself in the foot and depleting spiritual energy.
This is one of the signs of our times. Science has spoken about the wonderful diversity that the Creator and creation offer us in the arena of sexual relationships. The fight for homosexual rights and gay marriage is one of the signs of our times.
Once again, Benedict XVI turned his back on science and the signs of our times and in given a position of such power as the papacy holds, reinforced hatred toward gay and lesbian people.
See Matthew Fox, Confessions: The Making of a Post-denominational Priest, pp. 142f., 202, 255f., 345f., 355, 382.
Fox, The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved, pp. 7, 89, 93, 129, 136, 152, 164, 226, 232.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: CzestochowaPride-Parade, 16 June 2019, Photo by Silar on Wikimedia Commons. The artist who created the painting was arrested as the LGBT rights movement finds itself targeted by hate speech and a government campaign depicting it as a threat to families and society. Learn more HERE.
Queries for Contemplation
Has your attitude toward homosexuality and homosexuals evolved in your lifetime? What brought that evolution about for you?
Confessions: The Making of a Post-Denominational Priest (Revised/Updated Edition)
Matthew Fox’s stirring autobiography, Confessions, reveals his personal, intellectual, and spiritual journey from altar boy, to Dominican priest, to his eventual break with the Vatican. Five new chapters in this revised and updated edition bring added perspective in light of the author’s continued journey, and his reflections on the current changes taking place in church, society and the environment.
“The unfolding story of this irrepressible spiritual revolutionary enlivens the mind and emboldens the heart — must reading for anyone interested in courage, creativity, and the future of religion.”
—Joanna Macy, author of World as Lover, World as Self
The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved
The Pope’s War offers a provocative look at three decades of corruption in the Catholic Church, focusing on Josef Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. The final section in the book focuses on birthing a truly catholic christianity.
“This book should be read by everybody, not only for its ferocious courage, but also for its vision for what needs to be saved from the destructive forces that threaten authentic Christianity.” ~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope.
“In the gripping The Pope’s War, Matthew Fox takes an unwavering look at the layers of corruption in the Catholic Church, holding moral truth against power.” — Jason Berry, author of Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II