CV NEWS FEED // Many prominent Catholic promoters of the LGBT movement are decrying a Vatican statement that reaffirmed the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith issued a clarifying note Monday to the effect that the Catholic Church does not bless “unions of persons of the same sex.” The document briefly explained Catholic teachings on marriage, sacraments, and sin.
The text was widely reported in the secular press as a kind of new “decree” against homosexuals. Most Catholic media organizations recognized it as merely a reminder of immemorial Church teachings.
To Catholic public figures who have invested themselves in the promotion of the LGBT movement, however, the Vatican document represented an official–and unwelcome–reprimand of their work.
Rev. James Martin, SJ, has made a name for himself promoting what he calls “LGBTQ Catholics.” In a series of tweets he claimed to speak for many “#LGBTQ people, as well as their friends, families and allies” and described “the Vatican’s latest pronouncement on barring the blessings of same-sex marriages” as “profoundly discouraging.”
Martin explained that many dissident priests already bless gay “marriages,” and hoped that the Vatican would allow them to continue to do so. “Especially painful for many LGBTQ people who contacted me today was the statement that God ‘does not and cannot bless sin,’” Martin added.
Martin also cited a fellow Jesuit priest who said that the Church is still “learning to love” LGBT people.
The Jesuit publication America Magazine, of which Martin is Editor-at-Large, published a report about Catholics rebuking the Vatican, under the headline “‘It just hurts’: Catholics react to Vatican ban on blessings for same-sex couples.”
Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of the pro-LGBT Catholic organization DignityUSA, was similarly unaccepting of the Church’s position. It is “hard for a lot of people to understand just how far removed the church is from human rights advances that are being made in the rest of society,” Duddy-Burke told the Washington Post Monday.
Other pro-LGBT celebrity Catholics were less somber, with their reactions ranging from prodding questions to outright mockery.
National Catholic Reporter’s Christopher White tried to point out a tension between Pope Francis’ past kindness to homosexuals and his current backing of Catholic teaching on marriage and sexuality.
Franciscan priest Rev. Daniel Horan, OFM, offered a sarcastic joke at the expense of both the Vatican’s most recent pronouncement and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which describes homosexual acts as “intrinsically disordered.”
“Breaking News: Gravity is considered ‘intrinsically disordered’ because it does not appear anywhere in the thirteenth-century appropriation of Aristotle’s treatise on physics and therefore goes against God’s will,” tweeted Horan, who also writes for the National Catholic Reporter. “Anyone participating in gravity is committing a grave sin.”