June begins Pride month, and I am so very proud of my gay friends.
I am proud of the way they trust themselves to be exactly who God created them to be, especially when the church and the government keep trying to convince them to hide.
What I am not proud of is the way the Catholic church has treated and continues to treat the LGBTQ community, all in the name of saving souls.
The echoes of our history are rising again; a history where a church who claims to care for the marginalized blocks the voices of those very same people, causing death. The church’s teaching on homosexuality is killing our youth. Studies show that religion reduces suicide rates in teens, but for gay or questioning religious teens, suicide rates skyrocket. This single statistic reveals to faithful, compassionate people that something is desperately wrong.
I love the Catholic church. The church helps me to be a better person, to be exactly who God created me to be. But when it doesn’t allow others to do the same while asking me to trust without question? That’s a bit too much to ask.
Church teaching is not a weapon. It is a guide towards holiness for all people. Right now, it feels as if church teaching on this particular issue is missing the vital perspective of our LGBTQ siblings. They, too, are part of the Body of Christ and deserve a voice.
Isn’t this what God wants? For each of us to use our entire selves to glorify him and bring about a kin-dom worthy of heaven? This simply will not happen in the Catholic Church unless we start listening to the voices we continue to cast aside in the name of saving souls.
I look towards a church who will someday accept LGBTQ people for the beauties that they are. I do believe it will come to be, not because I unequivocally trust the church, but because I unequivocally trust the church to listen to God.