A reader has taken issue with a statement I made in the post prompted by the marriage vote a few months ago now. That thread is old, so let me bring the comment forward into this new post.
Frank objected to this remark of mine:
But orthodox voices have been misheard in many cases. The identification is sometimes so tight, that is, between gay identity and gay behaviour that criticism of the latter is heard as an attack on gay people themselves.
To which he responded,
That is a lie. When he was a Cardinal, Benedict XVI wrote that anyone who publicly identified as gay can be assumed to be engaging in homosexual sex or in favor of changing your Church's doctrines against it. Therefore, he endorsed discrimination in housing, employment, military service, health insurance, etc. I was a celibate gay Catholic then, but after reading that letter, which said that if I were murdered for being gay I would have only myself to blame, I left the Church.
After so many decades of being treated as an enemy of the Church, I've decided to accept the role and play it to the hilt.
God damn Benedict.
Frank, I'm not sure where to start with something like this, really. I'm glad, though, that you thought it was worth your while to put your two cents' worth in, and I hope you find my response of some value.
First, can I confirm, are you in fact referring to the 1986 letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons? I don't think it says what you're attributing to it, but I'd rather not make any hasty assumptions about what's in dispute here.
Second, what is it you're saying is a lie exactly? If I'm mistaken, show me; but I don't think I've put forward any deliberate untruths here.
Third, there must have been some reason or reasons you were celibate and Catholic before all this reached the crisis point. Say I as someone who cursed both my parents and a variety of church leaders (including JPII, of course) for their disapproval of homosexual behaviour: Are you possibly cutting off your nose to spite your face?
Finally, I'd ask whether your status as "enemy of the Church" is accurately perceived, in light of the Catechism's statement on homosexual persons (CCC 2359):
By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
Thanks for writing. I look forward to hearing from you again.
P.S. As for your question about Regent College, I'll admit I've put forward some similar comparisons myself in the distant past, but no. For goodness' sake, no. Why should the cases be viewed as similar??